10 Important Stories from 09/18/19 Box Scores: Young Starters Emerging While Others Can’t Be Trusted, What’s Wrong With Syndergaard & More

0
1266

The final two weeks of the season are never easy to maneuver as playoff teams look to prepare for a deep October run while non-playoff teams look towards potential pieces for 2020. Who made the biggest impact yesterday? Who gave the impression as to who could thrive, both over the final few days and into next season? Let’s take a look:

1)What’s gone wrong for Noah Syndergaard…
There were high hopes entering the season, and while he’s shown flashes he’s ultimately fallen flat this season. Yesterday we can give him a slight pass, with the game coming in Coors Field, though he still allowed a pair of home runs to Sam Hilliard (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) en route to allowing 4 ER on 10 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 5.2 IP. He’s now allowed 4 ER in three straight starts, and 4+ ER in four of his past five (including the 10 ER debacle against the Cubs), raising his ERA from 3.71 to 4.22. Part of the problem has been luck related (67.9% strand rate, .303 BABIP entering the day), as while the other numbers are down they don’t represent this type of regression. While he may be tough to trust this season, he screams of a strong bounce back in ’20.

2) Is it time to believe in Homer Bailey…
He and Danny Duffy (7.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 K) had a tremendous pitchers duel, but it was Bailey who posted the more impressive line. Going 7.0 shutout innings he allowed 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 11. While he wasn’t generating groundballs (4 groundballs vs. 5 fly balls), he was missing bats with 20 swinging strikes and has now allowed 2 ER or less in four straight starts (3 ER or fewer in seven straight starts). While his SwStr% is up this season, does a 10.4% entering the day make you believe that last night was anything but an aberration? He’s also been hit relatively hard (44.1% Hard%) and doesn’t have elite groundballs or control. While he may be a streaming option, chalk this one up more to a favorable matchup.

3) Kyle Lewis continues to flash unexpected power…
He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting him at .294 with 5 HR and 10 RBI over 34 AB. Of course he also has 13 K vs. 1 BB, so the command of the strike zone is a significant question, and he had hit 11 HR over 517 PA at Double-A this season. Granted power is up in the Majors this season, and that may be part of the development, but does anyone really think it could’ve come this much this quick? He entered the day with a 57.1% HR/FB, and while we generally say over 2 weeks anyone can stay hot this one seems like it’s a stretch. Ride him while he’s hot, but don’t expect this to continue for very long.

4) Just another do it all day for Jonathan Villar…
Hitting atop the Baltimore lineup he filled the box score, going 3-6 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB. He fell a triple short of the cycle and is currently hitting .279 with 23 HR and 36 SB on the season. No one should be surprised by the speed he’s flashed (this is the third time in four seasons that he’s stolen 35+ bases), it’s the power that has been surprising. Of course he had 38 doubles, 3 triples and 19 HR back in ’16, so he does have a history of being capable of this. The bigger question is his average, having entered the day with a 28.3% Hard% and .344 BABIP. Speed or not, we’d like to see him making a little bit better contact. That said, with his speed he’s always going to hold value.

5) Has Aaron Civale done enough to make us believe…
Sure this one came against the Tigers, but he still allowed just 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 7.2 IP to leave him with a 1.82 ERA and 0.99 WHIP over 54.1 IP in the Majors. He’s done the job with control (13 BB) and avoiding home runs (2 HR allowed), and while the former is believable the latter has come with significant luck. Just consider that he entered the with a 39.1% groundball rate (though he did have 10 groundballs vs. 8 fly balls yesterday). There’s significant regression risk, and while he may keep it together this season don’t expect him to suddenly become a stud option heading into 2020.

6) Did anyone expect Kevin Pillar to be this solid of an option…
He was hitting third for the Giants yesterday, going 3-5 with 1 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB as he’s provided across the board production. Maybe a .261 average doesn’t catch your eye, but it’s enough when paired with 21 HR, 82 RBI, 79 R and 12 SB. The speed is exactly what we’d have expected, and while he’s proven to have a questionable approach (48.6% O-Swing%), which obviously helps to contribute to the poor average, is that enough? The spike in power coincides with the increase across the game (he owns an 11.9% HR/FB, up from an 8.3% career mark) and while at his age he’s not a player we are buying long-term continue to enjoy it the rest of the season.

7) Could Zach Eflin make an impact over the final week of the season…
He started off this final stretch strong, allowing 1 R (0 earned) on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 7.0 IP to defeat the Braves. While the lack of swinging strikes (3) does bring concern over his strikeout potential, he was generating groundballs (12 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls) and that’s going to help him thrive. Of course he entered the day with a 43.6% groundball rate, so you can call this one a little bit of an aberration, but he has good control (2.51 BB/9) and also has missed more bats (9.1% SwStr% entering the day). He’s never going to be an elite option, but he did enter the day with a 50.0% groundball rate in the second half so he’s clearly made an adjustment. With the potential for two starts in the final week, he’s well worth the flier.

8) Dinelson Lamet steals the night as he stars against Milwaukee…
Going 6.0 innings he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, but the big number was his 14 K courtesy of an impressive 19 swinging strikes. He now has 95 K over 68.0 IP over 13 starts on the season and while there was a bit of a slow start after first returning from the IL he’s now showing exactly what type of upside he has. The big concern is going to be his ability to keep the ball in the ballpark, entering the day with a 36.2% groundball rate this season (36.8% over 174.1 career innings). Pitching in San Diego will help to combat that a little bit, but there is always going to be the risk of a little bit of a blowup. That doesn’t make you ignore the strikeout stuff, just remember there’s a cap to his upside right now.

9) Brandon McKay continues to underwhelm in the Majors…
It was a tough matchup with the Dodgers and he was limited to 61 pitches, but he still allowed 3 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 4.0 IP. Overall he owns a 5.40 ERA and 1.41 WHIP over 46.2 IP in the Majors this season, though 53 K vs. 15 BB shows that it hasn’t been all bad (he entered the day with an 11.4% SwStr% and 35.4% O-Swing%). Of course he also entered the day with a 40.5% Hard% and significant questions about his ability to keep the ball in the ballpark (36.3% groundball rate), not to mention having to maneuver through the AL East. Is there upside value? Absolutely, but he’s also not a pitcher we’d want to trust for the remainder of ’19.

10) Kolby Allard somewhat holds his own against the Astros…
Sure he was outpitched by Gerrit Cole (8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 10 K), but we all knew that would be the case. Allard wasn’t bad, allowing 2 ER over 5.0 IP, though you can argue it should’ve been a lot worse having allowed 4 H and 4 BB, striking out just 2. Ever since his recall we’ve said that he needs to be perfect in order to thrive, and walking 4 against a tough team is hardly “perfect”. Entering the day with a 7.23 K/9, 3.38 BB/9 and 46.2% groundball rate over 37.1 IP, what skill are we hanging our hats on? He’ll have some good starts, but he’s nothing more than a streaming option.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here