Starting Pitcher Observations from August

by Team Del Genio

The Team ended the month of August by winning their MLB National League East Total of the Month with the Philadelphia/Washington over on August 31st. The Phillies won the game, 12-6, as they scored at least seven runs for the fourth straight game. We concluded that they would continue swinging hot bats against the Nationals’ Patrick Corbin. The left-hander entered the game with a 7.59 era and a 1.41 whip in eight starts since the all-star break. He has allowed at least four earned runs in seven of his last eight starts. His strikeout rate of 18.6% of the batters he has faced is the lowest mark in his career. Sure enough, Corbin allowed two home runs and six runs overall in his six innings of work in taking his thirteenth loss of the season. Corbin gave up nine hits and walked four batters. While he struck out four batters, that represented only 14.2% of the batters he faced. Washington has allowed 33 combined runs in their last three games. 

The Phillies’ Matt Moore struggled in this game as well. He has been rotating back and forth between the bullpen and starting rotation. He has a 2-4 record with a 6.12 era and a 1.55 whip on the season. Since the all-star break, Moore has a 6.82 era and a 1.45 whip in six starts and eight overall appearances. His walk rate of 10.2% of the batters he has faced is the highest since 2014. He walked five batters in this game in his 3 1/3 innings for a 23.8% walk rate. He was pulled after getting one out in the bottom of the third inning after allowing five runs. 

Our 25* MLB Total of the Month on Monday, August 30th, was scratched when the San Francisco starting pitcher, Johnny Cueto, tested positive for COVID which forced the Giants to resort to a bullpen game. Much of the reasoning for the under in that game was the expected strong pitching performance from Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes. The Brewers won the game, 3-1, with the final score still finishing well below the number. Burnes pitched great by allowing only one run in six innings. He allowed only four hits and did not walk a batter. He struck out nine Giants. He entered that game with an 8-4 record with a 2.30 era and a 0.95 whip in twenty-two starts. The hard-throwing right-hander had a 1.67 era and a 0.85 whip in his four starts this month before that effort. Burnes had a 1.87 era and a 0.86 whip in his previous ten starts on the road. 

We lost our MLB ESPN Sunday Game of the Year on August 29th when the Yankees lost at Oakland, 3-1. We were surprised that New York did not generate more runs against the A’s starting pitcher Paul Blackburn. Our assessment of Yankees’ starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery was on the money. Montgomery allowed just one unearned run in his six innings where he gave up only six base hits and did not offer a free pass. The left-hander had a 5-5 record with a 3.69 era and 1.20 whip in twenty-three starts entering the game, yet that did not tell the full story. Since the beginning of June, Montgomery had a 2.98 era and a 1.16 whip with 43 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings before that start. His strong efforts were not restricted to Yankee Stadium either during this run. In his previous four starts on the road before pitching at the Coliseum on Sunday, Montgomery has a 0.87 era and a 1.11 whip. When pitching at night, Montgomery held a 2.84 era and 1.15 whip in fourteen starts before that effort.

Good luck - TDG.

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