Eric Lauer has been one of the pleasant surprises of the 2022 season in Major League Baseball. The Milwaukee Brewers’ left-hander came into the last day of April with a 1-0 record that goes along with a sparkling 2.20 era and a 1.04 whip in three starts.
Lauer was coming off a dominant effort where he allowed no runs in six innings while striking out 14 batters on the road in Philadelphia on April 24th. He induced seventeen swinging strikes and 36% of his 98 pitches in the effort were either a called strike or a swinging strike.
Bettors looking at Lauer’s season numbers last year may have overlooked what appears to be a breakout season. He posted a 7-5 record in 118 2/3 innings with a 3.19 era and a 1.13 whip. Yet Lauer hinted at a possible breakthrough season this year after posting a 2.60 era in his 62 1/3 innings after the all-star break last season. He struck out 3.70 batters for every walk he issued during that span. The crafty 26-year-old has five different pitches at his disposal, and the 94.5 miles per hour on his fastball this season is 1.5 mph higher than last year.
Lauer rewarded his backers in his start at home against the Chicago Cubs with seven innings of work where he allowed only one earned run. He struck out eleven batters and continued his impressive ability to miss bats. Twenty-one of his pitches went for swing-and-miss strikes, and 35% of his pitches overall were either called strikes or swing-and-miss strikes.
Eric Lauer completes the month of April with a 2-0 record along with a 1.93 era and a 0.99 whip. He has 34 strikeouts in his 22 1/3 innings through four starts. He has walked only five batters. The Brewers were swinging cold bats, yet they have scored 20 runs in their last two games. The opportunities to buy low when Lauer is on the mound make be disappearing quickly, especially if the Milwaukee hitters continue to hit like they have against Cubs’ pitching this weekend. Yet Lauer still may offer some money line or under value as spring moves into summer.
Good luck - TDG.