STARTERS: BPV none on/runners on, 2017

Our research has confirmed that there are significant skill differences among pitchers when throwing with the bases empty compared to with runners on base.

We can show this visually by comparing the skills of pitchers in those two situations over the last five seasons and comparing them with the average overall skills posted by starting pitchers during the same period:

Here is an updated analysis with the detailed stats and skills for this split over the last four full seasons and 2017 YTD:

  • None On Stats & Skills: 2013 to 2017 YTD*
    
    Year  League  ERA   WHIP  Ctl  Dom  Cmd  HR/9  GB%  H%   hr/f   Ball%  BPV
    ====  ======  ====  ====  ===  ===  ===  ====  ===  ===  =====  =====  ===
    2013      AL  1.15  1.35  2.9  8.1  2.8   1.2  43%  32%  11.5%    36%   90
    2014      AL  0.94  1.29  2.7  8.1  3.0   0.9  44%  32%   9.4%    36%   94
    2015      AL  1.12  1.29  2.7  8.2  3.0   1.1  44%  31%  11.5%    36%   97
    2016      AL  1.34  1.34  2.9  8.5  2.9   1.3  44%  32%  13.6%    36%   97
    2017**    AL  1.37  1.35  3.2  8.9  2.8   1.4  44%  32%  13.8%    36%   96
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2013      NL  0.97  1.30  2.8  8.1  2.9   1.0  46%  31%  10.6%    36%   95
    2014      NL  0.86  1.28  2.7  8.4  3.1   0.9  46%  32%   9.5%    35%  103
    2015      NL  1.05  1.31  2.8  8.5  3.1   1.1  46%  32%  11.4%    36%  102
    2016      NL  1.18  1.34  3.0  8.9  2.9   1.2  45%  32%  12.9%    36%  101
    2017**    NL  1.29  1.35  3.2  8.9  2.8   1.3  45%  32%  13.7%    36%   97
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2013     MLB  1.06  1.32  2.8  8.1  2.9   1.1  45%  32%  11.1%    36%   92
    2014     MLB  0.90  1.29  2.7  8.3  3.0   0.9  45%  32%   9.5%    35%  103
    2015     MLB  1.08  1.30  2.7  8.3  3.1   1.1  45%  32%  11.5%    36%  100
    2016     MLB  1.26  1.34  3.0  8.7  2.9   1.3  45%  32%  13.2%    36%   99
    2017**   MLB  1.33  1.35  3.2  8.9  2.8   1.3  44%  32%  13.8%    36%   96
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *all pitchers
    **thru June 6
  • Runners On Stats & Skills: 2013 to 2017 YTD*
    
    Year  League  ERA   WHIP  Ctl  Dom  Cmd  HR/9  GB%  H%   S%   hr/f   Ball%  BPV
    ====  ======  ====  ====  ===  ===  ===  ====  ===  ===  ===  =====  =====  ===
    2013      AL  7.39  1.28  3.3  7.1  2.2   0.9  44%  29%  39%  10.0%    37%   61
    2014      AL  7.34  1.27  3.1  7.1  2.3   0.8  44%  29%  39%   9.2%    37%   66
    2015      AL  7.65  1.29  3.2  7.0  2.2   1.0  44%  29%  37%  11.2%    37%   63
    2016      AL  7.75  1.30  3.2  7.4  2.3   1.1  45%  29%  37%  12.2%    37%   70
    2017**    AL  7.72  1.28  3.3  7.5  2.3   1.2  44%  28%  37%  13.1%    37%   67
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2013      NL  7.10  1.26  3.2  6.7  2.1   0.8  46%  28%  40%   9.5%    37%   58
    2014      NL  7.07  1.25  3.1  7.0  2.2   0.8  46%  28%  40%   9.9%    37%   66
    2015      NL  7.40  1.28  3.2  7.2  2.3   0.9  47%  29%  39%  11.2%    37%   68
    2016      NL  7.75  1.31  3.5  7.4  2.1   1.0  45%  29%  37%  12.3%    37%   62
    2017**    NL  7.89  1.32  3.6  7.4  2.1   1.1  46%  29%  37%  12.9%    38%   61
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2013     MLB  7.24  1.27  3.3  6.9  2.1   0.8  45%  29%  40%   9.8%    37%   59
    2014     MLB  7.20  1.26  3.1  7.1  2.3   0.8  45%  29%  39%   9.6%    37%   66
    2015     MLB  7.53  1.29  3.2  7.1  2.2   0.9  46%  29%  38%  11.2%    37%   66
    2016     MLB  7.75  1.30  3.3  7.4  2.2   1.1  45%  29%  37%  12.2%    37%   66
    2017**   MLB  7.80  1.30  3.5  7.5  2.2   1.1  45%  28%  37%  13.0%    37%   64
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *all pitchers
    **thru June 6

Some key takeaways:

  • SP have a near triple-digit BPV when pitching with the bases empty compared to below-average skills SP with runners on base. The main factor is an erosion in command, due in part to more pitches called balls and a resulting higher level of free passes being issued with runners on base, but also as a result of a significant decline in strikeouts.
  • SP also show a tendency to be able to reduce their HR/9 and H% with runners on base.

***

Let's take a look at some significant early SP none on/runners on splits so far in 2017.

First, here are the SP with the best skills while pitching with the bases empty:

  • 125+ BPV, Bases Empty*
    
    Name                League  Ctl  Dom   HR/9  GB%  H%   hr/f  Ball%  BPV
    ==================  ======  ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ====  =====  ===
    Sale, Chris             AL  1.4  12.6   0.6  39%  30%    7%    32%  207
    Petit, Yusmeiro         AL  1.5  12.6   1.1  41%  27%   12%    32%  204
    Samardzija, Jeff        NL  1.3  11.5   1.3  46%  34%   16%    34%  198
    Greinke, Zack           NL  1.2  11.3   1.6  45%  28%   18%    32%  195
    Kershaw, Clayton        NL  0.8  10.7   1.3  47%  29%   16%    30%  195
    Severino, Luis          AL  1.6  11.1   0.9  52%  34%   14%    35%  188
    Scherzer, Max           NL  2.3  12.4   1.0  34%  27%   10%    31%  172
    Ray, Robbie             NL  3.5  13.8   1.3  35%  28%   16%    38%  166
    Wood, Alex              NL  3.5  11.4   0.4  75%  33%   13%    35%  166
    Karns, Nathan           AL  1.9  10.7   2.2  46%  31%   23%    36%  165
    Arrieta, Jake           NL  1.9  10.7   1.3  46%  33%   15%    35%  165
    Bauer, Trevor           AL  3.4  12.4   1.0  53%  34%   16%    39%  164
    Archer, Chris           AL  2.3  11.2   0.7  38%  33%    7%    35%  157
    deGrom, Jacob           NL  3.0  11.6   1.5  47%  37%   19%    34%  154
    Milone, Tommy           NL  0.8   8.4   3.0  47%  32%   26%    33%  154
    Perdomo, Luis           NL  1.3   8.3   0.7  61%  36%   11%    36%  153
    Porcello, Rick          AL  1.5   9.6   1.9  38%  45%   14%    32%  150
    Nelson, Jimmy           NL  2.5  10.7   0.5  46%  43%    6%    32%  149
    Cueto, Johnny           NL  2.3  10.5   1.3  44%  32%   16%    33%  149
    Morton, Charlie         AL  4.0  12.5   0.9  52%  41%   14%    39%  148
    Biagini, Joe            AL  1.5   8.0   0.3  67%  26%    5%    32%  147
    Kluber, Corey           AL  2.9  11.4   1.3  42%  33%   16%    31%  146
    Ramirez, Erasmo         AL  1.4   8.6   1.1  50%  33%   12%    31%  145
    Marquez, German         NL  1.7   9.6   1.0  40%  38%    9%    31%  144
    McCullers, Lance        AL  3.2  10.7   1.1  56%  30%   20%    38%  140
    Keuchel, Dallas         AL  2.5   9.1   1.1  63%  25%   22%    37%  139
    Martinez, Carlos        NL  2.7  10.1   0.7  50%  27%    9%    34%  139
    Duffy, Danny            AL  2.2  10.2   1.0  37%  38%   10%    33%  138
    Paxton, James           AL  2.1   9.4   0.3  48%  27%    3%    33%  138
    Walker, Taijuan         NL  2.0   9.4   0.9  43%  34%    8%    37%  136
    Godley, Zack            NL  3.0   9.3   0.7  70%  22%   14%    38%  135
    Stroman, Marcus         AL  2.2   8.8   0.9  58%  36%   15%    35%  134
    Delgado, Randall        NL  1.9   8.8   1.1  47%  34%   12%    36%  132
    Strasburg, Stephen      NL  2.9  10.3   0.4  45%  33%    6%    32%  132
    Tanaka, Masahiro        AL  1.8   8.6   2.2  45%  33%   22%    32%  131
    Estrada, Marco          AL  2.5  10.2   1.0  33%  35%    8%    32%  129
    Cahill, Trevor          NL  4.0  11.3   1.1  55%  31%   18%    38%  128
    Maeda, Kenta            NL  3.6  11.5   1.2  39%  35%   14%    36%  126
    Adleman, Tim            NL  1.8   8.8   1.8  38%  26%   16%    36%  126
    Gsellman, Robert        NL  1.8   8.2   1.5  49%  35%   17%    37%  125
    Tomlin, Josh            AL  0.7   6.6   1.7  47%  32%   15%    31%  125
    *min 20 IP

Next, the guys with the best skills when pitching from the stretch:

  • 100+ BPV, Runners On*
    
    Name                League  Ctl  Dom   HR/9  GB%  H%   hr/f  Ball%  BPV
    ==================  ======  ===  ====  ====  ===  ===  ====  =====  ===
    Scherzer, Max           NL  1.8  11.8   1.2  39%  26%   15%    32%  181
    Wood, Alex              NL  2.1  11.1   0.0  59%  26%    0%    34%  180
    Sale, Chris             AL  2.7  13.0   0.7  39%  36%   11%    33%  177
    Pomeranz, Drew          AL  2.1  11.6   0.7  45%  33%    8%    33%  175
    McCullers, Lance        AL  2.1  10.2   0.3  69%  31%   13%    35%  174
    Pineda, Michael         AL  1.1   9.5   1.1  49%  33%   17%    30%  168
    Estrada, Marco          AL  2.1  10.6   1.6  37%  30%   16%    32%  148
    Samardzija, Jeff        NL  1.2   9.1   0.9  34%  36%   13%    33%  143
    Strasburg, Stephen      NL  2.2   9.2   0.8  49%  23%   10%    33%  134
    Keuchel, Dallas         AL  1.6   6.7   0.0  77%  18%    0%    37%  132
    Salazar, Danny          AL  3.2  11.5   1.8  33%  37%   23%    35%  131
    Kershaw, Clayton        NL  2.0   8.6   1.0  50%  24%   15%    33%  129
    Manaea, Sean            AL  4.2  11.4   0.8  56%  30%   15%    38%  125
    Cole, Gerrit            NL  1.8   7.9   1.5  52%  27%   19%    33%  125
    Archer, Chris           AL  3.6  10.8   1.0  49%  31%   17%    38%  125
    Richard, Clayton        NL  1.0   6.3   0.5  54%  32%   13%    31%  119
    Wheeler, Zack           NL  1.6   7.4   1.0  47%  27%   19%    34%  115
    Severino, Luis          AL  2.8   8.5   1.3  58%  24%   19%    36%  112
    Chacin, Jhoulys         NL  2.7   8.7   1.2  50%  33%   15%    38%  112
    Carrasco, Carlos        AL  1.7   7.2   1.0  48%  18%   14%    33%  111
    Porcello, Rick          AL  2.0   8.0   1.0  38%  30%   10%    32%  108
    Lackey, John            NL  3.5   9.4   0.7  52%  33%    9%    33%  105
    Anderson, Tyler         NL  1.9   7.4   1.6  46%  32%   23%    32%  104
    Tomlin, Josh            AL  0.4   5.7   0.7  34%  35%    8%    32%  104
    Lester, Jon             NL  3.5   9.6   0.6  48%  35%   11%    40%  104
    Bauer, Trevor           AL  2.6   9.0   3.0  31%  39%   24%    38%  102
    Nelson, Jimmy           NL  1.9   7.1   1.3  49%  21%   17%    32%  102
    deGrom, Jacob           NL  4.9  12.0   1.5  39%  37%   21%    36%  100
    *min 20 IP

Only 22 SP have managed a 100+ BPV both with the bases empty and with runners on base:

  • 100+ BPV, Bases Empty and Runners On*
    
    Name                League  BPV None On  BPV Runners On
    ==================  ======  ===========  ==============
    Scherzer, Max           NL          172             181
    Wood, Alex              NL          166             180
    Sale, Chris             AL          207             177
    Pomeranz, Drew          AL          114             175
    McCullers, Lance        AL          140             174
    Pineda, Michael         AL          123             168
    Estrada, Marco          AL          129             148
    Samardzija, Jeff        NL          198             143
    Strasburg, Stephen      NL          132             134
    Keuchel, Dallas         AL          139             132
    Salazar, Danny          AL          107             131
    Kershaw, Clayton        NL          195             129
    Manaea, Sean            AL          102             125
    Archer, Chris           AL          157             125
    Severino, Luis          AL          188             112
    Carrasco, Carlos        AL          123             111
    Porcello, Rick          AL          150             108
    Lackey, John            NL          113             105
    Tomlin, Josh            AL          125             104
    Bauer, Trevor           AL          164             102
    Nelson, Jimmy           NL          149             102
    deGrom, Jacob           NL          154             100
    *min 20 IP none on/runners on

Finally, here are the SP with the widest none on/runners on skill splits, which reveals that only 20 SP post significantly better skills with runners on base than with the bases empty.

  • BPV, Bases Empty vs. Runners On*
    
    Name                League  BPV None On  BPV Runners On  Diff
    ==================  ======  ===========  ==============  ====
    Duffy, Danny            AL          138             -34  -172
    Freeland, Kyle          NL           84             -51  -135
    Urena, Jose             NL           79             -52  -132
    Ray, Robbie             NL          166              36  -131
    Walker, Taijuan         NL          136              11  -125
    Colon, Bartolo          NL          115              -8  -123
    Kuhl, Chad              NL          106             -15  -120
    Greinke, Zack           NL          195              87  -108
    Graveman, Kendall       AL          117              11  -106
    Gonzalez, Miguel        AL           80             -25  -105
    Gsellman, Robert        NL          125              26   -99
    Wainwright, Adam        NL          114              22   -92
    Arrieta, Jake           NL          165              76   -89
    Eickhoff, Jerad         NL          108              23   -84
    Miley, Wade             AL           86               7   -78
    Feldman, Scott          NL           97              19   -78
    Dickey, R.A.            NL           18             -59   -77
    Tanaka, Masahiro        AL          131              55   -76
    Severino, Luis          AL          188             112   -76
    Morton, Charlie         AL          148              75   -74
    Perdomo, Luis           NL          153              81   -73
    Stroman, Marcus         AL          134              66   -69
    Kershaw, Clayton        NL          195             129   -66
    Maeda, Kenta            NL          126              61   -65
    Boyd, Matt              AL           55              -9   -65
    Cueto, Johnny           NL          149              87   -63
    Bauer, Trevor           AL          164             102   -62
    Jimenez, Ubaldo         AL           49             -11   -60
    Garcia, Jaime           NL           69               9   -60
    Lynn, Lance             NL          104              45   -58
    deGrom, Jacob           NL          154             100   -54
    Samardzija, Jeff        NL          198             143   -54
    Montgomery, Jordan      AL           95              41   -54
    Straily, Dan            NL          107              54   -54
    Martinez, Carlos        NL          139              87   -51
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Santiago, Hector        AL          -19              78   +97
    Wheeler, Zack           NL           35             115   +80
    Cashner, Andrew         AL          -60              12   +73
    Peralta, Wily           NL           22              89   +66
    Richard, Clayton        NL           58             119   +61
    Moore, Matt             NL           26              86   +61
    Pomeranz, Drew          AL          114             175   +60
    Hahn, Jesse             AL           41              96   +55
    Hammel, Jason           AL           24              77   +53
    Chacin, Jhoulys         NL           62             112   +50
    Snell, Blake            AL          -19              31   +50
    Bundy, Dylan            AL           34              80   +46
    Pineda, Michael         AL          123             168   +45
    Glasnow, Tyler          NL           15              59   +44
    Fiers, Mike             AL           57              99   +42
    McCullers, Lance        AL          140             174   +34
    Cole, Gerrit            NL           95             125   +30
    Salazar, Danny          AL          107             131   +24
    Chatwood, Tyler         NL           41              65   +23
    Manaea, Sean            AL          102             125   +23
    *min 20 IP none on/runners on

Here is a closer look at some starting pitchers who have noteworthy none on/runners on BPV splits that are worth speculating on.
 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Trevor Bauer (RHP, CLE) owns the highest hit rate (39% H%) in MLB of any SP when runners are on base. It goes a long way to explaining why his overall skills are so good (141 BPV), but his surface stats are not (5.83 ERA, 1.40 WHIP). In addition, Bauer owns a 100+ BPV both with runners on and with the bases empty. We need to see improvement in his 9% SwK% and 55% FpK% before calling him a premium speculative target again, but if you play in a competitive league and need someone to speculate on, Bauer and his 3.39 xERA is worth a look.

Danny Duffy (LHP, KC) is on the DL due to an oblique strain and probably won't be back until late July. Before that, his solid 3.54 ERA was obscuring some marginal skills (57 BPV). The reason for his skill decline can be seen by his none on/runners on skill split. Few have been better with the bases empty: 10.2 Dom, 2.2 Ctl, 37% GB%, 138 BPV. Conversely, few have been worse when pitching from the stretch: 3.6 Dom, 4.5 Ctl, 43% GB%, -34 BPV.

Nathan Karns (RHP, KC) is another KC SP on the disabled list. His skills were showing plenty of life before that occurred (141 BPV), and they were firmly elite when he pitched from a full windup: 10.7 Dom, 1.9 Ctl, 46% GB%, 165 BPV. He'd have an easy sub-4 ERA if not for an inflated 20% hr/f.

Lance McCullers (RHP, HOU) has validated our pre-season breakout potential for him. He has a 2.71 ERA and 1.11 WHIP after 12 starts. And he's displaying those skills in a multiple of scenarios. His skills are upper-tier with the bases empty (140 BPV). And he's one of the few SP whose skills get even better with runners on base: 10.2 Dom, 2.1 Ctl, 69% GB%, 174 BPV.

Yusmeiro Petit (RHP, LAA) is one of the most undervalued multiple-inning relievers in the game. He's having an elite season in that role (134 BPV), and with the bases empty, he's one of the most skilled pitchers in the majors: 12.6 Dom, 1.5 Ctl, 41% GB%, 204 BPV. Petit makes for a strong end-staff stash in deep leagues.

Michael Pineda (RHP, NYY) might seem like the kind of pitcher that starts to crumble with runners on base given his prior blowup tendencies. That has not been the case so far in 2017. His skills in that scenario have been fantastic: 9.5 Dom, 1.1 Ctl, 49% GB%, 168 BPV. No reason to sell high here.

Drew Pomeranz (LHP, BOS) is another pitcher who is better when pitching from the stretch. His skills with guys on base are elite: 11.6 Dom, 2.1 Ctl, 45% GB%, 175 BPV. While Pomeranz continues to carry injury risk, his skills profile him as a mid-3s ERA guy, which gives his 4.02 ERA some good upside.

J.C. Ramirez (RHP, LAA) has been inflicted by a crazy 30% hr/f with runners on base, the highest mark in MLB. It's the main reason that his ERA continues to be above 4.00. He has tailed off (70 BPV in May) after a strong first month (118 BPV in April), but his ability to induce groundballs and miss bats gives him some nice end-rotation appeal in deeper leagues.
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Tyler Anderson (LHP, COL) also is on the DL. His malady is knee inflammation. Those who owned him prior to his injury were hurt by his 5.85 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. But his underlying skills were very strong, especially during the past month (119 BPV). His ERA was elevated due to a high 23% hr/f with runners on base. His 104 BPV in that situation confirms that he deserves better.

Bartolo Colon (RHP, ATL) recently landed on the DL due to an oblique strain. That comes as welcome news to his owners (7.78 ERA, 1.71 WHIP). Before you completely write off the potential he'll produce value somewhere in the second half, tuck away the excellent command he has displayed with the bases empty this season: 7.2 Dom, 1.3 Ctl, 43% GB%, 115 BPV. All of his problems have come with runners on base: 4.6 Dom, 4.3 Ctl, 46% GB%, -8 BPV. In fact, his 2.5 HR/9 with guys on base has been his primary downfall, but it has been driven up by a 21% hr/f. His 10% hr/f with the bases empty suggests it's a fixable issue.

Randall Delgado (RHP, ARI) has come out of nowhere to post some surprising value in long-relief and starting roles so far in 2017. Check out his aggregate skills: 8.4 Dom, 1.5 Ctl, 46% GB%, 135 BPV. His 12% SwK% and 67% FpK% back up his skills too. He'll likely remain in the ARI rotation as long as he is pitching well. Delgado is a post-hype target worth speculating on.

Zack Godley (RHP, ARI) recently was recalled by ARI but could be squeezed out of a rotation spot once ARI's rotation gets healthier. Don't let that dissuade you from investing in him though. He has a solid 102 BPV, and it's a measure that gets much better with the bases cleared: 9.3 Dom, 3.0 Ctl, 70% GB%, 135 BPV. Like Luis Perdomo, Godley's ability to get groundballs at an elite rate while missing a lot of bats is a unique ability that makes him a strong speculative target.

Robert Gsellman (RHP, NYM) has not pitched well in 2017 (5.53 ERA, 1.54 WHIP) after a strong September 2016 with NYM, putting his rotation spot in serious jeopardy. That said, Gsellman's skills haven't been as bad as his stats might indicate (77 BPV), and they've actually been really good with the bases empty: 8.2 Dom, 1.8 Ctl, 49% GB%, 125 BPV. He completely falls apart with runners on, save for a steep groundball tilt: 5.6 Dom, 4.3 Ctl, 63% GB%, 26 BPV.

Chad Kuhl (RHP, PIT) is another pitcher who has struggled mightily so far in 2017 (6.02 ERA, 1.58 WHIP). His aggregate skills wouldn't seem to point to any upside either (50 BPV). But Kuhl has been very good with the bases empty (106 BPV). He gives up tons of walks with runners on: 5.9 Dom, 5.1 Ctl, 1.6 HR/9, 39% GB%, -15 BPV. Even some modest improvement there would turn Kuhl and his strong 12% SwK% into an attractive end-rotation target in deep leagues.

German Marquez (RHP, COL) has encountered some growing pains in his first full MLB season (4.53 ERA, 1.42 WHIP in 46 IP). Interestingly, he has made some significant strides over the past month (3.03 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 123 BPV in 30 IP). And his skills with the bases empty showcase his upside: 9.6 Dom, 1.7 Ctl, 40% GB%, 144 BPV. In fact, his 31% ball% with the bases empty is second only to that of Kershaw among NL SP. Marquez remains a premium investment in keeper leagues and one who could provide some surprising second half value.

Jimmy Nelson (RHP, MIL) has been one of the game's best pitchers over the last month, both on the surface (1.93 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) and beneath it: 11.0 Dom, 1.7 Ctl, 49% GB%, 181 BPV. His YTD skill splits also show reason for optimism, as he has been able to post a 100+ BPV both with the bases empty and with runners on base. Nelson is another post-hype target worth picking up if he's available.

Luis Perdomo (RHP, SD) remains an attractive target in deep leagues due to his skills (120 BPV), which include a unique ability to keep the ball on the ground at an extreme rate (66% GB%) and miss bats (11% SwK%). The reason he still carries a 5+ ERA is due to his 25% hr/f with runners on base, which has sent his ERA soaring. He has a normal 11% hr/f with the bases empty. Perdomo remains an excellent target.
 
Robbie Ray (LHP, ARI) has begun to reward the owners who stuck with him after some of his early struggles. His skills were very good in May (124 BPV). And a deeper look reveals his rotation-anchor upside. It comes out with the bases empty: 13.8 Dom, 3.5 Ctl, 35% GB%, 166 BPV. His command completely erodes when there are runners on: 6.8 Dom, 4.1 Ctl, 46% GB%, 36 BPV. Improvement in that situation would allow Ray to become a more consistent pitcher.

Jeff Samardzija (RHP, SF) is one of just five SP in MLB who can claim a 140+ BPV both with the bases empty and with runners on base. It's further confirmation that Samardzija's early struggles are likely to continue to correct, making him one of the better buy-low targets in the game.

Taijuan Walker (RHP, ARI) should come off the disabled list soon. Those who bought him after his electric spring and were hoping for a breakout have been somewhat disappointed (3.46 ERA, 1.29 WHIP in 52 IP). Still, Walker's ceiling has been evident when he pitches from a full windup: 9.4 Dom, 2.0 Ctl, 43% GB%, 136 BPV. He struggles to find the plate from the stretch: 5.8 Dom, 4.9 Ctl, 61% GB%, 11 BPV. If he can improve in that situation, Walker has the goods to deliver on his 3.00-ERA potential.

Zack Wheeler (RHP, NYM) has put up a decent 3.72 ERA and 1.37 WHIP after 10 starts. Problem is, his overall skills (75 BPV) suggest his stats aren't going to get much better anytime soon. The reason for his shaky skills can be found in his struggles finding home plate with the bases empty: 9.1 Dom, 5.9 Ctl, 51% GB%, 39% ball%, 35 BPV. Conversely, his skills with guys on base show a lot of life, as he is able to pound the strike zone at a much higher clip: 7.4 Dom, 1.6 Ctl, 47% GB%, 34% ball%, 115 BPV.


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.