STARTERS: BPV by time through lineup, 2016

Looking at the skill splits of starting pitchers can be an effective way to identify skill flashes worth speculating on, especially in deep leagues.

Let's wrap up our current one-split-away series by looking at the skills posted by SP by time through lineup.

Our prior research has shown that a SP's stats and skills erode the more times they go through lineups during a game. Some key takeaways:

  • SPs allow significantly fewer baserunners early in games
  • Dom (K/9) consistently erodes the more times SPs go through lineups
  • Ctl (BB/9) stays constant the more times SPs go through lineups
  • There is a consistent ERA spike between the first and third times SPs go through lineups
  • BPV consistently and significantly erodes the more times SP go through lineups

***

Only 22 starting pitchers can claim a 100+ BPV the first, second, and third times they go through lineups:

  • 100+ BPV first, second, third times through lineup*
    
                                -----BPV-----
    Name                League  1st  2nd  3rd
    ==================  ======  ===  ===  ===
    Kershaw, Clayton        NL  229  202  226
    Fernandez, Jose         NL  121  224  189
    Strasburg, Stephen      NL  197  123  185
    Scherzer, Max           NL  163  152  166
    Bumgarner, Madison      NL  113  158  152
    Shoemaker, Matt         AL  144  114  149
    Price, David            AL  121  144  145
    Hendricks, Kyle         NL  127  108  141
    Nola, Aaron             NL  138  165  139
    Hellickson, Jeremy      NL  101  103  137
    Kluber, Corey           AL  123  158  136
    Pineda, Michael         AL  131  171  136
    Syndergaard, Noah       NL  224  233  127
    Lackey, John            AL  140  104  125
    Smyly, Drew             AL  176  109  124
    Keuchel, Dallas         AL  116  100  120
    Matz, Steven            NL  173  149  115
    deGrom, Jacob           NL  149  105  113
    Teheran, Julio          NL  110  126  111
    Lester, Jon             NL  111  168  111
    Verlander, Justin       AL  137  110  105
    Maeda, Kenta            NL  115  106  101
    *min 20 IP each time through lineup

Here are the SP with the widest BPV variances between the first and third times they go through lineups:

  • BPV variances by time through lineup*
    
                                --------BPV by Time Through Lineup-------
    Name                League  1st  2nd  3rd   |  2nd vs 1st  3rd vs 1st
    ==================  ======  ===  ===  ====  |  ==========  ==========
    Liriano, Francisco      NL  101   57   -61  |         -44        -163
    Conley, Adam            NL  136   53   -26  |         -84        -162
    Ross, Joe               NL  149   92    -8  |         -57        -157
    Kennedy, Ian            AL   98  127   -58  |         +30        -155
    Harvey, Matt            NL  141   86    -1  |         -55        -142
    Fister, Doug            AL   89   80   -38  |          -9        -127
    Kazmir, Scott           NL  150   63    44  |         -87        -106
    Syndergaard, Noah       NL  224  233   127  |          +9         -97
    Chatwood, Tyler         NL  119   11    30  |        -108         -88
    Porcello, Rick          AL  159  132    71  |         -27         -88
    Niese, Jonathon         NL   75  102    -9  |         +27         -85
    Nolasco, Ricky          AL  148  128    64  |         -20         -84
    Fiers, Mike             AL  110  113    27  |          +3         -83
    Moore, Matt             AL  137   87    60  |         -50         -77
    Chacin, Jhoulys         AL   65  102   -12  |         +37         -77
    Straily, Dan            NL  121  -43    48  |        -164         -73
    Arrieta, Jake           NL  154  136    82  |         -18         -72
    Stroman, Marcus         AL  105  104    36  |          -0         -68
    Miley, Wade             AL   83   94    16  |         +11         -67
    Eickhoff, Jerad         NL  131   94    67  |         -37         -64
    Corbin, Patrick         NL   96  106    33  |          +9         -63
    Rodon, Carlos           AL  122   96    59  |         -26         -63
    Quintana, Jose          AL  123  117    64  |          -6         -59
    Matz, Steven            NL  173  149   115  |         -23         -58
    Iwakuma, Hisashi        AL  102   97    45  |          -6         -57
    Eovaldi, Nathan         AL  108  136    52  |         +28         -56
    Smyly, Drew             AL  176  109   124  |         -67         -52
    Pomeranz, Drew          NL  132   94    81  |         -38         -52
    Nelson, Jimmy           NL   67   77    15  |         +10         -52
    Ventura, Yordano        AL   37   65   -14  |         +28         -51
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jimenez, Ubaldo         AL   -4  -12   122  |          -8        +126
    Santiago, Hector        AL   10   69   119  |         +59        +109
    Peavy, Jake             NL   42   85   124  |         +43         +81
    McHugh, Collin          AL   69  148   142  |         +79         +73
    Buchholz, Clay          AL  -31   79    38  |        +110         +69
    Fernandez, Jose         NL  121  224   189  |        +103         +69
    Ray, Robbie             NL   86   92   152  |          +6         +66
    Tillman, Chris          AL   74   83   132  |          +8         +58
    Archer, Chris           AL   69  127   126  |         +58         +57
    Salazar, Danny          AL   55  140   111  |         +85         +56
    Sale, Chris             AL   99  142   149  |         +47         +54
    *min 20 IP each time through lineup
    
    

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Chris Archer (RHP, TAM) continues to carry some ugly surface stats after 16 games started (4.70 ERA, 1.43 WHIP). Some of it might be mechanical, as his skills become elite when he pitches from a full windup. He's also struggling early in games. He has a 69 BPV the first time through lineups. He owns a 125+ BPV the second and third times through. As long as his arm is sound, Archer is a SP worth targeting down the stretch.

Nathan Eovaldi (RHP, NYY) owns a strong 100+ BPV the first and second times he goes through lineups. He struggles to maintain durability or make adjustments the third time he goes through lineups though: 7.1 Dom, 3.7 Ctl, 44% GB%, 52 BPV. He also has been saddled with a crazy 45% H% the third time through. His 5+ ERA has some nice improvement potential for the second half.

Ian Kennedy (RHP, KC) has a so-so 4.19 ERA after 14 starts, and his overall skills (74 BPV) don't support much improvement there (4.39 xERA). That said, his skills are good the first time he goes through lineups (98 BPV) and get even better the second time through (127 BPV). They completely collapse the third time through, when he struggles to find home plate: 6.4 Dom, 7.0 Ctl, 38% GB%, -58 BPV. If he can fix that huge problem, Kennedy's overall skills would show some life again.

Collin McHugh (RHP, HOU) owns an underwhelming 4.70 ERA and 1.43 WHIP after 15 games started. But his base skills give reason for hope of a turnaround in the second half (113 BPV). And they'd be even better if not for some struggles early in games. He owns a 69 BPV the first time through lineups. His skills explode to a 140+ BPV the second and third times he goes through lineups.

Chris Sale (LHP, CHW) is setting aside any fears that he doesn't have the durability to be an ace over the long haul. He's one of the few SP whose skills improve the more times he goes through lineups during a game. He has a 95 BPV the first time through. It improves to a 142 BPV the second time through and a 149 BPV the third time through.
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Adam Conley (LHP, MIA) drew some buzz from scouts this spring. He has followed that up by posting a solid 3.56 ERA after 15 starts, but it's a mark that doesn't come with much underlying support (64 BPV, 4.26 xERA). Stamina might be the culprit. Check out his top-flight skills the first time he goes through lineups: 9.7 Dom, 2.2 Ctl, 44% GB%, 136 BPV. His skills erode the more times he goes through lineups (53 BPV second time through, -26 BPV third time through) due to increasing wildness during games. If he can solve that issue, he could stick as a legit lsub-3.50 ERA pitcher.

Jerad Eickhoff (RHP, PHI) has been fantastic early in games, as shown by his stats and skills the first time he goes through lineups: 2.08 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 131 BPV. His skills erode a bit the second time through (94 BPV). His stats totally implode the third time through, as his skills deteriorate even further: 6.20 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, 67 BPV.

Matt Harvey (RHP, NYM) has been an enigma so far in 2016. Reduced velocity on some of his pitches has contributed to it. The primary culprit has been increasing troubles the deeper he gets into games. He looks like an ace the first time through lineups: 1.38 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 141 BPV. His stats and skills take a hit the second time through: 5.91 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 86 BPV. They combust the third time through: 7.94 ERA, 2.47 WHIP, -1 BPV. With improved durability, Harvey could resurrect his ace-like profile in the second half.

Scott Kazmir (LHP, LA) has been fantastic the first time through lineups (150 BPV). Problem is, he gets progressively worse after that. He has a 63 BPV the second time through and a 44 BPV the third time through, mostly due to a steady deterioration of strikeouts (11.6 to 8.7 to 6.6 Dom).

Francisco Liriano (LHP, PIT) has torpedoed a lot of staffs in 2016 (5.17 ERA, 1.63 WHIP). Durability appears to be the primary culprit. He has a solid 101 BPV the first time through lineups. His command evaporates after that, which has led to a 57 BPV the second time through lineups. It combusts the third the third time through lineups: 7.4 Dom, 8.0 Ctl, 44% GB%, -61 BPV.

Robbie Ray (LHP, ARI) is a young SP who appears might lose focus early in games. The first time through lineups, his skills are more solid than spectacular: 10.5 Dom, 4.8 Ctl, 48% GB%, 86 BPV. They get a little better the second time through (92 BPV). He looks like a rotation anchor the third time through: 11.6 Dom, 3.0 Ctl, 46% GB%, 152 BPV. A terrible 47% H% the third time through lineups has kept those gains hidden. With an overall 3.79 xERA, Ray's current mid-4s ERA carries some nice upside even if he can't improve his early in-game skills.

Joe Ross (RHP, WAS) is another young SP who flashes his upside early in games. Check out his stats and skills the first time through lineups: 1.64 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 149 BPV. They take a hit the second time through lineups: 3.25 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 92 BPV. They crumble the third time through: 5.16 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, -8 BPV. Don't give up on the potential for skill improvement from Ross and his current 85 BPV.

Dan Straily (RHP, CIN) has a history of struggling both with LH bats and with gopheritis during his career. And his 45 BPV gives little hope that he'll be able to sustain a sub-4 ERA (4.43 xERA), especially once his 24% H% corrects. That said, Straily has shown some flashes of his prior upside. Take his stats and skills the first time through lineups: 1.73 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 121 BPV. He completely loses focus or fails to make adjustments the second time through lineups: 6.28 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, -43 BPV. He bounces back a bit the third time through (3.32 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 48 BPV).


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