STARTERS: H%, S%, hr/f anomalies 2016

When looking for mid-season SP buy-low or sell-high targets, one effective method is to target those with extreme hit (H%), strand (S%), and HR per flyball (hr/f) rates. In many cases, those extreme marks carry the best regression potential over the remainder of the season.

These starting pitchers have posted the most extreme H% so far in 2016:

  • Hit Rate (H%) Outliers, 2016 YTD*
    
    Name                League  ERA   WHIP  BPV  H%
    ==================  ======  ====  ====  ===  ===
    Perdomo, Luis           NL  6.08  1.73  110  40%
    Paxton, James           AL  4.56  1.63   99  40%
    McCullers, Lance        AL  3.61  1.64   93  39%
    Jimenez, Ubaldo         AL  7.03  1.95   19  39%
    Urias, Julio            NL  4.69  1.51  107  38%
    Ray, Robbie             NL  4.49  1.51  115  38%
    Peralta, Wily           NL  6.68  1.88   31  37%
    Morgan, Adam            NL  6.89  1.61   93  37%
    Simon, Alfredo          NL  8.77  1.95   13  36%
    Pineda, Michael         AL  5.25  1.35  150  36%
    de la Rosa, Jorge       NL  6.68  1.82   26  36%
    Harvey, Matt            NL  4.86  1.47   86  36%
    Rodon, Carlos           AL  4.50  1.53   98  36%
    Syndergaard, Noah       NL  2.45  1.11  182  35%
    McHugh, Collin          AL  4.25  1.45  102  35%
    Bettis, Chad            NL  5.31  1.47   89  34%
    Pelfrey, Mike           AL  4.99  1.80    1  34%
    Shoemaker, Matt         AL  4.08  1.26  133  34%
    Sanchez, Anibal         AL  7.22  1.71   47  34%
    Nola, Aaron             NL  4.41  1.24  152  34%
    Wood, Alex              NL  3.99  1.31  127  34%
    Cole, Gerrit            NL  3.11  1.37   81  34%
    Duffey, Tyler           AL  5.71  1.46   95  34%
    Price, David            AL  4.36  1.23  145  34%
    Cain, Matt              NL  5.88  1.58   49  34%
    Mengden, Daniel         AL  5.52  1.55   55  34%
    Miller, Shelby          NL  7.14  1.75   19  34%
    Chacin, Jhoulys         NL  5.87  1.58   46  34%
    Norris, Bud             NL  5.18  1.38  110  34%
    Wacha, Michael          NL  4.45  1.42   83  34%
    Archer, Chris           AL  4.60  1.39  116  34%
    ------------------------------------------------
    Name                League  ERA   WHIP  BPV  H%
    ==================  ======  ====  ====  ===  ===
    Estrada, Marco          NL  2.93  0.99   75  20%
    Lewis, Colby            AL  3.21  1.02   68  24%
    Teheran, Julio          NL  2.79  0.95  112  24%
    Straily, Dan            NL  4.14  1.21   34  25%
    Guerra, Junior          NL  3.06  1.06   87  25%
    Carasco, Carlos         AL  2.31  1.03  117  25%
    Hammel, Jason           NL  3.34  1.10   85  25%
    Fister, Doug            AL  3.42  1.23   45  26%
    Scherzer, Max           NL  2.94  0.96  156  26%
    Finnegan, Brandon       NL  4.66  1.42   12  26%
    Fulmer, Michael         AL  2.13  1.07   94  26%
    Lester, Jon             NL  2.89  1.07  114  26%
    Sale, Chris             AL  3.18  1.01  123  26%
    Santiago, Hector        AL  4.32  1.29   54  26%
    Tillman, Chris          AL  3.18  1.19   64  26%
    Dickey, R.A.            AL  4.11  1.30   52  27%
    Kennedy, Ian            AL  4.28  1.21   99  27%
    Hendricks, Kyle         NL  2.31  1.05  107  27%
    Perez, Williams         NL  4.62  1.21   42  27%
    Pomeranz, Drew          AL  2.83  1.12  109  27%
    Tomlin, Josh            AL  3.34  1.11  100  27%
    Kershaw, Clayton        NL  1.79  0.73  204  27%
    Martinez, Carlos        NL  2.83  1.13   94  27%
    Wright, Steven          AL  2.67  1.15   74  27%
    Eflin, Zach             NL  4.14  1.21   47  27%
    Arrieta, Jake           NL  2.60  1.08  115  27%
    De La Rosa, Rubby       NL  4.00  1.16  107  27%
    Lackey, John            NL  3.75  1.10  109  27%
    Griffin, A.J.           AL  4.26  1.30   52  27%
    *min 40 IP

These guys have posted the most helpful or damaging strand rates:

  • Strand Rate (S%) Outliers, 2016 YTD*
    
    Name                League  ERA   WHIP  BPV  S%
    ==================  ======  ====  ====  ===  ===
    Blair, Aaron            NL  7.99  1.76  -27  54%
    Simon, Alfredo          NL  8.77  1.95   13  57%
    Butler, Eddie           NL  6.85  1.61   49  61%
    Sanchez, Anibal         AL  7.22  1.71   47  61%
    Miller, Shelby          NL  7.14  1.75   19  61%
    Morgan, Adam            NL  6.89  1.61   93  62%
    Perez, Williams         NL  4.62  1.21   42  62%
    Wright, Mike            AL  6.22  1.51   45  62%
    Smyly, Drew             AL  5.64  1.36  115  63%
    Locke, Jeff             NL  5.67  1.48   27  63%
    Chacin, Jhoulys         AL  5.87  1.58   46  63%
    Jimenez, Ubaldo         AL  7.03  1.95   19  63%
    Hughes, Phil            AL  5.97  1.48   48  64%
    Wilson, Tyler           AL  5.67  1.42   46  64%
    Buchholz, Clay          AL  6.31  1.51   19  64%
    Duffey, Tyler           AL  5.71  1.46   95  64%
    Mengden, Daniel         AL  5.52  1.55   55  64%
    Lamb, John              NL  6.43  1.64   47  64%
    Stroman, Marcus         AL  4.90  1.34   93  65%
    Norris, Bud             NL  5.18  1.38  110  65%
    Nicolino, Justin        NL  5.57  1.53   38  65%
    Peavy, Jake             NL  5.15  1.40   68  65%
    Stripling, Ross         NL  4.85  1.41   49  65%
    Manaea, Sean            AL  5.24  1.39   78  65%
    Pineda, Michael         AL  5.25  1.35  150  65%
    Bettis, Chad            NL  5.31  1.47   89  65%
    de la Rosa, Jorge       NL  6.68  1.82   26  65%
    Nolasco, Ricky          AL  5.02  1.35   88  65%
    ------------------------------------------------
    Name                League  ERA   WHIP  BPV  S%
    ==================  ======  ====  ====  ===  ===
    Carrasco, Carlos        AL  2.31  1.03  117  87%
    Tropeano, Nick          AL  3.56  1.48   62  85%
    Bumgarner, Madison      NL  2.12  0.98  145  85%
    DeSclafani, Anthony     NL  2.50  1.21  104  84%
    Fulmer, Michael         AL  2.13  1.07   94  84%
    Hamels, Cole            AL  3.00  1.28   88  82%
    Tomlin, Josh            AL  3.34  1.11  100  81%
    deGrom, Jacob           NL  2.38  1.03  126  81%
    Hendricks, Kyle         NL  2.31  1.05  107  81%
    Lester, Jon             NL  2.89  1.07  114  81%
    Salazar, Danny          AL  2.75  1.19  107  80%
    Syndergaard, Noah       NL  2.45  1.11  182  79%
    Velasquez, Vincent      NL  3.15  1.25  115  79%
    Hill, Rich              AL  2.25  1.09  130  79%
    Walker, Taijuan         AL  3.66  1.14  121  79%
    Scherzer, Max           NL  2.94  0.96  156  79%
    Pomeranz, Drew          AL  2.83  1.12  109  79%
    Nelson, Jimmy           NL  3.39  1.37   37  78%
    Sanchez, Aaron          AL  2.87  1.17  103  78%
    Kershaw, Clayton        NL  1.79  0.73  204  78%
    Hernandez, Felix        AL  3.23  1.28   61  78%
    Wright, Steven          AL  2.67  1.15   74  78%
    Foltynewicz, Mike       NL  3.79  1.22   93  78%
    Teheran, Julio          NL  2.79  0.95  112  78%
    Fernandez, Jose         NL  2.53  1.01  189  78%
    Tillman, Chris          AL  3.18  1.19   64  78%
    Estrada, Marco          AL  2.93  0.99   75  78%
    Colon, Bartolo          NL  3.52  1.26   79  78%
    *min 40 IP

Finally, the following SP own the most extreme hr/f rates so far in 2016:

  • HR Per Flyball Rate (hr/f) Outliers, 2016 YTD*
    
    Name                League  ERA   WHIP  BPV  hr/f
    ==================  ======  ====  ====  ===  ====
    Young, Chris            AL  7.39  1.68   56   27%
    Perdomo, Luis           NL  6.08  1.73  110   23%
    Niese, Jon              NL  5.13  1.57   58   23%
    Butler, Eddie           NL  6.85  1.61   49   22%
    Nova, Ivan              AL  4.88  1.36   97   22%
    Simon, Alfredo          NL  8.77  1.95   13   21%
    Eovaldi, Nathan         AL  5.33  1.39   86   20%
    Peralta, Wily           NL  6.68  1.88   31   19%
    Corbin, Patrick         NL  5.23  1.53   55   19%
    Duffey, Tyler           AL  5.71  1.46   95   19%
    Walker, Taijuan         AL  3.66  1.14  121   18%
    Pineda, Michael         AL  5.25  1.35  150   18%
    Kennedy, Ian            AL  4.28  1.21   99   18%
    Buchholz, Clay          AL  6.31  1.51   19   18%
    Lamb, John              NL  6.43  1.64   47   18%
    Morgan, Adam            NL  6.89  1.61   93   18%
    Foltynewicz, Mike       NL  3.79  1.22   93   18%
    Keuchel, Dallas         AL  4.70  1.36   99   17%
    Fiers, Mike             AL  4.76  1.37   76   17%
    Archer, Chris           AL  4.60  1.39  116   17%
    Dickey, R.A.            AL  4.11  1.30   52   17%
    Stroman, Marcus         AL  4.90  1.34   93   17%
    Sanchez, Anibal         AL  7.22  1.71   47   17%
    Gray, Sonny             AL  5.49  1.50   69   17%
    Liriano, Francisco      NL  4.96  1.55   50   17%
    Tomlin, Josh            AL  3.34  1.11  100   17%
    Miley, Wade             AL  5.36  1.44   61   17%
    -------------------------------------------------
    Name                League  ERA   WHIP  BPV  hr/f
    ==================  ======  ====  ====  ===  ====
    Hill, Rich              AL  2.25  1.09  130    3%
    Andriese, Matt          AL  2.92  1.20   72    4%
    Cole, Gerrit            NL  3.11  1.37   81    5%
    McCullers, Lance        AL  3.61  1.64   93    6%
    Wright, Steven          AL  2.67  1.15   74    6%
    Sabathia, C.C.          AL  4.04  1.38   57    7%
    Zimmermann, Jordan      AL  3.95  1.24   79    7%
    Wainwright, Adam        NL  4.09  1.26   90    7%
    Kershaw, Clayton        NL  1.79  0.73  204    7%
    Cueto, Johnny           NL  2.64  1.03  123    7%
    Syndergaard, Noah       NL  2.45  1.11  182    8%
    Roark, Tanner           NL  2.87  1.19   97    8%
    Stripling, Ross         NL  4.85  1.41   49    8%
    Paxton, James           AL  4.56  1.63   99    8%
    Harvey, Matt            NL  4.86  1.47   86    8%
    Arrieta, Jake           NL  2.60  1.08  115    8%
    *min 40 IP

Let's take a closer look at several guys worth selling or buying based on their extreme H%, S%, or hr/f rates.
 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Tyler Duffey (RHP, MIN) does not have surface stats anyone would want to own (5.71 ERA, 1.46 ERA). That said, his base skills are more solid than you might realize: 7.1 Dom, 2.2 Ctl, 50% GB%, 95 BPV. Blame the combination of a 34% H%, 64% S%, and 19% hr/f for his struggles. There remains some end-rotation value here.

Marco Estrada (RHP, TOR) has posted the lowest hit rate (20% H%) of any SP in 2016, and it's not even close. Credit some of it to his ability to control his rising four-seam fastball and limiting the hard contact against it. While his 10.6% SwK% does support his high strikeout rate, his 61% FpK% and 37% ball% both suggest that his 3.4 Ctl could be at risk for more erosion. Even modest erosion in his elite H% will result in more baserunners if his control worsens, and as a SP in the AL East, those additional baserunners will give him added blowup potential.

Michael Fulmer (RHP, DET) might be the frontrunner for AL Rookie of the Year (2.13 ERA, 1.07 WHIP). Keep in mind that his base skills are more solid than spectacular: 8.2 Dom, 3.0 Ctl, 49% GB%, 94 BPV. He misses bats at a top clip (11.4% SwK%), but his 60% FpK% and 36% ball% don't support further improvement in his control. And he has been helped a lot by a friendly 26% H% and 84% S%. He's a good mid-year sell-high target in non-keeper leagues, especially given that his innings are likely to be limited in the second half.

Lance McCullers (RHP, HOU) has paired a solid ERA (3.61 ERA) with a hurtful WHIP (1.64 WHIP). Blame a high 5.5 Ctl and crazy 39% H% for all the baserunners he is allowing. His poor 56% FpK% and 38% ball% suggest walks will continue to be a problem, but regression of his H% should help to bring down his WHIP. His combination of strikeouts and groundballs continues to make McCullers an attractive stash, especially in keeper leagues.

James Paxton (LHP, SEA) has struggled to make an impact since his recall from Triple-A (4.56 ERA, 1.63 WHIP). Still, there are many reasons to view him as an elite target. His raw stuff has improved; he has a high-90s fastball and carries an assortment of strikeout pitches. He also keeps the ball on the ground (50% GB%). A 40% H% has been the main reason for his downfall. The window to buy low on Paxton likely will close soon.

Michael Pineda (RHP, NYY) continues to be saddled with a trifecta of troubling regressive indicators: 36% H%, 65% S%, 18% hr/f. Before you dismiss him as a headcase with little chance at improvement, note that his stats have been valuable over the last month (3.72 ERA, 1.00 WHIP), due mostly to his elite skills (158 BPV), but also due to a friendly 25% H% and normal 71% S%. He's a wildcard with more blowup potential than you'd want from a SP, but if you can afford the risk, Pineda is still an elite add.

Matt Shoemaker (RHP, LAA) owns a 4+ ERA after 18 starts, making him available even in some deep leagues. But his skills so far in 2016 have been excellent: 9.3 Dom, 1.9 Ctl, 37% GB%, 133 BPV. As have been his command sub-indicators: 13.5% SwK%, 69% FpK%, 34% ball%. An inflated 34% H% is the main reason his surface stats haven't caught up to his elite skills yet.

Drew Smyly (LHP, TAM) is another highly-skilled SP who is being left on the waiver wire in many leagues. His 5.64 ERA is the worst ERA in the AL among pitchers with 100+ IP. That said, Smyly's base skills remain very attractive: 9.5 Dom, 2.5 Ctl, 33% GB%, 115 BPV. A 33% H%, 63% S%, and 15% hr/f all have chipped away at his surface stats. His 11.2% SwK% validates his lofty strikeout totals. He's got the goods to post a 3.50 ERA in the second half if his arm is sound.
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Chad Bettis (RHP, COL) is being left on the waiver wire in many leagues. It's no surprise given his home park and rough 5.31 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. Still, there are some components of his skill foundation worth buying. He owns a solid 2.9 Cmd and keeps the ball on the ground pretty well (51% GB%). And even modest regression of his 34% H%, 65% S%, and 15% hr/f will send his surface stats down, giving him some end-rotation intrigue in deeper leagues.

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP, CIN) quietly has looked really good since returning from the DL in early June (2.50 ERA, 1.21 WHIP). Sure, a friendly 84% S% has helped to deflate his ERA and WHIP. But few SP have shown better command over the past month than DeSclafani has (30/2 K/BB in 35 IP), which has helped lead him to an upper-tier 144 BPV over that period. If healthy, DeSclafani could provide a lot of value down the stretch.

Jason Hammel (RHP, CHC) carries a nifty 3.34 ERA and 1.10 WHIP after 18 starts. But a deeper look suggests now's the time to sell high, especially given his prior half-to-half inconsistencies. His base skills have been pretty average: 7.6 Dom, 2.7 Ctl, 44% GB%, 85 BPV. His 25% H% has been the fuel behind his early success, and given his hit rates over the prior five seasons (29%, 30%, 31%, 28%, 30%), it's a level that likely will suffer some significant regression in the second half.

Adam Morgan (LHP, PHI) posted some ugly surface stats before being demoted to Triple-A earlier this month (6.65 ERA, 1.60 WHIP). But his base skills as a SP were actually pretty good: 7.5 Dom, 2.0 Ctl, 35% GB%, 93 BPV. A 37% H%, 62% S%, and 18% hr/f spelled doom for him. With a strong 10.9% SwK%, his strikeout rate has even more upside than he showed. He's another guy worth monitoring in very deep leagues.

Bud Norris (RHP, LA) is still being ignored in many leagues due to his long history of mediocrity. That said, Norris has added a cut-fastball to his repertoire, which has allowed him to post the highest groundball rate of his career (48% GB%). He has been especially dominant against RHers (.598 oOPS, 4.9 Cmd). His ugly stats in July (5.64 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) have been the product of a 35% H%, 64% S%, and 21% hr/f. Norris owns elite base skills in July (155 BPV). He has transformed himself into a strong mid-season buy-low target.

Luis Perdomo (RHP, SD) remains a very intriguing speculation in deep leagues. His current 6.08 ERA and 1.73 WHIP make him available in most leagues. But his base skills suggest he's worth a stash: 7.7 Dom, 2.5 Ctl, 62% GB%, 110 BPV. Perdomo's combination of being able to miss bats (10.8% SwK%) and generating groundballs (62% GB%) gives him a unique profile, especially when considering his mid-90s fastball.

Robbie Ray (LHP, ARI) is another young SP who owns some bad surface stats (4.49 ERA, 1.51 WHIP). But underneath those marks lie a strong 115 BPV that has been kept hidden by a high 38% H%. His control remains a work-in-progress (subpar 56% FpK%, so-so 36% ball%), but his ability to miss bats (10.6% SwK%) confirms that his high strikeout rate can stick.

Julio Urias (LHP, LA) has posted an ugly 4.69 ERA and 1.51 WHIP after nine starts, but those marks have been produced largely to no fault of his own. His skills at age 19 have been pretty amazing: 10.7 Dom, 3.8 Ctl, 38% GB%, 107 BPV. An inflated 38% H% has been the real reason for his struggles.


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