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August 7, 2013

Sporer Report

Seven Starting Pitchers on the Rise

by Paul Sporer


Can you believe the season is four months old? As excited as I am to see how the races play out both in the MLB standings and in my fantasy leagues, I’m definitely a little bummed that we only have two months of regular seasons games left. Enough bellyaching, though, we have pennants to chase down.

We just finished another great month that saw all sorts of interesting performances, and I want to highlight seven pitchers who were particularly sharp during the month-plus*, as you may have missed their recent surges, especially if you are only looking at their season-long numbers. They need to be on your radar whether you’re entering the trade market or scanning the free-agent pool in a shallower league. They are ranked in order of how much I like them the rest of the way.

(*I’ve included games through Tuesday night to account for the All-Star break)

1. Wade Miley, ARI – Miley threw a second straight gem against the Rays, owners of MLB’s top wRC+ against lefties at 120, on Tuesday pushing his ERA down to 1.54 over his last seven starts. His season has actually broken down into three interesting sections so far:

  • First seven starts: 2.93 ERA in 43 innings
  • Next four starts: 9.14 ERA in 21 2/3 innings
  • Last 12 starts: 2.34 ERA in 77 innings

I wish I had answers to the “what the hell happened in those middle four?” question, but it seems like just a bout of poor play spurred by too many missed pitches that led to six home runs (2.5 HR/9). Lately, he is actually looking better than the 2012 Miley, and the Diamondbacks now have two big lefties atop their rotation.

2. Ivan Nova, NYY – Like Miley, Nova’s good work hasn’t just been confined to the July 1-August 6 timeframe that we are looking at, as he threw 12 1/3 strong innings of work in June just after returning from the disabled list. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned in a single outing during this seven-game stretch, during which he has a 2.15 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. In our confined timeline, he has gone seven or more innings in five starts including outings against BAL, TEX, and TB. He has also logged 37 strikeouts in those 38 innings. Run support will be an issue in the Bronx, but he appears to be putting it all together in his third full season. Of our entire group, I think only Nova isn’t saddled with a deceiving ERA so he isn’t necessarily sneaking up on anyone, but I had to highlight his recent great work.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Call-Up: Wilmer Fl... (08/07)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Sporer Report: The Jul... (07/31)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Sporer Report: Septemb... (08/14)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (08/07)

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