Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:45 PM EST.
2:10 PM EST. Jhoulys Chacin has started 14 games this year and has lost one game. He also comes in with a 3.58 ERA and am elite 2.97 ERA over his last five starts. Now that his stock is high, we’re selling because what Chacin is doing is unsustainable and what he is not is a top-tier starter with a better chance to win than to lose. This career journeyman has appeared to take a sizable step forward in 2018, but xERA and skills are actually a carbon-copy of his mediocre career. The only real change is that he’s been much more consistent in 2018 in terms of disaster starts/dominant starts. While disaster avoidance is nice, this is a run-of-the-mill skill set that comes with some implicit peril. Chacin’s xERA of 4.97 is that of a number four or five starter for a bad team. His 30/57 K/BB split in 75 frames is also weak. This is a starter not well suited for this park and everything in his profile screams regression.
Mike Montgomery might be one of the best examples of the shifting roles in which pitchers find themselves at times. Between his abilities and Joe Maddon’s need to stay unpredictable, Montgomery has found himself wearing a lot of different hats in the past couple of seasons. Right now, he is in the Cubs’ rotation and will likely stay there for as long as he can be effective. In his three starts since May 28, he has pitched 17.2 innings and allowed just two earned runs. It would be easy to write off Montgomery’s recent success if you looked at his overall numbers accumulated before his transition to the rotation. His ERA in relief this season was 5.33 with a 1.46 WHIP. He wasn’t really making up for those numbers with good peripherals either, as he had struck out just over five batters per nine. Relief pitchers, though, are susceptible to some swings in some of those numbers as one or two poor outings can skew the overall results. In particular, Montgomery had one outing right before moving to the rotation where he allowed six earned runs in 2.1 innings against the Indians that make his season stats look uglier than they would have otherwise. Montgomery has always been a groundball pitcher and that has continued this season. In fact, his groundball rate of 63% is top-tier and his extremely impressive 10% hard hit ball rate confirms that batters are having a third time squaring up on him. This is a pitcher-team combo that is underpriced again and we’re on it.
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