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Astros Trending Bi-Weekly Review. May 11th - May 25th. Pitching.

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All the pitching stats that’s fit to print!

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday we covered the last two weeks of Astros Batting. Today we cover the pitching stats. With yesterday’s victory over the Red Sox the Astros are now 34-18 for the season, a .654 winning percentage.

Team Pitching

Season Pitching Stats and Rank vs. League Through May 25th

pitchers ERA/rank xFIP/rank SIERA/rank K%/rank WHIP/rank earned runs
pitchers ERA/rank xFIP/rank SIERA/rank K%/rank WHIP/rank earned runs
overall 3.41/2nd 3.63/1st 3.55/1st 27.4/1st 1.04/1st 173/2nd
starters 3.78/4th 3.70/2nd 3.65/2nd 27.5/2nd 1.05/1st 125/5th
relievers 2.71/1st 3.50/1st 3.35/1st 27.4/2nd 1.03/1st 48/1st

Compared to the previous two week period the Astros have improved in almost every category, both starters and relievers. They are still second overall to the Rays in ERA, but closing in (the rays are still .50 better). But advanced stats predict regression for the Rays, they have a low 11.2 HR/FB ratio, and in xFIP and SIERA they now slightly trail the Astros.

The Astros’ high overall ranking comes mostly from a dominant and indisputably top ranked bullpen, but the starters moved up a notch to 5th rank, and again, their ERA under-performed peripherals, which generally came in at second place in league rank.

No secret, combine absolutely dominant hitting with near top rated pitching and you have the best record in the league.

Pitching May 11-May 25

Astros Team Pitching, May 11th -May 25

pitchers ERA/rank xFIP/rank SIERA/rank K%/rank WHIP/rank earned runs
pitchers ERA/rank xFIP/rank SIERA/rank K%/rank WHIP/rank earned runs
overall 2.87/1st 3.23/1st 3.22/1st 30.6/1st 1.09/2nd 37/1st
starters 3.06/3rd 3.44/2nd 3.38/1st 30.0/2nd 1.08/3rd 34/4th
relievers 2.58/2nd 2.91/1st 2.96/3rd 31.7/1st 1.10/2nd 13/2nd

So for the last two weeks, the Astros have not only had the best hitting, but also the best pitching, especially in the bullpen.

The Rays and the A’s were the two teams with better starting pitching by ERA these last two weeks, and Rays stats may be distorted due to their use of the opener concept. The only bullpen better the last two weeks was the Indians, who are just behind the Astros in bullpen ERA for the season.

For a look at overall AL teams stats go HERE

Astros Individual Pitching, Season

Analysis:

Who would have predicted that at about the one-third mark of the season that Wade Miley would have the second best starters’ ERA, Brad peacock third, and Gerrit Cole fourth? And yet Cole is first in the league in K’s (Verlander second), first in xFIP, first in SIERA, but 23rd in ERA, right behind Trevor Bauer. Perhaps it is his 21% FB/HR rate, in other words, bad luck. That is twice as high as his career average, and yet, when pitchers give up lots of homers, it feels like rationalization to say it is all just “bad luck.” In his last start, in which Cole surrendered six runs, he also experienced significant decline in his velocity. This is something to watch.

By the way Justin Verlander is second in the league in ERA and second in wins, although a BABIP of .158 and xFIP and FIP in the mid-3’s predict regression.

Wade Miley is another starter who is out-performing peripherals by about a run.

The top four in the bullpen, Ryan Pressly, Roberto Osuna, Will Harris, and Hector Rondon, remain an elite core four bullpen in terms of results. But Pressly gave up his first run this season last night on a homer, and Osuna gave up his second. All four’s results are out-performing peripherals, and especially Osuna and Rondon, whose HR/FB rates are ridiculously low at 4,2% and 7.1% respectively. Oh yeah, Will Harris still hasn’t given up a homer yet either. Don’t be shocked or dismayed when regression comes to these stellar bullpen performers, but that doesn’t mean they still won’t be good, just not perfect.

For season stats go HERE.

Individual Pitching Performances, Last 14 Days.

Analysis:

Major developments are the placing of Collin McHugh on the IL, and the promotions of Corbin Martin and Brady Rogers to the big team. As most fans already know, Martin had a great opening game against Texas, but has disappointed in the two starts since. Rodgers has had only two innings since his call-up, allowing a solo home run.

If the top of the bullpen (or back end if you will) is expected to regress, one counter-veiling trend is the recent improvement of Framber Valdez and Josh James. In the case of James we have been tracking his improvement for a month now. He did allow a grand slam, but that is the only blemish in his record for the last 13 innings pitched.

Chris Devenski still struggles to find the mojo that once made him an All-Star. His ERA for the season is over five, and in the last two week period over nine. His HR/FB rate for the year is almost fifteen, and for the last period 33.3%. FIP, xFIP and SIERA however say his ERA should normalize in the low four range.

Kudos to Brad Peacock, who in two starts allowed only one run. Let’s hope he keeps this up tonight against the Red Sox.