RA Dickey - RA Dickey's inconsistent 2013 continued on Friday against the Astros as the knuckleballer struck out eight Astros over six innings, but also gave up 5 ER to raise his season ERA to 4.86. He now has a 4.43 xFIP in 140 innings of work. Dickey's K% has fallen from 24% in 2012 to just 17% this season, which is much more in line with his career average. Aside from fewer strikeouts, most of Dickey's other peripherals are in line with past seasons. He has given up a few more HRs (14% HR/FB%), but has a similar LD% and BB%. It's good to see Dickey get so many whiffs on Friday, but it was still a disappointing evening for the former Cy Young award winner.
Jeremy Hellickson - Jeremy Hellickson faced the Yankees on Friday evening and allowed 1 ER on four hits over six innings. Hellickson now owns a 4.48 ERA and 3.83 xFIP in 128 innings. After posting significantly lower ERAs than xFIP marks the past two seasons, the right hander seems to have finally dealt with poor luck as his strikeout and walk rates have improved in 2013, but his ERA has actually gotten much worse. After owning strand rates in the 80% range in 2011 and 2012, Hellickson's strand rate sits at 69% and his BABIP has risen from .223 and .261 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, to .290 this season. I am encouraged by his 20% K% and 5% BB%, and wouldn't be surprised to see his results improve in the coming weeks.
CC Sabathia - CC Sabathia continued his struggles in 2013, allowing 7 ER on nine hits over five innings versus Tampa Bay. The big lefty now owns a 4.65 ERA although his xFIP is just 3.59. Sabathia's K% has fallen by 3% while his swinging strike% has dropped from 11.5% in 2012 to 10.6%. Batters are also chasing fewer pitches (34% in 2012 vs. 30% in 2013). Aside from fewer strikeouts, Sabathia has given up a lot more homers which continues a trend that started last season. Prior to 2012, Sabathia consistently posted HR/FB rates under 10% but owned a 12% mark last year and a 15% rate in 2013. While Sabathia is showing some troubling signs, his xFIP indicates better times may be ahead. You just need to be cautious in picking your spots for inserting him into your lineup.
Corey Kluber - Corey Kluber battled through six innings on Friday against the Rangers, limiting Texas to 3 ER on seven hits with three strikeouts. Kluber benefited from having a few hard hit balls go right at Cleveland defenders, so the final line could have been very different. Still, Kluber continues to chug along as a solid back end starter in deeper leagues thanks to an ability to miss bats (24% K%) and above average 47% GB%. He also may have been due some luck on his balls in play considering his season rate is .320. Kluber's xFIP is just 3.00 and the only real issue he's having right now is with HRs (15% HR/FB%). The right hander should remain a steady SP option who will miss plenty of bats.
Doug Fister - Doug Fister was brilliant on Friday against the Phillies, allowing just one unearned run on three hits with six strikeouts in eight innings. The right hander now owns a 3.36 xFIP and 3.67 ERA for the season. Fister's GB% remains excellent at 56% while his strikeout-to-walk rate is 4.33. He's limiting the long ball (0.67 HR/9) and he's cut his LD% compared to last season. Fister is a steady mid-rotation starter in mixed leagues and his peripheral numbers point toward more of the same good pitching for the remainder of the season.
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