MLB Handicapping: Kansas City's Luke Hochevar should improve
Tags: MLB Kansas City Royals Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee (Marcum) -115 at Kansas City (Hochevar) O/U 8.5
On the surface, Kansas City's Luke Hochevar has been one of the worst starters in baseball with a 3-7 record and 6.57 ERA. But there is no question he's been unlucky this year. He sports the second highest BABIP (.364) among qualified starters and has a dismal 57.5% left-on-base rate (the league average is around 70%). Also, his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) rate of 3.61 is above league average. Does that mean he's going to immediately turn things around? Probably not, especially with his confidence level not being very high at this point. The good news is the Royals don't have a lot of options so he'll continue to get the ball every fifth day. If his "luck" can turn around, he has the potential to eventually get back to last year's post-All-Star break form when he posted a 6-3 record and 3.52 ERA.
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06/14/2012 8:57 AM
Hochevar has thrown 600+ MLB innings. He has likely crossed the threshold of variability. Looking at his career numbers, Hochevar has a career LOB% is 63%. In addition, his ERA is over a run higher than his FIP. Much like Matt Cain who consistently outperforms her underlying metrics with a lower ERA than FIP, something is causing Hochevar to be the opposite. It may be pitching poor out of the stretch. Or holding runners on poorly. Or just getting hit harder than an average pitcher. But the numbers actually show luck isn’t likely the cause of his troubles.
06/14/2012 9:16 AM
Fair points. My angle was more that even with fringe stuff, he’s capable of pitching better -- and a .363 BABIP is crazy high, even if guys tend to hit the ball harder. He’s a high 4 ERA guy, not a mid-6 but when the turnaround comes -- if it does -- is a crapshoot.