Matt Bishop | August 11, 2019
STREAMER OF THE WEEK
Yusei Kikuchi, SP SEA (@DET, @TOR)
(38% CBS, 47% ESPN, 30% Yahoo)
Yusei Kikuchi has been maddening this season, to say the least. While we have seen flashes of elite upside and ace potential, we have also seen one too many three and four inning starts, paired with a one inning effort where he was used as the opener. No matter how you spin it, he is nothing more than a streamer rest of season.
But it is pretty clear from his pitch mix that he is living in the zone way too much, which has been less than optimal and has resulted in negative pVALs on 3 out of 4 of his offerings.
I would love to tell you that he has made a conscious effort to throw outside the zone and get more batters to chase, but that is not the case. In fact, in his last three starts, he has raised his zone percentage to 60.2% on the fastball and 49.5% on the slider, while lowering his zone rate on the curveball to 34.6%.
But in his last outing against San Diego, Kikuchi netted 14 swinging strikes (25.5% CSW) en route to an 8 strikeout performance. 10 of those swinging strikes came on his slider, which resulted in a 29.4% swinging strike rate for this game.
Kikuchi will face both the Tigers and the Blue Jays on the road this week, two teams who rank in the bottom 5 in baseball for batting average, wRC+ and wOBA at home this season. Look for Kikuchi to have a very solid 2 start week.
Gerrit Cole, SP HOU (@CHW, @OAK)
Zack Greinke, SP HOU (@CHW, @OAK)
Clayton Kershaw, SP LAD (@MIA, @ATL)
Mike Clevinger, SP CLE (BOS, @NYY)
Domingo German, SP NYY (BAL, CLE)
Lance Lynn, SP TEX (@TOR, MIN)
James Paxton, SP NYY (BAL, CLE)
Jack Flaherty, SP STL (@KC, @CIN)
Zack Wheeler, SP NYM (@ATL, @KC)
Eduardo Rodriguez, SP BOS (@CLE, BAL)
Max Fried, SP ATL (NYM, LAD)
Madison Bumgarner, SP SF (OAK, @ARI)
Matthew Boyd, SP DET (SEA, @TB)
Jose Quintana, SP CHC (@PHI, @PIT)
Zac Gallen, SP ARI (@COL, SF)
Joey Lucchesi, SP SD (TB, @PHI)
Anthony DeSclafani, SP CIN (@WAS, STL)
Jordan Yamamoto, SP MIA (LAD, @COL)
Zach Plesac, SP CLE (BOS, @NYY)
Merrill Kelly, SP ARI (@COL, SF)
Alex Wood, SP CIN (@WAS, STL)
Martin Perez, SP MIN (@MIL, @TEX)
Jason Vargas, SP PHI (CHC, SD)
Brett Anderson, SP OAK (@SF, HOU)
Dylan Cease, SP CHW (HOU, @LAA)
John Means, SP BAL (@NYY, @BOS)
Ivan Nova, SP CHW (HOU, @LAA)
Ariel Jurado, SP TEX (@TOR, MIN)
Mitch Keller, SP PIT (@LAA, CHC)
Peter Lambert, SP COL (ARI, MIA)
Jose Suarez, SP (PIT, CHW)
Erick Fedde, SP WAS (CIN, MIL)
Glenn Sparkman, RP KC (STL, NYM)
Gabriel Ynoa, RP BAL (@NYY, @BOS)
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