MLB's most and least valuable pitches so far in 2019

MLB's most and least valuable pitches so far in 2019

Chin Music Baseball

MLB's most and least valuable pitches so far in 2019

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Slider

Most Valuable: Justin Verlander (4.20)

Least Valuable: Michael Pineda (-2.05)

Another year, and it’s just another opportunity for Verlander to continue adding to his Hall of Fame resume. He’s on track to keep his strikeout rate above 30.0% for the second year in a row, as well as posting his fourth consecutive season of 4.0-plus fWAR. Since first throwing a slider with regularity in 2009 (2.3% usage rate), Verlander’s usage of this offering has literally gone up every single year since.

He’s currently tossing it at a 27.1% clip, and opposing hitters have struggled mightily. They’ve posted a .090/.126/.186 line when facing a Verlander slider. That susses out to a -10 wRC+, along with a 41.7% strikeout rate and 26.8% swinging-strike rate.

Coming into this season, Pineda had never thrown his slider less than 30% of the time in the majors, and it had become a decent weapon for him. He’s leaning on it less in his return from Tommy John surgery (29.9% usage rate), and the results aren’t there, either. He’ll need to figure out his homer issues — the right-hander has allowed 15 dingers already in 2019, and that’s been made possible because of a 42.4% hard-hit rate, 41.9% fly-ball rate, and just a 3.9% infield-fly rate.

Honorable Mentions: Max Scherzer (3.35), Kenta Maeda (3.16), Julio Teheran (-1.64), Reynaldo Lopez (-1.61)

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