Six MLB pitchers who must build off a strong second half

Six MLB pitchers who must build off a strong second half

Chin Music Baseball

Six MLB pitchers who must build off a strong second half

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Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox

For a Boston team that just couldn’t get it going in 2019 — partly because of rotation issues — Rodriguez had himself what could be a platform year. He won a career-high 19 games and surpassed the 200-inning plateau for the first time (previous career high was 137.1 innings). His 3.81 ERA was almost identical to last year’s 3.82 mark, but his fWAR production saw a huge uptick by going from 2.1 to 3.7.

This impressive year wouldn’t have happened without a big second half. Entering the All-Star break, he posted a 4.65 ERA and .321 wOBA allowed. Those numbers dropped to 2.95 and .292, respectively, following the midsummer classic. His WHIP between the first and second half dipped slightly (1.34 to 1.31), but E-Rod accomplished this despite watching his walk rate go up by about three percentage points.

Producing improved marks in both BABIP allowed (.324 to .309) and strand rate (71.9% to 83.3%) certainly helped. So does approximately a five-percentage-point drop in line-drive rate and a similar rise in ground-ball rate. When looking at 2019 overall, Rodriguez posted career-best marks in line-drive rate (19.0%), ground-ball rate (48.5%), and fly-ball rate (32.5%).

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