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MLB Fantasy Debate: Justin Upton vs. Alex Rios?

While there’s some question as to who’s better between Carl Crawford and Carlos Gonzalez or between Ryan Braun and Matt Holliday, there’s little doubt that those are the top four outfielders. The outfielders after them are a different story.

Enter Justin Upton and Alex Rios.

Upton is one of baseball’s top young players. It’s no surprise then that when Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers put his name on the trading block a few months back, almost every team made an offer. Towers wisely pulled him off the block after he realized he couldn’t risk trading away someone as talented as Upton.

Rios had a career year in his first full season with the White Sox. He’ll look to continue to prove that his disastrous season in 2009, in which the Blue Jays placed him on waivers and didn’t even demand a player in return, was an anomaly.

Today we’ll decide which outfielder should be drafted first.

Each player is assigned a grade for each of the five standard offensive categories plus a few extra I felt were important to factor. Grades are based on my expectations for the season and take into account both the player’s expected performance relative to the entire player pool and relative to the position he plays at. Grades were averaged using the standard 4.0 GPA scale to provide a cumulative “Professor’s Grade.”


Category Justin Upton Alex Rios Edge?
Professor’s Grade 3.34 (B+) 3.24 (B) Upton
Runs B+ B+ Draw
Batting Average B+ B+ Draw
Home Runs A- B Upton
Runs Batted In A- B Upton
Stolen Bases B B+ Rios
Health B- A- Rios
Potential Ceiling A B Upton
Pick Security B B+ Rios


The Case for Upton 

After batting .300 with 26 HR and 20 SB in 2009, Upton was destined for stardom in 2010. Unfortunately, he failed to reach 20 HR or 20 SB and saw his batting average dip to .273 before a shoulder injury forced him to miss most of September.

It’s easy to forget that Upton is still just 23 years old. The former No. 1 overall pick has all the tools you look for in an elite fantasy player. Not counting the freakishly strong Mike Stanton, Upton has the most power of any major leaguer under the age of 24. He’s also athletic enough to steal 20-plus bases, a feat he has already accomplished in his young career. As if that’s not tantalizing enough, he’ll be batting out of the three-hole in a hitter’s ballpark.

Despite Upton’s disappointing stats last year, there were signs of encouragement. His walk rate was 11.2 percent, up from 9.4 percent in his breakout 2009 season. It’s rare for a player as young as Upton to show such a knack for drawing walks and it will only help increase his R and SB potential. Upton also improved his line drive rate and GB/FB ratio, which bodes well for an increase in power and batting average.

The sky is the limit for Upton and he certainly has the potential to produce first-round numbers.


The Case for Rios

Rios truly is a five category producer. He was one of three players to reach 20 HR and 30 SB, with Hanley Ramirez and Drew Stubbs being the others. It was the second time Rios reached both of those marks and the first time he did so in the same season.

Rios is also one of the few power speed players that won’t hurt your batting average. If you take out his 2009 season, Rios hasn’t batted less than .284 since 2005.

Furthermore, Rios plays in a hitter friendly lineup. He’s surrounded by talented players such as Adam DunnPaul KonerkoCarlos QuentinGordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez. While he doesn’t have the same potential as Upton, he has shown more consistency and durability.


Who Should I Draft?

Upton and Rios are close in value, but I believe Upton is the better pick. From the chart above you can see that they each have the advantage in three categories, but Upton has the better overall grade.

You can also see that Upton has a distinct power advantage, a skill set that is becoming harder to find. The only real categorical advantage that Rios has is speed, but Upton will still contribute there for you. While Rios is definitely a safe pick due to his consistency, Upton’s potential is far too great to ignore.

He’s already one of the best young players in the game and has much room to grow. It’s for that reason that I’m taking Upton over Rios.

Check out our other head-to-head matchups, found only at Baseball Professor, as well as our other preseason coverage.

Miguel Cabrera vs. Joey Votto

Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Clayton Kershaw

Ryan Zimmerman vs. Alex Rodriguez

Kevin Youkilis vs. Kendry Morales

Carl Crawford vs. Carlos Gonzalez

Cole Hamels vs. Brett Anderson

Rickie Weeks vs. Ian Kinsler

David Price vs. Justin Verlander

2011 Fantasy Sleepers

2011 Draft Coverage

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Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants Drives The Baseball Stats World Crazy

Over the last week or so, various reputable baseball analysis sites have been digging into the relationship between infield fly ball rates (IFFB%) and home run per fly ball rates (HR/FB). The discussion was prompted by a blog post by Rory Paap at called “Matt Cain ignores xFIP, again and again,” which generated a response from Dave Cameron at Fangraphs.

Paap suggested FIP and xFIP do Cain a disservice because they don’t give him his due credit for possessing the “unique skill” of inducing harmless fly ball contact, a theory that David Pinto at Baseball Musings attempted to quantify last October. Cameron’s response included some interesting analysis that looked at the best pitchers from 2002-2007 in terms of HR/FB rate and compared their IFFB% over that span to what they posted the next three seasons. His conclusion?

Is there some skill to allowing long fly outs? Maybe. But if you can identify which pitchers are likely to keep their home run rates low while giving up a lot of fly balls before they actually do it, then you could make a lot of money in player forecasting.

Simply out of curiosity, I decided to throw my hat into the ring and see if I could find a trend between IFFB% and HR/FB rate. My theory was that if IFFB% and HR/FB rate showed some sort of correlation, then plotting HR/FB rate as a function of IFFB% would show a clear inverse trend (meaning that a higher IFFB% would more likely generate a lower HR/FB rate, and vice versa).

To do this, I looked at all pitchers from 2008 to 2010 who threw at least 162 innings and plotted their IFFB% and HR/FB rate as described above. This three-year range generated 257 such data points, and you can see the results in just to the right. 

Note: IFFB% is on the x-axis and HR/FB rate is on the y-axis.

Just by looking at the chart, it’s tough to visually decipher any sort of trend. If there actually is an inverse relationship between IFFB% and HR/FB rates, we would expect the data points to slope from the top-left (low IFFB%, high HR/FB rate) to the bottom-right (high IFFB%, low HR/FB rate).

By adding a best-fit trend line to the data set, we see that there is a very slight slope in the direction we anticipated, but to say it shows any sort of useful relationship is a stretch. The data has an R-Squared value of just 0.0126, which tells us there was very little correlation between IFFB% and HR/FB rate. If you don’t know what R-squared is, it’s simply a representation of one variable’s ability to forecast another. R-Squared values range from 0 to 1, and the closer they are to 1 the more of a correlation there is between the two sets of data. An R-Squared value of 0.0126 between IFFB% and HR/FB rate shows very little correlation.

What conclusions can we draw from this? Perhaps it is possible to tell if a pitcher like Cain is more prone to lower HR/FB rates by virtue of his ability to induce weaker contact, but IFFB% alone is not enough to draw any conclusions. More sophisticated analysis, like that provided by Pinto’s article at Baseball Musings, might unveil some usable relationships, but we cannot simply look at Clayton Kershaw’s 4.1 percent HR/FB rate in 2009 and say his 13.5 percent IFFB% explains it. For now, I’m still skeptical about pitchers like Cain, but there’s no doubt his performances these last few seasons have given us plenty to think about.

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Trevor Cahill, Oakland Athletics: 2011 Fantasy Player to Avoid

It hurts me to write this, but it must be done. Don’t buy into the hype surrounding Trevor Cahill, his 18-8 record or his 2.97 ERA last season. I really like Cahill. He doesn’t walk a lot of batters (2.88 BB/9) and he pitches in a spacious ballpark, but it’s almost impossible for him to approach his numbers from last season.

For starters, his BABIP last year was .238. Typically, we expect the average BABIP to be around .300, but pitchers that allow low line drive and fly ball rates tend to have lower BABIPs anyway. Using an equation posted by Fangraphs, we see that Cahill’s expected BABIP based on his line drive, fly ball and ground ball rates last year was .287. That 49-point difference is enormous and explains the gap between his ERA and FIP (4.19). Do you really want to pay for an 18-win pitcher on a bad offensive team who was one of a handful of extremely lucky pitchers the year before and doesn’t strike out that many batters? No.

According to Mock Draft Central, Cahill’s current ADP is 88, putting him in front of guys like John Danks, Matt Garza, Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Colby Lewis and Shaun Marcum, all of whom I have ranked ahead of Cahill. In fact, Cahill was my 48th ranked starting pitcher, and the team at Baseball Professor collectively ranked him 41st in our 2011 fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings.

2011 Fantasy Projection

14-11 | 3.70 ERA | 1.25 WHIP | 137 K | 205 IP | 6.0 K/9

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For more fantasy baseball content, check out our 2011 fantasy rankings:

Top 30 Catchers

Top 30 First Basemen

Top 30 Second Basemen

Top 30 Third Basemen

Top 30 Shortstops 

Top 60 Outfielders

Top 60 Starting Pitchers

Top 30 Relief Pitchers

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Boston Red Sox: Will Josh Beckett Rebound in 2011?

After defeating the Yankees in 2003 as a member of the Florida Marlins, Josh Beckett officially became an ace. While his ’03 season was impressive in its own right (3.04 ERA, 142 IP), his dominant post-season performance gave him the stage he needed to show the world how great he could be.

Two more solid seasons with the Marlins only reinforced this, and then the Red Sox came calling. Boston agreed to part with its best prospect, Hanley Ramirez (probably the best prospect since Nomar Garciaparra), to make Beckett their number one starter…a Yankee killer.

Five up-and-down seasons later, Beckett hasn’t live up to that potential. Only one of those five seasons could truly be called ace-worthy (2007), and he’s actually had an ERA over 5.00 in two of them (2006, 2010). All of this begs the question, “Is Beckett really that good?”

I’m not going to sit here and pretend to tell you how awesome Beckett is and how I think he’ll rebound in 2011 to become the front line starter we peg him as every season (much like Zack Greinke). At this point in his career he has shown us he can be great or he can be terrible. The trick is finding where in the draft it’s worth taking the risk. I wouldn’t want Beckett to be my team’s number one starter any more than I’d want Michael Vick to be my dog walker.

Now in his 10th season, Beckett has developed some definite strengths and weaknesses, so what should we know before getting involved with this perennial heartbreaker?


Beckett finished with WHIPs of 1.14, 1.19 and 1.19 in the three years prior to 2010, respectively, due in part to underrated control (again, prior to 2010) and a better-than-league-average opponents’ average (.249 career). He’s a good strikeout pitcher, averaging 188 Ks from 2007-2009, and he’s maintained low fly ball rates and a career GB:FB ratio of 1.25. His first-pitch strike rate was up each year from 2007-2009.


Beckett only started 30-plus games in three of nine full seasons, he’s allowed 45 home runs in last two seasons combined and 36 in 2006 alone, and his career 4.59 ERA at Fenway Park is way too high (career 3.68 everywhere else).

What we notice from this quick exercise is that Beckett was actually fairly reliable in the three years prior to last season’s injury-induced meltdown. He’s hardly durable, and Fenway hasn’t been his friend, but Beckett has solid peripherals that indicate he still has what it takes to be a successful starter. Unlike Florida’s newest acquisition, Javier Vazquez, Beckett’s velocity didn’t drop suddenly, so we have little reason to expect a serious injury is lurking out of sight.

From a fantasy perspective, I currently have Beckett ranked as the 27th best starter just behind Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, Shaun Marcum and Matt Garza and just ahead of Tim Hudson, Ryan Dempster, Jonathan Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco. Given his talent, win potential, and Boston’s improved bullpen, I think Beckett is a good risk to take for 2010.

Fearless Forecast

16-8 | 3.55 ERA | 1.17 WHIP | 186 K | 8.60 K/9 |195 IP

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Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke a 2011 NL Cy Young Candidate

Step aside, Yovani Gallardo, there’s a new ace in town.

With his recent trade to MilwaukeeZack Greinke becomes the unquestioned leader of a suddenly strong Brewers rotation, and with one of the better lineups in baseball backing him up—something he’s never known in his years in Kansas City—Greinke is primed for a bounce-back 2011 season.

Greinke has always been an emotionally driven player. We all remember his fall from grace in 2006, when bouts of depression threatened his career, and we can certainly recall his triumphant return to the mound with a historic 2009 campaign in which Greinke asserted himself as one of the game’s most talented pitchers.

However, 2010 was a struggle. Greinke never seemed to get things going like he had the year before. He posted an ERA under 4.00 in just one month last season (August), and at times he seemed disinterested, simply trying to make his way to the offseason. Kansas City committed to trading their ace, and after rejecting a deal that would send him to Washington, Greinke agreed to be a Brewer. Winning means something to him, and for the first time in years he’ll have a chance to compete.

And in fantasy baseball, that’s great news for anyone fortunate enough to end up with Greinke this season.

A move to the National League only boosts his elite fantasy status. On a good team with a good offense, Greinke should end the season in the 16-18 win range, and he has proven that he’s already a solid strikeout contributor. Despite only amassing 181 strikeouts last season, he did rack up 242 in 2009. Assuming he pitches 220 innings (and I’d be surprised if he didn’t approach that total), Greinke should end up with around 200 strikeouts this season.

Walks have never been an issue for Greinke, owner of a career 2.21 BB/9, but he does allow his fair share of hits. His opponents’ batting average has only once been below .260 (about the MLB average) and that was during his stellar ’09 season. Rejuvenated and moving to the NL, Greinke should have a better season on this front, and I’d expect his WHIP to drop accordingly. He’s probably not the 1.07-WHIP stud we saw during his Cy Young season, but anything in the 1.10-1.20 range is likely.

Unfortunately, the Brew Crew bullpen is a question mark in my eyes. John Axford proved to be a Godsend last year, and all of the additions to the starting rotation will end up pushing someone—likely Manny Parra—to the bullpen, but I’m not wholly confident in LaTroy Hawkins, Zack Braddock, Takashi Saito and Kameron Loe.

Yes, Braddock, Saito and Loe had ERAs under 3.00 last season, but Saito is 40 and Braddock’s WHIP was 1.46 last year. Hawkins himself is 37, and his 2.13 ERA with Houston in 2009 seems more like an outlier than anything else. Of course, Greinke never had a good bullpen backing him up in Kansas City, either.

Despite the bullpen’s shortcomings—again, in my eyes—Greinke finds himself in a vastly improved situation this season, and those who take a gamble on him rebounding will be handsomely rewarded.

Fearless Forecast

16-8 | 2.92 ERA | 1.13 WHIP | 203 K | 8.40 K/9 | 218 IP

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Cliff Lee WIll Be Positive-Lee Dominating for Philadelphia Phillies

What can we say about Cliff Lee that hasn’t already been said?

He transformed himself from failed starter, to staff ace, to perennial Cy Young candidate in just a few short seasons; he signed a $120 million contract, the fifth largest ever for a starting pitcher; and from the minute he set foot in Philadelphia, the Phillies were crowned World Series Champions.

In fact, rumor has it the other 29 team owners just wanted to forfeit 2011 to spend more time with their families, but Bud Selig turned them down because he wanted to see the first ever 162-0 season.

What can we expect out of Lee in 2011, aside from a World Series ring, that is? How about the same thing we’ve been seeing for the last three seasons…except he’s actually pitching for a good team for the whole season and should finally rack up some wins.

And we know he can pitch in Citizens Bank Ballpark, but did you know that his FIP during his stint with the Phillies in 2009 was 2.83, the exact same FIP he had during his 22-3 Cy Young season in 2008?

The only thing that Lee seems to have lost from his game since his resurrection is the ability to walk hitters. Entering August last season, Lee had walked just seven hitters. In August and September alone he walked 13! That’s, like, almost double!

Sarcasm aside, nothing has changed about how you should value Cliff Lee.

He’ll throw a ton of innings, he’ll contend for the National League ERA title, and he should close in on 20 wins.

The only thing that pitchers like C.C. Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, and Adam Wainwright do better than Lee is strike batters out. Lee’s 7.84 K/9 in 2010 was his highest since 2004. If he maintains the same strikeout rate this season, he’ll have to pitch 229.2 innings to hit 200 strikeouts. It’s entirely possible for Lee to do that, but even then he would still trail the others.

Luckily for prospective Lee fantasy owners, we should see more than just 12 wins this season. Increased win totals, combined with an elite ERA and WHIP, make Lee one of the premier starters in the game.

The only guys I would definitely take before Lee are Halladay and Wainwright, and the only others in the conversation are Lincecum, Hernandez, and maybe Sabathia (sorry, Josh Johnson).


Fearless Forecast: 19-8 | 2.85 ERA | 1.10 WHIP | 188 K | 7.65 K/9 | 221 IP

For more baseball updates and fantasy predictions, check out Baseball Professor.

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Seattle Mariners’ Dustin Ackley: Yeah, He’s the Next Big Thing

Jose Bautista hit 54 home runs in just over 550 at-bats in 2010. The Seattle Mariners couldn’t even double that total in over 5,400 at-bats last season. The Mariners offense was historically bad, so bad that four teams had more home runs at the All-Star break than the Mariners had by the time they’d earned their AL-leading 101st loss.

Their .652 team OPS beat only Houston, but at least the Astros can blame their pitchers. Russell Branyan led the team with 15 homers and he only played 57 games in that ugly Mariners teal. Ichiro Suzuki had 214 hits but still scored fewer runs than Mark Reynolds, who had only 99 hits. No wonder they traded Cliff Lee for Justin Smoak.

But the Smoak Monster alone isn’t enough. The Mariners’ current projected starting infield includes Smoak, Chone Figgins and a pair of irrelevant J. Wilson‘s (Jack and Josh, but they hit more like Jack and Jill) who combined for 16 home runs last season…and Figgins, Thing 1 and Thing 2 combined to hit three…in 1,156 at-bats!

And that’s why you need to know Dustin Ackley. While the 6’1″, 184-pound second baseman won’t be making any Home Run Derby appearances anytime soon, he is as polished as prospects come. He’s disciplined at the plate, hits for good average, steals some bases and knocks a few homers. Some claim his uber-upside comparison is Chase Utley, but even in the very likely event he falls short of that, he still projects as one of the better offensive second basemen in the game.

Personally, I see a lot of Dustin Pedroia in him, statistically speaking. Ackley struggled mightily in his first minor league season split between AA and AAA. His .267/.368/.407 triple-slash is rather underwhelming for someone of Ackley’s caliber, but the good OBP underscores the patience and discipline he has. He also managed seven home runs and 10 SB in 501 ABs with an impressive 79:75 K:BB ratio. 

Ackley was then named the MVP of the 2010 Arizona Fall League, finishing .424/.581/.758 with four homers and five steals in just 20 games. His K:BB ratio of 11:26 is unheard of, and since 2005 his 1.338 OPS was second only to White Sox prospect Tyler Flowers’ incredible 1.433 OPS in the 2008 AFL.

With Jill, sorry, Josh Wilson currently holding down the M’s third base job, Ackley will have every opportunity to win the starting gig during spring training, forcing Figgins back to third. According to Jim Bowden of, Ackley will open the season as the Mariners’ starting second baseman, only adding to what is already a deceptively deep position in 2011.

In all formats, particularly deep leagues and keeper leagues, Ackley is worth a late-round flier. Unfortunately, he still has no one to drive him in no matter where he bats in the Seattle lineup, but he could be a good source of batting average and stolen bases or as a matchups play throughout the season. Most of his value is likely for 2012 and beyond.

For more fantasy baseball info and player profiles, check out Baseball Professor.

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Arizona Diamondbacks’ Kelly Johnson: Are the Homers Here To Stay?

Really? Kelly Johnson hit 26 home runs?

By now you can probably tell I don’t quite buy into Johnson as a new-found power source. If you saw this coming last March while we were all tabbing Ian Stewart as the breakout home run threat of 2010, then I guess you probably expected that Jonathan Broxton would lose his job in LA, that Jose Bautista would make 54 easy trots around the diamond and that even Derek Jeter has a little Roger Clemens’ “It’s all about the Benjamins” in him.

But even if you pegged Johnson as a viable source of power, here’s something you probably didn’t expect; Johnson’s jump in homers was almost solely the result of an incredible increase in power versus left-handed pitchers.

Johnson, a lefty himself, had hit nine homers in 462 career at-bats versus LHP (every 51.3 AB). In 2010 he hit 12 homers in 184 at-bats versus southpaws (every 15.3 AB). Despite this astounding jump, his home run rate versus RHP remained almost the same: one every 33.3 at-bats entering 2010 and one every 28.6 at-bats in 2010.

This odd trend will likely correct itself, and once it does we can expect Johnson to return to his normal mid-teens home run output, which will kill most of the fantasy value he had anyway. His 71 RBI and .284 average were rather pedestrian despite the power spike, and those numbers will probably drop accordingly anyway once Johnson starts hitting like, well, himself.

For more 2011 player profiles and fantasy advice, check out Baseball Professor.

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Brett Anderson of Oakland Athletics: Can He Overcome His Biggest Obstacle?

As we close in on the start of the 2011 baseball season, one of the most fascinating players—in my opinion at least—is Brett Anderson of the Oakland Athletics.

I mean, where should this guy be drafted in fantasy leagues? He has elite potential, but Oakland‘s pedestrian offense will limit his win potential, and without dominating strikeout numbers he might only be a force in ERA and WHIP.

How did we get here in Anderson’s short career? Oakland’s top pitching prospect had a nice rookie season in 2009, finishing 11-11 with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He showed a good ability to keep the ball down, inducing grounders on about half the balls put in play, and he walked very few batters (2.31 BB/9).

Those numbers made Anderson the 132nd player off draft boards last season on average, but injuries conspired to shorten his sophomore season. When the left-hander did take the mound, though, he was one of the most effective starters in the American League. His walk rate dropped, his ground ball rate climbed north of 50 percent, and Anderson found himself the owner of a nifty 2.80 ERA and 3.21 FIP.

While I expect Anderson to have one of the best ERAs in the American League this year, strikeout rates and Oakland’s offense will prevent him from reaching elite status this season.

The A’s have one of the game’s best bullpens and we can expect Anderson’s LOB percentage to be better than league average once again, but it will be difficult for him to win 15-plus games with the kind of run support we expect.

As for the strikeouts, Anderson’s K/9 fell to 6.07 last year and he’s allowing too much contact on pitches within the strike zone. Last season batters made contact with 93.5 percent of pitches Anderson threw in the strike zone and he induced swinging strikes just 6.3 percent of the time.

Cole Hamels, possibly Anderson’s closest comparison, allowed batters to make contact with just 83.6 percent of pitches in the strike zone and induced swinging strikes almost twice as often (11.9 percent). These numbers helped Hamels to 9.10 K/9.


2011 Fantasy Overview

Wins will continue to be Anderson’s Achilles heel, and without dominating strikeout numbers he will derive most of his value from what should be a top-notch ERA and WHIP. Increased strikeout rates are certainly a possibility, and improvement to the tune of 8.0 K/9 or higher isn’t out of the question. However, much higher than that is unlikely.


Fearless Forecast

 13-10 | 3.23 ERA | 1.17 WHIP | 180 K | 7.9 K/9 | 205 IP

For more 2011 fantasy baseball news and other player projections, check out Baseball Professor.

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Cole Hamels: The Phillies Favorite Hurler Is Doing Just Fine

It seems like Cole Hamels is in for another long season. Maybe he should be working on his mechanics instead of starring in Comcast Xfinity commercials.

Well, things aren’t always as they appear.

After five starts, Hamels has an ugly 5.28 ERA and an even uglier 1.47 WHIP. He’s tied for the Major League lead in home runs allowed (7) and his walk rate is up to 2.93 BB/9 from his usual 2.00 to 2.10 rate. Despite those numbers, Hamels really hasn’t been too bad.

Through 30.2 innings, Hamels has endured a gaudy 20.6 percent HR/FB rate. While Citizens Bank Park is known as a hitter’s haven, Hamels has never had a HR/FB rate over 12.8 percent and he’s likely to be a few percentage points below that.

His terrible HR/FB rate is masking the fact that Hamels is actually allowing the same number of fly balls this season (38.6%). Even more encouraging, his GB% is up to 46.6 percent and his LD% is down six points to 14.8 percent.

Despite the lower LD% and higher GB%, Hamels’ BABIP is a sky-high .357. Even when Hamels was allowing more line drives his BABIP had never topped .325.

Clearly, Lady Luck has not resided in Philly.

Digging even deeper, Hamels has also induced swings at pitches outside the strike zone more this season than he ever has in his career (31.6%) and opposing batters are making less contact than at any point in the last three seasons (54.7%).

Because all of that data is hard to look at in paragraph form, take a look at this chart:

Hamels will turn his season around once things even out because five starts isn’t even close to a great sample size. Don’t be discouraged and most of all, don’t worry about Cole Hamels.

And don’t forget to check back to Baseball Professor for more daily baseball analysis.

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