As always, we use SOBB (breakdown here) as the initial base when projecting a pitcher’s future performance.
Range of starting pitcher SOBBs (K-BB%) and the values they hold.
Range of relief pitcher SOBBs (K-BB%) and the values they hold.
Cheers or Tears
Dallas Keuchel, HOU – It would be easy to toot my own horn about Keuchel’s bounceback season, but I’m not going to do that… and no, it’s not purely a modesty/non-braggadocious reason. The reason I’m not drooling over Keuchel is because while I expected a Top 20 bounceback season, I didn’t expect this, and Keuchel isn’t this good. Keuchel is not a Top 5 or even Top 10 pitcher. I introduced Keuchel with my prediction so you know this breakdown is coming from someone who is a big fan of Keuchel, and I’m not just some hater. Keuchel is sporting a terrific 1.21 ERA, but he’s been lucky. His BABIP is exceptionally low at .186 and his strand rate is up at 98.7 percent. Both of those are unsustainable. That’s part of the reason for Keuchel’s xFIP of 3.18. While Keuchel can certainly post a sub-3.00 ERA, he’s not likely to repeat his Cy Young winning season thanks to a lower strikeout rate. Keuchel had an 18.1 SOBB in 2015, but it’s down to 15.2 this year due to a slight drop in K% and increase in BB%. Don’t mistake this for saying Keuchel isn’t good. Again, he’s a Top 20 starter. But if someone wants to offer you Cy Young value in a trade (Top 5-10 return value), you need to sell high.