Buy Low, Sell High: Luck likely to turn better for struggling Markakis
There's a name for people who don't make trades during the year, but it's not fit to print in a family-friendly column. A healthy league is one with many trades, and all season long you can come here to get the kind of edge you need to get ahead (majority of advanced stats from the fine folks at fangraphs.com) ...
Since April 15, Porcello is 6-1 with a 2.60 ERA. Awesome, right? But consider that among the nine starts he's made during that span, two were against the Twins (26th in runs/game), one was in Oakland (29th), one was in Seattle (25th), and one was in Pittsburgh (21st). He went 4-0 with a 1.39 ERA and 0.93 WHIP against those lightweights. Of course, pitchers get to face bad teams all the time, and fishing out only the starts against baseball's elite teams makes little sense. In fact, Porcello pitched well against Cleveland (seven innings, one run), the Yankees (seven innings, two runs) and Texas (six innings, one run) during this span. But he is at 2-3 with a 5.73 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in six starts against offenses outside of the bottom 10 this season. And his overall profile is just as uninspiring as it was a year ago. His strikeout rate is up a tick (4.65 K/9 last year, 5.23 this year), but so is his walk (2.10 BB/9 to 2.62) and line drive rates (17.6% to 19.0%). He's gotten a nice assist from an otherwise weak bullpen (78.7% strand rate, 71.3% for the staff as a whole), and defense could be a serious issue for a groundball pitcher with the potential double play combo of Jhonny Peralta and Ryan Raburn.
Sure, there's room for a 22-year old to improve. But most likely, Porcello's ERA is going to sit in the low- to mid-4s from here on in. And with his low strikeout rate, he'll carry no fantasy value. Especially coming off Tuesday's strong outing in Arlington, now's the time to move him.