A scheduled double dip in San Diego gives us 16 games for the Saturday card. The MLB season is nearly two months old, but we’ve already had two different seasons within a season. I’ve talked about it a lot, but something changed in the middle of May, as offense perked up in a big way. Of the 30 MLB teams, 19 have a wRC + of 100 or higher over the last 30 days and 16 of them have a wRC + of 107 or higher. Boston and Toronto lead the way at 134 and 131, respectively.
What that means is that more than half of the league’s teams have performed at higher than a league average level in the last 30 days relative to the full-season numbers. Business has clearly picked up in the run-scoring department. The Hard Hit%, Barrel% and average exit velocity are all around what we saw earlier in the season, yet offense has spiked and it’s more than just the weather.
Whether or not this is the new normal for the rest of the season remains to be seen, but there was clearly some kind of adjustment to either the baseball or the storage of them in the humidors.
A quick reminder that there is no article on Sundays, but you can hear me with Ben Wilson on The Run Line from 8-10 p.m. ET. LISTEN HERE
Diamondbacks/Phillies: The Phightin’ Phils won again, reaching .500 for the first time since May 14. That’s now eight in a row and they’ve scored 7.5 runs per game in that span. With two more against Arizona, three with Miami, four at Washington and two at Texas, this team could absolutely stay hot for the next week and a half.
Very quietly, the Phillies pen has a 2.72 ERA and 3.66 FIP over the last 14 days. Overcoming perception bias takes a ton of time, but this group has actually been quite good for a sustained period of time.
Brewers/Nationals: Somebody needs to step up and get the Brewers out of this funk. The offense is in the tank and the pitching staff is faltering. Brandon Woodruff is experiencing Raynaud’s syndrome (numbness in his pitching fingers) and there is no timetable for his return. With Corbin Burnes looking human, Aaron Ashby all over the place and middle relief issues, Milwaukee is in a tough stretch. Yesterday’s loss to Erick Fedde and the Nationals took the Brewers out of first place, as Ashby allowed six runs on 13 hits in 4.2 innings.
Pirates/Braves: Spencer Strider and Roansy Contreras had a filth fest in Hotlanta yesterday, as the duo combined for 36 swinging strikes in Atlanta’s 4-2 win. Contreras did give up four runs in just 4.2 innings, but flashed a ton of promise. Both games in this series have comfortably gone under. The Pirates have some dudes that can pitch. They just don’t have much of a lineup at all. They should be a pretty good under bet moving forward.
Reds/Cardinals: Luis Castillo gave up two first-inning runs, but that’s all the Cardinals needed for a 2-0 win. Castillo saw a velo uptick and had 15 whiffs on 50 swings, as he pitched extremely well, but got absolutely no run support. The Reds have scored 5.97 runs per game at home and 2.72 runs per game on the road. They’re now 8-21 on the road and have been outscored 144-79.