by John Viril—
Wade Davis is the worst starting pitcher in baseball. He just got bombed in New York in Kansas City’s 8-1 loss to the Yankees. He’s 4-8 on the year. Most importantly, his atrocious 5.89 ERA is higher than any other MLB starter.
On the surface, it’s hard to explain Davis’ poor performance. His strikeout rate has zoomed since last season’s stint in the bullpen. His strikeout rate is a healthy 19.6%—up from 15.7% and 13.2% he whiffed in his prior two full seasons in Tampa Bay’s rotation. His walk rate is up slightly over his career norm (9.2% vs. 8.7%), but the increase strikeouts have improved in SO/BB ratio to 2.13 vs. his career norm of 2.06. Plus, his ground ball to fly ball ratio has increased to 1.24 vs. his career norm of .94. Sabermetrics suggests he should be getting better results.
The number that really jumps out from Davis’ profile is his .383 Batting Average on Balls in Play. That’s outrageous. Those numbers are totally out-of-line with league average (.293)...