Originally written on Baseball News Source  |  Last updated 10/2/13
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb is set to start the Wild Card Game for the Rays. Despite missing two months after being struck in the head with a line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer on June 15th, Cobb has quietly put together an excellent season. In 22 starts and 143.1 innings, Cobb has a 2.76 ERA, the lowest mark on the team. The ERA is no fluke, and Cobb has the underlying numbers to back it up. Aided by an excellent changeup, Cobb has struck out 23.2% of hitters, best on the team. Unlike fellow strikeout pitcher and teammate Matt Moore, Cobb walks just 7.8% of hitters. When hitters do make contact off of Cobb, they tend to put the ball on the ground. Cobb’s changeup and curveball result in plenty of groundballs, and his 55.8% groundball rate is 4th in the MLB. With an athletic Rays defense that employs an array of shifts, grounders turn into outs at a high rate. His xFIP- (a park adjusted ERA estimator based on strikeouts, walks, and groundballs where 100 is league average and lower is better) is just 76. This is 9th best among starting pitchers that have thrown 140 or more innings. That’s better than teammate David Price, and on par with aces such as Chris Sale and Max Scherzer. Cobb has had trouble with the longball, as nearly 15% of flyballs have left the yard with him on the mound. Only teammate Roberto Hernandez possesses a worse rate. The good news is that these things tend to come and go, and at spacious Progressive Field, flyballs tend to get swallowed up. He doesn’t possess the ace pedigree or the postseason experience of David Price, but Alex Cobb has pitched just as well for the Rays this year, and is more than able to handle such a crucial game.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Mike Richards incident involved oxycodone

Report: Spurs, Leonard working on max deal

Ex-Cowboy indicted on sexual assault charges

Report: Kevin Love to meet with Lakers

Carli Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Auburn, Oregon to open 2019 season at AT&T Stadium

Butler can’t sign one-year contract unless it’s with Bulls

DeAndre Jordan wants 4-year deal, bigger offensive role

Kings reportedly looking into viability of firing Karl

Jim Brown: I ‘encourage and support’ Johnny Manziel

Vincent criticizes NFLPA over spending millions on lawsuits

Report: Pelicans sign Davis to five-year, $145M extension

Jose Aldo out of UFC 189, replaced by Chad Mendes

Landon Donovan takes shot at Jurgen Klinsmann

Hope Solo admits to using stalling tactics on penalty kick

Scottie Pippen: ‘I was LeBron James before LeBron James’

Feud between Scioscia and Dipoto makes Angels fascinating case study

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh throws out first pitch at Tigers game

MLB’s All-Star roster will now announced be over two days

Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to the Blue Jackets

Blatter won’t attend World Cup final due to ‘personal reasons’

Sharks have found their starting goalie by acquiring Jones

Fan who caught A-Rod’s 3,000th says he’s received threats

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.