If you think the Belmont Stakes is a long race for horses on the Triple Crown trail, wait until you get a load of MLB hurlers during the month of June. It s where many either hit a wall and fold-up or find a second-gear and become crucial to their team s hopes of being in a pennant chase during the dogs days of summer.
Listed below are hurlers that have enjoyed a two-to-one or better success ratio in team-starts over the course of the last three seasons during the month of June. On the flip side, we've also listed pitchers that struggle in June, winning 33% percent or less of their team-start efforts. To qualify pitchers must have made a minimum of 10 starts, with at least one start each June over the last three years. And for your convenience alongside each record, we break down each pitcher s greatest success or greatest failure rate either home (H) or away (A) within his good or bad month.
Note: * designates a categorical repeat appearance by this pitcher, maintaining status quo from last season s June list.
GOOD MONTH PITCHERS:
Carrasco, Carlos 10-5 (5-1H)
The Indians right-hander has not been his usual self in 2019 with an ERA 0.75 higher than his career norm. However, Carrasco is well known for hitting a hot stretch during the season and with the weather likely to finally heat up, so might Cleveland's veteran starter.
Davies, Zach 8-3 (3-1 A)
Davies might not be big (6'0) or imposing (155 pounds), but the Milwaukee hurler can certainly pitch. He starts this month with a 2.19 ERA and opposing batters have just a .311 OBP against him. With runners on base, the OBP drops to .252. He's a gamer.
Fiers, Mike 10-5 (5-2 A)
Aside from the no-hitter, this Oakland starter has not pitched well, with an ERA almost a run higher than his career number of 4.10. However, it has been coming down and if he can keep the ball in the yard (11 homers allowed), he should continue to improve in June.
Foltynewicz, Mike 9-2 (7-0 H)
With no spring training due to injury, Foltynewicz has struggled to get in a rhythm. Pitch placement has been the Braves righty downfall, allowing a homer every 10 outs this season to date. If the strikeouts return to normal, this could be a springboard month for him.
Godley, Zack 8-2 (5-1 A)
With an ERA of 7.36, Godley has been sent to the bullpen to figure out how to miss more bats. (.295 batting average allowed in 2019)
Greinke, Zack 14-3 (9-1 A)
If you are too young to have seen Hall of Famer Greg Maddox pitch for the Cubs or Braves, this is the closest you will get in the big leagues today. When Maddox lost MPH on the fastball, he figured out how to change speeds better, create more spin and movement on his pitches and keep hitters guessing. That is exactly what Greinke is doing at 35 and he's having a masterful season.
*Kershaw, Clayton (11-2 (6-1 A)
In his 11th season in the majors, Kershaw no longer blows hitters away and a straight change is still a work in progress but betting against the best pitcher of this generation is still fool-hardy, especially with the offense the Dodgers own.
Kluber, Corey 11-5 (7-3 H)
Suffered a fractured forearm on his pitching arm on May 1st. Recently had the first cast removed and reports on proper healing are on schedule, but no time is given on possible return.
*Lester, Jon 15-2 (9-1 A)
After a fantastic start to the season, the latter stages of May were rough on Lester. In June, he's been nearly unbeatable in recent years and will look to return to dominance again.
Sale, Chris 11-5 (6-1 H)
The velocity is coming back for the Boston left-hander, but command of the fastball and slider remains a conundrum from start to start. Like many hurlers in the East and Midwest, some warm temperatures might get Sale back on schedule.
*Sanchez, Aaron 7-3 (4-0 H)
Pitching for a much weaker Toronto club, Sanchez's ERA is up. This is attributable to walking more batters, which are up 13 percent over previous averages. Could be hard to match good numbers this month.
Tanaka, Masahiro 9-4 (5-2 A)
With Yankees having an incredible season, no reason for Tanaka to not to continue to benefit from superior run support. Tanaka's basic stats are similar to the past, but like a lot of pitchers, homers are up.
BAD MONTH PITCHERS:
Archer, Chris 4-8 (1-3 A)
We have long since given up on the idea that Archer will ever be a top line pitcher that he looked like five years ago. His WHIP is up from 1.25 to 1.55 and he's averaging a walk just over every four outs he induces.
Gausman, Kevin 4-11 (1-6 A)
Another pitcher who was supposed to be a stud, but does not have that third quality pitch. Gausman has actually given up fewer hits with a .228 batting average surrendered (.264 lifetime), but Atlanta has the right-hander is throwing 13 fewer pitches a start, which is probably helping him. Strictly a No. 4 starter today.
Gray, Sonny 4-8 (2-4 H)
Not everyone can pitch in New York with the expectations and media coverage and Gray might have been one of those guys. He doesn't have the same velocity of a few seasons ago, but he's more comfortable in Cincinnati and his ERA is drifting downward. Will this trend continue? Stay tuned.
Harvey, Matt 4-9 (2-6 A)
A supposed injury has Harvey on the IL in Anaheim, but with a 7.50 ERA, his results on the season is likely to miss a couple of starts or more and possibly end up as a long reliever going forward.
Hellickson, Jeremy 2-10 (1-5 H)
Soft-tosser with an ERA over 6.00 and a WHIP over 1.70 proves he's always in trouble and mostly unable to work out of it. Hellickson is not fooling hitters anymore and not us, either.
*Liriano, Francisco 4-8 (2-4 H)
Working exclusively out of the bullpen this season for Pittsburgh.
Contributions from Doug Upstone of VegasProInsidersDaily.com
For more insightful content from Marc-Lawrence click here