Independence Day Fireworks and the MLB All-Star game always go hand-in-hand during the month of July. It also signals the start of the second half of the MLB campaign. And as we ve come to learn the key to every team s fortune lies within the pitching staff. Can these pitchers sew up critical wins or will they unravel like a Salvation Army suit? Stay tuned. What we do know is that certain pitchers love hurling this time of the season while others tend to get lit up like a roman candle.
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 July. On the flip side, we've also listed pitchers that struggle in July, 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 July 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 (none this month), maintaining status quo from last season s July list.
GOOD MONTH PITCHERS:
Boyd, Matthew 8-4 / 5-1 A
The young emerging Tigers ace was rumored to be in trade talks with the New York Yankees, but it appeared Detroit s asking price was too high. He was on a 6-2 dog run until a recent 0-5 effort since mid-May reared its head. Boyd is distantly related to Hall Of Fame hurler Bob Feller.
Carrasco, Carlos 10-4 / 5-2 A
Out with a blood condition, no timetable for his return.
Chacin, Jhoulys 9-2 / 5-0 H
The Brewers Chacin is having a very difficult season at 3-8 with a 5.60 ERA. His inability to spot pitches has really hurt him, allowing more walks and home runs after last year's 15-8 campaign. Let's see if July perks him up.
Cole, Gerrit 9-4 / 5-2 A
Cole is having a very good year with only one issue, but it still counts. Opposing batters are hitting just .211 against him, compared to .240 lifetime. His ERA is very close to career norm of 3.38, but like most pitchers this season he's been plagued by the long ball, with 16 allowed after permitting 19 in all of 2018.
Hendricks, Kyle 8-4 / 5-2 H
Currently on the DL with a shoulder impingement, and Cubs officials have stated they will take their time to get Hendricks 100 percent healthy.
Hill, Rich 9-3 / 5-1 A
This dude is 39 years old and a little crazy but is super effective. Nobody we've seen in recent years swears as much out loud as Hill, as you don't even have to be a lip reader to see that. However, the left-hander is ultra-competitive and has more variations of the curveball than an out of town salesman has singles going to a strip club. Unfortunately, Hill has a strained flexor tendon in his forearm and probably won't pitch this month.
Paxton, James 10-5 / 6-2 A
Because the Yankees have played so well, Paxton having an ERA of a run higher than his career norm has been overlooked. He's catching too much of the plate and surrendering too many base-knocks. His worst outings are easy to tell, as his fly ball to groundball ratio is at least 2-to-1. Manager Aaron Boone is looking for a turn around in July.
Quintana, Jose 11-3 / 6-0 A
Quintana's been in a major slump and the Cubs really need him to come out of it. Almost nothing has worked for the 30-year of late and you can tell by his body language that if he allows a hit or a walk to start an inning, trouble is brewing. His inability to work inside up and down the strike zone is hurting him.
Scherzer, Max 11-4 / 8-1 A
Mad Max the best hurler in MLB - is a regular on our monthly charts and he's back to mowing down batters after a sluggish start. Always known for great control and striking out hitters, Scherzer is at nearly an insane 8-to-1 for strikeouts to walks this season. Warning label: This guy is hotter than a firecracker!
Wacha, Michael 7-3 / 5-1 H
Its clear Wacha is not right this season, battling an assortment of injuries, all of which are all contributing to lackluster results thus far. It's hard to determine when and if he will feel as close to 100 percent as possible, but maybe the heat of July will loosen everything up.
BAD MONTH PITCHERS:
Bumgarner, Madison 4-10 / 0-6 A
Mad Bum has been an elite pitcher for a long time, but did you realize he's not had a winning season since 2016? Granted, the Giants are not close to their championship ways in the first part of this decade, but shouldn't he have a better record than 14-23 the last three years? Could be more of the same this month.
Leake, Mike 5-10 / 2-5 H
Mike Leake was never a great pitcher, as his 100-94 career record proves. At 31, he's lost something off the fastball and his breaking pitches no longer have the same bite. At this juncture, he's a back of the rotation hurler on a losing team, just like the one he's on in Seattle.
Matz, Steven 4-12 / 1-6 H
The lefthander has never quite figured it out. At times Matz has looked devastating for innings at a time, then, he allows four or five runs and is yanked out of the game. In his five years with the Mets, he's given up better than a hit an inning and that is no recipe for success. Expect the negative numbers to continue.
Ray, Robbie 3-12 / 1-7 A
A super talented lefty who's never solved the mental part of the game. Ray averages 1.2 strikeouts an inning, which high-level stuff for a starter. His problem is he can be sailing along for five or six innings, then, two walks, a single and home run allowed and suddenly Ray's given up a four-spot just like that. Focus has always been his undoing, particularly in July it seems.
Samardzija, Jeff 3-9 / 1-4 A
Samardzija's main attribute is that he's gotten paid along the way to still be pitching at 34 and making close to 20 million a year, despite having a 73-99 career record. Obviously, he's had a great agent. Samards use to have a decent sinker/slider mix, but at his current age, the velocity has dropped and too often he's tossing slop, while just trying to miss bats, without a great deal of success.
Teheran, Julio 5-10 /2-6 A
Once thought of as an ace, the 28-year is just another pitcher who makes mistakes at the most critical times, which causes him and Atlanta to lose. His .225 batting average allowed this season is below what he's done in the past (.235), but too much nibbling has led to too many free passes and ultimately Teheran gets burned.
Contributions from Doug Upstone of VegasProInsidersDaily.com
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