Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The ace of the Tribe won the Cy Young Award last season and has posted very similar peripherals this season as he did last year. Despite striking out 28% of opposing batters, the Klu-bot has struggled to prevent runs the way he did last season. Even with a decline from last season, Kluber has been quite special this season. His FIP- of 66 suggests that he may be just as much of an ace this season as last, and it’s not like his ERA is that bad either. While an ERA of 3.59 may not mean what it used to, it’s still 5% better than league average.
Most of Kluber’s struggles stem from a high BABIP of .325, a number that we can expect – or, given the Tribe’s defense, hope – to regress towards .300. Once his batted ball rates regress, his opponent average should regress from .242 towards my calculated expected average of .196. This 19% reduction in base hits will do wonders for his run prevention, and this reduction should come shortly.
Not only is Corey Kluber most likely to improve due to statistical probability, but he also is dominant in August. His career ERA in August of 3.15 is quite impressive, but even more impressive is his 1.73 ERA across the past two Augusts. And let’s not even get started on his nearly super-human ability to avoid the long ball in the August heat.
Next up is a player who has struggled greatly this season…
Next: Bounceback Candidate with Great August Results