MLB Hot/Cold: Halladay Needs a Holiday
by Ricky Dimon - 5/8/2013
If it wasn’t time to panic already, it is now. At least if you have anything to do with the organizations in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. The Dodgers are 13-17 and in fourth place in their own division, but they don’t even have it as bad as the Angels and Phillies. Thanks in part to Josh Hamilton’s futility, the Angles are a horrendous 11-20. Roy Halladay has the second worst E.R.A in baseball among qualifying pitchers, and the Phillies are struggling at 15-18.
For some, the hot-cold meter is ice cold, but for others it’s reached a boiling point (all odds provided by Sportsbook.ag).
Pitchers – Hot
Jake Westbrook (Cardinals) – Through five starts, Westbrook boasts a ridiculously low 1.07 E.R.A. He has surrendered one run or fewer in four of his five outings. The veteran right-hander has been a master at damage control. He has walked at least three batters in all but one outing, including six when he did not allow a single run in 6.2 innings.
Clay Buchholz (Red Sox) – Buchholz allowed four runs in six innings against Minnesota on Monday, but the 2013 sample size is large enough to know that such a performance is an aberration, not the rule. The righty had won his six previous starts, never allowing more than two runs in any of them while recording three scoreless performances (including in a May 1 start at Toronto).
Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals) – Zimmermann is positively on fire at the moment. On April 26 he fired a complete-game one-hitter in a 1-0 win over Cincinnati. Last Wednesday in Atlanta he blanked the Braves over eight innings while yielding a mere two hits in a 2-0 victory. The Nationals (Zimmermann) are -115 home favorites against Detroit (Anibal Sanchez) on Wednesday.
Pitchers – Cold
Roy Halladay (Phillies) – Halladay simply cannot be this bad without something that’s gone completely haywire in his body. So it could not have come as a surprise to anyone when the Phillies on Monday placed the man who was once their ace on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his pitching shoulder. Halladay has allowed an outrageous 17 runs in his last two starts (a total of six innings), and his E.R.A. has ballooned to 8.65.
R.A. Dickey (Blue Jays) – Speaking of former Cy Young Award winners, Dickey continues to flounder with his new team north of the border. The knuckleballer briefly got things going with two quality starts after two poor outings, but things have taken a turn for the worse. In his last three starts (19 total innings), Dickey has allowed 14 earned runs, five homers, and eight walks.
Justin Masterson (Indians) – Masterson has not been masterful of late like he was earlier in the season. After five starts he sported a 4-1 record and a 1.85 E.R.A. In his last two, however, the righty has allowed 12 earned runs in 13 innings while walking six. Cleveland is +1200 to win the AL Central, behind Detroit (-500) and Kansas City (+450).
Hitters – Hot
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – We had to wait 44 years for the next Triple Crown winner after Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. It may take only one year to witness another — by the same man. Cabrera only has to pick up the pace in dingers (he has six), because he is leading the American League in batting average (.385) and RBI (36). The slugger has three four-hit games this season, and he has 10 multi-hit performances in his last 18 contests.
Carlos Gomez (Brewers) – Gomez was batting .162 after nine games, and he was still below .300 after 17 appearances. Now, the center fielder is up to .368 thanks in part to a 12-game hitting streak. He has five multi-hit games in his last seven and eight in his last 12. Gomez, owner of a .400 average in May, also has five of his seven total stolen bases in Milwaukee’s last six contests.
Allen Craig (Cardinals) – Craig has only one yahtzee in 2013 (on Saturday), but his stats are otherwise solid (season-high .291 average and 25 RBI) thanks to a recent hot stretch. The first baseman is on a five-game hitting streak, which includes seven hits and five RBI in his last three. He has eight multi-hit games in his last 14. The Cardinals (Lance Lynn) are -135 road favorites at Chicago (Travis Wood) on Tuesday.
Hitters – Cold
Josh Hamilton (Angels) – Hamilton’s case is not unlike that of Halladay; things have gone from bad to worse. It was hard to imagine Hamilton’s average dropping any further than last week’s closing mark of .219, but a .172 clip over the last seven days has his mark down to .208. The lefty has zero homers and just a single RBI in his last 19 games. Hamilton is +10000 to lead the majors in home runs. Atlanta’s Justin Upton is a +350 favorite.
Ike Davis (Mets) – Despite a decent four longballs, Davis has a mere eight RBI to go along with his .172 average. The first baseman has not gone deep in his last eight games, and he has just one RBI in that span. Davis has no multi-hit games in his last 13.
Will Middlebrooks (Red Sox) – Middlebrooks did a lot of Tweeting about “Boston Strong” in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. That’s all well and good, but what he has not done is a lot of hitting. None of his six home runs have come in his last nine games, and he does not even have an RBI in that span. Middlebrooks’ season average is down to .195.
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