San Francisco left-hander Matt Moore has seen his strikeout, walk and ground ball and home run rates go in the wrong direction this season. Moore toes the rubber with a 6.00 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in fourteen starts, including posting a 9.25 ERA and 2.10 WHIP on the road and an 11.08 ERA and 2.38 WHIP over his last three starts.
The southpaw’s peripherals are equally disturbing: 4.73 FIP, 5.25 xFIP, 4.94 SIERA, 3.58 BB/9, 1.38 HR/9 and a career-worst 40.9% hard contact rate. Moore also owns a career-worst 36.5% ground ball rate and left-handed batters are hitting .387 (29-for-75) against him.
Moore finds no support in an imploding San Francisco bullpen that enters tonight’s game with a 5.28 ERA and 1.64 WHIP on the road and a 9.61 ERA and 2.28 WHIP over its last seven games. San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland began serving his six-game suspension Monday for his involvement in the May 29 brawl with Bryce Harper and the Nationals.
Strickland’s absence is significant in that he has a 2.08 ERA in 30 relief appearances this season. The Giants can’t fill in Strickland’s roster spot and will have to play with a 24-man roster until the suspension is over.
“We knew this was coming. We’ll just go a man short in the bullpen,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said regarding Strickland’s suspension. Moore now faces a surging Atlanta lineup that is averaging 5.3 runs per game versus left-handed starters (.852 OPS) and 7.3 runs over its last seven games (.844 OPS).
In contrast, the Giants are averaging just 3.7 runs per game in 2017 (.661 OPS), including 3.7 runs per game at night (.662 OPS). Let’s also note that the Giants are 3-11 in Moore’s starts this year, including 1-7 on the road.
Atlanta right-hander Julio Teheran has been extremely inconsistent this season, garnering a 4.86 ERA and 1.44 WHIP across fourteen starts. The 26-year-old improved to 3-0 over his last five starts after limiting the Nationals to 2 runs in his last outing, and he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of his 14 outings overall this season.
While it appears that Julio Teheran has found his footing, he still owns a 5.67 FIP and a 5.23 SIERA, together with a 9.2% walk rate and a 15.1% HR/FB rate. He remains an extreme fly ball pitcher whose strikeout numbers have declined throughout 2017.
I’ll take the Braves behind the arm of Julio Teheran (at -118 odds or better) as my Free Pick for Tuesday, June 20.