Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Look to Begin Another Streak at Progressive Field

May 31, 2014

Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer

Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer was nothing short of dominant in Triple-A Columbus earlier this season where he was 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, including garnering 44 strikeouts to just fourteen walks in 46.0 innings of work. Bauer was recalled earlier this month to take the place of Danny Salazar in the Indians’ starting rotation, and the 23-year-old flame thrower has compiled 21 strikeouts in just 16 1/3-innings pitched. Bauer was one of the most highly touted armed in baseball, and his renewed focus during the offseason is likely to pay immediate dividends this year.

Bauer worked diligently on his delivery and remained in close contact with Cleveland’s coaching staff during the winter months. Bauer’s fastball sits around 94-96 mph, although it has reached 98-100 mph at points this season. Here are the statistics that truly matter: Bauer owns a 3.48 xFIP and a 3.30 SIERA in 2014. I also like the fact that Bauer is supported by a very good Cleveland bullpen that boasts a 2.99 ERA and 1.28 WHIP this season, including a 2.81 ERA and 1.18 WHIP at home and a 1.40 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over the last seven games.

As I highlighted in my analysis yesterday, the Rockies are an entirely different team away from the friendly confines of Coors Field. Specifically, the Rockies are a money-burning 12-19 (-5.4 units) on the road this season where they are hitting just .240 with a .293 on base percentage (3.6 runs per game). Moreover, Colorado is hitting a mere .198 with a .266 on base percentage over the last ten days (2.3 runs per game). Compare those anemic offensive numbers with those generated at Coors Field where the Rockies are batting a collective .344 and have scored 162 runs, with both marks leading the Majors. Let’s also note that Colorado has been shutout twice in its current road trip, and the Rockies have only scored more than three runs once since May 20.

Meanwhile, Colorado southpaw Franklin Morales owns a pedestrian 5.65 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 2014, including a 5.75 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in ten starts. Let’s also note that Morales owns a 5.91 ERA and 1.65 WHIP on the road, a 7.27 ERA and 1.90 WHIP versus American League opponents and a 6.89 ERA and 1.66 WHIP over his last three outings. The 28-year-old lost his spot in the starting rotation earlier this season, and only finds himself back as a starter due to the injury sustained by Brett Anderson. Here’s the true story: Morales owns a 4.49 xFIP and a 4.58 SIERA. Regardless of which lens you look through, Morales has no business being a starting pitcher in the Major Leagues.

From a technical standpoint, Colorado is 19-33 (-17.1 units) versus teams with a win percentage of .380 to .460, 7-25 (-22.4 units) versus American League teams averaging less than 4.8 runs per game and 2-17 (-19.5 units) versus A.L teams with a batting average of .255 or worse. The Rockies are also just 12-33 (-23.5 units) in interleague play and 33-67 (-23.0 units) as road underdogs, including 17-43 (-19.8 units) as road underdogs of +125 to +175. In contrast, Cleveland is a profitable 63-29 (+23.7 units) as favorites, 42-15 (+20.4 units) as favorites of -175 or less, 34-17 (+16.3 units) at home in the month of May and 11-1 (+10.1 units) at home versus starting pitchers who give up one or more home runs per start. Please find below additional trends favoring our investment on the Indians tonight:

  • Colorado is 18-38 in its L/56 road games vs. right-handed starters;
  • Colorado is 37-79 in its L/116 interleague road games;
  • Colorado is 29-64 in its L/93 road games vs. teams with a winning home record;
  • Colorado is 26-64 in its L/90 interleague road games vs. right-handed starters;
  • Colorado is 5-22 in its L/27 interleague games vs. teams with a losing record
  • Cleveland is 14-3 in its L/17 interleague home games;
  • Cleveland is 8-0 in its L/8 interleague games vs. teams with a winning record;

With Cleveland standing at 7-2 at home versus the Rockies, take the Indians behind one of the most promising pitchers in baseball and invest with confidence.