New York southpaw Jordan Montgomery had a very successful transition from Double-A to Triple-A last year, posting a 0.97 ERA, 1.90 FIP and a 2.53 xFIP across 37.0 innings of work.
Through eleven starts for the Yankees in 2017, Montgomery has posted a 3.78 ERA and 3.81 FIP while maintaining his solid strikeout rate (8.61 K/9). Batters are not making hard contact on Montgomery’s offering as evidenced by his 25.6% hard contact rate.
The 24-year-old rookie has the 18th-best swinging strike rate (13%) and the second-best O-Swing rate (37.3%) in the Majors. Despite allowing five extra-base hits in his last outing against the Athletics, including a pair of home runs to Jed Lowrie and Yonder Alonso, Montgomery successfully battled by staying ahead of the count (76% first-pitch strike) and by keeping Oakland off-balance with a 15% swinging strike rate (3rd-highest of season).
The talented lefty also finished with a 47% chase rate (O-Swing%). Montgomery possesses one of the game’s most devastating sliders. In 48 plate appearances, batters are hitting just .159 with a .436 OPS against his slider. Montgomery’s slider also boasts a 48% strikeout rate and a 4% walk rate.
He now faces a Los Angeles lineup that is averaging 3.9 runs per game on the road (.656 OPS) and 4.0 runs over its last seven games (.687 OPS). Montgomery is backed by a strong New York bullpen that owns a 3.08 ERA and 1.17 WHIP this season, including a 3.10 ERA and 1.15 WHIP at home.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles starter Ricky Nolasco toes the rubber with a 5.01 ERA, 5.75 FIP, 4.60 xFIP and a 4.43 SIERA, together with a woeful 2.39 HR/9 rate. Nolasco is 1-2 with a 5.91 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in four career starts against the Yankees.
The right-hander owns a 5.89 FIP, 3.89 BB/9 rate and a 2.57 HR/9 rate on the road, and finished the month of May with a 5.91 ERA, 6.00 FIP and a 3.66 BB/9 rate across 32.0 innings. From a technical standpoint, the Angels are 0-9 in Nolasco’s last nine starts, 0-5 in his last five road starts, 3-7 in his last ten starts versus .501 or greater opposition and 0-8 in his last eight outings with five days of rest.
Nolasco now faces a potent New York lineup that is averaging 5.7 runs per game this season (.800 OPS), including 6.6 runs per game at home (.867 OPS) and 5.9 runs per game versus right-handed starters (.819 OPS). New York is 21-7 in its last 28 home games versus teams with a losing record, 37-16 in its last 53 home games versus right-handed starters and 36-17 in its last 53 home games versus the Angels, including 7-0 in the last seven affairs.
Finally, New York applies to a very good 38-8 system that invests on certain home favorites that are hitting .290 or better over their last 20 games. Lay the price with the Yankees and invest with confidence.