Simon: Breaking down Justin Verlander’s 10-game hot streak

From SABR member Mark Simon at The Athletic on May 23, 2018:

Everywhere you look, there are interesting and amazing stats about Astros ace Justin Verlander.

He’s got a 1.05 ERA and 0.71 WHIP in 10 starts. He’s basically replicated the five-start run he had with the Astros last September, only this time he’s done it over 10 starts. His next-best ERA over his first 10 starts in a season is 2.15 in 2012.

You could throw out a lot of numbers about Verlander’s fastball — how the velocity is up, the whiffs against it are up and the value of it is up. But the number that is most interesting to me is 45. It relates to this pitch from his last start.

This was the pitch that finished Luis Valbuena for Verlander’s 2,499th career strikeout, a 97-mph laser on the inside corner at the knees. It’s one that helped snuff an Angels rally in an eventual shutout and one that made Valbuena angry enough to flip away his bat in disgust.

Read the full article here (subscription required):

Originally published: May 23, 2018. Last Updated: May 23, 2018.