Thursday, April 21, 2016


Sometimes the encore never lives up to the original.  This line of opinion likely is swirling in the heads of those fantasy baseball owners of Tampa Bay Rays ace SP Chris Archer who got tattooed again Wednesday night to the tune of 6 earned runs in 4.1 innings in a road start against the Boston Red Sox.  The latest dud from Archer brought his season ERA to a very high 7.32 and his WHIP is pathetic at 2.08.  This from the same guy who engineered arguably the best value season of any pitcher in the game in 2015 when Archer posted a 3.23 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while striking out an insane 252 batters in 212 innings.  As we always do in this featrue, let's dig into the number in order to find out what is going wrong here and if Archer is a good buy low candidate as a result of his early struggles.

Now when it comes to situations such as this where we delve into a struggling star's numbers, a look at the advanced stats is the best place to begin.  What quickly stands out with Archer is the fact his BABIP is in very unlucky territory at .462.  In fact that number can't get any more unluckty for Archer and his XFIP ERA tells the story here.  With the luck factor taken out of the equation, Archer's XFIP ERA is a terrific 2.92.  That is a startling difference and speaks to how everything is falling in on Archer right now.  What is doubly interesting is that as dominant as Archer's strikeout totals were a year ago, his K/9 IP so far in 2016 is even HIGHER then it was last season (10.70 to 13.27).  29 strikeouts in 19.2 innings shows you that Archer's stuff is still potent and a handful for opposing batters based on the K's and so the bad luck is some of the reason he is struggling so bad.  I say some because Archer is not helping himself with a 2.75 HR/9 rate or with his very ugly 5.03 BB/9 ratio.  So Archer is not without blame here and he needs to get to work on improving those rates going forward.  Overall though Archer looks like a tremendous buy low candidate who can easily turn things around and go back to near-ace status the rest of the way with some adjustments.  The strikeouts will always be there and the ratios can't go anywhere but in a more positive direction.  Do yoruself a favor and try to snag Archer from that panicky owner. 


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