If I can keep it up all month, 31 days of positive posts! There's going to be enough negativity going around with the Cardinals not in the post-season.
Michael Wacha's peripheral stats (FIP, xFIP, xwOBA) look a little iffy to say the least. However, let's take a look as to why maybe those peripherals might not line up with what I believe was a very nice looking season. He started 15 games this year and threw 84 1/3 innings. That's 17 outs per game. There was a 10-start stretch in the middle of the year in which he went an average of 6.2 innings per game, however - 19 outs per outing. So for 2/3 of his starts this season (after 3 games of gearing up after spring training and 2 games prior to his season being over due to injury), he was going fairly deeply into games. In those 10 games, Wacha had a 1.74 ERA and a .505 OPS against.
Why might Wacha have had a 3.20 ERA on the season and have outpitched his xwOBA by 0.60 points? Well, he threw over 40% of his pitches on the "edge" of the strike zone. That allowed Wacha to keep his average exit velocity against at league average.
My favorite Wacha stats on the year was that in those 10 middle starts of Wacha's, the team was 8-2 and he was 6-0. Seven of those 10 starts were quality starts.
Positive October Day 15, in the books!
In case you missed them: