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Pitchers seeing the most leverage: Joe Musgrove, Zack Wheeler
We’re getting Joe Musgrove in a leverage scenario tonight as he goes up against the Colorado Rockies in Denver, giving him the typical Coors Field pitcher reduction. Regardless of the elements, Musgrove has been spectacular for the Padres this season. He has thrown at least six innings in every one of his 15 starts, posting a sub-1.00 WHIP, limiting power well, and providing reliable strikeout production at nearly a 26% clip. In his only other start against the Rockies this year, in San Diego, he posted six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.
The question remains, has Musgrove been dominant enough to avoid getting hurt by Coors Field? That is up for debate, but at expected minimal ownership and a fair salary, it is worth taking a shot on Musgrove’s consistent success with the hopes of turning this into a high upside play. This year, he has been so good that he warrants taking the risk at Coors Field.
Zack Wheeler joins Musgrove near the top of the leverage board tonight in his anticipated matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays. Surely, Zack Wheeler will be coming into tonight’s game angry, coming off of a questionable All-Star snub, but he’ll also be confident as he’s tossed 14 straight scoreless innings over his past two starts. Wheeler always has a high strikeout upside given his high strikeout rate, and he limits power well, with the fourth-lowest HR/9 mark among all qualified pitchers.
The Blue Jays are no pushover, featuring one of baseball’s most dangerous lineups. They rank in the top six in ISO, wOBA, and wRC+ on the season. However, they have not gotten off to a great start in July and are middle-of-the-pack in those categories for the month. The Blue Jays’ presence alone is giving Wheeler this leverage, but if we were to view them as a league-average offensive team as they currently sit for July, there is plenty of value on Wheeler. He is coming in confident and angry, which could make his anticipated single-digit ownership look silly.