Backed by a historic start by their starting rotation, the Chicago Cubs sat tied with the Minnesota Twins for the best record in baseball at 10-2 entering Thursday’s action.
Over the first 10 games, Cubs starters held opponents to a .156 batting average – the lowest allowed by any team’s rotation through that many games in the live-ball era (since 1920). But the pitchers who have had the biggest impact (according to this week’s leaderboards) might be a bit surprising.
Tyler Chatwood finished the 2018 season with a horrendous 8.25 walks per nine innings – the fifth-worst ratio in baseball history among those with at least 100 innings pitched. He was banished to the bullpen in 2019 before getting another opportunity this season after Cole Hamels left for the Atlanta Braves via free agency.
After reportedly working with Command+ leaderboard mainstay Kyle Hendricks during the coronavirus shutdown, the right-hander surprisingly ranks eighth in Raw Value- and has an above-average Command+ of 102 through two starts. Teammate Alec Mills, who is getting a chance with Jose Quintana injured, has also shined and ranks third in all of baseball with a Command+ of 117.
The Cincinnati Reds’ starting rotation entered Thursday third in MLB with a 2.35 ERA (The Miami Marlins are second at 2.22, but have only played six games). The Reds’ success certainly shows in our leaderboards with Trevor Bauer, Tyler Mahle and Luis Castillo holding the top three spots in RV-.
Each week throughout this 60-game season, we’ll reveal MLB’s pitching leaders in RV-, Command+ and Whiff+. Here are the rankings two weeks into the season (minimum 40 batters faced to qualify):
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