More fastballs, more strikes, more success for Robbie Ray

Robbie Ray has had a strong start to the season for the Blue Jays. His first two starts were very Robbie Ray-esque. Ray allowed two runs in 10 innings against the Yankees and Royals, with nine walks versus just six strikeouts. Ray limited the damage as he only allowed one home run in those two starts, even though the Blue Jays lost both of those games; they could have been much worse.

In his next two starts the home run was back, Ray allowed three homers accounting for all five of the runs he allowed. But he struck out 14 batters, didn’t walk anyone and pitched deeper into the games, throwing 12.2 innings. You total everything together and Ray has a sparkling 2.78 ERA but with a 4.73 expected ERA, a 4.83 FIP and 4.33 xFIP. Indicating Ray hasn’t pitched as well as his ERA suggests and that regression is coming.
Regression is certainly coming soon for Ray. A 93.5% left on base rate and a .237 batting average on balls in play is not sustainable over a full season. Ray however is doing certain things differently this year, which will help him continue to succeed even as certain things regress.
For Ray everything starts with the …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

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