Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer: What to Make of Cy Young Winner’s Struggles


The Tigers have one of the best pitchers in baseball going through a rough stretch, and no, this article is not about Justin Verlander. It is about their new staff ace. Max Scherzer threw an absolute dud of a game on Tuesday making it through only 4 innings and gave up a horrific 10 earned runs.

It was the type of performance that ruined your team’s pitching for the entire week, and it made Scherzer’s ERA balloon from an impressive 3.05 to a very pedestrian 3.84 ERA. However, Max Scherzer did not just have one awful start. He has been pretty bad dating back to May 21st.

In those six outings, Scherzer has a 6.86 ERA and has allowed 53 hits in 39.1 innings pitched. However, he features a 3.99 FIP, 4.18 xFIP, and a .382 BABIP, so a quick glance at his peripherals show he is also getting unlucky. But there is no mistaking it, he has pitched poorly recently.

Also, Scherzer has only induced a pathetic 27.3% ground ball rate in his last six outings. Despite this rough patch, Scherzer had one brilliant outing mixed in there, throwing a complete-game shutout on June 12th in Chicago. But that is his only quality start since May 21st.

While a lot of people hoped Scherzer’s struggles would end after his complete game shutout, he jumped straight back in to trouble with one of the worst performances of the year.

The real question is what to expect going forward, and do you start him with confidence?

My answer is to expect the normal Mighty Max to return as soon as possible because I believe that Scherzer is still a great pitcher and that you always start your studs in fantasy.  He threw a complete game shutout about a week ago.  He won the Cy Young last year.

Scherzer still has elite strikeout numbers and the same stuff that made him one of the game’s best. This poor stretch of starts is not worrisome like it is to his teammate, Verlander, since a rough month is far different from a year plus of mediocrity.

I would not worry, but I would be disappointed that your fantasy ace has pitched below waiver wire level for the past month. Start him on Sunday at Cleveland and hope he figures it all out.

 

Tags: Detroit Tigers Fantasy Baseball Max Scherzer MLB Starting Pitchers