StaTuesday: Twins starter Jake Odorizzi’s hot streak, by the numbers
A few years later, he’s finally there, or thereabouts.
Berrios has a career-best 3.05 ERA through nine starts, and picked up two votes in MLB.com’s first Cy Young poll of the season, well behind early frontrunner Justin Verlander.
Plot twist: So did teammate Jake Odorizzi.
The first Twins pitcher named AL Player of the Week since 2011, Odorizzi has been on fire since allowing three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings during a loss to the New York Mets a month ago.
His next five starts went like this: 31 1/3 innings, 28 strikeouts, 21 hits and three earned runs.
That translates to five wins, a 0.86 ERA and one of the hottest streaks in the majors.
Only Chicago Cubs starter Jon Lester, the five-time All-Star who finished ninth in last year’s NL Cy Young voting, has been better over the past month.
Odorizzi’s ERA is down to 2.32 on the season through eight starts, second in the AL, while his .169 opponent batting average ranks second as well.
The Twins have feasted on inferior competition at times this season, piling up runs against the likes of Baltimore and Toronto, but Odorizzi’s resume is hard to argue with.
He hasn’t allowed a run since April 22, a stretch that includes wins over the Houston Astros, who Odorizzi has now beaten twice, and the New York Yankees.
The struggling Detroit Tigers couldn’t hack it either.
Odorizzi retired the last 20 batters he faced Friday, stretching his scoreless streak to 20 innings.
He’s scheduled to go again Wednesday against Trevor Cahill and the Los Angeles Angels, a matchup that could push his hot streak into truly scorching territory.
For context, only 18 starters since 2000 have gone four games without allowing a run (min. five innings per start, to account for “openers” who pitch just an inning or two to start the game).
All of this is relatively new ground for Odorizzi, who had a career 3.95 ERA heading into 2019 with a 1.243 WHIP after five seasons of solid if unspectacular production for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The simplest explanation for his sudden dominance appears to be the correct one: Odorizzi is throwing his fastball harder than ever, and doing some major damage with it.
Odorizzi’s fastball is responsible for 30 of his 43 strikeouts, and is clocking in at 92.32 mph on average, just over a mile per hour faster than his career average.
His strike rate is up accordingly, from 61.4% last season to 63.3%, while his swinging strike rate has risen from 26.5% to 31.1%.
This might be as good as it gets for Odorizzi, but with Berrios and the red-hot Martin Perez off and running as well, things are suddenly looking up for the Twins’ rotation.
Statistics via sportradar and baseball-reference.com