After a fairly underwhelming 2013 MLB All-Star Game, we can now turn our attention back to some very exciting races in the second half of the season. Partly thanks to their All-Stars, the Diamondbacks, Tigers and Pirates are all in contention for their respective divisions. With that in mind, some of these big names have been over-performing and will likely come back down to earth in the immediate future.
There's always debate about whether or not a pitcher's record is an accurate reflection of his ability. In the case of All-Star Max Scherzer, it absolutely is. However, the same does not hold true for Corbin.
As it stands, Corbin is 11-1 with a 2.35 ERA and sub-one WHIP for the Diamondbacks. Obviously I'm not jumping to conclusions solely based on his performance last night (you try pitching against Miguel Cabrera, Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, Jose Bautista and David Ortiz), but BaseballHQ (subscription required) isn't projecting a second half for Corbin that mirrors his first. The site predicts that Corbin will pitch to a tune of a 3.78 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in the second half of the season.
Corbin is still young and shows potential for sustained dominance, but that won't be happening in 2013.
While it looks like Hunter's been cruising, his underlying stats tell a different story. Currently, the Detroit right fielder has a slash line of .315/.352/.458, but the advanced metrics BPV (Base Performance Value), xBA (Expected Batting Average) and h% (hit rate on balls in play) show that this is a player in decline.
According to the Baseball Forecaster at BaseballHQ, "there's a real chance he falls off a skills cliff, taking his production with him. You've been warned." Once a threat on the base paths, Peter Gammons hinted in a tweet that this is no longer:
On July 10, David Ortiz and Yadier Molina each have more stolen bases than Torii Hunter.— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 10, 2013
BaseballHQ projects that Hunter will hit .281 with a .320 OBP for the rest of the year with a .744 OPS. And when it comes down to it, he's turning 38 tomorrow.
A big contribution to Pittsburgh's league-leading 3.07 ERA is luck—I mean, Locke.
The 25-year-old southpaw currently boasts an outstanding 8-2 record and 2.15 ERA. However, Locke is in fact the most blaring example of someone whose stats project short-lived greatness.
Locke's strikeout-to-walk ratio is just 1.6, and he only strikes out six per nine innings. In other words, out-pitches are not his specialty.
For the remainder of 2013, BaseballHQ projects that the lefty will go 4-3 with a 4.03 ERA. To add to the bleakness of his future, Locke has been plagued with back issues, which is why he was ultimately replaced by teammate Mark Melancon on the National League roster.