Have you ever been watching a baseball game, and suddenly someone in the broadcast booth will make mention of a random statistic or milestone that leaves you saying, “What?!” or “Is that real?” In a sport which relies so much on quantifiable, tangible numbers and (in recent years) advanced analytics, crazy stats appear more often than not.
Keeping track of these stats is not only helpful for your overall knowledge and acumen, but they can also assist in fantasy, especially when it comes to playing matchups and making (or not making) potential waiver wire pickups.
With that said, let’s run down some of the wildest stats of the week.
Note: All stats derived before Sunday night’s Yankees-Red Sox game
All is well in the Rockies
The Colorado Rockies have won eight games in a row, and their offense has been the driving force behind their success. A nice homestand at Coors Field helped as well. In that same vein, it’s hard not to be impressed by two star Rockies who have been lighting it up during this winning streak.
Let’s start with Nolan Arenado, elite third baseman and prized fantasy asset. Arenado wrapped up a seven-game, multi-hit-per-game streak on May 28 and promptly started another six-game hitting streak right after. His batting average rose from .308 to .345 and his OPS ballooned to 1.032 during that stretch. Arenado pretty much went nuts in May, hitting .425 with 29 RBI. Call that living up to your draft price.
Arenado’s infield running mate, Trevor Story, has been delivering some wild stats of his own, too. Story has delivered 11 RBI and a whopping 14 runs scored in his last nine games. His slugging percentage has shot up to .556. With June up and running, it’s a great time to own Rockies in fantasy.
How long can Hyun-jin Ryu keep this up?
What Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu has done is nothing short of unreal. This is a 32-year-old pitcher who has thrown more than 190 innings just once in his career. He’s dealt with injury troubles. Yet, through his first 11 starts this season, sporting an 8-1 record with a 1.48 ERA, one can make the argument that Ryu has been the most valuable pitcher in fantasy thus far this year.
With his win over the Mets this week, Ryu now has 11 straight starts allowing no more than two runs and one walk (H/T: @MLBRandomStats). Let’s run down more of what Ryu has done this season:
Yet to allow more than two ER in a start
Has one complete-game shutout
Has thrown a one-hitter through 8 IP
Has one start with double-digit strikeouts
Has completed six starts with zero walks
Did anyone expect this?
Derek Dietrich is devoted to dingers
Along with being one of the most entertaining players in MLB right now, Derek Dietrich is showcasing quite the power stroke of late. In fact, before May 29, Dietrich’s last six hits were ALL home runs. With 17 homers on the year, his slugging percentage is now a hilarious .700. Sure, this is unsustainable, but consider this: Dietrich owns an unpleasant 20.1K% this season, and yet is still hitting .269/.373/.700 with a 1.073 OPS. He’s currently 69% owned on Yahoo, so it’s probably too late to pick him up, but he’s earned DFS glory any time the Reds face the Pirates — peep the video game numbers he’s put up against them this season: .423/.444/1.269 and a 1.714 OPS (oh, and he did this against them too).
Rafael Devers’ breakout is here
The Red Sox’s third baseman is living up to the billing given to him by many fantasy baseball draft experts before the season began. At just 22-years-old, Devers had breakout potential before the regular slate started. Well, that breakout seems to be in full effect. Devers nearly tied the Red Sox’s franchise record for streak of games with extra-base hits (nine) with eight of his own. During that eight-game streak, Devers hit one triple, three doubles, and four home runs.
For the season, Devers has a lovely slash line of .317/.374/.502. The best part? There could be even more goodies to be had. Considering that his fly ball percentage (29.8) and his HR/FB% (14.8) are all lower than his career marks (35.5% and 16.3%, respectively), we might be seeing even more homers from the young star-in-the-making very soon.
Juan Soto is how old?!
Talk about making you feel old. 20-year-olds aren’t really supposed to be doing what Juan Soto is doing, yet, here we are. Soto had a 14-game hitting streak come to an end on June 1. He hit .380 in May, raising his season average 53 points during the month. On May 29, Soto became the youngest player since Miguel Cabrera in 2003 to score 4+ runs in a game (H/T: @PassonJim). Oh, and he also finally played 162 games; rookie no more!
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is making the most of it
Yuli Gurriel’s little brother made the Toronto Blue Jays opening roster to start the season but was demoted in April after some serious struggles. After proving himself in the minors, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was called up on May 24. Well, it seems like he’ll stay in the MLB a bit longer this time.
Gurriel Jr. has hit four home runs in the nine games since being called up and is currently on an eight-game hitting streak. He’s currently 47% owned on Yahoo (with multi-positional eligibility!).
Justin Verlander makes (more) history
Always love to save space at the end of these pieces to salute legendary accomplishments, and since Justin Verlander is a living legend, the final spot on this list is spot-on.
Verlander passed Cy Young on the all-time strikeouts list this week, moving to 21st place with 2,809 at 36 years old. He will undoubtedly catapult up to 18th place before the season is done, barring injury. He and CC Sabathia are the only two active pitchers in the top-25 of the list. If he has another season (or two, if necessary) of healthy, elite pitching in him, he should reach the coveted 3,000K club. Considering the fact that Verlander only needs 191 more and is on his way to a fourth-consecutive 200K season this year — he’s sporting the third-highest K/9 of his career (10.61) — he’s pretty much a sure bet.