As for top performers, Lucas Giolito is definitely the best pitcher of the week. Giolito pitched twelve innings, giving up five runs, striking out 21 and only walking three. He wasn’t perfect, but he has continued to show he has a legitimate chance to be the ace of this team for years to come. Ivan Nova also has to be mentioned for his dominance against Detroit on Thursday.
There has been a good amount of talk about Giolito’s demise since the All-Star break. It’s very true he hasn’t been the Cy Young candidate of the first half. But he has still been pretty good. His strikeout to walk ratio is currently over 5:1, which is actually better than his first half ratio. The biggest difference may very well be luck. During the first half of the season batters against Giolito had a .262 batting average on balls in play. In the second half, that number has been .357. That’s a huge increase.
For anyone unfamiliar with this particular stat, batting average on balls in play, also known as BABIP, can be a measure of luck with a player. League average BABIP is typically right around .300. If a pitcher is allowing a .353 BABIP oftentimes that means that opposing hitters are have been a little bit, for a lack of a better word, lucky. The .262 BABIP in the first half was probably too good, and his .353 BABIP in the second half is probably too bad. He is probably somewhere in the middle. In the second half, he has struck out a higher percentage of batters, walked a lower percentage of batters, and the percentage of his fly balls allowed which went for home runs increased. Basically, Giolito was very good in the first half, but not that good. He has been just as good in the second half, but the basic numbers don’t show that.
The best position player of the week? That’s actually a very tough question. Tim Anderson slashed .520/.538/.600 last week. That’s pretty tough to beat. Jose Abreu was not far behind though slashing .444/.531/.667. Jose had a slightly higher 1.198 OPS compared to Tim’s 1.138. This week it’ll be Anderson. The tiebreaker being his run in Sunday’s game was the deciding factor of that game.
Anderson has continued a recent hot streak since returning from his month-long stint on the injured list. During that time he has hit .360/.377/.500. The version of Tim Anderson from the first month of the season may not happen again, but he seems to have proven himself to be a very valuable piece of the team going forward.