Just over a year ago, the Texas Rangers opened the vaults to land ace Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman and some cash from the Phillies for Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickoff, Matt Harrison and Jake Thompson — a king’s ransom, to say the least.
Not surprisingly, Hamels has allowed more homers since the move to the AL and hitting friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington, but his WHIP and ERA last year were right in line with what he had done with the Phils and he enjoyed a sparkling record down the stretch to help Texas get back to the postseason.
This year, the southpaw’s WHIP is actually at a career high, but he’s also benefited from his highest strand rate ever to enjoy a superb ERA and another great won-loss mark. Is it smoke and mirrors? Well, we know Hamels can pitch, but the fact that his FIP and xFIP are both the highest they’ve ever been is more than a tad worrisome.
On the road, he’s been absolutely filthy, going 8-2 with a 1.97 ERA and .209 BAA. At home, however, it’s a different story, as Hamels is just 4-2 with a 4.05 ERA and .284 BAA.
As long as he’s with the Rangers, it’s clear that he’s a much riskier option when he’s pitching at home.
The author of two career no-hitters (the first of which was a combined no-no), Hamels’ best is likely behind him at this stage. It’ll be hard for him to ever top 2008 or 2011.
In 2008, he went the entire season (262 1/3 IP) without throwing a wild pitch, and then went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five games and 35 IP in the postseason as the Phillies won every game he started and he earned World Series MVP honours.
Three years later, he went 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA and 0.99 WHIP, the latter two marks of which were both career bests.
On Saturday, Hamels lost 2-0 despite giving up just two earned runs over seven innings. A quality start, right? Wait a minute… he was shellacked for a career high 14 hits while walking three. Talk about lucky! It took a double play, two outfield assists and a pickoff to keep Detroit at just two runs. Manager Jeff Banister tried to explain how it happened in the video below.
If you’re simply looking at wins and losses, Hamels is now 19-6 in 35 starts for the Rangers — a record no one would quibble with.
But if you’re doing a deeper examination into the numbers from a Fantasy perspective, Hamels is looking very much like a sell-high candidate.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below how you think Cole Hamels will fare going forward.
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