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Baseball Daily Dose

Shane McClanahan is That Dude

by Janice Scurio
Updated On: May 25, 2022, 5:28 pm ET

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Picture it: Shane McClanahan might be one of the best pitchers in baseball right now, shining through an excellent Tuesday evening performance where he shut out the Marlins in a 4-0 victory. This outing was just another gem from McClanahan, where he offered just two free passes and four singles. 

His K% is currently tops, and his bat-missing game is rather strong as he leads the major leagues in strikeouts, at 74. His whiff rate of 30% is near the top of the league, demonstrative via his 14 swings and misses on Tuesday; he finished the outing with a respectable 33% CSW on all pitches. McClanahan’s four-seam fastball has notably improved, but his changeup and curveball are especially great secondaries; opponents hold a .158 wOBA on the curveball, and a 0.29 wOBA on the changeup. 

McClanahan is also in the top of the league when it comes to opponents’ xBA and xwOBA. There were only three hard-hit balls recorded during the entire outing, the rest pitching to soft contact, evident in the Marlins held to a .190 xBA. 

The lefty pitcher has allowed just one run over his last three outings, and his numbers are just as good as cheesecake; he’s lowered ERA to 2.06, FIP to 2.51, and holds a steady 12.73 K/9. His next feat will be taking on the super powered Yankees lineup in his next start; however, he’s already proven himself to be quite the legit fantasy ace.

 

Hitters with an EDGE

William Contreras vs. Phillies

1-for-5, 1 RBI

Contreras drove in the winning run in a walk-off victory over the Phillies, by driving a pitch by Nick Nelson to center field, plating Ronald Acuña, Jr. Contreras is also co-leader in home runs among MLB catchers in late May, and has a 209 wRC+ so far. 

Enrique Hernandez vs. White Sox

2-for-6, HR, 2 RBI

Hernández launched Dylan Cease’s first pitch of the game - a 96 MPH fastball - for a leadoff home run. He also hit his fourteenth double of the year off Cease later on in the game. He’s 9-for-32 in his last seven games, including an .824 OPS, four RBI, and two walks drawn.

Joc Pederson vs. Mets

4-for-6, 3 HR, 8 RBI

Pederson went deep not once, not twice – but thrice, as he tied it in the eighth after the Mets rallied from an 8-2 deficit. You certainly had to put the coffee pot on for this late west coast game as the Giants eventually defeated the Mets in walkoff fashion, 13-12. Pederson now has 10 round-trippers for the year. Should also probably mention that Pederson scored the tying run in the bottom of the ninth.

 

Pitchers with an EDGE

Framber Valdez vs. Guardians

7 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 4 K

This was Valdez’s sixth consecutive quality start, and sixth straight start where he’s walked two or fewer batters. Valdez has the highest ground ball percentage in the majors this season, at 67.9%. In this 106 pitch outing, he managed to lower his ERA to 2.83.

Sonny Gray vs. Tigers

7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K

Gray was able to shut out the Tigers for the Twins’ sixth straight win. 13 swings and misses were the centerpiece of this performance, contributing to a superb 37% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs) on all pitches. The curveball garnered the most whiffs at five, while the sinker earned the most called strikes.

Kevin Gausman vs. Cardinals

6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K

Gausman threw 105 pitches, 74 of them for strikes in this six-inning shutout performance, including a whopping 23 swings and misses. Perhaps the most peculiar thing about this outing is the two walks he issued in the first inning; prior to this, he had only given up three walks in 50 innings pitched. The walks were not an issue at all for Gausman, as his four-seam fastball and splitter were especially crisp. Hard contact was also not a problem; Cardinals hitters were limited to a stifling .173 xBA. 

 

Closing Time

Jhoan Duran vs. Tigers (4th Save)

1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

The 24-year-old tossed a scoreless ninth inning to earn his fourth save of the season. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in seven consecutive relief appearances since May 5. 

Robert Gsellman vs. Reds (1st Save)

3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

A rather strange, extended save situation for Gsellman, who was brought in relief in the seventh inning for Brandon Hughes. The 28-year-old helped secure an 11-4 blowout win for the Cubs, over the Reds.

Raisel Iglesias vs. Rangers (11th Save)

1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

A rather abbreviated save for Iglesias, who was brought in on two out in the ninth inning, after Aaron Loup surrendered a home run to Mitch Garver, and a walk to Kole Calhoun. Though Iglesias did allow an RBI double to Adolis Garcia, he was able to get Jonah Heim to strike out on a foul tip to end the game.

Devin Williams vs. Padres (3rd Save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

A swift, scoreless third save for Williams to lock in the win for the Brew Crew. Williams will continue to act as Brewers closer, as Josh Hader is on the family medical emergency list.

Dany Jiménez vs. Mariners (ninth Save)

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K

Jimenez was brought in the ninth inning with a two-run lead and secured the win for the A’s by striking out two batters. He’s converted nine out of nine save opportunities, and has an impressive 0.52 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 17 1/3 innings pitched.

Mark Melancon vs. Royals (10th Save)

1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Melancon earned his 10th save of the year by tossing a scoreless ninth with just one hit allowed in an 8-6 win over the Royals. He now improves to 10-of-11 in save chances on Tuesday, but his numbers could certainly follow suit; he has a 7.04 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in 18 appearances this season.

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Wednesday’s Matchup of the Day

Paul Blackburn (4-0, 1.91 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 34 K) vs. Robbie Ray (4-4, 4.77 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 58K)

Blackburn was originally posed to pitch in the opening series vs. the Rangers, but will face the Mariners instead. This matchup may be more favorable for Blackburn, who will carry a strong 1.91 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 34 strikeouts over 42 1/3 innings into Wednesday. As for his opponent, Robbie Ray has not seen the best of starts lately. The southpaw is 4-4 with a 4.77 ERA, and was rung up for four runs in six innings last Friday against the Red Sox. 

 

Priority Pickup

William Contreras - C/OF, Atlanta Braves - Rostered in 20% of Yahoo Leagues

Contreras should see close to everyday playing time as he’s lately proven that his bat belongs in the Braves lineup. He’s only played in 12 games, but has six homers on the season, including a two-homer effort on May 21. In 47 plate appearances, he has seven extra base hits, 10 RBI, and a stolen base, accompanied by a respectable 1.054 OPS. 

 

American League Quick Hits

White Sox placed OF Luis Robert on the COVID-19 injured list. … Yankees placed LHP Aroldis Chapman on the 15-day injured list with left Achilles tendinitis. ... DJ LeMahieu is being evaluated for left wrist discomfort. … Griffin Canning said Tuesday that he has opted not to have back surgery. … An MRI on Taylor Ward's sore neck and shoulder area came back clean. … Giancarlo Stanton left Tuesday night's game against the Orioles due to right calf tightness. ... Kyle Isbel is batting "mild illness symptoms," according to the Royals. … X-rays turned up negative on Ramón Laureano's right hand.

National League Quick Hits

Zach Davies exited Monday's start against the Royals with a right leg contusion. … Brewers placed OF Hunter Renfroe on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain. … Reds manager David Bell told reporters Tuesday that Jonathan India (hamstring) is still 10-14 days away from starting a minor league rehab assignment. … Eddie Rosario (eye) has a follow-up appointment Thursday. … Rockies manager Bud Black said Tuesday that Kris Bryant (back) is probably going to return to the injured list. … Pirates placed RHP Heath Hembree on the 15-day injured list with a right calf strain. … Pirates placed 1B/DH Daniel Vogelbach on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. … LaMonte Wade Jr. (knee) is scheduled for a three-week series of synthetic joint cushioning injections for his left knee.

Janice Scurio

Janice Scurio (@scuriiosa) is a writer that has appeared on various baseball podcasts and blogs about the White Sox over at South Side Sox.