So, Let’s Talk About Ivan Nova
He's put up ridiculous numbers lately, but let's pump the brakes
Most MLB fans remember Ivan Nova as a member of the New York Yankees.
Since then, the veteran righty has bounced around on a couple other teams before landing on the Chicago White Sox.
In the month of April, he was arguably the worst starting pitcher in baseball. See for yourself:
- 5 GS, (0-3), 25.2 IP, 39 H, 24 ER (8.42 ERA), 18 K, 6 BB
He struggled in the months of May (5.08 ERA) and June (4.89 ERA), but due to a lack of options, the White Sox allowed him to stay in their rotation. And, in one of the strangest and most improbable turn of events that the 2019 baseball season has seen, Nova has suddenly turned into a dominant pitcher.
Over his last seven starts, the White Sox have won six games and Nova has posted a sparkling 0.94 ERA.
But, let's pump the brakes a bit.
Here are some more details about his current hot streak:
- He threw a complete-game shutout on August 13th against the Houston Astros and a complete-game, 1-run performance against the Miami Marlins on July 22nd.
- He allowed 2 HRs in 48.0 innings.
- He’s only struck out 25 batters in those 48.0 innings and even openly admitted to just trying to get the ball over the plate.
As you might imagine, he’s been insanely lucky.
- Opposing hitters have a .226 BABIP against him during that span and he has a 4.83 xFIP compared to his 0.94 ERA. These are major signs of future regression.
- But, he has allowed a lot of soft contact. In fact, he’s surrendered a 26.2% hard hit rate in that span.
The Atlanta Braves have a formidable offense that can light up any pitcher on any given night. It will be fascinating to see if Nova’s good fortune can continue tonight. Atlanta opened as large -210 home favorites.
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Note: Advanced stats were found on FanGraphs.