Can Mat Latos Dominate Again This Year?

Jul 22, 2011


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Mat Latos has been good since starting 0-4 with a 4.98 ERA in April. He just hasn’t been great. Since that rocky first month of the year he’s 5-6 with a 3.78 ERA. He was solid in May picking up his most wins (3), but his ERA (3.38) wasn’t special. June (4.82 ERA) was a step above April only because he managed to pick up a couple of wins. July has been his best month for ERA (3.10), but he’s winless in two decisions.
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This is a guy that went 14-10 last year with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Obviously those numbers would be hard to replicate because they were so good, but can he be dominant again?
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I think it’s going to be tough. In Latos’ 18 starts he has just two starts that he pitched at least six innings and allowed one run. He’s had just five in which he pitched at least six innings and allowed two runs. He has yet to have a scoreless start. In order to be truly dominant you need to be able to shut down your opponent at a much higher rate.
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Last year Latos’ best months were between May and August. His high monthly ERA during that span was 2.37. He was nearly unhittable. Then came September. He was downright rotten that month going 1-4 with a 6.21 ERA. In his cup of coffee in 2009 Latos struggled in August/September posting a 2-4 record with a 5.56 ERA.  Not exactly the trend you’re looking for from a pitcher as you head down the home stretch.
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Latos hasn’t been as lucky this year. After posting a .273  BABIP last year he is at .309 this year. He’s been better this month (.267), but Latos strikeouts are down(9.2 K/9 to 8.2 K/9), his walks are up (2.4 (BB/9 to 3.3 BB/9), and his strand rate is down (77.4% to 68.7%).
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Even if Latos can avoid the fall slump, his offense just isn’t potent enough to count on for wins. Latos has been able to avoid the disaster game this year so he’s still a must-start. He just won’t be reminding his fantasy owners of 2010 for the most part.
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