Chicago Cubs: Better options loom over Justin Verlander

(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Shaky start

The 2016 Cy Young finalist is not having his relative past success thus far in 2017. Verlander is 5-5 with a 4.96 ERA and has already walked 47 batters this season.

He walked 57 total in 2016.

His BB/9 (4.35) is double his 2016 total (2.25), his K/9 (8.45) has diminished, though is still in line with his career norms, and his 2016 total (10.04) represented the third highest of his career.

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Verlander’s BABIP of .317 might help indicate some tough luck. His teams’ DER is towards the bottom of the league, but he’s still serving up harder contact. His line drive rate is 23.8 percent versus 18.1 percent through the same 17 starts comparison a year ago.

It’s been a widely broached subject as to why he is struggling so much, especially as it appeared Verlander had righted his ship last season, proving he was healthy after 2015. Among the storylines around Verlander have been whether he is tipping his pitches.

In fact, two of his very worst performances of the season came against the Indians, as he allowed a total of 16 runs in just over seven innings combined.