MLB: Revealing the American League East’s 4 Best Starting Pitchers

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David Price, Tampa Bay Rays

Aug. 6, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price sits in the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Price has been a horse of two different colors, one being decent, the other being, well, dominant, plus-more.

If you can’t wrap your head around that, I turn you to the stats:

April 2-May 15: 55 IP, 65 Hits, 14 BB, 49 K’s, 5.24 ERA

July 2- August 3: 57.1 IP, 38 Hits, 1 BB, 40 K’s, 1.57 ERA

Now you should being seeing the disparity. It’s pretty big. Throw the two time periods together and you get a 3.36 ERA, which is solid, but not “David Price solid,” if that makes sense.

The quandary with Price has been his velocity, or lack of. FanGraphs had his velocity at 95.5 mph in 2012, but in 2013, that’s dipped to a cool 93.3 mph. Brooks Baseball’s numbers are a tad different number-wise, but there’s still a two mile-per-hour difference.

Brooks Baseball provides us with his month-by-month velocity readings:

April: 94.3

May: 94.5

July: 94.8

August: 93.5

Price has been excellent since July, but his fastball hasn’t had its normal pop. The difference has been the effectiveness of his other pitches, which have yielded numbers hovering the Mendoza Line since he came off the DL.

The velocity talk aside, Price is mustering another solid year after winning the AL Cy Young award last year. There are a handful of pitchers in the AL East with better ERAs, better strikeout rates and what not, but it’s hard not to look at Price’s latest stretch and deem him anything less than the AL East’s best.