Kevin Millwood always seems to improve in the heat of summer.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Over the past two weeks we have investigated which hitters have a historical tendency to turn it on in the second half of the season. Now it's time to turn our attention to the pitching side of the ball and see who comes to play and who coasts through the end of the season.
Our third stop is in the American League West where most viable pitching options seem to struggle in the second half of the season.
But one of the few Western Division pitchers who improves in the heat of summer is Texas Rangers starter Kevin Millwood. Millwood's ERA drops almost three-quarters of a point (4.37 to 3.61) and his WHIP drops as well (1.36 to 1.24) while his winning percentage rises.
Millwood's young teammate, 25-year-old Brandon McCarthy, also improves as the season goes on, although he has only made 50 starts in his five-year career. Still, his ERA and WHIP both make huge strides after the All-Star break.
At the other end of the spectrum are fantasy mainstays: Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver and Erik Bedard. They are owned in more than 75% of all fantasy leagues and their owners should be aware of their past history.
Both Saunders and Weaver take big hits in their ERA and WHIP although both maintain a high winning percentage in the second half. Meanwhile, Bedard is 16 games over .500 before the break and five games under .500 afterwards with a corresponding drop in both ERA and WHIP.
First Half/Second Half Pitching Statistics for Selected AL West Starters