Ivan Nova‘s numbers this year are far from flattering, and we’ve covered some theories behind why he might have a 5.69 ERA this season. A changeup issue appears to be responsible for some of his homeruns, but his slider has improved his strikeout rates. He’s currently looking at a 9.55 K/9, a 1.89 HR/9, and a .393 BABIP. It’s unlikely that Nova’s BABIP could legitimately jump .100 points in one season, and if you’ve watched his starts, bloop hits and groundball singles have become a common occurrence. As his BABIP regresses, I expect him to figure out his homerun issues, but also expect to see hitters figure out his slider. Patience will bring his ERA closer to that 3.47 xFIP he’s currently sporting, and there is no better team or stadium to get it started against tonight.
Nova’s major fault in 2012 is his absurd 19.2% HR/FB rate. Fortunately, O.co Coliseum ranked 26th overall in home run rates for 2011.… Click here to read the rest