Ranger Suarez shocked the world last season with the Phillies. Never a huge prospect in their system, he dazzled with his 1.36 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. The league seems to be adjusting well this season as Ranger now sits with a 4.69 ERA after 10 starts. He was struggling to get outs and miss bats early in the season, and while he is still getting knocked around a bit, I like the progression we are seeing in his K numbers. He is in a nice spot to keep that going.
Ranger had 12 K in 18.1 innings in April. Since that point, he has accumulated 30 K in 29.2 innings. Last year he had almost exactly 1 K per inning, and I think that is where we can expect him to hover the rest of the way. Tonight, we need 5 strikeouts out of him, a feat he has achieved in 4 of his last 5 starts and 2 of his last 3 on the road. While he does not get too deep into games, he has been more efficient on the road. He averages about 5.5 innings on the road, a nice improvement on his 4.3 average at home. If he gets through the 5th tonight, I do not believe he will have much trouble hitting this one for us.
In all honesty, this pick is more about the Brew crew than it is Suarez. The Brewers have the most strikeouts in the league over the last 15 days, and a large part of that is their struggles vs lefties. They have the 4th worst K rate vs lefties over the last 30 days at 24.7%, and have a 25.1% K rate for the season. They have been dominated by several of the last lefty starters they have faced: Gore had 10 K, Manaea had 8 K, Steele had 6 K, and Snell had 7 K. Ranger is not the strongest pitcher in the league by any means, but he should be able to pick up 5+ K in this matchup.