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Chien-Ming Wang

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I am a little ahead of the curve but I've got to say it.  Buy Chien-Ming Wang low.  He had another strikeoutless outing today going three innings and allowing 2 runs on 5 hits.  He has now thrown 5 innings without a strikeout.  I know he's an extreme groundball pitcher, but I expect all those balls being put into play are going to treat Wang the same way it treats all other pitchers who do not strikeout hitters.  He's going to allow runs!

When he does, you've got to be ready to pounce on him because as quickly as the pendulum can swing towards  a high BABIP, it can just as quickly turn back to a low one.  The example I am considering is Jake Westbrook.  

Last year, Westbrook began the year with a 5.60 ERA through the end of April.  He had fulfilled all the prognostications about an extreme groundball pitcher - balls-in-play are out of the pitcher's control and enough of them in-play will lead to more hits.  More hits leads to more runs allowed.    Then he quietly recovered, but his WHIP was never so dominant as to bring down the bad one from April.  Wait for the same situation to occur to Wang.  Then pounce!  (FWIW, Westbrook's GB/FB ratio is 3.01 -  a mere .05 lower than Wang's ratio!)

From a historical perspective, Westbrook had a great season in 2004 with a 3.38 ERA in 215 innings with just 116 punchouts.  In 2005, his peripherals remained as close to constant as feasible, but his ERA rose more than a full point.  Last year, his ERA dropped while this K/BB ratio remained the same.  But his hits allowed went up significantly.  What is more noteworthy though, is Westbrook's SLG against remained in the .400 area for the three seasons.  All that differed was the BAA.

More frightening, Westbrook strikeouts 33% more hitters!