MLB Starting Pitchers Report: Ashby Ready To Dominate

Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Aaron Ashby (26)
Image Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB is one of the most analytical-based sports in the entire world. There are advanced metrics for basically every stat, allowing us to predict regression throughout the season for MLB starting pitchers. In this article, I’ll outline some starting pitchers for this slate and where they could see regression. You’ll also find my regression chart posted below.

MLB Starting Pitchers Today: Friday, July 8

Aaron Ashby: Milwaukee Brewers

Matchup: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers | 8:10 pm ET

Outlook: Positive – throwing better than 4.60 ERA indicates

Ashby has been an incredibly unlucky pitcher throughout his MLB career. His 4.60 ERA sits well above an elite 2.99 xFIP through 58.2 innings this season. He also ended last season with a 4.55 ERA and 3.05 xFIP over 31.2 innings.

The left-hander struggled a bit in recent games, posting a 4.94 and 4.17 xFIP against the New York Mets and Washington Nationals. Excluding those starts, he’s posted xFIPs below 2.00 in 4 of his last 5 starts.

Ashby gets a great matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight. He struggled against them in his last start, but he ended the game with a 1.87 xFIP. It’s only a matter of time before his ERA starts to sync with his elite advanced metrics.

Bottom Line: Ashby’s consistently posted worse baseline numbers than his advanced metrics. He’s due for quite a bit of positive regression, and he’s throwing at an absurdly high level this season. He should find plenty of success against Pittsburgh tonight.

Lucas Giolito: Chicago White Sox

Matchup: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox | 8:10 pm ET

Outlook: Positive – throwing better than 4.90 ERA suggests

Giolito has struggled quite a bit through the 2022 season. He owns a 5-4 record with a 4.90 ERA through 14 starts. He’s due for positive regression, though, as he also owns a 3.69 xFIP.

Although he hasn’t performed as well throughout this season, his xFIP sits below what he posted in 2021 (3.75). Giolito’s advanced metrics suggest that he’s throwing at an extremely high level for the fourth season in a row, regardless of his ERA. He’s coming off of two solid starts against the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels.

Giolito gets a great matchup against the Detroit Tigers tonight. They’re a team that struggles mightily against right-handed pitching, and I’m not expecting that to change in this matchup.

Bottom Line: Giolito’s throwing at the same level as previous seasons, but he hasn’t found as much success. He saw some positive regression in his last start, and I’m expecting that to continue tonight.

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Aaron Civale: Cleveland Guardians

Matchup: Cleveland Guardians at Kansas City Royals | 8:10 pm ET

Outlook: Positive – throwing better than 7.04 ERA suggests

Let me preface this by saying that Civale isn’t an overly good pitcher at this point. He’s simply better than his 7.04 ERA suggests. His xFIP sits at only 4.30, which isn’t great but it’s on par with his xFIP from last season.

After starting the season out poorly, Civale’s actually been throwing at a higher level recently. He’s posted an xFIP under 3.85 in 5 of his last 6 starts. He’s posted an ERA under his xFIP in only 1 of those starts, though.

Civale gets an interesting matchup against Kansas City tonight. This is a matchup that he can perform well in, although I’m concerned about this being an away start.

Bottom Line: Civale has actually thrown well in recent games, but his baseline metrics don’t show that. I have some concerns about him as a pitcher, but it’s only a matter of time until his ERA starts to reflect his recent performances.