Houston Astros lefty pitcher Wade Miley is having himself a season and it’s likely going to pay off — literally. Here’s why that’s the case so let’s look.
The Houston Astros fell in what was a wild change of momentum in last night’s bout with the Oakland A’s. Both teams were potent with the home runs. In fact, 10 home runs were smacked at Oakland Coliseum last night, a record for the facility and there are no signs of either team slowing their role soon.
The A’s did make some moves at this past trade deadline as they feel they’ve got a terrific shot and gaining a Wild Card slot in the AL ahead of the postseason. With the Houston Astros continuing to boast a lead that’s regularly in the double-digits in the AL West, our team is going to be the presumptive winner.
As little as the A’s spend on payroll, they are able to get the best bang for their buck in terms of talent and it’s something I’ve always admired by Moneyball mastermind Billy Beane. The A’s haven’t been boring to watch in quite some time — even more so this season — and they’re a formidable competitor regardless of what stage that they happen to be performing on.
They’re beating the teams that they’re favored in and have also stuck it to the likes of the Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians so far with even some quality wins over NL opponents such as the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.
It’ll be great to see these teams battle once again in tonight’s matchup featuring Justin Verlander on the bump and the A’s may beat the odds — they’re used to doing that — and immerse themselves in the postseason conversation.
But while all of that is going on — and back to my point — that Wade Miley is pitching a hell of a season so far. He’s not perfect but he keeps turning one positive start after another and the Houston Astros better thank their lucky stars they were able to get him at such a discounted rate of $4.5 million for this season.
Miley currently ranks 6th among AL starters in ERA (3.11), this is down from being two seasons removed from a 5.61 ERA during his two-season stint with the Baltimore Orioles. The 32-year-old hurler can still throw the heat, getting his fastball up to the low 90s but he has certainly reinvented himself by incorporating the cutter more in his pitching repertoire.
It has been extremely beneficial to him and it’s helping his case in a comeback that he’s waging to the likes that he likely wasn’t sure he was capable of.
Connor Byrne of MLB Trade Rumors pointed out a terrific fact of what’s holding Miley back from being great. His strikeout count and walks are still out of proportion but he has made inroads in improving such an important stat.
Miley’s K/9 last season was 5.6 off 3.01 BB/9 through 80.2 innings with the Brewers but those
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numbers have increased to 7.4 K/9 and 3.05 BB/9 through 141.2 innings with the Houston Astros. He’s still walking the same amount of guys but he’s covering that weakness with more strikeouts, solidifying his impact on the bump.
His 4.42 FIP is nothing to sneeze at either but he’s able to remain effective by minimizing the impact of the runs that he’s giving up. I would love to see him bring that number down as this is a stat that is well within his control.
But despite all of this, Miley’s 1.18 WHIP remains the lowest of his career so far which alludes to that impact thing I was talking about in the previous paragraph.
Miley is enjoying a renaissance of sorts with his productivity and he’s likely going to receive a sizeable payday.
Too bad it won’t be the Houston Astros.
Our franchise has bigger fish to fry in the offseason with inking Gerrit Cole to a long-term deal being Priority No. 1. However, I’m sure they’d offer Miley another but larger one-year deal but I’m positive he’ll politely decline and test out the market for his arm.
But for what it’s worth, let’s continue to enjoy the success story that is of one Wade Miley. It’s just as inspirational as Charlie Morton‘s — who was considering retirement at one point — and it has slowly had us all forget about Dallas Keuchel.
Keep up the good work Wade — go Houston Astros!
Miley is posting a career-best 11-4 record along with 117 strikeouts to 49 earned runs in 25 starts this season.