The month of June is the heart of summer and with the summer comes heat.
This is also true in Major League Baseball. Many teams across the league are scorching hot in the month of June. One such team is the Cleveland Guardians, who have gained tremendous ground in the AL Central division race. The team has been much better of late and is one of the surprising teams of the summer.
What should make this more enticing for Guardians fans is while they have gotten stellar pitching, but there is still room for improvement.
While his record may not be a good reflection of this, MLBbro Triston McKenzie has been one of the best pitchers in the Guardian’s rotation. The young pitcher who struggled in his first two seasons but showed various gifts on the mound has vastly improved. Sure, he has only a 4-5 record but a deeper dive into his starts shows more consistency than his record would suggest.
Opponents hit less than .200 against McKenzie, showing he’s winning more than his fair share of matchups with opposing hitters. Even though velocity on his fastball has dropped some, he is still able to rely on a powerful curve ball and a nasty slider.
McKenzie has been a victim of circumstance, as is the case with starting pitchers. In his starts, the Guardians offense has been sub-par. Cleveland normally averages over 4.6 runs per game. That drops down to just above 3.7 runs per game in games started by McKenzie. In four of his five losses, he held opponents to a .190 batting average.
But the Guardians have been a terrific offensive team overall and this should not be a continuous problem so long as their young pitcher continues to be effective.
MLBbro McKenzie was fantastic in his last start, lasting six innings and only giving up one run. He also added six strikeouts en route to another quality start in a 4-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. His 5.484 H/9 leads the American League and he should only continue his dominance over opposing hitters as the year goes on.
McKenzie has to cut down on serving up dingers. He’s given up multiple home runs in four of his 11 starts. He has given up more home runs than any other starter in the Guardian rotation. If he can cut back on some of the home runs, he has allowed, he can be even more dominant against opposing teams.
The 2022 season has been a great one for McKenzie. His pitches have been effective, and hitters have made truly little contact against him. He has dominated left-handed hitters, especially keeping their OBP below .250.
As long as the Guardians continue their winning ways, MLBbro McKenzie is sure to rack up many more wins over the next few months. If he can match the rest of his astonishing stats then the city of Cleveland will have another star pitcher to go along with Shane Bieber.
Triston is healthy and focused, and ready to continue rising to the occasion in the middle of the Guardian’s hot streak.