1) Matthew Boyd, LHP, Detroit Tigers
The top-tier talent that is likely to be available on the starting pitching market in the coming weeks is few in number. There are, however, a few guys that are realistic options and could be significant upgrades to the Milwaukee Brewers rotation.
Matthew Boyd of the Detroit Tigers may be the best starting pitcher available on the trade market this summer. Boyd is in the midst of a fantastic break-out season on a scuffling Detroit Tigers team.
Boyd is among the Major League leaders in pitcher’s WAR according to FanGraphs. He currently sits 14th with a 2.8 WAR.
He’s pitched 108 innings so far in 18 starts, an average of six innings per start, while posting 3.87 ERA. His underlying numbers, however, suggest he’s been even better than that.
Boyd has an FIP 3.56, an xFIP of 3.34, and a 3.03 Deserved Run Average. His excellent underlying numbers are being fueled by an incredible K/9 rate of 11.94 (a career best), with an extremely low walk rate (1.68 per/9 IP).
Boyd’s only real weakness so far this season has been on the long ball, giving up 1.56 HR/9, or a home run on 16.7% of the fly balls against him. That is a concern for a pitcher who is very fly ball dependent (his Ground Ball rate is just 36.5% this year).
This isn’t the first season in which Boyd has been decent either. He’s made improvements in his ERA, K/9, and BB/9 in each of the past three seasons before this one. He’s also posted over two WAR in each of the two seasons preceding this year, despite having a relatively high ERA.
Boyd may be the ideal option for the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s a left-handed starter, something Milwaukee has been short on for several years now including this year. He’s still relatively young (28) and has three years of team control beyond this season as well. His continued improvement suggests his major jump up this season may be real too.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Milwaukee Brewers have been scouting him for months as reported by The Athletic’s Robert Murray back on June 21st.