Kansas City Royals (two-inning) starter Burch Smith pulled off an ugly double-double: Highest leverage faced in the game (0.77) but lowest WPA to come out of it (-.114). That’s what you call a really bad game.
Easy game MVP today: Lucas Giolito, tripling the WPA of every other player on the field but Daniel Palka (.194). Giolito had a season-best 74 game score over 6 1⁄3 innings, with two hits, three walks and six Ks.
The catcher platoon of Kevan Smith and Omar Narváez has hit .355 with eight doubles, three homers, 22 RBIs since June 1.
Over his last two starts, Giolito has surrendered just two earned runs in 13 1⁄3 innings, for a 1.35 ERA.
Since being recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on June 5, Smith has gone hitless in just two of the 27 games he’s played.
Entering play today, Matt Davidson had the highest percentage of deep counts in all of baseball, at 37.7%. While Davidson’s .220 batting average is the same as last year’s, without working deeper into counts (4.19 pitches per plate appearance in 2017, 4.43 this year), his average would be even lower. Ahead in the count this season, Davidson is hitting .366/.591/.803.