Top Performer #1: Dallas Keuchel
I won’t bore with you the details about Keuchel’s struggles last season. The injured shoulder, decreased velocity and a raised strike zone were detrimental factors from one degree to another. Keuchel was just simply not the same bearded pitcher that garnered our admiration.
Anyway, that is old news. Or as old as three strong starts could possibly make it. And Keuchel has looked the part of the “ace” that Houston apparently needed all offseason long.
2017 Statistics: 21.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 15 SO, .113 BABIP, 73.1% GB%, 0.86 ERA, 3.60 FIP
You must remember that this is a relatively small sample size. For example, Keuchel’s BABIP will not remain this low all season long. Marco Estrada of the Toronto Blue Jays maintained a .234 BABIP, which was the lowest in baseball last season. Keuchel, in 2015, had a .265 BABIP. And his 3.60 FIP means we could see some regression relatively soon.
Take that with a grain of salt, though, as Keuchel has resembled the pitcher that won the 2015 AL Cy Young. That season he had a 2.91 FIP to go with a 2.48 ERA. Keuchel’s start to this season could be the norm for him. At least for this year.