I understand that Jon Lester’s 4.49 ERA and 4.25 FIP aren’t going to get anyone excited, but there is still good reason to believe BDJ is going to produce throughout September.
According to the Baseball Prospectus statistic CSAA, Lester ranks in the top 1% of all pitchers, sitting 5th overall. CSAA measures called strikes outside the reference zone and BP describes the metric as a “proxy” for one’s ability to locate pitches. Lester’s exceptional command has led to his best BB/9 (2.47) since 2016 (2.31) and 16% more grounders than last season.
Granted, Lester’s expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA) of .344 ranks in the bottom 20% of MLB. Much of damage against him, though, has come in August (.407 xwOBA) during starts against quality offenses of the Cardinals, Athletics, Reds, and Nationals.
Lester will have to implement slight tweaks to get better results going forward, but his air-tight command might be a prognostic indicator of successful starts to come.