Opponents hit just .213 off of Keuchel’s changeup in 2019, and that’s with a neutral .286 BABIP on the pitch. The pitch continues to yield solid ground-ball rates and a very respectable 27.7 K%.
Keuchel’s sinker bounceback from a horrid 2018 season in which he walked more than he struckout. His exit-velocity against rose in 2019 however so his wOBA ended up being very close but his groundball rate rose back over 70% and that’s exactly what you want from it.
Keuchel leaned heavily into the cutter as his speed offering in 2019, and results were mixed. The pitch yielded a .363 opponent wOBA and 130 wRC+, and that’s with a below-average .226 opponent BABIP.
A slider that was used to get swings outside the zone in 2019, Keuchel’s saw its swinging-strike rate go back up to a respectable 15.5%. He used it mostly against lefties away early in the season but started towards the end of the year to use it more against righties.
Keuchel’s go-to pitch was his two-seamer, which helped him lead the league in ground-ball rate again with a 66.2% mark on the offering. As you would expect, he lives or dies by his defense, as the BABIP on this pitch fluctuates year to year.
While Keuchel’s slider normally gets a ton of whiffs, his O-swing and swinging-strike rates both dropped drastically in 2019, showing that batters weren’t chasing like they normally would. Still, he got an elite 43% strikeout rate on the pitch.
Keuchel used his four-seamer more in 2018 to get a strike, as its zone percentage went up from 36.8 to 54.0. It was also the fastest he’s been able to throw it since 2016.
Keuchel’s pitch that got the most swinging-strikes was his cutter, which unfortunately had an increase in fly-ball rate and a decrease in HR/FB% from 2017 to 2018—meaning he may not be as lucky in 2019 with the pitch.
With some good arm-side movement, Keuchel’s changeup was still decent, albeit was worse than 2017. It saw its swinging-strike and O-swing rates drop, and its contact, fly-ball, and line-drive percentages go up.