Mets starting pitcher RA Dickey is more than just a great a story. He is a solid hurler who earned his billing as the number two pitcher in the Mets rotation. April is traditionally not a good month for the knuckleball, and yet Dickey has five brilliant performances and one disastrous outing. On that note, he is 4-1 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Though he remains susceptible to the home run (seven in six starts), Dickey is also something of a strikeout artist this season with 32 K’s in 38.1 innings of work.
Considering the knuckleball is an all-or-nothing pitch, ERA and WHIP may not be the best indicators for his performance. After all, when a knuckleballer doesn’t have his pitch, he is left with a very hittable fastball. That explains why after six starts, half of Dickey’s earned runs came in one ugly implosion.
A statistic that is better in tune with Dickey’s performance is quality start percentage. It requires six or more innings while allowing three or fewer runs to score. In his breakout 2010 season, Dickey offered a quality start in 18 of his 26 starts (69%). Last season he finished on a tear and offered a solid 68% quality start percentage. Finally, this season Dickey has taken it to a whole new level at 83%.
Dickey’s next two starts won’t be slam dunks. He faces the Marlins in Miami, then heads north for the Blue Jays in Toronto. What’s interesting is that both games could be played indoors. This could have an impact for a knuckleballer who relies on the wind to keep the ball moving. Regardless, Dickey has proven to be an every week start in fantasy baseball leagues, and now that he is also getting strikeouts there are very few holes in his game.
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