Somewhere between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, I had given up on Jake Peavy's season. Not only was Peavy's ERA moving at warp speed towards 5.00, but his normally sharp control had seemingly lost its edge.
On Monday's edition of Fantasy Baseball Today, I largely dismissed the possibility that moving to AT&T Park would help Peavy in any significant way. In doing so, there were two key stats that I overlooked.
Over his last 13 starts with Boston, Peavy did improve his control to a level that was not much worse than what he displayed over the three previous seasons, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings. That's not exactly pinpoint control, but it could be good enough if he just didn't allow so many homers. Getting out of the American League East and into AT&T Park could help quite a bit with that.
Then there's the second number: .311. That's the batting average Peavy has allowed on grounders this season. There's a certain amount of bad luck involved with that, but the Red Sox as a staff has yielded a .255 average on ground balls, as opposed to the major league norm of .245. Particularly prior to Stephen Drew's arrival, the Red Sox had not been getting great defense from the left side of their infield, so that could have easily played a role in Peavy's 1.43 WHIP with Boston.
The Giants, on the other hand, have held opponents to a National League-low .216 batting average on grounders. I would expect the Rockies or Reds, whose infield defenses are notably good, to own a stat like that rather than the Giants, but they could present Peavy with enough of a defensive upgrade to make a difference.
The weekend trade has already sparked a modest bump in Peavy's ownership rate in CBSSports.com leagues, as it has increased from 42 to 49 percent. More mixed league owners should consider stashing Peavy within the next two weeks, as the Giants will have three week-long home stands between mid-August and mid-September.