Based on ZiPS projections, Triston McKenzie is expected to finish 2021 with the following stats:
4.93 ERA, 4.90 FIP, 9.73 K/9, 3.43 BB/9, 65.7 IP, 0.6 fWAR
Read what our writers think, then vote in the poll below and drop your own opinions in the comments and on the Let’s Go Tribe Discord.
Matt Lyons’s Prediction: OVER
At first glance, Triston McKenzie’s projections from ZiPS are sort of shocking. After years of hype and a promising debut season, the venerable projection system has him finishing his first full year adding barely over a half a win to Cleveland.
A lot of McKenzie’s shortcomings are predicated on him pitching in just 16 games with 14 starts. That could very well happen if his slender frame and recent injury history make a full season’s worth of games tough on the 23-year-old. However, even if that is the case, I think he will blow that 4.93 ERA out of the water.
I’m sure ZiPS sees fly balls as a potential issue for McKenzie, and it clearly doesn’t think he’ll strand over 80% of the runners he puts on base again. It doesn’t seem to believe in the 33.1% strikeout rate he posted last year as it puts down to 23.8%. I do believe in the strikeout rate, though, and I believe in his overall ability to fool batters with his lively fastball and deceptive fastball.
Again, health will be a concern, but even if he only pitches in the projected 65.7 innings, this feels like an easy over to start this preview series.
Will Triston McKenzie finish with an fWAR over or under 0.6?
This poll is closed
Tomorrow’s player: Andrés Giménez