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Over/Under 2023 Preview: Aaron Civale

Will Aaron Civale be worth more or less than 1.2 fWAR in 2023?

Division Series - Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees - Game Five Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Based on ZiPS projections, Aaron Civale is expected to finish 2023 with the following stats:

21 GS, 109.0 IP, 21.9% K%, 6.4% BB%, 4.21 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 1.2 fWAR

Read what our writers think, then vote in the poll below and drop your own opinions in the comments and on the Covering the Corner Discord.

Quincy Wheeler’s prediction: UNDER

In 2022, Aaron Civale had the highest strikeout rate of his career at 24.1% and the lowest full-season walk rate at 5.4%. His xERA of 3.80 and xFIP of 3.62 indicate some positive regression ahead for the pitcher. He can throw upwards of seven different pitches and his work ethic is renowned. There are plenty of reasons to think that he will be set for a rebound and maybe even a breakout season in 2023.

So, why am I predicting the under? It goes back to the old adage — injured players tend to get injured. Last year, Civale ended up on the injured list three times with wrist inflammation, forearm inflammation, and a strained glute. In 2021, he missed significant time with a finger injury. He threw 124 innings in 2021 and only 97 innings in 2022. ZiPS sees him with 109 innings in 2023 and that seems somewhat optimistic given his experiences last season.

Also noteworthy, the underlying metrics in 2022 were not all positive for Civale, as his 40% hard-hit rate given up was the highest of his career. He also saw significant decline in the value of his cutter, a pitch that was 14.4 runs above average in 2021 but 0.5 runs below average in 2022. He struggles at times to find the right pitch mix, and his velocity does not give him much margin for error if he misses his location.

Unfortunately, as much as I believe in Aaron Civale’s talent and as much confidence as I have that a healthy he can put 2-3 fWAR, the safer bet seems to be that he will probably pitch around 100 innings in 2023 and deal with an injury at some point, missing significant time. I also would like to see that he’s figured out his issues with his cutter and hard contact given up before picking the over on ZiPS’ projection for 2023.

I am a big Civale fan, however, and no one would be happier to be wrong when he has a great season for the Guardians than me, but for now I am predicting the slight under.


Will Aaron Civale finish with an fWAR over or under 1.2?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    (112 votes)
  • 32%
    (55 votes)
167 votes total Vote Now

Tomorrow’s player: Triston McKenzie