4 Dodgers players who will maintain their hot starts (and 1 who won't)

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
4 of 5

Julio Urías

Will he maintain his start? Yes.

Last year, the advanced metrics would have told you that Julio Urías had a better season statistically than he should have. His expected numbers were better than his actual numbers by a decent amount, but this season is different.

Urías' Stacast profile as a pitcher looks very similar to Will Smith's from a hitting perspective. Smith has a few extremely selective weaknesses, and with one exception, Urías is no different. He is below average in extension (how close a pitcher's release point is to the plate, the closer the better) and fastball velocity, but those two stats don't make up who Urías is as a pitcher at all. The only worrying stat for Urías is his below-average whiff rate.

When you look elsewhere in Urías' Statcast page, it is about as positive as it can get. Across the board, his numbers are great. As I mentioned earlier, Urías' whiff rate is below average. However, hitters are still struggling to lay off Urias' pitches, resulting in an 89th percentile chase rate.

Pair that chase rate with a walk rate of 3.0% (87th percentile) and a strikeout rate of 30.3% (82nd percentile), and you have an elite pitcher.

Urías contended for the NL Cy Young Award last year, but Statcast had his xERA at 2.81, while his actual ERA was 2.16. This year, Urias' significantly-improved strikeout rate (he has seen a 6% increase in strikeouts from last season's numbers) and a walk rate that was cut in half from last season have led him to a 1.98 xERA and a 1.50 actual ERA. While his Statcast numbers from last year seemed to suggest that a down year this season was possible, those same metrics from last season seem to indicate that Urías is on pace for the best season of his career so far.