Giants Matt Moore: 2017 Starting Pitching Sleeper?

The Giants have an interesting rotation entering 2017. One of the pitchers improved greatly when he arrived in San Francisco and his name is Matt Moore.

The San Francisco Giants have one of the better starting rotations in the league. As long as everyone can hold up their end of the bargain, then they have a great chance to win the National League West again. One of the key pieces was acquired at the trade deadline and he is Matt Moore.

Moore spent five and a half seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays before moving out west. He finished with a 3.88 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 39-28 record. He also had an 8.2 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9. Those are really good numbers, especially for pitching in the American League East and missing most of 2014 and part of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

In his short time with the Giants to end the 2016 season, Moore looked just as good. He made 12 starts and finished 6-5 with a 4.08 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 3.53 FIP. His strikeout rate went up from 7.5 to 9.1 K/9, but so did his walk rate, 2.8 to 4.2

Throwing against pitchers will help elevate his K/9, but the walk rate is a bit surprising. However, Moore has made improvements in his control.

From 2011 to 2014, he walked 11.1% of the batters he faced. He walked just 8.6 percent of batters.

I think a full season in the NL will benefit Moore greatly. National League hitters had a higher strikeout rate compared to their American League counterparts, 21.5 to 20.7 percent.

It also helps that AT&T Park is pitcher-friendly. It was 30th in home runs, but was in the top-10 in both doubles and triples. Moore will have to rely heavily on his outfielders to keep opposing batters from getting extra base hits. He allowed more than 20 home runs just once and that was last season, 20 with Tampa Bay and five with the Giants.

If Moore can keep the walks to a minimum and take advantage of the free-swinging batters in the division, then he could have another bounce back season, like his teammate.

I have Moore ranked outside my top-50 starting pitchers, but others have him closer to 50. His ranking could easily change from now until Opening Day. He is good No. 4 pitcher to have in standard leagues.