This article is part of our Regan's Rumblings series.
Swinging strike percentage (SwStr%) is calculated by dividing total swinging strikes by total number of pitches. It is used as one measure of dominance for starting pitchers and has historically correlated fairly well to strikeout rate and even ERA. This week we will examine 10 pitchers with better than average swinging strike rates, but not necessarily above average overall performance in terms of ERA and other factors. The theory here is that if a pitcher is more dominant related to his SwStr%, in theory, his overall results should over time, trend towards above average. He may be getting unlucky on balls in play, allowing too many fly balls, or just facing some tough opponents. Being able to identify guys who could start trending up could help you get an edge. As a point of comparison, of the 87 starters that currently have enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, the average SwStr% is 11.1%.
Gerrit Cole, HOU (15.7 SwStr%, 4.11 ERA)
14 of the 30 runs Cole has allowed this year have come in two starts, as otherwise he's been excellent and should be going forward. His SwStr% ranks fourth in the league, and Cole's 13.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 are both excellent. His 96.7 mph average fastball and 5.9 BB/K are both career bests, and I'd be pretty surprised if his ERA the rest of the way was above 3.00. Like many hurlers, Cole has been burned by the long ball (1.5 HR/9), though a 20.8 percent