The Duality of Lance Lynn

Will the real Lance Lynn please stand up?

What a bizarre season it has been for Lance Lynn.

In March, Lynn represented Team USA at the World Baseball Classic, where serving as the de facto ace on the roster, he picked up a group win over Canada and started the quarterfinal game against Venezuela. All in all, he looked fine. The velocity was there, the control was decent, and he looked like the Lynn we’ve been accustomed to seeing throughout his career.

Nothing could have prepared us for the career-worst season he has produced so far in 2023. With an ERA north of six and the most home runs allowed among qualified pitchers, Lynn has been a painfully unreliable option for the White Sox every fifth day. As a fantasy manager who drafted Lynn as an SP3 on a shared NFBC team, my co-managers and I have been pulling our hair out all season watching our ratios implode.

Yet behind the awful surface stats, there lies some hope for optimism that he is still some semblance of the pitcher who finished third in Cy Young voting a mere three seasons ago. Let’s dive into this unfortunate 2023 season and dissect what has gone sideways for the big right-hander.


Tale of Two Pitchers

The most fascinating aspect of Lynn’s performance this year is how he has oscillated between two extremes. Sometimes, it looks like two completely different pitchers out there. There have been outings where he has looked indomitable, and other times, flat-out abominable. His good outings have been tremendous and his bad outings have been dreadful. Here are his three best starts this season compared to his three worst ones:

Lance Lynn’s Best and Worst Starts of 2023

This Jekyll-and-Hyde act has made it difficult to pinpoint what exactly is ailing the veteran pitcher. A cursory look at his peripherals paints an unclear picture. Despite bottom-of-the-league numbers in certain stats, Lynn ranks in the upper echelon of others.

Lance Lynn’s League Ranks Among Qualified Pitchers 2023

Tim Cheng

Tim is a Going Deep writer at PitcherList. He enjoys Bay Area sports and pondering life's greatest mysteries, like why Arson Judge still hasn't hit a home run for the Giants yet.

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