This stat proves Zack Wheeler has truly been the most underrated pitcher in MLB

May 18, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres in the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
May 18, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres in the sixth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phillies share stat that proves Zack Wheeler has been more dominant than Max Scherzer

Anyone who’s been paying attention to the Philadelphia Phillies over the last three seasons knows that Zack Wheeler is brutally underrated.

Since signing with the Phillies ahead of the 2020 season, Wheeler has a 2.90 ERA over 50 starts totaling 323 innings. In 2021, led MLB in innings pitched, complete games, shutouts, and batters faced, and led the National League in strikeouts. He was the first pitcher to notch 200 in both strikeouts and innings pitched. For his efforts, he finished runner-up to Milwaukee Brewers starter Corbin Burnes, who only threw 167 innings last year and essentially only won because his ERA was lower.

Don’t even get me started on Wheeler’s All-Star Game snub last summer.

Anyway, Wheeler made his 50th start in a Phillies uniform on Wednesday night, a seven-inning shutout gem in which he struck out a season-high nine batters and didn’t issue a walk. It’s his third shutout start in his last four games. Since getting rocked by the Miami Marlins on April 17, he has a 2.03 ERA over 31 innings, and opposing batters are hitting .214/.254/.304 with a .558 OPS against him.

That all sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

According to the Phillies’ communications department’s Twitter account @PhilliesNotes, his latest start puts Wheeler at the top of an impressive list.

"“Since joining the Phillies prior to 2020, Zack Wheeler now has nine starts of 7+ IP and 0 ER allowed which is most in MLB over the last three seasons (next: Scherzer, 8).”"

Any time you’re mentioned in the same sentence as Max Scherzer, you’re either doing something right, or he struck you out.

But what this stat – and a host of other metrics – prove is that the same should be said about Wheeler. His excellence shouldn’t be overlooked just because the Phillies haven’t reached the postseason during his tenure. The Phillies eked out a winning record last year for the first time since 2011, and that doesn’t happen without their ace on the mound for over 200 innings. Imagine if the Phillies had backed him up with a remotely-competent bullpen.

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