My Orioles contact alerted me to the fact that Jason Hammel has the 2nd most victories in the League and is off to a terrific 5-1 start overall. I started wondering if he could be in for one of those mid-career break out seasons (see John Denny 1983).
Hammel is coming off a pretty good 2012 (8-6, 3.43 ERA, 1.237 WHIP, 123 ERA+ in 118 Innings - DL Stint July and August) - Perhaps Mr Hammel's good start is a sign of things to come the rest of the season.
Unfortunately for the Orioles that hypothesis appears to be false...
The first sign is Hammell's 4.10 ERA which translates to and ERA+ of 103. Both numbers pretty much summarize how pedestrian his season has been. His WHIP, Hits Walks and HRs per 9 innings are all up over his 2012 numbers. His K/9 and K/BB ratios are both down from last season. The promise of 2012 isn't showing up in the auxiliary numbers just in the Win Loss column.
Looking inside his game logs we see that Jason Hammel has been the beneficiary of tremendous run support. He is getting 6.7 runs/game. The Orioles are averaging under 4.5 runs for the remaining starters - that is +difference of 2 runs/game in Hammel's favor. In 6 of his 7 starts he has gotten 5 or more runs. His lone loss was 4-3 to the Twins over a month ago (4/7/2013). Hammel has also faced a fairly soft schedule in 2013 - five of his 7 starts have been v teams that are currently below .500.
There are 6 MLB pitchers with 5 or more wins: Buchholz @ 6, Matt Moore, Darvish, Jordan Zimmermann, Lance Lynn, and Hammel all at 5. My guess is that none of this bunch reach 20. Of the set I think Hammel is the least likely to hit 15. Just guessing I would out Hammel at 13 Wins for the year if he stays healthy.