PITTSBURGH — Trevor Williams has been something of an enigma in 2018.

If you ask an average fan, Williams might be the Pirates best starting pitcher, with a 2.72 ERA entering Sunday.

If you ask a much more sabremetrically inclined one, Williams’ 4.88 xFIP is a sign that he’s very unlikely to be able to maintain his hot start.

But sometimes stats like FIP and xFIP don’t really tell the whole picture when it comes to an individual pitcher. Because they exclude and normalize balls in play, they minimize the very one thing that Williams is usually trying to do the most: get weak contact.

In the past, Williams’ two-seam fastball has been his primary weapon in getting weak ground balls. This year, he’s used his changeup to get weak fly balls. But either way, Williams’ goal on the mou...

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