Pop quiz, hot shot: Which pitcher entered Friday tied for the league lead in wins (three) and had the majors’ lowest ERA (0.90)?
If your guess was Randy Dobnak, the bespectacled Twins pitcher with a 4.99 Uber driver rating (yes, he drove an Uber while pitching in the minors) and the Goose Gossage-like mustache, you obviously cheated and saw his accompanying picture.
But, it’s true. Through his first four starts, Dobnak was leading the league in both categories. He also had the 17th lowest opponent batting average (.183), the 15th best WHIP (0.900) and was in the top 30 in fewest walks (2.25 per nine innings).
Dobnak’s 88.9 percent strand rate, which is better than Justin Verlander’s league-best 88.4 percent in 2019, was ranked 11th, and his 66.7 percent groundball rate was the best in the majors.
These numbers, especially that groundball rate, are even more important when you take into consideration he is striking out just 4.95 per nine innings. If a pitcher is not going to strikeout batters, he must find other ways to get outs. And, right now, Dobnak is doing exactly that.
So, the big question is this: Is this guy for real? Let’s take a look:
Dobnak, the most…