I get quite a bit of e-mail from those asking for fantasy baseball advice. People want to know who to drop, who to pickup, and whether or not a certain proposed trade bodes well for them. Though I do not consider myself to be an expert, by any means, there are certain tips I usually give out, many of which are derived from this site.
One recent e-mail included the following question: “Should I trade Roy Oswalt? He’s got a 5.33 ERA and is giving up a ton of home runs.”
Though I initially scoffed at the idea of getting rid of arguably the most consistently good pitcher of the decade, it soon dawned on me that fantasy baseball still uses more conventional statistics. In an online world where BA, W-L, and ERA still run rampant his “dilemma” is more of, well, a dilemma. Still, though…
Oswalt has not posted an ERA+ under 125 since 2004 and has been a lock for 30+ starts, 210+ innings, and 150+ strikeouts. This year, though, he has an ERA+ of just 78, a WHIP of 1.49, and has already surrendered 11 home runs. In the four-year span prior to this season he averaged just 17 home runs.
The problem here can be solved by looking at his splits. Oswalt got off to a very rocky start but has definitely picked his game up of late. In his first three starts:
0-3, 9.00 ERA, 16 IP, 30 H, 16 ER, 2 BB, 12 K; Average Game Score = 29; Opponents hitting .400/.410/.720.
In his five starts following that:
3-0, 3.55 ERA, 33 IP, 28 H, 13 ER, 13 BB, 30 K; Average Game Score = 56; Opponents hitting .228/.307/.447.
He has definitely been more Roy-like lately but the home runs surrendered are a tad alarming. Also alarming is how his walks have increased and strikeouts have decreased from 2005 to 2007. To answer, no, unless you can get an absolutely tremendous offensive player to fill a desperately needed void, do not trade Roy Oswalt.
On the other hand, though, you might want to start convincing others in your league that he’s lost a step and you’ll “take him off of their hands.” Even if he is not exactly the same pitcher he was from 2002-2006 he is still a consistent and durable ace that any team, fantasy or professional, should be happy to have.
Print This Post