Author Archive

5 Middle Round Starting Pitchers To Consider

After the first twenty-five starters are off the board, it gets a bit dicey. As we’re seeing in the PL Experts Mock, starters went quickly in the first six rounds (23 gone in the first 72 picks!), but just twelve were plucked in the following five rounds. The cliff hits suddenly and owners are taking their time to pick up their fourth and fifth starters.

But when the time comes, who should they target? Here are five names to consider during the middle rounds of your drafts.

J.A. Happ (Free Agent) – At 35-years-old, Happ continued to produce, registering his fourth straight season under a 3.70 ERA while boasting career bests in WHIP (1.13), strikeout rate (26.3%), and over swinging-strike rate (10.4%). His new affinity for the K began when he elevated four-seamers consistently and even a transition to the Yankee squad didn’t hold back the punchouts. The major pushback from owners is his elevated Hr/9, which rose to a 1.37 mark along with his career-high 13.4% HR/FB rate.

There’s a case to be made that all but the worst landing spots will help keep the longballs down while I expect his strikeouts to stay elevated near the 23-25% mark given his strong high heat approach. Mix in his ability to produce solid H/9 and walk rates and Happ transforms into a prime option for owners to pad their rotation.

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Waiver Wire SP Options: 6 Weekend Starters To Win Your League

It’s been a fun season covering discount starting pitcher options here at Rotographs, and in the final week I’ll be talking exclusively about streams through the rest of the week to consider to stream to pull ahead through the weekend, beginning with Friday, September 27th.

I’ll be keeping them under 30% owned per usual, with all numbers pulled from Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownage metrics.

Jose Urena vs. New York Mets (Friday) – Urena’s ownership rates have climbed steadily over the past few weeks, and justifiably so as he’s allowed 1 ER or fewer in five of his last six starts, with the sole exception coming against the elite Red Sox lineup. He gets quite the opposite against the Mets this weekend and Urena can take advantage. His two-seamer that consistently bores inside to right-handers means plenty of weak contact, though those looking for strikeouts should look elsewhere – these six starts have tallied just 24 punchouts.

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Waiver Wire SP Options: 5 Starters To Win This Week

It’s been a fun season covering discount starting pitcher options here at Rotographs, and with under two weeks remaining, I’m shifting this piece to focus on options through the rest of the week to consider to stream to pull ahead through the weekend.

I’ll be keeping them under 30% owned per usual, with all numbers pulled from Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownage metrics.

Steven Matz vs. Philadelphia Phillies + Washington Nationals – Matz has two starts left this week, playing in just an hour against Phils and on Sunday against the Nationals and his low ownage rate shocks me. He’s sporting a 2.67 ERA with a 3.03 SIERA to back it across his last five starts, averaging seven strikeouts and over six frames per start. He’s increased his slider usage from 8% on the season to 15% in that time frame, returning an impressive 2.8 pVal, which has also amplified the effect of his heater. Batters are more aware of Matz’s strong slide piece that they can’t sit on heaters, creating tougher at-bats, and more efficient starts for Matz. Meanwhile, the Phillies and Nationals are far from strong offenses – lineups Matz has produced against recently – and should make for productive outings for Matz owners.

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Pitcher Spotlight: Wade Miley’s Ridiculous Season

I can’t believe I’m going to write this.

Wade Miley has a 2.12 ERA this season.

It’s just a 63.2 inning sample across twelve starts, but that’s still over a third of a season’s work with sparkling results, including a 1.18 WHIP.

Will this stick? In all likelihood, no. His 4.59 SIERA is nearly 2.5 points higher than the marvelous ERA, inflated by a minute 6.1% HR/FB rate, .260 BABIP, and 80% LOB rate. These numbers are all due to fall as the sample rises.

But this isn’t to say that Miley has had a remarkable season simply by being in the good graces of Lady Luck. Miley has completely revamped his approach:

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Waiver Wire Week 22: 10 SP Targets

Each week I look at the collection of starting pitchers owned in under 30% of leagues (consensus Yahoo/ESPN ownership from Fantasy pros) with a few extra sub 5% discount options at the end, pointing out the options to consider if you need an extra arm or two at the end of your staff.

Let’s highlight my ten favorite starting pitcher options that may be available on your waiver wires, roughly ordered from top to bottom:

Under 30% Owned

Steven Matz (New York Mets) – After a rugged four-game stretch, Matz has rebounded in a big way in his last three outings, featuring a 1.89 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 33% K rate, and 4.5% BB rate in 19 frames. It’s a small sample, though he might be worth the gamble as he has a cushy schedule of PHI, MIA, @PHI, @WSH, and MIA ahead. This could be a season-winning stretch.

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Pitcher Spotlight: Reynaldo Lopez’s Old Breaking Ball

Those who know me understand that I enjoy watching pitchers experiment and dive into it when it happens. Often they are irrelevant, failing to prevent the tires from spinning in the mud. There are exceptions, as always, and I find it interesting to point out possible exceptions before they are illuminated to the masses.

So today I want to talk about a pitcher that I wouldn’t actually suggest chasing in 12-teamer. Reynaldo Lopez’s 4.51 ERA and 1.36 WHIP with a 17.3% K rate are enough to turn anyone away while his FIP and SIERA are even worse, each with marks over 5.00. Even cherry picking his last six games returns a 4.28 ERA. Things aren’t great for Reynaldo Lopez.

Something peculiar did happen in his last start, though. It was a strong 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Ks effort against the Yankees and it may have been a result of some tweaking in Lopez’s repertoire. I want to tell you about it.

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Waiver Wire Week 21: 10 SP Targets

Each week I look at the collection of starting pitchers owned in under 30% of leagues (consensus Yahoo/ESPN ownership from Fantasy pros) with a few extra sub 10% discount options at the end, pointing out the options to consider if you need an extra arm or two at the end of your staff.

Let’s highlight my ten favorite starting pitcher options that may be available on your waiver wires, roughly ordered from top to bottom:

Under 30% Owned

Joe Musgrove (Pittsburgh Pirates) – Yes, Musgrove hasn’t been great recently, with two of his last starts accruing 7 ER total. That’s still not enough to turn away his 3.56 ERA production on the season, while his sub 5% walk rate has helped return a 1.20 WHIP. I don’t see a pitcher that should fall to a 4.00 ERA here and with seven QS in his last nine starts, he’s a must add for those in Quality Start leagues down the stretch.

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Pitcher Spotlight: Sam Gaviglio Is Testing The Waters

When I see a pitcher consistently struggle, I can get a bit antsy. Pitchers often stick to one gameplan, believing that their current approach, despite its constant failures, is the only path that can lead them to success. It frustrates me when I see a pitcher refuse to go back to the drawing board and experiment for at least one game to see if something different could work.

Sam Gaviglio is having a rough season. Through 83.1 frames of sixteen starts and two relief appearances, Gavilgio holds a disfigured 4.86 ERA and 1.42 WHIP without much indicating that he deserves a whole lot better…except for last Saturday.

Watching Gaviglio’s outing against the Rays, I couldn’t help but get a little excited. Right in front of me was a man trying something new in the midst of peril and struggle. He recognized his current course wasn’t getting the job done and started experimenting. He was in his own world on the hill searching for something that worked.

I think he found something.

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Waiver Wire Week 19: 10 SP Targets

Each week I look at the collection of starting pitchers owned in under 30% of leagues (consensus Yahoo/ESPN ownership from Fantasy pros) with a few extra sub 10% discount options at the end, pointing out the options to consider if you need an extra arm or two at the end of your staff.

Let’s highlight my ten favorite starting pitcher options that may be available on your waiver wires, roughly ordered from top to bottom:

Under 30% Owned

German Marquez (Colorado Rockies) – I’m a little surprised to see Marquez still this available. It’s a 30% K rate, near 1.00 WHIP and sub 3.00 ERA over his last eight starts, half of which have come inside Coors. He’s improved his curveball while his slider is still a fantastic offering for any count. Go get him, he could push the needle in the right direction.

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Pitcher Spotlight: Jacob Nix’s MLB Debut

There was an MLB debut last night and we should talk about it. After boasting a 2.05 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in Double-A this season, Jacob Nix played his first career major league game, returning a marvelous 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks line for the San Diego Padres. Does this mean he should be added in your NL-Only league or maybe even that office 12-teamer? Or was this just a debut that went well and should be ignored?

I’m going to make this easy for everyone. Nix does not have a Top 20 ceiling. He also isn’t the worst starter to consider in 12-teamers. There are two major strengths to Nix’s approach that could propel him to fantasy relevancy, but there is a significant flaw that makes me question his floor. That’s what I’m going to cover here and let’s start it off with one of his strengths: his fastball command.

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