10 Important Stories from 06/09/19 Box Scores: Several Sell High Candidates Improve Value, What To Make Of Shane Bieber & More

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It was a dominant performance from Noah Syndergaard, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, against the Rockies.  Yordan Alvarez debuted with a bang, going 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, immediately being thrust into the fifth spot of the Astros’ lineup.  Walker Buehler was stellar against the Giants, tossing 7.0 shutout innings allowing 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 9, to improve to 7-1 with a 3.35 ERA.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Robbie Ray shows off the ultimate upside…
We all know the risk involved in making the investment in Ray, having entered the day with a 4.65 BB/9 over 69.2 IP.  Of course he also had routinely been hit hard (42.7% Hard%), helping to justify the .331 BABIP and 71.4% strand rate.  None of those were issues yesterday, as he allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, over 6.2 IP against the Blue Jays.  He’s actually shown the control in back-to-back outings (2 BB over 13.2 IP), and he also had showed a better Hard% in his most recent outing (29.4% in his first start of June).  That gives hope that maybe he can finally put it together, though obviously two starts isn’t enough to convince us given his lengthy history of issues.  The intrigue is always going to be there, but we can’t fully buy in quite yet.

2) Brandon Lowe finally breaks out from his power silence…
He finished going 3-5 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R, snapping an 11 game homerless streak.  One of the home runs came off of Eduardo Rodriguez, who turned in another rather disappointing performance (5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 7 K).  Lowe is now hitting .288 with 13 HR and 41 RBI, so was the home run drought really enough of a reason to cause some owners to consider parting ways?  Of course he entered the day with a .390 BABIP, an unsustainable mark regardless of how hard he was hitting the ball (41.8% Hard%) given his pull heavy approach (19.4% Oppo%).  How about the abysmal rate at which he swings and misses (19.8% SwStr%), which could help lead to even more strikeouts (33.6%)?  Those two things create more of a sell high candidate, as opposed to a drop, but selling him off this one is well worth considering.

3) Another impressive performance from Jake Odorizzi…
Obviously having 12 runs (behind 4 HR) helped, as did facing the Tigers, but he still allowed 1 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 8, over 6.0 IP to earn the W.  He is now 9-2 with an impressive 1.92 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 70.1 IP showing both strikeouts and control (78 K vs. 22 BB).  Of course he entered the day generating nearly no groundballs (27.3%), and that didn’t change yesterday (1 groundball vs. 7 fly balls).  That makes his 0.56 HR/9 nearly impossible to maintain and his 83.6% strand rate and .240 BABIP are a lock to regress (especially considering his 38.0% Hard%).  Things could get ugly, and quick, and while it would be easy to be excited don’t make that mistake.  Odorizzi has sell high written all over him.

4) Shane Bieber laid an egg against the Yankees…
Talk about a frustrating performance, as he lasted just 1.2 IP allowing 5 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 4.  He’s been completely hit or miss of late, allowing 5 ER or more in three of his past six starts (though in the other three he’s allowed 3 ER over 21.0 IP).  Overall he owns a 4.07 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, showing both strikeouts and control (he entered the day with a 10.94 K/9 and 2.14 BB/9).  The concern has been a surprising lack of groundballs (39.7%), helping lead to an ugly 1.78 HR/9 (he allowed another home run yesterday).  He showed significantly better marks last season (46.6% groundball rate, 1.02 HR/9), and while his luck metrics indicate further bumps (82.3% strand rate, .265 BABIP), but an improvement in the groundball/home run rates will help to offset that.  It’s easy to be discouraged, but don’t make that mistake.

5) It was another impressive performance from Pablo Lopez…
He’s certainly had his bumps, but Lopez was fantastic for a third straight start.  Taking on the Braves he allowed 1 ER on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 IP though he had to settle for a no decision.  Over these  three starts he’s allowed 2 ER on 11 H and 3 BB over 18.0 IP while striking out a batter per inning.  Sure his 4.26 ERA would appear to be pedestrian, but he’s been showing off all three skills we look for all season long (8.76 K/9, 2.26 BB/9 and 49.4% groundball rate entering the day).  A 67.4% strand rate is the biggest red flag, especially considering a modest 34.8% Hard%.  While pitching for the Marlins will help to limit his upside in terms of wins, there’s plenty of value overall.

6) Mike Moustakas has put together a rather quiet monster season…
Maybe he’s been overshadowed by Christian Yelich (who hit HR #24 yesterday), but it doesn’t seem like many are talking about Moustakas and the numbers he’s posted.  He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting his season totals at .275 with 20 HR and 43 RBI and extending his current hitting streak to five games (8-20 with 4 HR and 6 RBI).  You would think that there’s even more upside in his average, despite an elevated fly ball rate (44.7%), considering his 43.6% Hard%, 27.1% Oppo% and .272 BABIP.  Of course that assume that he can maintain his 23.8% HR/FB entering the day, though with a fairly even split at home (11 HR) and on the road (9 HR) it’s not out of the question.  That say a regression there with a somewhat subpar approach (11.3% SwStr%, 35.5% O-Swing%) would lead to a regression.  He’s hardly a must sell, but proceed with caution.

7) Has Tom Murphy finally emerged as a viable fantasy option…
We’ve heard the hype before, but Murphy is finally giving some results.  He went 2-5 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R yesterday, putting him at .304 with 7 HR and 14 RBI over 79 AB.  He’s now homered in three straight games (and four of his past five), making it easy to get extremely excited.  At the same time he continues to bring far too many swings and misses, with 33 K vs. 3 BB (and having entered the day with a 15.6% SwStr% and 36.8% O-Swing%).  Considering he entered with a .447 BABIP and 25.0% HR/FB, it’s impossible to expect this type of production to continue for very long.  Ride him while he’s hot, but don’t expect the value to last for very long.

8) Max Muncy proving he’s more than a platoon player…
Early in the season he was sitting against southpaws, though that doesn’t seem necessary anymore.  He drove in the only run of the game, taking Madison Bumgarner deep and finishing going 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  He entered the day slashing .286/.351/.529 in 70 AB against left-handed pitchers (yesterday marked his fifth home run).  He’s quickly proving that last season’s breakout was no aberration, entering the day hitting the ball hard (43.4% Hard%) and showing similar power (20.3% HR/FB, after a 29.4% mark last season).  He simply doesn’t pop the ball up much (5.1% IFFB%) and does a good job of staying inside the strike zone (25.0% O-Swing%).  Throw in the positional flexibility and there’s an awful lot to like.  While there’s still a little risk, he’s well worth owning.

9) Wade Miley is trying to make us believe…
How much stock do you put into an impressive performance against the Orioles?  Miley tossed 6.0 shutout innings against them yesterday, allowing 6 H and 2 BB while striking out 5.  He’s now 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 80.1 IP.  Those numbers would make it easy to get excited, especially with the Houston offense behind him, continued solid control (2.30 BB/9 entering the day) and an ability to generate groundballs (49.1% entering the day, 8 groundballs vs. 2 fly balls yesterday).  That would be enough to make you believe, though a .257 BABIP and 82.4% strand rate, despite a 38.7% Hard%, as well as limited strikeout potential (9.8% SwStr%) does cast some shadow of doubt.  Is there a little bit of value?  Absolutely, but the risk also can’t be ignored.  Right now we’d consider him more of a sell high candidate as opposed to a must hold.

10) Could one big day get Rougned Odor going…
It’s been a miserable season for Odor, but he produced big results yesterday going 3-4 with 3 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB.  He’s still hitting just .177, though 7 HR and 5 SB does give a little sense of hope.  We’d expect him to improve upon his .207 BABIP, even though there are some concerns (46.9% fly ball rate, 15.1% Oppo% entering the day), considering his 38.7% Hard%.  He’s also been making more contact early in June (8.9% SwStr%), further supporting a rebound.  Let’s not forget that he struggled early last season as well, before erupting.  It wouldn’t be shocking if he followed a similar path this year, and considering the upside patience should ultimately prove to be a virtue.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

4 COMMENTS

  1. Keeper 5×5 league, needing pitching (specifically Ks and Ws). Considering making an offer to trade away Mookie Betts for a top tier SP. Is there any SP that in your opinion returns enough value for Betts or would I need to consider a 2 for 1? Thinking about Gerrit Cole or Chris Sale – I already have Verlander and Strasburg.

    • Neither of those would be a 1-for-1 in my opinion. I always give the hitter a little bit more value, and unless it’s Scherzer the guys won’t have enough to equal Betts’ value

    • Ultimately I think it will be Odor still, he has the highest upside and hopefully yesterday is the sign of things to come

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