10 Important Stories from 06/11/19 Box Scores: What To Make Of Some Big Name, Struggling Starts (Bauer, Archer, Wheeler) & More

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Ketel Marte homered for the third straight game, furthering his breakout, as he went 3-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  Yordan Alvarez did it again, slugging his second home run as he went 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  Anthony Rendon tried to bring the Nationals back, going 2-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  What else happened on the field that we need to know about?  Let’s take a look:

1) Is it time to give up on Zack Wheeler…
Sure it was against the Yankees, at Yankee Stadium, but he still allowed 9 R (5 earned) on 10 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 4.2 IP.  He now owns an ugly 4.87 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 88.2 IP in 14 starts.  He entered the day with a 9.96 K/9 and 2.68 BB/9, courtesy of an 11.1% SwStr% (and he had 13 swinging strikes yesterday), plus his groundball rate hasn’t been terrible (44.8%, before 7 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls yesterday).  Throw in a 30.0% Hard% and what exactly is there not to like?  There’s been some home run issues (13 HR allowed, with at least 1 HR in six straight games and 2 HR in three straight) and also some poor luck (.302 BABIP and 68.9% strand rate).  We would expect those two things to improve, and with it should come the results.  While it would be easy to panic buying low is the answer.

2) What about Trevor Bauer, is he not really an ace…
Sure he gave up 1 ER over 7.2 IP against the Reds, but he also allowed 6 H and 5 BB, striking out 6.  He’s now walked 9 batters over his past two starts (15.2 IP) and has 4+ BB in six of his past 10 starts (and in 7 of his 15 starts).  As opposed to Wheeler this situation is a little bit trickier, as his luck is a bit mixed (.239 BABIP, 68.8% strand rate) while he’s been hit relatively hard (39.6% Hard%).  Clearly the BABIP is going to rise, and he also isn’t getting opposing hitters to stray from the strike zone (29.2% O-Swing%).  That’s not a promising combination, especially when you add in 39.5% groundball rate (8 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls yesterday) leading to a regression in his home run rate (1.28 HR/9).  He’s looking more like the pitcher he was back in ’17, when he posted a 4.19 ERA, as opposed to last year’s ace.

3) Scott Kingery continues to show off some power…
He helped to suppress the optimism that Jon Duplantier had been building (he allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over 3.0 IP), taking him deep in the second inning.  Kingery has now hit 3 HR over his past two games and is hitting .324 with 7 HR, 18 RBI, 18 R and 2 SB over 108 AB.  Whether it’s in centerfield (even after Adam Haseley is healthy) or third base, Kingery is proving that he deserves a place in the lineup.  Of course that doesn’t mean that he’s a can’t miss, as he entered the day benefiting from a .394 BABIP (and even with a 46.8% Hard% it’s easy to envision that regressing) and facing significant strikeout questions (25.2% strikeout rate, with a 14.2% SwStr% and 34.4% O-Swing% indicating a possible regression).  Throw in that a 22.2% HR/FB could also come back down and the outlook isn’t as promising as it would seem.  Consider him an ideal sell high candidate.

4) Does Ariel Jurado officially belong on fantasy radars…
Taking on the Red Sox he allowed 3 ER on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 6, over 6.0 IP to improve to 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 41.2 IP (5 starts).  Over his past three starts he’s had 18 K over 18.0 IP, which is promising, but he’s also walked 7 batters in that span and allowed a home run in each start (he’s actually allowed 1 HR in each of his past four starts).  He’s generally been a groundball pitcher who lacks strikeouts, and a 6.9% SwStr% entering the day (9 swinging strikes yesterday) shows the concerns in regards to the strikeouts.  The fact that he’s doing it without the groundballs is highly concerning.  If he can start inducing those, as well as improving his control, there’s a little bit of upside.  That said he’s never going to be a difference maker and there are better investments to make.

5) Is Dakota Hudson truly emerging as a viable fantasy option…
It came against the Marlins, but he still got the W allowing 1 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 IP.  He’s now allowed 2 ER or fewer in five straight starts while proving to be among the elite groundball artists in the game (he had 12 groundballs vs. 3 fly balls yesterday).  Of course that alone doesn’t make him a can’t miss option, as a 37.3% Hard%, though just a .295 BABIP, and lackluster control (4.09 BB/9) has helped lead to an unsightly 1.50 WHIP.  Throw in the lack of strikeout stuff (9.5% SwStr% leading to a 6.32 K/9) and he’s a one-trick pony.  He’s getting the job done and at the least is a streaming option, but don’t consider him a locked in option.  There are going to be bumps along the way.

6) Another ugly outing from Chris Archer…
The Braves took him deep five times, including a pair from Brian McCann (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R), as he finished allowing 7 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 6.0 IP.  He now owns a 5.73 ERA and 1.47 WHIP over 11 starts, allowing 4 ER or more in five of his last seven starts and at least 1 HR in eight straight (16 HR over 59.2 IP on the season).  There’s always been home run issues (1.21 HR/9 or higher in each of the three previous seasons), though this is taking it to the extreme as his groundball rate has plummeted (38.6%).  His velocity is down (93.7 mph on his fastball) and he’s using the pitch a little bit more, and maybe that also helps to explain the control issues (4.53 BB/9).  Throw in a 42.2% Hard%, the third straight season he’s posted a 39% or higher, and this isn’t a buy low option.  It’s one to ignore.

7) Should we still be buying Brad Peacock…
It was an uninspiring start against the Brewers, though he did get a W, as he allowed 4 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 6.1 IP.  The biggest issue was the 2 HR allowed, though that hasn’t been an issue at all this season (7 HR over 71.0 IP).  Of course his 39.9% groundball rate indicates that this could easily just be the start of the problems.  Couple that with a regression in his luck (40.4% Hard%, though a .262 BABIP) and regardless of the strikeouts and control the results may ultimately not be there.  Plus, considering his 8.6% SwStr% and 25.9% O-Swing%, is there any guarantee he maintains the two “skills” anyways?  He’s become an ideal sell candidate, and one to move from quickly.

8) Another subpar showing from Patrick Corbin…
Taking on the White Sox he allowed 7 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 5.0 IP.  He’s now allowed 3 ER or more in four of his past six starts (4+ in three of them) and owns an uninspiring 4.11 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.  After keeping the ball in the ballpark last season (0.68 HR/9), that number has jumped once again this season (1.27 HR/9, including 2 HR allowed yesterday).  Part of the problem has been a regression in his groundball rate (44.7%) and his control has also taken a step backwards (3.06 BB/9).  He’s surprisingly turned back towards his fastball more than he did a year ago (48.6% to 55.0%) and also should see an improvement in his luck (69.5% strand rate).  There’s some concern, but enough upside to stay the course as you don’t want to miss the inevitable rebound.

9) Peter Lambert shows an ability to take Coors Field…
Pitching against the Cubs he allowed 1 ER on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 5.0 IP to improve to 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over 12.0 IP.  This was his second consecutive start against Chicago, making the results even more impressive.  At the same time you can argue that he was lucky to have kept the ball in the ballpark (5 groundballs vs. 6 fly balls) and he also wasn’t missing many bats (9 swinging strikes).  He should generate enough groundballs (51.6% at Triple-A prior to his recall) while avoiding walks (2.39 BB/9 prior to his recall) to make an impact.  The question is whether or not he’ll miss enough bats, and that’s not a given.  He will take a step backwards and may prove to be more of a streaming option as opposed to a must start.

10) Another big day from Max Muncy…
He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .278 with 15 HR and 40 RBI on the season.  As we mentioned recently he’s proving that he’s more than just a platoon player, as he’s hitting .301 with 5 HR over 73 AB against left-handed pitchers.  He’s showing that he can consistently hit the ball hard (45.3% Hard%) while the power from last season was very much for real (23.4% HR/FB).  Throw in some positional flexibility and an inflated walk rate (13.7%) and what else is it you want to see?  With a reasonable .326 BABIP it all appears to be believable, and therefore he should remain a must own option in all formats.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs

11 COMMENTS

  1. I have Justin Upton coming back from the DL, which outfielder do I drop Frazier, Pederson, Riley, Gordon? Also do you think Trevor May starts closing for the Twins?

    • Gordon doesn’t have much of an upside, so that’s a good drop.

      As for May, it’s probably a 3-headed committee

  2. Hey professor I hate to beat a dead horse but is there anything you see with Jose Ramirez that indicates he will get better? He had another 0 for 4 yesterday and has an ISO under .100? I never thought this “slump” would last so long. Thanks

    • It’s more than a slump, and it was something I cautioned against in the preseason. That said he’s also better than this, so selling now wouldn’t make sense.

  3. Hi Rotoprof, in a mixed league, 12-team, 24 man roster, 5×5, roto league, is it time to move on from Jesse Winker? Drafted him for the average and his home park while realizing he has no speed and lots of competition for playing time. Now he’s not hitting much plus he mostly sits against lefties. If droppable, who would be better replacements? Thank you for your time and valuable advice!

    • It really depends on the options that are available as each league is different. In most cases I’d lean towards holding onto him and at least using him as a plug and play when the matchups make sense

  4. I’m ready to drop Winker too, but I have Upton and Calhoun coming back. I know he’s been unlucky, but he does not look like Votto 2.0.
    I picked up Garver when Molina went on the dl. Any recommendations on who to keep? Statcast says Garver has been very lucky, but Molina isn’t walking anymore and it’s an OBP league. I have Molina at $2 and Garver at $5, so if it’s more or less a tossup, I will drop Garver. Thanks

      • Thanks, I have leaned that way too, but would get second thoughts when looking at Garver’s stats. The extra $3 helps me too.

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