Just because a pitcher is struggling early on, he is not necessarily a buy low candidate. For one thing we need to expect a vast improvement moving forward. For another we actually have to be able to acquire the pitcher at a fairly low cost. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few potential options.
Brett Anderson – Oakland Athletics
Anderson has been awful over his last three starts (17 ER over 10.2 IP) and has always been a major injury risk (in fact the A’s are skipping him tonight because of a minor ankle issue). That said, there also is a lot working in hs favor to give fantasy owners hope of a turn around.
1) The strikeouts are up
He showed good strikeout stuff in the minor leagues, though it hasn’t been there in the Majors thus far. While he may not be a 9.13 K/9 pitcher, if he can keep the number between 7.0 and 8.0, he is going to enjoy success.
2) The groundballs are elite
Always a groundball pitcher, Anderson currently owns a 63.0% groundball rate while pitching half his games in the pitcher friendly Oakland ballpark. That’s extremely promising.
3) The luck has been poor
Despite a low line drive rate (13.7%), he has yielded a .366 BABIP and 55.6% strand rate. Those numbers scream for an improvement.
What he has been missing is his control, something that we wouldn’t have expected. A 4.94 BB/9 is not indicative of hs ability (2.35 for his career) and we would think he would get that rectified. Once he does, he should be in store for significantly better results.
It likely won’t cost a lot to acquire him, making him the perfect candidate to buy low.
Trevor Bauer – Cleveland Indians
He is not on many people’s radars at the moment (though a double header and the possibility of him starting this week has changed that slightly), and rightfully so after his terrible first start. In fact, he could even be sitting on your waiver wire as we speak just waiting to be plucked up and stashed on your bench.
While he has continued to struggle with command in the Major Leagues, it has been the exact opposite in the minors. Over three starts (18.0 IP) at Triple-A he has posted a 24-to-6 strikeout-to-walk rate.
We have long heard about his potential, and we have seen him post impressive numbers in the minor leagues. While he is far from a lock, given his history, with Brett Myers on the DL it shouldn’t be long before he gets another opportunity. With his talent, that makes him well worth grabbing now if possible.
Josh Beckett – Los Angeles Dodgers
He is 0-3 with a 4.75 ERA and, after last season, an owner may be growing frustrated with him. However, everything on the surface looks alright.
He is not walking a lot of batters (2.37 BB/9)
He is not getting hit unreasonably hard (21.9% line drive rate), though we would like to see an improvement here
His luck isn’t even that poor (.281 BABIP, 77.2% strand rate)
The problem has been home runs, to the tune of a 2.37 HR/9. Considering hs career mark of 1.03 and the friendlier confines of Dodger Stadium, does anyone really expect it to continue? He definitely should start producing better numbers, so now is the perfect time to try and acquire him for pennies on the dollar.
What are your thoughts of these three pitchers? Are you targeting any of them? What pitchers are you trying to buy?