DFS and Seasonal Fantasy Trends: Marlins’ Jarlin Garcia Is Here to Stay | Avoid Yankees’ Miguel Andujar
A Comprehensive Breakdown of Key Recent Fantasy Baseball Stats with Upcoming Outlooks
Daily Fantasy Targets
Chris Archer, SP Tampa Bay Rays
Vs. Left-Handed Batters
12.1 Innings Pitched - Four HRs Allowed - Seven Walks - .368 Batting Average Against - 11.68 ERA
It isn’t surprising that a right-handed pitcher would be tougher against right-handed batters, but Archer’s career splits haven’t been significant prior to 2018. His splits look to be a small sample size aberration more reflective of his slow start than a trend for Daily Fantasy players to target.
Archer has thrown his four-seam fastball more than any other pitch in his career and while his Batting Average Against has always been highest on his four-seamer, it is at a career worst .366 in 2018. Archer’s BAA for his changeup and slider are in line with his career norms, so once we see the four-seamer improve, we will see his early splits resolve themselves. Until then, load up on lefties against him.
Kyle Hendricks, SP Chicago Cubs
Vs. Left-Handed Batters:
Eight IP - Four HRs Allowed - .294 BA against - 7.88 ERA
The stats tell a standard tale rather than pointing out anything aberrant about Hendricks’ 2018 season. Left-handed bats always had more success against Hendricks and 2018 is just worse. All four of his pitches have been less effective to both sides of the plate and his results have been worse overall as a result. Now is a good time to face him, but it isn’t a trend to rely on going forward. Hendricks, in a small sample size, is struggling. Noteworthy, but not Trendy at the moment.
Cole Hamels, SP Texas Rangers
Vs Right-Handed batters:
24.2 IP - Seven HRs Allowed - 14 Earned Runs Allowed - 11 BBs - 5.11 ERA
Hamels' walks, base hits allowed and ERA are in line with his 2017 numbers, while his home runs allowed are significantly worse and his strikeouts are significantly better.
Batters are hitting .321 against his changeup, .350 against his sinker and a rambunctious .450 against his four-seamer, but only .139 against his cutter. However, five of his seven home runs allowed have been via the cutter. While the cutter remains Hamels’ best pitch, its unlikely that he slows down or stops the amount he throws it because batters are struggling to hit it. He will need to stop making mistakes with it or he is going to lead the league in home runs allowed.
Right-handed batters aren’t hitting Hamels better than left-handers, just the opposite actually, but they are walking and launching home runs, making him a target in Daily. Hamels has yet to allow a home run to a left-handed batter, so avoid that side of the split.
COLE HAMELS CUTTER
Opp. are hitting just .132 (5-for-38) off of Cole Hamels’s cutter, BEST IN MLB (min. 25 results).
1. Hamels, .132
2. Kluber, .148
3. Price, .163
4. Jansen, .233
5. Paxton, .240
*Hamels’s cutter has yielded a .184 SLG%, best among active SP in MLB this year pic.twitter.com/G0vAiA3ImG
— Jared Sandler (@JaredSandler) April 24, 2018
Luke Bard and Cam Bedrosian, RP Los Angeles Angels
Combined: 21.2 Innings Pitched - Seven HRs - Eight BBs - 12 ERs Allowed - 23 Hits Allowed
One of the things to consider when filling out the bargain part of your daily lineup is what players might be removed late in games because of bad matchups against the opponent’s bullpen. In this case, we have the opposite. Luke Bard and Cam Bedrosian are giving Daily players reason to target their opponents, not avoid them. Their longball struggles make them more of a tiebreaker when comparing your options than a significant factor, but it is Noteworthy. If your batters are facing Garrett Richards, who has allowed four home runs in five starts and walked 16 batters in 26 innings pitched, the fact that Bard and Bedrosian are enhancing your players’ chances for home runs and extra base hits late in the game is something to think about when choosing your daily stack.
Jarlin Garcia, SP Miami Marlins
27 IP - 1.00 ERA - 20 Strikeouts - 12 BBs - Two HRs
Garcia’s K/9 or BB/9 aren’t grossly out of step with his minor league norms, suggesting that his current performance is sustainable and making him a viable starter going forward.
Owners should expect some regression in ERA and WHIP due to his unsustainably low .121 Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) and elevated BB/9, but you shouldn’t expect him to crash and burn. If another owner comes buying don’t be afraid to explore a trade, but if you own him stick with him. His 2018 so far isn’t a total fluke, it’s a continuing Trend.
Carlos Martinez, SP St. Louis Cardinals
31.2 IP - 1.42 ERA - 37 SOs - 17 BBs - One HR - .174 BA Against
2018 is shaping up to be the most dominant of Martinez’s career with one exception -- the walks. His K/9 and BB/9 are both at career highs while his HR/FB% is currently at 5.3% compared to a career average of 11.3%.
In recent seasons Martinez has decreased the percentage of four-seam fastballs that he throws while increasing his percentage of sinkers and sliders. His change in approach has improved the effectiveness of his four-seamer and slider while it has made his sinker more hittable and increased his K/9. The overly high walk rate and unsustainably low HR/FB% suggests that some regression from his early season Cy Young caliber performance is coming, but Martinez has always been dominant and that isn’t going to change much going forward. Don’t be afraid to target him in trade.
Reynaldo Lopez, SP Chicago White Sox
24 IP - 23 SOs - 1.50 ERA - 15 BBs - .150 BA Against
Across the board the peripherals aren’t looking good for sustained success from Lopez. His K/9 (8.63) and BB/9 (5.63) are significantly higher than his minor league norms, while his HR/9 (.75) and BABIP (.175) are significantly better than we can reasonably expect going forward. He has the arm to strike out a batter per inning while it is difficult to see how he maintains such a low ERA and WHIP based on how he has managed to do it so far. The good production is going to regress while the bad is going to start impacting his ratios. The current Trend isn’t sustainable. Sell if you got him.
Javier Baez, 2B/SS Chicago Cubs
72 At-Bats - 17 SOs - Six BBs - 21 Hits - Seven HRs - .292 BA
Six walks in 72 at-bats is hardly what most would consider impressive, but for Baez it’s a significant improvement from the norm. 2018 is the second straight season that he has significantly improved his BB/9 and OBP while increasing his wOBA, all while his BABIP has lowered from 2017 to 2018. It isn’t luck, its improvement.
The physical tools have always been there. The question has always been whether Baez can minimize his extremely aggressive habits and stop getting himself out, forcing pitchers to throw him more strikes.
It’s difficult to fully commit to a player that swings as freely and as erratically as Baez has so far in his career, but 2018 is continuing a Trend that could result in a career year. Totals of 25-30 home runs and 10-15 stolen bases with a .275 batting average or better is looking possible.
Rhys Hoskins, 1B/OF Philadelphia Phillies
65 ABs - Four HRs - 19 BBs - 21 SOs - .323 BA - .483 OBP
Hoskins’ current batting average (.323) and OBP (.483) have been buoyed by an unsustainable .415 BABIP, while he has been somewhat disappointing in home runs with only four in 21 games. These peripheral numbers suggest that while some regression is coming in his ratios, more home runs and RBI should be on their way as well.
Hoskins was drafted much too high (41st overall ahead of proven batters like Justin Upton, Christian Yelich, Edwin Encarnacion, Starling Marte and Anthony Rendon), but the peripherals suggest that he can live in this neighborhood of Fantasy players. The Trends suggest that power improvement is coming and as difficult as it is to buy low after using the 41st pick to draft him, he just might truly be a “buy low.”
D.J. LeMahieu, 2B Colorado Rockies
96 ABs - Five HRs - Three SBs - 12 BBs - 13 SOs - .292 BA
LeMahieu has been a relatively punchless player who contributed in only one category: batting average. He has never hit more than 11 home runs in a season and his career average in stolen bases is less than 10 per season while being caught, on average, once for every three attempts.
It’s safe to say that LeMahieu is due for some regression. He is walking more than he ever has and hitting for more power while managing a similar batting average and OBP. A career year is certainly possible, but if another owner comes calling I am selling as quickly as I can click accept. Noteworthy season so far, however.
Jose Berrios, SP Minnesota Twins
27.2 IP - One Walk Allowed - One HR Allowed
Allowing the same number of home runs as free passes is a remarkable feat, even if it’s less than 30 innings pitched. And of course, it’s unsustainable. I wrote last week that Berrios was justified as a target in early-season trades and I reiterate the assertion. Don’t pay for him like an ace, but if the demand is reasonable, Berrios’ ability and early-season performance justify the risk.
Mookie Betts (11 walks to eight strikeouts), Didi Gregorius (15 walks to eight strikeouts) and Kris Bryant (13 walks to 12 strikeouts) have all walked more than they have struck out and Bryce Harper puts this impressive crowd to shame. Harper has walked more than twice as often as he has struck out: 29 walks to 14 strikeouts for a .462 OBP. Barry Bonds needed every illegal substance known to man and horse to sustain that kind of rate, making Harper’s incredible start to 2018 that much more Noteworthy.
Yoan Moncada, 2B Chicago White Sox
23 ABs - Three HRs - Three SBs - .348 BA - Seven Runs Scored - Seven RBIs
These numbers aren’t a fluke. Exceptional talent can awe you in small sample sizes. He has as explosive a set of tools as almost any player in baseball. The only thing preventing him from being an MVP candidate is his inability to make enough consistent contact to translate potential into performance..
Moncada’s 2018 peripheral numbers aren’t dissimilar to what we saw in 54 games in 2017. His batting average is always going to be a problem, but he has a chance to be a league leader at his position in all the relevant Fantasy categories.
Mitch Haniger, OF Seattle Mariners
Four HRs - Four Doubles - .423 BA
Haniger has consistently developed his power going back to his days in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization. He has four home runs this week and eight on the season, suggesting that while we shouldn’t expect him to maintain his pace of 40+, 30 is well within reason.
Haniger is coming off a four home run week, making him a “sell high” candidate more than anything. If you were smart enough to draft him, great job. If another owner comes calling don’t be afraid to sell, but 30-35 home runs is likely, so a massive amount of regression isn’t coming either. He is more of a hold than a buy or sell. Enjoy the draft day bargain.
Teoscar Hernandez, OF Toronto Blue Jays
30 ABs - Three HRs - .333 BA
Hernandez’s power is legitimate, but he doesn’t walk enough and he strikes out too much for a player fighting for at-bats. In small samples it’s not a surprise to see him shine, but if someone is buying then you should be selling. Don’t be Fantasy Fooled.
Miguel Andujar, 3B New York Yankees
21 ABs - Three HRs - .524 BA - Zero BBs
Andujar was a hot name in spring training before General Manager Brian Cashman traded for Brandon Drury and signed free agent Neil Walker. Drury is currently on a rehab assignment and Gleyber Torres was just promoted. Andujar doesn’t do enough in shallow leagues to own him and without a clear path to full time at-bats he doesn’t warrant a roster spot in deeper leagues either. Don’t Be Fantasy Fooled.
Gary Sanchez, C New York Yankees
73 ABs - Three HRs - .192 BA - Nine extra base hits
Sanchez doesn’t have a meaningful offensive peer at catcher, which is why his Average Draft Position was an absurd 24th overall. You can’t do anything to correct the mistake of using a pick that high for a player who who won’t steal any bases, who is unlikely to hit 30 home runs again and who is likely to regress from his prior season. All that being true, you can’t bench him because your alternatives are putrid. He has only two games with home runs and one of them was against a left-hander (David Price) at Fenway Park.
If you can find a reasonable return on your investment you should consider trading him, but don’t dump him. He is a buy-low, but not as low as you might think. The entire Yankees roster is due for regression, so if you can find a way to minimize the damage, start unloading shares now.
Joey Votto, 1B Cincinnati Reds
42 At bats - One Extra Base Hit - One Run Scored - .238 BA
Votto’s struggles continue. I recommended benching him for Week #5 and unless he starts launching bombs between Tuesday and Sunday, I will be recommending you bench him again in Week #6. In rotisserie formats you’re stuck starting him. In yearly leagues, you can’t trade him and you can’t start him either. Ride it out unless someone offers you something of value, which would surprise me.
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B Cleveland Indians
39 ABs - One HR - Two Extra Base Hits - .128 BA
Here’s another slugging first baseman that can’t seem to swat a fly in 2018. He isn’t walking, he isn’t slugging, he doesn’t run and his batting average is killing you. That’s a formula for a benching. Take the same approach to Edwin as to Joey Votto. Hold on tight and wait for that stretch where he launches seven bombs and bats .530.
Miguel Sano, 1B/3B Minnesota Twins
39 ABs - One HR - Two Extra Base Hits - Three RBI - One Run Scored - .147 BA
Another slugger off to a brutal start. The damage is minimized because he qualifies at third base, but three RBI and one run scored in two weeks justifies consideration for a benching. Votto and Encarnacion are bench candidates in head-to-head leagues while Sano needs to be compared to your alternatives at third base and CI. If you have two on a roll, ride them and sit Sanol. If not, wince and bear it.
Jarlin Garcia Featured Image: (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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