Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Pitching Planner: Barrel of a Gun

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Half dead and half numb
She’s enough to make me warm
It’s all so safe and sound

– ‘Barrel of a Gun’, Guster

It took me forever to find a song with the word ‘barrel’ in it. Now, while the song is extremely catchy, I won’t be able to do my normal song meaning tie into a fantasy baseball point this week. Let’s just say that the song meaning behind this one is a little, ehh, raunchy.


I wanted to bring up ‘barrels’ though to remind the everyday fantasy player to utilize Statcast data. Everyone hears about the big home run hit by Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton and how it compares to other batted balls in the Statcast era. However, it’s not often shown on the networks how pitchers allow certain types of batted balls. Researching how many barrels a pitcher has allowed is one way of expressing how hittable they have been this year.

Therefore, I wanted to reveal the best and worst of the category ‘Barrels per Batted Ball Event’ or ‘Brls/BBE’. First, the bad (min. 100 BBE):

PlayerBrls/BBE
Ricky Nolasco14.4%
Matt Moore13.8%
Jered Weaver12.8%
Rick Porcello12.3%
Tyler Anderson10.9%
Hector Santiago10.2%

Now, the good:

PlayerBrls/BBE
Ervin Santana2.0%
Jon Lester2.9%
Mike Leake3.0%
Danny Duffy4.5%
Julio Teheran4.8%
Gio Gonzalez4.8%

You could interpret this data in a few ways. You could attribute these stats to the ability of the pitcher, as seen by the names in the two lists (sans Rick Porcello). However, the way I took it was that perhaps this statistic is one of those stats like BABIP or HR/FB%. Generally, all pitchers give up a certain amount of barrels and for the most part it normalizes to a certain percentage.

Take Porcello, for example, whose 5.9% and 7.3% Brls/BBE in 2015 and 2016, respectively, was within range of league average among starters. With a 12.3% mark early on in 2017, Porcello could be a candidate to bounce back if it’s a normalizing stat. On the other hand, his three year stats on BABIP, HR/FB, and Hard% don’t really correlate with my line of thinking. There’s still so much to be learned in how to use Statcast data correctly!

At the very least though, you, the fantasy baseball enthusiast, can back check your pitching staff’s preformance with Statcast data. If you want to see how Dallas Keuchel is doing so well and if you should sell high on him, check out this page. You’ll be pleased to find out that his Exit Velocity Allowed and Brls/BBE support his start thus far.

2017 Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Pitching Planner

Auto-Start

The Auto-Start tier strictly includes pitchers that should be started every week regardless of matchup.

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Max ScherzerNationals@BALPHI
Chris SaleRed SoxTB
Carlos CarrascoIndians@TORMIN
Jacob deGromMetsSF@MIL
Yu DarvishRangersSD
Clayton KershawDodgers@COL
Chris ArcherRaysKC
Zack GreinkeDiamondbacksPIT
Jon LesterCubs@STL
Stephen StrasburgNationalsBAL
Jose QuintanaWhite SoxSD
James PaxtonMariners@TOR
Justin VerlanderTigers@LAA
Johnny CuetoGiantsCIN
Masahiro TanakaYankees@CIN
Jake ArrietaCubs@COL@STL
Rick PorcelloRed SoxTB
Dallas KeuchelAstros@NYY
Marcus StromanBlue JaysCLESEA

Promoted

  • Wait, I am just now putting James Paxton in this group? Well, I was kinda waiting on him to inevitably get hurt. However, that’s no way to play the game. He will be an elite pitcher unless he gets hurt, which is the same as the rest of the guys in the top tier. Until then, I absolutely have to put him in the top tier. Dude hasn’t even allowed a homer this season!

Relegated

  • Honestly, Danny Duffy could be much worse off right now than a 3.89 ERA. His 1.93 K/BB is 80th among 101 qualified starting pitchers. His 4.9% HR/FB ratio will certainly double to his career mark. Good news is that his plate discipline stats aren’t far off from his 2016 numbers, suggesting that his K/BB ratio could improve with minor tweaks.
  • I downgraded Julio Teheran a tier as well, not just because of his recent blowups though. The strikeout potential just isn’t where you want it for an elite arm. He’s still a great accessory for a fantasy rotation – I just wanted to try to make this elite tier a more exclusive group.
  • As for Kyle Hendricks, I was too patient on him. Yes, I admit it, so what! I still believe in his ability and see a walk rate that he will eat into as the season progresses. For now, he moves down a tier.

Auto-Stream

This tier consists of pitchers who don’t quite reach the trust level of Auto-Starts. However, due to matchup or recent performance, they are capable of having elite level production for the week.

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Julio TeheranBraves@MIA
Danny DuffyRoyalsBAL
Carlos MartinezCardinalsCHC
Lance McCullersAstros@NYY
Gerrit ColePirates@ARI
Drew PomeranzRed Sox@MILTB
Marco EstradaBlue JaysSEA
Danny SalazarIndians@TOR
Jameson TaillonPirates@LAD@ARI
Michael FulmerTigers@ARI
Kenta MaedaDodgersPIT
Tanner RoarkNationalsPHI
Kyle HendricksCubs@COL
Michael PinedaYankeesHOU

Notables

  • Danny Salazar still has some work to do to jump to the next tier. My biggest worry when he is on the mound is knowing that his cap is at 6 innings pitched. High pitch counts lead to increased walks and early yanks. I don’t know if this is a Salazar fix or if the Cleveland coaching staff needs to call better games for his style of attack. Something to monitor though going forward.
  • It doesn’t quite feel right, but I’m moving Michael Pineda up to the Auto-Stream group. The biggest change I see in his statistics is his first pitch strike percentage (F-Strike%). Getting ahead in counts allows him to utilize that nasty slider. Now, the changeup still sucks, but I think the raw talent gets Pineda through his outings.

Dream Stream

The Dream Stream group more closely reflects the pitchers that you might find on the waiver wire depending on league size.

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PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Jerad EickhoffPhilliesSEA
Aaron SanchezBlue JaysSEA
Ivan NovaPirates@LAD@ARI
Ian KennedyRoyals@TBBAL
Jharel CottonAthleticsLAA
Michael WachaCardinalsCHC
Kendall GravemanAthleticsLAA@TEX
Mike LeakeCardinals@MIA
Taijuan WalkerDiamondbacksPIT
Luis SeverinoYankeesHOU
Jake OdorizziRaysKC
Lance LynnCardinals@MIACHC
Charlie MortonAstrosATL
Mike FoltynewiczBraves@MIA
Gio GonzalezNationals@BALPHI
Robbie RayDiamondbacksDETPIT
Daniel NorrisTigers@LAA
Ervin SantanaTwins@CLE
Francisco LirianoBlue JaysCLE
Matt AndrieseRaysKC@BOS
Alex CobbRays@BOS
Andrew TriggsAthleticsLAA
Adam ConleyMarlinsSTLATL
Matt MooreRays@NYMCIN
Amir GarrettReds@SF
Trevor CahillPadres@CWS
Sonny GrayAthletics@TEX
Jesse HahnAthletics@TEX
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacksPIT
Eduardo RodriguezRed Sox@MIL
Adam WainwrightCardinals@MIA
Miguel GonzalezWhite SoxMIN
Jason VargasRoyals@TB
Jeff SamardzijaGiants@NYMCIN
Alex WoodDodgersPIT@COL
Dylan BundyOrioles@WSH
Julio UriasDodgersPIT@COL
Matt ShoemakerAngelsDET
Zack WheelerMetsSF
Josh TomlinIndians@TOR
Jordan MontgomeryYankeesHOU
Matt CainGiants@NYM
A.J. GriffinRangers@SDOAK

Notables

  • Let’s take a second to recognize how good Michael Wacha has been this season. One Mississippi. Alright, next.
  • It seems like there’s always some random Padres pitcher that comes out of nowhere to succeed. Your turn, Trevor Cahill. The strikeout count in his five starts goes 7-8-6-9-7. This week’s start comes against a White Sox offense with a terrible BB/K factor. Spot start away if he is available on your waiver wire.
  • Well, everyone was just a year too early on the Patrick Corbin train. Yes, it’s too early to decide, but the signs are good. His slider looks filthy again and a start against Pittsburgh never hurts. His 2015 numbers are a good standard for Corbin going forward in 2017.
  • I think I just threw up in my mouth. I have to promote A.J. Griffin as a two-start pitcher this week? One, the two starts couldn’t be better. Two, Griffin pitched well in his first few starts, had a DL stint, then came right back with that fire in his most recent start. I like to see that from someone coming off the DL and he could be usable if only for a week.
  • Gross, don’t include pitchers who have starts at Coors Field in the streaming group! Alex Wood and Julio Urias should both have starts at home against the Pirates in addition to a start at Coors Field. If you have daily roster setups, go ahead and sit them for their second starts. However, I think each of their starts against the Pirates will be good enough to make up for the Colorado start.

Editor’s NoteIan Kennedy was placed on the DL with a hammy strain.

Buyer Beware

These pitchers are better left on your bench or the waiver wire. Guys closer to the top could be on the brink of being promoted in the right matchup or with a continued hot streak.

PlayerTeamOpp1Opp2
Edinson VolquezMarlinsATL
Dan StrailyMarlinsSTL
Tim AdlemanRedsNYY
Robert GsellmanMets@MIL
Matt HarveyMets@MIL
Chris TillmanOrioles@KC
R.A. DickeyBraves@MIA
Jason HammelRoyals@TB
Derek HollandWhite SoxMIN
Martin PerezRangersSD
Jesse ChavezAngels@OAK
Bartolo ColonBraves@HOU
Jaime GarciaBraves@HOU
JC RamirezAngelsDET
Brandon McCarthyDodgers@COL
John LackeyCubs@COL
Ariel MirandaMariners@PHI
Trevor BauerIndiansMIN
Jeremy HellicksonPhillies@WSH
Clayton RichardPadres@TEX
Matt BoydTigers@ARI@LAD
Zack DaviesBrewersNYM
Brett AndersonCubs@STL
Chase AndersonBrewersBOSNYM
Kevin GausmanOriolesWSH@KC
Blake SnellRaysKC@BOS
Wei-Yen ChenMarlinsATL
Phil HughesTwins@CWS
CC SabathiaYankees@CIN
Ricky NolascoAngels@OAKDET
Scott FeldmanReds@SF
Hector SantiagoTwins@CWS@CLE
Hisashi IwakumaMariners@PHI
Jimmy NelsonBrewersBOS
Tyler ChatwoodRockiesLAD
Vince VelasquezPhillies@WSH
Wade MileyOrioles@WSH
Kyle FreelandRockiesCHCLAD
Antonio SenzatelaRockiesCHCLAD

Notables

  • If you are in a deeper league, I suggest giving a look in the free agent pool for Jesse Chavez. He had one horrendous start that skewed his numbers. A revenge game (if you believe in that bullcrap) in Oakland awaits the veteran.
  • We’ve seen the starter-turned-reliever achieve great success. What about vice versa? Well, ask JC Ramirez how it’s going for him so far. How about three straight starts with 7+ strikeouts and 2- walks? Perhaps this week against the Tigers isn’t the time to test the waters, but watch list him if not just for curiosity’s sake!
  • Hisashi Iwakuma is trending towards being washed up. His strikeout and walk rates are going in the wrong direction in each of the last four years along with his ERA. His hardest throwing pitch averages 85.0 MPH. There’s just nothing in the tank and no reason to hold onto this guy any longer.
  • I just wanted to take a bullet point to discuss my disgust with Wei-Yen Chen. Alternating good and bad starts is great and all, but how come I only stream him in the bad ones and sit him in the good ones? I’m done with this guy. Ugh!

About Tyler Thompson

Follow me on Twitter at @therealwody. For all the latest news and best advice out there, like us on Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.

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