2022 Fantasy Baseball: Six Pitchers to Sell

by Keith Lott
2022 Fantasy Baseball: Six Pitchers to Sell

The MLB All-Star break is here with the Home Run Derby tonight and the All-Star Game tomorrow. This is the perfect time to read my 2022 Fantasy Baseball: Six Pitchers to Sell article!

Take a moment to look over your rosters, take a deep dive into some of your players and figure out who is worth holding onto and which players you can flip to make your overall roster better.

For this article, I compared "real-life" data to Statcast data.

I ranked every pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched to each other in each individual category and summed up the rankings to give each player a score. Like golf, the lower the better.

The only ranking the two scores shared was innings pitched.

Real Life Categories

  • Wins
  • Quality Starts
  • ERA
  • WHIP
  • K%

Statcast Categories

  • xERA
  • xFIP
  • CSW%
  • xwOBA
  • xBACON

This is what the top of the table looked like when sorted by "real-life" score:

I then filtered the table to find the pitchers with the biggest change in "ranking" when comparing their "real-life" score to the Statcast score - see the last column above.

2022 Fantasy Baseball: Six Pitchers to Sell

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Logan Gilbert, Seattle Mariners (94% Yahoo)

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There is no hotter team in the MLB than the Seattle Mariners entering the MLB All-Star break. Despite their 14 game winning streak, they are still nine games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West but do hold a Wild Card spot.

Over his last five games, Gilbert has not thrown a single quality start.

Like our next pitcher, innings are going to be a concern the rest of the way. Even if Seattle ignores his innings, will he have the stamina to pitch your team to a Fantasy Baseball Championship?

He owns a 25.2 CSW%, .338 xwOBA and an awful .366 xBACON. He xERA is 1.48 runs higher than his actual ERA.

Spencer Strider, Atlanta Braves (87% Yahoo)

Put the pitchforks down.

Strider has been lights out this year but for Fantasy purposes, he has limited value left this season.

He leads the MLB in strikeout rate at 37.9%, among starting pitchers, and owns a very respectable 3.03 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. However, he has just three quality starts and four wins in 10 starts as he does not pitch deep into games.

He could be a candidate for the Braves to move to the bullpen towards the end of the season.

Strider should command a nice little package in a trade and his numbers will sell himself.

Triston McKenzie, Cleveland Guardians (83% Yahoo)

We love Triston McKenzie but we love winning Fantasy leagues more.

Most think of McKenzie as a swing-and-miss pitcher but his 26.9% CSW ranks outside the top 100.

He is coming off one his best starts of the season and is on an absolute tear right now. He should be able to fix any and all problems your current roster is facing.

The soon to be 25 year old is reaching last year's innings total and while the American League Central and potentially a Wild Card spot is still up for grabs, I don't think they are going to risk anything with their young Ace.

His xERA and xFIP are both over four and don't forget that in June he pitched to a 6.44 ERA over 29.1 innings.

Jose Urquidy, Houston Astros (78% Yahoo)

Embed from Getty Images
None of the advanced stats that we focused on look good for Urquidy:

  • 112th in xERA (4.78)
  • 116th in xFIP (4.46)
  • 97th in CSW% (25.9%)
  • 112th in xwOBA (.356)
  • 95th in xBACON (.348)

Yet somehow he has managed nine quality starts and eight wins with a 4.09 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 18.5% strikeout rate.

I guess it helps to pitch for the Houston Astros!

There is also a potential innings issue as Urquidy has never pitched more than 107 innings at the MLB level. At 27 years old Houston will not hold him back but he might not be able to continue to pump out quality starts the rest of the season.

For those managers lucky enough to have Jose Uquidy as depth on their pitching staff, look to move him during the All-Star break.

Like the final two pitchers below, his Baseball Savant percentile rankings are not great.

Nick Pivetta, Boston Red Sox (62% Yahoo)

We all knew it was too good to be true with Pivetta. For those of you who rode the wave, congrats.

May and June were very kind to Nick Pivetta. Over 78.1 innings, he owned a 2.19 ERA allowing just 19 earned runs. His three starts in July (13.1 IP) have seen him surrender 20 earned runs - 13.50 ERA!

His Baseball Savant percentile rankings are abysmal.

You can probably still sell his 10 quality starts, eight wins and 23% strikeout rate to a team in need of pitching.  You are selling at his low point though so keep that in mind when asking for pieces in return. Hopefully, you can trade him before you have to drop him!

Johnny Cueto, Chicago White Sox (45% Yahoo)

Johnny Cueto has revived his career at 36 years old in Chicago. He has nine quality starts in 11 games started. That is great for managers who got the best out of him. But it is time to flip him into pieces that can help your team.

Cueto pitches to contact and struggles to miss bats. His 24.8% CSW% ranks 133 out of the 146 pitchers with 50 innings pitched. He is striking out less than 20% of batters faced and owns a 12.8% K-BB rate.

At the break, his FIP is 1.18 runs higher than his ERA.

Cueto has also been hit pretty hard this season with a 34.9% Hard%, which is bottom 20 among pitchers with at least 50 innings.

He ranks in the 40th percentile or below in every category except for walks according to Baseball Savant.

Other Pitchers to Consider Selling

1 Jose Berrios TOR 92% 19 10 7 21.1% 5.22 1.36 101.2 5.58 4.01 28.1% 0.372 0.377
2 Adam Wainwright STL 90% 18 10 6 19.6% 3.00 1.23 111.0 4.33 3.86 28.2% 0.341 0.350
3 Nathan Eovaldi BOS 89% 13 6 4 25.4% 3.34 1.14 72.2 4.51 3.11 29.5% 0.347 0.375
4 Miles Mikolas STL 86% 19 13 7 19.5% 2.54 0.96 120.1 3.68 3.78 26.2% 0.317 0.329
5 Jameson Taillon NYY 74% 18 5 10 19.9% 3.86 1.13 100.1 3.99 3.75 25.8% 0.329 0.354
6 Eric Lauer MIL 69% 17 8 6 25.1% 3.64 1.16 96.1 4.16 3.92 27.0% 0.335 0.351
7 Drew Rasmussen TB 55% 15 3 5 20.8% 3.22 1.16 72.2 4.19 3.67 25.6% 0.336 0.351
8 Cal Quantrill CLE 47% 17 10 6 14.9% 3.75 1.29 100.2 4.45 4.65 24.3% 0.345 0.331
9 Zach Plesac CLE 43% 17 9 2 16.9% 4.02 1.27 94.0 5.58 4.36 25.1% 0.380 0.371
10 Chris Flexen SEA 36% 18 8 6 16.3% 3.79 1.39 99.2 5.07 4.97 22.8% 0.368 0.348
11 German Marquez COL 32% 18 8 6 18.8% 5.47 1.44 103.2 4.84 4.04 25.4% 0.358 0.357

Check out my Six Pitchers to Buy article!

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