In the preseason I wrote a piece in which I took a look at the pitchers who throw a particular pitch a lot but not particularly. I also looked at the hitters that are the very best against certain pitches. Because this is around the 20th daily fantasy piece I’ve written this year, I’m quite frankly running out of ideas. So I’m going to update the piece from the preseason.
The process is fairly simple. I started by taking all qualified starting pitchers since the beginning of 2011 (min. 300 IP) and pulling their pitch mix data for that time period. I then took each pitcher who threw a specific pitch at a rate more than one standard deviation above the mean and pulled their pitch values to see if that was a positive pitch for them. Below you’ll see all the pitchers from 2011 to present who threw a specific pitch at a rate much higher than normal and who had a negative pitch value. The idea is that you can choose hitters in daily contests that fair very well against that pitch type when facing these pitchers. I’m only looking at fastballs, sliders, curves and changes to prevent this from being too long.
The next step was to take all qualified hitters since the beginning of 2011 (min. 1000 PA) and see which guys crushed specific pitches. Below is a chart showing the guys whose pitch values on specific pitches were more than two standard deviations above the mean. Again, the idea is that these guys might be undervalued when facing pitchers from the chart above who throw that specific pitch too much and not well.
The Daily Five
Felix Hernandez, $19,752 – There are a lot of big name starters today, but Felix has the best matchup of the bunch. In fact, aside from Harvey, Shields and Fister, he’s the only big name that isn’t facing a team that is average or better against pitchers of that starter’s handedness. It’ll be mid-70’s with a wind blowing slightly in from left, so the conditions will be good as will the ballpark as always.
Doug Fister, $12,368 – The Phillies are so average. They’re 17th in wRC+ vs. RHP, 18th vs. LHP, and 19th on the road. So this matchup isn’t scary at all and is even less so with the wind expected to be blowing in somewhat today. A lot of people don’t like to take starters with lower strikeout rates, but I’ve talked recently about how I believe run prevention has a higher correlation with success that strikeouts. And at this price (Fister is the 15th most expensive SP today) I think you’re getting good value.
Tyler Chatwood – I know Coors is a complete stay away, but I’m trying to give you an expensive, middle-of-the-road, and cheap option. And I’m somewhat comfortable recommending Chatwood even in Coors because of his extreme ground ball ability. He has an absurd 58% ground ball rate, which is the 2nd best rate in the league among pitchers with at least 70 innings. And his opponent, Milwaukee, has the 2nd highest ground ball rate vs. right-handed pitching. Throw in the fact that there’s no Braun, Aramis is still hurt and their two best left-handed hitters have wOBAs of .327 and .316 and this seems to be a pretty sweet matchup.
Kendrys Morales, $8,971 – The price is a little high, but the Draftstreet pricing system has rightly recognized this as a nice matchup for Morales. Morales has been much better as a right-hander over the course of his career and has produced above average results on fastballs (career 1.07 wFB/C). Today he’ll face left-hander Scott Diamond who was listed above as one of the pitchers who throws fatsballs at an above average rate but gets below average results with the pitch.
Matt Tuiasosopo, $5,966 – There’s a decent chance Tuiasosopo isn’t in the lineup today if Miguel Cabrera is healthy enough to play, but if he does make the lineup, it’s a decent matchup for him. Cole Hamels was also one of the pitchers listed above who uses a fastball a lot but not particularly well, and he is left-handed while Tuiasosopo is right-handed.
This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of Draftstreet. FanGraphs will maintain complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in our continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.