Yesterday Blake Murphy recapped the impact of some of the bigger names that moved at the trade deadline. Today I want to touch on the potential impact that a few of the smaller names could have in new places.
Jose Iglesias moves to Detroit – Of the 90 qualified starters in the league, the Tigers have four starters that rank top 20 in BABIP. Anytime a team has four starters with a BABIP of .308 or higher, the defense is obviously a problem. And Detroit is no exception this year as they rank 27th in defensive efficiency. They turn only 69.6% of balls put in play into outs. For comparison’s sake, the Pirates lead the league in defensive efficiency with a rate of 73.3%. Detroit’s struggles aren’t entirely Jhonny Peralta’s fault, but he’s not helping. He has a UZR/150 that is slightly below average for his career (-0.7), but Iglesias’ career UZR/150 is 22.2. If Peralta is in fact suspended, Iglesias should help those Tiger starters lower their BABIPs.
Joe Thatcher moves to Arizona – The only potential impact of this move is an increased potential for wins for Arizona starters. The D’Backs are 2nd in the league in blown saves with 19 of them. Thatcher could help alleviate that problem if he takes over some of the high leverage situations against left-handers from David Hernandez who has blown five of those 19 saves. Hernandez has 7.40 ERA against left-handers this year and has a .331 wOBA allowed to lefties for his career compared to a .301 wOBA allowed to righties. And because Hernandez was used primarily in the 8th inning role this year, he has the 23rd highest average leverage index among qualified relievers.
Thatcher is essentially a LOOGY who has a .260 wOBA allowed to lefties in his career. If Thatcher takes all the high leverage situations against left-handers away from Hernandez, the Diamondbacks will probably blow saves at a lower rate going forward. But you can never trust managers to use their bullpens properly. It’s worth keeping an eye on how Kirk Gibson deploys Thatcher in high leverage, late inning situations.
Justin Maxwell moves to Kansas City – Maxwell is expected to become platoon partners with David Lough, and the pair should come to mind whenever you need a cheap outfield option. Lough’s price today against the right-handed Dillon Gee is $6,323, and I would expect the starter to be priced for under $7,000 on most days. Maxwell has some nice fantasy skills as he has 29 home runs and 24 steals in just 763 PA. Lough’s fantasy skills aren’t as good, but he would be on pace for 30+ doubles if he got a full season’s worth of plate appearances.
The Daily Five
Doug Fister, $15,302 – Fister is the 5th most expensive pitcher today, so let me tell you why I’m not picking the four guys who cost more. For starters, I’m picking Fister over Chris Tillman and Chris Archer because Fister’s xFIP is 3.35 while Tillman and Archer have xFIPs over 4.00. Jose Fernandez and Madison Bumgarner have xFIPs that look more like Fister’s (3.25 and 3.35, respectively), but those two have tough match ups. Fernandez faces Cleveland who has the 6th best wRC+ against right-handed pitchers like Fernandez; Bumgarner faces Tampa Bay who has the best wRC+ against left-handed pitchers like Bumgarner. But Fister has a cushy match up against the White Sox who have the 4th worst wRC+ against right-handed pitchers like Fister.
Dillon Gee, $11,415 – If you go to Gee’s page, you’ll see that four of the five most recent articles on this site in which he has been tagged have been typed up by yours truly. I love the guy. It’s almost impossible for me to pass on him when he’s facing the team with the 5th worst wRC+ against right-handed pitching. And Kansas City happens to be a particularly good match up for Gee. Gee’s biggest issue is the long ball (1.23 HR/9 this year), but the Royals have the third lowest HR/PA rate versus right-handed pitching.
Jordan Zimmerman, $11,030 – Zimm’s price is super low today thanks to a 7.18 ERA in the month of June. But if you take a look at the underlying numbers, you’ll see that he pitched just about as well in the last month as he has in all other months. His xFIP was 3.38 (it’s 3.61 for the year), and his strikeout and walk rates were both better than league average. What got him were BABIP and HR/FB rate. I’m not necessarily saying he was unlucky. He could be struggling through a mechanical issue or something. But the odds of a pitcher with his track record not rebounding from a .357 BABIP and 21.4% HR/FB are slim. He’s got a nice match up with the Brewers whose offense against right-handers is in the bottom third of the league without Braun.
Orioles left-handed hitters, varying prices – A quick look at the weather report shows that highest temperature at game time will be in Baltimore, and the wind will blowing out to left. These are probably the best conditions for offense today, so the Baltimore lefties, Chris Davis ($8,969) and Nate McLouth ($7,281), are good options. They’ll also be facing right-hander Aaron Harang who has a HR/9 of 2.01 away from Seattle this year.
Mariners left-handed hitters, varying prices – While we’re at it, let’s go ahead and target Mariner lefties as well since the conditions will be favorable. And the pitcher they’ll be facing will also be favorable. Right-hander Chris Tillman will start for Baltimore, and he has a 2.03 HR/9 at home this year. I’m not sure what the Draftstreet pricing system is up to today, but all the Seattle lefties are very reasonably priced if not under priced. You’re only allowed to take four players from the same team in a given day, so I’d go with Kyle Seager ($7,162), Raul Ibanez ($5,720), Michael Saunders ($5,332) and switch-hitting Nick Franklin ($6,990) who has hit nine of his ten home runs from the left side.
With those three pitchers and the six hitters discussed from those two teams, that’s 75% of your lineup filled out. That leaves you with an average of $6,993 to spend on each of your remaining three hitters, which is more than enough to be able to find good hitters.
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