Sean Doolittle gets a lot of love. He’s similar to former Athletic Brandon McCarthy in some respects: He’s accessible on Twitter. He has a good sense of humor. And he’s more than okay with advanced statistics. But since he hasn’t been a full time “closer” until this season he’s somewhat overlooked, or at least he feels overlooked. Perhaps I’m just looking in the wrong places for Doolittle praise.
In this space, I had written: Sean Doolittle hasn’t walked a batter yet. Not one in 81 plate appearances. He then went out and walked one last night. So, his total now sits at one, after facing 85 batters. Damn it, Sean.
Thanks, in part, to an increase of his slider usage Doolittle’s strikeout rate has soared to a career high 34% (12 k/9). He’s been a little unlucky, with respect to his career norm, on home runs, but he’s still posting the best FIP of his career. If more context and adjustments are your thing, his xFIP- of 54 ranks him tenth among relievers, ahead of Kohi Uehara and Glen Perkins. (Dellin Betances is first, with a 33(!), but that’s for another day.) In short, Sean Doolittle is really, really good. And best of all, in today’s age of specialists, Doolittle destroys lefties and righties almost equally. You’ll find no discrimination in Doolittle’s game. For his career, right handed batters have a wOBA of .252; lefties, .260. Not too shabby.
Today, we have a few aces going. Those guys are always tough to stack against, and they’re usually solid bets if you’re willing to shell out the money. We also have a two guys – Nathan Eovaldi and Zach McAllister – who started the season on fantastic runs, but have fallen back to Earth a little in their most recent starts. For the record, I like Eovaldi today, and going forward. McAllister, not so much.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is returning from the DL today. I’m unsure how much the Dodgers will be willing push him today, so I’m staying away from him. Matt Cain has struggled so far in 2014, and things don’t get any easier today, as he’ll toe the rubber in Coors Field. Cain’s struggles keeping the ball in the yard will only be compounded today. I’m tempted to bet against Chris Young, but I’m somewhat tired of picking Rangers at this point. As a team, they’ve been rather putrid offensively, ranking 22nd in wRC+. And they’ve been even worse versus righties, ranking 26th. At some point, Prince Fielder will likely get going. So will Adrian Beltre. But until then, it’s tough to stack the Rangers’ offense confidently.
The Daily Five
I mentioned Matt Cain’s homer issues above. They’re not out of hand, but they’re present. The Rockies’ offense is always expensive, especially at home, but I’m buying today.
Wil Myers – $4,600 Let’s offset Tulowitzki’s prohibitive price tag. Myers hasn’t exactly set the world on fire this season, but he’s an upside play at this price. Tommy Milone doesn’t miss many bats and tends to give up long balls, even if the Trop dampens homers a little.
Jose Quintana – $14,592 Quintana’s not overpowering, nor is he a strikeout machine. For those reasons, he’s looked over a little. He’s facing a Royals’ offense that has posted an 83 wRC+ mark versus left handed pitching.
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Landon is a senior writer at The Fantasy Fix. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter (@joneslandon).