One of the useful things about Ottoneu is its integration with the Fangraphs leaderboards. I’m on the leaderboards here constantly as is, so the ability to use them, while having data specific to a fantasy league is an added bonus of the format. One of the filter’s I find myself using often on the leaderboards is the “Last 14 Day” filter. This is admittedly a smaller sample than anyone should use to make significant decisions, but I like to use this filter to help isolate players – especially pitchers – who have had recent hot streaks. Ottoneu uses large 40 man rosters, so often I will use the last few roster spots to preemptively buy some of these early hot streaks. Especially if you’re a first place team – or a team near the top of the standings – you are will lose any tie-breaks on free-agent auctions so being the first team to buy into a player (or auction a player) can be key to keeping reinforcements on your bench in the event of an injury. Today, we’ll look at several pitchers who are near the top of the current “Last 14 Day” leaderboard and look at a couple lessons we can learn from this group.
|Last 14 days||125||5.36||23.1||5.01||1.54||0.39||0.229||82.50%||27.10%||3.00%||1.93||3.18||4.85|
Wisler has put up more points over the past 14 days than Jose Fernandez… That’s strange, and probably tells you all you need to know about the significance of these 14 day stretches. Wisler is indicative of a larger lesson. In Ottoneu, you can have a decent stretch of starts if you pitch innings and avoid home runs. Wisler has done both of these things, and hasn’t done much else from a fantasy perspective that inspires much confidence. These are the types of pitchers you want avoid betting on – Mat Latos and Derek Holland are other current examples.
This also helps to point out the impact of potential pitcher platoons. Loading up on starters in pitcher friendly parks can go a long way toward helping your points per inning. Even if it’s someone you wouldn’t typically consider rostering (a pitcher like Wisler in a more favorable park), having a couple spot-starters who will typically have favorable matchups simply by the park they play in can be an easy way to minimize the risk of a poor performance due to a home run. You don’t want to build your rotation of these guys (unless they have some other underlying skills), but if you’re in a pinch it can be a useful way to pick a spot starter.
|Last 14 days||93||6.64||14.00||9.64||1.93||–||0.308||80.00%||48.70%||0.00%||1.93||1.60||2.95|
Duffey’s 6.64 points per inning over his past two starts is outstanding, and while his past two starts have been great, his full season total of 5.14 points per inning is very good as well. The pitch mix is similar to Rich Hill and Drew Pomeranz – throwing a four-seam fastball and curveball primarily. However, he is throwing his curveball at a much higher rate than either of these two starters. (Hill and Pomeranz throw about 15% more curves than four-seamers, while Duffey has thrown 168 curves compared to 101 four-seamers in 2016). Like Hill and Pomeranz, Duffey has an above average curve and plays in a good park so he looks to have a decent floor as a spot starting option in Ottoneu. Similar to the point I made with Wisler, finding pitchers who should have high probability matchups is a key to filling out the back of your rotation. Having a good home park is one of the easiest ways to do this. Pair that with a plus pitch and strikeouts and you’ve got my interest. I’ve been buying up shares where I can. His price could jump quickly if he holds this production over a couple more starts.
|Last 14 days||97||4.93||19.2||7.78||3.2||0.92||0.204||81.40%||46.30%||8.70%||2.75||3.76||4.28|
A month ago, Rubby would have been in a similar situation to where Duffey is currently – coming off 27 and 61 point starts to wrap up April. Then at the beginning of May, he had one poor start in Miami, followed by a 53 point start in Coors. I mention this because even when you platoon pitchers in good parks, you can still be left picking the wrong matchup. Many of us would have started Rubby in Miami over Colorado if given the opportunity and we would have left 50 or so points on the table. It doesn’t mean Rubby isn’t worth rostering, or isn’t an attractive option, but we should acknowledge that these names should be used situationally.
To dive a little deeper on Rubby, both his slider and change look to be elite (20% swinging strikes on both pitches) and that paired with his ground ball ways (52%) look to give him a recipe to avoid Arizona’s home park. His arsenal is more favorable than any other pitcher listed here. Eno has mentioned him in his bold predictions and his work with arsenal scores, so I am not the first person to recognize him, but of the three pitchers listed here, he is the first one I am spending on.
Buy on Rubby and Duffey (both could be had under $5 I imagine), hard pass on Wisler. While I am continuing to play matchups with Rubby/Duffey I can see both turning a profit in short order.
Joe works at a consulting firm in Pittsburgh. When he isn't working or studying for actuarial exams, he focuses on baseball. He also writes @thepointofpgh. Follow him on twitter @Ottoneutrades