Sleeper: Chad Bettis

Chad Bettis is on the Rockies. You might be inclined to move on after the very first sentence of this post, but let me convince you otherwise.

Chad Bettis finished 2015 with a 4.23 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. However, on July 7th, he was shellacked in Colorado by the Angels. Excluding this 2.1 IP start, he would have ended the year with a 3.50 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. That has utility in most, especially deep leagues. I personally just drafted him in the 47th round of my only NFBC Draft Champions League thanks to his Arsenal Score, which is sandwiched between Dallas Keuchel and Max Scherzer.

Don’t get worked up. Bettis should not be in the same sentence – or matrix – as Keuchel and Scherzer. The matrix should be updated next week with pitch usage weights (increasing the Fastball value due to usage approximately three-fold to approximate MLB rates). This will drop Bettis in the rankings significantly. If we look at his 2015 sabermetric outcomes on his Brooks Baseball Player card, we can see that his Fastball whiff-per-swing rate is -0.74 standard deviations worse than the average fastball.

Still, the rest of his repertoire is great from a whiff/swing perspective:

Pitch Type Count Pitch Usage Whiff/Swing GB/BIP HR/(FB+LD)
Fourseam (1139) 915 48.9% -0.74 1.36 -1.02
Sinker (741) 202 10.8% 0.73 0.49 -1.92
Change (554) 296 15.8% 0.98 2.97 3.36
Slider (706) 179 9.6% 0.99 2.77 0.33
Curve (531) 280 15.0% 0.27 -2.43 1.04

In fact, his Fastballs and Sinkers were not often mistakes: zero Sinkers were hit for homers and only 4.44 of the flies + liners off his Fastballs were homers. This bodes well in Colorado. Same goes for his grounders/balls-in-play ratio on every pitch outside of the curve. He could be successful in Colorado!

It was his secondary/offspeed stuff that turn into mistakes when they did not cause whiffs as you can see highlighted in red above.

Maybe distinguishing the fastball-change up more or an increased usage of his Sinker/Change/Slider classifications could turn him into fantasy asset in most leagues. For now, stream him away:

2015 away: 3.35 ERA; .297 wOBA (.266 BABIP)


2015 home: 4.99 ERA; .365 wOBA (.353 BABIP)

Daniel Schwartz contributes for RotoGraphs when he's not selling industry leading thermal packaging. You can follow him on twitter @RotoBanter

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That’s how I did it last year and that’s how I plan to do it this year: stream him on the road, sit him at home. (Unless you see a weak hitting team or one decimated by injuries coming to Coors Field.)
He’s a great deep league play and one that should be available—most owners see he’s a Colorado pitcher and flinch.