The Battle Of LA

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a ton of depth in their pitching rotation and it’s certainly a reason for their consistent success. In terms of fantasy three of their young pitchers are intriguing options for 2021. Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, and Julio Urias are all popular names among the fantasy community. All of them are young, exciting, and have the potential to break out at any moment. Recently I put up an interesting poll on Twitter asking people who would they take first in a fantasy baseball draft. Side note: I included David Price in the poll but we will disregard that as I want to bring attention to the three I mentioned earlier. With over 1400 votes the results were somewhat surprising. Dustin May gathered 44.3% of the vote with Julio Urias nabbing second at 25.4%, and Tony Gonsolin came in third at 17.3%. Assuming all of them are healthy and in the rotation for 2021, let’s compare their 2020 numbers to each other.

Basic Stats
Pitcher Innings Pitched ERA FIP SIERA WHIP
Dustin May 56.0 2.57 4.62 4.29 1.09
Tony Gonsolin 46.2 2.31 2.29 3.68 0.84
Julio Urias 55.0 3.27 3.72 4.88 0.63

Looking at some of the more surface-level stats Gonsolin is the clear cut winner with the best ERA, FIP, and SIERA. Out of the nine games where he pitched he only allowed more than two earned runs twice. Dustin May the winner of that poll is the highest in both the FIP and WHIP category while Urias is the highest in ERA and SIERA. The one thing about May is that in the 10 games he pitched, he never allowed more than two earned runs *whispers* the FIP says he was just lucky though. Either way, still impressive.

Strikeouts and Walks
Pitcher K% BB% SwStr% CallStr% CSW
Dustin May 19.6% 7.1% 9.2% 17.9% 27.1%
Tony Gonsolin 26.1% 4.0% 15.2% 15.5% 30.6%
Julio Urias 20.1% 8.0% 12.9% 16.6% 29.5%

Right off the bat Gonsolin looks to be king here. He produces the most strikeouts, the fewest walks, and the most whiffs. Urias looks to be in between the two again, while May looks like an interesting case. As you can see May relies on a lot of called strikes and doesn’t induce a lot of whiffs. This has been baffling a lot of people since his stuff has so much movement. His issue is almost the same one Bieber had a couple of years ago. He throws in the zone too often. His Zone% is above 50% which is 9% higher than the league average. He needs to get hitters to chase and needs to throw them off balance.

Quality of Contact
Pitcher wOBAcon GB% Barrel% EV wOBA
Dustin May 0.313 54.7% 6.7% 87.9 0.280
Tony Gonsolin 0.278 34.2% 4.9% 88.7 0.225
Julio Urias 0.296 32.9% 5.0% 87.1 0.268

Coming into my research I expected May to induce weak contact more often than the other two but clearly I was wrong. Gonsolin takes the cake once again with a very impressive .225 wOBA against. May is more of a groundball pitcher than the other two but the quality of contact from hitters is a lot worse.

There were some interesting opinions on this twitter poll. Rob Silver said, “If pitching GIFs didn’t exist, I wonder how much lower May would be.” A great point, are we just enamored with the movement on May’s pitches to the point where we overvalue him?

Another argument made was about innings pitched and how May will most likely get the most opportunity. That is definitely correct especially when it comes to Urias. Urias only pitched 80 innings in 2019 and the most he has ever pitched in a season was around 120 innings in 2016. Urias will likely see the fewest amount of innings of the three, assuming they all make the rotation.

Overall all of the numbers point to Tony Gonsolin in terms of swing and miss stuff plus weak contact. What makes him so effective is his perfectly splendid arsenal that contains an above-average fastball that he can rely on getting strikes with, a splitter that produces whiffs in the zone, and lastly a slider that gets hitters to chase outside of the zone. Who would you take out of the three?





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Gonsolin pretty easily before this piece. Afterward, even moreso. This no you’re right about the Gifitis.