Fantasy Baseball Analysis
Chris Archer has been one of the best pitchers in baseball lately; have you noticed? The Orioles may have finally found their ace in Kevin Gausman. Freddie Freeman is proving to be an elite hitter. We talk about those players and more in our Inside the Numbers piece where we’ll take a look at some notable trends around the league.
- 2.79: The ERA for Chris Archer over his last 9 starts
Not many players have frustrated their owners as much as Chris Archer has this year. By the end of June, he had a 4.76 ERA and had issued 43 walks in only 98.1 innings. On the bright side, he had 117 strikeouts in that span, good for a 10.70 K/9, so there was a little silver lining… and I do mean little. Hopefully you were patient enough and did not cut ties on the young pitcher because he has been on a solid run since the middle of July. Over his last nine starts, dating back to July 20th, Archer has a 2.79 ERA with an 11.63 K/9. He could set the Tampa Bay franchise record with losses in a single season, which currently stands at 18 (Archer is 7-17 at the time of this writing), but the blame can’t be put entirely on Archer as he’s only 4-4 during this nine-game stretch. When you go to your draft table next season, you can confidently rank Archer as a top-of-the-line starter, but know that you can probably get him for a discounted price due to his disappointing overall numbers this year.
- 1.073: Freddie Freeman’s OPS since the All-Star Break
Odds are, if you’re a Freddie Freeman owner, you got him on draft day for a decent price. As the lone star player in the midst of an Atlanta Braves rebuilding job, many expected Freeman to have a down season. And by the end of May those people appeared to be right, when he had a .251 average, .757 OPS, and only 15 RBIs. However, since that time, Freeman has clubbed 21 home runs and 58 RBI. To put it simply, he’s hitting the cover off of the baseball. He posted a 1.080 OPS in June, .907 in July, and 1.147 in August. September has been even better so far with a 1.200 OPS. It’s time to accept that Freeman is a premier talent at the plate regardless of who is surrounding him in the lineup.
- .408: The average over the last 30 days for DJ LeMahieu
The Rockies’ second baseman has quietly put together a terrific season and his .342 average puts him behind only Daniel Murphy for the NL lead. Now, of course, he plays for Colorado, so his home/road splits are crazy. Take a look:
He’s still shown to be a decent player on the road but when he’s in the friendly confines of Coors Field, he’s putting up Hall of Fame type numbers. He’s virtually a must start in DFS when he’s at home but for season-long leagues, especially if you’re in rotisserie, those overall numbers are still very nice.
- 19: Kevin Gausman’s current scoreless innings streak
It has been three weeks since Gausman last allowed a runner to cross home plate. He’s 4-0 in last 4 starts and has only allowed more than 2 ER in a game once since August 1st. Since the All-Star Break, he has a 2.73 ERA and a 10.01 K/9; those are elite numbers. Gausman has the skill set to be a staff ace and a top 25 pitcher in fantasy. He faces a tough matchup against Detroit on Friday but it’s hard not to keep riding this streak.
- 21: RBIs for Albert Pujols in his last 19 games
Despite having what some would argue as the league’s MVP on their team in Mike Trout, the Angels are flat out awful this year. That said, Albert Pujols is enjoying another solid season in Los Angeles, although continues to not quite live up to his lucrative contract, as he’s only batting .267 with an .802 OPS in an Angels uniform. Compare that to his .328 average and 1.037 OPS as a Cardinal and you start to see what I’m talking about. Pujols has already posted his highest RBI total as an Angel with 110 and continues to produce runs, driving in 21 over his last 19 games. He’s not going to be the player he once was in St. Louis but he still fills the counting categories rather consistently.
Check out the most recent fantasy baseball waiver article that provides four hitters and three pitchers owned in under 50% of leagues. Feel free to ask me any baseball question on my personal Twitter @davidfiori.