Fantasy Baseball Category Impact: Wins
At this point in the fantasy baseball season, the waiver wire might be quite bare in your leagues. However, Colby Conway has identified some pitchers that will help you pick up as many wins as possible for your squad.
As preseason football rolls around, I urge you not to forget about your fantasy baseball teams! People, there is work to be done! Hopefully you’re still in the hunt for a title and these starting pitchers below can help you out in the win department moving forward. They are pitching well and ready to contribute to your fantasy team. Go pick ‘em up and get some wins.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP LAD – Don’t get me wrong, this guy is hard to trust, as he can break down with an injury at any point without notice. He went 14-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 2014 and posted an even 3.00 ERA the year before. He’s just 4-6 this year with a 3.53 ERA but there are plenty of positives about Ryu thus far. His 8.74 K/9 would be the highest of his career, while his 2.55 BB/9 would be the second lowest. He’s generating more ground balls then the year before and less fly balls, which is typically better than surrendering too many fly balls. For the non-Ryu truthers out there, his 4.30 FIP indicates he’s been lucky to date, but numbers talk and right now, Ryu is as good as anyone out there. Well, maybe except Chris Sale and Corey Kluber. Over his last 19 innings, he’s allowed just two earned runs and posted a 20:4 K/BB ratio. Getting ahead in the count is important and over the last 30 days, Ryu has a first-pitch strike rate of 74.2 percent, which is second among qualified starting pitchers. Oh yeah, he pitches for the hotter than white hot Los Angeles Dodgers.
Zach Davies, SP MIL – A sneaky good offense gives Davies the opportunity to win plenty of games and Davies has gone out there and done his thing. Since the middle of June, Davies is 6-2 and has lowered his ERA down to 4.18. He’s allowed just three earned runs over his last 28.2 innings, posting a respectable 25:11 K/BB ratio. He hasn't been a big strikeout guy for the majority of his career, as seen by his 6.76 K/9 mark, but all of his numbers are right around his career norms. Opponents aren’t making as hard of contact against Davies as they have in years past, but the big difference is the fact that Milwaukee is kind of good, and Davies is able to rack up some wins. He’s already set a new career-high in wins and there’s still plenty of season left to grab a few more. Don’t expect heaping totals of strikeouts or a huge reduction in your team’s WHIP, but in terms of wins, Davies can bring the thunder.
German Marquez, SP COL – I’m pretty sure I wrote about this guy in an earlier addition of Category Impact, so hopefully he’s already on your team. However, if he’s not, he’s still available in over half of ESPN fantasy leagues. Marquez is 4-0 in his last six starts, headlined by striking out 41 batters in 39.2 innings. He’s allowed just 13 earned runs in that span while posting quality starts in each outing. Home runs can still be a bit of a bugaboo for Marquez, but that’s the nature of the beast when your home stadium is hitter-friendly Coors Field. His FIP (3.72) is below his ERA (3.88), which signifies that he can keep this sort of production up. Wins may come and go, but he can continue to be a quality start machine and be serviceable in the strikeout department. His fly ball and ground ball percentages are close to one another, and we all know that to many fly balls could be a problem at Coors. He’s in line for a two-start week next week and his first of two starts comes against the Atlanta Braves.
Andrew Cashner, SP TEX – Cashner is a quiet 7-8 on the season with a respectable 3.36 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He’s battling a stiff neck, but whether you know it or not, he’s 4-1 over his last five starts. Texas does enough offensively to get him run support, but in Cashner’s defense, he hasn’t needed a ton when he’s toed the rubber. He’s hardly striking guys out (4.63 K/9) but he’s been on the lucky side through 107 innings in the 2017 campaign. Opponents have posted a .275 BABIP against Cashner, but perhaps the biggest worry about Cashner moving forward is his 4.40 FIP and 5.19 xFIP. Again, he’s been lucky, but production is production and right now, he’s putting up respectable numbers for his fantasy owners. He’s available in just 20 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues, but you might want to sit him in his next start, which is currently scheduled to be against powerful Houston Astros.