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With June less than a week away, fantasy baseball is starting to get interesting. How? Think about what we have seen in the last week or so. Matt Kemp is a bench player, George Springer is the hottest thing since sliced bread, Dallas Keuchel is dominating, the Dodgers nearly had back-to-back no-hitters, and more.
Keep your league’s page open, because you never know what is going to come up next, whether it be via trade, or especially on the waiver wire.
Whether it is a free agent pool, a budget-budget based system, or weekly waivers, playing the wire is a key element to winning your fantasy baseball leagues.
Each Wednesday, XN Sports will present a few players to pick up, and why you should add them.
Without further ado, let’s play the waiver wire:
Rather than list a few players at different positions, this week we are going to do something a bit different. If you want a look at different players, take a look here at my waiver piece from Monday. But since not too much has changed in the last two days, let’s take a deeper look at one player, and why he should be added to your fantasy team.
At this point, most every fantasy team is looking to add pitching. Either you’ve been victimized by pitchers like who have struggled, or have been bitten by the injury bug who has claimed pitchers like Kris Medlen, Matt Moore, Jose Fernandez and more. Now is the time to add a pitcher who can help clean up your pitching staff.
Meet Jorge De La Rosa, the Colorado Rockies ace, and one of the better pitchers so far in the last two months.
So far this season, De La Rosa is 6-3 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He has also struck out 48 batters in 59 innings of work. He is available in over 75 percent of fantasy leagues, but be sure to add him to yours before your league mates catch wind of what he is doing.
In De La Rosa’s first three starts of the season, he was only able to throw 13 innings. In these three starts, he gave up 14 runs for an ERA of 9.69. Since his third start, he has started eight games. In these eight games are some staggering numbers.
De La Rosa has thrown 46 innings in his last eight starts, and has allowed nine earned runs in that span. For those doing the math, that is a ridiculous 1.76 ERA. In addition, he has only allowed 34 hits and has walked just 16 batters for a WHIP of just over 1.00.
In addition, De La Rosa has won his last six decisions, and has allowed more than one earned run just three times since April 11. Now, wins are somewhat independent of how a pitcher has thrown, because they need offense as well, but in fantasy baseball wins are a statistic, and the Rockies have the most runs scored in all of baseball, which adds value to De La Rosa’s stock.
So De La Rosa has had a good stretch, a lot of pitchers do, but what is the real reason you should add him?
So far this season, he has the highest ground-ball rate of his career at 55.8 percent and a line drive percentage of just 15.3 percent. Hitters are not squaring the ball up against De La Rosa, and these numbers include the first three starts, which is rather incredible. Considering that he pitches in Coors Field for half of his starts, his fly ball percentage has to be taken into account. A 28.8 percent soothes the mind of a lot of fantasy baseball players, and that is exactly what De La Rosa’s number is.
Now, his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is a very, very low .239 which could be cause for worry, but remember that his line drive percentage and fly ball percentage is very low, which indicates very good movement on his pitches, and a heavy ball. De La Rosa seems to miss the barrel when he pitches, and in Coors Field, that is exactly what you have to do. Be sure to add him before anyone else does.
One more thing. We all agree that Adam Wainwright is one of the best pitchers in the game right now, so here is a look at his numbers:
BABIP: .239, Line Drive percentage: 21.6, Ground Ball percentage: 43.6.
Why is that significant? De La Rosa beats him in both ground ball percentage and line drive percentage, which indicates that opposing hitters are hitting the ball harder off of Wainwright than De La Rosa. You’d want Wainwright on your team, no? Add De La Rosa, as their numbers are very similar.
Statistics from ESPN.com and Fangraphs.com
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