Fantasy Baseball: Waiver Wire Wednesday – A Case for Jorge De La Rosa

Jorge De La Rosa
Jorge De La Rosa
Ron Chenoy USA TODAY Sports

With the All Star Game in the books, the second half of the season has officially begun. But in fantasy baseball, the final stretch has begun. With just two weeks until the trade deadline, and just a few weeks until fantasy baseball playoffs, the time for adding players off the waiver wire is running out. There are a few gems that could be had, but you have to act fast.

Whether it is a free agent pool, a budget-based system, or weekly waivers, playing the wire is a key element to winning your fantasy baseball leagues.

Each week, XN Sports will present an option at each position (if there is anyone worth picking up), and why you should add them.

Without further ado, let’s play the waiver wire:

On Monday, we outlined some players to add. Check it out. Since most of these players are still the top options available, there is no need to advise selecting them again. Here is an in-depth look at one player that is available that can help your fantasy teams for the rest of the season.

Jorge De La Rosa

If you frequent XN Sports often, you have seen his name before. You know that he has some numbers that are very impressive, but some numbers that scare you away. He is available in nearly every fantasy league, should you pick him up?

Yes is the easy answer, but why?

De La Rosa is an excellent pitcher at home, in Coors Field. Why he succeeds there may seem like an anomaly to the naked eye, but you have to dig deeper. Colorado is notorious for high-scoring games with home runs flying out left and right. In daily fantasy, Coors Field has the top park factor, and has for awhile. So why does De La Rosa succeed there? Coors, as mentioned, is known for home runs, but De La Rosa avoids fall balls like the plague, which allows him to be successful. His 32.1 fly ball rate is on par with Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto, who are known for keeping the ball in the park. What’s even more impressive is that De La Rosa is one of the best in baseball at inducing ground balls with a 52.6 ground ball rate. This limits the chances of a ball being caught up in the thin air, leading to home runs. The most impressive number for De La Rosa, however, is his line drive rate. He leads baseball with a 15.3 line drive rate, which means only 15 balls in 100 are hit on the nose. That’s impressive, and why he is successful at home. For those wondering, De La Rosa is 6-2 with a 3.49 ERA at Coors Field.

What about on the road? De La Rosa has struggled on the surface away from home this year, pitching to a 4-4 record with an ERA of 5.37. So it seems simple right, start him at home and sit him on the road?

Not necessarily. De La Rosa’s ERA is two full runs higher on the road, but every other number is nearly on par with what he is doing at home. A chart from Baseball Reference describes this notion.

At home, De La Rosa has pitched 56.2 innings and has allowed 48 hits and 22 walks.

On the road, De La Rosa has pitched 52 innings and has allowed 47 hits and 24 walks.

That is one less hit and two more walks in four less innings. While that is certainly “worse”, it is not two runs a game worse. Why is his ERA so high away from home? In his first two starts (both on the road) De La Rosa allowed 11 earned runs in 8.2 innings of work. Since those two starts, he has allowed 20 earned runs in 41.2 innings of work for an ERA of 4.32. Then in another start he allowed seven earned runs to the Dodgers in 3.1 innings of work. If you take away those three starts, De La Rosa has 13 earned runs in 38.1 innings for an ERA of 3.05 on the road. Now, those three starts did happen, but with 18 of his earned runs coming in three starts, and a total of 35 in the other 20 starts (including one where he left due to injury after just three innings) De La Rosa has been very good. Not to mention that in fantasy baseball, you’d probably bench him against the Dodgers, which two of his bad starts came against. Now that’s an assumption, but a valid one.

In 11 of his 20 starts, De La Rosa has allowed two earned runs or less. In 14 of his 20 starts, he has allowed three earned runs or less. For a player that is available in almost every league, a 70 percent chance of getting three runs or less from a starting pitcher every start, that is well worth an add. Think about this, the Rockies have won 40 games this season, De La Rosa has pitched in 20 games, the Rockies have won all but seven of those games. Maybe if the Rockies had a few more De La Rosa’s, they’d be in the playoff picture.

Statistics from Baseball Reference and Fangraphs

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Josh Collacchi
In addition to writing here at XNSports, my fantasy content can be seen at Pro Football Focus Fantasy, eDraft, and Project Roto. Member of the FSWA and the FWAA and can be reached on Twitter @JoshCollacchi