Fantasy Baseball NL Player Updates: Sell Gio Gonzalez?

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Jake Arrieta threw a quality start, but was un-Arrieta-like. He went 6 IP with 3 ER and an impressive 7 strikeouts. His ERA on the season remains elevated at 4.63. Fortunately, his SIERA is a fair bit lower at 3.23, and his K rate is actually the best it’s ever been, over 10.5 per 9 innings. I would say we have some serious positive regression coming, but my lone caution is that Arrieta is only generating 42.6% of his outs as groundballs. Now I say only because historically he’s been at 49%, 56%, and 53%. This is making him far more susceptible to home runs (up to 1.9 per 9, more than double his career average). So what does this mean? His results are prone to be more volatile, either for the positive or negative. I’m still a confident Arrieta owner going forward, but the landscape for how he’ll succeed may be changing.

If you haven’t yet, it’s time to buy some shares of Eugenio Suarez, who blasted his 6th HR of the year yesterday. Suarez surprised us a bit in the first month of 2016, but he’s surpassed all expectations so far through 26 games. Suarez has decreased his K% by a whopping 7.5% and improved his contact% to almost 82%; these are some serious improvements that will help his average. Now add to the fact that his HR/FB% is over 22.7%, and we have the making of a solid mid-tier 3B, with upside. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain this the entire season; there’s a lot to like so far.

 

 

 

 

SELL! Gio Gonzalez danced around 5 innings yesterday, somehow only allowing 1 ER (via HR) despite 7 walks in the game. Gio came into yesterday with a 4.32 SIERA vs. a 1.62 ERA, and last night didn’t help. Gio is a decent pitcher, but if there’s any way you can get solid value for him as if he’s revisiting his 2013 self, you should absolutely jump on the opportunity.

Marcell Ozuna is starting to heat up again as he now has a hit in five straight games, including a moonshot last night for his 8th of the season. Despite a wRC+ over 135, Ozuna has had somewhat confusing results. The HRs are fantastic, but he’s striking out nearly 26% of the time with a contact rate 4% lower than the last two years. Despite the poorer peripherals, he’s hitting the ball well with a Hard% of 47.1%, vs. career average of 36.6%. So what’s the verdict here? To be determined. Owners should be thrilled with the power, but a HR/FB over 30% usually doesn’t come out of nowhere, so I’m cautious of the sustainability in that regard.

JT Realmuto flexed his muscles yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a triple and 4 RBI. Realmuto’s numbers appear average, but are significantly magnified since he’s a catcher, which makes him a valuable commodity in fantasy leagues. Batting leadoff is a great perk, and he’s rewarded the Marlins with a .322 average thus far. I really like Realmuto going forward; he makes great contact and bats atop the order, which is a big benefit over most catchers.

Written by David Donahue @https://www.twitter.com/Silent_Investor. David is a finance professional with a mildly unhealthy obsession with fantasy baseball.

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