The 2019 Fantasy Baseball season is two months old and owners are realizing whether or not they have a contending team. We have more data and can make better assessments if players are for real. Here are five players and whether to believe in their starts to the 2019 Fantasy Baseball season.
Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox
It’s really difficult to trade for pitching. Most teams are in need of pitching and the few that might have depth know an injury or two can change that in an instant. Rodriguez is a pitcher I would buy low. He has disappointed, going 5-3 with a 5.04 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 25 percent strikeout rate and 7.6 percent walk rate. He has been hurt by a .345 BABIP and 66.5 percent strand rate. He’s cut down on the fly balls and has a good hard hit rate of 27.4 percent. The 12.6 percent swinging strike rate is the best of his career. He’s on a good team, should get run support and the underlying numbers indicate he should be better.
Frankie Montas, Oakland Athletics
Montas has been one of the biggest surprises this season. Many are going to say this is a fluke since it wasn’t expected and move on. That’s not a good idea. Montas added velocity in the spring and started throwing a splitter that is making a huge difference. He is 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23.4 percent strikeout rate and five percent walk rate. Montas is allowing very few barrels, has a 52.1 percent ground ball rate and the hard hit percentage is at league average. If someone doubts Montas, buy high.
Jose Peraza, Cincinnati Reds
Peraza has been one of the biggest disappointments this season. Early in the off-season, it appeared he could hit lead off in an improved lineup. Instead, he started the season batting eighth. In recent weeks, he’s lost playing time with Jose Iglesias getting all the time at shortstop and Derek Dietrich seeing a lot of time at second base. Scooter Gennett could return in a few weeks and that will hurt Peraza even more. Peraza is batting .196 with 15 runs, four home runs, 11 RBIs and four stolen bases. Peraza started slowly last season and finished strong with a .288 average, 14 home runs and 23 stolen bases. Playing time is a real concern and there’s little optimism for Peraza.
Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
The 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft is finally living up to lofty expectations. In his first full season in the majors last year, he struggled with a lack of strikeouts, high walk rate, 6.13 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. He was barely drafted and now Fantasy players wish they had him. Giolito took advantage of some poor offenses but aced his biggest test in his last starts against the potent Houston Astros. He threw a four-hit shutout, walked one and struck out nine and many had him on the bench. Giolito is 6-1 with a 2.77 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 28.5 percent strikeout rate and 9.2 percent walk rate. The fastball velocity is up and he’s using his changeup more. Giolito is throwing more first-pitch strikes with a 63.3 percent rate and the 11.5 percent swinging strike rate is up 3.2 percent from last season. Believe in the start.
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Cabrera is healthy and isn’t a major Fantasy contributor. He has a line of .295/.370/.372 with 14 runs, two home runs, and 21 RBIs. While Cabrera still has a very high hard hit rate, he has a 28.9 percent fly ball rate and a launch angle of 10.8. He’s not getting any lift on the ball and he has no power. Cabrera is in a bad offense, doesn’t steal base and has little power. While the average and on-base percentage help, he’s not the same player he once was in the 2019 Fantasy Baseball season.