* Not an actual quote from Matthew Boyd
Welcome back to another year of Straight Cheese! This is my weekly column where I suggest starting pitchers that have a matchup in their favor for the upcoming week. For the most part, I try and suggest players with low ownership. This week we are looking at streaming starting pitchers week 4.
Identifying Weak Hitting Lineups
I like to look at wOBA, ISO and K% to identify weak lineups and conversely, for pitchers I look at wOBA, ISO against and their K%.
With it being so early in the season not enough data has accumulated to look exclusively at 2019 stats. A solution is to look back at 2018 and these first few weeks of 2019 to get an idea of teams to pick on. Here are the bottom third teams in each stat from 2018 along with their current 2019 numbers.
All statistics, ownership and projected starting dates are as of Thursday morning, April 11.
|Marlins||0.289 (30th)||0.277 (24th)||Marlins||0.119 (30th)||0.132 (25th)||White Sox||26.3% (30th)||26.1% (25th)|
|Giants||0.290 (29th)||0.257 (30th)||Giants||0.129 (29th)||0.115 (29th)||Padres||25.1% (29th)||22.9% (16th)|
|Padres||0.294 (28th)||0.309 (18th)||Tigers||0.138 (28th)||0.112 (30th)||Phillies||24.8% (28th)||21.5% (10th)|
|Tigers||0.295 (27th)||0.268 (27th)||Padres||0.145 (27th)||0.178 (13th)||Rangers||24.1% (27th)||27.6% (28th)|
|Orioles||0.299 (26th)||0.295 (22nd)||Royals||0.146 (26th)||0.156 (18th)||Giants||24.0% (26th)||25.0% (20th)|
|Royals||0.303 (25th)||0.296 (21st)||Reds||0.148 (25th)||0.177 (15th)||Diamondbacks||23.7% (25th)||21.9% (11th)|
|White Sox||0.304 (24th)||0.304 (19th)||Rays||0.148 (24th)||0.146 (20th)||Brewers||23.5% (24th)||22.8% (15th)|
|Mets||0.305 (23rd)||0.345 (10th)||Orioles||0.152 (23rd)||0.146 (21st)||Orioles||23.4% (23rd)||22.6% (14th)|
|Diamondbacks||0.306 (22nd)||0.352 (6th)||Cubs||0.152 (22nd)||0.190 (10th)||Blue Jays||22.8% (22nd)||28.0% (29th)|
|Phillies||0.307 (21st)||0.341 (12th)||Pirates||0.154 (21st)||0.135 (24th)||Marlins||22.8% (21st)||24.7% (19th)|
Here are the teams still in bottom third in all three stats: San Francisco Giants. The Miami Marlins are really close. So, I’m going to start with these two teams to pick on by identifying starting pitchers facing the Giants and Marlins next week. Next week’s schedules:
- Giants: Washington Nationals (away) and Pittsburgh Pirates (away)
- Marlins: Chicago Cubs (home) and Washington Nationals (home)
Streaming Starting Pitchers Week 4
RHP Anibal Sanchez, WAS
Owned Y20%/E12% · at Miami Marlins – Friday, April 19th
Marlins are posting a 0.284 wOBA (21st), 0.116 ISO (27th) and 31.8 K% (29th) at home versus RHP so far in 2019. Now that is only 49 plate appearances, but rest assured they were just as bad last season when facing RHP at home: 0.290 wOBA (30th), 0.106 ISO (30th) and only striking out 21.0% of the time (13th). They are ripe to be taken advantage of.
Sanchez should do just that. His numbers aren’t great after two starts (both against a very dangerous Phillies lineup): 6.52 era, 4.83 xFIP, 1.76 whip, 20.0 K% in 9.2 innings. He’s coming off a brilliant year with Atlanta and matchups don’t get any better then this.
RHP Trevor Williams, PIT
Owned Y46%/E40% · vs. San Francisco Giants – Friday, April 19th
Giants are currently posting a 0.283 wOBA (20th), 0.171 ISO (13th) and 23.7 K% (19th) when facing RHP on the road. Last season, in the same split, they put up a 0.287 wOBA (28th), 0.130 ISO (29th) and 26.3 K% (30th). I don’t need to tell you that their numbers are better this season than last. But… can you trust them? They didn’t really improve their lineup in the off season (and, Kevin Pillar isn’t the answer, either).
Williams is coming off two starts, both against the underperforming Reds. Through 12 innings he’s got a 2.25 era, 3.86 xFIP, 0.92 whip and a 19.6 K%. Those numbers are even better than last season’s 3.11 ERA, 4.54 xFIP, 1.18 WHIP and 18.0 K% in 170.2 innings. Many were predicting Williams to regress back down to earth in 2019. It hasn’t happened yet, and the Giants don’t seem to be the team to pull him back down either.
I still need one more starting pitcher to recommend for you, my loyal readers. I always like to give you three. I’m going to look at teams still in bottom third in two of the three stats: Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles. The Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox are really close. Next week’s schedules:
- Tigers: Pittsburgh (home) and White Sox (home)
- Orioles: Boston Red Sox (away), Tampa Rays (away) and Minnesota Twins (home)
- Royals: White Sox (away) and New York Yankees (away)
- White Sox: Royals (home ) and Tigers (away)
RHP Yonny Chirinos, TB
Owned Y62%/E33% · vs. Baltimore Orioles – Wednesday, April 17th
Through 151 plate appearances in 2019, the Orioles are currently putting up 0.294 wOBA (18th), 0.130 ISO (22nd) and striking out 28.5% of the time (23rd) against RHP on the road. Because you want to know, last year in the same split they posted a 0.296 wOBA (24th), 0.154 ISO (21st) and struck out 26.0% of the time (28th). The Orioles are skill-challenged.
Chirinos has come out of the gate strong. Through two starts (Astros at home and Giants on the road) he has a 0.75 ERA, 3.53 xFIP, 0.42 WHIP and 29.0K% in 12 innings. Last season in 89.2 innings he put up a 3.5 ERA, 4.04 xFIP, 1.22 WHIP and 20.3 K%. He’s not a strikeout machine but he gets the job done and that should continue against the Orioles.
Starting this season I’ll be suggesting a two-start pitcher for the upcoming week. Please bear in mind that things can change after this article is posted. Injuries, rain delays, managerial moves, etc. can happen. The world is an imperfect place; screws fall out all the time.
LHP Matthew Boyd, DET
Owned Y69%/E44% · vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Tue Apr 16) & vs. Chicago White Sox (Sun Apr 21)
While the opponents offer something to take advantage of, this is more about Boyd himself. His ownership has been climbing steadily since the beginning of the season and rightfully so. He’s seems to be truly breaking out in 2019. Through three starts (17.1 innings) he has a 2.60 ERA, 2.57 xFIP, 1.15 WHIP and 40.3 K%. Last season he put up a 4.39 ERA, 4.72 xFIP, 1.16 WHIP and 22.4 K%. He’s worth owning in all formats at this point.
Next week he faces the Pirates who did alright facing southpaws in 2018: 0.315 wOBA (15th), 0.163 ISO (11th) and 21.2 K% (7th). So far in 2019 they aren’t faring as well: 0.269 wOBA (27th), 0.024 ISO (30th) and 22.4 K% (14th).
Next weekend he gets the White Sox who were in the bottom third of the league versus LHP: 0.306 wOBA (20th), 0.143 ISO (20th) and 27.8 K% (30th). They aren’t doing much better so far in 2019: 0.294 wOBA (22nd), 0.128 ISO (19th) and 26.9 K% (24th).
If Boyd is on your waiver wire then pick him up now and thank me later.