Fantasy Baseball: Keep Jason Hammel and Allen Craig out of your lineups


(Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Each week, Collin Hager uses his HVaC Scoring System to let you know whom to start and drop this week in head-to-head fantasy baseball leagues. This week’s players to avoid:

Jason Hammel

Hammel has seen his numbers drop 10 points in the last seven days as owners are moving to put him on waivers. The move to Oakland could be a case that helps him, but the numbers indicate he may be heading for a turn and regressing to the numbers we have seen in the past. To date, Hammel has been relying strongly on a slider that hitters are only hitting .233 against and striking out on it 23 percent of the time.

Hammel plot_profile

The question will be if he can continue to throw it as much as he has. The pitch has become a third of his repertoire and that is a heavy reliance.


In addition, he has never found himself striking out this many hitters and only in 2012 was he close. His 23 percent strikeout rate is nearly 50 percent better than his career mark and he has held batters to a .230 average against him.

The HVaC sees Hammel continuing to drop. Though he resides as a top-60 pitcher, he has fallen week over week and owners need to be cognizant of that fact. The risk factors here outweigh the reward and it is certainly time to sell high.

Chase Headley

The change of scenery has owners looking for some offense from Headley once again. While the New York ballpark should be friendly to his right-field tendencies, Headley still needs to show the ability to get back to the form from 2012. That simply does not seem possible. His ISO has not been above .151 in any season except 2012 and he has only slugged .400 twice since 2009. The HVaC likes him better now, making him a top-15 player at third base in New York, but still not a starter.

Chris Carter

While his ownership has picked up 12 points in the last seven days across ESPN leagues, the inconsistency should keep owners at bay. Carter continues to strike out nearly 33 percent of the time while hitting just .254 on balls in play.


Source: Fangraphs

Even with some normalization adjustments, he will struggle to get within three deviations of the mean in this category. It will also push his RBI and run totals down, leaving power as his only option. Stay away.

Allen Craig

As has been noted in Fangraphs, Craig has stopped hitting for pull power and based on his pitching charts, he is being dared to hit some inside fastballs. Quite simply, he has not been able to do it. The numbers show a jump of seven points in fastballs seen this year over last and a drop in every other pitch.


Craig has continued to put the ball on the ground, seeing his flyball rate drop the last two seasons. The numbers in the HVaC push him outside the top 20 at his position and owners should move on.

Khris Davis

Davis continues to be added by fantasy owners, but the numbers do not add up. He is still two deviations from the mean in H/PA while his run and RBI totals are both to the left side of the curve as well. Davis has hit just .200 in July and only bettered a .260 average in May. The power has shown to be there, and he is still a top-60 outfielder, but with his contact rate falling off from last year and an ISO figure that is far more in line with his minor league numbers and you have a fringe starter at best.

Collin Hager is a fantasy baseball writer for FantasyPros911. You can follow him on Twitter: @CWHager 

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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