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 must-starts:
Austin Jackson needs to be on more rosters than he is. Owners are taking notice as he is the most added outfielder in ESPN leagues this past week. With a score that makes him a top-25 outfielder in the HVaC, his 71 percent ownership is simply not high enough for the value he is able to provide owners in head to head leagues.
Across three of five categories, Jackson will provide substantially positive value over the average the rest of the way. His H/PA, runs, and steals will give owners plenty of reasons to smile and all are a deviation above the mean. While he will struggle in power and in RBI totals, he still is above average even if it is on the wrong side of the curve.
He has managed to increase his contact rates and of late has adjusted his flyball rate to be better in line with his history of hitting the ball more on the ground.
This will allow him to raise his HR/FB rate and increase his IFH percent to a level that is more like what owners should see given his type of game. Jackson has shown consistency in his walk rate as well as his strikeout rate while keeping his average in the same .270 range it was last season. The Detroit outfielder is a strong add the rest of the way that will pay great dividends.
Gomes’s numbers through 87 games are eerily similar to his numbers through 88 games last season. The HVaC numbers like him to be a top-10 catcher the rest of the season and owners should take note given his availability. While his H/PA fall a deviation from the mean, the remaining four categories all will provide owners with positive value. As a compare, Gomes should play out better than Mesoraco from here on out.
I find it odd to see Garza on the outs with owners. While not elite, the HVaC scores Garza as the number 65 pitcher overall and that should be good enough to keep him on most rosters. With a strand rate that has been nearly 10 points below his career mark but a BABIP that has continued to improve, Garza should recover from his 4.04 ERA.
His home run rate has remained low and his WHIP has hovered around the 1.25 level. Worth the add while others are dropping him.
Time to strike while you still can. Dickerson is a top-50 outfielder, making him a starter in every format, according to the HVaC. His ISO numbers have been replicated in the minors and are sustainable in that regard. He has consistently hit for average as well. While the HR/FB rate is likely an issue, the rest of the package makes him worth the addition.
A few twitter questions came in on Aybar this week. The model still really likes what he can bring to the table. The groin injury could be an issue, but Aybar when healthy will bring immediate value in all areas but power numbers. At second base, the power is largely irrelevant as it will produce the second-fewest home runs by position. His average, runs, and speed bring a sense of balance and make him the number three second basemen. Given his two point drop in ownership this past week, owners should take notice.