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:
Dan Haren should not be being dropped the way he is. He should be being dropped faster. Ignoring his drop in strikeouts, he still is putting up a 4.49 ERA (4.52 FIP) despite putting up groundball numbers far better than the last two seasons and better than at any point in his career since 2005.
The fastball velocity for him is now on average below 88 mph. Though he has compensated by throwing more curveballs, Haren has not been able to generate enough swings and misses, seeing the lowest mark of his entire career this season. Couple this with a contact rate better than 91 percent on pitches in the strike zone and the concerns become more evident.
Haren’s strand rate has been dropping each year since 2009, making the numbers he is putting up seem far more the norm. Owners considering Haren should certainly think twice and look somewhere else for more pitching help.
Buehrle’s run was fun, but it was not sustainable. Even now, he still is showing a strand rate near 80 percent but has a BABIP over .300. Factor in that his FIP is far closer to 4.00 than the 3.11 he has put up so far this year, and the 22 point drop in ownership this week is valid. The HVaC has him outside the top-100 pitchers and there is no need for head to head owners to keep running him out.
Duffy is sitting just inside the top-100 pitchers at 99 overall, but he is being added of late. The good news is people are ignoring the wins and looking at the bigger picture. The bad news is that we need to look deeper. Duffy’s FIP is a run and a half worse than his current ERA and looking at a strand rate of better than 80 percent that ERA could easily come up with some regression. He is walking three and a half hitters per nine innings while the strikeouts he produced do not do enough to boost his value.
The 18 point jump in ownership within ESPN leagues needs to be ignored here. Vogt checks in as the number 23 catcher in the HVaC and has three of his numbers at least a deviation to the left of the mean. The major concern for owners should be the .366 BABIP he is currently producing to sustain his .351 average. While he has shown he can hit .300 in the minors, this level is not one he has seen before.
Owners have waited a long time to get Trumbo back and he has struggled since returning. Though the numbers indicate he should be a top-12 player at First Base the rest of the way, he is still well behind many others that could provide more of a boost. With numbers in runs, RBI, and H/PA that are well left of the mean, Trumbo is too much of a risk down the stretch.