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Fantasy Baseball: Three up – Pitchers

Player value changes constantly in Fantasy Baseball and it’s important to not only stay on top of recent trends, but to interpret the trends as well. As we work our way deep into May and the sample become larger, we are going to take a look at a couple of pitchers who’s value is rising or falling over the opening couple of months. We’ll split out typical Three Up, Three Down format into separate posts so we can dive a bit deeper into the numbers.

Today, we’ll take a look at three pitchers who’s value is on the rise, but we’re not necessarily buying each of these early season performances.

Three Up

Patrick Corbin (ARI)

9 starts, 64.1 IP, 7 wins, 1.44 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 51 K

Corbin has been one of the finer stories of the early season. After struggling t a 6-8 record last season with a 4.54 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and so-so 7.2 K/9 last season, Corbin has broken out in 2013.  He was a risky playing heading into the vaunted Coors field earlier this week, but marched in a dazzled the Rockies with a complete game 3-hit shutout. Corbin collected a career-best 10 strikeouts in his latest win, nudging that K-rate into respectability at 7.3K/9 IP. Though Corbin’s minor league track record was solid, he was never a strikeout artist, so expecting a punchout-per-inning is not really the wisest move from an owner. He has displayed solid control, but it’s notable that his BB% is up from 2012 and clearly, there is some luck factors also involved. Corbin should be good for an ERA in the mid-3s from here on out ( the 3.58 xFIP sounds about right), but his lack of strikeout upside really caps his value outside of out top-30. Expect Corbin to continue to be solid, but he’s not elite and you may want to think about moving him for value before he begins to fall back to earth.

Trevor Cahill (ARI)

9 starts, 58.0 IP, 3 wins,  2.48 ERA, 1.14 WHIP,  43 Ks

Sticking in the desert, Cahill has been fantastic so far in 2013, and is coming off a strong outing against the pitiful Marlins. The veteran Cahill was OK last season with the Diamondbacks with a 3.78 ERA and 13 wins, but his mediocre strikeout totals made him a pretty underwhelming fantasy option. Though the surface numbers over the first seven weeks of the season look improved, Cahill’s 3.67 FIP and 3.94 xFIP look nearly identical to the numbers he posted last season. On top of all of that, his strikeouts are down slight and Cahill’s walk rate has jumped up to 10.1% this season.  According to ESPN’s player rater, Cahill is currently the 35th most valuable starting pitcher and that is with the sparkling 2.48 ERA and 91.1 LOB% so it’s easy to see how this guy could become a borderline play in standard leagues as his ERA begins to rise. It’s time to sell Cahill now for whatever you can get.

Matt Garza (CHC)

1 start, 5.0 IP, 0 wins, 0.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 5 Ks

Garza made his 2013 debut just last night after missing the first seven weeks of the season with a strained lat muscle. He was a bit wild in his debut effort, walking three batters while tossing just 49 of his 82 total pitches for strikes. Garza’s health has been a constant worry for the past couple of seasons, but since he’s made the switch to the NL prior to the 2011 season, the 29-year-old righty has posted a 3.46 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 over 306.2 innings pitched. Yeah, the wins are few and far between, but this is a top-30 talent when healthy. Garza remains available in about 35% of standard leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN and may be available on you waiver wire right now. If he is scooped up, it may not be a bad time to buy low on the Cubs hurler before he really gets rolling.

 

Check back tomorrow for “Three Down”…

 

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