Welcome back to dirtbag pitching ideas! I can’t believe we’re back for a second installment, either.
As a refresher, the goal is to highlight exactly three under-appreciated starting pitching options that might be available on the cheap at the time of writing. I won’t bore you with all the old talk about how you need innings, but you got to get to 1,500 to have a shot at the title, and in 2021 it’s going to be tougher than ever. If we do it right, this column ought to help you get the jump on many of the most-added dudes on Otto, keeping you a half-inning ahead of the competition. Let’s play ball.
The Venezuelan Vet
Martin Perez | 4% Owned
This crafty vet is flying waaaaaay under the radar, having already made 8 rather good starts and still being rostered in just 4% of Otto leagues! It looks like the Sox are cashing in on a huge value on their 1yr/$5m deal with Perez, and there’s still time for you to get in on the action. Riding the strength of a retooled sinker that made Nick Gaut’s New Nasty list last week, Perez is striking out more batters than ever and suppressing homers like never before thanks to elite barrels numbers. Fangraphs pitch ratings also see his fastball and change as strengths by runs above average. The fifth spot in the rotation seems to be Perez’s, with no one threatening in the high minors and only Chris Sale in terms of notable rotation returnees this summer. Get some.
The Venezuelan Vato
Luis Garcia | 44% Owned
He’s not the surest bet, but Garcia is making himself useful in a depleted Houston rotation (6 GS) that badly needs someone to eat innings. His minor league numbers suggest the home run rate may come down some and it’s not yet clear if his barrels numbers (10.2% / 88 BBE) are a talent indicator or unlucky. ZiPS thinks he struggles with control for the next few years, suggesting BB/9 rates over 5. His job appears secure for some weeks, so if you need a guy, he could be good for spot starts. He’ll go at Oakland this week, then the Strohs have a tough few weeks of NL West and AL East games before a cakewalk (Tigers and O’s twice each) on the back half of June. Probably a better bet in 5x5. (Yeah, I know vato is Mexican slang, not Venezuelan.)
John Gant | 30% Owned
DO NOT ADD JOHN GANT. By now my boy Grey has to have already pointed out that John Gant is a Hot Schmotato, a Schmohawk. I want to believe that people who play Ottoneu will see through the ruse, but just in case, let’s make an example of this pustule waiting to burst. Sure, 4 P/IP is rosterable, and a 1.83 ERA looks sterling in a vacuum. But all is not as it appears. Hear me now: Finkle is Einhorn; Einhorn is Finkle. Let us begin the airing of the grievances: walking 7 per nine, keeping the ball in the yard at a truly elite (read: unsustainable) rate, and stranding way more runners than he usually does. When ERA is 3.5 points lower than xFIP, that’s a real bad sign of what’s to come. Reality bites, and John Gant is about to get chewed the fuck up. Stay away.
(Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire)