It’s great to have you here for stale beer and armchair pitching talk! Skipped last week because what’s the fun of consistency? Anyways, if you did what I told you to in week six then you been bragging all week about how you bought Manoah ahead of that start against the Yankees, but you didn’t, so just keep running Robbie Ray out there and wondering why every league has a feckin’ team named Musial Suspects. It’s your life, man.
As a refresher, I’m highlighting three arguably under-owned SP 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 go do our Angel Hernandez worst.
The Cobb on the Corn Can
Alex Cobb | 46% Owned
If I told you that the only guys better at doing something than another guy in 2021 were Yacob deGrom and Corbin “Seymour” Burnes, you’d probably assume that third guy must be decent at that thing, right? Well get ready Sloth, here comes a Baby Ruth: Alex Cobb is practically the One-Eyed Willy of O-Swing (chase rate, if you fancy). In his age 33 season, Cobb is absolutely destroying career-best strikeout numbers and he’s a FIP darling. Cobb is limiting barrels at an elite level - Eno doesn’t yet know if that can be called a skill or not - and, accordingly, has reduced his hard hit rate rather drastically over the past few seasons. Cobb’s changeup or split finger is doing the damn thing (Statcast and Fangraphs don’t agree on what we call it) and he’s reduced his fastball usage more than 20% vs. the past four seasons, so there’s a clear change in approach. He’s a little sexier in points right now, but if FIP is right, he’s about to make 5x5 owners even happier.
PODCASTS LOVE HIM
Austin Gomber | 25% Owned
Look, if you listen to the podcasts, this is a two-week-old trope and you can skip this section. I blame Sporer and that lot. Here’s an important fact: this guy pitches half his games at Coors, so go right ahead and write those off. But since he infamously “Gombered” all his owners with his last start of April, he was surprisingly useful in May. Jeff Zimmerman pointed out that Gomber - like Cobb - is also using his changeup more with success, but it comes with a caution (see: track record). And yet, there are reasons to believe - Gomber’s HR and strand rates ought to regress for the better, and Fangraphs see his change and curve at nearly 3 and 1.5 runs above average, both easily career bests. Anyways, if you like doing what the cool kids do, Gomber should be at the back of your rotation, but probably only if you have a ton of innings eaters since you can’t start him at home.
The Hind Teet
Cody Poteet | 8% Owned
Cody Poteet is an old rookie (26 going on 27) making the most of a chance to hold down the back end of a 4-man Marlins rotation. Elieser Hernandez is due back within days, but that still only gives them five bodies. Justin Mason knows more than I do and he says, “Poteet has four average to above average pitches that he uses and good command, but nothing he does is overpowering… He likely won’t stick in the rotation long term, but he can be an interesting streamer in good matchups…” His league average fastball (93.5 mph) must be doing something special because Fangraphs rates it 5.7 runs above average while Savant rates his curve spin rate in the 89th percentile, all of which adds up to an xwOBA against in the 92nd percentile. All that to say, if you like fishing, then tie up your hooks, man.
(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)