A simple look at a box score or a study of fantasy categories doesn’t always tell the whole story of how a player is doing. Dalton Del Don tries to identify recent misleading numbers that are worth a closer look.
Yes … Numbers Lie.
Matt Chapman’s five home runs were a lie
Chapman’s amazing performance at the plate this season will be especially good for fantasy managers, as he sports the biggest difference in home runs and expected homers (he should have about four more). After hitting 19 long balls in 78 home games last season, Chapman has just one more in Toronto in 2023. Part of the issue is that he’s played 63% of his games on the road so far year, and the other is the Rogers Center which is amazing. played like a terrible pitcher’s park in the first six weeks of the season, landing in the bottom-10 in HR for right-handed batters.
This is surprising not only because the Rogers Center is very favorable for right-handed power in 2022 (increasing HR by 18%), but the fences were also moved during the offseason, with beat writers calling it that “launching pad.” Instead of Toronto new dimensions are hitter-friendly As hope for Chapman, he sports a low 4.8 HR/FB% at home despite his HardHit% and expected slugging both being in the top 1% of the league. Chapman also leads all hitters in Barrel%, and only five hitters have a higher expected wOBA – those few average 9.5 homers.
Chapman’s season wasn’t unlucky at all, as he also led the league in BABIP (.431). Expect a lower batting average but higher balls for Chapman moving forward.
Dustin May’s 2.68 ERA is a lie
Mayo is one of my most listed players, so it pains me to say this. Most of the pitchers with a 2.68 ERA are due to regression, but that’s especially true for those who have incredible peripherals in May that include a 6.1 K/9 and a 3.1 BB/9. May’s K-BB% ranks 65th among 74 qualified starters this season. Mayo ranks 16th in ERA and 64th (out of 74) in SIERA thanks to the fifth-lowest hit rate and the second-lowest HR/FB rate (2.1% this season despite owning above career average of 12.8 HR/FB%).
All that said, May there is a funny thing and is still developing as a pitcher while returning from Tommy John surgery. He had a career .245 BABIP and led the league in CSW before going down in 2021, so it’s still May has strikeout potential even if he does not induce as many swings and misses as we want.
Mayo will continue to have a lot of fantasy value thanks to pitching for the Dodgers, but his ERA is in danger of jumping significantly if his bad stuff doesn’t start translating into more strikeouts soon.
Braxton Garrett’s 5.40 ERA and 1.53 WHIP are lies
Garrett remains available in more than 90% of Yahoo leagues thanks to poor season numbers exaggerated by a terrible start; if you remove that outing against the NL’s best offense, Garrett has a 3.06 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP this season. Garrett’s fantasy managers can’t erase that look, but his peripherals suggest he’s a worthy addition moving forward. He doesn’t have dominant stuff with a fastball that averages just 89.7 mph, but that hasn’t stopped Garrett from ranking in the top-20 in CSW this season, joined by starters with ERAs of 2.82 and 2.16.
Garrett should be drafted in all serious fantasy leagues.
Kimbrel’s 6.60 ERA has a 3.28 xFIP; his .269 career BABIP is up to .357 this season, while his career HR/FB rate (10.7%) is up to 23.1%. Meanwhile, Kimbrel’s 37.5 K% is seventh best among relievers. It’s mostly been a rollercoaster with Kimbrel, but his elite stuff remains intact, and this is a reliever with a career 2.41 ERA and the eighth-most saves in MLB history.
Kimbrel has a better CSW than Jordan Roman and Devin Williams and should be the favorite to close in Philadelphia while Jose Alvarado sidelined with an elbow injury. Kimbrel remains available in nearly 50% of Yahoo leagues.