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Buy/Sell: Mike Fiers, Jacob Faria and More Pitching Surprises Through June

Mike Fiers went from having possibly the worst start to the 2017 season to having one the best Junes out of anyone. Will his superb June carry on into July?

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Fiers, RHP, Houston Astros

Fiers had a terrible first two months of the season in which he posted a 3.1 HR/9 and an ERA just south of five. In June he was on fire posting a 3-1 record with a 2.32 ERA. The reason for his hot June comes down to home runs, or the lack there of. In the months of April and May he allowed a total of 18 home runs in just 52.2 innings. In the month of June he cut that number by 18. Yeah that’s right, Fiers did not allow a single home run in the month of June. Now before we all start buying in to Mike Fiers stock, let us take a closer look at those games in June.

In the month of June Fiers pitched in five games against 4 different opponents. Those opponents were the Athletics, Angels, Royals and Red Sox. Out of all these teams only one has an SLG versus right-handers that ranks above the top 20 in the majors, and that team is the Oakland Athletics who he has faced twice in the month of June. The Athletics are ranked 12th with a .438 SLG vs. right-handers this season, so Fiers opponents in the month of June were not been very intimating. It is also worth noting that the last game of June he gave up 4 runs in 5.2 innings while giving up 11 fly balls compared to 3 ground balls, so we could be seeing the hot streak of coming to an end.

Brad Peacock, RHP, Houston Astros

Peacock has been a strikeout machine as he owns a 12.93 K/9 this season. With that high strikeout rate also comes a very poor 5.17 BB/9. It is also worth noting his extremely low 2.2% HR/FB. Peacock has also been known to be a fly ball pitcher as he owns a 0.87 GB/FB, so fantasy owners should be aware that the amount of home runs hit against the Astros’ right-hander is about to trend upwards. Peacock could be a good option for strikeouts as he holds a very high SwStr in 2017. Batters have been very patient against him though, and I would assume as the season goes on opposing batters will know how to attack him. This would lead to a decline in strikeouts, and a decline in Peacock’s overall fantasy value.

Edinson Volquez, RHP, Miami Marlins

I could not leave Volquez off this list due his no-hitter he threw on June 3 against a very good offensive Diamondbacks team. He has had a decent season for the Miami Marlins going by posting a 3.97 ERA in 88.1 innings. He has limited the amount of home runs against this season which is evident from his 0.82 HR/9. He has also held batters to a .223 AVG this season, but look for that to jump up around .250 by season’s end. He has also struggled with command this season as his BB/9 has ballooned all the way up to 5.20, but going off his past numbers this should come down around the high 3’s to low 4’s. In closing, Volquez may be a decent pick in leagues with 12 or more team, but I would try to stay away from the 33 year old veteran as there are probably better and younger options out on the waiver wire.

Alex Meyer, RHP, Los Angeles Angels

Alex Meyer has always been a master strikeout artist, but like a lot of other strikeout artists he has command issues. He has posted an impressive 10.14 K/9 so far this season, but that high strikeout rate also comes with a 6.12 BB/9. There have been some noticeable improvements however for 6”9 right-hander. Meyer has dropped his Hard% this season by almost 7% from what it was last season. He has also been producing ground balls at a much higher rate than he did the past two seasons. In 2016 he had a 0.87 GB/FB which has jumped all the way up to 1.46 in 2017. Due to these factors he has been giving up less home runs this season. In conclusion Meyer’s huge frame brings a lot potential to the table, but his command issues will be the main reason he stays off my fantasy team in 2017.

Jacob Faria, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

Faria is currently ranked as the number 9 prospect in the Rays organization according to MLB Pipeline. Since reaching the majors he has gone 3-0 while posting a 2.23 ERA. He has posted great numbers since making it to the majors which include a 9.74 K/9, 1.39 BB/9 and 0.84 HR/9. His 40.5 GB% and 22.4 Hard% have helped him keep the inside the park. He also owns an impressive 12.3 SwStr% which is the reason for his K/9 being over 9. Now not surprisingly I do expect some regression from the soon to be 24 year old. His 33.8 O-Swing% and 68.7 Z-Swing% let us know that batters have had been able to read the pitches quite well out of Faria’s hand.

Faria is also set up for some regression as he logs more innings in the majors for two primary reasons. The first reason being that when rookies make it to the majors they usually try to throw as hard as they can, and do not conserve themselves for the rest of the year. This is were it is very important for a young pitcher to have a veteran presence in the clubhouse to let him know how to keep his body intact for the rest of the season. The second reason being that as he logs more major league innings, the more video there will be for opposing batters to watch. Opposing batters will get to know Faria’s tendencies as they watch more video and see him pitch more regularly at the big league level. We see a lot of rookies start off hot, but go through a little bit of a slump a little while later. We even saw it with Gary Sanchez after his crazy home run streak last season. With that being said, Faria does make for a quality starting option this season, but I do not expect his ERA to stay anywhere close to 2.23.

Poll

Who do you think will have the most success going forward?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Alex Meyer, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
    (11 votes)
  • 56%
    Jacob Faria, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
    (106 votes)
  • 2%
    Edinson Volquez, RHP, Miami Marlins
    (5 votes)
  • 10%
    Mike Fiers, RHP, Houston Astros
    (20 votes)
  • 24%
    Brad Peacock, RHP, Houston Astros
    (45 votes)
187 votes total Vote Now