We have seen many pitchers emerge as fantasy stars the first month of the season, but who will continue their early season success and whose April will be an outlier by the end of the season?
Jakob Junis, SP, Kansas City Royals (Sell)
Up until April 25, Junis had a 2.02 ERA and held batters to a .160 batting average. Although he had a poor outing the last time out, Junis is still sporting a 3.34 ERA and has walked less than 6% of the batters he has faced.
Now just by taking a look at Junis' FIP, you will see he is obviously due for some regression. With a 45.7% fly ball rate and 32.6% hard contact rate, he will most likely give up a fair amount of home runs. When paired with a 6.96 K/9, things could get real messy for the Royals' right-hander in 2018.
Junis should not be rostered in any 12-team roto leagues but does make for an excellent streamer option when he has favorable matchups.
Jarlin Garcia, SP, Miami Marlins (Sell)
Garcia has been one of the best pitchers to start the season as he currently sports a 1.00 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. He has had so much success this season due to the low line drive rate he has held batters to this season. That will likely regress some around league average as the season continues, which will be quite worrisome due to the 13.2% soft contact hitters have against him.
Garcia does boast a good fastball-changeup combination, but his slider still needs some work. Without an established breaking ball and a 9.1% swinging strike rate, you should expect a K/9 around seven. With a low strikeout rate and poor command, Garcia should most likely be avoided in most leagues going forward.
Joey Lucchesi, SP, San Diego Padres (Buy)
Lucchesi is a definite buy in my opinion. With tremendous control throughout his minor league career backed by an excellent swinging strike rate, it should be no surprise that he is having such a great start to the season.
Lucchesi is the first pitcher from the 2016 draft to reach the major leagues, and it is well-deserved. With four solid pitches in his arsenal and good command, he has been able to post an incredible swinging strike rate of 13.0% so far this season. With a low line drive rate throughout his minor career, he has a chance to have an exceptional WHIP.
Lucchesi's strikeout potential and excellent command make him a must-own in any 10-team league.
Tyler Skaggs, SP, Los Angeles Angels (Sell)
Skaggs was a fantasy favorite early in the season after he was inducing a lot of swings and misses. He has come back to earth the past couple starts and actually has a contact rate above league average. This will most likely lead to a K/9 close to 8, which is nowhere near what he was doing the first few weeks of the season.
The main concern surrounding Skaggs is not his strikeout rate though. The fact that batters have only hit 8.4% of their batted balls with soft contact this season is very concerning. Skaggs reminds me a lot of Junis in that they both are potential low strikeout and high hard contact pitchers who should only be considered streamers in most leagues.
If there are any pitchers not mentioned that you have questions about feel free to post in the comments section and we’ll try to give you the most accurate advice possible.
Which pitcher are you buying into the rest of the season?
This poll is closed
Jakob Junis, SP, Kansas City Royals
Jarlin Garcia, SP, Miami Marlins
Joey Lucchesi, SP, San Diego Padres
Tyler Skaggs, SP, Los Angeles Angels