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30 fantasy baseball thoughts from Week 23 of MLB action

I’ve got my eyes on Joe Kelly down the stretch

USA Today/Pete Rogers Illustrations

AL East

Baltimore Orioles: There isn’t a ton of value in knuckleball over average since not a lot of pitchers utilize it but John Means has the most value to his knuckleball having .3 runs above average.

Boston Red Sox: Josh Taylor has the biggest vertical movement among his changeup (10) barely above teammate Heath Hembree who is 2nd in MLB with a 9.8.

New York Yankees: Brady Lail, in his brief 2.2 innings pitched this season has allowed 57.1% soft contact, 2nd best in MLB behind Bryan Abreu.

Tampa Bay Rays: Colin Poche has the biggest vertical movement among curveballs with a 12.5, this is 50% higher than Frankie Montas, who is in 2nd with 8.5!

Toronto Blue Jays: Tim Mayza has been pulled form 60 games, the 5th most in MLB behind Jake Diekman, Andrew Chafin, Alex Claudio and Yusmeiro Petit. The life of a middle reliever with a moderate 4.63 ERA.

AL Central

Chicago White Sox: Aaron Bummer with a near perfect outing last game, 1 inning pitched three k’s and a 1:00 Whip.

Cleveland Indians: Nothing news worthy here, just affirmation, Brad Hand has 30 shutdowns, this is defined as any relief appearance that added .06 to the teams win percentage added, essentially, bumping their likelihood of winning by getting batters out.

Detroit Tigers: Joe Jimenez has 15 meltdowns, third most in MLB. This is gauged as any relief appearance worst -.06 wins percentage added (in this case lost) or less.

Kansas City Royals: Scott Barlow as a middle reliever is averaging over a k per inning with an ERA under 1.75 over the last 30 days.

Minnesota Twins: Brusdar Graterol has a good double dip with his 99mph fastball being top five in the league and he throws the pitch 85% of the time. He isn’t used much lately, just 2 IP (no runs allowed) in the last 30 days.

AL West

Houston Astros: Gerrit Cole’s runs above average for his fast ball/ four seamer is 25.5, best in MLB and 20% better than #2 who is Lance Lynn.

Los Angeles Angels: Andrew Heaney continuing to have a great month and is only 64% owned. One bad start vs. Boston...I wouldn’t worry about one bad start vs. Boston.

Oakland Athletics: Marco Estrada ha the best fourseam/fast ball vertical movement at 12.0, up .5 from Colin Poche who is 2nd in MLB.

Seattle Mariners: I’m willing to overlook the ugly blown save by Matt MacGill the other day (28% owned) especially given how dominant he has been as of late.

Texas Rangers: Max Scherzer has the 5th best WPA (wins percentage added) at 2.97 which is amazing, but honestly I expected him to be top three in MLB.

NL East

Atlanta Braves: For all of the flack he gets, Julio Teheran leads the league in slider runs above average with 20.

Miami Marlins: Sandy Alcantara has a terrible ERA over his last few starts but he also has 15k total over his last two starts.

New York Mets: Jeurys Familia leads the league in split finger velocity at 91.9; however he throws this pitch just 6.6% of the time. He’s also rocking an unimpressive 6.43 ERA and 1.86 WHIP this season.

Philadelphia Phillies: My FAVORITE stat of the week – Aaron Altherr, in the one inning he pitched this season, set a MLB high 12 for the horizontal movement on his curveball, this is 20% higher than Adam Wainwright who is #2.

Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg has the 2nd best curveball at 20.2, just barely below Charlie Morton who leads the league in runs above average.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs: One of the cooler MLB names Xavier Cedeno throws his cutter at 77.8%, most in MLB, we won’t be seeing his stuff likely until next year

Cincinnati Reds: Luis Castillo leads the league in changeup value, his 26.8 runs above average is a full 50% higher than Hyun-Jin Ryu who sits in second.

Milwaukee Brewers: Alex Claudio leads the league in horizontal movement among fourseam/fastballs with a 10.6, ahead of Tim Hill and Ryan Borucki.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Kyle Crick has the 2nd best horizontal movement among sliders at 11.3, this is well behind Chaz Roe who is at 13.2 in #1. Kyle has been knocked around his last three outings though.

St. Louis Cardinals: Carlos Martinez leads the league in velocity on his cutter pitches at 93.9mph but he only throws it 4% of the time.

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks: Taylor Clarke has the best vertical movement among knuckleballs at 9.4, he is ahead of Hector Velazquez and Tyler Beede.

Colorado Rockies: Scott Oberg leads the league in horizontal movement among the handful of knuckleball pitchers at 4.4, this is 2x the next closest pitcher Ryan Burr. Needless to say Oberg is next level with his knuckleball.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Joe Kelly has the fastest curveball in MLB and he tosses it a third of the time. His season ERA is 4.56 but over the last 30 games he is rocking a 4-1 record with a 2.17 ERA. He is just 2% owned.

San Diego Padres: Chris Paddock has the biggest vertical movement among his slider this season (9.3) right ahead of Madison Bumgarner, Freddy Peralta and Joey Lucchesi.

San Francisco Giants: Will Smith has a rocking 4.28 WPA (win percentage added), this leads the league and speaks volumes to his value with San Francisco.