Just a few weeks ago, Fiers wasn’t even in the conversation to be used in Fantasy Baseball. He was allowing home run after home run. Even with the Astros’ offense backing him, he allowed 18 long balls over 52.2 innings through the first two months of the season. Fiers hasn’t allowed a home run since May 25, spanning over his last 31.1 innings pitched. It’s no coincidence that he’s had success since then. How bad was his home run issue? Even with the long homerless streak, Fiers still has a 2.08 HR/9 for the season. In his last five starts, he has allowed 22 hits, six earned runs, walked 11 batters and struck out 29. He has a 2.68 ERA at home and 4.83 on the road. He is 5-2 with a 3.81 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 7.73 K/9 and 3.23 BB/9.
Fiers has a 50.4 percent ground ball rate and a 33 percent fly ball rate. The 23.7 percent HR/FB rate is still too high even with regression already kicking in over the last five starts. Fiers has a 27.9 percent hard hit rate and 10 percent swinging strike rate. He’s better than what he showed the first couple of months and is worthy of a roster spot in leagues of 12 teams or more.
Gomez has been sizzling since coming off the disabled list. In six games, he’s batting .391 (9-for-23) with nine runs, five home runs, and 14 RBIs. Before going on the DL, Gomez had four home runs and 13 RBIs in 38 games. He had two home runs and five RBIs Thursday. He is still striking out a lot with eight strikeouts in those six games and has a 27.5 percent strikeout rate for the season. In 44 games, Gomez is batting .267 with 28 runs, nine home run, 27 RBIs and five stolen bases. The weather is hot in Texas and lots of runs are being scored. Gomez has a 40.5 percent hard hit rate and he could be available in some leagues.
Many expected Montgomery to open the season in the starting rotation but he lost out to Brett Anderson. Obviously, we knew that wouldn’t last based on the injury history of Anderson. It took Kyle Hendricks landing on the DL to get Montgomery in the rotation and Montgomery has taken advantage of the situation swiftly. As a starter, he has pitched 15 innings, allowing just 12 hits, four earned runs and six walks while striking out 13 batters. He has a 2.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and a 65.1 percent ground ball rate as a starter. The starts have come against the Rockies, Mets and Padres. As long as Montgomery is a starter, he’s worth using in Fantasy. He has pitched four, five and six innings in his three starts as he’s building arm strength.
It was obvious that Bundy wasn’t going to keep up his great start. The strikeouts were lacking and the peripherals indicated he was getting some good luck. Bundy had a 1.65 ERA in April and 3.92 in May. In June, he has a 6.64 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 3.98 B/9 and 2.21 HR/9. He has allowed a .374 wOBA this month. The biggest issue for Bundy is innings. The Orioles said he had no innings limit before the season, but it’s going to be really difficult to see Bundy logging a heavy workload. He’s had injuries throughout his career and the 24-year-old right-hander pitched 109.2 innings last season. Bundy has already pitched 92 innings in 2017. The Orioles are going to give him several extra days off after his next start. He is 7-6 with a 3.72 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 6.36 K/9 and 2.84 BB/9. Bundy has a 46.9 percent fly ball rate and that’s a bad thing pitching in Camden Yards. Bundy has a 10.1 percent swinging strike rate, so there is a possibility for more strikeouts. The problem is trying to deal Bundy. Almost everyone is aware of his issues. He’s already been a good draft value, but he might not help much the rest of the season.
It has been a roller coaster ride for Wainwright. April was a nightmare with a 6.12 ERA. Then it appeared Wainwright was back in May. In 30.2 innings, he allowed 26 hits, had a 2.64 ERA and a 22:14 K:BB ratio. The four starts in June make April look like a Cy Young year. Wainwright has an 11.02 ERA, 1.96 WHIP, 4.41 BB/9 and a 2.2 HR/9. He has a 2.88 ERA at home and 9.48 on the road. Wainwright isn’t the same anymore and gets hit often. He allowed a .281 average last season and .301 in 2017. Get rid of him if you can.
While we see plenty of rookies called up to the big leagues and perform well, Brinson is the risk some prospects bring. Usually, when a team calls up a rookie, they will let him play every day. That’s why it’s odd to see Brinson come up and sit in the dugout during many games. And once Ryan Braun returns, Brinson is likely heading back to the minors. It appeared Keon Broxton was the one in jeopardy, but once Brinson got the call, Broxton went on a tear. There isn’t enough playing time for Brinson and he hasn’t done anything to earn more by hitting .120 (3-for-25) with 11 strikeouts and three walks.