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Caleb Smith (SP, MIA) - Waiver Wire Pickups Week 4

BALLER MOVE: Add in All Leagues

OWNED IN: 37% of Leagues

ANALYSISWith a 2.35 ERA and dual eight-strikeout performances against the Mets and Nationals, Caleb Smith has been making waves to start the 2019 season. In 2018, Smith wan an early-season darling, when he showed moments of brilliance. Smith also suffered from some of the erratic performance that plagues young pitchers. Then he strained his lat in early June, opted for surgery, and missed the rest of the season.

Smith was largely overlooked coming into this season, but after four solid starts, he owns a 2.46 FIP, a 3.01 SIERA, 0.87 WHIP, a gaudy 33.3 K%, and two wins. That’s not even the good news though. Smith’s xwOBA is .260, right between Noah Syndergaard and Max Scherzer. His real wOBA is .235, which is better than Blake Snell, Gerrit Cole, and Trevor Bauer. The peripherals suggest Smith is for real. His groundball rate has improved to a reasonable 36.7% which is complemented by a healthy 10.5% infield-fly rate. He also limits hard contact, and his 14.8% swinging-strike rate is high enough that he could well maintain something close to his current strikeout rate. Put those together, and it will be difficult for opposing teams to score runs.

Smith is still stuck in Miami, so he’s not likely to provide a high number of wins – although he currently owns two of the Marlins' six total wins – but he should be a useful contributor in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts.

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