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Griffin Canning (SP, LAA) - Waiver Wire Pickups Week 8


BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 21% of Leagues

ANALYSIS: Three weeks ago, when the Angels surprised everyone and called up Canning from AAA, the analysis focused on him as a pitcher who was "dominating" the PCL. Those skills and success didn't immediately translate into a great start for Canning, but he's now balanced two poor outings against Baltimore and Toronto with two strong ones against Kansas City and Detroit. None of those teams feature an excellent offense, but the four games give us some sense of Canning's ability. So far this season, Canning owns a solid 3.80 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, two wins, a 27.6 K%, 19.5% K-BB, and a 3.81 SIERA. Moreover, the Angels have allowed Canning to pitch longer in his last two outings, which enabled him to earn the quality start in his last performance against the Royals.

Canning features a four-seam fastball that generates results like Max Scherzer's: high whiff rate and lots of pop-ups. He also relies on his slider to induce whiffs and groundballs, which doesn't immediately show up in his opponents' batted-ball profile but has been evident in some of his starts when he's needed to keep the ball on the ground. On the whole, Canning presents a compelling package with 17.8% swinging-strike rate, a 33.1% O-swing rate, and an impressive 21.0% K-BB%.

Among the ERA estimators, his SIERA score (3.68) is the most bullish, but it's not hard to imagine a scenario where he outperforms that. Canning has generated a fair number of weak flyballs, and he's been hurt by an unusually high 22.2% HR/FB ratio. Even if his ERA gets stuck around 3.8, he should still offer real value because of his high strikeout rate.


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