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Kevin Gausman (SP, ATL) - Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers

BALLER MOVE: Draft target ~pick 165

CURRENT ADP: ~190 overall

ANALYSISNo pitcher benefited from a mid-season trade more than Kevin Gausman in 2018. During his time in Baltimore, Gausman had posted a 4.43 ERA, five wins, and a 1.52 HR/9. Following his move to Atlanta, those numbers changed to an ERA of 2.87, five wins, and 0.75 HR/9. Albeit, the Atlanta metrics came in half the innings, but even so, the changes are there to be seen. The question for fantasy owners entering 2019 draft season is which Gausman am I drafting? Is it the first, a disappointing, busted prospect with homer issues and a high WHIP or the SP2 that owners saw after a move south?

The significant change that anyone would expect moving from Camden Yard to Sun Trust Park would be the homer rate, as the relative size of the park makes one of the true outcomes more apparent. In comparison, the park factor does change with Camden posting 1.09 home run factor since 2014, and Sun Trust only 0.88 since it opened. This means that Gausman will benefit from fewer homers in the aggregate. This means that if Sun Trust leads to fewer bombs, then he will be a better-looking pitcher regarding runs created just on this factor alone.

Gausman is a good pitcher who needs to be on a good team and in an excellent park to play up for fantasy value. What owners are getting is a hurler who makes up for the lack of swing and miss with a sub-three walk rate, and strong ground ball numbers. He does give up a decent amount of hard contact, 34.7%, meaning that the gopher ball is a concern, but in a better park, will not play up as much. A better defense and overall team context mean that Gausman can post a sub-four ERA, with a bucket of wins in Atlanta, and keep stable ratios. Rotoballer has him ranked as the 58th starting pitcher but he may return value closer to 40th overall.

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