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Statcast Pitcher Studs and Duds - Advanced Metrics Leaders for SIERA (Week 24)

Freddy Peralta - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

Welcome back to another edition of RotoBaller’s Statcast Pitcher Studs and Duds article series! Each week, I select one advanced metric, choose two pitchers with strong values and two with poor values, and analyze what those values may mean for future performance.

I wrote about skill-interactive earned run average (SIERA) back in Week 7, and it's time to pay it another visit. SIERA quantifies a pitcher's performance by trying to eliminate factors the pitcher can't control on their own; it considers balls in play and adjusts for the type of ball in play. The formula and more info can be found here.

SIERA is a great metric for identifying how well pitchers have performed, which can be useful for tough start/sit decisions in the fantasy playoffs. Let's take another look at one of my favorite pitcher metrics!

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SIERA Studs for Fantasy Baseball

All stats are current as of Sunday morning, September 3, 2023.

Joe Ryan, Minnesota Twins

10-8, 4.20 ERA, 3.41 SIERA

Joe Ryan had a great start to the season, struggled towards the middle, and currently has a 4.20 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 29.4% strikeout rate in 24 starts. The good news is that his 3.41 SIERA is one of the lowest among qualified starters. Which version of Ryan might fantasy managers get for the fantasy playoffs?

The interesting thing is that Ryan's SIERA is so low despite a lackluster batted-ball profile. He works in the top of the zone with his fastball and is an extreme fly ball pitcher with a 20.9-degree launch angle. He also allows hard contact, with an average exit velocity and hard-hit rate in the 26th and 31st percentiles in baseball, respectively. Consequently, he allows a lot of home runs with a 14.8% HR/FB rate and a 1.77 HR/9 rate.

Fortunately, Ryan doesn't allow much contact. His 74.2% contact rate is one of the lowest among qualified starters and he strikes out a lot of hitters with his fastball-splitter combo.

Ryan has been an effective bat misser this season and has kept runners off the basepaths overall. He does get into trouble when he is off his game because he works in the top of the zone, but more often than not he has gotten good results.

His next two starts will likely be at the Guardians and against the Rays. While these are not the best matchups, Ryan's upside is likely too high for fantasy managers to sit him in playoff matchups.

Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers

11-8, 3.85 ERA, 3.52 SIERA

Freddy Peralta had an uninspiring first half of the season but has been excellent in the second half, compiling a 2.38 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP and a 39.6% strikeout rate in nine starts. His season ERA currently sits at 3.85, but his 3.52 SIERA is still lower. Can fantasy managers expect an even more positive turnaround from him to finish the season?

Peralta has done a good job limiting hard contact this season, and this is reflected in his Statcast profile. Like Ryan, he tends to work up in the zone with his fastball and down in the zone with his other pitches. He had gotten burned by the long ball in the first half with a career-high 16.0% HR/FB rate, but he has gotten that back in line in the second half at an 11.6% clip.

Peralta has had above-average stuff throughout his career and that is fully playing out in the second half of this season. He does a decent job limiting hard contact while striking plenty of hitters out, leading to strong expected stats. These stats are finally starting to materialize and should continue to down the stretch.

 

SIERA Duds for Fantasy Baseball

All stats are current as of Sunday morning, September 3, 2023.

Bryce Elder, Atlanta Braves

11-4, 3.42 ERA, 4.77 SIERA

Bryce Elder has had a breakout season for the Braves, going 11-4 with a 3.42 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 17.3% strikeout rate in 27 starts. However, his 4.77 SIERA is much higher than his ERA and is among the highest for qualified starters. Should fantasy managers trust him down the stretch?

Nothing under the hood stands out as glaringly bad for Elder, but nothing is particularly strong either. He allows a good amount of contact at 79.1%. While his 8.5-degree launch angle is fine, his average exit velocity and hard-hit rate are both below average. His .268 BABIP is decent, but his 8.3% walk rate is too high for a pitcher who doesn't have overpowering stuff.

Signs point to Elder being a mediocre starter, which he outperformed in the first half. He has pitched more to his underlying number in the second half with a 4.38 ERA over nine starts. He does have the benefit of having one of baseball's best offenses supporting him, but he doesn't offer a ton in terms of individual fantasy skills.

Elder's next start will be a favorable one against the Pirates, but he may then have to face a tough Phillies matchup. At this point in the season, fantasy managers could feel comfortable starting him in favorable matchups but may not want to trust his underlying numbers in tougher matchups.

Michael Lorenzen, Philadelphia Phillies

8-8, 3.73 ERA, 4.69 SIERA

Michael Lorenzen has had an up-and-down season with the Tigers and Phillies. He made an All-Star appearance and threw a no-hitter and now has a 3.73 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 18.7% strikeout rate in 23 starts. However, his 4.69 SIERA suggests that he has been getting lucky overall. Will his luck run out over the final month of the season?

Lorenzen profiles similarly to Elder in that he doesn't have overpowering stuff. While nothing stands out as a huge issue, nothing stands out as elite either. In his five starts with the Phillies, he has gone 3-1 with a 4.22 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 15.0% strikeout rate. He will have a better chance to earn wins with the Phillies given their strong offense, but his other numbers may continue to regress.

Lorenzen may be a two-start pitcher this week with a matchup at the Padres and potentially a matchup against the Marlins. His lack of strikeouts limits his fantasy value in roto leagues regardless. Even though he may not be quite as good as his season numbers suggest, he is probably worth starting in points leagues.



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