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Strikeout Rate Risers and Fallers - Buy or Sell for Week 26

Welcome back to the strikeout rate risers and fallers series for Week 26! Each week we will take a look at two K% risers and two fallers, analyze what is behind those changes, and then decide if they are actionable. A pitcher can best control their fate by generating swings and misses, so this exercise holds particular importance for fantasy value. Understanding strikeout trends and the stats behind them can help you sort through all the noise and determine which pitchers are legit and which pitchers should be avoided.

The players in this article were chosen using RotoBaller’s K% Risers and Fallers premium Tool. This tool identifies players who are surging and falling in strikeout percentage over the last 30 days. The goal of this tool is to help you find pitchers who are showing improving or declining K%.

We have reached the final week of the fantasy playoffs, so every lineup choice this week is extremely important. I will discuss two interesting strikeout rate risers and two fallers to help you with your tough decisions this week, whether you are competing for a title or are getting in a few last rounds of daily fantasy. Let's get started on the last K Rate Risers and Fallers article of the season! It's been a pleasure providing you with insights throughout the season and I hope you made some good moves from them!

Editor's Note: Get our 2020 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our draft kit, premium rankings, player projections and outlooks, our top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 20 preseason and in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research and tools. Sign Up Now!

Strikeout Rate Risers

All stats current as of Sunday, September 2

Yu Darvish - Chicago Cubs

Season K%: 31%, Last 30 Days: 40.2%

Our first K rate riser topped this article last week and has improved even more since then. Yu Darvish has really picked things up lately, posting an insane 40.2% K rate over the last 30 days. However, Darvish's season ERA is now at 4.02, which isn't awful but isn't great. Given his early struggles, do owners have anything to worry about for his final week of the regular season? 

The bottom line is that Darvish has pitched extremely well lately. His 1.73 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and 2.38 SIERA over his last four starts show that he still has the talent to be a higher-end fantasy starter. To tie it all together, Darvish's strikeout numbers in those games have been seven, seven, 14, 13. Finally, Darvish pitched a solid game last night, going 8 1/3 innings with three runs allowed and 12 strikeouts.   

Darvish has always been a strikeout pitcher, but his batted-ball profile and command were questionable at times earlier in the season. Now, however, it seems like Darvish has things clicking and is on a hot streak. He will take on the Cardinals again at home this week and hopefully will be able to replicate his success.

Eduardo Rodriguez - Boston Red Sox

Season K%: 24.8%, Last 30 Days: 33.3%

Our second K rate riser has put together a solid season throughout, posting a 3.53 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 24.8% K rate. Eduardo Rodriguez has had some control issues this season but has managed to put it all together overall and has an impressive 33.3% K rate over the last 30 days. Is there anything to worry about for E Rod this week?

Simply put, Rodriguez has pitched insanely well lately. He has a minuscule 1.19 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in his last six starts. Further, he has demonstrated his skill by excelling against tough matchups. Rodriguez's last four strikeout numbers are as follows: eight against the Twins, nine against the Yankees, 12 at the Phillies, and 10 against the Giants. 

All in all, Rodriguez is catching fire at exactly the right time. At this point, it doesn't matter who he's facing. E Rod will be at Texas this week and would be in my lineup for sure.


Strikeout Rate Fallers

All stats current as of Sunday, September 22


Jose Quintana - Chicago Cubs

Season K%: 20.6%, Last 30 Days: 14.3%

Our first K rate faller has never been much of a strikeout pitcher, but has been a fantasy asset in the past. This season, however, Jose Quintana has been merely mediocre. Even worse, his K rate has fallen to a poor 14.3% over the last 30 days. Is Quintana worth starting this week with so much on the line?

To cut to the chase, Quintana has been awful lately. He has posted an 8.49 ERA and 1.97 WHIP over his last six starts. His control has been all over the place, resulting in a low K rate and a massive .375 BABIP over that time. There isn't a ton to analyze here, Quintana just hasn't pitched well at all.

Quintana will face a tough matchup at the Cardinals this week and I would stay far away from him. His performance of late gives me no confidence that he can help fantasy teams win a fantasy title.


Jeff Samardzija - San Francisco Giants

Season K%: 18.9%, Last 30 Days: 10.1%

Our second K rate faller has been a fantasy staple in the past and seems to be reliving his glory days. Jeff Samardzija has compiled a 3.64 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 18.9% K rate this season but has only managed a 10.1% K rate over the last 30 days. Could Samardzija help fantasy teams this final week?    

Samardzija's numbers over the last 30 days have been conflicting. His WHIP (1.09) and BABIP (.202) have been stellar. However, his 4.04 ERA is mediocre. It seems like Shark has gotten a bit unlucky over his last six starts; his 1.77 HR/9 rate suggests that he has pitched well enough but has gotten bitten by the long ball while his K rate has plummeted, despite decent control.

Samardzija has a mediocre matchup this week against the Rockies. I feel like he could be a 50-50 start this week. He is a safer play in points leagues over roto leagues, but I could see fantasy players going either way on him.


K-Rate Risers and Fallers - Premium Tool

Identifying top strikeout rate risers and fallers for each week can help you spot the best pickups before your competition. RotoBaller's Premium K-Rate Risers and Fallers tool has you covered every day. As thoughtful fantasy baseball players, we won't lead you astray. This tool will soon be active once we have a large enough sample size in the season to be considered reliable.

This type of data is available as part of our Premium MLB Subscription. Don't settle for basic stats and surface-level advice from other sites. RotoBaller brings you advanced statistics and professional analysis that you need to win your fantasy leagues and DFS games, because we're ballers just like you. We are your secret weapon!

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