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Tyler Mahle (SP, CIN) - Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 8% of leagues

ANALYSIS: The Cincinnati Reds were definitely depending on a few pleasant surprises if they wanted to have a go at it in 2019, and Tyler Mahle has certainly qualified through hard work to improve some strongly lacking areas in his game. Last season in 23 starts, Mahle exhibited clear issues with home runs and control as evidenced by his 4.98 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 1.8 HR/9, and 4.3 BB/9, while producing a more-than respectable 8.8 K/9. In  39.0 IP across seven starts this season, Mahle is looking better across the board with a 3.69 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 1.2 HR/9, 1.8 BB/9, and 9.5 K/9.

He may still have his ugly affair with the long ball, and it is clear why when he is allowing career-worst figures for hard contact (42.6%) and soft contact (11.1%) allowed. However, the threat has been neutralized in large part due to Mahle increasing his grounder rate from 38.7% to 45.4% and his GB/FB ratio from 1.07 to 1.63, providing a significant helping hand in notoriously hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park. His fastball velocity is touching around 93.4 MPH while he has vamped up his curveball usage from 0.7% to a whopping 22.3%, tossing the breaking ball at an also-improved 80.7 MPH. His next start will come in pitcher-assisting San Francisco against a Giants club with a .648 team OPS and a fifth-lowest HR total of 35. With the threat of going deep seemingly being minimized with each start, Tyler Mahle looks like an interesting start on Mothers Day with some strikeout-upside.

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