Bullish or Bearish – Matt Garza
Matt Garza is 33, so we aren’t talking about young and sexy here, but he is cheap right now in DFS. Garza came to the Rays in the Delmon Young deal and has shown flashes of quality throughout his career. While the Twins watched their side of that deal flame out in a way that could drive a GM to drink, Matt Garza had 3 years of sub 4 ERA with The Rays in a very challenging AL East. He helped his team to two playoffs in Tampa Bay including a World Series (loss) in 2008. He was traded to the Cubs for one and a half solid number 3 level starter years, before going to the Brewers and beginning a decent into the purgatory of crappy MLB pitchers.
What the numbers say about Matt Garza
In three starts into a late start of 2017, however, he’s been very good. Is this really sustainable? After consecutive games with no walks over 13 and two-thirds innings, he’s sitting on a 1.53 BB/9. While probably not sustainable, it suggests he could keep that well under 3, where control becomes a skill. Despite two straight years of worse than average walk rates, his control has been an asset in the past. All that’s great, but what makes this credible? Let’s dig a little bit deeper.
He is throwing a first-pitch strike against 64% of batters, more in line with what he did prior to the last two years when that got below 60%. Getting a strike on the first pitch shifts is statistically supported as greatly improving odds in the favor of the pitcher. Getting hitters on the defensive early has allowed him to get a career high 37.7% of his pitches swung at outside of the strike the zone. That number was SEVEN points less in 2015-2016. The extra 1.2% of swings and misses he’s getting will sprinkle in some extra strikeouts over the span of your investments.
Given his price and a good situation, I am BULLISH on Matt Garza. He has a little GPP appeal and can provide solid returns if you aren’t big on blowing too much of your cash game budget on aces.
Do you have a question about some of the stats mentioned here? This article can help.
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