Bullish or Bearish: Carlos Gonzalez
Hitting .228 with only 6 HRs and 2 SBs through 340 plate appearances, you might think that Carlos Gonzalez is overvalued at $3,100 on FanDuel, but that ignores the probability of regression. Indeed, the price had to come down from the lofty $4,000 range that Carlos and his Rockies cronies historically go for, particularly at home. However, built into that suppressed price is the belief that Carlos may be washed up. That’s an aggressive assumption.
We are talking about a guy who has AVERAGED 26 HR, 15 SBs, 100 R, 100 RBI per 600 plate appearances in his career. The main concern with Gonzalez from a fantasy perspective has always been his chronic injury history, but DFS players have no reason to care about that as they are only investing short term.
Gonzalez has been prone to streakiness in his career, so while longer than most of his slumps, we don’t have nearly enough data to think it’s more than just a slump. Statistically speaking, there is nothing that stands out as worrying. His strikeout rate is barely worse than average at about 21%, but that’s been his career norm. He’s even swinging at pitches outside the zone a little less this year than in any year since 2012, hence his highest walk rate since then as well. That means he is a better cash game play than in previous years.
If there is anything worth worrying about, his groundball rate is a career high at 51.5%, but he’s always been above 46%. His hard-hit rate is also down about 7% from career norms, but that has been reflected in his medium hit balls (his weak hit balls is the same as last year), which means he’s still getting good bat on the ball. Both of these things suggest to me that he is a small tweak to his swing away from getting going. Looking at his last 9 games, he is hitting .315 with 3 doubles and a stolen base, which is enough short-term success to get me to pull the trigger at his current price tag.
Keep in mind that even though Colorado’s home park statistically inflates Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP), that is well built into pricing on FanDuel. Rockies bats will always be more expensive at home as evident by his $3,500 last time they were in Coors. While the nearly 13% increase in price may overcompensate for a 5.5% increase in BABIP, the BABIP number technically compounds to provide more output as anyone looking at box scores can tell. Further, that is still a steep discount for Cargo and a Rockies hitter in general. Either way, I’m looking for pitchers to fade in Colorado or on the road and putting up the cash to buy Gonzalez’s services until that price corrects.
I am BULLISH on Carlos Gonzalez as long as his discount price tag is available
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