Bullish or Bearish: Carlos Rodon
With only two starts into Carlos Rodon’s 2017 season, there isn’t much of a sample size to say anything. His 13.8% swinging strike rate through two games may show that he’s got his good stuff working, and that’s good, but we are forming this opinion based on preseason information. But we can possibly catch some value by knowing what we are looking at with Carlos Rodon before the DFS market catches on.
Anyone who knows prospects as they come up to the big leagues, knows that Carlos Rodon has nasty stuff. He’s a big lefty and he comes at you with a plus 94-95 mph fastball, and dusts hitters off with a plus slider. Indeed his 9.10 career K/9 supports his elite stuff. More importantly is that he throws a change up 12% of the time to help neutralize platoon split issues with his slider. That change-up has shown up as a plus pitch through two starts in 2017.
Another thing that really stood out last year with Rodon was that his control in 2016 was slightly above average control with a 2.95 BB/9. Above average strikeouts with above average control is a profile with immense upside, both long term, and any given day.
There are a few things that dampen the awesomeness for Rodon. His well below average first pitch strike percentage (53.6%) casts doubt on the reliability of last year’s walk rate. Further, he walked six in his first game and three in his second start. The second start he also struck out 10, however, so it’s very likely we don’t have a good basis for knowing what to expect with control.
Either way, we are talking about a pitcher who just went for $7,700 on Fan Duel (Monday) and any negatives are why we get him this cheap. He is a high upside guy who I would play in advantageous match-ups against bad lineups and lineups with a lot of lefties (he allows a .255 wOBA against left-handed hitters).
He is absolutely the kind of upside guy to build a tournament lineup around, although some people may not want to pay that much for a pitcher in a tournament. Either way, he’s worth a look under $8,500 in good spots and has upside beyond that if he can pitch to last year’s walk rates.
I am BULLISH on Carlos Rodon
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