Bullish or Bearish: Danny Salazar
With a name like Danny, you know he has to be good, but I suppose that’s not the kind of logic that cashes DFS tickets. With an ERA of 5.50 and a walk rate of 4.82 BB/9, it’s no wonder that Salazar was demoted to the bullpen after walking five in his May 27th start against the Royals. Only two appearances into his bullpen stint, he was headed for the disabled list. Sporting a legendary K/9 of 12.6 and an xFIP of 3.58, however, one has to wonder if Salazar had been pitching through an injury.
In his first start returning from the DL, Salazar was masterful, going 7 innings of one hit shutout ball with no walks and 8 punchouts, lowering his xFIP to 3.39. I think this is the type of production we will see going forward. While Salazar has never had pin point command, he has historically been a good strike thrower. A career walk rate of 3.20 coupled with his first outing back from the DL suggest that we can expect something better than his ugly 4.8 BB/9 from the first half. Even if that didn’t happen, however, he now has a three year trend of an improving strikeout rate culminating in the 12.6 he has this year. That is an effective way to mask control issues.
At $8,200 on FanDuel for Friday’s slate, the underlying point here is that Salazar is being valued on his train wreck of a season prior to landing on the DL. That means he is going at a serious discount that will likely not last. That said, we should still dissect this decision making process more.
The walk rate from this season justifies being cautious and waiting for a good spot. Further, Salazar has had a legitimate homerun problem, giving up 12.8% homeruns per flyball over his career. To put that in context, 10 has historically been about league average. But this year homeruns are up considerably across the league, which complicates this problem.
When should you play Danny Salazar?
I think the walk rate will regress and I am going to trust his career numbers over those from early this season. Still, I’d be careful playing him in parks that are conducive to homeruns. He may be a bit more pricy than you’d normally look for in tournament games, but I think the payoff justifies it as long as he stays under $8,500. You may wait for him to play a home game before you feel good about him in a cash game, but the Indians are hot right now, so his probability of getting a win should be good.
I am BULLISH on Danny Salazar.
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