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Bullish or Bearish: Alex Wood

By Matthew Kirkeby - 4 years ago in MLB News

 Alex Wood

Alex Wood

To some, Alex Wood may look like he came out of nowhere in 2017, but this is hardly his first trip around the MLB Circuit.  After debuting for the Braves with 77.2 innings of a 3.13 ERA with 8.92 K/9 and 3.13 BB/9 in 2013, Wood was excellent again in 2014 with a 2.78 ERA supported by the same K rate and a sparkling 2.36 BB/9.  However, 2015 started out very poorly for him, working with a new catcher, the timeless AJ Pierzynski.  Pierzynski graded out as a very poor pitch framer, which is bad news for a pitcher who throws low in the zone so much, as evidenced by the step back he took before being dealt to the Dodgers that year in a fairly low profile deal.

However, the Dodgers had recently traded for Yasmani Grandal, who has graded out as a top 3 pitch framer for a few years now.  Despite a few years of decent output, the DFS community seemed to forget about Wood’s talent and he was priced very low to start the year, having missed a decent amount of time to injury in the previous year.

Alex Wood

Coming into 2017, Wood overhauled his once herky-jerky deliver style and looked much more fluid and repeatable, a big plus for both health and output.  It’s unrealistic to expect his 1.67 ERA over 80.2 innings to hold for the rest of the season, but he has a 2.03 FIP and 2.57 xFIP, so somewhere in there may be sustainable.   He currently sports a 10.82 K/9 supported by an amazing 13.5% swinging strike rate.  Simultaneously, his 2.45 BB/9 is supported by an excellent 65.6% first pitch strike rate.  Tie it all together with an elite 63.5% groundball rate (3rd in the MLB amongst starters) and you have yourself the makings of a bonafide ace.

A slump could muck up those sexy peripherals a bit, but barring that, he could easily be the 2017 NL Cy Young winner.  He’s probably too pricy to play in tournaments, but he’s still priced low at $9,400 on Fan Duel.  Considering I think he should be worth $11,000 or maybe more, I think he’s a cash game bargain.

I am BULLISH on Alex Wood.

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