Fantasy Baseball MLB

BUY LOW: Kyle Gibson

Michael Simione | May 29th, 2019

Kyle Gibson might be one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball right now. In the last 30 days, he is the 13th ranked pitcher (Yahoo) in fantasy baseball. So why is he only 40% owned? Maybe the 4.08 ERA is holding people back, but I am here to tell you why you should be buying.

Gibson started the season off a little slow, posting a 4.88 ERA in March/April. But he has since turned it around with a solid 3.34 ERA in May. Gibson has really solid underlying numbers, showing that he should once again post a mid 3’s ERA for the rest of the season. While his current ERA is 4.08, he has a 3.95 FIP, 3.31 xFIP, and 3.66 SIERA. His K-BB% of 19.3% is above the league average, along with his 33.6 O-Swing% and 13.2 SwStr%. This all bodes well for Gibson as these all support his ERA coming down.

Gibson has an insane Whiff% of 55.2 on his slider this year, which he uses 22% of the time. He also is carrying a 54.72% whiff/swing, which is the 2nd best rate in baseball (minimum 100 thrown) only behind Griffin Canning (56.45%). He has increased the slider usage since last year while decreasing his four-seamer. This looks like a really smart move to me as his four-seamer was never really an above average pitch. If he can rely on his curve, changeup, and slider more, we can see an even better Gibson than we saw last year. Especially if you look at those pitch locations, as he does a good job of painting the corners down in the strike zone.

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My only issue with Gibson and what seems to be holding him back is his sinker. I don’t get why he uses it the most out of any pitch. He uses it 33.8% of the time while posting an 11.8 Whiff% and loves to leave it hanging over the middle of the plate (as seen in the chart below). If he can bring that usage back a little, I can see him being a lot more successful.

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Just to show you how the “boring” Kyle Gibson has been this year, I want to display a comparison of him and another pitcher that a lot of people are talking about.

Kyle Gibson: 19.3 K-BB% – 9.42 K/9 – 4.08 ERA – 3.95 FIP – 3.31 xFIP – 3.66 SIERA – 13.2 SwStr%

Domingo German: 19.0 K-BB% – 9.40 K/9 – 3.43 ERA – 3.81 FIP – 3.80 xFIP – 3.86 SIERA  – 13.6 SwStr%

Overall, Gibson looks to be on his way to another solid season. He has a great offense behind him, is giving up fewer walks and striking batters out more than last year. But the best part of it all is that only one-third of the Twins remaining opponents are over .500. I see him replicating the season he had last year.

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