Givanni Damico | June 18th, 2019
The “opener” has slowly begun to take over baseball. Its purpose is to start a high-leverage reliever and let him throw for an inning or two so that your starter doesn’t have to face the opposing lineup more than twice. Let’s get into it.
Ryne Stanek, TBR
It would be wrong for Stanek to not be the first name on this list. He is the original “opener”. Stanek has started a league-leading 20 games and has appeared in 30 games equating to 40.1 innings pitched. His strikeouts have gone down from 11.0 K/9 last year to 9.6 K/9 this year, but his walks have steadily decreased from 3.7 to 3.3 BB/9 from last year to this year. His ERA currently sits at 2.45 and opponents are only hitting .195 against him. Opponent’s wOBA is very low at just .252. In his “opening” outings, Stanek has surrendered 43.0% of hard contact which is not ideal, but it is nowhere near the worst in the league. While his stats are impressive, Stanek is probably only worth a serious look in deeper leagues and possibly head-to-head point leagues if you don’t like one of your starters that week.
Chad Green, NYY
Woah, the same Chad Green with a 7.54 ERA? That’s the one. In his last seven outings, Green has only surrendered one earned run in 9.1 innings pitched. In those outings, Green’s strikeout rate sits at a whopping 16.8 K/9, while his walk rate is at 0.98 BB/9. Opponents HH% is still high at 47.4%, but if he keeps striking out batters at this insane clip, you won’t have to worry about the hits he surrenders. Opponents wOBA has been just .217 in the last 9.1 innings. Green has figured it out since he was optioned to Triple-A. He is only 9% owned on Yahoo Fantasy, so I’d urge you to pick him up if you have a roster spot to do so.
Cam Bedrosian, LAA
Since April 17th, Cam Bedrosian is pitching to a 1.37 ERA and striking out batters at a rate of 10.3 K/9. He has started seven games this season but they are relying on him more recently than they did at the beginning of the season. Since April 17th, opponents are hitting just .156 against him with a wOBA of .209. He has surrendered just 15 hits in 26.1 innings and is walking a bit over three batters per nine. Despite giving up a rather high 45.5% hard contact, Bedrosian also allows 24.2% soft contact, which is 76th-highest in the league among all pitchers (since April 17th). That sounds pretty low, but he is 76th out of 620 pitchers, so that puts it into perspective. The reason that April 17th is being used as the date to track these statistics is that Bedrosian had a tough start to the year, so using that would cloud his actual value. Like Stanek, he is worth a look in deeper leagues.
Chad Green will be the best of these options because of his strikeout rate, but all three of these guys can be considered risky pickups. They normally won’t get you anything in the win column, so only go for these guys if you have weak pitching or if you don’t like the matchups of one or more of your pitchers during the week.
Questions and comments?
Follow Givanni Damico on Twitter @giodamico15
Main Credit Image:Embed from Getty Images