The Mets’ flamethrower hasn’t looked like himself this year. It’s been a rough go of it as with only two wins in 7 games started and a 5.02 ERA.
The traditional stats are definitely bad, but there are many signs for optimism. Syndergaard is striking out batters even more than last year, ringing up 27.2% versus 24.3% last year. This is especially encouraging given that K% stabilizes with only 70 batters faced and he is well beyond that.
His high BABIP (.345) and low strand rate (61.3%) also should both regress toward his career norms as those numbers will stabilize over a full season.
That elite K% is enough for me keep the faith. Once he starts getting a little luck on balls in play, the ERA and WHIP resemble what we normally expect from Thor.
Thor is an excellent buy-low right now. Don’t hesitate to pull the trigger to acquire him and his #1 fantasy starter upside.
Carlos Carrasco, SP, CLE
Carrasco is another great option to buy low on. Through seven starts his 5.30 ERA and 1.33 WHIP are worse than league average.
But like Syndergaard, the strikeouts are there. Carrasco is striking out 33.1% of batters faced, versus 29.5?% last season. His approach of going for more strikeouts will pay off as the home runs start to cool off. Batters are hitting home runs on 18% versus a career number of 13%.
It’s another case of remaining patient and trusting the talent. For pitching, the sample size of this season is still small for all of the ratio stats like ERA and WHIP. One or two bad starts can really cloud our judgement.
If you are thinking of dealing him, now is definitely not the time. His value is at its lowest point so all we can do is wait it out.
Christian Walker, 1B, ARI
Stealing bags and bashing home runs, Walker is doing his best impersonation of Paul Goldschmidt. The 28-year-old first baseman has had an amazing month to start the season, boasting three stolen bases, 7 home runs, and .310 batting average.
With Jake Lamb out until mid-May, Walker has seized the first base job. But I’m pessimistic that he can continue to thrive.
Walker’s K% of 29.4 is brutally high. It’s actually an improvement from last year when he had a K% of 41.2%. His BABIP of .406 tells us that the batting average of .310 is not sustainable. That average is going to keep dropping down to the .250 range.
While it’s exciting to see a first baseman stealing three bags in a month, there’s no reason to expect that to continue. Walker has never stolen more than 5 bags in an entire season.
This is the high point we will see all season, especially since a time share with Lamb awaits when he is healthy. Sell now if you can get a decent pitcher or slumping top-tier bat.