During Thursday's News & Notes segment of Fantasy Baseball Today, we discussed three starting pitchers on a roll: Kevin Gausman, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Gibson. All three are worth picking up in standard mixed leagues, but only Gibson is available in more than half of the leagues on CBSSports.com. He is arguably the most underowned player in Fantasy right now.
As I mentioned during the segment, Gibson has been the best pitcher in the majors over the past 30 days at getting hitters to chase pitches outside of the strike zone (per FanGraphs.com). If you check out that particular leaderboard, it puts Gibson in good company amongst the likes of Masahiro Tanaka, Zack Greinke, Chris Sale and Phil Hughes. Up until his recent hot streak, Gibson had struggled to avoid walks, but with his newfound skill (possibly linked to increased slider movement), he has handed out just seven of them over his last 45 innings.
While Gibson is the most notable of the starting pitchers owned in fewer than 30 percent of our leagues, there are several others I am targeting in deeper formats. Here are a few of them.
Chase Anderson (28 percent owned): He's been largely consistent through his first six starts, and with good control and the potential to be an above-average strikeout pitcher, Anderson could eventually be a reliable two-start pitcher in standard mixed leagues.
Jarred Cosart (26 percent owned): The ability to induce grounders has been there all along, and he finally seems to be turning a corner in improving his questionable control.
Jeff Locke (23 percent owned): The lefty posted some low walk rates in the minors, so maybe his one walk and 0.93 WHIP in 20 1/3 innings isn't as much of an overperformance as it appears to be.
Vance Worley (4 percent owned): Gerrit Cole spending at least a few extra days on the disabled list buys Worley some time to establish himself in the Pirates' rotation. The Vanimal's 28 callled strikes in his season debut against the Marlins was extraordinary -- and maybe fluky -- but he had a superb 22 pecent rate in his 2011 breakout season with the Phillies.
In a related side note, it's really fun to say and write "Vanimal."