Fantasy Baseball Today

Tim Hudson: Flyball specialist

By Al Melchior | Data Analyst

The above pitcher appears to be Tim Hudson, but whoever has been wearing his uniform hasn't been getting many grounders lately. (USATSI)
The above pitcher appears to be Tim Hudson, but whoever has been wearing his uniform hasn't been getting many grounders lately. (USATSI)

Even when Tim Hudson was in the midst of a scorching-hot first 11 weeks of the season, Fantasy owners weren't universally viewing him as a must-start pitcher. A 1.81 ERA through 13 starts was nice, but a relative lack of strikeouts made him benchable in one-start weeks, at least in standard and shallow leagues.

For years, it's been hard to sit Hudson in his two-start weeks, and his strong proclivity for inducing grounders usually meant he would grab you some wins along with a low ERA and WHIP. That has been far from true over the last two months or so, as Hudson has gone 2-7 with a 4.48 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over his 12 most recent starts. Things have gotten especially ugly in August, as he has posted a 4.87 ERA this month with only one quality start in four tries.

Especially notable during this recent stretch is how Hudson can't seem to get grounders. According to FanGraphs, Hudson has a 35 percent ground ball rate in August, which is something you'd expect to see from an extreme flyball pitcher like Marco Estrada or Jered Weaver and not from someone who has been synonymous with his sinker.

On Thursday's Fantasy Baseball Today -- our final live show of the season -- we will review the borderline two-start options you can use in Fantasy Week 23 (Sept. 1-7), but Hudson will not be among them. No longer a must-start with two starts, Hudson should actually be avoided next week. Not only has he been ineffective of late, but his two starts come on the road at Colorado and Detroit. Yes, his first start will be at Coors Field, where he has a career 7.05 ERA over seven starts.

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