After covering the luckiest players so far in the 2022 season, this week we’ll look at the players who have been particularly lucky so far. These players can be high-selling candidates in the fantasy baseball trade market, or they may require extra attention when making moves on the waiver wire. And in some cases these players should be kept, because a lower copy of their last production would still be too good to be true. Let’s dive into the specific names:
Tyler Stephenson (C, Cincinnati Reds)
So, do you think you hit gold at fantasy baseball’s weakest position by crafting Stevenson? Think again. The catcher hits 329, but his average exit speed is 86.7 mph and Statcast mentions him as having 0.32 xBA. Likewise, his xwOBA (.319) is about 100 points lower than his actual mark. Stephenson is a useful capture tool in all formats but it hasn’t made a difference yet.
Xander Bogarts (SS, Boston Red Sox)
His career .291 hitter, Bogarts hits .336 and has many fans wondering if he took a step forward this year. The short answer is no.” Despite having lower marks in average exit velocity and barrel rate than in recent seasons, the 408 BABIP’s short stop has enjoyed. In fact, its 7.9 percent gait rate is its lowest mark since 2015 and a whiff mark 20.5 percent is his worst mark since 2014. Bogaerts is what we thought it was — a good fictional asset, but not special.
Taylor Ward (Los Angeles Angels)
Ward is probably the least surprising name on this list. Of course, the unmatched star player this year is playing head to head with a .375/.488/.721 slash. But its 0.88 B:KK rating is an excellent mark, as are the .313 xBA and .446 xSLG. Downhill is coming for Ward, but I wouldn’t look to trade it in.
Manny Machado (3B/SS, San Diego Padres)
Machado is a similar case to Ward – he’s playing well, but not as his superficial stats suggest. The player benefited from the .402 BABIP although there were no notable improvements in the ball hit data. The good news is that Machado could face some regression and is still very good. I wouldn’t trade it away unless the presentation was excellent.
Hansel Robles (RP, Boston Red Sox)
I wouldn’t usually include a sedative in this article, but I need to throw some cold water on those who think Robles could become the nearest Boston. The right hand has a solid 2.51 ERA despite recording a weak K:BB ratio (1.67). It thrived on the .175 BABIP despite giving up a lot of the hard connection (57.1 percent). Robles owns 6.16 xERA and would be a poor choice as the Bullpen Red Sox anchor.
Jose Berrios (Toronto Blue Jays)
I can hear my Berrios managers now, saying “Are you telling me he was lucky to have a 4.83 ERA”. Yeah. The right-hander has seen nearly all of his metrics go wrong this season, including strike rate (15.3 percent), average exit speed allowed (91.3 mph) and hard call rate (47.1 percent). He currently owns 6.84 xERA, and in the 10-team leagues he is a candidate for release.
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Justin Verlander (SP, Houston Astros)
Verlander could be put in the basket with Machado, as someone who was generally lucky but would have succeeded anyway. However, the 39-year-old won’t enjoy .168 BABIP and a 94.7 percent strand rate all season. However, I will stick with Verlander as an expected ace unless he is inundated with a trade show.
Jose Quintana (SP, Pittsburgh Pirates)
If you start thinking about adding Quintana based on its 2.19 ERA, close the Yahoo fantasy app on your phone and start over. The veteran scored an unmarked 2.14 K:BB average while enjoying a 0.235 BABIP average and an 83.8 percent strand rate. 4.50 xERA is an accurate representation of someone who is at best a deep streamer player.
Billy Uber (SP, Minnesota Twins)
There are areas I really like about the Uber game. The 26-year-old walks and high volleyball rate lowers BABIP. But so far he has been very lucky in terms of volleys (6.1% heart rate/FB) and needs to top his 19.3% strike rate before becoming a mainstay in shallower league formations. Overall, Uber’s 5.50 xERA and 4.54 xFIP keep it stuck in the streaming category.
Jose Orchidi (SP, Houston Astros)
Like Ober, Urquidy has excellent control skills but needs to increase his hit rate. The right-handed has given up a lot of strong contact (48.0 percent) and flyballs (47.5 percent), but so far he’s mostly danced around a problem due to his 10.3 percent heart rate/FB. Look no further than the 6.84 xERA by Urquidy to see why you should be careful when including it in your active lineup.