Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Boston-red-sox
Roy Halladay has been one of the most frustrating players to own this year. After starting the year off with a 14.73 ERA (7.1 IP) in his first two starts, he allowed only 4 runs over his next 3 games (21 IP). Last night Halladay was just awful (3.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) leaving fantasy owners wondering what to do with him.The velocity on Halladay’s cutter, which has sat right around 91 MPH throughout his career, is down 2 MPH. Opponents are really taking advantage of the slower cutter, and are hitting .360 off of that pitch this year. Halladay’s cutter is normally his go-to-pitch, however this year Halladay has favored his sinker, which has also dropped in velocity (90 MPH down from 93). Interestingly enough, opponents are not faring well against the slower sinker, and are only hitting .250 off of it this year.This tells me that Halladay is becoming a smarter pitcher; he recognizes that he doesn’t have his overpowering stuff anymore and is using deception to get batters out. Last night however, Halladay reverted back to his cutter as his go-to-pitch, and again batters feasted off of it. Perhaps Halladay had been working on his cutter and decided he would use it more often last night, but obviously nothing has changed with that pitch’s effectiveness.While the Halladay of old is obviously gone, I think that he can still be a useful pitcher in fantasy leagues. As the season goes on, my guess is that Halladay will discover what pitches are working and not working for him, and will improve his performance based off of that experience. Don’t pay too much for him, but Halladay could be a decent buy low option if you can convince his owner that he is done being a contributor.4/30 RecapMike Moustakas, who has started off the season very poorly, hit his first home run of the season yesterday and has raised his batting average from .152 to .195 over the past three days. Interestingly enough, his plate discipline has improved a lot this year (0.82 BB/K up from 0.31 last year). The .212 BABIP will definitely correct itself, so buy low on Moustakas.Adam Dunn hit another home run last night, and now has six hits and three home runs over his past five games. He’s going to kill you in batting average (still hitting just .148), but assuming a healthy year, Dunn is a sure bet to finish in the top 5 in home runs.Kevin Slowey pitched brilliantly last night (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) and now has 4 quality starts on the year without a win to show for it. Unfortunately, the wins will continue to be hard to come by pitching for the Marlins. Slowey is available in a majority of leagues and makes for a good pick up for those in deeper leagues.Looking AheadCarl Crawford was scratched from yesterday’s lineup due to tightness in his right hamstring. The Dodgers are calling it a precautionary move, but Crawford has doesn’t have a very good injury history, so I would monitor the situation.Jason Motte threw from 90 feet yesterday and said that “it felt good.” Motte may or may not require surgery, but he’s still not expected back anytime soon. Meanwhile, Edward Mujica struck out the side to nail down another save last night and has only allowed two baserunners in his five save opportunities this year. Mujica needs to be picked up in the few leagues he’s still available.Wednesday’s Probable StartersAnother full day of baseball means more great starting options in 10-12 team mixed leagues. Bold = Start.Dillon Gee (NYM) @ Wade LeBlanc (MIA) — Neither of these guys excite me and I’d stay away in standard leagues.Scott Diamond (MIN) @ Anibal Sanchez (DET) — Sanchez is coming off one of his best starts ever and Diamond is nothing excitingJeanmar Gomez (PIT) @ Hiram Burgos (MIL) — Gomez is making his first start of the season and Burgos has done OK, but I wouldn’t start either of these guys in standard leagues.Homer Bailey (CIN) @ Lance Lynn (STL) — Bailey and Lynn have both been lights out recently and this will be a great matchup. Start both of these guys with confidence.C.J. Wilson (LAA) @ Tommy Milone (OAK) — Both these guys are decent options, however Milone has a 1.77 ERA at home so I would definitely roll with him today.Erik Bedard (HOU) @ David Phelps (NYY) — Phelps is making his first start of the season and is coming off a relief appearance where he struck out 9 batters across four innings of work.Cliff Lee (PHI) @ Trevor Bauer (CLE) — The Indians offense has been on fire as of late, but Lee is obviously a must start. Bauer’s control scares me so I would stay away.Clay Buchholz (BOS) @ Mark Buehrle (TOR) — Buchholz has been one of the best pitchers in baseball and is a must start until he cools off. Buehrle has been pretty awful lately so I would stay away.Jordan Zimmermann (WAS) @ Paul Maholm (ATL) — Zimmermann is coming off of a complete game shutout and Maholm has allowed 11 runs in his past 4.1 innings. I’ll let you decide which one to start.Chris Sale (CHW) @ Nick Tepesch (TEX) — Sale has settle down from a rough start and has been pitching great. Tepesch is a great under-the-radar option as he has been pitching well as of late.Andrew Cashner (SDP) @ Scott Feldman (CHC) — Cashner makes for a good start against a weaker Cubs offense, and Feldman is OK but not worth starting in standard leagues.Jeremy Hellickson (TB) @ Luis Mendoza (KC) — Hellickson is coming off of a bad start, but I like his chances at a win tonight against Mendoza.Tim Lincecum (SF) @ Brandon McCarthy (ARI) — Lincecum is coming off of two great starts and McCarthy has been horrible lately.Wei-Yin Chen (BAL) @ Aaron Harang (SEA) — Chen has been pitching great this year and Harang sports a 11.37 ERA this year. I predict an easy win for Chen tonight.Juan Nicasio (COL) @ Josh Beckett (LAD) — Both pitchers are having a so-so 2013, but I would have a problem starting either of them due to each pitchers potential.#ProfStatsNote: We are going to start a new trend (literally) where we post fun and interesting stats we find around the baseball twittersphere with the hashtag #ProfStats. We encourage our readers to do the same, either through your own research or something you come across on the web, and we will post them in our daily recaps!Via @ESPNStatsInfoPhil Humber is the 2nd pitcher in MLB history to lose 6 games in April (other was Dave Stewart for Texas in 1984)Via @MLBStatoftheDayMax Scherzer is only Tigetrs pitcher since 1916 to have 3 double-digit strikeout games through team’s first 24 contests.Via @Stats_MLBMiguel Cabrera, batting .447 at home (21 for 47), is now 3 hits shy of 1,000 with the Tigers.
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