Each and every morning (including weekends) the Fantasy Baseball MarketWatch report drops on my twitter page (@MattyKiwoom). Your one stop to see how players are trending and some advice on what to do given the up-to-date trends. The daily reports are great but sometimes particular players need a deeper dive into their numbers. Let’s jump into the data for a very frustrating player.
SP Patrick Corbin (WSH)
Patrick Corbin has been the most perplexing fantasy player this season. The former Cy Young candidate has seemingly become a below replacement level starter. The top 12 round draft selection is now being dropped all over the place. There aren’t any clear-cut markers that explain his recent struggles. That’s a major factor why Pat Corb is just so hard to decipher. No smoking gun to point to. No metric that just tells fantasy team builders, “hey this guy is donzo!”
For all those of you that roster the lefty from DC. What is the smart play? Dropping? And what about those leagues where Patrick Corbin has become the latest unrostered starting pitcher? Is he worth a speculative add? Time for another dive deep. This week we will look at Patrick Corbin’s statistical profile. Shall we see if something noteworthy came up? Yes, yes, we shall.
When you take a look under the hood of Patrick Corbin, it actually looks similar to his past seasons. If you are in the fantasy baseball world than you know that this year has not looked like his past in the production department. Corbin’s 2021 4.70 SIERA is not drastically higher than years past. And it lends you to believe that his actual skill isn’t as rough as his current ERA. Matter of fact, the lefty’s 4.37 xFIP also points to a similar possibility for Corbin’s campaign.
His pitch data has no glaring red flags either. Corbin’s HardHit % is actually improved from 2020 and just a tick above his career mark. Both his 4-seam fastball and his sinker have an uptick in velo this year. Almost a full MPH to be exact. Maybe that is the reason why he is throwing that 4-seamer 28% of the time. It’s an improved pitch from last year but nothing to ride home about. But in reality, Corbin’s heaters have never been great pitches. Even when he was a mega SP producer. You are probably asking yourself, “what about his A-1 pitch? That slider of his.” More on that later.
Righties Teeing Off
Patrick Corbin is getting absolutely bombarded by righties this year. It is no uncommon for left-handed pitchers to have worse splits against right-handed batters, but Corbin is an extreme case. Righties have been slashing .327/.390/.585 and a .416 wOBA. Patrick Corbin is pitching to a career high home run to fly ball rate of 25%. He has already been tagged for 10 home runs. Well guess what? All 10 were hit by right-handed batters. I would have to say that this suggests that his pitches are easy to see out of his hand. With teams playing to favored splits so heavily right now, it would be very easy to stack your lineup with righties and chase Corbin quick. It is entirely possible that Pat Corb changes his approach to right-handed hitters, but it is not something you love to see.
JD Davis owns Patrick Corbin. Pass it on. pic.twitter.com/uI7YsvHL5T
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 25, 2021
Okay, now let’s get into the obvious question. What does Patrick Corbin’s slider say? First off, it is still a pretty good pick. But the important to remember one thing when looking at these slider metrics. Compare the 2021 numbers to his 2019 season not 2020. The slider is down about 2 MPH from 2019 to this year. That has led to a reduction in effectiveness. Like I said, its not a terrible pitch but not the wipeout offering it was just a couple years ago. His slider’s WHIFF % has fallen off nearly 15%. It is still a respectable 37.2% but that is a far cry from over 50% in my opinion.
I would also say that the inability to dominate righties is due to a less effective slider. This year the slider has more movement, almost 2 inches, but that isn’t helping him get outs. If the slider is slower and easier to see from the right side of the plate than that could explain the fall off in production.
So what action should you take if you roster Patrick Corbin? After diving deep into his stats, underlying metrics, and pitch data, I am okay dropping Corbin in most formats. I would only hold tight if you are in a super deep league where the free agent pool is baron. But if there are players with appeal unrostered time to make the swap.
It just seems like his stuff has become too easy to hit. Especially for righties. And the bread-and-butter pitcher, his elite slider, continues to slide (pun intended) downhill. That slider is what got him a 100+ million-dollar deal. Could he start to improve sure. His expected stats say he could produce like he did in 2020. But that is still at high 4’s to mid 5’s ERA guy. He will probably settle somewhere in between 2020 and what he has shown in 2021. To me, that is a replaceable fantasy baseball pitcher. So if you can, it is time to replace him.
Check out the Fantasy Baseball MarketWatch every single morning when the FBB market opens. Just search #FBBMarketWatch on twitter to follow whose value is up and who’s value is down and advice on what to do.