Week 11 Pitcher:
May 24, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Doug Fister (58) reacts after Baltimore Orioles short stop Manny Machado (13) hit a home run against him in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Doug Fister (Owned in 27.1% of ESPN Fantasy Leagues)
Fister has been one of the most successful signings this offseason by any team. However, he is not getting any attention from the fantasy owner. Here are some reasons why Fister is a low-risk high reward pitcher that you can pick up on the waiver wire.
First, he has not lost a decision since April 25th. Second, Fister has given up three earned or less in his last ten starts. Third, in his last 18 innings pitched against the Astros’ division rivals Los Angeles Angels, Oakland A’s, and Texas Rangers, Fister has given up three earned runs on 16 hits. Impressive stuff.
However, there is a reason why fantasy owners have not been aware of his phenomenal comeback season. After joining the Washington Nationals before the 2014 season, Fister’s strikeout numbers have gone back down to similar numbers that he put up in Seattle at the beginning of his career. This season, Fister is averaging 5.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
Also, his ground ball rate is back up to 48%. His BABIP against is also low .262 compared to a .245 average against. He has also only limited hitters to only 1.1 home runs per nine innings.
That particular stat is paramount for Fister in his next start against the St. Louis Cardinals. In his three appearances, Fister has been respectable, giving up eight earned runs on 16 hits while walking four and striking out seven in 14.1 innings pitched.
However, his two starts against the Cardinals have been eerily similar. In both of his starts, he went six innings, gave up seven hits, and given up four earned runs on two home runs.
With his ground ball percentage up and facing a weaker Cardinals lineup than years past, Fister should be able to continue his string of successful starts on Tuesday.
***Statistics provided by Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs, MLB.com, and ESPN.com***