Velocity. Youth. Durability. These are a few of the traits that are common among breakout pitchers each and every season. This weeks’s top add, Oakland A’s starting pitcher Rich Hill (51.4% owned; +35.6% over the past week), possesses none of these qualities. Why is he such a hot commodity then? It’s simple. Strikeouts. Through 32 IP this season, his 41 Ks are tied for the 6th highest total in all of baseball. How he’s accomplishing this impressive feat is a bit more complicated. Hill is a 36-year-old with 532 MLB innings on his resumé, and just 104.2 of those were recorded during the 2010-2015 seasons. That’s less than 18 innings or roughly three starts per season. Not terribly encouraging on the durability front. What Hill does have going for him is a knee-buckling curve as well as an effective fourseam fastball which he is able to command effectively against both right-handed and left-handed hitters. This combination has allowed him to rack up the strikeouts as well as induce groundballs at an elite rate. In fact, he’s one of only two qualified starting pitchers this season to produce an 11+ K/9 with a 50+ GB%. The other pitcher is Noah Syndergaard. Grab Hill if he’s available  and enjoy the numbers as long as the old man is able to stay on the field.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Nathan Eovaldi: 20.9% owned; +6.0%

Remember those velocity, youth, and durability traits that are generally considered to be important when evaluating potential breakout pitchers? Eovaldi checks off all of those boxes. The 26-year-old is one of 46 pitchers to start at least 60 games across the previous two seasons, and his average fastball velocity of 96.1 mph was the 2nd highest among qualified SPs in MLB during that span. He also carried a no-hitter deep into his recent start against the Texas Rangers. The problem is that despite those seven shutout innings against the Rangers, Eovaldi sports an ugly 5.46 ERA to go along with a 1.38 WHIP. MLB hitters can hit a hard, straight fastball if they’re sitting on it, and Eovaldi’s secondary pitches aren’t quite good enough to keep them honest on a regular basis. Next up on the schedule is the Boston Red Sox who just tagged him for 10 hits and 6 earned runs over 5 IP this past Sunday in Boston. Save your ratios and look elsewhere. TRASH.

Jerad Eickhoff: 26.4% owned; -16.4%

Eickhoff is kind of like a younger, right-handed version of Hill in a lot of ways. He doesn’t throw particularly hard. His best pitch is probably his curveball, which he has thrown almost a third of the time this season. Dating back to last season (81.1 IP), he’s struck out a batter per inning and has shown impressive control (1.99 BB/9) in the process. He’s allowed 3 earned runs or less in 11 of his 13 MLB starts. High K-rate, low BB-rate, consistency. Not a bad combo. Eickhoff has a tough matchup against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Thursday, but gets to face the Braves in his following start. If you’re looking for an under-the-radar SP4, he’s a solid option. TREASURE.

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swaggerjackers
swaggerjackers
6 years ago

What up Goo?

In a QS instead of W league, who do you like the most ROS out of Porcello, Gausman, and Hill?

PS: Two more bombs from your boy Duda!

Designated $hitter
Designated $hitter
6 years ago

Ok thx, I agree that sounds much better

Designated $hitter
Designated $hitter
6 years ago

Archer for trumbo str8 up? I badly need rbis n runs to stay in first place I drafted heavy pitching..

C. Cervelli
1B. Brandon Moss (Right now, dropped Tyler white)
2B Lemaheiu
3B. Arenado
SS. Story
OFs: Parra, Yellich, Eaton
util. : dyson, upton jr, Ben revere (soon), drury, owing a

SP: Arrita, Strausberg, Archer, Maeda, Roark, Porcello, and I have Giollitto stashed.
RPs: Wade Davis, Kimbrel, familia

Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry
Roll of SAGNOF, Hear my Cry
6 years ago

how much would you bid on a recently dropped Devo Travis in AL only dynasty?

little over $100 available for faab

Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum
6 years ago

Hey great article, as always from the team at Razzball. How is DJ Lemahieu for Hill? Leaves me its Odor, Crawford, Machado (fun league rule where one game in season at position qualifies you – so he qualifies at SS/MI, crazy, I know). I need the help on pitching. I take your (all of Razzball’s) advice more than any other. Thanks for your input!

Channing Tatum
Channing Tatum
Reply to  Channing Tatum
6 years ago

@Channing Tatum: also, I have Semien on my bench, too.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Is it too early to pick up Glasnow?

I’d drop Giles. I have J. Wilson, Papelbon, and Britton, so I feel safe with them racking up saves and holds, even if Giles comes back to a setup or closer role.

Big Al
Big Al
6 years ago

Been thinking about trading for Eovaldi; thanks for making sure that I don’t.

I was proposed this trade: X Bogaerts for J Lester.

League is a bit complicated & deep; 14-team, weekly-set-lineup, H2H 6×6 QS & OPS, with 8 bench spots and 9 pitcher positions. Pitching is really important in our league, but I have a gaping hole at MI & S & could use some avg/SB help.

Big Al
Big Al
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo:

Yeah, redraft. Usually this guy gives me bad trades, so I’m a bit gun shy.

Right now I have Semien at SS and Baez at MI.
Other starters are Corbin (ugh), Shark, Smyly, Gausman, Conley, Fiers. Carrasco on DL for at least next month. I’d be replacing Lester with Eickhoff, Manaea, Blair, Snell off my bench or streaming.
Gregerson & Britton/Day for closers.
I figure I can survive for another month without Carrasco, with my bench & streaming in a H2H…Thanks!

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
6 years ago

don’t have hill anywhere but got lucky with roark and some others…

what do you think about shopping Andrew miller – other closers are Jeanmar and Familia. Should I make a 1 for 1 closer swap with like a McGee or something?

Also in a 10-teamer, OF/util is my weakness:
Crush Davis
Marte
Hanley
Peralta
Deshields
Util – Yasmany

– should I drop deshields for Billy Burns, Odubel, or Span?
– would you drop Peralta for Khris Davis?
– drop Yasmany for Chris Carter, or Villar to cover speed
(Carlos gomez and Pillar are also available, but they’re kind of bleh)

sorry this questions all over the place – love to know how you’d fix this OF

thanks Mageezy!

And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers!
And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers!
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: good league if any of the other owners aren’t aware that chapman is back in less than a week.

J-FOH
J-FOH
6 years ago

I own a few shares of Hill. I’m hoping I don’t see him in a bear bull with a Hill Street Blues theme.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: I will log in as you and handle it

james
james
6 years ago

Got an interesting offer in a dynasty league today:

My Bogaerts and Stras
for
His Seager (corey) and DeGrom

Seems like a really really even trade. Stras and Degrom are practically neck and neck in value and both have been good this season (Degrom may actually gain a little value this year since he has pitched 15 less innings, meaning he will still be going deep into games late into the season.

I love Xander, the added speed this year is really nice, but his power was supposed to be his calling card (and the plus plus contact), and it still is not there. Seager seems like a ball of potential, but who knows.

Note- I have Orlando Arica and Javier Baez on my roster as other SS (both are really just prospects, but we only have 1 30 man roster). My SP is crazy up top but lacks depth (Kershaw, Stras, Madbum, Price, Walker, Nola, joe ross, blair, norris)

should i do it, or I am thinking of countering with Xander and either Madbum or price.

Sean M. Fowler
Sean M. Fowler
6 years ago

Off topic, but I need some advice. My team seems stacked to me for a 14 team h2h 6×6 QS instead of wins + holds, but I’m just above .500 atm. Should I hold and wait for my bats to heat up (thought that was my strength), or should I try to flip some of my low average power guys for better contact hitters? Also…I know I’m lite on SB’S and I don’t care…Jarrod Dyson has been on waivers all year, I pick him up mid week if it makes sense to make a push in that category. Should I pick up Carlos Gomez (probably a no) or Evan Gattis hoping he gains C eligibility like A.J. says he may? Anyhoo, here it is:

Sal Perez
C.Davis
A.Diaz
Correa
Sano
J.D.Martinez
H.Ramirez
Drury
Freeman
V.Martinez

Rendon
A.J.Reed (NA)

Velasquez
Ventura
Hill
Richards
Gray
Matz
Smiley
McCullers (DL)

W.Davis
Rosenthal
Cishek

D.Hernandez
A.Reed

Also…had Wong to begin the year. Schoop is also avail. Should I snag one of them to solidify 2B since Diaz is likely to slow down sooner or later or is Rendon the superior player?

David
David
6 years ago

That was supposed to be Mookie! Haha

David
David
6 years ago

Would you trade Rizzo for Moo,i.e. In a keeper league? Thanks

jal179
jal179
6 years ago

Strategy question Magoo…

10 teamer weekly h2h redraft 7 X 6 (hits, OPS, QS) with deep pitching.

Thoughts on punting saves?

Hanley + Chapman= what type of OFer?

D-Murph
D-Murph
6 years ago

Hey guys – looking for advice. Jacoby Ellsbury dropped to the wire and I have number one priority. Drop G Parra, C Rodon, J Ross or D DeShields?

whiterabbit
whiterabbit
Reply to  D-Murph
6 years ago

@D-Murph: deshields right now

IV
IV
6 years ago

12 team 6×6 (OPSxQS)

Franco and Joe Ross for Polanco, which side would you rather have?

I don't want to leave my name because others in my league read this site
I don't want to leave my name because others in my league read this site
6 years ago

Slim out field to chose from. Seth Smith or Derek Dietrich?

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
6 years ago

Rich Hill…two words: spin rate.

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo:

Even if you don’t reference the stat, you can see it with the naked eye. You know in your head what that thing sounds like. Sounds like a rattlesnake going by. If there’s such a thing as a Bugs Bunny change up, his is a Daffy Duck curve.

Hear he’s not well liked in the locker room though. The kids and I met him at Fanfest. He was definitely the most distant of the guys we met. Tried to make a comment to him about how good he looked in Boston and he was totally tuned out. Wasn’t just us either. Watched him interact. Was not his thing at all.

OaktownSteve
OaktownSteve
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo:

Oh for sure nobody cares if he pitches like that . His curveball is a lot different than Zito’s. For one, it’s really about 3 curveballs. He throws one that’s more over the top and while it’s not 12-6 it’s maybe 11-5. His standard is a three quarter arm delivery and it’s got like 10-4 action. 5-8 times a game he drops all the way down and gives a 9-3 look. He throws from a lot of different arm angles. Haven’t run the brooks on him but I bet the release point variation is as wide as any player. It’s why he has some trouble with BBs. The fact that hes’ controlling it as well as he is speaks to his success. Pretty amazing.

The best comp for his standard curve is the old slurve that Mark Davis, Padre reliever and worst Cy Young winner in history, used to throw.