One of the things I've learned about playing in a daily fantasy league is the importance of pitching. If you don't pick the right starting pitcher, the chances of your team finishing in any of the money spots is almost zero. Usually, the safe play is taking a consistent pitcher going against a weaker team, but as with every player...at the right price.
During Monday's team selection, the Angels' Opening Day starter Jered Weaver, was at $8500. This is the salary most often seen for for mid-range starters such as Weaver. For example, in Wednesday's FanDuel games, Scott Kazmir, Hisashi Iwakuma, Shelby Miller, and Andrew Cashner fall within the $8500 salary range. Not great pitchers, but pitchers who still have the potential to get their team a win...and you some cash.
This is where Jered Weaver has seemed to have fallen. Although he's still the Angels' ace, that is until Garrett Richards returns from the disabled list, he's not the same pitcher we've been accustom to throughout his Halo career. Recently, there seems to be a lot of focus on Weaver's fastball velocity, or the lack of any velocity. Within this post: Jered Weaver’s fastball averaged 84 mph on Opening Day, Aaron Gleeman points out that Weaver was never really they type of pitcher who blew the batter away with heat, but relied on location and deception. However, Weaver's fastball velocity may have fallen to the point it is a problem:
Jered Weaver‘s diminishing fastball velocity is nothing new and the Angels right-hander always insists it’s no big deal, but on Opening Day his fastball averaged 84.3 miles per hour. That’s low, even by his standards:
2010: 89.9 mph
2011: 89.1 mph
2012: 87.8 mph
2013: 86.5 mph
2014: 86.3 mph
2015: 84.3 mph
See a trend there? At some point Weaver's velocity is going to become an issue, if it hasn't already.
FanGraphs Jeff Sullivan has taken notice and thinks the end is near for Weaver the Young: The Eventual End of Jered Weaver. When location and command are the two attributes a pitcher relies on, and those tow skills go away, what are you left with?
Simplified: Weaver’s margin of error is shrinking. When that happens for a pitcher, the key to compensating is by getting better about location. If anything, Weaver’s location is also getting a little worse. It was suggested in spring that Weaver was fighting his own mechanics a bit, since they’re unusually complicated. Maybe that was all nothing, but either his mechanics were off again Monday, or he was just really missing up and over the plate. There is a good version of Jered Weaver with a slow fastball, but we haven’t seen it in this brand-new regular season. And this fastball might well be slower than ever.
If Jered Weaver is able to regain his command of the strike zone, we can probably live with the reduced velocity. However, as things stand today, you will want to avoid him in any daily league play until he proves he's found his location.
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