Apr 27, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel (39) pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Baseball: Can Cubs’ Jason Hammel’s hot start continue?


You don’t have to look any further than Wrigley Field to find one of the biggest fantasy surprises of the young season so far in Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel.

Apr 16, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jason Hammel (39) blows on his hand against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Hammel is coming off another strong outing in which he tossed seven strong innings giving up only two runs and seven hits in a no decision outing against the Braves.

On the season Hammel sports a 4-1 record with a 2.45 ERA and an outstanding 0.86 WHIP.

The only question to ask is if Hammel can keep this pace up?

The easy answer here is no and if you own him you should look to sell-high on him now as his value will never likely be any higher.

Look closely and there are many signs that would suggest that he can’t maintain this level of excellence.

His xFIP stands at .362 and an 82.4 percent LOB are both numbers that should be prime for regression.

In addition, he is thriving on a .203 BABIP which will likely come back to career norms and will certainly push all of his current outstanding numbers in a negative direction.

There’s also his swinging strike rate which has been a very nice 10.2 percent, but look more closely and Hammel only boasts average strike out numbers throughout his career.

One good sign is that Hammel’s walk rate sits at 1.99/9 and his career number is over three.

If that bumps up to his career norm and we could have a problem.

I do like the story and a return to the NL is certainly good for Hammel in the long run, but at the end of the day the numbers say not to trust that this hot start can continue.

Look to move him while his value is high.

 

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