While I am well aware that a 30 year old pitcher on a bad team with no run support is not sexy in fantasy, but Kyle Gibson is currently in the middle of a breakout season and is flying under the radar. He is experiencing the highest K per 9 (8.80), Strikeout percentage (23.6%) and lowest average batting against (.221) of his career. While his walk rate is a career high (9.5%), his WHIP in contrast is a career low (1.21). At 30 years old, his velocity is the fastest of his career (92.8 mph), while his swinging strike rate is also his highest mark (12.1%).
Kyle Gibson’s last 7 starts:
- 7.0 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO: 14 Swinging Strikes (@CHICAGO WHITE SOX)
- 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO: 11 Swinging Strikes (@MILWAUKEE BREWERS)
- 7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 9 SO: 20 Swinging Strikes (BALTIMORE ORIOLES)
- 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO: 16 Swinging Strikes (TAMPA BAY RAYS)
- 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO: 16 Swinging Strikes (@KANSAS CITY ROYALS)
- 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO: 17 Swinging Strikes (@BOSTON RED SOX)
- 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO: 10 Swinging Strikes (CLEVELAND INDIANS)
3.88 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 8.94 K/9, 2.72 BB/9, 36.0% O-Swing, 14.3% Swinging Strike Rate
Gibson can attribute his step forward to his improved slider command. In 2017, he threw his slider 17.67% of the time. This pitch had a solid 21.38% swinging strike rate and a swing rate of 46.87%, but was getting hit hard by opposing batters to the tune of a .356 BABIP and the pitch had a -1.8 pVAL. In 2018, he has increased his slider usage to 21.56%, resulting in an increased swinging strike rate of 27.37% with a swing rate of 51.37%. This has translated to a .125 batting average against, a .235 BABIP and a 9.4 pVAL. Pretty drastic change.
His changeup was considered his best pitch in 2017, getting opponents to chase 49% of the time. In 2017, he threw his changeup 15.65% of the time, resulting in a 16.59% swinging strike rate and a 58.05% swing rate with a .300 BABIP against and a 2.3 pVAL. In 2018, his changeup usage has decreased to 10.58%, creating an 18.45% swinging strike rate and a 52.36% swing rate. The pitch only has a pVAL of 1.1, but opposing batters are hitting .146 against with a .132 BABIP.
Kyle Gibson has impressed in this recent small sample size and has remained consistent for the entire 2018 season. He is a great buy low candidate and can be acquired for next to nothing, and he just might be on your waiver wire.
While I am not seeing potential ace in his future, he can be a solid fixture in your fantasy rotation and may be helpful in the playoffs. Gibson’s next start is tonight at Cleveland.
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