Second Half MLB Regression Candidates – The Quant Edge

Second Half MLB Regression Candidates – The Quant Edge

Hello Friends! With the first half in the books, in today’s MLB Regression, let’s explore some players that should regress in some way in the second part of the season including Hunter Renfroe, German Marquez, and others! Time to dive into today’s MLB Regression.

Hunter Renfroe

Batted Ball Metrics Baseline Form Past 14 Days Difference
Distance 225 feet 240 feet +15 feet
Hard Hit Rate 47.2% 58.1% +10.9%
Fly Ball Percentage 42.8% 48.4% +5.6%
Exit Velocity 93 mph 95 mph +2%

The Padres’ slugger has been scorching the ball so his recent power surge is not fluky. In his last 45 plate appearances, the 27-year old outfielder has produced four home runs and six total extra-base hits, which correlates well with increases in fly ball percentage, distance, and hard-hit rate. Make sure to include Renfroe in your lineups as a low-owned power source, as he is a second-half MLB Regression candidate!

German Marquez

Pitching Metrics Baseline Form  2019 Form
Skilled Interactive Earned Run Average 3.79 3.86
Swinging Strike Rate 11.4% 12.9%
Strikeout Percentage 24.1% 23.5%
Left On Base Percentage 73.0% 68.5%

After an uneven first half, most fantasy players are disappointed in Marquez, but we should feel confident the Colorado right-hander can turn it around after the All-Star break.

The first sign of future positive regression can be seen through Marquez’s skill-based metrics. Despite a small drop in strikeout production, the Colorado starter’s 2019 swinging strike rate is on par with his baseline form and his Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average (SIERA) gives us an indication his 4.45 Earned Run Average will positively regress to his career mean.

Negative recency bias can also be considered premature when examining the 24-year old’s batted ball profile. For his career, Marquez’s Left On Base Percentage stands at 73.0%, which allows us to treat his current 68.5% as a data outlier. Yes, Marquez’s struggles at home are concerning (career 4.81 ERA), but his high ground-ball rate (career 48.0%) can neutralize future implosions and big innings.

Overall, we should take advantage of any negative recency bias surrounding Marquez especially since most of his struggles can be attributed to bad luck with runners on base. Invest in this young pitcher’s stock, especially with positive regression indicating a big second half!

Jeimer Candelario

Batted Ball Metrics Baseline Form Past 14 Days Difference
Distance 207 feet 237 feet +30 feet
Hard Hit Rate 35.2% 57.1% +21.9%
Exit Velocity 91 mph 97 mph +6%
Soft Contact Percentage 20.1% 14.3% -5.8%

2019 has been a tough season for Detroit’s young third baseman, but Candelario’s recent form indicates his immense potential is still there. Since a promotion to the big leagues in mid-June, the 25-year old’s bat has been on fire, producing 14 total hits including four home runs and seven total extra-base hits.

With a recent bump to the fifth spot in the order and playing time, Candelario’s stock is definitely on the rise. Buy low wherever you can!

Danny Jansen

Batted Ball Metrics Baseline Form Past 14 Days Difference
Distance 212 feet 234 feet +22 feet
Hard Hit Rate 37.2% 50.0% +12.8%
Fly Ball Percentage 41.2% 45.5% +4.3%
Exit Velocity 90 mph 93 mph +3 mph

Jansen’s second season in the majors has been a roller coaster so far but in his last 43 at-bats, the young catcher has produced a .386 batting average and eleven total extra-base hits including six home runs. With catcher often a shallow position in fantasy, Jansen is a future great choice in tournaments, especially with a recent promotion to the middle part of the Blue Jays’ batting order!

Andrew Cashner

We know by now ERA and wins are not reliable metrics for evaluation so let’s not weight Cashner’s 2019 first half too heavily.

Let’s first take a look at this veteran’s pure ability and batted ball metrics. In 96.1 innings pitched this season, the Baltimore starter has produced a 5.01 SIERA and 16.5% strikeout percentage which is actually worse than his career averages. When considering his fluky .256 Batting Average on Balls in Play (career .290) and ascending hard-hit rate (37.2%), it’s a guarantee Cashner’s 2019 Earned Run Average will implode soon!

Avoid this Orioles’ right-hander at ALL costs in the second half!

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