Matt Garza: Early Season Buy Low Candidate?

Mar 31, 2011


Image courtesy of ESPN Chicago
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Matt Garza is getting rocked this spring. I’m not talking about a guy giving up the occasional long ball. I’m talking about a guy that had an ERA of 8.68 ERA entering Tuesday’s Cactus League action against a split Diamondbacks squad. I’m talking about a guy who got rocked for seven runs on eleven hit in three innings that limped away with a 10.38 ERA. I realize that you want your pitcher to get stretched out during spring training while avoiding injury. That’s what is important. Getting the occasional scoreless inning would be nice though.
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Garza got bombed during spring training in 2009 as well, posting a bloated 6.10 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, and .313 BAA. He didn’t let it ruin his season though. Garza posted a 3.82 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and .175 BAA in April that year. That month has been good for Garza through his career. He sports his best winning percentage (.667) of any month along with his lowest BAA (.219). His WHIP of 1.23 is second to only May’s 1.21 WHIP. His April ERA (3.67) is third lowest of any month, and 0.30 lower than his career mark.
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Matt Garza has historically been a fast starter.  His numbers before the All-Star Break (24-17, 3.82 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .242 BAA) are significantly better than his numbers after the break (18-27, 4.10 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, .262 BAA). If history repeats, the beginning of the year is the best time to own Garza. If you can get him now while his owners are feeling buyer’s remorse, you should be able to get him at a discount. I wouldn’t blame you if you played the wait and see approach to make sure he gets back on track. Then reap the benefits. If you want to cut ties with him around the end of July when he historically begins to fade, you could again get good value for him.
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Fantasy baseball is a bit like a stock market in that sense. You want to buy low when you see a good value. Once it gets rolling you want to ride it while its hot and get off just in time. To me Matt Garza seems like that kind of stock right now. Get him at a discount while you can.
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