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Fantasy Baseball Regression Candidates: Vinnie Pasquantino, Reid Detmers, Kevin Pillar

Fantasy Baseball Regression Candidates: Vinnie Pasquantino, Reid Detmers, Kevin Pillar

Which players are enjoying an unsustainable hot streak right now? Which players are uncharacteristically cold? And, which have been receiving too much or too little luck of late?

This weekly article highlights players who are due for some positive or negative regression compared to their recent performance to assist fantasy managers in viewing each one properly. Digging underneath the surface stats, we examine some hitting and pitching metrics to try to determine if a given player is overperforming or underperforming what should be expected.

The goal here should be clear. Now, let’s get to it.

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Positive & Negative Regression Candidates

(Stats up to date through May 27)

Players Due for Positive Regression

Vinnie Pasquantino (1B – KC)

Even though the upstart Royals have featured one of the hottest offenses in the league over the last few weeks, Vinnie Pasquantino has surprisingly not been a big part of it. He has not had a multi-hit game dating back to May 9, and that was also the day of his most recent home run. During the 15 games since, the 26-year-old has limped to a weak .151/.230/. 226 slash line, going just 8-for-53, courtesy of a .195 BABIP.

Granted, Pasquantino’s strikeout rate (23.0%) has ticked up, while his walk rate (3.3%) has dropped in this stretch. However, his batted-ball metrics should have him producing far more offense for fantasy managers. Despite the lack of results, Pasquantino has recorded a solid 43.9 HardHit%, 91.9 mph EV and 24.4 LD%. He has also made contact at an 84.3% (92.5 Z-Contact%) clip. Expect things to pick up in the coming days.

Reid Detmers (SP – LAA)

Following an excellent four-start run out of the gate, Reid Detmers surrendered four earned runs or more in each of his next six outings. He finally ended that discouraging streak this past Sunday. Opposite a strong Cleveland club, Detmers allowed three runs on just four hits over five frames. He tied a season-high with four walks but countered them with eight strikeouts – his second-highest total of the year and most since April 6.

Even with that most recent effort, Detmers has an ugly 8.59 ERA and 1.72 WHIP over his last seven starts. It’s been partly the walks (9.3 BB%) and mostly the homers (2.2 HR/9) that have done him in, but he’s improved that latter mark recently. Detmers has kept the ball in the yard in two of his last three starts, giving up just two deep drives across his last 14 innings. He’s also increased his strikeouts (25.7%) and groundball rate (45.5%) in that time, leading to a promising 3.89 xFIP. Simply put, Detmers is much better than his results of late.

Players Due for Negative Regression

Kevin Pillar (OF – LAA)

Going back to a two-homer game on May 7, Kevin Pillar has been on a tremendous tear for the Angels. Starting there, he’s hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games, adding two more long balls, 12 runs, four stolen bases and a whopping 18 RBI. The veteran outfielder has hammered his way to a ridiculous .438 AVG and 1.241 OPS in this stretch. It’s been impressive but obviously is not unsustainable.

Could Pillar remain productive? Sure. He’s been fantasy-relevant at times throughout his career, but it’s been several years. At age 35, there’s little reason to believe that Pillar will come out of nowhere to deliver his best season. In fact, a 30.0 HardHIt% and 85.0 mph EV recorded during this hot streak suggests this output will not last much at all. He’s benefitted from a .472 BABIP, but his career mark is .288. Pillar will return to Earth soon.

Marcus Stroman (SP – NYY)

Having turned 33 at the beginning of this month, time has shown Marcus Stroman to be a good pitcher. Lately, however, he’s been doing his best job of playing the role of an elite one. The Yankees righty has surrendered only one run across 19 1/3 innings over his last three starts and sports a stellar 1.78 ERA for May.

Along with a 1.05 WHIP, Stroman’s ERA for the month is hiding a far less exciting 4.47 xFIP. His 21-to-12 K/BB over 30 1/3 innings is mediocre, but he’s been able to limit opposing hitters to a mere .185 AVG. His batted-ball metrics have been relatively positive, with just a 36.8 HardHit%, sub-90 EV, 19.5 LD% and 44.8 GB%. However, he’s allowing a ton of contact (83.3 Contact%, 92.9 Z-Contact%), and his .202 BABIP is far beyond sustainable. Statcast indicates his AVG against should be up around .260 for this span. The time to “sell high” on Stroman is now.

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Nate Miller is a featured writer at FantasyPros. He has been an analyst in the fantasy sports industry for the past decade, covering the NFL and MLB. For more from Nate, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @Miller_RotoDad.

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