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Fantasy Baseball Regression Candidates: Gavin Lux, Brayan Bello, Nick Gonzales

Fantasy Baseball Regression Candidates: Gavin Lux, Brayan Bello, Nick Gonzales

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

Each week in this article, players due for some positive or negative regression compared to their recent performance will be highlighted to assist fantasy managers in how to properly view each one. Digging underneath the surface stats, we will 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 June 17, 2024

Players Due for Positive Regression

Gavin Lux (2B,SS – LAD)

Following a fairly solid season with the bat in 2022 that saw him hit .276 with a .745 OPS, an NL-leading seven triples, seven steals and 66 runs across 129 games, Lux missed all of last year due to an ugly injury in Spring Training. The plan was a strong comeback in 2024, but that has not been the case to this point.

So far this year, Lux has struggled to a .211 AVG and .544 OPS across 207 plate appearances. He’s hit just one home run with 17 RBI, 20 runs and three stolen bases in 56 games. The 26-year-old is not likely to ever carry a fantasy lineup, but he’s far better than that, and the metrics, particularly here in June, back that assertion up.

Lux picked up a double with one RBI and one run scored in Monday’s win over the Rockies. He’s now just 9-for-44 (.205) for the month, but a .277 xBA indicates he should be much more successful. That mark is largely the result of a healthy 47.1 HardHit% combined with a 26.5 LD% and excellent contact rates (85.3 Contact%, 94.5 Z-Contact%). An uptick in production should soon be on the way for Lux.

Brayan Bello (SP – BOS)

Bello turned in a nice 3.13 ERA over his first six starts, and those high on him during the fantasy draft season were obviously pleased. Over his six starts since, however, the third-year righty has given up at least three earned runs each time out, laboring to a 6.89 ERA in the process. Fantasy managers might be wishing they traded high on Bello, but patience is the best approach now.

The underlying stats strongly suggest that Bello has had more than his share of poor luck. Over that six-start span, he has recorded a 4.02 xFIP while inducing groundballs at an elite 58.4% clip and limiting opponents to a 77.9 Contact%. The walks need to come back down, as he has issued 15 over his last 26 2/3 innings. Bello has struck out 25 batters in that stretch though. Better days are ahead.

Players Due for Negative Regression

Nick Gonzales (2B,SS – PIT)

Gonzales clearly was not ready for the bigs in 2023, as he hit .209 with a .616 OPS and 28.1 K% across 128 plate appearances. It has been a different story for him this year, as the young infielder is sporting a .302 AVG alongside an .823 OPS and improved 22.6 K% through 137 plate appearances. He got off to a great start after being called up last month, but things have tapered off just a bit here in June.

After batting .319 with three homers, four doubles, and 16 RBI over 19 games in May, Gonzales has hit .281 with a couple of deep drives and nine RBI in 14 games this month. He is still having some success, but his batted-ball profile and plate discipline have headed in the wrong direction.

HardHIt% EV LD% GB% BB%
May 50.0% 91.1 mph 29.4% 21.6% 6.4%
June 38.1% 89.1 mph 17.0% 46.8% 0.0%

After going 5-for-14 with a homer in Colorado this past weekend, Gonzales was 0-for-4 on Monday. He is worth hanging onto in deeper and dynast formats, but fantasy managers in standard redraft leagues should probably be shopping him around.

Mitchell Parker (SP – WSH)

Parker did get tagged for four runs in a start at Detroit on June 11, but they were all unearned. The rookie southpaw has only allowed six of the earned variety through 23 1/3 innings this month, giving him an outstanding 2.31 ERA for June and a 3.06 mark over his first 12 MLB starts. He’s been a valuable piece for the suddenly surging Nationals, but there are definite warning signs.

Despite the positive results this month, Parker has recorded a discouraging 5.46 xFIP. He has struck out only 12.4% of batters faced, and his .191 AVG against is the product of an unsustainable .211 BABIP. Matchups against a then-slumping Braves lineup followed by the Tigers and Marlins have certainly helped Parker’s cause. It seems like only a matter of time before that ERA course corrects.

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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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