By Tommy Rancel //
Despite his obscurity on a national level, Gavin Floyd has been one of the more polarizing figures in fantasy baseball over the past couple seasons. Few have teased and burned owners like Floyd has. This season has been more of the same. Still, it’s time to give Floyd another chance.
As in seasons past, Floyd has toyed with owners’ emotions in 2010. He started out awful, but has since rebounded nicely. Jason Collette of fanball.com notes that Floyd’s 1.27 ERA over the past 30 days rivals that of another Bloomberg Sports’ favorite, Josh Johnson (1.22).
So what has changed since those lousy first few weeks? Mostly luck.
In early May, Eriq Gardner noted at Bloomberg Sports that Floyd was one of baseball’s “unlucky” pitchers due to a below-average left on-base percentage (LOB%), also known as strand rate. On average, pitchers strand 72% of men who reach base. For his career, Floyd has stranded 69% of baserunners.
In the early stages of the season, Floyd’s LOB% was around 56%. Because of that, his numbers – most notably ERA – suffered. However, as the season has progressed, Floyd’s strand rate started to regress toward league average, an occurrence which has positively affected his stats, especially ERA.
In conjunction with his LOB% regression, Floyd has seen a regression in terms of batting average on balls in play (BABIP). The league average BABIP is .302. In April, Floyd’s BABIP was .369. To date, his BABIP has dropped down to .322 — but it’s still well above his career mark of .295.
Looking at events he can control, such as home runs, walks and strikeouts, Floyd is enjoying the best season of his career. His strikeout per nine innings rate (K/9) of 7.47 tops his career K/9 rate of 6.84. He’s walking fewer batters per nine innings (BB/9) in 2010 (2.78) than in previous years (3.22). The righty has also cut his home runs per nine innings rate dramatically, from a 1.25/9 IP career mark to 0.61/9 IP in 2010.
Looking at home run-to-flyball ratio, home runs might be the only category in which Floyd sees a shift toward the negative (an unusually low 7.3% HR/FB rate this season, vs. 12.4% for his career).
While Floyd has been a poster child for regression, his raw statistics still show an average pitcher. He is just 4-7 on the year with an ERA of 4.43. There is a chance that his LOB% and BABIP – which are still higher than usual – could regress even further. Couple that with his other peripheral stats that remain above-average in a positive way, and now is the time to strike on Floyd. He is available on waivers in nearly 10% of fantasy leagues. But even if he’s owned in your league, he’s worth a trade request.
For more on Gavin Floyd and other regression ready candidates, check out Bloomberg Sports’ fantasy kits.