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Matt Moore is NOT failing?

As I’m sure is true with many dedicated fantasy owners, I’ll dive to the oceans depths to find fantasy prospect bats, attempting to find players in rookie ball and international players to add, to the point where my full roster has me watching free agent players I enjoy and hoping that some of them remain free agents until I can create a new roster spot for them. Pitching on the other hand, not so much.

I attempt to find arms I like, but frequently, they are the electric arm on a 6ft body whom we know will eventually not cut it in the MLB as an ace and more likely a reliever, or the inverse, the giant with big K stuff who is also walking 20% of the batters he faces and likely doesn’t have a great body. I literally find these types over and over and over again with ease, knowing they aren’t what I’m looking for. If you added Michel Baez this year, he seems to be the arm who fits my ideal profile, otherwise, you’re likely just like me, attempting to find the next thing to put on the hill.

So, naturally, I go from one end of the spectrum to the other. If scouting the low minors has not proven fruitful, I’ll search elsewhere for answers, carving up stats in every way I know how. Here are some simple parameters I set to try and find a new arm to look into.

First, they must not be owned in my 14 team league. I sent myself on this journey for myself, not you. It’s going to benefit you in the end, but I wanted to find a new arm to place on the back end of my rotation. But the second part is more important.

I used second half stats because, at this point, player raters, and full season stats are facts we know, and I’d prefer to attempt to find a player whom likely has improved his stock since the second half of the season rolled around. The pitcher must also have at least 30 innings pitched in the second half.

Now we get to those raw numbers we all thirst for. The first thing I did was find what the MLB average was for the second half.


K% 20.3
BB% 8.2
GB% 43.3
Hard% 32.4


I wanted to set a hard cut off at those 5 stats, and immediately add any player who was beating the MLB average in those 5 during the second half. Unfortunately, that player does not exist in my dynasty league. The players who beat those totals are the usual suspects, and unfortunately, James Paxton is not a free agent. Alas, I must lower my standards. Who beats four of those totals, two interesting names popped up.

Ubaldo Jimenez

I realize we have all been scorned by Ubaldo before, but this time it’s probably more of the same, so don’t trust Ubaldo. While he has enjoyed an under the radar strong second half to date, he also has surrendered a 38.5% hard hit rate, which means his .409 Babip is probably the truth, and while his improved control is nice, he still has a 6.03 ERA for a good reason, he’s getting shellacked out there.

Matt Moore

This is where things get interesting. The 2011 #3 prospect behind Trout and Harper has never quite made it work, and his K%, BB%, and GB% still raise eyebrows over the whole season, but underneath the hood you could find some interesting things. Matt Moore’s second half has been good. In 44.2 IP his triple slash against is .228/.288/.394. By comparison to the averages I wanted pitchers to beat, he’s beating them with room to spare outside of grounders.

K% 20.3 22.7
BB% 8.2 7
GB% 43.3 36.8
SIERRA 4.53 4.22
Hard% 32.4 25.60%

Moore never has, and never will be a ground ball pitcher, but San Francisco is a nice place to induce flies if that’s going to be your game plan. The Giants stink, but he hasn’t been surviving on those few stats. He’s also getting infield flies at an above-average rate (14.5%), my second favorite thing outside of pitchers who get strikeouts.

Now his individual pitch data showed something fairly interesting.

Courtesy of

His pitch results against both sides give you some raw totals, which are tough to decipher, but against lefties and righties, you can spot something interesting.

Here is Moore against righties.

Courtesy of

Here is Moore against lefties.

Courtesy of

What do you know, he still has problems getting lefties out, but HIS MOST FREQUENTLY USED PITCH IS NOT GETTING ANYONE OUT. So When Matt Moore throws a four seam fastball, everyone in baseball turns to Giancarlo Stanton. Clearly this isn’t ideal, but when you look at his game usage pattern, it seems like Moore has finally taken notice to the wall of Stantons he has been running into.

Courtesy of

By golly, he has figured it out. If his other pitches are useful against MLB hitters, and his four seamer is the kiss of death to his career, his strategy of totally abandoned the four seamer in his last outing is a genius move.  The two seamer has done just fine in the past, so him trying it out in a larger sample makes sense. For those of you wondering how that went, it was his best outing of the year, going 7.1 IP, 2 hits, 4K, 4BB, 2ER.

Now I am not telling you to sell the farm to get Matt Moore, but at this point, what I’m finding was encouraging enough for me to drop some random guy I streamed the day before for Moore. Will he come crashing back to earth?  Probably. But what if he’s actively attempting to become better at his job, and he’s experimenting with something that just may work. If that’s the case, I’d suggest you add him for free in your league, unless you’re in the league that I went through this whole process to discover Moore, then just realize you’ve been outworked by me again.

The Author

Jack Cecil

Jack Cecil

Jack Cecil is an extravagant baller who lives a lifestyle you can only dream of. After a childhood spent on the streets, he moved some place warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, and where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. In his leisure time, he enjoys watching a baseball game or two, its possible he watched 337 full games at work in 2016...

1 Comment

  1. […] provides some interesting Matt Moore statistics, proving he is not as bad as he appears to be. […]

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