Jordan Lyles: Underrated Overachiever
If I were to tell you that there was a pitcher who had a 2.87 FIP, a .98 WHIP, a miniscule 3.7 BB rate, and a .67 HR/9 ratio in the month of June, and that he was availble for next to nothing in your AL-Only, would that peak your interest? That pitcher is Jordan Lyles, who has been absolutely dominant over his last 44 1/3 innings (From Paul Sporer on the Baseball Prospectus fantasy podcast).
Lyles had exactly one bad outting, on May 12th against the Rangers at home. He gave up 8 earned runs in 4 innings and only struck out one batter. Ever since that outting, he has not given up more than 2 earned runs in any one outting. That level of consistency coming from Lyles is something that we should all be targeting on our pitching staffs, but that outting against Texas is ruining his composite line. While still good, no one is losing their mind over a 3.22 ERA and a 18.3% K rate, which creates the buying opportunity.
On the same Baseball Prospectus pod, Sporer noted that Lyles ceiling was always as a peak 3, but he is actually performing much better than that. He is only allowing opposite batters an 18.8% line drive rate, inducing ground balls at a 52% clip, and has a beautfil 9.6% home run to fly ball ratio. Lyles is controlling the ball and keeping it inside of the park, which is exactly what you want out of a pitcher who doesn’t strike out a ton of guys.
Jordan Lyles probably isn’t the type of pitcher than can save a season, but if you are the type of unfortunate soul who took David Price or R.A Dickey early in your AL-Only or didn’t spend on pitching in your AL auction, Lyles is the type of guy you want to target. His composite numbers don’t match with his level of performance and overall level of talent. Per Lyles’ CBS Sports Fantasy player page, he has recently been traded straight up for J.P Arencibia, Scott Kazmir, and Luke Scott. The Lyles side of that trade wins in each individual deal and those are the deals that you need to be trying to execute.