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Yovani Gallardo has lost his strikeout magic this season.
Scheduled Starts: Monday at Miami Marlins, Saturday at Cincinnati Reds
Yovani Gallardo is no stranger to sluggish starts, but he usually rights the ship by now.
Following two straight Aprils that resulted in ERAs above six, his typical limp out of the gate appeared to be business as usual. Actually, his 4.25 ERA was a step up.
Here we are in June, and Gallardo has yet to turn the corner. The 27-year-old has posted a 5.25 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and most concerning of all, a 7.33 K/9 ratio.
This comes from one of the most consistent strikeout sources in baseball. He has hit the 200-punchout plateau in each of the past four seasons, which is solely why we put up with his irregular production and subpar WHIP.
A quick look at his FanGraphs player page may lead some to the conclusion that Lady Luck is to blame. While Gallardo is sporting a.320 BABIP and 66.7 percent strand rate, the plunge in strikeouts is still a serious red flag.
His fastball velocity has lost more than a full mile per hour, and his swinging strike percentage has dipped to 6.7 percent, well below his career 8.5 percent rate.
With all that said, his next start comes against the Miami Marlins, who are essentially a minor league team as long as they are not facing the New York Mets. I'd encourage you to start me if I was facing the Marlins, even though I went undrafted yet again.
His second start against the Cincinnati Reds, however, complicates matters. The Reds rank ninth in runs scored and coerce the most walks in the National League.
In a daily league, use him against Miami before sidelining him. In a league with weekly lineup changes, see if a better two-start option is out there.
Verdict: Start against Marlins, Sit against Reds (Sit in weekly leagues)