This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Last week we covered some pitchers off to rocky starts in 2021 to determine whether they should be discarded or kept as they attempt to work through their struggles. That is a form of risk/reward analysis. This week, we take it a step further. If you are in the hunt for a league title, now is the time to actually pursue players – in our case pitchers – who, while with risk, have hinted better days are imminent. The key here is deciding how much reward is necessary to offset the risk. But, that is the basis of fantasy baseball. It's relatively easy to assign estimated value based on past performance. But, success is predicated on predicting the future.
That said, I would like to feature a few pitchers who have impressed me with both positive hints and future potential at this point in the season. Those are the critical components in risk/reward: hinting that performance could improve (risk), and the skillset to make a large impact (reward).
You might consider adding these arms:
Jordan Montgomery (Yankees, 3-1, 3.99 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) – Sometimes a pitcher just continually tosses hints that there are better days, in some cases much better days, ahead. That pretty much describes Montgomery. I focus on a couple things with him. First, he is among the leaders in throwing first-pitch strikes. One of the best predictors in successful pitching is consistently being ahead in the count, and there is no better way to do that than