…Or if you want to know why you should go to your waiver wire to add Matt Boyd, I’ll explain here. I’ll try to keep it brief, though, because time could be of the essence.
It’s no secret that Boyd is on an impressive run, posting a 2.06 ERA since his most recent callup on July 9. He has been gaining in popularity among Fantasy owners, but despite this extended run of success, there is a good chance that Boyd is still available in your standard mixed leagues.
At first glance, there is good reason for skepticism over his recent success. In terms of his strikeout, walk and home run ratios and his batted ball profile, Boyd is not an appreciably different pitcher than he was during his earlier stints with the Tigers this season. That’s not good news, as Boyd compiled a 6.44 ERA during those stretches. The biggest difference between now and then is the far more favorable BABIP and strand rates he has accrued over his last eight appearances, comprising seven starts and one relief appearance.
Even if you like the results Boyd has produced, he has limited appeal due to his short outings. Over his last seven starts, he has lasted at least six innings three times and exceeded six innings just once.
While skepticism is well founded, here is why you need to put it aside. This season, Boyd has shown better control, and that had always been a strength for the lefty in the minors. Though he doesn’t throw especially hard, strikeouts haven’t been a huge problem either. It’s strong flyable tendencies that have been Boyd’s downfall, particularly in the majors, where he has already allowed 28 home runs in 126 career innings.
Just hours from this writing, Boyd will take on the Twins, who have not been much of a power threat over the past two weeks. Now that Max Kepler has cooled off and Miguel Sano is slumping, Brian Dozier is their only reliable power source. With only a minimal long ball threat, the Twins present a good matchup for Boyd.
The favorable matchups will keep on rolling over the weeks to come. In Week 22, as the Tigers’ rotation currently lines up, Boyd will get a two-start week, facing the White Sox and Royals — a pair of teams that don’t feature much power. Week 23 looks like a good time to sit Boyd, with one projected start against the slugging Orioles. After that, the schedule winds down with back-to-back one-start weeks against the Twins and a two-start week against the Indians and Braves. Yes, as of now, the Indians are a tough assignment, but finishing the week off with the Braves should take the sting out of that matchup.
Planning your Fantasy rotation a month in advance is tricky, as these matchups are all subject to change, but if you’ve got room to stash Boyd, it’s a risk worth taking. You could wait to see how Boyd actually fares against the Twins in the first start of the rest of his season. If it goes well, he will only get more popular.
So here are your choices. Go pick up Boyd now. Or root hard against him tonight.