I’m not a fan of Mat Latos. A few years ago I was very much in his corner, even naming him a dark horse Cy Young candidate prior to his 2011 season with the Padres. Instead, Latos has seen his skill set deteriorate annually. A guy who used to be a strikeout-per-inning starter then fell to 7.5 K/9 and now sits under 6 K/9. Normally a slight ground ball pitcher, Latos has become a fly ball pitcher in a hitter’s park. Yet somehow he’s getting away with all of it, posting a 3.07 ERA and a career-best 0.97 WHIP.
Surely much of his success is the product of small sample size (58.2 IP) and a ridiculously low 3.9% HR/FB rate, but Latos absolutely has enough name value to capitalize on his superb numbers. numberFire.com projects a 3.62 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 6.68 K/9 the rest of the way. Those are numbers I can get behind.
Latos will start today (Wednesday) against the Indians. On DraftKings he’s the highest-priced pitcher, which indicates the kind of value people still think he has. For daily fantasy purposes, I’d advise staying away from Latos. In fact, I’d also advise picking against him.
In addition to rest-of-season projections, which you can get for free just by creating a numberFire account, the site also offers detailed game projections. According to their analysis of Wednesday’s games, Cleveland is actually an overwhelming favorite to beat Latos and the Reds in Cincinnati (subscription required).
So summary of all that’s above:
- Don’t buy into Latos’ success
- Don’t select him in DFS against the Indians
- Stack against him where it makes sense
- Sell if you can