Should we be worried about Cincinnati Reds Luis Castillo? Time to buy low?

It has been a tough first couple of weeks for fantasy players who drafted Luis Castillo to anchor their pitching. He has an ERA of 6.42 after 33.2 IP, with only one win. But should we be worried and push the panic button? Could this be a time to buy low on Castillo? We will take a deeper look and try to get you an answer.

First of all, the general suggestion is to never panic at the start of the fantasy season. Small sample sizes and panic moves have destroyed many fantasy teams.

Luis Castillo was drafted by many fantasy owners as their top starting picher and when you invest that much draft capital you need to get some results. He has pitched 33.2 innings and has 4 losses and 1 win. The xFIP shows 4.05 compared to 2.85 last season. We know that Great Amercian Ballpark is a very hitter friendly stadium, but Castillo pitched for the Reds last season, so it is relevant to compare to prior seasons. He has started in 7 games in 2021, 4 home games, and 3 away games.

His K9 is way down from 11.44 last season to 6.95 so far in 2021. It is the lowest strikeout rate in his MLB career. His O-Contact% is at a career high at 72.8% compared to 52.9 last season. (O-Contact% is the percentage of times a batter makes contact with the ball when swinging at pitches thrown outside the strike zone). This is the plate discipline number that really stands out. Line Drive % is up from 19.1 % last season to 25.2 % this season, and it has been the ground balls which have taken a step back from 58.4 % to 50.5 %. It is interesting to see that the hard% is down from 30.9 % to 23.1 %, but soft contact is down and medium contact % up from 47.8 % to 62.4 %.

We can also look at LOB% which is down from 70 % to 54 %.

The numbers seem to suggest that Luis Castillo has been a bit unlucky and his strikeout rate has been problematic. He is at a career low, but if no injury is behind this, we should see a bounce back. And our suggestion is to buy low on Luis Castillo.

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