Why is Chase Anderson Unowned?

Jun 17, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Chase Anderson throws in the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels during an interleague game at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Anderson of the Arizona Diamondbacks has made 13 starts this year, and ten of them have been quite good because he allowed two runs or less.  Despite a 2.84 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, Anderson is only owned in 23.9% of ESPN leagues.  To me, it seems like 76.1% of ESPN leagues are not paying attention.

Anderson is by no means a stud, but his ratios have been strong and he would be a net positive on any pitching staff.  Part of the low ownership could be explained by his 3-1 record or only having 51 K’s, but his 2.84 ERA currently ranks 19th and his 1.15 WHIP is 27th among qualified starters.  With a 3.18 FIP and impressive command, I have seen enough to trust Chase Anderson.

One of the things that stands out to me is that Anderson has only allowed three homers in 2015, despite the fact that he pitches at Chase Field.  His ground ball rate has improved to 45.0%, which is a nice uptick from his 39.9% mark in 2014.  That is certainly a nice way to keep the ball in the park.  Also, I have seen a couple of Chase Anderson starts, and he is effectively keeping the ball down in the zone.

While there are a lot of positives about Chase Anderson so far, I know I have to be a little wary with his 5.79 K/9 rate and a 4.11 SIERA.  I almost exclusively target high strikeout pitchers, but I can learn to trust some pitchers without big K numbers if they have seemingly sustainable ratios.  Also, I am aware of his league-leading 3.9% HR/FB rate, but the fact that Anderson has only issued 17 walks in 79.1 IP combats most of my fears.

In his nine starts in the months of May and June, Anderson posted an ERA of 3.00 or less eight times.  Six of those nine starts were also quality starts.  Outside of his poor performance at Milwaukee on May 31st, he has been excellent, and I have fairly strong confidence in the Arizona RHP.  He could easily become a 3.50 ERA type of pitcher going forward, but Anderson’s command should always keep his ERA and WHIP at least league average.

At this point, there is no reason to not roster Chase Anderson, and I feel comfortable starting him almost every fifth day.  Then again, maybe I will sit him on Tuesday at Colorado even though I am not a fan of benching my pitchers.  Hey, even the all-time greats struggle at Coors.  Regardless, I would recommend grabbing the best starter on the surprisingly respectable Arizona Diamondbacks.