Justin Fensterman and Trevor Ray discuss different strategies and thoughts that will be able help you get a fantasy baseball championship this season. They will also break down some injuries around the NFL and of course the major trade deal and its impact on the fantasy world.
And the fantasy baseball drafts just keep on coming… Kay Adams and I hosted the Livin’ the Fantasy Draft for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM87). The league consisted of myself, Kay, Kyle Elfrink, two producers (Drew Phelps and Phil Backert), and six listeners (one was unable to make it). That means we had a shallow 11 team, mixed league draft that we took part in. I had the #2 selection in the draft, and here is how my team turned out.
C: Carlos Santana (7th round), Victor Martinez (8)
1B: Kevin Youkilis (19), Kendrys Morales (24)
2B: Rickie Weeks (9), Martin Prado (6)
3B: Ryan Zimmerman (4), Manny Machado (21)
SS: Jose Reyes (2)
OF: Ryan Braun (1), B.J. Upton (3), Shin-Soo Choo (5), Dexter Fowler (13), Cameron Maybin (23), Drew Stubbs (25), Michael Brantley (28)
It’s a two catcher league, and with the two talents I saw sitting there in the 7th and 8th rounds I thought to myself what the heck, do something you normally don’t due and roster two potentially elite options at catcher.
First base is an area of weakness relative to the rest of my team. Still, I’m confident that my duo of Youkilis and Morales will be able to hold their own at the spot, even if I’m just treading water there.
Weeks fell in my eyes, so I was more than willing to dive into the pool in the 9th round. Injuries are always an issue, but per 162 games for his career here is Weeks line – .251-23-67-107-20. Yeah, I know right? Prado qualifies at OF, 3B, 2B and SS in this league. I know he shouldn’t, but you have to play to your leagues rules. He offers excellent cover up the middle, at the corner, and in the outfield. I love him as my middle infielder right now. Speaking of up the middle, Reyes is a strong contender to lead shortstops in fantasy value in 2013.
Zimmerman’s shoulder keeps passing all the tests this spring, and he seems well on his way to another traditionally impressive effort at the hot corner. Machado in the 21st was a shocking fall actually. Kyle Elfrink, my co-host on The Drive (5 PM EDT, Monday-Friday) pointed out something very interesting. Rookies like Wil Myers and Jurickson Profar are on everyone’s must draft list. A youngster like Machado, who is just as talented, simply isn’t because he played last year and only did so-so. The perception is that Myers/Profar are worth the risk this season but Machado is only blah. Folks, Machado is a dynamic talent who has a starting job with the Orioles. That should mean more than it does to some.
Braun is still my #1 guy, PED junk be damned. Upton is a great #2 outfielder. Choo is a great #3 outfielder. Fowler is a great #4 outfielder. Maybin/Stubbs/Brantley equals a great #5 outfielder.
On the hill I waited on starters, shocking I know, and yet again proved you can do well following that strategy. Gallardo and Latos are top-20 arms in my eyes, and Morrow is right on the edge of that as well. My 4th starter is Wilson, and I have a lot of faith in him rebounding this season (see his Player Profile). My fifth is Haren, and I have a lot of faith that he will rebound this season (see his Player Profile). My sixth starter is Tim Hudson, you know the guy who has averaged 16 victories with a 3.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP the past three seasons. My seventh starting arm is Volquez who has a 200 K season in his back pocket, has filthy stuff, and pitches half his games in Petco Park.
In the pen, some strong arms as well. Nathan and Hanrahan are top-10 closer types, and Cishek is a strong 3rd closer. I also added Jansen, that guys arm is as good as any in baseball, and Pestano who is one hell of a hurler himself (he’s also potentially going to get some 9th inning work if Chris Perez isn’t 100 percent by opening day).
It’s an 11 team league, having one less team in the mix certainly opens up the player pool for sure, and who knows about injuries, but looking at this squad I really don’t think I have an obvious weakness.
Oh, and here are the results of an NL-only draft that we held on The Drive which you can hear Monday through Friday at 5 PM EDT on Sirius 210. XM87.
By Ray Flowers
I recently detailed how my team turned out in KFFL’s K -BAD League. As a review of that club will show, I waited in pitching and assembled what I believe to be a strong group of starting pitchers – James Shields, Yovani Gallardo, Jon Lester, Dan Haren, Shaun Marcum, James McDonald and Francisco Liriano . However, I’m not blind to the fact that I rostered an awful lot of risk. Lester and Haren are coming off down years, Marcum is once again dealing with some shoulder weakness, McDonald was terrible in the second half and Liriano is suffering from a broken non-throwing arm (we have a DL spot in this league which is where Liriano will end up). So how did I combat that risk? Besides building an impressive offense, I also rostered four dynamic arms in Steve Cishek, Kenley Jansen, Bobby Parnell and David Robertson. ‘But Ray, how does that rally help you since only one of those guys is locked into the 9th inning for his team?’ Ah, and with that question we dig into the meat of today’s article.
Let’s look at each relievers numbers from last season.
Cishek: 2.69 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 68 Ks, five wins, 15 saves
Jansen: 2.35 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 99 Ks, five wins, 25 saves
Parnell: 2.49 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 61 Ks, five wins, seven saves
Robertson: 2.67 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 81 Ks, two wins, two saves
All of those four produced solid efforts last season, wouldn’t you say? That group would have also brought you 49 saves last season, on the cheap, which is a huge bonus given their draft day cost. But did you realize just how dominating they were on the hill? In fact, that foursome of hurlers was just as good, better actually, than Justin Verlander last season, and no, I haven’t been drinking (though that White Russian on the counter is about 10 minutes away from being sipped). Take a look.
Verlander: 17 wins, 2.64 ERA, 239Ks, 1.06 WHIP in 238.1 innings
Relievers: 17 wins, 2.55 ERA, 309 Ks, 1.14 WHIP in 258 innings
Remember two other extremely salient points.
(1) Verlander had zero saves and the relievers had 49.
(2) Verlander’s cost $27 last year in Tout Wars (15 team mixed league).
The relievers cost $7 ($0 Cishek, $6 Jansen, $0, Parnell, $1 Robertson).
So, if you had that reliever group you would have gotten better numbers than Justin Verlander, plus don’t forget to add in the 49 saves, and spent a fourth as much money on draft day. Are you starting to see my point? Year after year relievers and their value to teams in the fantasy game is undervalued because people think that if a reliever isn’t giving you saves then he’s not helping your team. Granted, if your team is throwing 1,500 innings over the course of a season 65 innings from one reliever really isn’t going to leave much of a mark, but if you have two, three, four or five guys doing that, then it gets really interesting as you can see in the example above.
Some further notes.
(1) Target skills, not roles, with relievers.
(2) Taking relievers in the reserve rounds is a strong move if you are uncertain about your starting pitching group.
(3) Relievers, unlike starting pitchers, can contribute in all five categories.
(4) It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes less is more. Last season David Robertson earned $5 of fantasy value even though he threw only 60.2 innings. Lucas Harrell won 11 games, struck out 140 batters, posted a 3.76 ERA and 1.36 WHIP over 193.2 innings. While that seems like Harrell’s effort would result in better fantasy value that Robertson, would it shock you to learn that he too earned $5 last season? Remember, the league ERA last year was 4.01, the WHIP 1.31, and obviously a .500 record (Harrell was 11-11 and won only 11 games in 32 starts). The fact is that Harrell was decidedly average across the board meaning that he gave you 193.2 innings of average while Robertson gave you 60.2 innings of impressive work. In the end, their fantasy production ended up being the same.
Relievers may not be the sexy adds late in drafts, but a group of guys like those I noted above can not only provide you excellent numbers, but they can also help to cover up some weakness in your starting pitching unit while at the same time offering a tremendous chance to receive a substantial return on your investment. Don’t forget that fact on draft day cause rostering Jake McGee over a guy like Bronson Arroyo at the end of a draft might be the better long-term move in many cases.
* Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the 2013 BaseballGuys Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide which is now available. Nearly 150 pages of insight to help you dominate the competition in 2013.
By Ray Flowers
The fellas over over at KFFL.com have a fantasy baseball league nicknamed K-BAD, for Baseball Analysis Draft, and for the 5th straight year I’m honored to have been asked to participate (the proceeding link takes you to an analysis by every participant on the league). In Part III of this three part review I’ll break down how my squad turned out.
C: Yadier Molina (7th round), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (21)
1B: Kevin Youkilis (18), Mark Reynolds (23)
2B: Dustin Ackley (19)
3B: Miguel Cabrera (1), Martin Prado (6)
SS: Hanley Ramirez (2), Starlin Castro (3)
OF: Austin Jackson (4), Shin-Soo Choo (5), Nick Markakis (10), Mark Trumbo (11), Dexter Fowler (12), Ben Revere (13), Michael Brantley (25), Domonic Brown (26)
For a review of my selections in rounds 1-14.
For a review of my selections in rounds 15-28.
My team is too outfield heavy. There’s just no reason why, especially with a short bench of five players, that I should have added so many outfielders. So why did I? I was sucked into the value the players represented. The problem wouldn’t have been as acute as it is if I hadn’t gone with Brantley and then Brown back-to-back in the 25th and 26th rounds. I took Brantley who I think has the makings of a strong 5th outfielder but I was really tempted to take a shot on Brown’s talent at the same time. When it came around to me again and Brown was still there, I just said what the heck and took Brown too. There’s trading in this league which will help me to move a piece or two, and a handful of outfielders will certainly get hurt before Opening Day (see Curtis Granderson).
My other mistake in this league also revolved around the outfield (maybe subconsciously I was trying to make up for it late in the draft?). I took Ben Revere in the 13th round. I commented at the time I made the selection, and you can read that comment in Part I (linked to above), that I was likely taking Revere too early given how “like” players were often slipping in drafts. I should have listened to my gut. Instead of Revere in the 13th I could have had Coco Crisp in the 18th or Juan Pierre in the 18th round. Learn from my misstep – speed can be had late in drafts this season.
PLAYERS I MISSED OUT ON BY ONE PICK
I have never, not once in a my life, had more players that I was ready to roster taken one pick ahead of me than this draft. In 28 rounds there were eight instances where “my guy” was taken the pick directly ahead of me. Is that some kind of record? Here’s the list of players I missed out on.
Dustin Pedroia, B.J. Upton, Madison Bumgarner, Corey Hart, Neil Walker, Russell Martin, Tyler Colvin, Erasmo Ramirez
I can therefore say one of two things. If I win this league perhaps my initial thoughts on players were wrong since I ended up going with my “backup” plan so often. If I finish in 10th place I’m going to blame others for taking “my guys.” A built in excuse already. Honestly, I can’t remember this happening to me so much. It should be noted as well that this was a “slow” draft conducted over days. It’s one thing to want a player in the heat of battle where there are seven minutes between selections. It’s totally another when you have seven hours between your picks to plan your strategy and then you lose the guy you were targeting. Getting snaked in this set up hurts even worse.
Just for the heck of it – beautiful women.
As I noted in my initial pick-by-pick review, this team started out nails in the average column. After seven offensive selections my team could legitimately be looked at as a club that could hit .300. That cushion in the average category allowed me to take shots on guys like Saltalamacchia, Trumbo and Reynolds who aren’t going to do anything for me in the average department. However, that Trio of batters could go deep 80+ times fairly easily with health. That power allowed me to feel fine about guys like Revere, Fowler and Markakis being part of my club. I’m a big fan of the mix I’ve got on offense. The key for the squad will be how Youkilis/Reynolds and Ackley perform. If the two corner guys return to “normal” and Ackley shows just a little improvement, this offense is going to impress.
On the hill there are questions. Shields/Gallardo are an impressive top-2 (even if many would disagree). Lester/Haren/Marcum are a trio of risky selections cause of health and down performances last season, but that’s a lot of talent. I defy anyone to tell me that Shields/Gallardo/Lester/Haren couldn’t all be 180 strikeout guys, and let’s not forget about McDonald who could get there too. As I’ve noted many times as well, Marcum never gets the respect he should because of his constant time in the doctor’s office. Liriano’s DL stint at the start of the season will also allow me to add another hurler as soon as he is officially place on the disabled list, so I’ll get to add another potential hurler at that time (Joe Blanton, Kyle Lohse, Bud Norris, Clayton Richard are all on my radar). As for the bullpen, I really like the skills there. Cishek is my only true “closer” to start the year, but as we saw last year when literally two-thirds of clubs ended up changing their 9th inning arms, it’s unwise to read too much into relievers roles at this point. Remember, do what I always preach – target the skills and not the roles. To that end Cishek, Jansen, Parnell and Robertson have elite skills. Elite. I’ll work the wire hard early in the year when the inevitable bullpen shenanigan’s start.
We’ll see how things go, but overall I’m a fan of how this team turned out, even if so many of the guys I had targeted ended up on other clubs.
Thanks to KFFL.com for the invite yet again.
For a PDF copy of the entire K-BAD-Results, click on the link.
By Ray Flowers
The peeps over over at KFFL.com have a fantasy baseball league nicknamed K-BAD, for Baseball Analysis Draft, and for the 5th straight year I’m honored to have been asked to participate (to see how others in the league constructed their clubs, click on the link above). In Part II of this three part series I will review selections made in rounds 15-28.
Round 16: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Steve Cishek, RP
Wanted Corey Hart who was taken a pick ahead. Therefore decided to make the plunge with my first closer. Stronger skills than Jim Johnson who had 51 saves last year.
Round 17: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Kenley Jansen
It looks like Brandon League will be the closer to start the year, but I expect Jansen to lead the Dodgers in saves just like he did last season after starting out as a setup man. Just a massive arm.
Round 18: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B
He qualifies at both corner infield spots, will get to hit in a solid batters yard in New York, is motivated, and has reworked his swing a bit. All of those things are pluses.
Round 19: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Dustin Ackley, 2B
I don’t know how he scored more than 80 runs with an OBP under .300 last year. Some slight improvement across the board could lead to 10th round production.
Round 20: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Bobby Parnell
There’s no doubting Frank Francisco has a huge arm, but elbow woes could lead to the fire balling/ground ball inducing Parnell becoming the Mets’ closer.
Round 21: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
The guy I wanted (Russell Martin) was taken one pick before me (what a shock). Salty could go for 25 HRs, so he’s not an awful consolation prize.
Round 22: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Shaun Marcum, SP
Injuries have sapped his value in some folks eyes, but since 2008 an average Marcum season: 11-7, 3.57 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 7.44 K/9, 2.91 K/BB in 168 innings.
Round 23: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Mark Reynolds, 1B
Few seem to remember, but from 2008 an average Reynolds effort has led to 33 homers, 88 RBIs, 83 runs, 10 steals. So what if he’s hit .229 in that time? I can handle the average with my roster.
Round 24: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: James McDonald, SP
A tale of two halves. In the first he was impressive (9-3, 2.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP ). In the second he sucked eggs (3-5, 7.52 ERA, 1.79 WHIP). Still has that power arm. See his Player Profile.
Round 25: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Michael Brantley, OF
Not that far away from being someone of note. He was one of nine outfielders to go .288-6-60-63-12 last season. See his Player Profile.
Round 26: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Domonic Brown, OF
I really didn’t need another outfielder after taking Brantle, but with Delmon Young nursing an ankle injury maybe, just maybe, Brown will finally flash that 20/20 talent. We can trade in this league too, and Mr. Minnix has already expressed an interest in Mr. Brown.
Round 27: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: David Robertson
Had a great season last year and people forget if he hadn’t gotten hurt it likely would have been him, and not Rafael Soriano, who led the Yankees in saves.
Round 28: Ray Flowers, BaseballGuys.com
Player: Francisco Liriano, SP
Why make the injured lefty my last selection? We’ve got two DL spots in this league. I’ll put Liriano on the DL and then grab another SP as soon as I can. See his Player Profile.
And with that all there is to do is to review the final squad which is what I will do in Part III of the series.
- Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the 2013 BaseballGuys Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide which is now available. Nearly 150 pages of insight to help you dominate the competition in 2013.
By Ray Flowers
Jason Bay was finally hitting with a .317 mark, a .969 OPS and 13 RBI through 18 games in September. Of course, he’s now missed three games in a row with the flu. He’s no Justin Morneau, but it looks like Bay’s skills just disappeared, despite his nice three week run.
Lance Berkman has hit only seven homers with 28 RBI over his last 56 games, but on the year he is batting .300 with 31 homers, 91 RBI a .412 OBP and a .967 OPS, a rather phenomenal campaign from a guy who pretty much everyone thought was washed up. It’s being reported that he’s agreed to a one year deal worth $12 million to play with the Cardinals next season. I think it’s a fair deal for both sides, the Cardinals can’t risk losing Albert Pujols next year and not having someone who can hit in the middle of the lineup, but I think they’d be fooling themselves if their expectations were for Berkman to repeat this years effort next season.
Am I the only one that thinks that working a job that you can wear slippers to is about as good as it gets?
Vladimir Guerrero has long been on of my favorite players (perhaps it goes back to the days that he was on my minor league taxi squad). I even have a Vlad G. Montreal Expos jersey in my closet (you’re jealous aren’t you?). This season hasn’t gone as planned for Vlad, but that doesn’t mean that he is ready to hang up his cleats. In fact, he wants to play a couple of more seasons. “I feel I can play two or three more years,” he said. “And I just need to work a little harder this offseason when I go to the Dominican and see what happens.” Guerrero is three hits behind Julio Franco for the most hits every by a Dominican born player, he has 2,583. He’s also on quite a tear right now hitting .400 over his last 16 games to push his average up to .292. If he can get it to .300 it would be the 14th time in 15 seasons he hit that mark. However, with only 13 homers, this will be the first time in his career that he’s had 400 at-bats and failed to go deep 27 times.
The Marlins have placed closer Leo Nunez on the restricted list for “undisclosed reasons” (he has already headed back to the Dominican Republic, so his 2011 season is over). Nunez will finish the year with middling ratios (4.06 ERA, 1.21 WHIP), but he did produce 36 saves in 42 chances. Edward Mujica might get a look in the ninth, after all he’s been great this year with a 0.97 WHIP and 4.69 K/BB ratio, but I would pick up Steve Cishek if I was looking for a few cheap saves.
I was watching Supernatural the other night and I noticed that Genevieve Courtese had a recurring role (OK, I’m a bit behind with the series – I’m only working on season IV right now). I admit it, I’m such a sucker for brunettes.
Ben Revere is hitting .263, has no homer,s sports a terrible .310 OBP and has a sickly .297 SLG (how awful is that?). So why am I wasting any time writing about him? His recent play of course. Over the last eight games Ben has produced 15 hits, including one in each outing, while he’s also swiped seven bags. That’s the type of a waiver-wire pickup that can win you your league. Reverse certainly has a lot of limitations on offense, but his late season push will certainly have him in the mix for a substantial role with the Twins next season.
Iwasn’t a big believer when the Rangers decided to move C.J. Wilson from the pen to the rotation. Consider my opinion to be in error. Wilson went 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA last year, and he’s been slightly better this year going 16-7 with a 2.97 ERA. He’s also upped his K mark this season to 8.38 per nine which has resulted in 206 punchouts. That dude is gonna get straight paid in the free agent market this offseason.
By Ray Flowers
The season might be wrapping up, but there are still fantasy championships to be won. At the BaseballGuys’ Twitter account people continually send in questions in search of answers. Hopefully my answers are helpful.
I’m so sick of Tim Stauffer. If I hadn’t reached my season acquisition limit I would never have him pitching.
Perception is a witch (you know what word really should be there).
I’ll grant you that two of the last five times that Stauffer has taken the hill he has gotten lit up (16 ER in a mere 4.2 innings), and that would kill anyone’s fantasy squad. Hell, the guys seen his ERA go up a full run over his last 10 outings. Who wouldn’t be ticked off? Still, I’m gonna say it’s been a successful season, and so should you.
Stauffer had never made more than 14 starts in a season his big league career and he’s up to 29 this season. That’s led to 173.2 innings, more than double his previous career best of 82.2 innings. Give him a check mark here.
For his career he owns a 3.97 ERA. This season his ERA, despite his recent downturn is 3.83. Give him a check mark here.
For his career he has a 1.32 WHIP. This season his WHIP is 1.27. Give him a check mark here.
For his career his K/9 mark is 6.11. This season his K/9 mark is 6.06. Give him a check mark here.
For his career his BB/9 mark is 3.08. This season his BB/9 mark is 2.64. Give him a check mark here.
For his career his HR/9 mark is 0.98. This season his HR/9 mark is 1.04. Give him a check mark here.
For his career his GB/FB ratio is 1.49. This season his GB/FB mark is 1.83. Give him a check mark here.
The point should be obvious. Stauffer has been the same pitcher he has always been, just over twice as many innings as normal. In my mind, that means he has had a successful season (especially when you consider things like the fact that he has a better ERA than Chris Carpenter and Zack Greinke while posting a better WHIP than Matt Garza and Wandy Rodriguez). The timing of his recent struggles is horrible for those fighting for a fantasy championship, but in totality Stauffer has pitched pretty darn well this season.
Is Steve Cishek worth it for saves while not blowing up WHIP/ERA or is Jonny Venters a better options for cheap wins?
The Marlins’ closer, Leo Nunez, has decided to suck wind for the second straight season in the second half. Nunez has seen his 3.51 first half ERA jump to 6.38 (he’s allowed 11 ER in his last 10.2 innings), and his BAA go from .221 to .307 since the All-Star break. Oddly, he’s only walked three batters in 20 outings, but he’s been bit by the long ball allowing four homers. As a result he has three saves in his last 11 outings while he has also blown three chances. His last save was August 16th. Cishek has picked up two saves in his last four outings as he gains a foothold in the 9th, and on the year he has a 1.24 WHIP and 47 Ks in 45.1 innings. However, he too has hit a bit of speed bump of late allowing six hits, three walks and four runs in his last 4.1 innings.
Venters continues to be an astronomically effective setup man who picks up the odd save (five on the year). He’s also vultured six victories against one loss. However, it’s his ratios that really stand out. On the year, and we’re talking 77.2 innings, Venters has a 1.39 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, .160 BAA and 87 punchouts. That level of production just isn’t seen by anyone other than the elites in the game. To be quiet honest, his performance this year is superior to all but a handful of closers in the game – if that. He’s been flat out amazing.
All of that analysis misses the point. Wins are hard enough to predict for starting pitchers, in fact I would argue that no one can effectively predict them. As for wins from a reliever, you’re better off trying to guess how many times a day that everyone in the world sneezes. There is certainly no way to predict wins from a reliever, and you certainly shouldn’t add one trying to add to the win column for your team.
Secondly, the worry about blowing up your WHIP or ERA at this point of a season, if we are talking about relievers, is negligible at best. Let’s say your team has thrown 1,200 innings and it has allowed 450 runs leading to an ERA of 3.38. We can agree that the last month of work from Nunez is about as bad as it gets, right? So let’s add in 11 runs and 10.2 innings to the mix to give us 1,210 innings and 461 runs allowed. The result is a 3.43 ERA. I’m not saying that isn’t enough of a downturn to lose you a spot or two in your standings, but how often do relievers allow a run an inning over 10 innings? Not often is the correct answer, and with less than a month left in the regular season, it will be tough for most relievers to toss more than 10 innings the rest of the way.
The bottom line is that you needn’t worry too much about any reliever crashing your ratios at this point of the season.
Jeff Niemann or Doug Fister going forward?
In 19 starts for the Rays this year Jeff Neimann has posted a 3.69 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He’s also picked up a victory in five of his last seven outings. However, he’s started to allow a lot of homers, seven in his last seven outings, while his ERA is up to 4.01 in that stretch. That’s still a passable number of course, and his 3.03 K/BB ratio for the year says it isn’t all smoke and mirrors as he’s posting three year bests in K/9 (7.00) and BB/9 (2.31). His GB/FB ratio is also a career best at 1.27. All of that says that his current level of production could be sustainable.
Fister has been a solid pitcher in his big league career with a 3.69 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, but the prevailing wisdom was that his production would take a slight dip outside of Safeco which so heavily favors the pitcher. That assumption has been wrong as Fister has taken off since he joined the Tigers. One of the biggest reasons is that his run support, which was under two runs with the Mariners, is approaching 4.7 in his seven starts with the Tigers. It’s also helped that in his seven outings he’s allowed more than two earned runs only once leading to a 4-1 record, 2.64 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He’s actually pitching like a new man with his new team (how appropriate). In addition to all of that just mentioned goodness, Fister has walked three batters in 44.1 innings. Three. That’s led to a BB/9 mark of 0.61. That mark was 1.97 in Seattle. He’s also struck out more batters with a 7.31 per nine mark compared to his 5.49 mark with the Mariners.
We may only be talking about a month plus of work, but Fister is performing at a near elite level since he joined the Tigers so ride that wave until his season hits the beach.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87.