After a sluggish April brought about by the Dodgers more or less allowing him to skip spring training, Walker Buehler put together a 2.88 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 11.2 K/9. × And some others who fit that description couldn't even make the cut. Display as a link instead, × section: | slug: previewing-2020-fantasy-baseball-rankings-top-40-starting-pitchers-show-more-high-end-depth-than-you-might-suspect-but | sport: baseball | route: article_single_fantasy | Upload or insert images from URL. None of these are going to show up in a formula for a pitching metric, but they're circumstantial factors that make me willing to take a chance in the 5th round, as I just did in the RW Forums mock we're doing. A victim of both bad BABIP and bad home run luck, his 3.32 xFIP ranked ninth in all of baseball, ahead of Walker Buehler and Jack Flaherty, among others. It may mean I need to tweak my definition slightly -- the ERA and WHIP weren't quite up to snuff -- but except for maybe the 19-6 record, it doesn't look like he overachieved in any way. Drilled down on him for so long I was about to sing the Dentist song from Little Shop of Horrors. Your earlier post implied that your arbitrary cutoff for “elite” in K/9 was 15th place or better in any of the last few years, Nola exactly 15th in one year and has been on the cusp of that the last few years. Instead Nola totally bombed to the tune of 3.87 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Mike Soroka presumably gets more of a pass since he's doing it at age 22 rather than 32, but peripherally, he rates as a slightly lesser version of Ryu, succeeding more by commanding the strike zone and inducing ground balls than by missing bats. I like how it took pitching coaches this long to be like 'you know what f--k it, why don't you throw that pitch no one can hit all the damn time!' A look at Aaron Nola and other Razzball picks for September 27th contests on FanDuel for 2020 Fantasy Baseball DFS Also, maybe this is nitpicking, but I'd call Nola a good K pitcher, not an elite K pitcher. His ADP is close. He might not be a staff ace in fantasy, but he should be a very good no2. He piles up innings by pounding the strike zone while still coaxing whiffs with a top-of-the-line slider. Nola is still just 26 years old.
Also, I looked it up on Fangraphs and during that stretch from May through August, Nola's FIP was 3.55 and his xFIP was 3.66, https://www.fangraphs.com/players/aaron-nola/16149/splits-tool?position=P&splitArr=&strgroup=season&statgroup=2&startDate=2019-05-01&endDate=2019-08-30&filter=&statType=player&autoPt=true&players=&sort=NaN,1. He's throwing his change more than any other pitch right now and he has a xSLG of .285 with it, so I think that is a good strategy. I agree that CBS Sports can send me the "Fantasy Baseball Today Newsletter" newsletter. His inability to find the strike zone early was particularly damning coming off an injury-shortened season, but then it's like he couldn't miss, issuing just seven walks over his final 14 starts for a 2.95 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 12.6 K/9. His collapse in Sept was concerning but he’s now a top #7 SP. A bumpy last two months might make for some hesitance to target him like an ace, but the irony is that he may have cleared the last hurdle in his development during that stretch, significantly cutting down on his walks.
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