Vargas (5-2) coughed up six runs on seven hits and two walks over four innings while striking out four in Wednesday's 11-7 loss to the Yankees. The shellacking doubled Vargas' ERA on the season to a still-tiny 2.03. The veteran lefty has only given up more than one run in a start twice so far this season, and his peripherals (including a 43:10 K:BB through 48.2 innings) suggest that he may not be pitching as far over his head as it appears at first glance. He'll get a rematch with New York in Yankee Stadium on Monday.
Vargas, who's 5-1 with an MLB-best 1.01 ERA, is finding success with a brand new release point he's employed this season, Devan Fink of SB Nation reports. Trying to make sense of Vargas' success is not an easy task. He's an aging left-hander whose fastball is one of the slowest in the league -- not to mention he missed practically all of 2016 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Yet, somehow, Vargas is pitching better than ever in 2017 while posting numbers comparable to Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale. Fink's report points to a couple of factors for the veteran's early-season accomplishments, with the most notable change being Vargas releasing the ball at a lower point than ever before. Admittedly, the sample size is still a bit small for making sweeping conclusions, and the veteran has also been a bit lucky along the way (.264 BAA). Regardless, the 34-year-old is deserving of a roster spot across all formats until regression occurs. Without drawing too close of a comparison, it's worth recognizing that 2016's ERA champion, Kyle Hendricks, was also off the radar for such honors before last year's campaign started.
Vargas (5-1) pitched seven scoreless innings with just three hits and a walk allowed while striking out four batters during Thursday's win over Tampa Bay. Vargas was in cruise control throughout Thursday's outing, and he's now allowed one run or fewer in six of seven starts. With a 1.01 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and five wins, the veteran lefty has been exceptional, and his 2.17 FIP suggests there might not be significant negative regression ahead. He lines up to face the Yankees in his next trip to the hill.
Vargas (4-1) allowed no runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six across six innings, but did not factor into the decision Saturday against the Indians. Vargas silenced the Indians and left the contest with a 1-0 lead, but the bullpen was unable to hold on, costing him a potential victory. He's been nothing short of amazing this season, as he's allowed one or fewer runs in five of his six starts, and his ERA is 1.19. He'll be a top fantasy option each week until he shows signs of slowing down, especially since the 12-year veteran's production has been completely unexpected. He'll make his next start Thursday against the Rays.
Vargas (4-1) allowed one run on five hits while walking three and striking out one over six innings for the victory over the White Sox on Monday. Vargas continues to be one of Kansas City's lone bright spots after a rough first month of the season. In his first five starts, the veteran left-hander hasn't given up more than three runs, although Monday saw him walk his most batters and strike out the fewest. He's sporting a healthy 8.2 K/9 and is displaying excellent command. This won't last forever, though, and an unusually high 84.5 percent strand rate and 3.34 xFIP point to regression down the road.
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