2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Finding wins late in your draft from Lance Lynn to Eduardo Rodriguez
Acknowledging the category as particularly maddening in Fantasy, Heath Cummings helps you target good sources of wins in the later rounds.
As far as Fantasy Baseball categories go, wins are pretty awful. It’s even worse in a head-to-head categories league when your opponent has a pitcher give up four runs over five innings who “earns” a win while your pitcher shuts his opponent out over seven but takes a no decision.
I’m right. You know I am. But it doesn’t matter. Wins are still one of the five most common pitching categories, and odds are you if you have the same disdain for the category I do, you’ll also find yourself short on wins late in the draft. That’s where these guys come in.
Don’t lament the unfairness of wins. Exploit it by stacking the second half of your pitching staff with solid pitchers on teams that will win a bunch of games. If we can’t change this nonsense, let us exploit it on the way to victory.
Lance Lynn St. Louis SP
|ADP: 289 My Rank: 169 | Lynn is quickly becoming one of my favorite sleepers as neither he nor the Cardinals seem to have any concern about his elbow. Lynn averaged 15 wins a season from 2012-15 and this Cardinals team figures to provide him with several opportunities. He’s not a pitcher that is a huge help in Ks and he’ll likely hurt your WHIP, but you should expect a solid contributor in both wins and ERA.|
Joe Ross Washington SP
|ADP: 238 My Rank: 181 | Ross is a bit of an enigma as a 23 year-old pitcher who seemingly offers a high floor but not a huge potential for growth. Like Lynn, he hasn’t shown any indication that he’ll be an elite strikeout pitcher, but I would expect a better WHIP with a similar ERA. Ross has made 32 starts and has 12 wins in his career, but at this stage in his career I would expect him to start pitching deeper into games, and that should help that rate.|
Dylan Bundy Baltimore RP
|ADP: 272 My Rank: 182 | Bundy is one of Chris Towers’ favorite subjects to write about, largely because he’s gone back to his elite cutter and has SPARP status in points leagues. Even without the cutter and that designation, I could see Bundy being a force in Rotisserie leagues at his ADP. Bundy won 10 games last year despite throwing just 109 innings. He has always struggled with arm issues, but if he could put together 30 starts he’d have huge upside with at least 15 win potential.|
Gio Gonzalez Washington SP
|ADP: 278 My Rank: 189 | Gonzalez was a guy I hyped as a regression candidate midseason in 2016. I say that not to brag (he wasn’t really great in the second half), but because his second half FIP (3.28) gives me hope he won’t kill you in ERA. As for wins, well he got 11 of them on a Nationals team that was below average in run prevention. Gonzalez could push 15 just by getting his ERA below four.|
Ian Kennedy Kansas City SP
|ADP: 276 My Rank: 196 | A big part of winning games is just showing up and hanging around. For most of his career, Kennedy has done that as well as any pitcher available late in your Fantasy draft. He’s made at least 30 starts in seven straight seasons and thrown at least 194 innings in five of those. The Royals should be an above average team and the park definitely plays to Kennedy’s style of pitching.|
Hisashi Iwakuma Seattle SP
|ADP: 240 My Rank: 201 | I don’t love Iwakuma’s longterm prospects, and at 36 years old there is certainly a chance that he falls off a cliff. But I don’t think you can completely disregard a pitcher who won 16 games last season and has won at least 14 in three of the past four seasons. In fact, I would expect the Mariners lineup to be even better this year and their outfield defense should absolutely be improved.|
Collin McHugh Houston SP
|ADP: 270 My Rank: 209 | McHugh is battling through dead arm at this time, but all indications are he should be ready for the start of the season. His inclusion on this list is equal parts not thinking he’s as bad as his 2016 numbers suggest and thinking the Astros could be one of the highest scoring teams in baseball. McHugh has won 32 games over the past two seasons and is available at the end of most drafts.|
Eduardo Rodriguez Boston SP
|ADP: 314 My Rank: 275 | I am not the biggest believer in Eduardo Rodriguez. But assuming he earns a spot in the Red Sox rotation that really doesn’t matter. The Red Sox will score a ton of runs once again, and Rodriguez will need only to be serviceable and stay healthy to win double-digit games. Considering his ADP, that would be a big plus.|
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