Fantasy baseball’s best pitching sleepers
By Christopher Gaine
Yesterday you got all of the position player fantasy sleepers you could ever ask for. It was awesome. Today, you get all of the pitching sleepers you could ever ask for. Enjoy!
- Adam Wainwright: Wainwright’s value is somewhat low this year as he comes back from an Achillies tear. In five seasons prior to the injury, Wainwright finished top-three in Cy Young voting four times.
- Marcus Stroman: Stroman had a 3.65 ERA as a rookie in 2014 and pitched even better in limited action in 2015. He figures to be a major part of the Blue Jays’ future, and could be poised for a breakout season.
- Carlos Martinez: Martinez was sensational in his first season as a full-time starter last year, going 14-7 with a 3.01 ERA and 184 strikeouts. He can only hope to replicate this in 2016 and, spoiler alert: Cardinals players typically aren’t flukes.
- Jake Odorizzi:The Rays’ ace had a 4.13 ERA as a rookie in 2014 and a 3.35 ERA last season. He also has 324 strikeouts in 337 innings over the last two seasons. If he improves like this again this year, he will be an ace.
- Steven Matz: Matz had a 2.27 ERA in six regular-season starts last season. He could become the latest Mets arm to become an elite pitcher.
- Yu Darvish: Darvish’s value is remarkably low this season– he’s ranked 43rd on Yahoo and 65th on ESPN due to his 2015 Tommy John surgery. This should not be the case; he has been an All-Star in each of his three big-league seasons. Tommy John surgery also has a remarkably high recovery rate.
- Drew Smyly: If Smyly can stay healthy– and that’s a big if– he has ace potential. He has a lifetime 3.24 ERA in 395 innings.
- Andrew Cashner: The guy who was traded for Anthony Rizzo had a 2.87 ERA in the two seasons prior to last. Then, he had a 4.34 ERA last year. Look for Cashner to bounce back in 2016.
- Andrew Heaney: Heaney had a 3.49 ERA in 18 starts last season. This will be the highly touted prospect’s first full season.
- Doug Fister: Fister won 16 games with a whopping 2.41 ERA in 2014 before a lost 2015. He’s on a one-year contract with the Astros now, so it’s reasonable to expect at least a mid-three’s ERA.
- Zack Wheeler: If you are in a league with a disabled list, draft Zack Wheeler. Once again, if you are in a league with a disabled list, draft Zack Wheeler. When Wheeler was coming up, he was often revered as the Mets’ top pitching prospect. He has high-90’s velocity and should return around the All-Star break. He probably won’t cost more than a late-round pick.
- Jon Niese: The lefty was quite underrated from 2012-2014; he had a 3.49 ERA and 30 wins for some poor Mets teams. Last season was not great, but he could have a bounce-back year this year with a new team– one he’s happy to be with.
- Patrick Corbin: This will be Corbin’s first full-season since 2013, when he was an All-Star. He missed all of 2014 and half of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Corbin has a lifetime ERA of 3.75 and could be in line for more wins with the Diamondbacks’ improved offense.
- Wei-Yin Chen: Chen should benefit from a move to the National League– and a move to the spacious Marlins Park.
- Luis Severino: Severino had a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts last season. He could be the Yankees’ best pitcher this season with all of the questions surrounding their rotation, and figures to be a big part of their future.
- Aroldis Chapman: Had Chapman not been suspended for the first month of the season, he could be the league’s No. 1 option out of the bullpen.
- Ken Giles: The argument could be made that Giles is the best fantasy relief option in the league. “100-Mile” Giles has a 1.56 ERA in 115.2 lifetime innings, and should close the door on many save chances with a contending Astros team.
- Drew Storen: Storen must put his embarrasing 2015 behind him because he’s actually a talented pitcher. Prior to the Jon Papelbon trade, Storen had a 1.44 ERA as the Nationals’ closer last year, and had a 1.12 ERA in 2014. He’s currently competing for the Blue Jays’ closer job and if he gets it, he will be a solid fantasy option.
- Arodys Vizcaino: Vizcaino was downright dominant in 36 games with the Braves last season, with a 1.60 ERA and nine saves. He won’t get a ton of save chances, but he will play well when called upon.
- Steve Cishek: Cishek had a 2.73 ERA and 73 saves in 2013 and 2014 with the Marlins, but eventually lost the closer role last season. He played well after he was traded to the Cardinals, and could get some save chances if the Mariners can bounce back.