Thursday, January 21, 2016


If a player sticks around long enough, chances are he will make both a sleeper and a bust list at some point in his career.  Such is the case for former old Fantasy Sports Boss favorite Marco Estrada who graced our SLEEPER pages on more than one occasion in the past when he was a talented but flawed pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers.  On the positive side, Estrada had decent strikeout stuff, dominant control, and a below average hit rate that should have put him on track to be a star.  Unfortunately the big weakness for Estrada was a doozy and that was his penchant for giving him a boatload of home runs that made any given start a nail biter.  After all one or two bad pitches that go over the outfield wall could undermine an entire outing and that is often what happened to Estrada.  Thus the Brewers eventually lost patience with Estrada and shipped him off to the Toronto Blue Jays where he all of a sudden went from intriguing to a very scary pitcher given the home run tendencies of Rogers Center.  In fact there was not a worse place outside of maybe only Coors Field for a home run struggling pitcher to go to then Rogers Center which on paper made Estrada one to avoid for 2015 fantasy baseball.  Of course going along with this very unpredictable game, Estrada went out and proved all the critics wrong as he registered the following excellent numbers with the Blue Jays:

3.13 ERA
1.04 WHIP
131 K/181 IP

Outside of a clear drop in strikeouts which can be attributed to moving to the tougher American League, Estrada was terrific across the board.  So as we look toward 2016 fantasy baseball, it would stand to reason Estrada is a safe investment given what he just accomplished.  That would be very wrong however as Estrada makes our BUST list for the first time in his career.

Digging in a bit deeper on Estrada's 2015 numbers, there are majors causes for concern.  The most obvious is the fact Estrada got obscene amounts of good luck in the BABIP department last season, putting up a silly .216 mark that is as lucky as one gets.  Considering that .300 is average when it comes to BABIP, Estrada was more then a bit fortunate.  As a result Estrada's FIP was an ugly 4.40 and his XFIP a crazy bad 4.93.  Those numbers show what Estrada really would have done if luck was normalized through his BABIP. 

In addition, Estrada's K rate sank from 2014's 7.59 all the way to last year's shoddy 6.51 mark.  With Estrada no longer being able to feast on the weak bottom's of NL lineups like he did with Milwaukee , his margin for error got that much smaller.  In addition, Estrada is still very prone to giving up home runs which will help explode his ratios even more.  Combine that with the BABIP regression and this could get nasty. 

When you put it all together, Marco Estrada is a guy you want to avoid in all formats.  Ignore the glowing ratios from last season and instead accept the fact the guy was as fortunate as any pitcher in the game to achieve those numbers.  Move right past his name during your draft.  The guy is simply not worth the expected aggravation he will supply this season.

2016 PROJECTION:  12-10 3.83 ERA 1.11 WHIP 145 K 


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