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Monday, August 8, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: TANNER ROARK SP WASHINGTON NATIONALS

When it comes to the Washington Nationals starting pitching, the conversation always starts and ends with the big guns Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer.  While both those aces have been their usual dominant selves, they have been joined in excellence by 29-year-old upstart Tanner Roark who is in the midst of a big breakout season of his own.  Having engineered another gem on Sunday (7 shutout innings), Roark now sports a shining 2.88 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 124 K's in 150 innings.  Still relevaively new to the major league scene despite pushing up on 30, the former 25th round pick in 2008 has been just as impressive this season as he was in 2014 during his first extended stay with the Nats (2.85 ERA).  Having a vast four pitch arsenal that is very strong in the area of control (2.76 BB/9) and an excellent ability to keep the ball in the park (0.66 HR/9), Roark consistently keeps batters off balance.  With the season now into August, there is only slight luck involved with Roark's numbers as his .282 BABIP is only a bit on the lucky side (3.51 FIP).  About the only thing you can knock Roark on is a middling K rate of 7.44 but truth be told, it is better than the 6.25 he sported in 2014.  We don't mention 2015 much here because it was a throw away season where the Nats stupidly moved Roark back and forth from the bullpen and rotation and we have seen this contless times fail in terms of the numbers of the pitcher involved.  Thus 2014 and 2016 are the baseline here and on that front, Roark has very strong SP 4 numbers as he classifies there due to the just average K rate.  Overall though those who bought low on Roark off his rough 2015 have been nicely rewarded with a big value. 


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