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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: IVAN NOVA SP PITTSBURGH PIRATES

The old adage "a change of scenery can do you good" has shown itself to be a true theme yet again in 2016 fantasy baseball, this time concerning Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Ivan Nova.  Nothing but a mediocre and low K mess with the New York Yankees both before and after Tommy John elbow surgery, GM Brian Cashman pretty much gave Nova away at the Aug. 1 deadline for two nondescript minor leaguers.  Well Nova instantly became the latest hard-hit pitcher to succeeed in the hurler version of Lourdes where all bad habits and numbers simply vanish when arriving in Pittsburgh.  Joining other punching bags made good as a Pirate A.J. Burnett (ironically another hard-hit Yankee who became ace-level going to Pittsburgh), Francisco Liriano (until this year at least), and now Nova.  The evidence is in the numbers as Nova comes off another dominant outing Tuesday night when he struck out 11 batters and giving up just one earned run in six innings to beat the Philadelphia Phillies.  The outing brings Nova's Pirates numbers to a 2.41 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 52.1 innings as the Yankees struggle to patch together a rotation.  Clearly though Nova was not meant for the AL as his stuff is not overpowering and relies on location.  He can dial it up at times and when things are all in alignment he can put up a K game like we saw Tuesday night.  However the easier lineups and be able to face the pitcher have done wonders for reinvigorating the fantasy baseball value of Nova and he should be used for the time being unil he cools off.  If that even happens. 


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