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Saturday, September 10, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: RICK PORCELLO SP BOSTON RED SOX

If I were to have given you 25 or even 50 picks at the start of the season in trying to predict who would be the first to win 20 games during 2016 fantasy baseball, I can guarantee that Boston Red Sox veteran starter Rick Porcello would not have been mentioned.  Aftre all Porcello was coming off a truly putrid 2015 campaign where he registered a 4.92 ERA and seemingly made the stupid decision to sign into the AL East despite having a career K/9 Rate that is BELOW average at 6.04.  Talk about a bad matchup of stuff and division.  Well Porcello got the last laught Friday night as he won his 20th game of the season by giving up two runs over seven innings to defeat the Toronto Blue Jays.  The outing also lowered his season ERA to a splendid 3.21 and his 7.48 K/9 rate has validated the 7.80 career-high he established in 2015 despite the ugly ERA.  Now of course we have to dig into the numbers a bit to see if what Porcello is doing is legit and there we can see he has gotten some BABIP help with a .270 mark.  As a result, the FIP ERA for Porcello is 3.46 and his XFIP is even higher at 3.92.  The latter number especially is getting up there and shows how Porcello needs BABIP luck to do what he is doing considering the low K/9.  Pitching in the AL East, a K/9 over 8.00 is almost a requirement and obviously this is not Porcello and is a reason why he has struggled at times in his career in the AL.  Still Porcello does have some of the best control in the majors as his 1.35 BB/9 shows and that helps him not beat himself against the rough AL East lineups.  Even though he has won 20 games, the narrative should not change much here in terms of Porcello being a guy who is at BEST an SP 4 in mixers and more ideally an SP 5.  Remember that wins are a fickle stat that should not even be a category in fantasy baseball 5 x 5 formats in my opinion given the luck involved there (remember Kent Bottenfield?) but give Porcello his due for getting there anyway.


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