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Saturday, April 1, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: ROBBIE RAY SP ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

                                                                

When it came to the 2016 fantasy baseball season, one of the more unheralded numbers that emanated from the year was the 218 strikeouts in 174.1 innings that was accrued by Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray.  Of course the reason Ray's strikeouts didn't get as much attention as maybe it should have was due to the fact his season ERA of 4.90 and 1.47 WHIP was quite horrible.  Like a 30-home run hitter who bats .240, the strikeout value was more than offset by the nasty ratios.  Alas if you dug in a bit on Ray's 2016 season, you would have seen that he in fact pitched better than those ratios suggested.  For one thing, Ray's .324 BABIP was in the unlucky range and when adjusted for that issue, his FIP ERA (3.76) and XFIP ERA (3.56) come in much lower.  Getting back to the K's, Ray's 11.25 K/9 rate was as good as it gets for a starter and puts him in place to be a future top-end fantasy baseball pitcher if he gets better luck.  Now Ray does walk too many batters (3.67 BB/9) and so he is not without blame for the ugly 2016 ratios.

Now as far as 2017 spring training is concerned, Ray was again less than efficient as he finished with an elevated 5.11 ERA and overall was not that sharp.  He did strike out a high number of batters though as Ray collected 27 in 24.2 innings but he is still looking a bit rough around the edges.  In conclusion, Ray is a very intriguing sleeper for 2017 fantasy baseball but he also is not guaranteed to be a difference-maker.  
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