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Monday, June 12, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: CUBS STARTERS PAYING FOR WORLD SERIES VICTORY

If you are an owner of pretty much any Chicago Cubs starting pitcher this season, times have been tough.  Whether it is Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, or John Lackey, the results have been downright brutal this season for these four and what do they all have in common?  Try their participation in a much-walked about World Series championship run a year prior; a run that all four are paying the price for in their numbers.  Stating the obvious, pitching an extra month-plus of games on top of the 162-game slog during the regular season is very taxing on a given arm and so it stands to reason that the following year, a "bounce" where the ratios go in the wrong direction and injuries crop up is very common.  This is exactly what is happening now with Lester, Hendricks, Arrieta, and Lackey; with some having a much rougher go of it then others.  So before going further, lets compare the ERA/WHIP of these four from 2016 to this year so far:

Jon Lester:  2.44 ERA/1,02 WHIP (2016), 4.13 ERA/1.35 WHIP (2017)

Jake Arrieta:  3.10 ERA/1.10 WHIP (2016), 4.68 ERA/1.33 WHIP (2017)

Kyle Hendricks:  2.13 ERA/0.98 WHIP (2016), 4.08 ERA/1.20 WHIP (2017) and now on DL

John Lackey:  3.35 ERA/1.06 WHIP (2016)/5.12 ERA/1.36 WHIP (2017)

Looking at those comparisons, it is startling to see how stark the difference is with all four of them and not in a good way.  In particular, Lackey and Arrieta have been brutal; with Lester and Hendricks not far behind.  Now coming into the season I warned you about both Hendricks and Arrieta as bust candidates but that was more to do with regression and injury concerns.  Lester and Lackey have seen terrible as well and so now we need to accept that pitchers that pitch deep into the World Series (not named Madison Bumgarner) are ones you should avoid the following season.  That seems to be the case in all four of these cases and it is clearly something to be aware of at the end of the World Series in the fall.


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