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Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: TREAD CAREFULLY WITH ROBBIE RAY

Everyone's favorite starting pitcher this year will be Arizona Diamondbacks lefty stud Robbie Ray and this is an understandable premise when you gaze at the awesome numbers he put up in 2017.  Having tantalized with top-end stuff in 2016 in posting a massive 11.25 K/9 rate), Ray got himself fully on the fantasy baseball radar despite an ugly 4.90 ERA that year.  Those who saw through the lines however knew that Ray suffered some horrible BABIP luck that year and his adjusted ERA suggested much better times ahead.  Well we got those times last season as Ray exploded to the tune of:

15-5
2.89 ERA
1.15 WHIP
218 K in 162 IP
12.11 K/9

The strikeout numbers were simply ridiculous here as Ray's high-90's fastball and knee-buckling offspeed stuff was a major chore for opposing hitters.  And with just 162 innings, Ray could have challenged 280 K with 200-plus frames.  So as 2018 fantasy baseball draws closer, it is likely Ray is going to command a major price given his breakout last season but some caution should be in order.  For one thing, you never should pay sticker price for a breakout/career-year as often things go the other way the following season as you buy in on a depreciating stock.  In addition, Ray's .267 BABIP flipped into the lucky territory last season and by quite a bit.  When adjusted, Rays FIP (3.72) and XFIP (3.49) ERA's tell a different story.  Throw in some ongoing control issues by Ray which is seen in his ugly 3.94 BB/9 rate last season and there are quite a few red flags here.  So in essence, you need to resist the urge to pay top dollar for Ray because he very well will could disappoint under that situation. 


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