Monday, February 19, 2018


That major gust of wind that emanated from our West early on during the 2017 MLB season was a collective sigh of relief from the Arizona Diamondbacks front office and managerial staff when it came to the performance of ace pitcher Zack Greinke.  After all, it was just the year prior where Greinke did a complete face plant during the first year of his six-year deal worth $206.5 million with the D-Backs when he looked nothing like an ace in recording a 4.37 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and struck out just 134 batters in 158.2 innings.  Certainly not the return on investment the team was looking for and Greinke overnight became a pariah of the fantasy baseball community as a result.

Fast forward to the end of 2017 and Greinke did more than enough to re-graduate himself into a fantasy baseball ace as he recorded the following numbers:

3.20 ERA
1.07 WHIP
215 K in 202.1 IP (9.56 K/9)

Those were once again SP 1 number but they came with an SP 3 price tag in terms of 2017 drafts.  Clearly, Greinke won't come that cheap again this season but now many are wondering which guy will show up in 2018.  Should those in the fantasy baseball community disregard that worthless 2016 campaign or should some trepidation be felt since Greinke will be 34 and with a lot of mileage on his arm this season?  Well count this peanut stand as a firm BUYER on Greinke and for a number of reasons.  The first is that Greinke figured out how to tame Chase Field last season unlike in 2016 and that went a long way toward fixing his problems.  Overall, Greinke went 13-1 with a 2.87 ERA at Chase Field last season and now we have the humidor coming to the ballpark for 2018 as well which will only help him further.  Perhaps the greatest weakness of Greinke over the years has been his propensity for giving up home runs and his 1.11 HR/9 last season was not great despite the swell overall numbers. The humidor will surely take away a batch of homers from Chase Field this season and again, this will only serve to boost Greinke's ratios.  In addition, Greinke's K's came all the way back last season as he went back over 200 strikeouts despite a fastball average velocity that has been dipping going back to 2015.  While Greinke is getting up there at 34, count on at least one more very good season out of the guy for a moderate draft cost.

All in all, Zack Greinke should be fully trusted for 2018 fantasy baseball and he can make the grade as your staff ace once again.  The humidor and statistical comeback from last season combined should see to this.

2018 PROJECTION:  16-8 3.22 ERA 1.10 WHIP 198 K  

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