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Thursday, April 12, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: MASAHIRO TANAKA SP NY YANKEES

Here we are again.  Just like throughout the first half of 2017, New York Yankees ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is letting all of his fantasy baseball owners down in a major way like he did Wednesday night in giving up 6 earned runs in just 5 IP while giving up two home runs to the Boston Red Sox.  The outing raised his season ERA to a putrid 5.19 through three starts and already it is bringing back bad memories of the first half of last season when he put forth a 5.47 ERA and 1.37 WHIP.  Also just like last year, home runs are killing Tanaka which are now completely overshadowing what remains very good strikeout stuff.

Digging into the numbers a bit, Tanaka gave up an insane 23 home runs in just 102 IP during the first half of last season to send his numbers into the gutter and this year he already has surrendered 4 in just 17.1 frames.  The real shame of it all is that Tanaka has just a tiny 1.04 WHIP which shows his stuff is still playing very well overall and this is reinforced by the fact he has 18 Ks as well.  With just 2 walks showing the usual top control, Tanaka is actually pitching very well outside of the homers.  Of course, one bad pitch that could lead to a home run can easily ruin an otherwise impressive outing and this is what is taking place now with Tanaka.  The problem becomes even more stark when you consider he is operating in the brutal AL East where the powerful Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, and Boston Red Sox reside.  There is trouble all around on that front and so those who own stock in Tanaka for 2018 fantasy baseball need to tread carefully here for at least the next few starts.  Also, keep an eye on the matchup as Tanaka is not a recommended play versus powerful lineups.  This is obviously not what you wanted to see if you invested in Tanaka with the idea he could be your SP 2/3 but this also should not be a surprise given the career issue he has had with the home run.


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