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Saturday, May 26, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: FELIPE VAZQUEZ CLOSER PITTSBURGH PIRATES

Maybe he should change his name back to Felipe Rivero.  Coming off what could only be described as a monster breakout debut as a closer in 2017 when he pitched to a 1.67 ERA while nailing down 21 saves for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the newly-named Felipe Vazquez was looked at as a slam-dunk top five stopper for 2018 fantasy baseball drafts.  As we so often see at the always volatile closer position, there has been nothing but chaos surrounding Vazquez' on-field performance as he got off to a horrendous start in March/April and those struggles have carried into the month of May as well.  As it stands now going into Thursday's action, Vazquez had the following numbers to show for the high ADP:

2-1
3.60 ERA
1.30 WHIP
9.90 K/9
3.15 BB/9
0.00 HR/9
3.28 BABIP

When digesting the numbers above, what becomes obvious is that this seems to be strictly a closer/bad luck situation as Vazquez has yet to give up a home run on the season and his 9.90 K/9 is not far off what he did the previous season with regards to that number.  Consider that Vazquez' .328 BABIP is in unlucky territory and that his adjusted FIP (1.95) is right in line with his 1.67 ERA from last season.  Add in the fact that Vazquez' 97.6 average fastball velocity remains as good as there is in all of baseball and this becomes a clear case of bad luck and some shoddy control inflating the ERA past where it should be.  The result here is that Vazquez' owners can feel better about his long-term prospects this season and that better times are going to be ahead real soon.  In fact, trying to buy low would be a smart idea as well.  So don't fret if you are invested as we are confident Vazquez will be dominating hitters at last season's rate before you know it.


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