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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STOCK WATCH: KENTA MAEDA SP LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Coming into the 2018 fantasy baseball season, one of my personal favorite undervalued pitchers when it came to drafts was the Los Angeles Dodgers' Kenta Maeda.  Despite coming off what many described as a disappointing 2017 when he pitched to a 4.22 ERA, I instead saw the positives when it came to Maeda of which there were many.  For one thing, his 9.38 K/9 was terrific and showed swing-and-miss stuff that was even more pronounced in the States than it was when he was in Japan.  On top of that, Maeda's continued good control (2.28 BB/9) added up to a pitched who performed much better than his surface ratios suggested.  Fast forward to present day and as a Maeda owner, I am pleased so far with what I have seen as he takes the following numbers into Monday's action:

3.89 ERA
1.21 WHIP
3-3
11.05 K/9
.342 BABIP
2.66 BB/9
0.82 HR/9

Digging into the numbers, Maeda's ERA is decent but I did anticipate a better number there.  Truth be told though, Maeda has had some bad BABIP luck as seen by his high .342 mark and so when adjusted, his FIP (2.82) and XFIP (3.11) ERA's are downright sparkling.  Then there is the 11.05 K/9 which blows out of the water what Maeda has done his first two years in the majors.  He is really ramping things up on that front and so it can only be described as an added bonus.  The walks have crept up slightly but Maeda is keeping the baseball in the park which offsets that completely.  So when you add everything up, Maeda has pitched like an ace whose ratios don't show it only due to some poor luck.  He has been a great buy no matter how you look at him and there should be a whole bunch more of this the rest of the season.



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