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Thursday, June 28, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: CHARLIE MORTON SP HOUSTON ASTROS

While Justin Verlander or even Gerrit Cole deservedly get major accolades for their beyond tremendous pitching during the 2018 fantasy baseball, one must be sure not to overlook the just as superb work being done by veteran Charlie Morton.  By now the story has been repeated countless times about how Morton overhauled his delivery mid-career and in the process found some extra mph on his fastball that suddenly elevated him from a back-of-the-rotation filler arm to an ace in fantasy baseball.  Having punched out 13 batters in another gem on Tuesday night, Morton now sits on the following overall numbers that have him as arguably the best fantasy baseball pitching value of the season at the age of 34:

10-1
2.54 ERA
1.11 WHIP
.194 BAA
11.48 K/9
3.67 BB/9
1.03 HR/9
.263 BABIP

Just look at that record!  And the K/9 rate is beyond insanity as well.  Add in the sparkling ERA and WHIP and Morton has been an absolute stud fantasy baseball ace who cost nothing but a late mid-round pick in 2018 drafts.  Obviously, the strikeouts have been a major boon to both Morton's overall game and his standing in fantasy baseball and we are now talking Chris Sale or Max Scherzer territory when it comes to that area.  It all comes back to the increased velocity as Morton averages an absurd 96.9 on his fastball after being as low as 92.9 back in 2015.  The increase in velocity has now allowed Morton to escape damage he has always inflicted upon himself with walks (still very high this season at 3.67BB/9) and also gets him out of jams when some odd hits fall in.  Yes Morton does have a lucky .263 BABIP to inflate (or deflate) the ERA but his .194 BAA makes you see just how tough a chore it is to face him this season if you are a major league hitter.

When you put it all together, it almost all comes up smelling like roses with Morton this season.  While he could give back some in the ERA department if the BABIP moves back some to mean, his strikeouts and overall dominance this season make him one of the very best hurlers in the game this season.


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