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Sunday, July 22, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: MADISON BUMGARNER SP SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

How quickly things change both in real life and in fantasy baseball.  A case in point can be seen with San Francisco Giants ace SP Madison Bumgarner who for years since first coming up with the team has been a slam-dunk power pitching ace in every sense of the word.  Combining very low ratios and 200-plus K stuff, Bumgarner was a top-five starter in all leagues since at least 2014.  Last season was no different as Bumgarner was looking at another big campaign on the way in 2017 but of course, a dirt bike accident where he tore up his pitching shoulder ruined his season.  Once Bumgarner returns from the accident, there was some disturbing signs from here as the velocity was down and the overpowering stuff from before was not being seen.  With that said, a mulligan was given to Bumgarner for 2018 fantasy baseball and many dived right back on. 

Fast forward to present time and Bumgarner comes off a horrid outing Saturday where he walked 6 batters and saw his ERA rise to 3.19 and his WHIP to 1.25.  While the ERA is not terrible, the WHIP is not so hot and there are other red flags to discuss from the overall numbers below: 

3-3
3.19 ERA
1.25 WHIP
7.71 K/9
3.86 BB/9
0.84 HR/9
.257 BABIP

Outside of ERA, Bumgarner has been shaky all over and his 7.71 K/9 is a major red flag as it is way down being above 9.00 each season from 2014 to 2016.  Last season that dipped to 8.19 and now at 7.71, Bumgarner is just average there which is a big problem for his value since much of his cost comes from the strikeouts.  On a related front, he is now averaging just 91.6 on his fastball which is down from 93.0 in 2015.  A case can be made that all of those years of heavy usage early in his career could be hurting Bumgarner now and we don't need to remind you that the Giants have a very bad track record here when it comes to Matt Cain and Tin Lincecum having their careers derailed before hitting 30 given the same issues. 

In addition to the velocity and strikeout problems, Bumgarner is showing some career-worst control and his .257 BABIP is actually in the lucky zone.  When his BABIP is adjusted, Bumgarner's FIP (3.99) and XFIP (4.48) are much worse than his actual ERA.  So in essence, Bumgarner is pitching WORSE than what his ERA shows. 

No matter how you slice it, Bumgarner is in a bad way and his fantasy baseball owners might see more ugly outings the rest of the way given the advanced indicators.  Get out now while you can. 




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