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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: SEAN MANAEA SP OAKLAND A'S

It was a tale of two halves for Oakland A's starter Sean Manaea in 2018 as he opened up the first month of the season with arguably one of the most impressive outings of the year when he no-hit the Boston Red Sox with 10 strikeouts and that splendid performance helped fuel him to a composite 3.42 ERA and .212 BAA prior to the All-Star Break.  The second half would be nothing but frustration for Manaea however as his ERA during that span shot up to 4.14 and the BAA was not so hot either at an ugly .284.  The bottom then completely fell out in August when Manaea hit the DL with a left shoulder impingement and that ailment ultimately led to season-ending arthroscopic surgery in early September.  As far as the overall numbers were concerned, Manaea actually had a really nice season as he logged an ERA of 3.59 and a WHIP of 1.08 which played well for his fantasy baseball owners.  However if you were to dig deeper on the numbers, you would see that Manaea really didn't pitch as well as his surface ratios suggested.  For one thing, Manaea's .247 BABIP was well into the "lucky" range and when adjusted, his FIP (4.26) and XFIP (4.33) ERA's were quite shaky.  In addition, Manaea didn't miss a lot of bats (his no-hitter notwithstanding) as shown by a very poor 6.05 K/9.  With Manaea not having the ability to extricate himself from trouble via the strikeout, he could see a lot more trouble in 2019 if his BABIP luck goes back toward the mean as expected.  Add in an elevated 1.18 HR/9 and Manaea is looking like a sizable regression candidate this season.
2019 PROJECTION:  14-10 3.85 ERA 1.17 WHIP 155 K  

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