3 Pitchers who will rebound in fantasy baseball this season
The fantasy baseball season is lengthy process with plenty of highs and lows. You can overreact early in the season and give up on players who will turn their game around during the second half and help you win a championship–but for some it’s too late, as they are no longer on your team. There are three pitchers I have been keeping my eye on waiting for them to improve after some ugly starts. These guys are players you would want to buy low, or hold onto despite some horrendous performances.
1. Kyle Freeland-Colorado Rockies
After a dream 2018 season, Freeland has been a shell of himself and has looked like waiver wire fodder for much of 2019. The 26-year-old is 2-5 with a 6.02 ERA and an ugly 46:24 K:BB ratio. Three times this season he has allowed five or more runs which has included seven earned against Atlanta and eight earned against Arizona. He only lasted 1.2 innings in his last start against Philadelphia after allowing three runs before facing ten batters.
Freeland owners have panicked and sent numerous messages to us here at MFST wondering what the heck is going on?
He was due for some regression and his 2.85 ERA across 202.1 innings pitched last season while making his home in Colorado is rare to say the least—but he is better than his 2019 ERA suggests. He has lasted at least five innings in all but two starts and owns three quality starts this season. Colorado will always have an offense that produces runs to back him up, but if you are looking to target a pitcher cheap, Freeland is the guy. He should not cost a lot and is expected to make a nice second-half rebound closer to his 2018-self.
2. Mike Foltynewicz-Atlanta Braves
You know who has had a worse 2019 season than Kyle Freeland? Mike Foltynewicz. After posting ridiculous 2018 numbers that included a 2.85 ERA with 202 strikeouts across 182 innings while throwing two complete games–Folty looked like the budding ace of the Braves staff.
Not so much this year, as he has posted a 6.91 ERA across 27.1 innings without winning a game. Sure, he was likely overdrafted in most formats, but he’s not as bad as his numbers suggest. He dealt with elbow soreness during his first Spring Training start this February and was shut down completely–so he’s finally returning to his mid-season form. In his last start he turned in his first quality start of the season, limiting a dangerous Brewers lineup to two runs on three hits while spanning six innings.
Folty is a guy to buy-low now before he makes a few more starts and begins to make his owners happy again. He is legit, and pitching for the Braves, run support is a given.
3. Trevor Cahill-Los Angeles Angels
I’ve never been a huge Trevor Cahill fan, but with ownage-rates in the single-digits he’s worth a flier in deeper formats. He’s not a high strikeout guy, but he turned in a great 2018 season for Oakland owning a 3.76 ERA across 110 innings. Now with the Angels, his 2019 season has been one to forget with a 6.43 ERA and a measly 38 strikeouts across 49 innings while giving up home runs at the highest rate of his career. The Angels ballpark isn’t helping his case, but it comes down to the fact that he cannot continue to be this bad. He had a 0.65 HR/9 rate last season, 8th among pitchers with 100+ innings and should improve on his numbers as the season progresses. You won’t need to trade for him either—he is on your waiver, so if you have an open spot or are looking for a pitcher to target occasionally for streaming purposes, Cahill is a decent option.