Fantasy Baseball

2020 Fantasy Baseball: ’19 SIERA Splits


So as we wait for the 2020 Baseball season to start, we here at Fantasy Six Pack are hard at work coming up with the best content possible for you. Today we will dive into some SIERA data in the 2020 Fantasy Baseball: ’19 SIERA Splits post.

This is an article that goes with our ’19 wOBA Splits article that, Jacob Dunne wrote. He took a look at hitter’s that who had first-half and second-half wOBA splits that were significantly better or worse in one half compared to the other. I will be doing the same in this article, except I will be looking at pitchers and SIERA.

SIERA, if you are not familiar, can be explained best on Fangraphs. I will be using this as the way to pick the players who had better or worse second halves, but I will be explaining why and if I think they will be more like the good half or the bad half.

2020 Fantasy Baseball: ’19 SIERA Splits

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Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals

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Flaherty was great in 2018. He was being drafted in the fifth round of most drafts in 2019 because of it.

Owners of his were not what they signed up for early on. As you can tell from the chart below his first half was pretty damn bad. His second-half though, especially ERA and WHIP, was extraordinary.


Why the difference? Easy things to point out are his strikeouts went up, walks went down. Also, his HR/9 rate dropped from 1.86 to 0.45.

None of those things alone would have attributed to his drastic drop in ERA and WHIP. A rise of 75.3% to 94.2% in his left-on-base rate is a huge reason why too.

In 2020 I think we get more of what we saw in 2018 than in 2019. A good pitcher who will get you plenty of strikeouts and have an ERA in the low to mid threes. He should be drafted as a top-10 pitcher.

Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs

Darvish overall had a bit of a rebound season, but you wouldn’t have known it from it his first half.

He posted an ugly 5.01 ERA with a walk rate of 11.7%. His strikeout rate was also a career-low of 26.5%.


His second half was fantastic, especially his walk-rate of 2.2%.

Darvish is getting up there in age, but is nowhere near done. I don’t think he is close to his second-half performance. I think he is going to be closer to what his overall numbers were in 2019, which about his career average.

Chris Archer, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Oh Chris Archer, you just can’t let people quit you. Every time you have these horrible stretches you give us hope.

Of course, the ERA and WHIP were not great in either half. His SIERA suggests that he was an overall much better pitcher in the second half.


One of the reasons for this improvement was he lowered his walk rate and raised his strikeout rate at the same time. He also lowered his home run rate.

I still have a hard time believing in Archer though. He is too inconsistent for my liking. Yes, you will get good strikeout numbers, but his ERA and WHIP will hurt you more often than help you.

Hyun-Jin Ryu, Toronto Blue Jays

The 2019 NL Cy Young runner up was incredible last season. He put together his first healthy season since 2013. This led him to a 2.32 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Good for the best and sixth-best mark in baseball last season among qualified pitchers.

His first half was especially incredible as he had a below two ERA and one WHIP. Ryu regressed some in the second-half but was still very valuable, as it was really three horrible starts that made his stats inflate like they did. Those were at Colorado, at Arizona and at home against the Yankees. In those three starts, he allowed 21 runs in 13 innings.


Besides the extra runs allowed what made his second-half so different. The biggest thing I noticed was his walk rate jumped to 4.6% from 2.4%. This number matched his 2018 season, so perhaps this is what we should expect more of. And we all know more base runners is never a good thing.

Who will Ryu be in 2020 now that he is in Toronto? Honestly, I think we see him get back to his 2017 numbers in the ERA department for sure, nearing 3.75 or even 4.00. His WHIP maybe won’t be as bad as he seems to have better control than he did back then.

Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers

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For a pitcher who was drafted 142 on average in 2019, Boyd was giving those who took a chance on him a fantastic return. Especially in the strikeout department with 142 in 107 innings.

Thankfully for owners in the second half, he was able to give the strikeouts, but his walks, home runs all climbed. This led to a much higher ERA.


All in all, it was a stretch of just games in August that led to this climb. He allowed 13 home runs in 21 innings. He actually had a similar stretch in June but was able to fix it both times.

I expect Boyd to be more of the pitcher who allowed fewer home runs. His stuff is just too good to get lit up that often.

Caleb Smith, Miami Marlins

Smith was amazing before getting injured. In his first 12 starts, he had 82 strikeouts in 66 innings. That included a terrible one strikeout game and the one he got injured in.


Unfortunately for him, he didn’t seem the same after he returned from a hip injury. The strikeouts dipped to 86 in 87.1 innings and his ERA climbed to 5.36.

For a pitcher that is going just inside the 200 in drafts, I will take the chance on him in every league. I don’t believe he is nearly as bad as he was post-injury last season. With that strikeout potential, he is worth it.

Check out the rest of the 2020 Fantasy Baseball coverage to help win your leagues.

About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the website. Joe is included in the FantasyPros Consensus Rankings for Football, Baseball and Basketball and finished well each year. This includes a top-3 in-season ranking for Football in 2020 and top-5 in 2019. You can find him on Twitter, @F6P_Joe, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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