Welcome to the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Pitchers article!
The time is almost here. Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to camp in the coming days which has brought the excitement to an all-time high. In addition to MLB starting shortly, we are also right in the middle of providing our fantasy baseball draft content here at F6P. Today I will be providing a gaggle of pitchers being undervalued in drafts.
Rankings were compared using FantasyPros consensus ADP.
So without further ado let's dive into the pitchers who find themselves being overlooked in early drafts.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Pitchers
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Atlanta Braves' Big Three Starters
Max Fried, SP, Atlanta Braves - Currently Ranke: P29, Overall: 88
In 2020 Max Fried was sensational for the Braves, posting a 7-0 record. This was good enough to earn him fifth place in NL Cy Young voting. To go along with his seven wins he had a very pleasing 2.25 ERA, and 50 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched. Fried is currently going as the 29th pitcher behind the likes of Kyle Hendricks, Dinelson Lamet, and Corbin Burnes. This is kind of wild to me considering he will be on a potent team that will score a lot and boost his win totals.
Fried was able to bring down his WHIP from 1.33 to 1.09 along with bringing down his hits per nine innings from 9.5 to 6.8, and HR/9 from 1.1 to 0.3 which shows massive improvement. The only knock on his 2020 season was his K/9 going from 9.4 in 2019 to 8.0 in 2020. As long as he goes back to his K/9 from in 2019 he can be very deadly in fantasy this year.
Don't be afraid to take a leap on Fried this year, you won't regret it.
Ian Anderson, SP, Atlanta Braves - Currently Ranked: P39, Overall: 110
Do the Braves trust Ian Anderson or what? He pitched in some of their biggest games last year and performed very well. Granted, Atlanta had to deal with some injuries to their rotation but Anderson filled the void like a true professional. In 2020 he went 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 32.1 innings pitched.
Anderson's hits/9 (5.8) is a little high and his BB/9 (3.9) is not something to ignore but most of his other metrics are pretty on point. He was only allowing one home run per nine innings and also had an 11.4 K/9 rate. For his first year in the league, these are outstanding numbers and should be the main reason why he should be drafted earlier than he is going. Currently going as P39 which is behind players like Burnes, and Jesus Luzardo.
Anderson can be a real steal in drafts and if you want to go for him a round earlier, don't be afraid of doing so. Just like I said for Fried, this Atlanta lineup will score plenty which will help out the pitchers in many ways.
Mike Soroka, SP, Atlanta Braves - Currently Ranked= 59, Overall= 165
Mike Soroka was primed to etch his name as one of the top pitchers in the game until a devastating injury happened. In just his third start of the year, Soroka ended up rupturing his Achilles tendon. I won't go into his 2020 year too much because of the injury but it is worth nothing he only pitched 13.1 innings and went 0-1 with a 3.95 ERA. In 2019 he was brilliant winning 13 games and posting a 2.68 ERA. This was good enough to earn him an all star and a sixth place in CY Young. In other news the Braves have said that Soroka should be ready by opening day. Big time news right there.
Currently going as the 59th pitcher, behind an insane amount of pitchers like Dylan Bundy, Sixto Sanchez, and Kevin Gausman. Soroka is an ace, pitches like an ace, should pitch on Opening Day and still being drafted this late? It doesn't make sense but for fantasy players, this is a gold mine sleeper. Draft him as many times as you can and reap the benefits of it.
Let's Bring It Back to the Oldies
Zack Greinke, SP, Houston Astros - Currently Ranked: P30, Overall: 93
Yeah, I get it, Greinke is 36 years old and coming off two years of starting 12 or fewer games in a season but he's is still a really good pitcher. In fact, Greinke was able to bring up his K/9 from 8.1 in 2019 to 9.0 in 2020. This was his highest K/9 since 2017 when he won 17 games and was an all-star. In 2020 he was able to bring down his HR/9 and BB/9 which is good news for fantasy players. It seems like Greinke may have turned back the clock a little bit.
There is a very real possibility that Greinke ends up as a high SP2 or maybe even crack into the top ten for SP's. With him being drafted this late right now this is another guy that could be a steal of the draft.
Dallas Keuchel, SP, Chicago White Sox - Currently Ranked: P72, Overall: 190
Another guy being drafted super late and I don't know why is Dallas Keuchel. In 2020, the former-Astro went 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA. Although he had a low strikeout total, he was still able to prove his worth for the White Sox. Keuchel brought down every major pitching metric. His H/9 went from 9.2 to 7.4 (lowest since 2017), HR/9 went from 1.3 to 0.3, BB/9 went from 3.1 to 2.4 in 2020. He seems to have regained some of his old form and that could be scary for opposing batters
He is currently ranked at 72 behind rookie Triston McKenzie, and even Shohei Ohtani. What is happening? Those guys aren't even close to being a number 1,2 or even 3 starter. Ohtani only pitched a few innings before being shut down pitching so Keuchel being behind these guys is wild. Again, this is good news for smart fantasy players because he will be a steal.
Honorable Mentions -The Rookie Revolution
These young guns could be the steal of the draft or they could fizzle out. It will be tough to see which way they go but there is no denying this, they are uber-talented. I won't go into much detail on these players since it is an honorable mention section but I will still provide a few stats.
Sixto Sanchez, SP, Miami Marlins - Currently Ranked= 50, Overall= 137
Extremely gifted throwing of the baseball. In 2020 he went 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA. Sixto struck out 33 people in 39 innings. He has a high H/9 rate (8.3) but his HR/9 (0.7) is something to be excited about.
Triston Mckenzie, SP, Cleveland Indians - Currently Ranked= 70, Overall= 186
The young gun in Cleveland went 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA. He struck out 42 guys on 33 innings with a WHIP under 1.00 (0.90). Boasting an incredible 11.3 K/9 and relatively low HR/9 (1.6) this kid could be the next pitching superstar. Only time will tell and 2021 will be a big year for McKenzie.
Nate Pearson, SP, Toronto Blue Jays - Currently Ranked= 96, Overall= 249
An absolute flamethrower with the baseball, Nate Pearson throws a fastball well over 100 mph. If he can just figure out how to control the fastball more he could be a very solid pitcher. In 2020 he went 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA. This isn't great to see but let's hope he figures it out in 2021.
That should do it for the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Undervalued Pitchers article. Tune in next week for the article on overvalued pitchers. It should be a doozy.
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