Fantasy Baseball

Atlanta Braves Sign Dallas Keuchel

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One day after the Chicago Cubs signed Craig Kimbrel, the Atlanta Braves sign Dallas Keuchel.

According to CBS Sports MLB Free Agent Tracker, Keuchel was the second-best free agent starting pitcher, behind Patrick Corbin (6-yr/$140 mil).

This was a weak crop of free agent starters that saw Charlie Morton sign with the Tampa Bay Rays (2-yr/30 mil), J.A. Happ returned to the New York Yankees (2-yr/$34 mil) and Nathan Eovaldi re-signed with the Boston Red Sox (4-yr/68 mil).


Gio Gonzalez signed a minor league deal with the Yankees as teams just refused to sign yet another left-handed starting pitcher. He ended up being released and signed with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Atlanta Braves Sign Dallas Keuchel

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Fantasy Baseball Impact

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There are just 26 pitchers in the MLB who have won 35+ games since 2016 and Dallas Keuchel is one of them.

Among qualified starting pitchers, Keuchel’s ground ball rate of 58% is 4th best, behind Marcus Stroman (61.3%), Luis Perdomo (59%) and Clayton Richard (58.9%). That high GB% has helped keep his HR/9 below 1.00, despite a 15% HR/FB rate.

His 8 WAR ranks 32nd, which kind of means he is the “worst Ace” in  baseball. Ok not really but Keuchel has been a damn good pitcher for quite some time now.

Keuchel just turned 31-years-old in January and pitched 200 innings last year for the first time since 2015. That Cy Young Award-winning season is what everybody is searching for, but that is unrealistic. He was completely unhittable that season and earned a 5.6 WAR, tied for the 43rd best season by a starting pitching since 2010. and has only been accomplished 14 times since 2015. Max Scherzer owns three of those seasons!

In order for him to be successful, he needs to generate ground balls at a 60% clip, while limiting fly balls to under 20%. Those numbers are achieved when hitters are swinging and his sinker, slider and changeup, chasing it out of the strike zone and rolling over weak grounders. Last year opponents swung at 33% of pitches outside of the zone, 2015 levels but they were making contact at 72%, 6% above his career numbers. He needs to improve on a career-worst 8% swing strike rate.

Prior to last season, Keuchel had enjoyed pitching at Minute Maid Park compared to on the road so it will be interesting to see how he adjust to his new home. No matter where he goes, he will dominate left-handed hitters.

Keuchel joins a Braves rotation led by Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Mike Foltynewicz and Julio Teheran. It looks like Kevin Gausman will be the odd man out. However, a six-man rotation makes sense with Soroka and Freid pushing their innings limit. That also means that they will soon become less valuable in Fantasy so keep that in mind.

Steamer Projections

Prior to signing with the Braves, Steamer projected Keuchel for 171 innings pitched, 11 wins, a 3.75 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. 135:52 K:BB and 16 home runs allowed.

Steamer now projects Keuchel to make 16 starts, good for 98 innings, a 3.63 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. They only have him at 83 strikeouts (7.65 K/9) but only nine home runs allowed.

Now let’s see how long it takes for him to read to close MLB games!


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About Keith Lott

We have one goal, to help you win your league. It does not matter if you are a fantasy rookie or a veteran. Everyone has questions, and we have opinions. Lot(t)s of them! How I Went Undefeated In Fantasy Football

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