Fantasy Outlook: Stephen Strasburg
2015 Season Recap
On the whole, it was a disappointing year for Stephen Strasburg, giving weight to the argument that he has become too injury prone to be classed as an elite pitching option. The former first overall pick only tossed 127 1/3 innings, thanks in part to an ankle injury, neck issue, foot problem and a strained oblique. He made 23 starts, finishing with an 11-7 win-loss record. His 3.46 ERA, the worst of his career, was significantly higher than his 2.81 FIP, which was actually his lowest for four years. Despite the struggles, the 27-year-old continued to maintain a stellar 10.96 SO/9 and recorded an impressive 1.11 WHIP.
2016 Season Outlook
When healthy, Stephen Strasburg delivers. Over the last four years, he has the fourth-best strikeout rate (10.32 SO/9), putting him ahead of aces like Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale. During these 115 starts, he has a 2.96 FIP and 1.11 WHIP. In the first 10 starts of last year, Strasburg posted an ugly 6.55 ERA in just 45 innings of work. He only reached the seventh inning once. His performance in the latter half of the season was possibly the best stretch of his career and included a memorable September with all four starts having double-digit strikeouts, a 1.48 ERA, 0.63 WHIP and 14.84 SO/9. His potential remains tantalizing – just imagine a full season with the excellence of those four starts. Chasing wins in fantasy is never recommended but pitching for a contender in the NL East will give him favorable match-ups. In fact, the Nationals are scheduled to play 64 of their games against rebuilding teams. Currently, he is the 15th starting pitcher off the board, a position that is agreed by the FantasyPros ECR™. There is the possibility of that pick being an exceptional value if he stays healthy for the full season.