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Marco Estrada, Fantasy Poison

January 11, 2016

4836          The man himself.

We held off writing this at the request of Marco’s agent because this blog is so goddamn fantasy-influential and Marco needs to get paid in real-world dollars. Marco got his tens of millions. But now it’s time for a league-wide PSA to leave Estrada on the wire.

Let’s start with 2015, and ask what’s not to like:

Marco Estrada, 2015: 13-8, 3.13 ERA, 1.04 WHIP.

Well, that looks great, and the Jays should get him run support in 2016 too, so why not draft him in the first ten rounds? You’re pulling our leg here, aren’t you, CL?

Um, no.

Marco Estrada had a .217 BABIP last year, which made him the luckiest guy in baseball. He allowed only 6.7 hits per nine innings, baseball’s best, despite striking out only 6.5 batters per nine innings. He didn’t have “stuff”, he had magnetic gloves behind him.

More troubling, consider these 3-year trends, 2013-2014-2015, all moving in the wrong direction:

K/9: 8.3, 7.6, 6.5

BB/9: 2.0, 2.6, 2.7

First pitch strikes: 61%, 60%, 57%.

We’re not saying Estrada can’t have an ERA under 3.75 this year, but we’d love to bet someone that he won’t. (And we’d bet even more if we could go over 4.00 or 4.25 at a premium.)

And if you don’t think a starter can break 3.75, that’s waiver-wire in our league. Even Saget, who streamed the shit out of everything that moved last year, only posted a team ERA of 4.13. That’s where Estrada’s ERA is headed this year, which makes him nothing more than a streaming option.

You’ve been warned. Stay away.

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