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TCB Fantasy Report: Rest-of-Season Projections (Pitchers)

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Lucas Harrell is probably the most valuable Astros pitcher for Fantasy owners for the rest of the season.
Lucas Harrell is probably the most valuable Astros pitcher for Fantasy owners for the rest of the season.

A couple of weeks ago, before everything was diverted by life-altering events, I posted an article that looked ahead at Rest-of-Season projections for the Astros' hitters. The summary was that unless you owned Jose Altuve on your fantasy roster, you were playing with fire by inserting anyone wearing an Astros uniform (of any design) into your lineup.

I would love to tell you that there is more fantasy usability from the mound, but there really isn't. Here are Fangraphs' rest-of-season projections for Astros' pitchers, based on the ZiPS method.

Bud Norris 50 2 3 3.96 8 8 49 1.34 8.82
Lucas Harrell 43 2 4 5.02 8 8 27 1.58 5.65
Jordan Lyles 42 2 3 5.14 7 8 29 1.43 6.21
Dallas Keuchel 35 1 3 5.40 6 6 18 1.54 4.63
Kyle Weiland 26 1 3 5.54 5 5 19 1.62 6.58
Armando Galarraga 22 1 2 5.73 4 4 15 1.59 6.14
Xavier Cedeno 21 1 1 5.14 2 10 17 1.57 7.29
Wilton Lopez 19 1 1 3.79 0 19 15 1.16 7.11
Wesley Wright 17 1 1 4.24 0 20 16 1.35 8.47
Fernando Abad 15 1 1 4.80 0 13 12 1.40 7.20
Chuckie Fick 13 1 0 4.15 0 11 11 1.46 7.62
Fernando Rodriguez 20 1 2 4.50 0 19 23 1.50 10.35
Francisco Cordero 17 1 2 4.24 0 18 12 1.41 6.35
Rhiner Cruz 17 0 2 5.82 0 14 13 1.88 6.88

My thoughts are below.


I cannot strongly recommend using anybody listed above in your fantasy rotation or bullpen, but a couple of these guys could occasionally provide a boost in some stat categories that would help your team.

Lucas Harrell

Harrell has been almost dominant for three months now, posting an ERA around 3.50 and a K/9 close to 8.00. That is very useful in any fantasy league even despite the high-ish WHIP (1.30-ish). With a FIP and xFIP only slightly higher than his ERA numbers, it's likely that his success is not flukey. His bad projections above are based on preseason expectations, not actual performance, so Harrell would make a nice 4th starter to any fantasy rotations. He is not the guy you want to build your rotation around, but he might be that guy who will net you a sneaky win in the playoffs.

Wilton Lopez

Having been out of pocket, I'm really not sure who is officially closing for the Astros right now, but I contend that it doesn't matter a whole lot. If you get a save every two weeks from the Astros 9th-inning guy, I would be surprised. That said, Lopez is a guy who is very usable as your 2nd or 3rd RP in fantasy leagues. He'll probably get a few saves, but in the meantime, he's a low-whip, high-K pitcher who has been dependable all year.

Wild Cards:

Bud Norris

ZiPS still likes Norris, but this is based on preseason expectations. Let's not beat around the bush, Norris has stunk this season. But we all know what he's capable of, and if your fantasy already team boasts a few low-ERA starters, Norris might be a good play to boost your K/9.

Dallas Keuchel

Keuchel gave up only 1 run in each of his first three major league starts. In the next four, he gave up 4, 6, 5, and 7. His last two starts he's given up only a couple earned runs. Sadly, he's not striking out a lot of guys, but his groundball rate is high. I can't say I recommend starting Keuchel, but if you're desperate for innings and the matchup is favorable...

Now, copy and paste the previous paragraph and substitute Jordan Lyles' name in for Keuchel.

Francisco Cordero

The only value here is if he gets saves when he comes off DL. Otherwise, I think we are looking at a guy in his last professional season. If he's tabbed as closer, think of him as Brett Myers, only with worse stats. I'm not a "closer guy", but if you're a fiend for every save you can squeeze, then it might be your thing to keep him in your RP spot. But if you're in a position where you need Coco Cordero to improve your team, you're likely not in contention anyway.

Don't Bother:

Can anybody make a convincing argument that any other Astros pitcher is a good bet to contribute to Fantasy rosters this season?