Fantasy Baseball Projections, No. 81: Yovani Gallardo Is Due for Breakout Season

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Fantasy Baseball Projections, No. 81: Yovani Gallardo Is Due for Breakout Season
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Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

On the surface, it appears as though Yovani Gallardo experienced a setback last season. His 2009 ERA (3.73) climbed slightly to 3.84 in 2010, while his already despicable WHIP (1.31 in ‘09) ballooned to 1.38.

Yet despite this, Gallardo made a significant improvement in his walk rate last season. After posting the worst walk rate (4.56) among pitchers with 180 innings in ‘09, Gallardo issued just 3.65 walks per nine last season.

Gallardo’s 2010 BABIP (.324) and LOB rate (69.8 percent) likely held him back. Even his FIP (3.02) and xFIP (3.42) in comparison to his season ERA (3.84) suggest he actually was, and will continue to be much better than 2010 totals indicate.

Looking forward to 2011, Gallardo appears primed to take one big step forward. Since returning from a knee injury that cut his 2008 season short, Gallardo has the third-highest strikeout rate among pitchers with at least 300 innings (9.81). He’s worth a pick based on his elite strikeout rate alone.

Fortunately, he has much more to offer. Although he generally doesn’t work deep into games (he averaged less than six innings per start in 2010), Gallardo is the No. 2 starter (when Zack Greinke is healthy) on a potent N.L. Central team.

Given that he reaches 200 innings for the first time in his career, Gallardo could set himself up for 15-16 wins, a mid-threes ERA and a much more respectable WHIP.

2010 Stats 185 14 9.73 3.65 3.84 1.37
Three-Year Average 131.2   9 9.67 4.04 3.67 1.34
2011 FBI Forecast 192 14 9.80 3.40 3.50 1.25



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