Not sure if I’ve ever liked Marcus Stroman before for fantasy baseball. As a human, he seems like a good dude. I wouldn’t mind hanging out with him because we’re both 28 years old, five-foot seven-inch men and we could make fun of Jose Altuve’s shortness for hours. “Hahahahaha, he’s only five feet and six inches? That is hilarious! Yo, Altuve, wait here while we go on the Mad Hatter Tea Cups ride without you!” Then Stroman would howl, “Yo, Altuve, want help getting cereal down from the top shelf?” Then I would high-five the crap out of Stroman, barely out of reach of Altuve’s high-five. Oh, milord, Stroman and I would have so many good times! Unfortch, his lack of strikeouts has always made me nonplussed (informal North American definition) and I’ve either actively ignored him or disliked him for fantasy. Well, those days are over for us two seriously-close-to-average-height millennial men. (By the way, I’m not 28 years old or five-foot-seven, so stop believing everything you read here or on Facebook!) Last year Marcus Stroman went 10-13/3.22/1.31/159 in 184 1/3 IP. What’s that, a 7.8 K/9? Oh, man, that is seriously bleh, did I get caught up in how much we had in common and forget how much we had that separated us? Hmm, I hope not. So, what can we expect from Marcus Stroman for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Let’s get something straight, as boomers say, Marcus Stroman has career ratios of 3.76 ERA, 3.64 FIP, 1.29 WHIP in 849 1/3 IP, with all but 59 2/3 IP coming in the AL East. Stroman reminds me of Johnny Cueto, without the kicks to Jason LaRue’s head. Never flashy, but Stroman was doing work for a while without a ton of fanfare. Last year, he had the 29th best FIP. Honestly, that wouldn’t have floated my arms even with water wings if it didn’t come with the uptick in Ks once he went to the Mets. Yes, his ERA from the Jays to the Mets actually went up (3.22 to 3.77), but ERA is stupid. His Ks skyrocketed, which would make Altuve tilt his head more than Stroman or I. Going to the NL used to be a good thing, because they faced pitchers instead of DHs, but that seemed to evaporate at some point in the last year. How’sever, Stroman’s K/9 went from 7.0 to 8.8 from the 1st half to the 2nd half and had a 3.28 ERA with a miserable BABIP (.332). Of course, he’s prone to some BABIP bad luck and iffy defense because he has a top five ground ball rate in the majors. His Ks only on the Mets were 9, recording 60 Ks in 59 2/3 IP. If Stroman holds these improvements to his K rates, and he’s gonna go from a ‘just okay’ fantasy number four to a number two, bordering on an ace. Dare I call him, Black Greinke. Think about it (not too hard, otherwise you will hurt your brain), a guy that always has a solid ERA and decent WHIP in almost 850 IP now is getting Ks? *insert GIF of Jack Nicholson smiling like a Cheshire Cat* I’m going to project him for a 8.5, but as stated, that could be low. By the way, not calling out anyone else’s projections but when I see Stroman’s projections with a 7.77 K/9 after he had a 7.76 K/9 last year, I’m like, “You’re just copying and pasting from last year, right? I mean, c’mon, be honest with me,” and no one replies because I’m talking to an inanimate object. For 2020, I’ll give Marcus Stroman projections of 13-10/3.47/1.27/172 in 182 IP with a chance for more.