Twins Rent Lance Lynn for 2018
Lance Lynn’s 2017 fantasy stats seemed good on the surface, with a 3.43 ERA, 11 wins, and 7.4 K/9. His ERA was almost 1.50 points lower than his ERA estimators. His 3.8 BB/9 and 1.3 HR/9 boosted up his estimators (4.82 FIP), with a .244 BABIP and 79% LOB% limited runs allowed. While some extreme batted-ball pitchers (high groundball or flyball) can post low BABIPs, he’s neither.
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The low LOB% may be a bit of skill. With no one on base, he posted a 1.0 HR/9 and a 2.8 BB/9. If a runner is on base, he throws hitters nothing to hit, allows fewer home runs (0.6 HR/9), and settles for walks (4.2 BB/9). He’s tried his hardest to not give up a home run with someone on base. He could post a lower ERA with this strategy.
The move to Minnesota shouldn’t drastically change his value. The defense behind him should be better, but he’ll be facing a DH instead of a pitcher as he navigates a lineup. For 2018, I would expect him to post a 4.00 ERA with about a 7.5 K/9. He’ll be a nice back-end fantasy starter.
It tough to find a single pitcher who’ll see his fantasy value drop with this signing. The Twins’ fourth and fifth starters lacked talent with Adalberto Mejia, Phil Hughes, Trevor May, and Anibal Sanchez battling for the last rotation spots. None of them are decent fantasy options.
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