Ivan Nova
Ivan Nova
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
Chicago White Sox
2019 Fantasy Outlook
For the third straight season, Nova was successful in limiting free passes, finishing with a BB/9 below 2.0. However, he's around the zone so much that his homer rate has climbed in each of the past three seasons (to 1.45 HR/9 in 2018). He thrived at pitcher-friendly PNC Park, but all the contact allowed and a diminishing groundball rate leave him with little wiggle room moving forward. Perhaps the strained finger that put him on the disabled list was affecting his pitch grips for a stretch last season. After his return from the DL in June, Nova spun a useful 3.71 ERA. The 32-year-old no longer has the park advantage following a December trade to the White Sox, but he does have job security. While his ceiling is extremely limited, Nova has some appeal as a volume starter, particularly in points leagues. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a three-year, $26 million contract with the Pirates in December of 2016. Traded to the White Sox in December of 2018.
Delivers complete game
PChicago White Sox
July 22, 2019
Nova (5-9) gave up one run on four hits and no walks while striking out five in a complete game to take the win over the Marlins on Monday.
ANALYSIS
It only took Nova 112 pitches to deliver a stellar performance, shutting down the Marlins in his first complete game this season. This was a surprising outing as the 32-year-old has a 5.49 ERA with a 5.8 K/9 and a 2.3 BB/9 through 21 starts this season. Nova will make his next start Saturday against the Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-13%
BAA vs RHP
2019
Even Split
2018
 
 
-13%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-19%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .302 963 123 50 271 56 5 42
Since 2017vs Right .264 1022 199 52 250 48 5 36
2019vs Left .310 267 38 15 77 19 0 12
2019vs Right .310 250 39 16 70 11 0 11
2018vs Left .288 332 40 19 88 16 4 14
2018vs Right .250 351 74 16 83 18 1 12
2017vs Left .309 364 45 16 106 21 1 16
2017vs Right .249 421 86 20 97 19 4 13
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-29%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-15%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-45%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-44%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 3.65 1.23 204.2 13 11 0 5.8 1.7 1.1
Since 2017Away 5.17 1.41 263.0 12 21 0 6.5 2.2 1.8
2019Home 6.02 1.42 49.1 2 4 0 5.7 2.2 2.0
2019Away 5.12 1.54 70.1 3 5 0 5.9 2.4 1.5
2018Home 2.99 1.13 81.1 3 5 0 6.1 1.4 0.9
2018Away 5.42 1.43 79.2 6 4 0 6.7 2.5 2.0
2017Home 2.80 1.22 74.0 8 2 0 5.7 1.6 0.9
2017Away 5.02 1.32 113.0 3 12 0 6.7 1.8 1.8
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Stat Review
How does Ivan Nova compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 70 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.48
 
K/9
5.8
 
BB/9
2.3
 
HR/9
1.7
 
Fastball
92.4 mph
 
ERA
5.49
 
WHIP
1.49
 
BABIP
.323
 
GB/FB
1.67
 
Left On Base
69.3%
 
Exit Velocity
89.2 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
8.1%
 
Spin Rate
2162 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
40.3%
 
Swinging Strike
9.0%
 
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
Nova's 2017 season was full of strong splits. He pitched well in the first half (3.21 ERA, .297 wOBA against), only to struggle in the second (5.83 ERA, .383 wOBA against). He pitched well at home (2.80 ERA), but struggled to keep the ball in the park and was frequently hit hard on the road (5.02 ERA). Perhaps of most concern, Nova struggled against lefties, allowing a .306/.342/.516 line to them. Interestingly enough, he was more successful in the first half when he wasn't piling up strikeouts, as his K/9 jumped from 5.0 in the first half to 8.7 in the second. Of his three pitches, only his curveball was consistently effective, as opposing hitters did a lot of damage against his two-seamer and four-seamer. Despite the second-half strikeout surge, Nova's ongoing issues with the long ball -- particularly away from PNC Park -- will limit the interest owners have in him at the draft table this spring, and he'll need to find a way to neutralize lefties to replicate his late-2016 success.
Nova went from a Yankees trade deadline afterthought to a near ace for the Pirates in August and September. After starting 2016 in the bullpen for New York, the right-hander returned to the rotation in May and recorded a 4.86 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 91 innings. Upon his arrival in Pittsburgh, Nova was expected to eat innings and little else. He promptly went out and won seven of 11 starts, going 7-3, on a team sinking in the standings. He registered a 3.06 ERA and compiled an astonishing 52:3 K:BB in 64.2 innings. PNC Park's spacious outfield compares favorably to the Yankees' bandbox, and his improved control after the trade to a club widely known for fixing pitcher woes fueled a significant portion of his improvement. Nova re-signed with the Pirates in December, agreeing to a three-year deal that will allow him to remain in a pitcher-friendly environment as a fixture in the Pittsburgh rotation.
After missing most of the 2014 season and needing Tommy John surgery, Nova returned to big league action in the final week of June. He actually got off to a solid start, going 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA through his first six starts, but his season imploded from there and got worse every month, as he posted a 5.67 ERA in August, 6.20 ERA in September and a 7.94 ERA in his lone October start. The 28-year-old finished the season with a 4.87 FIP, suggesting he wasn't a victim of bad luck given a low strikeout rate (6.0 K/9) and high walk totals (3.2 BB/9). He is in serious jeopardy of being held out of the starting rotation in 2016. With Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Luis Severino safely assured of starting roles, Nova will be left to battle it out with CC Sabathia, Adam Warren and any free-agent acquisitions; Nova could find himself in a bullpen role in 2016.
The 2014 season was a lost one for Nova. He did make four starts, but they were brutal and simply a precursor to his eventual Tommy John surgery. It’s never a good time for a Tommy John, but Nova’s timing was especially painful because he was just coming off a strong 2013 campaign and appeared poised for a huge 2014. Now he is working his way back on the rehab trail and should return at some point this summer. How quickly can he regain the 2013 form that saw him post a 2.59 ERA in his final 15 starts? There is no reason to expect it out of the gate, but he could play himself into usefulness late in the season. At his best, he can miss more bats than league average with a great groundball rate, which helps him survive the homer haven that is Yankee Stadium.
Nova was hampered by injury early in 2013, and ended up being sent to Triple-A for a stint. Once he returned in late June, he was arguably the Yankees' best starter, giving up three earned runs or fewer in 14 of his final 17 starts. Nova relied much more on his two-seam fastball when he returned to rotation, and the results were oustanding. Nova's poor 2012 seems more like an outlier spurred by a high 10.9% HR/FB; in 2013, that number dipped to 5.2%, much more in line with the numbers he put up in his breakout 2011 season. Nova is coming right into his prime at age 27, and could be poised for a big 2014.
After a big 2011 where he put up 16 wins, Nova was an enigma in 2012. He appeared dominant at times, putting up a 2.09 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over a five-start stretch in June, but was far too hittable over the second half, posting a 7.05 ERA from July 15 through the end of the season. It's unclear how much the shoulder stiffness that put Nova on the DL in August hindered his performances both leading up to and following the disabled list stint, but with the full offseason to recover, Nova should be back to full strength in 2013. Nova struck out significantly more batters in 2012, but he more than doubled his home-run total in only five more innings, and gave up 31 more hits as well. He's an interesting upside play for 2013, but he comes with a good amount of risk.
Nova was one of the biggest surprises in baseball last season, going 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA. He relies on a high-90s fastball and a power curve, but doesn't put up the strikeout numbers one might expect with that arsenal, fanning just 98 in 165.1 innings. Nova is likely to be overvalued in fantasy drafts for 2012 thanks to his big win total. He could be a solid fourth starter for the Yankees for years to come, but expecting a repeat of 2011 is pushing it if he doesn't improve his strikeout rate.
Nova got his first taste of big league hitting last season and was predictably erratic. There were some bright spots - holding the White Sox to one run in his first career start comes to mind - but overall he allowed too many baserunners and struggled with his control (1.53 K/BB ratio). He'll have a chance to win a rotation spot this season, and while he won't blow you away with his strikeout numbers, he could emerge as a potential AL-only option who will be in line for some wins thanks to the Yankees' strong offense.
After losing Nova to the Padres in the Rule 5 draft in December 2008 (before eventually getting him back), the Yankees decided to protect him this time around. He made strides last season, keeping his fastball down in the zone and mixing it up with his above-average changeup and improving slider. Although his control needs work, he showed signs of improvement during the Dominican Winter League, posting a 1.05 ERA and 17:4 K:BB ratio in his first five appearances. He’ll likely spend most of the year at Triple-A, but could make a couple of spot starts for the Yankees if injuries strike.
More Fantasy News
Struggles in loss
PChicago White Sox
July 17, 2019
Nova (4-9) was charged with the loss Wednesday against the Royals after surrendering six runs on six hits and five walks and recording two strikeouts over 4.2 innings.
ANALYSIS
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No support in loss
PChicago White Sox
July 12, 2019
Nova (4-8) took the loss Friday, allowing four runs on 10 hits in six innings. He struck out four in the 5-1 loss to the Athletics.
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Moves to 4-7
PChicago White Sox
July 7, 2019
Nova (4-7) allowed five hits and a walk in 5.2 innings of shutout baseball Sunday, striking out four and earning the win over the Cubs.
ANALYSIS
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Next start coming Sunday
PChicago White Sox
July 5, 2019
Nova is scheduled to make his next start Sunday against the Cubs at home.
ANALYSIS
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Hit with seventh loss
PChicago White Sox
June 29, 2019
Nova (4-7) took the loss Saturday as the White Sox were downed 10-3 by the Twins. He struck out six and allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk over six innings.
ANALYSIS
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