Wade Miley
Wade Miley
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
Houston Astros
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Few would have expected Miley to be one of the most effective starters on a team with the most wins in the NL last year, but that's exactly what happened, as Miley was stellar over 16 starts in his first season with the Brewers. It seemed he was close to pitching his way out of the league after back-to-back seasons with ERAs well north of 5.00. The Brewers' front office, manager Craig Counsell and former pitching coach Derek Johnson deserve a ton of credit for squeezing more out of Miley than anyone thought possible, though a bet on Miley keeping it up is ill advised -- the estimators all say he overachieved a great deal (3.59 FIP, 4.30 xFIP, 4.66 SIERA). Forced to settle for a minor-league contract last offseason, Miley recently landed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with Houston, where he figures to slot in as the fourth or fifth starter, likely turning lineups over twice before giving way to the bullpen. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Astros in January of 2019.
Accentuates cutter
PHouston Astros
February 1, 2019
Miley is expected to claim the fourth spot in Houston's starting rotation, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Miley's careening career may have been salvaged in 2018, when he threw his cutter more than any other pitch. His pitch mix helped fuel a career-best 2.57 ERA over 80.2 innings with the Brewers. While it's prudent for fantasy owners to be circumspect of the left-hander's sudden break from empirical evidence, his success in 2018 appears to be more than just a fluke occurrence. Opponents will make adjustments, so we're hesitant to conclude Miley will replicate last season's production, but he may be useful pitching in front of a high-octane Astros offense, which finished sixth in runs scored last year.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .231 348 62 39 69 14 1 4
Since 2016vs Right .289 1429 267 130 368 71 3 49
2018vs Left .225 83 9 9 16 3 0 0
2018vs Right .240 255 41 18 55 13 1 3
2017vs Left .230 120 25 18 23 3 1 1
2017vs Right .298 608 117 75 156 27 1 24
2016vs Left .234 145 28 12 30 8 0 3
2016vs Right .301 566 109 37 157 31 1 22
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 4.65 1.43 179.0 9 13 0 7.8 3.6 1.4
Since 2016Away 5.10 1.55 223.0 13 17 0 7.0 3.9 1.0
2018Home 2.67 1.35 30.1 2 0 0 5.9 2.4 0.3
2018Away 2.50 1.13 50.1 3 2 0 5.4 3.4 0.4
2017Home 5.07 1.68 71.0 3 6 0 7.9 5.6 1.4
2017Away 6.05 1.77 86.1 5 9 0 8.3 5.1 1.5
2016Home 5.03 1.25 78.2 4 7 0 8.5 2.3 1.7
2016Away 5.67 1.58 87.1 5 6 0 6.5 3.0 1.0
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Stat Review
How does Wade Miley 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.
90.8 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Miley heads to free agency at age 31 coming off his worst professional season, which is a tough hand to be dealt at this stage of his career. The veteran southpaw turned in a career-worst 5.61 ERA to go with a WHIP of 1.73 that was the worst among pitchers with at least 150 innings pitched. Erratic command (5.3 BB/9) led to pitch counts piling up early on Miley and resulted in constant short outings. From the start of May through the end of the season, Miley had just six outings of six-plus innings in 27 starts. To Miley's credit, he lived up to his billing as an effective arm against lefties, as he limited left-handed batters to a .230 average and surrendered just five extra-base hits (one homer). There's some notion that pitching in Baltimore led to Miley's subpar numbers, but he was actually better at Camden Yards (5.07 ERA, 10 HR allowed) than he was on the road (6.05 ERA, 14 HR allowed). In all, Miley is a durable lefty capable of offering rotation depth, but he may need to settle for a minor-league deal.
Miley was traded to the Mariners before the 2016 season where he spent the majority of the year before being traded again, this time to the Orioles at the end of July. After logging over 190 innings in each of his previous four seasons, Miley was less durable during his age-29 campaign, and spent a few weeks on the disabled list with the Mariners. At the time he was traded to the Orioles, the veteran left-hander had posted a 4.98 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over 112 innings. The move to the AL East wasn't kind to Miley, as he performed no better with the Orioles. In 11 starts with Baltimore, he posted a 6.17 ERA (3.79 FIP), 1.57 WHIP and a 55:15 K:BB over 54 innings. He also fell victim to a career-worst .328 BABIP and 69 percent left-on-base rate, which factor into his lower FIP. As the only lefty in the starting rotation, Miley will again be relied upon to eat innings for the Orioles in 2017, though his fantasy floor and ceiling are incredibly low.
The Red Sox got the Wade Miley as advertised after trading for him and signing him to a three-year contract: a ground-ball inducing innings-eater that keeps his team in a game for six-plus innings. Miley was second on the staff with a 2.6 WAR (FanGraphs) and finished with a 4.46 ERA in 193.2 innings over 32 starts. His strikeout rate dropped, but so did his walk and home run rates. It wasn’t always pretty, but Miley’s 11 wins led a staff that was dogged by a shoddy bullpen. He could get them into the seventh inning with a chance, but was supported by a bullpen that was a league-worst -1.4 WAR (FanGraphs) and allowed 1.4 HR/9. Miley was traded to the Mariners over the offseason, where he will earn the benefit of a more pitching-friendly ballpark than the one that he is leaving behind in Boston.
Miley deserved a better fate in 2014. A stable skillset from his 3.55 ERA season in 2013 along with a career-best 21 percent strikeout rate should’ve secured at least a repeat, but instead Miley suffered a couple implosion starts as well as some bad luck en route to a 4.34 ERA. The problem is that when he’s bad, he is really bad because of his propensity for the long ball. The increased strikeout rate, the back-to-back years with a better than 50 percent groundball rate, and his durability are enough to be enticing. He has put together three straight years of sub-4.00 FIPs and when you neutralize his home run rate, the outlook is even brighter, but there is real concern that this is more of a flaw in the skillset than bad luck. He did manage to keep the ball in the yard in 2012, so it’s not completely out of the question for him to do so again. Let’s treat him as a speculative pick in deeper mixed and AL-only leagues with the potential for a lot more if it all comes together with Boston.
Miley had another solid year in the desert to follow up his appearance on the National League All-Star team in 2012. Despite his 2.9 BB/9, most of his numbers either stayed virtually the same or regressed ever so slightly. A career-high 52 percent groundball rate is a good sign for someone who makes half his starts in Chase Field, and it was a significant improvement from his 2012 rate. Further, that ability to keep the ball in the yard helped offset an increase his walk rate, which jumped from 1.7 to 2.9 BB/9 last season. As it lines up, Miley is a lock for the middle of the Diamondbacks' 2014 rotation.
Miley surprised many by locking down a place in the D-Backs' rotation before going on to make the National League All-Star Team and finish second in the Rookie of the Year voting to Bryce Harper. From start to finish, Miley was the best starter in the Arizona rotation last season, parlaying a career-low 1.7 BB/9 into a 3.33 ERA and 1.182 WHIP. Left-handed hitters put up a meager .200/.238/.292 line against Miley, and a big part of his success can be attributed to his ability to limit hard contact, and more specifically, home runs despite pitching half of his games at Chase Field. Throughout his time in the minors, Miley has consistently kept the ball in the park despite spending seasons in the California League and Pacific Coast League. All things considered, the reliance on contact and lack of dominant stuff make Miley a risky bet to repeat his rookie numbers, but he could remain undervalued in deeper formats thanks to the low strikeout rate (6.7 K/9) and seemingly modest upside.
Miley was in the process of repeating his solid, albeit unspectacular 2010 season through 14 starts before things seemed to click for him after a promotion to Triple-A Reno. He carried a career-high 9.3 K/9IP over 54.1 innings with the Aces down the stretch while cutting his walk rate down to his 2009 level. The difference appeared to be aggressive hitters, as the opposition at Reno chased his pitches outside the strike zone at a 20 percent clip (more than double his rate at Mobile). Now 25, Miley figures to be a part of the D-Backs' plans in 2012, but it's likely that the organization's plethora of young pitching talent will lead him to a swing role in the near future. As a starter, he projects as a No. 4 or No. 5 type, but it may take a trade to keep him from bullpen duty in the long run.
Miley has been old for his level throughout his minor league stops, but he didn't dissolve when the D-Backs subjected him to the Double-A acid test last season at age 23. In fact, his strikeout rate jumped (7.9 K/9IP) and his walk rate fell (3.5 BB/9IP) after his promotion to that level. Miley has always done a good job of keeping the ball in the park, a skill that will prove useful at Chase Field regardless of whether he remains a starter or eventually transitions to relief work. A big league debut in 2011 isn't out of the question, but a full-time rotation spot seems to be at least a full season away as he'll need to continue improving the consistency of his secondary offerings before he gets a look in Arizona.
More Fantasy News
Links up with Astros
PHouston Astros
January 31, 2019
Miley signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Astros on Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
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Set for Game 6 start
PMilwaukee Brewers
October 17, 2018
Miley will start Game 6 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
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Lined up to start Game 5
PMilwaukee Brewers
October 15, 2018
Miley will start Game 5 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Wednesday, J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
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Set for Game 2 start Saturday
PMilwaukee Brewers
October 11, 2018
Miley will start Game 2 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Saturday.
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Throws 4.2 scoreless in clincher
PMilwaukee Brewers
October 8, 2018
Miley threw 4.2 scoreless innings in Sunday's series-clinching victory over the Rockies. He allowed three hits, posted a 2:1 K:BB and did not factor into the decision.
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