Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole
28-Year-Old PitcherSP
Houston Astros
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The smart money was on Cole thriving in Houston, despite a move to the American League. However, no one expected such a dominating campaign. Not only was there a latent park upgrade, but the Astros identified a flaw in Cole's pitch mix and increased his curveball usage. The result was a cascade effect as Cole's entire arsenal enjoyed an upgrade. He posted a career-best 14.1 SwStr% without sacrificing much control. The result was his third 200-inning season in the last four years (just five others have accomplished the feat in each of the past two seasons). Cole's success was driven by a huge improvement versus left-handed batters against whom the increased use of his curveball was paramount. Cole will be hard-pressed to repeat this level of success without the platoon edge, so expect regression. Still, his durability renders Cole one of the few workhorses in an era of five and fly. It'll cost, but Cole should remain one of the few elite starters in the game. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $13.5 million contract with the Astros in February of 2019 after winning arbitration hearing.
Fans 11 in win
PHouston Astros
July 17, 2019
Cole (10-5) earned the win Wednesday after recording 11 strikeouts and limiting the Angels to one run on seven hits and a walk over seven innings.
ANALYSIS
Cole delivered yet another dominant performance, this time blanking the Angels until the fifth inning, when he allowed a solo home run to Dustin Garneau. Otherwise, the 28-year-old scattered six singles while whiffing 11 batters. Cole is now 6-0 in his last 10 starts and owns a 3.12 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 194:33 K:BB on the season. The right-hander will look to extend his winning streak during a showdown Monday with Oakland.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-8%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-7%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-30%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-10%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .213 1058 360 86 206 41 5 37
Since 2017vs Right .232 1107 306 66 237 49 3 34
2019vs Left .202 265 108 22 49 10 0 12
2019vs Right .218 252 86 11 52 8 0 9
2018vs Left .162 389 160 38 56 14 1 7
2018vs Right .231 410 116 26 87 22 1 12
2017vs Left .268 404 92 26 101 17 4 18
2017vs Right .241 445 104 29 98 19 2 13
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-1%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-12%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-7%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-2%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 3.45 1.05 260.2 18 9 0 11.4 2.3 1.1
Since 2017Away 3.47 1.18 272.1 19 13 0 11.1 2.8 1.3
2019Home 2.94 0.92 70.1 7 2 0 13.1 1.9 1.4
2019Away 3.34 1.16 59.1 3 3 0 14.0 2.7 1.5
2018Home 2.99 0.97 96.1 8 2 0 13.2 2.6 0.9
2018Away 2.77 1.10 104.0 7 3 0 11.7 3.1 0.8
2017Home 4.31 1.22 94.0 3 5 0 8.2 2.4 1.1
2017Away 4.21 1.28 109.0 9 7 0 9.1 2.5 1.7
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Stat Review
How does Gerrit Cole 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
5.88
 
K/9
13.5
 
BB/9
2.3
 
HR/9
1.5
 
Fastball
97.0 mph
 
ERA
3.12
 
WHIP
1.03
 
BABIP
.318
 
GB/FB
1.30
 
Left On Base
79.3%
 
Exit Velocity
88.0 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
7.0%
 
Spin Rate
2573 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
38.0%
 
Swinging Strike
17.1%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Gerrit Cole
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Cole Spins Way to Top Spot
Yesterday
Todd Zola ranks the week's starting pitching as Gerrit Cole's strikeout prowess is pushing historic levels.
The Z Files: Stealing Points
2 days ago
Todd Zola examines ways to improve your position in stolen bases and whether it's worth acquiring or deploying a speedster like Mallex Smith.
Mound Musings: The Trade Winds Are Gently Blowing
3 days ago
Brad Johnson discusses the latest pitching trades and speculates on possible future moves, including in San Francisco, where Madison Bumgarner’s days could be numbered.
FanDuel MLB: Wednesday Breakdown
4 days ago
Kevin Payne looks over Wednesday's main slate and expects Cody Bellinger and the Dodgers to flex their muscles against the homer-prone Nick Pivetta.
DraftKings MLB: Wednesday Picks
4 days ago
Christopher Olson sets up Wednesday’s DraftKings offering, recommending a Red Sox stack against Aaron Sanchez and the Blue Jays.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Few pitchers were impacted as negatively by the Great Home Run Spike as Cole. His HR/9 shot from 0.54 in 2016 to 1.37 last season, which was the main culprit behind his nearly 50-point increase in ERA. Cole improved his strikeout and walk rates in his age-26 season, adding a full strikeout to his K/9, and in turn shaved 21 points off his xFIP. Most importantly, the right-hander managed to avoid the injury bug after missing the end of 2016 with an elbow ligament injury, exceeding 200 innings for the second time in his career -- Cole was one of just 15 major-league arms to reach 200 innings in 2017. The issues with the long ball may very well persist, but that's going to be the case with a lot of talented pitchers in today's landscape. Health remains the biggest concern, but Cole has a case as an SP2 in mixed leagues following the move to Houston as (believe it or not) it is a significant park upgrade.
Cole landed on the disabled list three times in 2016. An elbow ligament injury ultimately ended his season after he tried pitching through the pain. He opted for rest over offseason surgery. When Cole did toe the rubber, the results were disappointing with the right-hander registering career-worst numbers across the board: 3.88 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 K/9. His average fastball velocity (95.2 mph) was close to his career mark (95.4 mph), but the pinpoint accuracy was lacking. Cole is a rebound candidate -- he's one season removed from 19-8, 2.60 ERA, 1-09 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in 208 IP -- but he also carries more risk than other starters in his tier.
Cole appeared en route to an elite season in 2015 before a second half slowdown put a small damper on things. He went 13-3 with a 2.30 ERA and 1.12 WHIP leading up to the All-Star Game, only to go 6-5 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.06 WHIP the rest of the way (not exactly bad numbers). For whatever reason, the 25-year-old posted much better numbers during day games (10-1, 2.05 ERA) than at night (9-7, 3.00 ERA). He increased his slider usage from 12.1% to 21.2%, which enhanced his effectiveness, but keep in mind that pitchers who rely heavily on sliders tend to get hurt more frequently than those who don’t. Aside from the increased slider reliance, there is no reason why Cole can’t put together another outstanding campaign in 2016.
The budding ace battled injury and inconsistent velocity in his sophomore season for the Bucs. Cole, who made two separate trips to the disabled list with shoulder fatigue and a lat strain, made seven starts upon his return in late August, going 4-1 with a 3.44 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. At times his velocity dipped, even within the same starts, though his overall fastball velocity fell only slightly (96.1 mph to 95.5 mph) from 2013. For the season, he compiled a 3.65 ERA (3.30 FIP), 1.21 WHIP and 138 strikeouts in 138 innings. If Cole can improve upon his .316 BABIP, there's a good chance he'll return better overall numbers. With a little bit better luck in the injury department, the hard-throwing righty could break out the way many expected him to last season.
Cole won his first four starts in Pittsburgh, but struck out only 11 batters in the process. Theories were floated: Cole himself said that he was pitching to contact and hadn't unleashed his entire repertoire. After coming up second best in an Aug. 8 showdown with fellow phenom Jose Fernandez, Cole elevated his game to a new level. In his final eight starts, the 2011 first-overall draft pick went 6-2 with a 2.28 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 53:13 K:BB ratio. Cole led all major league pitchers with a 96.1 mph average fastball (110 IP minimum). The Pirates then chose Cole over A.J. Burnett to start Game 5 of the NLDS, an indication of his top-of-the-rotation status. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound right-hander matured in the majors in a very short time period. It wouldn't be surprising to see him encounter some bumps along the way, but he'll be called upon as a frontline starter from the get-go in 2014.
Regardless of whether Pittsburgh keeps its front office intact moving forward, Cole has a decent chance of cracking the team's rotation by the end of 2013. Not even the stingy Pirates could keep the top overall draft pick from 2011 at High-A for all of 2012. Cole began the year with Bradenton, where he compiled a 2.69 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 67 innings. His 69:21 K:BB helped make the decision to promote him to Double-A any easy one. Pitching for the Curve, Cole registered a 2.90 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in 59 frames, to go along with a 60:23 BB:K. He hasn't looked elite in big showcases such as the 2011 AFL Rising Stars Game and 2012 Futures Game, but he's proven otherwise consistent. To think that his 100-mph fastball (which borders on the flat side) might be no better than his third best pitch is a good problem to have.
Time will tell whether the Pirates made the right move selecting Cole first overall in the 2011 draft, but his good size, downward plane and right-handed delivery dovetail perfectly with the profile of general manager Neal Huntington's ideal starting pitcher. The 6-foot-4 power hurler hit 100 mph regularly in the Arizona Fall League and offers a plus slider and changeup. Cole never put up dominating numbers at UCLA and was actually outpitched by fellow first-round pick Trevor Bauer. His pedigree dates to high school, however, when he was selected in the first round by the Yankees in 2008. Pittsburgh does not typically advance prospects quickly, making it unlikely that Cole sees the major leagues until 2013, at the earliest.
More Fantasy News
Fans 13 in no-decision
PHouston Astros
July 13, 2019
Cole struck out 13 but didn't factor into the decision in Friday's 9-8 loss to the Rangers, giving up four runs on five hits -- including three home runs -- and two walks over six innings.
ANALYSIS
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Dominant once again
PHouston Astros
July 7, 2019
Cole (9-5) won his fourth straight start, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out nine over seven scoreless innings in Saturday's 4-0 win over the Angels.
ANALYSIS
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Fans 10 for eighth win
PHouston Astros
June 30, 2019
Cole (8-5) picked up the victory after allowing one run on five hits and a walk while striking out 10 over seven innings Sunday against the Mariners.
ANALYSIS
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Earns seventh win
PHouston Astros
June 25, 2019
Cole (7-5) allowed one earned run on seven hits and two walks while striking out three across six innings to earn the win Tuesday against Pittsburgh.
ANALYSIS
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Settles for no-decision
PHouston Astros
June 19, 2019
Cole recorded eight strikeouts and allowed six hits and three walks across six innings during a no-decision against the Reds on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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