Stephen Strasburg
Stephen Strasburg
30-Year-Old PitcherSP
Washington Nationals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
It has now been four consecutive seasons that Strasburg has failed to make 30 starts. He is fortunate that he gets to pitch behind the best pitcher in baseball and does not have the pressure of being a staff ace, but that does not stop some fantasy players from drafting him like one hoping this will be the year that Strasburg finally gets healthy again (narrator's voice: he won't). Last season, the non-fastball offerings were solid, led by a terrific curveball, but the fastball was barely average by pitch run values. That was concerning given the fastball was one of the best in the league by that same measure the previous two seasons. His fastball velocity was down a few ticks as he returned from a neck impingement last season, but he still posted a 3.43 ERA and had a 29% strikeout rate. With great talent comes great risk. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed seven-year, $175 million contract with the Nationals in May of 2016.
Throws six shutout frames
PWashington Nationals
July 12, 2019
Strasburg (11-4) tossed six scoreless innings while allowing seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts to earn a victory against the Phillies on Friday.
ANALYSIS
The 30-year-old began the second half the same way he ended the first -- shutting out the opposing team for at least six frames. Strasburg has won four straight games, posting a 2.39 ERA during that stretch. He has a 3.46 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, .219 batting average against and 144 strikeouts in 122.1 innings this season, while his 11 wins leads the National League. Strasburg will pitch next in a key game at the Braves on Thursday.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-10%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-33%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-8%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-10%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .207 828 226 68 154 32 2 21
Since 2017vs Right .231 912 278 47 194 36 5 23
2019vs Left .170 203 60 17 31 2 1 6
2019vs Right .252 292 84 13 68 12 2 7
2018vs Left .250 280 66 22 63 15 1 8
2018vs Right .229 264 90 16 55 8 2 10
2017vs Left .193 345 100 29 60 15 0 7
2017vs Right .215 356 104 18 71 16 1 6
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-34%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-30%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-52%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-18%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 3.81 1.11 215.0 14 9 0 10.5 2.5 1.2
Since 2017Away 2.50 1.05 212.2 22 6 0 10.7 2.4 0.6
2019Home 4.11 1.09 57.0 5 2 0 11.2 2.2 1.7
2019Away 2.89 1.03 65.1 6 2 0 10.1 2.2 0.3
2018Home 5.02 1.33 66.1 2 5 0 10.2 3.3 1.4
2018Away 2.40 1.07 63.2 8 2 0 11.5 2.0 1.1
2017Home 2.75 0.97 91.2 7 2 0 10.3 2.1 0.8
2017Away 2.26 1.06 83.2 8 2 0 10.6 2.8 0.5
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Stat Review
How does Stephen Strasburg 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
4.80
 
K/9
10.6
 
BB/9
2.2
 
HR/9
1.0
 
Fastball
93.6 mph
 
ERA
3.46
 
WHIP
1.05
 
BABIP
.300
 
GB/FB
2.14
 
Left On Base
72.2%
 
Exit Velocity
88.0 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.2%
 
Spin Rate
2222 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
33.3%
 
Swinging Strike
14.5%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
Last season turned out to be the best of Strasburg's career by most measurements, as he posted full-season career-bests in ERA (2.52), WHIP (1.02) and WAR (5.6), while topping 175 innings for the first time since 2014. He lost nearly a month to a nerve impingement in his right elbow during the second half, but he closed out the regular season with a 63:10 K:BB, 0.84 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in 53.2 innings over his final eight starts after returning from the DL, and was dominant in two playoff starts against the Cubs. As expected, Strasburg reduced the use of his slider in 2017, opting to throw more curveballs with the hope of reducing the wear and tear on his elbow. Since the start of the 2013 campaign, Strasburg has averaged just under 170 innings annually, but his cumulative workload during that five-year span ranks him 30th in MLB (848.1 IP). Once again, the talent will make him a top-10 starting pitcher in most drafts despite the ongoing concerns about his health.
For two tantalizing, fleeting months to begin the year, it looked like Strasburg was finally going to put it all together. He won his first 10 decisions, posted a filthy 11.1 K/9 and 4.3 K/BB in 106.2 first-half innings, and surprisingly took himself out of the 2017 free agent market by signing a seven-year, $175 million extension at the beginning of May. Then he missed a month with an upper back strain, and when he got back on the mound in June, the magic was gone. A brutal outing in Coors Field in August led to a seemingly inevitable DL stint due to elbow inflammation that effectively ended his season, and his final line was much the same as it had been in 2015, featuring a stellar strikeout rate that didn't seem to be in sync with a merely good ERA and WHIP figures over fewer than 150 innings. Strasburg's arsenal remains exceptional, with a 95 mph fastball contrasting with a devastating high-80s changeup and low-80s curve, but the slider he threw 17.1 percent of the time was blamed for his latest injury issues, and he vowed to throw it far less in 2017.
Dubbed "The Orchid" (awesome, but fragile) by ESPN's Tony Kornheiser, Strasburg has had six DL stints in a six-year career, including two in 2015. Seen as the second coming on his way up, he’s logged just one 200-inning season. Yet despite the drawbacks, he’s unquestionably elite when he does pitch. Aside from ERA indicators like FIP, which suggest he was great in 2015 (2.81), even the most basic measurements point to something special with an 11.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. A non-cancerous growth was removed from Strasburg's back after the season, and it may very well have contributed to his injury issues in 2015, including a strained neck from late May. It’s hard to put him in the class of aces with multiple 200-inning seasons, but his skills say he’s right behind them. The cost will be lower in 2016, too.
While it wasn't the breakout season his owners were likely expecting, Strasburg's 2014 was still his most successful to date, in no small part due to the fact that he managed to stay healthy. His 215 innings pitched and NL-leading 242 strikeouts (tied with Johnny Cueto) were career bests, as was his 1.8 BB/9 rate. Although his 3.14 ERA wasn't exactly elite, he certainly didn't hurt owners in that category, and his 1.12 WHIP actually landed him in the NL's top 10. Strasburg's arsenal (94-97 mph fastball, absurd high-80s changeup, and knee-buckling low-80s curve) still makes scouts drool, but he's finally showing signs of adding some savvy to his repertoire as well. Given that he won't turn 27 until mid-2015, there's little reason to think that he's hit his peak already. Health willing, top-tier ratios to match his strikeout rate should be on their way sooner rather than later.
Oh, the agony of being a Stephen Strasburg owner. He tossed a career-high 183 innings in 2013, with a plus strikeout rate, ERA and WHIP, yet somehow managed to win just eight games. He had an injury scare to boot, although the eventual culprit seemed to be nothing more than bone chips in his elbow. All the tools are there for him to be among the game's elite pitchers, but until he actually strikes out 200 batters or wins 20 games in a season, there are going to be question marks. Of course, those same question marks could make Strasburg a relative bargain in 2014 if he does finally put it all together.
Despite his team-mandated innings cap, Strasburg still returned ace-like numbers, winning 15 games and striking out nearly 200 batters with solid ratios. He may only be scratching the surface though. His .311 BABIP seems ripe for a drop given his ridiculous stuff, and without the distraction of a workload restriction the 24-year-old could improve in areas like groundball and walk rates. He still needs to prove he can handle a full season's workload of course, but that lack of a track record is the only thing keeping him from being the first starter off the board come draft day.
Strasburg spent most of 2011 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, but did manage to throw 24 innings with the Nationals as a part of that process. As expected in the first year, Strasburg’s velocity was not all the way back to his 2010 level, but he did average 95.3 mph and touched 99 mph on occasion. Additionally, he cut his breaking ball usage in half, which contributed to fewer swinging strikes. However, his control was impeccable, as he walked only five in 44.1 innings. Look for him to come back strong in 2012, but there will be some bumps along the way as he attempts to regain his elite status.
The Double-S Express did everything he could to make everyone happy in his rookie season. He graced a few minor league parks with his presence and put on a dominating show, sliced through big league lineups after his callup like a 97-mph fastball through butter to prove that all the hype wasn't out of line, and then broke down to make all the naysayers who lobbed Mark Prior comparisons his way feel all full of themselves. Tommy John surgery wasn't the worst possible outcome as injuries go, though, and while he'll likely miss all of 2011 his projected future rotation-mate Jordan Zimmermann made it back in about a calendar year, so there's a chance Strasburg will be back on the mound in September. Don't fret too much if the Nats treat him with kid gloves in his rehab, though. This is a kid who posted an absolutely insane K/BB ratio of 5.41 in his first crack at the majors. In keeper leagues, he's worth waiting for.
Set aside the hype for a minute and look at what the Nationals actually got for their first overall pick and $15 million dollars. Strasburg hits triple digits on radar guns with regularity, has a plus curve and a changeup which is already OK even though he barely needed to use it in college, knows where the ball is going when he throws it, and has the big-game mentality to go out and rack up a 17-K no-hitter in his final home start for San Diego State. His inability to stay healthy in his Arizona Fall League stint is a bit worrisome, but none of the injuries were serious or directly arm-related and he'll have all winter to heal. The Nats have indicated they aren't going to rush him, and considering the state of the team they certainly have no reason to, but given what he could already do on the mound as a 20-year-old "not rushing him" could mean keeping Strasburg out of the major league rotation all the way until May. The specter of Mark Prior hangs over him (there are some similarities in their mechanics) but even Prior had a couple of very good big league seasons before breaking down, so at least in the short term if there were even such a thing as a can't miss pitching prospect, Strasburg would be it.
More Fantasy News
Tosses 7.1 scoreless frames
PWashington Nationals
July 3, 2019
Strasburg (10-4) recorded 14 strikeouts across 7.1 innings while allowing two hits and two walks to earn a victory against the Marlins on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Allows four runs in win
PWashington Nationals
June 27, 2019
Strasburg (9-4) allowed four runs on seven hits with no walks across seven innings to earn the win Thursday against the Marlins. He struck out four.
ANALYSIS
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Wins eighth game
PWashington Nationals
June 21, 2019
Strasburg (8-4) allowed three runs on five hits with five strikeouts and three walks across six innings to earn a victory against the Braves on Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Will start Friday
PWashington Nationals
June 19, 2019
Strasburg is scheduled to start Friday's series opener against the Braves, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports.
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Could start Friday
PWashington Nationals
June 19, 2019
Strasburg threw a bullpen session Wednesday, suggesting his next start could come Friday against the Braves, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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