Robbie Ray
Robbie Ray
27-Year-Old PitcherSP
Arizona Diamondbacks
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Ray's season was shortened by injury. He made only 24 starts and fell well short of earning what many fantasy owners invested in him. His 3.93 ERA was a near-perfect settlement between his inflated 4.90 ERA in 2016 and his fortunate 2.89 ERA in 2017. It could have been much better with more credence to the times-through-the-order penalty. Ray's ERA the first time through a lineup was 2.81 and 2.59 the second time through, but ballooned to 9.13 thereafter as 11 of his 19 home runs allowed came that third time through. This has long been a problem for Ray, but one he was able to keep at bay in 2017 for most of the season. Ray's 2018 was a reminder that one season in a new direction does not mean a problem is resolved. He still gets strikeouts late in the game, but his command falters, so his misses become extra-base hits more often than not. He is a three-pitch guy with two strong breaking balls, but a quicker hook would help him in 2019. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $6.05 million contract with the Diamondbacks in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Fans eight Wednesday
PArizona Diamondbacks
March 7, 2019
Ray allowed three runs on three hits and struck out eight Wednesday against the Brewers.
Ray allowed a pair of home runs, but both he and manager Torey Lovullo looked beyond the runs. The left-hander told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he was pleased with his fastball command and the crispness of his curveball and slider. His manager echoed those sentiments. "Even though he gave up that two-run homer, I thought it was easily one of the best outings we've seen from a starting pitcher this year," said Lovullo. Understandably, the D-backs can afford to look past the home runs this spring, but Ray allowed 1.4 HR/9 in 2018, a couple of ticks above the league average 1.2.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .172 240 89 14 38 3 0 9
Since 2017vs Right .216 951 294 127 175 31 2 33
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .124 117 40 8 13 1 0 4
2018vs Right .244 409 125 62 84 15 0 15
2017vs Left .216 123 49 6 25 2 0 5
2017vs Right .195 542 169 65 91 16 2 18
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
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ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 4.38 1.39 139.2 10 5 0 11.9 4.9 1.8
Since 2017Away 2.34 1.10 146.0 11 2 0 12.3 4.0 0.9
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 4.73 1.44 64.2 3 1 0 11.8 5.1 2.1
2018Away 3.05 1.25 59.0 3 1 0 12.2 5.0 0.6
2017Home 4.08 1.35 75.0 7 4 0 11.9 4.7 1.6
2017Away 1.86 0.99 87.0 8 1 0 12.3 3.3 1.0
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Stat Review
How does Robbie Ray 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.
93.7 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2016 Robbie Ray was not as bad as his win-loss record and ERA. Conversely, he was not as good as his 2017 win-loss record and ERA either. The book on Ray has been: he is going to get a ton of strikeouts (12.1 K/9 last season), he is going to struggle with his command (3.9 BB/9) and he'll serve up some homers (1.28 HR/9). The difference between 2016 and 2017 was in his left-on-base percentage, as he stranded 68.7 percent of runners in 2016 but jumped that rate up to 84.5 percent in 2017. That latter rate is what power relievers do and starters struggle to eclipse 80 percent in consecutive seasons. He also avoided the Times Through The Order (TTOP) penalty; after allowing 49 percent of his 2016 earned runs when he was allowed to face batters for a third time, that number fell to 26 percent this past season. Expect the three truisms to continue for the most part, although with the new humidor at Chase Field, Ray should be able to cut down on the long balls.
If fantasy baseball pitchers were measured just in terms of strikeout rate, Ray might be among the first arms taken in drafts. He finished last season with an 11.3 K/9, which ranked second in the majors. Ray struck out 10 or more batters four times. Ray often racked up the strikeouts only to surround them with mediocre overall stats. Walks have been a big part of the issue. Ray walked 3.7 hitters per nine innings last season, which is in line with his career 3.6 BB/9. Ray's propensity for issuing free passes offsets his ability to miss bats and helps explain his 1.45 career WHIP. If -- and this is a big if -- Ray could cut down on the walks, he'd likely take off and post stellar fantasy numbers. Even if he does not improve upon last season's ratios, the strikeouts alone make him a solid middle-round investment in mixed leagues, and he should be particularly appealing for owners looking to supplement a low-ratios/middling-strikeouts starter taken ahead of him in drafts.
Though his win-loss numbers didn’t show it, Ray put together a solid 2015 for the Diamondbacks. He struck out 119 batters and compiled a 3.52 ERA (3.53 FIP) across 127.2 innings, and according to his 1.7 WAR, he was second the second best pitcher on the team, trailing only closer Brad Ziegler. It was a marked improvement from 2014, when Ray posted an 8.16 ERA in nine games (six starts) for Detroit. Ray could still probably stand to improve his control - he walked 3.5 batters per nine innings in 2015, which matched his 2014 rate. While he didn’t join the rotation for good until June last year, Ray should be a staple in the D-Backs rotation at the outset of 2016. However, this is a team that has cycled through rotation arms with frequency over the past couple seasons, so if Ray struggles there will be another middling option waiting to take his place.
The Tigers were high enough on Ray to make him the key piece in the Doug Fister trade prior to the 2014 season. Unfortunately, Ray's lone season in the Tigers' organization was a rough one. The 23-year-old lefty split time between Triple-A Toledo and Detroit. In 20 appearances for the Mud Hens, Ray went 7-6 with a 4.22 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 75:44 K:BB ratio in 100.1 innings. His time in Detroit was even bumpier, but on the plus side, Ray did impress in the Arizona Fall League, allowing three earned runs and striking out 12 in 11 innings. Although it was a disappointing year, it was Ray's first taste of Triple-A and major league ball, and with a fastball that touches 93 mph, a changeup and an improving slider, there's reason for optimism heading into his first year with Arizona. Harnessing his control is the biggest obstacle Ray needs to hurdle before the start of the regular season. If Ray can nab the final spot in the Diamondbacks' rotation, he'll garner some interest in deep mixed and NL-only leagues.
Ray broke through at High-A last year and held his own as a 21-year-old after a promotion to Double-A, and the Nationals wasted no time cashing in his new-found prospect status by dealing him for Doug Fister. Ray's control remains a work in progress, and given the Tigers' recent failures to develop left-handers with similar profiles (Exhibit A: Andrew Oliver) he can hardly be considered can't-miss. However, if Ray does build on last year's success, a 2015 major league debut seems likely.
More Fantasy News
Avoids arbitration
PArizona Diamondbacks
January 11, 2019
Ray agreed to a one-year, $6.05 million deal with the Diamondbacks, avoiding arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
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Struggles in season finale
PArizona Diamondbacks
October 1, 2018
Ray allowed two runs on five hits and four walks across four innings Sunday in a no-decision against the Padres. He struck out eight.
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Strikes out seven in no-decision
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 25, 2018
Ray took a no-decision Monday in the Diamondbacks' 7-4 loss to the Dodgers, working five innings and giving up two runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out seven in the outing.
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Allows just one hit in win
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 20, 2018
Ray (6-2) got the win Wednesday, firing six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts against one hit and four walks versus the Cubs.
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Strikes out six in no-decision
PArizona Diamondbacks
September 14, 2018
Ray settled for a no-decision Friday night against the Astros, allowing two earned runs on two hits and three walks over 5.1 innings. He struck out six and also hit a batter.
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