Kenta Maeda
Kenta Maeda
31-Year-Old PitcherSP
Los Angeles Dodgers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Maeda began the season as starter, but finished it in the bullpen. He held opponents to a .233 average as a starter with a 28% strikeout rate, but as a reliever struck out 35% of the hitters he faced while opponents batted .265 against him. The 31 K-BB% out of the bullpen was elite, even if it was only 74 batters faced. Maeda's move to the 'pen was one related to a crowded house more than a degradation of skill, so don't assume his days as a starter are over. Maeda's skills play up in either role -- the lack of clarity around his role should not overly concern you if you are drafting early. The right-hander is a classic example of "draft skills, not role" in his current shape. Either way, you should realize a profit with Maeda as a late-round pick. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed an eight-year, $25 million contract with the Dodgers in January of 2016.
May work in relief this weekend
PLos Angeles Dodgers
July 18, 2019
Manager Dave Roberts said that Maeda will likely pitch an inning in relief Friday or Saturday against the Marlins before slotting back into the rotation Tuesday against the Angels, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
Maeda tossed two scoreless, no-hit innings in his start in Wednesday's 7-2 win over the Phillies, with his early departure coming as the result of a lengthy rain delay. Since he only tossed 35 pitches in the outing, Maeda won't need more than a day or two before being ready to contribute out of the bullpen. The relief appearance will essentially be the equivalent of a normal between-starts side session for the 31-year-old, who shouldn't face any strict workload limits when he rejoins the rotation next week.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-27%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-45%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-24%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-19%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .266 741 151 69 175 32 5 29
Since 2017vs Right .193 766 248 42 136 38 2 22
2019vs Left .257 214 44 24 48 6 2 9
2019vs Right .141 204 62 10 27 7 1 7
2018vs Left .276 249 58 25 61 13 3 8
2018vs Right .209 283 95 18 54 18 0 5
2017vs Left .263 278 49 20 66 13 0 12
2017vs Right .214 279 91 14 55 13 1 10
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-39%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-58%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-3%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-49%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 3.00 1.04 186.0 18 11 1 9.9 2.3 1.0
Since 2017Away 4.90 1.29 178.0 10 11 2 9.8 3.2 1.5
2019Home 2.22 0.80 52.2 5 2 0 9.1 2.1 1.2
2019Away 5.23 1.30 51.2 2 4 0 9.2 3.8 1.6
2018Home 3.76 1.28 64.2 5 8 0 11.1 3.1 1.0
2018Away 3.86 1.24 60.2 3 2 2 10.8 3.1 0.9
2017Home 2.88 0.99 68.2 8 1 1 9.4 1.8 0.9
2017Away 5.62 1.32 65.2 5 5 0 9.3 2.7 2.1
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Stat Review
How does Kenta Maeda 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
3.12
 
K/9
9.1
 
BB/9
2.9
 
HR/9
1.4
 
Fastball
91.8 mph
 
ERA
3.71
 
WHIP
1.04
 
BABIP
.239
 
GB/FB
0.97
 
Left On Base
76.2%
 
Exit Velocity
85.3 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
4.8%
 
Spin Rate
2128 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
27.7%
 
Swinging Strike
14.4%
 
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
Maeda improved slightly upon his strong strikeout and walk rates from his rookie season, but he missed time due to injury and was relegated to the bullpen on a couple of occasions. The Dodgers were also conservative in his starts, limiting Maeda's exposure to opposing lineups -- Maeda threw more than five innings just seven times all year, which led to a 40-inning drop in regular-season workload. Maeda throws five different pitches and he mixes them reasonably well, but he induced fewer swings on pitches out of the strike zone overall (29.9 percent O-Swing rate), struggled on the road (5.62 ERA) and continued to run into trouble against lefties (.263/.322/.458). Perhaps the biggest thing working against Maeda in fantasy is the fact that the Dodgers have evolved past the "workhorse" mentality, instead using the 10-day DL to rotate guys and keep them fresh. The skills are solid, but Maeda's workload will likely be capped once again.
Signed through 2023 for a total of $25 million (plus incentives), Maeda is already looking like one of the great bargains in baseball after his first season stateside. As the calendar turned to July, Maeda sat with a 2.82 ERA, and although he did slip some late in the year, he finished with 16 wins, strong ratios and an average of more than a strikeout per inning. Elbow issues drove his price down last offseason, and while Maeda made 32 regular-season starts, he required additional rest for 19 of them. The Dodgers want Maeda to add mass this offseason with the hope that his body will hold up to a heavier workload (and a more regular schedule) in 2017. Thirty more innings or so, even if they come with some regression with the ratios, could thrust Maeda into elite company among fantasy starters. Best of all, his cost may remain suppressed as the memory of his late-season struggles and injury concerns linger.
Maeda, who was regarded as the top pitcher in Japan, signed an eight-year deal with the Dodgers in the offseason. Comparisons to his most immediate predecessors, Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka, are a bit unfair, as both were historically unprecedented. Maeda probably isn't MLB ace material, as his K/9 rate has never exceeded 8.1, but it has also never fallen below 7.3, and his BB/9 rate has steadily hovered around 1.9. Maeda's success has come from limiting hits, and more recently, keeping the ball in the park. Maeda's fastball sits 89-92 mph with some movement, and it reaches 94 mph on occasion, and he features two variations of a slider. Above all, Maeda has been remarkably durable to this point, throwing at least 175 innings in each of the past seven seasons, but irregularities were found in his elbow during his physical with the Dodgers, which helps explain all the incentives in his contract.
Maeda entered 2014 regarded as the top pitcher in Japan after the departure of Masahiro Tanaka to MLB. While his W-L record declined to 11-9 and his ERA increased to a five-year high, he still had a 2.60 ERA with a 161:41 K:BB ratio in 187 innings. Still, the buzz about him moving to MLB declined and his team decided not to let him leave via the posting in 2015, even though he's said he wants to pitch in the U.S. He could be posted for the 2016 season and he'll be eligible for international free agency in 2017. When Maeda eventually does show up in the majors, fans expecting another Tanaka or Yu Darvish will probably be disappointed. Listed at 6-foot, 179 pounds, Maeda is physically smaller than Japan's recent exports. His arsenal of an 88-94 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup is more respectable than it is eye-popping. On the plus side, Maeda has good control, isn't home-run prone and offers a strong track record of health. He'll certainly be near the top of a big-league rotation when he decides to move to the States.
Maeda is regarded as the second best pitcher in Japan after Masahiro Tanaka. He went 15-7 with a 2.10 ERA and 158:40 K:BB ratio in 175.2 innings last season. When signing his 2014 contract with the Hiroshima Carp, Maeda declared his intent to move to MLB for 2015. He's been a reliable innings eater throughout his NPB career; and features a fastball at 90-94, and breaking pitch that traverses the plane from cutter to slider. He should figure prominently in a 2015 MLB rotation as a result.
More Fantasy News
Rain-shortened outing
PLos Angeles Dodgers
July 17, 2019
Maeda allowed no hits and two walks while striking out three across two scoreless innings Wednesday against the Phillies. He did not factor into the decision.
ANALYSIS
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Takes loss in Boston
PLos Angeles Dodgers
July 12, 2019
Maeda (7-6) gave up three runs on four hits and one walk while striking out seven in 5.2 innings to take the loss Friday in Boston.
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Fades late against Padres
PLos Angeles Dodgers
July 7, 2019
Maeda (7-5) took the loss Saturday, giving up three runs on four hits and a walk over 7.2 innings while striking out six as the Dodgers were downed 3-1 by the Padres.
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Turns in ho-hum outing
PLos Angeles Dodgers
June 30, 2019
Maeda allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five over 4.1 innings in a no-decision against the Rockies on Sunday.
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Next start coming Sunday
PLos Angeles Dodgers
June 26, 2019
Maeda will start Sunday against the Rockies, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
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