Kenta Maeda
Kenta Maeda
30-Year-Old PitcherSP
Los Angeles Dodgers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Agreed to an eight-year deal with the Dodgers in December of 2015 worth $25 million guaranteed.
Earns save No. 2
PLos Angeles Dodgers
September 8, 2018
Maeda struck out one in a two-out save against the Rockies on Friday.
ANALYSIS
Maeda came into the ninth inning with a two-run lead and got DJ LeMahieu to fly out before striking out Nolan Arenado to earn his second save of the year. Closer Kenley Jansen (chest) is ruled out for the series against the Rockies, so save opportunities fall to Maeda and Ryan Madson for the time being. With Madson having pitched in three of the last four games, it made sense for the ball to be given to the more-rested Maeda.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-17%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-21%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-19%
BAA vs RHP
2016
 
 
-14%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .259 861 170 78 199 40 4 29
Since 2016vs Right .214 933 300 49 185 38 2 25
2018vs Left .272 245 56 25 59 13 3 7
2018vs Right .214 276 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
2016vs Left .247 338 65 33 74 14 1 10
2016vs Right .213 378 114 17 76 7 1 10
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-25%
ERA at Home
2018
 
 
-2%
ERA at Home
2017
 
 
-49%
ERA at Home
2016
 
 
-14%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 3.28 1.15 219.1 20 14 1 9.9 2.6 1.0
Since 2016Away 4.35 1.21 212.0 17 12 2 9.6 2.7 1.3
2018Home 3.80 1.30 64.0 5 8 0 11.1 3.1 1.0
2018Away 3.86 1.25 58.1 3 1 2 11.1 3.2 0.8
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
2016Home 3.22 1.18 86.2 7 5 0 9.5 2.8 1.0
2016Away 3.74 1.10 89.0 9 6 0 8.9 2.3 1.0
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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.
K/BB
3.53
 
K/9
11.1
 
BB/9
3.1
 
HR/9
0.9
 
Fastball
91.9 mph
 
ERA
3.80
 
WHIP
1.27
 
BABIP
.341
 
GB/FB
1.36
 
Strand %
72.2%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
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
To share closing duties over weekend
PLos Angeles Dodgers
September 7, 2018
Maeda and Ryan Madson figure to be top candidates to close games during the Dodgers' weekend series against Colorado, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Claims win in relief
PLos Angeles Dodgers
September 2, 2018
Maeda (8-8) was the pitcher of record in Saturday's 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks after striking out two in a perfect eighth inning.
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Top option to close
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 17, 2018
Manager Dave Roberts stated there's a good chance Maeda will be called upon for the ninth inning in a save situation Friday against the Mariners, David Vassegh of AM 570 LA Sports reports.
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Falters in ninth inning
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 15, 2018
Maeda was charged with a loss after giving up a run on three hits while striking out one over an inning against the Giants on Tuesday.
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Officially moved to bullpen
PLos Angeles Dodgers
August 12, 2018
Maeda will move to the bullpen, Pedro Moura of The Athletic Los Angeles reports.
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