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.
Hit hard by Cubs
PLos Angeles Dodgers
April 23, 2019
Maeda (3-2) allowed six earned runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out five across four innings to take the loss Tuesday against the Cubs.
Maeda was hit hard early, allowing four earned runs in his first inning of work and all six of his earned runs in the first two frames. It's been an up-and-down campaign for him already, as this was his second start having allowed five or more earned runs. However, across his other three starts he's allowed just five earned runs in 18.1 innings.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .271 586 120 52 142 28 3 23
Since 2017vs Right .213 622 198 38 121 35 2 17
2019vs Left .288 59 13 7 15 2 0 3
2019vs Right .231 60 12 6 12 4 1 2
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
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 3.25 1.13 146.2 15 9 1 10.0 2.5 1.0
Since 2017Away 5.05 1.34 140.2 9 9 2 9.9 3.1 1.5
2019Home 2.70 1.05 13.1 2 0 0 7.4 3.4 2.0
2019Away 7.53 1.81 14.1 1 2 0 8.8 5.0 1.3
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.
91.7 mph
Strand %
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kenta Maeda
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Denied two-start week
PLos Angeles Dodgers
April 18, 2019
Maeda is expected to make his next start April 23 in the Dodgers' series opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Ken Gurnick of reports.
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Yields one run in win
PLos Angeles Dodgers
April 16, 2019
Maeda (3-1) allowed one run on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks across 6.2 innings during a victory against the Reds on Tuesday.
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Gives up five runs
PLos Angeles Dodgers
April 10, 2019
Maeda (2-1) gave up five runs on seven hits with one walk while striking out five through 5.1 innings in a loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday.
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Tosses five strong innings
PLos Angeles Dodgers
April 5, 2019
Maeda (2-0) picked up the win after allowing one run on four hits and four walks while striking out four over five innings Friday against Colorado.
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Wins despite giving up three homers
PLos Angeles Dodgers
March 30, 2019
Maeda (1-0) earned a victory, allowing three runs on five hits over 6.2 innings against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. He struck out six and walked two.
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