Sonny Gray
Sonny Gray
29-Year-Old PitcherSP
Cincinnati Reds
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Gray was much maligned in 2018. He drew the ire of Yankees fans and infamously smirked as he was booed off the home field Aug. 1 following a seven-run implosion. He was moved to the bullpen shortly thereafter and finished the season with a 4.90 ERA, almost a run and a half higher than his 2017 mark, though the ERA estimators all say he deserved better (4.17 FIP, 4.10 xFIP, 4.28 SIERA). His walk rate went in the wrong direction (9.8%), but he maintained an above-average 21.1% strikeout rate and 50% groundball rate. He had a 6.98 ERA at home but was much better when he got out of the band box in New York, posting a 3.17 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, .223 BAA and 0.38 HR/9 on the road. Yankee Stadium was a terrible fit for him, and while he landed in another extreme hitters' park in Cincinnati following a January trade, we still feel good about Gray's chances of bouncing back. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a three-year, $30.5 million contract extension with the Reds in January of 2019. Contract includes $12 million team option for 2023.
Dominates to earn ninth win
PCincinnati Reds
August 20, 2019
Gray (9-6) allowed one earned run on four hits and three walks while striking out 10 across six innings to earn the win Tuesday against the Padres.
ANALYSIS
Gray held the Padres scoreless through 5.2 innings, until he surrendered a solo home run to Josh Naylor. That didn't sour his spectacular performance as he generated 19 swinging strikes to back his second straight double-digit strikeout performance (third of the campaign). Through 138.2 innings, Gray now owns a 2.92 ERA and 1.12 WHIP to go along with 164 strikeouts for the season. He's shown no signs of slowing down, allowing just one earned run across his last 24 innings -- a span of four starts. He'll look to keep things going in his next appearance, currently scheduled for Monday at Miami.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-8%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-12%
BAA vs LHP
2018
 
 
-10%
BAA vs LHP
2017
 
 
-4%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .223 836 202 83 166 32 1 20
Since 2017vs Right .242 985 238 84 213 49 2 27
2019vs Left .192 248 73 25 42 5 0 7
2019vs Right .217 313 91 28 60 12 1 7
2018vs Left .255 276 59 30 62 13 0 6
2018vs Right .284 306 64 27 76 21 0 8
2017vs Left .221 312 70 28 62 14 1 7
2017vs Right .231 366 83 29 77 16 1 12
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-31%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-7%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-55%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-20%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 4.42 1.33 224.0 19 11 0 9.0 3.7 1.2
Since 2017Away 3.04 1.19 207.1 11 16 0 9.4 3.3 0.7
2019Home 3.01 1.10 74.2 8 2 0 11.0 2.9 1.0
2019Away 2.81 1.14 64.0 1 4 0 10.3 4.1 0.8
2018Home 6.98 1.90 59.1 4 4 0 6.8 5.3 1.7
2018Away 3.17 1.15 71.0 7 5 0 9.9 2.8 0.4
2017Home 3.90 1.16 90.0 7 5 0 8.7 3.2 1.1
2017Away 3.11 1.27 72.1 3 7 0 8.2 3.1 1.0
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Stat Review
How does Sonny Gray 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
3.09
 
K/9
10.6
 
BB/9
3.4
 
HR/9
0.9
 
Fastball
93.4 mph
 
ERA
2.92
 
WHIP
1.12
 
BABIP
.279
 
GB/FB
1.91
 
Left On Base
79.8%
 
Exit Velocity
88.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
6.6%
 
Spin Rate
2598 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
34.5%
 
Swinging Strike
11.6%
 
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Gray rebounded from a nightmarish, injury-plagued 2016 campaign with the Athletics to rehabilitate his trade value and become arguably the top arm on the trade market before he was dealt to the Yankees on July 31. The right-hander didn’t really move the needle for the team’s playoff hopes by posting a 3.72 ERA and surrendering 11 homers (including eight at Yankee Stadium) over 11 starts, but he at least provided the team with another dependable innings eater behind ace Luis Severino. Along with enjoying better health, the key to Gray’s turnaround was making more use of his off-speed offerings, which aided him to an 8.4 K/9 rate, his best mark since his rookie year. With a full season in the Bronx awaiting him, Gray could struggle to curb the home-run problem that has plagued him the last two years, but it seems he has discovered a pitch mix that should allow him to avoid another disaster on the level of 2016.
The A's really screwed the pooch by not trading Gray last offseason, as the team has few assets and Gray's value had nowhere to go but down. Now coming off a disaster campaign and becoming increasingly expensive as the right-hander accrues service time, Gray's trade value is at an all-time low, and the A's find themselves in the unenviable position of having to either accept 50 cents on their trade dollar or to sit back and pay to see whether Gray can reestablish his market value. That's not to say that Gray's disastrous 2016 season was bound to happen, but as a pitcher with a very modest strikeout rate, his ultimate value was largely determined by results on balls in play, factors that are largely outside his control. He will look to resurrect his value in 2017 and the A's will give him every opportunity to do so, but he is a two-category pitcher as long as he's in Oakland and those two categories fell apart last season.
Gray followed up his successful first full MLB season in 2014 with a 2.73 ERA and 14 wins over 31 starts in 2015. Gray was one of the Cy Young favorites into September, but a few late season blow-ups pushed his ERA up more than a half point in the last month of the season. Gray did not rediscover his strikeouts from his initial big league debut (9.4 K/9 in 2013), but he did manage to cut his walks down from 3.0 BB/9 in 2014 to 2.6 in 2015. Gray supplements his average strikeout rate by limiting line drives with his 16.6-percent line drive rate — good for fourth best among all qualified starters in 2015. Gray now has two and a half fantastic seasons under his belt and while he will not get you the elite strikeouts of some of the top aces, he gets to pitch half his games in a spacious pitcher's park. It is possible that his struggles in September could push his ADP back a little bit as people may forget just how great he was for the first five months.
After a great half-season in 2013 followed by a gem against the Tigers in the ALDS, the hype was high for Gray heading into 2014 and all he did was live up to it. In his first full season, Gray won 14 games and put up a 3.08 ERA over 219 innings. His K/9 rate fell from 9.5 in 2013 to 7.5 in 2014, but that was somewhat expected with the large uptick in innings as the strikeouts really dropped off in the second half. Gray appeared to be tiring late in the year after entering August with an ERA of 2.65, but he seemed to find a second wind with a 2.25 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning over his last five starts. Gray also added to his reputation as a fantastic big-game pitcher, throwing a complete game shutout gem on the final day of the regular season to get the A's into the playoffs. The sky appears to be the limit for Gray and he should be drafted even higher in 2015, especially since he gets to pitch half his games in a spacious home park.
Gray was the A's top pitching prospect coming into 2013, and he exceeded any and all expectations upon his call-up to the A's as a starter in August. He made 10 starts with the A's and won five games, while putting up a 2.85 ERA with a 9.2 K/9. He later capped off his season with an eight-inning shutout of the Tigers in Game 2 of the ALDS. Gray features a fastball that sits in the low 90s, but he also has an exceptional curveball that he uses to strike batters out. He has a rotation spot locked up in 2014, and his future appears to be quite sunny.
Gray was selected 18th overall in the 2011 draft out of Vanderbilt. In his first full season in the minors, Gray had some growing pains compiling a 4.26 ERA in 27 starts, all but one of which were in Double-A. He has a live fastball and also possesses a curveball that was ranked as the best in the 2011 draft. Gray's strikeout rate fell way off from his six-start debut in 2011 as he only struck out 5.9 K/9 in 2012. Going into last season, it was assumed that Gray would be in the A's rotation at some point in 2013, but it looks like more seasoning is in order. For his development, 2013 will be a big year for Gray to put some results together to show he was worthy of his first-round selection.
Gray was the A's first-round selection in the June draft and was immediately tasked with facing Double-A hitters following a collegiate career at Vanderbilt. His professional debut went well during a five-start stretch with Double-A Midland. He's not an imposing figure on the mound, but does a nice job of keeping the ball on the ground and figures to spend a good chunk of the season at Triple-A Sacramento after proving that he's solved Midland to begin the year.
More Fantasy News
Dominates Cardinals
PCincinnati Reds
August 15, 2019
Gray (8-6) picked up the win against the Cardinals on Thursday, giving up no runs on just one hit over five innings, striking out 10 and walking three as the Reds won 2-1.
ANALYSIS
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Fans seven in win over Cubs
PCincinnati Reds
August 11, 2019
Gray (7-6) allowed two hits and four walks while striking out seven over six scoreless innings in a win over the Cubs on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
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Tosses seven scoreless
PCincinnati Reds
August 4, 2019
Gray threw seven shutout innings with four hits and four walks along with seven strikeouts during a no-decision against the Braves on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Gives up four runs in win
PCincinnati Reds
July 29, 2019
Gray (6-6) gave up four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out three through 5.1 innings to take the win over the Pirates on Monday.
ANALYSIS
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Start pushed back
PCincinnati Reds
July 25, 2019
Gray will start Monday against the Pirates.
ANALYSIS
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