Lucas Giolito
Lucas Giolito
26-Year-Old PitcherSP
Chicago White Sox
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Giolito was the worst starting pitcher in baseball in 2018 and some projection systems continue to ding him for that season. Track record matters and we can't pretend that season never happened, but Giolito is a unique case in that he is a fundamentally different pitcher than he was then. After the 2018 campaign, Giolito completely overhauled his arm action and delivery, ditched his sinker in favor of more four-seamers and later changed the grip on his slider. The change back to something resembling his high school mechanics paid immediate dividends and fueled his confidence, culminating in Giolito throwing one of the two no-hitters in the majors in 2020. He threw his changeup more frequently than ever in 2020 en route to a top-five strikeout rate among qualified starters (33.7%). James McCann and his framing are gone, but that's not reason enough to think Giolito won't finish among the elite. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#18
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $4.15 million contract with the White Sox in January of 2021.
Solid in quality start
PChicago White Sox
June 16, 2021
Giolito allowed three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven in six innings of Wednesday's 8-7 win over the Rays. He did not factor into the decision.
ANALYSIS
The righty cruised through four innings before yielding two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth. Despite leaving the game with a 7-3 lead, Giolito did not earn a win thanks to his bullpen's failures in the ensuing innings. He has now logged a quality start in five of his last six outings. Giolito is expected to make his next start Tuesday against the Pirates, whom he no-hit a season ago.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
98
Last 10 Games
102
Last 5 Games
102
How many pitches does Lucas Giolito generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Lucas Giolito generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-24%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-30%
BAA vs LHP
2020
 
 
-5%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-27%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .174 677 220 62 106 24 2 20
Since 2019vs Right .229 649 208 50 135 24 4 28
2021vs Left .171 170 55 17 26 5 1 4
2021vs Right .243 163 48 10 37 7 1 12
2020vs Left .180 170 59 19 27 6 0 5
2020vs Right .190 118 38 9 20 2 0 3
2019vs Left .172 337 106 26 53 13 1 11
2019vs Right .235 368 122 31 78 15 3 13
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-16%
ERA on Road
2021
 
 
-29%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-29%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-30%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 3.83 1.06 178.2 9 13 0 11.4 3.3 1.4
Since 2019Away 3.20 1.08 152.0 14 4 0 11.9 2.8 1.2
2021Home 3.35 1.06 51.0 2 4 0 11.1 2.8 1.8
2021Away 4.70 1.17 30.2 3 1 0 11.7 3.2 1.8
2020Home 3.95 1.04 43.1 2 3 0 11.2 3.9 0.8
2020Away 2.79 1.03 29.0 2 0 0 13.3 2.8 1.2
2019Home 4.06 1.07 84.1 5 6 0 11.7 3.2 1.5
2019Away 2.83 1.06 92.1 9 3 0 11.5 2.6 1.0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Lucas Giolito 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 2019 data (min 120 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
3.81
 
K/9
11.4
 
BB/9
3.0
 
HR/9
1.8
 
Fastball
93.8 mph
 
ERA
3.86
 
WHIP
1.10
 
BABIP
.270
 
GB/FB
0.88
 
Left On Base
76.9%
 
Exit Velocity
80.8 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
4.8%
 
Spin Rate
2035 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
22.4%
 
Swinging Strike
16.0%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Lucas Giolito
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Status Quo, at Least for Now
2 days ago
Todd Zola ranks the starting pitchers for the upcoming week, where Miami's Trevor Rogers has officially arrived as he cracks the Top 5.
MLB Betting: Futures Update
7 days ago
Michael Rathburn takes a look at the futures market and identifies some wagers to target as we approach the midway point of the season.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Towering Above the Rest
9 days ago
Todd Zola ranks the week's starting pitching as Rays ace Tyler Glasnow is leaps and bounds ahead of the pack.
MLB Betting: Friday Best Bets
10 days ago
Joe Sheehan runs through the entire Friday night slate with bets for all 13 games, ranging from run lines and First Five Inning wagers to totals and a home run prop.
FanDuel MLB: Friday Targets
10 days ago
Chris Bennett tees up Friday's slate, recommending Royals catcher Sal Perez against Oakland.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Giolito posted the highest ERA among qualified starters in 2018, then reinvented himself, spending the offseason working on a shorter delivery, adding a couple more ticks to his fastball along with more spin to his curve and slider. He also reworked his arsenal, bagging his sinker, the pitch he threw second-most often in 2018, cutting back on his curve while using his fastball and change more. The result was a swinging-strike rate of 15%, compared to 8.3% the previous season. Giolito's control also improved, helping post a 24.3 K-BB%, sixth best among qualified starters. After five starts, Giolito's 5.32 ERA and 1.44 WHIP weren't encouraging, then his offseason work manifested, and he went 3.12/1.01 the rest of the way. Giolito finished strong, boding well for owning his new skills. Don't be afraid to invest, especially since he stands to gain with expert framer Yasmani Grandal in town.
It is easy to forget that Giolito was once the 16th overall pick of the 2012 draft, and that was only because he was injured in high school and everyone knew he needed Tommy John surgery. He went on to be considered the top pitching prospect in baseball from 2015-16, but Giolito's pitches have really backed up in recent years. He also has an inconsistent grasp of where those pitches are going (to put it nicely). His 6.13 ERA was by far the worst in the majors for all qualified starters and his 11.6% walk rate also brought up the rear. Fifteen of his 32 starts were of the quality variety, but his bad outings were extreme as he gave up five or more earned runs in 10 outings. Only Mike Leake had a lower strikeout percentage among qualified pitchers. It is important to be aware of a player's pedigree, and while Giolito has it in spades, his stuff and command are simply not befitting of a player we should expect significant improvement from.
The former top prospect posted sparkling numbers in seven starts for the White Sox, bouncing back from a miserable debut with the Nationals, but was it real or an illusion? By most measures, it was the latter; Giolito did miss more bats, but still had a modest 19 percent strikeout rate, and home runs were once again a problem (eight allowed in 45.1 innings). The right-hander showed improvement with his control (2.4 BB/9), but the ERA estimators suggest Giolito was closer to a 4.50 ERA pitcher, with luck playing a significant role in his surface stats (92 percent strand rate, .189 BABIP). Giolito saw another dip in fastball velocity -- his average settled at just over 92 mph -- and his larger body of work at Triple-A left a lot to be desired. His 10.1 percent swinging-strike rate and 62 percent first-pitch strike rate hint at room for strikeout growth, but the team context works against him, and there will likely be more bumps in the road.
Giolito began the year in Double-A and ended it in the majors, but it wasn't exactly a completely successful season for the phenom. He put up strong, but not truly dominant, numbers in the high minors but struggled with his command and control with Washington, resulting in walk and home run rates out of character for Giolito compared to his minor league work. End-of-season fatigue may have been a factor, as his fastball was averaging 93.4 mph in the majors instead of popping the high 90s, but his workload only increased marginally from 2015, so whispers about his health inevitably followed (he's had Tommy John once already). At his best, the right-hander still features that explosive fastball, plus a hammer curve and changeup that could soon surpass the curve as an out pitch, and an offseason of rest might be all he needs to regain his top-shelf stuff and seize hold of a spot in the White Sox's rotation. It's also possible that despite his scouting reports, he takes a while to adjust to the majors -- his numbers last year bear some similarities to Kevin Gausman's the season he broke into the majors as a 22-year-old.
This could be the year when Giolito goes from highly-touted prospect to mainstream ace. Three years removed from Tommy John surgery, the Nationals will set him loose on big league hitters when a need in the rotation arises. He cruised through High-A and Double-A in his age 20/21 season, but the numbers do not do him justice. He had a 1.96 FIP in 69.2 innings at High-A and a 3.18 FIP in 47.1 innings at Double-A. His combination of a plus-plus fastball and a borderline 80-grade curveball is something few pitchers on the planet can boast. He also has the potential for a plus changeup in two or three years, with above average command to boot. In short, this is a future ace. His body is built to log innings and his arsenal is built to embarrass big league hitters, the latter of which should begin sometime this summer.
Now two years removed from his Tommy John surgery, Giolito looked every inch the future ace as he tore through the South Atlantic League, posting outstanding 10.1 K/9 and 3.9 K/BB ratios over a restricted workload of 98 innings. The tall, young right-hander already possesses a high-90s fastball and power curve that will overmatch just about anybody he faces in A-ball, so the Nationals are focused on building up his stamina and having him develop his changeup into a quality offering, something which could be the difference between Giolito being merely good in the majors or being one of the best in the game. The club has no reason to rush him given their loaded major league rotation, so Giolito could easily spend two more seasons or more in the minors before getting the call, but at the moment, all signs point to dynasty owners being amply rewarded down the road for their patience.
The Nationals' 2012 first-round pick made an impressive return from Tommy John surgery, albeit in very limited work, and struck out 39 batters in 36.2 innings between rookie ball and Low-A while flashing the same high octane fastball, power curve and developing changeup that made him a much-ballyhooed high schooler prior to his surgery. The Nats are notoriously conservative with recovering pitchers so expect Giolito to be on a strict innings cap this season, but even in limited work he's more than capable of emerging as one of the game's elite pitching prospects. A violent delivery and spindly frame, the usual recipe for control and injury issues, might be the only thing keeping him from tearing into the majors as soon as 2015.
The 16th overall pick in the draft went under the knife for the least surprising Tommy John surgery ever in August, and the Nationals do not expect to get anything for their $3 million signing bonus until 2014. Giolito could be worth the wait though. Were it not for his elbow trouble he very well might have gone first overall, as high schoolers with prototypical power pitcher builds and fastballs that light up the third digit on the radar gun tend to get scouts drooling. It will be a long road back for Giolito, but if any team can get the most out of him it would be the Nats (see: Strasburg, Stephen and Zimmermann, Jordan).
More Fantasy News
Misses out on win
PChicago White Sox
June 12, 2021
Giolito allowed two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out nine over six innings in a no-decision Friday in a 5-4 extra-inning win over Detroit.
ANALYSIS
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Handed loss Saturday
PChicago White Sox
June 5, 2021
Giolito (5-5) took the loss Saturday against Detroit, surrendering four runs on seven hits while striking out nine across seven innings.
ANALYSIS
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Fans 12 in win
PChicago White Sox
May 30, 2021
Giolito (5-4) allowed a run on three hits and three walks with 12 strikeouts in seven innings in a win over Baltimore on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Turns in another strong effort
PChicago White Sox
May 25, 2021
Giolito (4-4) allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks while striking out five across six innings to earn the win Tuesday against the Cardinals.
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Whiffs 11 in eight frames
PChicago White Sox
May 19, 2021
Giolito (3-4) recorded 11 strikeouts and earned the win Wednesday at Minnesota after giving up one run on two hits and three walks over eight innings.
ANALYSIS
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