Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola
27-Year-Old PitcherSP
Philadelphia Phillies
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Nola was a rare bright spot on the Phillies' pitching staff last season, posting a 3.28 ERA in 12 starts, the second-best mark of his six-year career. That helped him to a seventh-place finish in the NL Cy Young race, his second top-10 showing in the last three seasons. There's a case he deserved even better, as Baseball Prospectus' DRA pegged him as the top starter in the NL, while his 2.79 xFIP ranked second. His big improvement last season came in his strikeout rate, which had settled in between 25% and 27% in that category over the previous four seasons but jumped all the way up to 33.2% last year, good for sixth among qualified starters, just ahead of Gerrit Cole. That jump was backed up by an increase in his whiff rate from 26.6% to 31.3%. If those gains hold in 2021, he could move into the back of the top tier of fantasy arms, jumping up from the solid second-tier option he's been in recent seasons. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#22
ADP
$Signed a four-year, $45 million contract extension with the Phillies in February of 2019. Contract includes $16 million team option for 2023.
Tosses shutout against Cardinals
PPhiladelphia Phillies
April 18, 2021
Nola (1-1) allowed two hits and no walks while striking out 10 in nine scoreless innings to earn the win against the Cardinals on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
Nola was tagged with the loss in his last outing, but he bounced back with a dominant performance against St. Louis on Sunday. The right-hander gave up singles in the second and eighth innings, but he didn't encounter much trouble in the first complete game of his career. Through his first four starts of the season, Nola has posted a 2.19 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 24.2 innings. He lines up to make his next start of the season against the Rockies at hitter-friendly Coors Field on Saturday.
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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
94
Last 10 Games
94
Last 5 Games
94
How many pitches does Aaron Nola 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 Aaron Nola 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
 
 
-5%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-9%
BAA vs RHP
2020
Even Split
2019
 
 
-5%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .231 555 152 57 113 29 3 14
Since 2019vs Right .220 676 197 47 135 23 0 23
2021vs Left .229 53 15 3 11 3 0 1
2021vs Right .208 49 13 0 10 3 0 0
2020vs Left .202 126 32 15 22 11 0 2
2020vs Right .201 151 60 6 29 1 0 7
2019vs Left .240 376 105 39 80 15 3 11
2019vs Right .227 476 124 41 96 19 0 16
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-46%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-75%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-35%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-44%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 2.65 1.08 176.2 10 3 0 10.9 3.1 0.9
Since 2019Away 4.88 1.34 118.0 8 9 0 10.2 3.2 1.5
2021Home 1.37 0.81 19.2 1 0 0 9.6 0.9 0.5
2021Away 5.40 1.60 5.0 0 1 0 12.6 1.8 0.0
2020Home 2.50 0.81 39.2 3 1 0 12.0 2.7 0.9
2020Away 3.86 1.29 28.0 2 3 0 11.9 2.6 1.6
2019Home 2.91 1.21 117.1 6 2 0 10.7 3.6 0.9
2019Away 5.19 1.34 85.0 6 5 0 9.5 3.5 1.6
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Aaron Nola 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
9.33
 
K/9
10.2
 
BB/9
1.1
 
HR/9
0.4
 
Fastball
92.2 mph
 
ERA
2.19
 
WHIP
0.97
 
BABIP
.325
 
GB/FB
1.45
 
Left On Base
79.6%
 
Exit Velocity
82.0 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
3.2%
 
Spin Rate
1958 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
24.8%
 
Swinging Strike
13.0%
 
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 Aaron Nola
FanDuel MLB: Sunday Targets
2 days ago
Chris Morgan likes Franmil Reyes as someone who can provide pop at a reasonable salary.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Just Another Marathon Monday
3 days ago
Todd Zola ranks the week's starting pitchers, as Lucas Giolito gets two starts, including the Patriots' Day game in Boston on Monday morning.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Pocket Aces Abound
10 days ago
Todd Zola ranks the week's starting pitching as a number of aces are scheduled for two starts, including the Yankees' Gerrit Cole.
Fantasy Baseball Podcast: Ranking Two-Start Pitchers!
11 days ago
Todd Zola and Clay Link look at the RotoWire Steak League pickups before grading all of next week's two-start options on a 0-5 scale for the Week of April 12th.
DraftKings MLB: Wednesday Breakdown
13 days ago
Mike Barner sets the table for Wednesday's DraftKings offering, recommending a Twins stack against Matthew Boyd and the Tigers.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Nola was poor at both ends of the 2019 season, posting a 6.84 ERA over his first five starts and a 6.51 mark over his final five. In between those two stretches, he was in vintage form, recording a 2.89 ERA and a 27.1 K%. The entire season's stats count, of course, so those who drafted Nola likely weren't happy with his 3.87 ERA overall. The 26-year-old doesn't appear to have been a victim of too much bad luck, as that figure was right around his 4.03 FIP and 3.82 xFIP. His walk rate took a big step back, jumping from 7.0% to 9.4%, a worrying development given that command and control have been Nola's calling card for the entirety of his career. There's still plenty of upside here, as the good version of Nola is just a small step outside baseball's top tier of starting pitchers, but last year's version was a merely good pitcher. The Phillies will hope a new regime brings out the best in their ace.
Nola reached new heights in 2018, putting himself in the Cy Young conversation for the first time during his fourth big-league season. He held onto gains in his fastball velocity and reached career highs in starts (33), innings (212.1) and strikeout rate (27%) while recording a career-low 2.37 ERA. Regression will likely come for Nola to a certain extent, as he beat his FIP by 64 points despite the Phillies having one of the worst defenses in recent memory. He doesn't have a history of outperforming his peripherals (despite the sort of command-driven profile often associated with that outcome), so his low ERA can be attributed at least in part to a .251 BABIP and an 82.5% strand rate. Still, improvements in the Phillies' defense could offset some of the inevitable regression, and he has plenty of room to fall back and still be a very valuable pitcher.
Derailed by an elbow injury in 2016, Nola looked like he could have his development stunted again after a back strain forced him to the DL for about a month early last season. Much to the delight of fantasy owners, Nola returned to action in late May and re-established himself as the Phillies' unquestioned ace, turning in a 3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 4.1 K/BB from June onward. With the elbow issues behind him, Nola noticed increased velocity from all three of his offerings last season, supporting his case for remaining a strikeout-per-inning pitcher going forward. As he embarks on his age-25 campaign, Nola won't stand to see much of a bump in his win total unless the Phillies' rebuilding effort takes a quantum leap forward, but with his health sound heading into spring training, he profiles as a strong three-category pillar with some dark-horse Cy Young potential if he can reach 200 innings and/or 200 strikeouts.
Nola entered 2016 with high expectations and delivered early on with a 2.65 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 through his first 12 starts. Things started to go downhill in June as Nola started to struggle with his command and became more hittable. He insisted he was healthy, but by late July it was clear he was not. The velocity on his sinker, which typically sits around 91 mph, was down to 88.3 mph. The Phillies placed him on the disabled list and he was diagnosed with a sprained UCL, which ended his season. Nola received a platelet-rich plasma injection in August and was able to begin a throwing program in late September. There is no guarantee Nola will avoid having surgery, but he made it through his offseason rehab program and will be ready for a normal spring training. He'll be a risky investment given his elbow issue, but he could return significant value if he finds his form from early last season.
When Nola was taken with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft, the expectation was that he would make it to the majors quickly. A little over one year later he was in the majors and became the ace of a very thin Phillies pitching staff. Nola's fastball averages just 90.5 mph, but he has excellent command and keeps hitters off-balance with a sinker, curve and changeup. Nola was really tough on right-handed batters, holding them to a .212 batting average against, but he needs to find an out pitch against lefties as they hit .310 against him. Nola's future is bright but expectations should be somewhat tempered. He does not possess big-time strikeout ability and will pitch for what should be one of the worst teams in the majors this year. Long term, he seems likely to settle in as a solid mid-rotation starter.
Nola, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft, went a combined 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA and 45:10 K:BB in 55.1 innings between High-A and Double-A after signing with the Phillies in June. Nola commands all three of his pitches very well, mixing a 91-93 mph fastball with sink, a changeup that occasionally flashes as a plus offering, and a slider. His ceiling may not be as high as the other elite starting pitchers in the 2014 draft class, but he presents the highest floor of the bunch and is likely to be the first starter from the class to reach the big leagues, perhaps as soon as this season.
More Fantasy News
Takes loss Tuesday
PPhiladelphia Phillies
April 13, 2021
Nola (0-1) took the loss in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Mets, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings as the Phillies fell 4-0. He struck out seven.
ANALYSIS
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Early exit in no-decision
PPhiladelphia Phillies
April 7, 2021
Nola didn't factor into the decision in Wednesday's 8-2 win over the Mets, allowing one run on six hits and two walks over four innings. He struck out five.
ANALYSIS
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Strong on Opening Day
PPhiladelphia Phillies
April 1, 2021
Nola allowed two earned runs on six hits and no walks while striking out six across 6.2 innings Thursday against the Braves. He did not factor into the decision.
ANALYSIS
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Earns expected Opening Day nod
PPhiladelphia Phillies
March 22, 2021
Nola will start on Opening Day against Atlanta on April 1, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Experimenting with cutter
PPhiladelphia Phillies
March 16, 2021
Nola is testing out a cutter this spring, Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times reports.
ANALYSIS
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