Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer
36-Year-Old PitcherSP
Washington Nationals
Day-To-Day
Injury Ankle
2021 Fantasy Outlook
One of the greatest pitchers of his generation, Scherzer is still going strong at 36 years old. He was famously scratched from Game 5 of the 2019 World Series with neck and back spasms, and dealt with a side issue in spring training before the season was suspended. The right-hander then battled a hamstring injury early in August, but Scherzer ended up taking the ball 12 times for the Nationals and totaling 67.1 innings (23rd in MLB). While the results may not have been quite what we have come to expect from Scherzer, he remained among the elite starting pitchers in terms of strikeout rate (31.2%). His opponents' hit rate and HR/9 were career worsts, and his 7.8 BB% was his worst mark in a decade, hinting at a bit of lost command as Father Time closes in. The dip in performance and recent injuries have created a slight discount as he's going in the second or third round on average in early drafts. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#29
ADP
$Signed a seven-year, $210 million contract with the Nationals in January of 2015.
Tracking toward Friday start
PWashington Nationals
Ankle
March 2, 2021
Scherzer (ankle) is lined up to start Friday against the Cardinals if his bullpen session Wednesday goes well, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Scherzer came into camp carrying a left ankle sprain, though the Nationals have never seemed particularly worried about the issue. He's being brought along somewhat cautiously but still has plenty of time to get up to speed by the start of the season. The veteran has yet to throw a live batting practice session, but the team is comfortable throwing him right into game action as long as he checks out fine after his bullpen session.
Read More News
Pitching Stats
Loading Pitching Stats...
2020
2019
2018
2017
2020 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
FantasyDraft
Head2Head
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2019 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
FantasyDraft
Head2Head
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2018 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
FantasyDraft
Head2Head
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2017 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
FantasyDraft
Head2Head
Loading Pitching Game Log...
Minor League Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Loading Minor League Pitching Game Log...
Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
101
Last 10 Games
100
Last 5 Games
112
How many pitches does Max Scherzer 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 Max Scherzer 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 2018
 
 
-21%
BAA vs RHP
2020
 
 
-37%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-24%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-9%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2018vs Left .236 931 283 67 200 52 4 28
Since 2018vs Right .187 912 349 39 161 39 2 21
2020vs Left .314 151 40 12 43 8 1 5
2020vs Right .197 133 49 10 24 4 0 3
2019vs Left .255 328 102 23 76 24 0 11
2019vs Right .193 365 141 10 68 19 0 7
2018vs Left .197 452 141 32 81 20 3 12
2018vs Right .179 414 159 19 69 16 2 11
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2018
 
 
-12%
ERA on Road
2020
 
 
-34%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-16%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-2%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2018Home 3.01 1.03 263.1 16 10 0 12.5 2.3 1.1
Since 2018Away 2.65 1.02 197.0 18 8 0 12.2 1.8 0.9
2020Home 4.42 1.45 36.2 2 2 0 12.8 3.7 1.5
2020Away 2.93 1.30 30.2 3 2 0 11.7 2.3 1.2
2019Home 3.16 1.09 94.0 4 5 0 12.4 2.2 1.1
2019Away 2.64 0.96 78.1 7 2 0 13.0 1.1 0.8
2018Home 2.51 0.87 132.2 10 3 0 12.6 2.0 1.0
2018Away 2.56 0.97 88.0 8 4 0 11.8 2.3 0.8
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Max Scherzer 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
4.00
 
K/9
12.3
 
BB/9
3.1
 
HR/9
1.3
 
Fastball
94.7 mph
 
ERA
3.74
 
WHIP
1.38
 
BABIP
.380
 
GB/FB
0.97
 
Left On Base
79.7%
 
Exit Velocity
81.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.0%
 
Spin Rate
2308 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
23.5%
 
Swinging Strike
15.6%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
Loading Advanced Pitching Stats...
Defensive Stats
Loading MLB Defensive Stats...
Stats Vs Today's Lineup
Want more matchup stats?
Loading Matchup Stats...
Our full team depth charts are reserved for RotoWire subscribers.
Subscribe Now
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Max Scherzer
Fantasy Baseball Podcast: Pham, Scherzer News, plus Attacking Weak Categories After Pick 200
2 days ago
Jeff Erickson and Scott Jenstad discuss the latest player news, what look for during Spring Training, and how to attack weak categories at the end of your draft.
MLB: Beat Chris Liss 2
5 days ago
Liss took eight straight hitters to start his draft, including Christian Yelich at pick 1.8.
The Z Files: Changing Wins to Innings and Saves to Solds
5 days ago
Todd Zola examines the impact of new scoring categories on the pitching side, including the rise in value of top set-up men like Tyler Duffey.
Fantasy Baseball Podcast: Dynasty Talk with Ian Kahn
6 days ago
James Anderson and Senior MLB Editor Clay Link are joined by The Athletic's Ian Kahn to discuss how to properly run your Dynasty team.
Farm Futures: Dynasty Rankings Update
14 days ago
James Anderson breaks down his dynasty rankings update, including his controversial rank of Mets slugger Pete Alonso, and provides updates on a couple big dynasty leagues he participates in.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
For the first time since 2012, Scherzer failed to eclipse the 200-inning plateau as he visited the IL twice. His first stint was due to an inflamed bursa sac, requiring a cortisone injection. Soon after coming back, Scherzer returned to the IL, this time with a rhomboid strain. He was activated Aug. 22 and it wasn't long before he was back to being Mad Max, fanning 54 over his final 38 innings. Scherzer had another scare in the playoffs as he was scratched from Game 5 of the World Series before starting Game 7. By the numbers, Scherzer's strikeout and walk rates were typically elite but his average exit velocity was the highest since Statcast began tracking in 2015, leading to his highest WHIP since 2014. Scherzer's 35-year-old arm has a lot of mileage and injury concerns are real. The result is Scherzer will be discounted. He's still elite, but could be risky for the "one year too late" crowd.
Scherzer has struck out 29% of the hitters he has faced throughout his career. If we took that rate and compared it to his annual strikeout rates over the past four seasons, it would rank lowest. Scherzer has increased his strikeout rate in each of the past five seasons as he shoves his way into his mid-30s. Last year marked the third consecutive season in which he held opposing hitters to a sub-.200 average and the fourth consecutive season in which he finished with a sub-3.00 ERA. He has six consecutive seasons of 200 or more innings pitched and 10 consecutive seasons of 30 or more starts. There are not enough superlatives to discuss his production and there is little debate as to whether he should be taken in the first round of drafts. The only debate is how high to take this staff anchor and how many rounds you can then forego drafting a pitcher. This is the new king of the mountain for fantasy pitchers and he is worth every penny.
For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Scherzer posted an ERA below 3.00 and a WHIP below 1.00 while throwing 200 or more innings. Since the start of the Expansion Era in 1961, only four other pitchers have matched that level of dominance (Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Juan Marichal and Sandy Koufax), and no pitcher has delivered five seasons at that level. Scherzer nearly fell short with his workload in 2017, as a series of minor injuries in the second half cost him time. Fortunately, none of the injuries (neck, calf, hamstring) were to his arm. Skills wise, he's showing no signs of slowing down as he rolls through his early 30s, as his 34.4 percent strikeout rate (12.0 K/9) was a career-high while opposing hitters hit a meager .176 against him. Further refinement of the changeup has given Scherzer yet another plus weapon for his arsenal, and as long as he's healthy, his eventual decline should be a very graceful one. He'll be among the first few pitchers off the board again in 2018.
Scherzer posted his second straight season with a sub-3.00 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP, his third straight with more than 250 strikeouts, his fourth straight with more than 210 innings pitched, and his second 20-win campaign en route to his second Cy Young Award, becoming the sixth pitcher in history to win the award in each league. In fact, his 11.2 K/9 rate was the best of his career, and while his BB/9 and HR/9 rates showed some regression, the former in particular has a long way to go before it will be anything close to a concern. Scherzer has become the prototype of a modern ace, and his presence at the top of the Nats' rotation allows them to weather Stephen Strasburg's annual DL trips better than most other organizations could. As long as the stress fracture in his finger suffered over the winter is healed by spring training, he should remain one of the majors' truly elite starting pitchers.
It's fair to say that the Nationals got their money's worth from Scherzer. After signing a massive seven-year, $210 million contract in the offseason, the former Tiger ace was utterly dominant in the first half, posting a 2.11 ERA and 0.78 WHIP while winning 10 games. His numbers slid a bit after the All-Star break, but Scherzer still finished the season with career-bests in innings, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts and walks. He also threw two no-hitters, missing a perfect game each time by one baserunner, and his 17-K, zero-BB performance in the second one ranks as one of the greatest starts of all time. The 31-year-old right-hander will have a hard time coming up with an encore, but he may not have to. If the Nats get better health from their offense and better play under new manager Dusty Baker, Scherzer could improve significantly on last year's 14 wins even if his other numbers erode.
Scherzer backed up his 2013 Cy Young campaign with another stellar season for the Tigers. He finished 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.18 WHIP while setting career-highs in strikeouts (252) and innings (220.1). His 2.91 FIP was right on line with the 2.89 FIP posted in 2013, but Scherzer didn’t have as much luck with BABIP (.325) this time around. Scherzer continued to rely heavily on his fastball, which setup his changeup, slider and a curveball he used more than in past seasons. The 30-year-old righty hit free agency in the midst of his prime. For a starting pitcher his age, Scherzer has a surprising light workload of 1,239 innings, and he has proven to be very durable the last few years. He'll move to the NL after signing a seven-year deal with Washington. He should be among the strikeout leaders once again with the Nationals and a topnotch option to lead any fantasy staff.
Based on the strong advanced metrics (9.4 K/9, 3.56 xFIP) that he has posted throughout his career, pundits have been clamoring for Scherzer to hit that next level for years. Not only did the long-awaited breakout from Scherzer fully materialize in 2013, but he exceeded even the most optimistic of projections. The 28-year-old starter took home the AL Cy Young Award after leading the league in wins (21) and WHIP (0.97) while finishing second in strikeouts (240) and fifth in ERA (2.90). His fastball continued to hover in the mid-90s with movement and his slider developed from a solid pitch to one of the more elite breaking balls in the majors. Scherzer also improved his walk rate, allowing a career-best 2.4 BB/9. His improvements across the board can be attributed to his continued refinement of a more consistent delivery, which has corralled some of the wildness displayed earlier in his career while allowing his electric stuff to post more consistent results. The Tigers freed up a significant portion of their future budget by trading Prince Fielder to Texas, opening up the possibility of long-term extension to keep him in Detroit. Scherzer appears headed for another strikeout-heavy campaign filled with plenty of fantasy value.
Early-season struggles made it seem like Scherzer might have another roller coaster campaign in 2012, but he righted the ship after a brutal month of April to post his best season as a pro. In 27 starts from May 5 through the end of the season, Scherzer went 15-4 with a 3.14 ERA and 204 strikeouts over 163.1 innings. He saw a huge jump in strikeouts, finishing second in the majors to teammate Justin Verlander with 231 strikeouts while posting a league-best 11.1 K/9. Other than his slider becoming slightly more effective, Scherzer's arsenal remained consistent to what we have seen from him in past seasons - he was just able to corral everything together better in 2012. At 28, Scherzer is in his prime, and while we might see a slight dip in his strikeouts, he has all the tools to replicate the overall success we saw from him in 2012.
The 27-year-old failed to live up to the promise he showed in the second half of the 2010 season, but Scherzer was still able to put together a solid campaign in 2011. He finished the year 15-9 with a 4.43 ERA, 1.349 WHIP and 174 strikeouts in 195 innings. Once considered a problem area, Scherzer was able to refine his control last season, finishing with a career-best mark of 2.58 BB/9IP. His increase in ERA may give some pause, but Scherzer's xFIP (3.70) shows that he was close to the same pitcher as in 2010. While Scherzer hasn't taken that next step yet, he has the necessary arsenal to reach higher levels of production than we've seen since from him so far. Target him as a middle-of-the-rotation option with hopes he starts fulfilling some of his potential.
Scherzer's debut season with the Tigers got off to a rocky start, as the 25-year-old righty saw a dip in fastball velocity and had difficulty commanding his breaking ball during the first two months of the season. As a result, Detroit sent Scherzer on a short stint to Triple-A Toledo to right the ship. After rediscovering both his velocity and slider during his trip to Toledo, Scherzer came back to the big leagues stronger than at any other point in his young career. Over the course of his final 23 starts, Scherzer went 11-7 with a 2.46 ERA and 158 strikeouts in 153.2 innings. With his solid strikeout rate (8.5 K/9IP) and continued improvement in control (3.2 BB/9IP), the former first-round pick remains a strong middle-of-the rotation option, but it's his potential to develop into an ace that should make him an attractive target on draft day.
Scherzer made strides in his second full season in the Arizona rotation, making 30 starts before the D-Backs shut him down in an effort to protect his arm. Starting pitchers who can strike out more than a batter per inning (9.19 K/9IP) with ample command (3.33 BB/9IP) are few and far between, which made it surprising when he was traded to Detroit last winter. Scherzer continues to look the part of the front-line starter that the D-Backs were hoping for when they drafted him 11th overall in 2006. With Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander, Detroit could have one of the strongest rotation trios if Scherzer continues to develop. Don't be surprised if he significantly increases his win total this season as the Tigers will be able to let him take on a full 200-inning workload and to pitch deeper into games after Arizona handled him with kid gloves during his first two seasons.
When healthy, Scherzer was as good as advertised for the D-Backs during his rookie season, dominating hitters to the tune of a 10.61 K/9IP mark in his first 56 major league innings. Splitting the season between Arizona and Triple-A, Scherzer spent time as a starter and in the bullpen at both levels, but the organization clearly views him as a starter in the D-Backs' 2009 rotation, as he was sent to the Arizona Fall League to increase innings count as well as continue the development of his secondary pitches, which include an improving change-up and slider to go along with his excellent fastball. The added work during the fall should enable Scherzer to provide 170-plus innings and cement his place as one of the team's top four starters, while the long-term outlook is very promising as he could emerge as the frontline replacement for Brandon Webb down the road.
Scherzer had an impressive professional debut as a starter after finally inking a deal with Arizona last May. He tore up High-A Visalia, as he should have considering that he was already 22, before fanning more than a batter per inning in 14 starts at Double-A Mobile. The D-Backs had Scherzer pitch in relief during the Arizona Fall League, while there have been debates in the past about whether he'd be more effective as a closer than a starter in the majors. Following the departure of Jose Valverde in a trade to Houston and the acquistion Dan Haren from Oakland, it seems as though closer might be the fast track to having him in the bigs for good, but keep an eye on whether he's pushing to break camp with Arizona during spring training, or if they're grooming him to be a starter at Triple-A.
More Fantasy News
Could move to live BP soon
PWashington Nationals
Ankle
February 28, 2021
Scherzer (ankle) looked good in Friday's bullpen session and could be ready to throw live batting practice beginning this week, Thomas Harrigan of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Turns in another bullpen session
PWashington Nationals
Ankle
February 24, 2021
Nationals skipper Dave Martinez said that Scherzer (ankle) completed a 40-pitch bullpen session Wednesday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Throws off mound
PWashington Nationals
Ankle
February 23, 2021
Scherzer (ankle) threw off a mound Tuesday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Throws from 60 feet
PWashington Nationals
Ankle
February 22, 2021
Scherzer (ankle) felt good after throwing from 60 feet Sunday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
No long-term concerns with ankle
PWashington Nationals
Ankle
February 19, 2021
Scherzer has no long-term concerns about the health of his sprained ankle and is ready to get back on a mound as soon as he's cleared to do so, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.