Walker Buehler

Walker Buehler

29-Year-Old PitcherSP
Los Angeles Dodgers
Out
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 5/1/2024
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Buehler threw as many pitches as you did in 2023, so you have that going for you, which is nice. What fantasy managers hoped would be a cinderella story out of nowhere with Buehler coming back late in 2023 to help in the stretch run never materialized as we were all yet again reminded Tommy John surgery recoveries are not the same and are not guaranteed. We know how talented Buehler was before his surgery, but 2024 is an all too familiar story of risk versus reward. It is extremely unlikely Buehler is going to work over 160 innings in 2024, and we do not know how much rust he has to shake off. Buehler also isn't expected to be available at the start of the season, though he isn't expected to miss too much time. His first pitch in a regular season game will come nearly 20 months from his last pitch of 2022. Your ability to roster him depends on your roster construction as well as your appetite for extreme risk. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#93
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $8.025 million contract with the Dodgers in January of 2024.
Sitting 94-to-95 mph in live BP
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
February 28, 2024
Buehler (elbow) said he was sitting in the 94-to-95 mph range during live batting practice Tuesday, Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times reports.
ANALYSIS
Buehler felt good in the session in what was his first time facing hitters this spring. He expects to require another 3-to-4 live BP sessions before progressing to games. Buehler is not expected to appear in any Cactus League contests and will stay back at extended spring training at the start of the season.
Read More News
Pitching Stats
Loading Pitching Stats...
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2023 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2022 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2021 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2020 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2019 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2018 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Pitching Game Log...
2017 MLB Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Pitching Game Log...
Minor League Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Loading Minor League Pitching Game Log...
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-4%
BAA vs RHP
2023
No Stats
2022
 
 
-7%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-1%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2021vs Left .220 579 133 43 116 25 3 13
Since 2021vs Right .211 510 137 26 100 23 0 14
2023vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022vs Left .271 156 31 10 39 7 1 4
2022vs Right .252 118 27 7 28 5 0 4
2021vs Left .201 423 102 33 77 18 2 9
2021vs Right .198 392 110 19 72 18 0 10
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2021
 
 
-2%
ERA at Home
2023
No Stats
2022
 
 
-58%
ERA on Road
2021
 
 
-33%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2021Home 2.81 1.11 157.0 13 4 0 9.1 2.6 1.1
Since 2021Away 2.88 0.95 115.2 9 3 0 8.7 1.9 0.5
2023Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2023Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2022Home 5.56 1.68 34.0 2 2 0 7.4 2.9 1.9
2022Away 2.32 0.87 31.0 4 1 0 8.7 1.7 0.3
2021Home 2.05 0.96 123.0 11 2 0 9.5 2.5 1.0
2021Away 3.08 0.98 84.2 5 2 0 8.7 1.9 0.6
More Splits View More Split Stats
Prospect Rankings History
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 Walker Buehler See More
Mound Musings: A Look at Pitching in the NL West
7 days ago
Brad Johnson helps get ready for draft day by analyzing pitching staffs, and this week he focuses on the National League West, and in Los Angeles, Walker Buehler will start the season on the IL.
MLB Futures: Player Totals Prop Bets 2024
9 days ago
Get a head start on your MLB betting picks as Adam Warner runs through his best MLB bets for player totals this season, including home run totals, strikeout totals and more.
RotoWire Roundtable: Updated Fantasy Baseball Top-300 Rankings
22 days ago
It's still all Ronald Acuna at the top, but Julio Rodriguez has now claimed the second spot in the latest edition of the RotoWire Roundtable rankings.
Collette Calls: 2024 AL Central Bold Predictions
42 days ago
Jason Collette's latest set of bold predictions features one on Cole Ragans, but in which direction?
RotoWire Roundtable: Fantasy Baseball Top 300 January Update
45 days ago
The RotoWire Roundtable crew shares their latest rankings, with changes as high as the early first round.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
The Dodgers rewarded Buehler for his stellar 2021 season with their opening-day start. After six starts, his ERA was 1.96 with a 1.06 WHIP, but only 32 punchouts in 36.2 innings was a concern. Buehler started six more games, recording a 6.67 ERA and 1.59 WHIP with 26 strikeouts in 28.1 frames. He was then put on the IL with elbow discomfort which was later diagnosed as a flexor strain in his throwing elbow. While recovering, Buehler had a bone spur removed from his right elbow. In August, the Dodgers decided to give up on a September return and Buehler underwent Tommy John surgery for a second time, with the first back in 2015. Buehler is likely to miss the entire 2023 season. Keeper leagues may want to stash the righty but hoping for tangible help down the stretch in redraft leagues is fruitless.
In this era of short starts from starting pitchers, Buehler is something of a unicorn in MLB (non-Ohtani Division). Remarkably, Buehler completed at least six innings in each of his first 16 starts to begin 2021, and went at least six in 26 of his first 27 starts through the end of August. There were a few bumps in the road in September and in the postseason, but Buehler was one of four pitchers to clear 200 innings during the 2021 regular season and he tacked on 18.1 frames in the playoffs. The right-hander held opponents to a .197 batting average, ranking second among qualifiers behind only Max Scherzer, and while his strikeout rate dipped to a career-low 26.0%, his 33.1 O-Swing%, 11.6 SwStr% and 29.6 CSW% were all right in line with career norms. Pitching for one of the best teams in baseball, Buehler has a 31-8 record in the regular season over the past three seasons. This combination of skills, team context and consistency with workload make Buehler a first-round consideration.
A pair of IL stints due to a persistent blister on his pitching hand limited Buehler to just eight regular-season starts in 2020, but he nonetheless continued to demonstrate why he is touted as one of MLB's best young hurlers. The right-hander got off to a slow start after a delayed ramp-up to the shortened campaign, yet he still managed a 3.44 ERA, 28.6 K% and career-best 0.95 WHIP. His fastball was again the star of the show as Buehler placed in the 88th percentile with a 96.8 mph average velocity on his heater and in the 97th percentile for fastball spin while holding hitters to a .102 BA and .119 SLG on his four-seamer. The 26-year-old continued to shine in the postseason, turning in a 1.80 ERA with 39 strikeouts over 25 innings. There may be a handful of pitchers chosen ahead of Buehler in your fantasy draft; if he gets to you in the second round, run a celebratory lap around your home.
Buehler didn't take many days off, posting the first of what should be many 30-start campaigns. Early, the Dodgers limited Buehler's in-game workload as he's just two years removed from Tommy John surgery and they wanted their prized righty fresh for the playoffs. Buehler did his part, allowing just one run in 12.2 postseason frames, but his club of course came up short. With Buehler fronting their rotation, the Dodgers' championship window remains wide open. The 25-year-old right-hander deploys a four-pitch arsenal, featuring a 97-mph fastball he used 60% of the time along with a slider, cutter and curve evenly split the rest of the time. The result was a 3.26 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, with a 24.2 K-BB%, seventh best among qualified starters. Most will group Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer together. Buehler belongs in the next tier, perhaps even at the top.
Buehler was a blast to watch pitch as a rookie in 2018 as he showcased an electric fastball along with two different breaking balls. It was easy to see why he was a first-round draft pick and it is going to be hard to restrain ourselves this draft season in chasing him for our rosters. However, that pursuit should be exercised with an amount of caution. Buehler already has one Tommy John surgery under his belt, which limited the amount of pitching he could do in the minor leagues. Those restrictions were not present last season as Buehler threw a total of 173 innings, nearly doubling his total from 2017. At age 24, to have a workload jump of that size is a risk to keep in mind if you decide you are all in on rostering the young flamethrower. Everything else we want to see in a young future ace is here (21.1% K-BB, 50% GB%), and the team context is certainly favorable.
The 2016 season ended with whispers and a five-inning sample that suggested Buehler could be in for a breakout 2017. He delivered on that promise, and then some. Buehler, who underwent Tommy John surgery after being selected with the No. 24 pick in the 2015 draft, returned at the end of 2016 throwing harder than ever, sitting in the mid-90s and touching 99 mph with his fastball -- a byproduct of the Dodgers’ weighted ball program. He maintained that velocity over his first full pro season while also showing off a plus-plus curveball and hard low-90s cutter/slider. That pitch mix was predictably deadly against minor-league hitters, catapulting Buehler to the majors for a September run as a reliever. Given Buehler’s velocity jump and injury history, he seems a bit riskier than other top pitching prospects, but his upside is undeniable. The Dodgers will likely allow him to throw around 135 innings this season, presumably beginning the year at Triple-A. If he shows improved control, he could spend most of the summer pitching every fifth day in the big leagues.
The Dodgers took a calculated gamble when they selected Buehler with the 24th overall pick in the 2015 draft. Once considered a likely top-10 pick, a pre-draft elbow issue caused him to fall, and he ended up needing Tommy John surgery that August. Buehler returned to the mound late last season, and while he only logged five innings of game action, the early returns suggest the Dodgers may have hit big on their roll of the dice. He touched 99 mph with his fastball in instructs after sitting in the mid-90s during brief appearances in the Arizona and Midwest leagues. It is hard to expect him to maintain that velocity over lengthier outings in the coming years, but even if he settles in at 93-95 mph with his fastball, that makes for a plus offering. He also features a potentially plus curveball and a hard slider/cutter that could be a third plus pitch. An average changeup could round out the repertoire, and at that point Buehler would look the part of a No. 2 starter.
The team's top draft pick in the 2015 amateur draft (24th overall), Buehler dropped a bit down teams' boards due to an elbow injury last spring, and the injury ultimately led to Tommy John surgery this past August. When healthy, the 6-foot-2 Buehler features a mid-90s fastball, slider, curve, and changeup with solid command and the ability to miss bats. Buehler's last 14 starts for Vanderbilt resulted in an 81:25 K:BB over 78.2 innings. He seems likely to miss most, if not all of the 2016 season recuperating, but it is possible he could join a full-season affiliate late in the year, or he could pitch in the Arizona Fall League. Once healthy, he has the ability to move quickly as a college draftee and settle in as a No. 3 big league starter. He's won a College World Series and a Cape Cod Championship, a pedigree that the Dodgers certainly hope carries over.
More Fantasy News
Facing hitters Tuesday
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
February 27, 2024
Buehler (elbow) will face hitters Tuesday for the first time this spring, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Unlikely to pitch in Cactus games
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
February 19, 2024
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Monday that it's unlikely Buehler (elbow) will make any Cactus League appearances this spring, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Season debut undetermined
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
February 12, 2024
Dodgers manager Dave Robert said Sunday that there's "no hard start date" for Buehler's (elbow) season debut, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Won't be in Opening Day rotation
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
February 3, 2024
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed Saturday that Buehler (elbow) will not be on the Opening Day roster, Eric Stephen of SBNation.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Start of season could be delayed
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
January 29, 2024
The Dodgers are considering delaying Buehler's (elbow) season debut in 2024 as they look to manage his workload coming off Tommy John surgery, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.