Walker Buehler

Walker Buehler

28-Year-Old PitcherSP
Los Angeles Dodgers
60-Day IL
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 2/1/2024
2022 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#17
ADP
$Signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Dodgers in February of 2021.
Needs second Tommy John surgery
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
August 23, 2022
Buehler (elbow) underwent Tommy John surgery and flexor tendon repair surgery Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
Buehler had Tommy John surgery the year he was drafted (2015), so this is his second go-round with the procedure. Given the timing of the surgery and the fact that he has a lot riding on his recovery going smoothly, it's possible he won't pitch in games until the 2024 season.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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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
87
Last 10 Games
87
Last 5 Games
82
How many pitches does Walker Buehler 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 Walker Buehler 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 2020
 
 
-4%
BAA vs RHP
2022
 
 
-7%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-1%
BAA vs RHP
2020
 
 
-2%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2020vs Left .215 658 158 48 129 27 3 16
Since 2020vs Right .207 578 154 32 111 24 0 18
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
2020vs Left .176 79 25 5 13 2 0 3
2020vs Right .180 68 17 6 11 1 0 4
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-20%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-58%
ERA on Road
2021
 
 
-33%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-79%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2020Home 2.63 1.06 177.2 14 4 0 9.5 2.6 1.0
Since 2020Away 3.28 0.99 131.2 9 3 0 8.5 2.0 1.0
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
2020Home 1.31 0.68 20.2 1 0 0 12.6 2.6 0.0
2020Away 6.19 1.31 16.0 0 0 0 7.3 2.8 3.9
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Walker Buehler 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
3.41
 
K/9
8.0
 
BB/9
2.4
 
HR/9
1.1
 
Fastball
95.2 mph
 
ERA
4.02
 
WHIP
1.29
 
BABIP
.320
 
GB/FB
1.74
 
Left On Base
74.2%
 
Exit Velocity
81.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
3.9%
 
Spin Rate
2335 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
27.1%
 
Swinging Strike
11.9%
 
Prospect Rankings History
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 Walker Buehler
Todd's Takes: Arsenals and Angles
28 days ago
Todd Zola analyzes pitchers with limited arsenals before tackling the most interesting fantasy fall-out from Wednesday's schedule.
Mound Musings: See You in September
35 days ago
Brad Johnson takes a look at which pitchers might be worth a look during the season's final month, starting with Mike Soroka who's been out since August of 2020 with a ruptured Achilles.
Mound Musings: Targeting 2023 – Building a Draft Day Value List
42 days ago
Brad Johnson looks at pitchers who could potentially offer considerable value on draft day 2023, including Phillies pitcher Noah Syndergaard.
MLB Picks Today: MLB Best Bets for Wednesday, August 17
43 days ago
Michael Rathburn takes aim at four games, including the Brewers-Dodgers clash, for Wednesday's MLB best bets selections. Visit RotoWire all season long for more daily MLB picks and betting insight.
The Z Files: First Half Earnings Review - Outfielders, Starting Pitchers and Relievers
63 days ago
Todd Zola completes his look at first-half earnings and notes that Michael Harris might be among the most valuable hitters in the game if he'd begun the year in the majors.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
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
Requires season-ending surgery
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
August 15, 2022
Buehler will undergo season-ending right elbow surgery Aug. 23.
ANALYSIS
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Small step forward
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
July 26, 2022
Buehler (elbow) played catch Monday.
ANALYSIS
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To resume throwing
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
July 22, 2022
Buehler (elbow) will play light catch Monday, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
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Optimism for September return
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
July 21, 2022
The Dodgers remain optimistic that Buehler (elbow) will return as a starter in September, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
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Transferred to 60-day IL
PLos Angeles Dodgers
Elbow
June 21, 2022
Buehler (elbow) was moved to the 60-day injured list Tuesday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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