Monday Fantasy Pickup: Matt Moore, P, Rays

Once a stud prospect, Moore is still finding himself following Tommy John surgery two years ago. Moore broke onto the scene in 2011 when, after getting a September call-up, he tossed seven scoreless innings in Game 1 of the ALDS. A year later, he tossed 177.1 innings, racking up 175 strikeouts and posting a respectable 3.81 ERA. In 2013, he lowered the ERA to 3.29 and won 17 games.

Looking to build on the promising start to his career in 2014, Moore instead only made it through two games before suffering a torn UCL. Moore returned to the mound in July 2015 but struggled initially, prompting a demotion to Triple-A, though he did return to make six September starts in which he posted a 2.97 ERA. That good finish to 2015 didn’t carry over to the beginning of 2016, as Moore posted a 5.56 ERA through his first 12 starts of the season.

It’s been a different story the last two starts, however. In those starts, Moore threw a total of 13 innings and allowed just two earned runs. He also struck out 15 batters. So is Moore now all the way “back?” That might be reading too much into just two starts. But Moore is talented, and his performance the last two games should make prospective fantasy owners take notice. Plus, there are signs that point to continued success: Moore’s BB/9 this season would be a new career low and his average fastball velocity (92.7 MPH) is up from last year (92.0 MPH). It might be worth it to take a flier on Moore now with the hope that he truly is getting back to form.

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