Cincinnati Reds Pitchers: 2015 Team Preview

Aug 31, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Even though the Reds were probably the biggest disappointment in 2014, Johnny Cueto lived up to his billing and more.  The 20-game winner brought a 2.25 ERA, a .96 WHIP, and 242 strikeouts to the table.  Cueto failed to stay healthy in 2011 and 2013, and he is coming off of a career high 243.2 IP.  Beyond that, Johnny Cueto had a FIP, xFIP, and SIERA all above 3.00 (still excellent, but not close to his ERA).  He is still a top 10 SP, but Cueto is not my ideal fantasy ace.

Until this past season, I was a huge Homer Bailey homer.  I have sort of waned on my opinion of Homer Bailey as a fantasy option, but I believe in him rebounding from his 2014 overall statistics.  As you can read in this excerpt and this slightly dated, but relevant in-season article, I still trust Homer Bailey even if my prior expectations of him making the jump to an elite arm have to be tempered.

Aroldis Chapman fanned 52.5% of the batters he faced in 2014 and held them to a .119 average.  His FIP was an outrageous .89, despite the fact that he walked 24 batters in 54 innings.  Chapman’s average fastball was in the triple digits last year.  There are only a handful of players who can even hit 100 MPH, let alone average that speed.  Aroldis Chapman is my top closer in 2015 because of his unearthly strikeout rates and high likelihood of a very strong ERA and WHIP.

Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball has created all of the projections seen in this post.  You can read about how he develops his projections here.  His projections are invaluable to this site.  You can also visit his site at www.smartfantasybaseball.com.