Mariners Acquire Mike Leake: Fantasy impact

The Mariners added another starting pitcher to their rotation. What is the fantasy impact of Mike Leake finishing out his season in Seattle?

The Seattle Mariners rotation has been the most injured rotation in all of baseball this season. Four of their expected five starters are currently on the DL. If they want to compete for an AL Wild Card spot, they need a full rotation. Hence why the team traded for Mike Leake.

Leake has improved in some areas and regressed in others in his second season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He has a 4.21 ERA, 1.325 WHIP and 7-12 record. He also has a 6.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9, both worse than 2016, with 19 home runs allowed. Leake allowed 20 total last year.

In his last five starts, Leake has allowed a combined 25 runs on 42 hits and three walks with 16 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. It hasn’t been a good stretch of games as far as the ERA and strikeouts are concerned, but his WHIP is low which is nice.

Leake has spent all of his career in the National League. The move to the American League with the DH could result in some risky outings.

In interleague play, 30 starts, Leake has a 4.39 ERA, 1.270 WHIP and 119:43 K:BB ratio. Before I looked at his numbers, I was expecting a lot worse.

He does have an ERA of 3.75 or lower against each of his AL West division opponents. The sample size is small, just six combined starts against the Angels, A’s and Rangers, but held the Astros to a 3.29 ERA in 12 appearances.

Leake will join a healthy rotation of Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo, Andrew Albers, Erasmo Ramirez and Marco Gonzales. It won’t last though.

I mentioned the Mariners injuries and there are a lot of them. Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma and Drew Smyly are all hurt. Hernandez and Paxton are expected to return at some point. Leake will remain in the rotation once those pitchers come back.

Leake is owned in 40.6 percent of leagues. He isn’t a must add by any means. However, his next start could come against the A’s so he may be worth a streaming start. In deep AL leagues, he holds some value for being on a team with a better offense.

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