The Dodgers traded for Yu Darvish to bolster their rotation for the playoffs. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Does that affect his fantasy value in 2018?
The Los Angeles Dodgers needed help in their starting rotation if they were to make it to the World Series. Clayton Kershaw was as dominant as ever, but the other four pitchers were a little erratic. Enter Yu Darvish. However, he let the team down in the World Series. Should you lower him in your rankings as a result?
Darvish started two games for the Dodgers in the Fall Classic, including Game 7. He went 0-2 with a 21.60 ERA, 3.30 WHIP, 0 strikeouts and two walks. Darvish allowed nine hits, two home runs, in 3.1 combined innings.
He had success pitching in his new home in LA, posting a 3.44 ERA and 1.148 WHIP in just 49.2 innings. Against the Houston Astros this season, he had a 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB.9. Yet, he was unable to pitch a total of four innings against the eventual World Series champions.
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Our contributor, Marcos Mendoza, wrote about the Darvish trade here. Moving to the pitcher-friendly National League park helped Darvish greatly. While the offenses in the NL West were just as good, Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks, but facing a pitcher instead of the DH twice a game helps the ratio stats.
With the Texas Rangers, Darvish posted a 4.01 ERA and 1.168 WHIP in 137.0 innings. It was a bit of a down season for Darvish overall. He posted a 9.7 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9, the first time he had a strikeout rate below 10 for the first time in his career.
Darvish is a free agent, but I expect him to re-sign with the Dodgers. The team needs him and he performed well down the stretch of the regular season. There is an opinion piece on SNY.com, saying the New York Mets need to acquire Darvish. Pairing him with Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom would make a dangerous top three in the rotation.
With no home currently, it’s hard to value Darvish for 2018. If he stays in LA, I would have to rank him towards the bottom of my top-20. The offenses he would be facing for a full season could impact his ratio stats.If he went east and joined the Mets, he could be in for a tough season. Three of the four NL East opponents ranked in the top 10 for batting average and two were in the top 10 for on-base percentage.
If he went east and joined the Mets, he could be in for a tough season. Three of the four NL East opponents ranked in the top 10 for batting average and two were in the top 10 for on-base percentage.
Regardless of where he signs, except for maybe Colorado, Darvish will still be a top-20 starting pitcher. He has 200-strikeout and 10-win potential. While he has been injury prone, including Tommy John surgery in 2015, Darvish is lights out when he can make 30 starts. As a No. 2 pitcher drafted in the fifth or sixth round, Darvish will not let you down in 2018.