Fantasy Baseball Friday: hat Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels Means for His Fantasy Owners
by Alex Hall (@AlexKHall )
New Angels pitcher Zack Greinke has been a fantasy baseball stud even when he was a member of the lowly Kansas City Royals years ago. Now he finds himself on an American League powerhouse, which will make him one of the most productive fantasy hurlers through the rest of the season.
Greinke’s former team in Milwaukee lost the likes of Prince Fielder last offseason and pitcher Shaun Marcum to the disabled list for a considerable amount of time in 2011. Despite the Brewers’ struggles this year, Greinke has mustered together nine wins and is averaging 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the process.
Now the 2009 AL Cy Young winner finds himself on a team with Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo to provide offensive firepower during his outings. He’ll also have the likes of fellow pitchers Jared Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Dan Haren to wear down the opposition during long series.
That pitching lineup is fantasy-esque in its own right and should pay off for owners of all four men the same way it did for Roy Halladay, Coles Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt owners during their time together in Philadelphia.
ESPN currently have the Halos ranked as the fifth best team in the MLB and for good reason now that Greinke has joined the squad. The Angels are currently ranked the third-best hitting team in all of baseball, while their 11th place spot in pitching should go up a few ranks with Greinke now on board.
The former Brewer has already proven he can help improve that ranking, when he threw a 4-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays in his team debut. Greinke allowed just two runs, no walks and struck out eight batters on his way to an eventual 2-0 loss.
One knock in the fantasy world against Greinke since his epic 2009 season is that he has had trouble keeping his earned run average in check, which was 3.44 upon his arrival in Los Angeles.
When you dig a bit deeper though, that mark is better than the 3.83 ERA he ended with last season when he won 16 games with the Brewers. His current ERA is the best he’s had since that ’09 season and he now finds himself on the best team he’s ever been on in his career.
With all due respect to the 2011 Brewers, that team didn’t have the pitching depth or the onslaught of offensive talent that the Angels have this season. Greinke has the chance to break his career-best win total of 16 this year thanks to a combination of his ability and his team’s talent.
Greinke owners should be as excited about this trade just as much as the Angel. They now have one of the top-15 pitchers in the majors on one of the best teams in the game. All that adds up to more wins, more strikeouts and quality starts.