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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Brewing an Ace - Yovani Gallardo

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The Brewers are set to go all in this year and that could mean big things from Yovani Gallardo. If ever there were a year to let him loose for 200+ innings this would be it. Gallardo has not showed any signs of arm trouble since entering the league in 2007 so 200+ is a real possibility. He would have had a shot at it last year had an oblique injury not cost him half of July. Combine that potential for innings with his elite K/9 and you could have yourself a fantasy ace in 2011.

There are a few things keeping him from true super stardom. He walks too many but when you compare his 3.65 BB/9 to Jon Lester's 3.59 BB/9 it doesn't look as bad. Gallardo's minor league numbers suggest he could lower that number even further which would help him reach 200 IP. His H/9 last year was at 8.7 which is good but not elite like the 7.3 he put up in 2009. Based upon his past performance he should able to lower his H/9 and something near 8 would make him one of the better pitchers in the game.

He isn't likely to drop much in the K/9 department and any drop there would likely coincide with a drop in BB/9 or H/9. The Brewers defense will probably hurt him so there is a chance he underperforms his FIP. I would put his ERA somewhere in the 3.70 range with 3.20 upside. If he pitches 205 innings he should give you 220 K. The Brewers have a solid offense and their defense is underrated. Yovanni Gallardo should come off the board after guys like Ubaldo Jimenez and Cole Hamels but he provides just as much hope for a profitable return. At the very least you should get a pitcher who gives 180+ innings with an ERA under 4  and a K/9 above 9. It's a safe pick and a smart pick.