Rays starter James Shields continued his terrific pitching in 2011 by going 8 strong innings on Saturday, holding the Angels to 1 run on 6 hits and a walk and striking out 12. Whatever ailed Shields the past few years appears to be behind him now, as he has started the 2011 season with a 2-1 record with a 2.14 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and a 39-9 K/BB rate. He is making fantasy owners who selected him this year look like geniuses.
Shields has taken advantage of an extreme 83% strand rate and a .234 batting average of balls in play so far, so fantasy owners should be wary of how lucky he has been so far this season. Shields is also limiting the home run ball this season. After giving up 34 home runs in 2010, Shields has given up just 3 in 46+ innings this season.With that said, his FIP and xFIP are both in the 3's so any regression he experiences may not hurt that much.
Can Shields continue to pitch this well for the rest of the season?