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Staff Post: Three Starting Pitchers to Target in 2018

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The Fake Teams Staff discuss three pitchers to draft, including Aaron Nola, Trevor Bauer, and Chase Anderson.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

You can still access our Top 75 starters, but if you want to hear about a few pitchers we degenerates are specifically targeting in our respective fantasy baseball drafts, you’ve come to the right place.

Staff Post: Starting Pitchers to Target in 2018

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Nola, Phillies (Eddy Almaguer)

ADP: 64.3

Sometimes a pitcher is getting so much hype that you feel like you should avoid him. I wouldn’t advise doing that with Aaron Nola. It seems like he is the consensus industry pick to take the next step and become a top-10 pitcher, and for good reason. He just finished a season with a 26.6 K%, a 7.1 BB% and a 3.54 ERA (3.27 FIP) in 168 innings. His fastball ticked up to 92 mph (previously 90 mph), which may not seem like much, but with his control and repertoire it’s more than enough. The only knock against him are the back injuries that plagued him last year, but he’s been healthy thus far. If he can cross 180 innings he is bound to return value, even at his 64th NFBC ADP.

MLB: Spring Training-Cleveland Indians at Cincinnati Reds Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Bauer, Indians (Heath Capps)

ADP: 140.2

Trevor Bauer ranked as our SP25 in our consensus rankings, so he deserves a mention in this space. His naysayers will point to his career-long inconsistency, but his supporters can claim his powerful final 12 starts, in which Bauer posted a 2.42 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. The big change? Ditching his cutter in favor of a slider. Still only 27 years old, it’s possible that Bauer has turned the proverbial corner. It’s also possible that his success over a small sample size in 2017 doesn’t hold up for an entire season. At his ADP of 140, though, I’m willing to take a chance—especially since we KNOW his approach is altered. I’d feel less inclined if there wasn’t an obvious explanation for the second half success. Bauer is being drafted two picks ahead of Sonny Gray on average. and I much prefer Bauer over the homer-prone Gray.

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Anderson, Brewers (Punk is Dead)

ADP: 172.8

Player A = 14-5 2.90 ERA 1.12 WHIP 7.7 K/9

Player B = 12-4 2.74 ERA 1.09 WHIP 8.5 K/9

Player B ranked higher (#15 SP) than Player A (#16 SP) in 2017. Player A has an ADP of 60 overall. Player B has an ADP of 169 overall. Player A is Dallas Keuchel. Player B is Chase Anderson.

That’s it for us with targets this morning. Circle back around for some “avoids” later in the day. And if you missed it, scope out some starting pitcher offerings by checking out the starting pitcher stream from this week. Peace!