Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Recent Velocity Decliners - Arms To Abandon

We are about to turn the calendar to September, which means that a lot of the league's starting pitchers have gone through a five-month slog putting a ton of work on their throwing arms. This was possibly even a tougher challenge in 2021 after the shortened 2020 season severely reduced the requested workloads that these pitchers had.

If you're still reading this right now, you are probably headed for the fantasy baseball playoffs. That means every week from here on out will be the most important week of the year. We want to look for any advantage we can find.

In this piece, I looked at every pitcher's fastball velocity month-by-month to try to pick up on the guys that have been losing (and gaining) velocity as of late. Let's highlight some names.

Featured Promo: Want a free RotoBaller Premium Pass? Check out these sports betting promo offers from the top sportsbooks! All new sign-ups get a free bonus offer on their first deposit, and a free year of RotoBaller's Premium Pass for all sports ($450 value)! Sign Up Now!


Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers

We'll knock this one off the list quickly because this is what we would call a "known issue." Prior to this month, Peralta's four-seam fastball averaged right around 93.5 miles per hour. During his first start in August, he threw the pitch at 94.4 miles per hour on average - no problems there. Last time out, however, that pitch came down to 92.2 miles per hour. The righty left that start after just 43 pitches thrown and hit the IL the next day - clearly, there's an injury affecting him here.

He is currently ramping back up to rejoin the rotation soon, so there's a good chance he will pitch for your fantasy team in the playoffs. If the Brewers management thinks he's healthy, then I'm fine with just plugging him right back in the lineup when he returns - but it will definitely be pertinent to check on that fastball velocity when he does return.


Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays

The young names are sure to sting a little bit more when they show up on this list, and that's true with the young Rays' lefty here. McClanahan has been electric this year, posting some really solid numbers and flashing triple-digits on the radar gun. However, in August, he has lost significant fastball velocity:

The first thing your mind goes to is innings count. This guy threw exactly zero professional innings in 2020, and prior to that his career-high in a single year is 120.2 (2019). He has thrown 94.1 innings this year, so he is fast approaching that mark. Not only is the average velocity down, but his maximum values have also been down substantially as well. He hasn't touched 100 miles per hour since June 20th and hasn't touched 99 since July 20th.

The good news is that the results have been fine. His swinging-strike rates have remained pretty steady with the four-seamer, and they've remained really strong overall (meaning looking at all pitch types). His slider is still an elite weapon, and averaging 95 miles per hour is more than enough to be successful with.

I would be lying if I said I don't think there's any reason for concern because the Rays have asked for a lot from this guy and this is a serious drop in velocity. You're not going to want to give up McClanahan in a dynasty format, but in a re-draft league, it might be a pretty nice time to see what you can get from him.


Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers

In his first start of the year, Mize opened some eyes by touching 97.9 miles per hour on his four-seamer. That made a lot of fantasy managers excited to give him another shot after he was really disappointing in his short 2020 stint. The velocity has not remained that high, however, here's the plot.

I would imagine the high velocity in April was just a result of some early season jitters and excitement, and then he calmed it down and settled into the 94 miles per hour range in the middle months. However, in August that has come down below 93 now - not a great situation.

In his four August starts, he's averaged 93.9, 92.3, 92.6, and 92.5 on his fastball (chronologically). He has also seen diminishing swinging-strike rates to boot:

Mize hasn't been a guy to feel great about relying on at any point this year, but I would certainly not be wanting to put many chips on him as the 2021 season wraps up.


Yusei Kikuchi, Seattle Mariners

It was a really fun time to roster Kikuchi through May and June. He posted a strong 3.38 ERA and a .183 opponent's batting average in May, and then was really great in June with a 1.90 ERA and a .181 batting average against. Things went awry in July with marks of 6.11 and .302, and August didn't start off well either as he sat with marks of 5.50 and .293 before his start on August 26th (I wrote this before that start).

Some of this reduced performance may have to do with the velocity, which has been down since June.

He is not a guy that really relies on his four-seamer as much as some of the other guys on the list, with his cutter being his most-used pitch and also throwing a lot of sliders and some changeups. Velocity isn't as important on the cutter, but it's down a little bit too. More positive news in all of this is that his ground-ball rates have stayed high, which is really where he generates most of his success from. He has also went through a brutal July and August schedule, which could also be playing into the numbers.

I'm not giving up on Kikuchi yet, but any time you see the ERA climb while the velocity dips you have to be a little bit less confident.


Robbie Ray, Toronto Blue Jays

I'll make this quick. Robbie Ray has lost a mile per hour on his fastball velocity, but it hasn't mattered whatsoever. He did have two somewhat non-elite starts at the beginning of the month, striking out just 9 batters over 12 innings, but he only gave up two runs in those starts. In his last two starts he's struck out 25 batters over 15 innings while giving up two earned runs. So yeah, nothing to worry about with Ray here, he will remain a top-ten starter throughout the rest of the year as long as he's on the mound.

Other (less consequential velocity losers): Jack Flaherty (on IL, his season may be over), Dylan Bundy, Brett Anderson, Patrick Sandoval (IL), Drew Smyly, Trevor Williams, Mike Foltynewicz, Rich Hill, Madison Bumgarner


Velocity Gainers

Not many pitchers have gained velocity in August (unsurprising), and the ones that have aren't really all that fantasy-relevant right now. Let's just hit them quickly.

Patrick Corbin, Washington Nationals

His sinker has averaged 93.6 miles per hour in August, his highest mark of the year by nearly a full mile per hour. He still hasn't pitched well, however, and he can be safely left on the waiver wire.

Triston McKenzie, Cleveland Indians

Things were getting really exciting for McKenzie there as he had ripped off four really strong starts in a row. However, he surprisingly hit the IL this week, so fantasy managers will be without his services for at least two weeks if not more here. That's a real shame because he had found his 2020 stride again. His four-seamer was averaging 92.8 miles per hour, a solid 1.4 miles per hour better than his season average from the prior months.

Garrett Richards, Boston Red Sox

Another guy that's added a mile per hour to his fastball, but hasn't done much this year to prove his fantasy worth. Leave him alone.

Taijuan Walker, New York Mets

Things are looking up again for Taijuan after he had a really brutal July. Over his last four starts, he's given up ten runs in 24.2 innings, which isn't that exciting but he has faced the Dodgers twice and the Giants once over that time. He was definitely a guy we worried about the workload on, as he has notoriously been a guy that just can't stay healthy. He's already thrown significantly more innings than he has in any season since 2017, so the worry about the arm breaking down was real.

For now, he seems okay and maybe this improved velocity will give some added validation to your decision to continue to plug him in your lineup, especially as that schedule gets a little easier.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!

More Fantasy Baseball Advice


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Pickups & Streamers
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts


Klay Thompson2 hours ago

Questionable On Saturday Evening
Draymond Green2 hours ago

Questionable Versus Dallas
Jusuf Nurkic2 hours ago

Likely Out Until After All-Star Break
Spencer Dinwiddie2 hours ago

Available Against The Warriors
Bradley Beal2 hours ago

Questionable Versus Brooklyn
T.J. Warren2 hours ago

Unavailable Against Washington
Ben Simmons2 hours ago

Out Another One On Saturday
Kyrie Irving2 hours ago

Out On Saturday
Fernando Tatis Jr.4 hours ago

Open To Any Position
Luke Williams4 hours ago

Dodgers Re-Sign Luke Williams To Minor-League Deal
Nolan Blackwood4 hours ago

Twins Sign Nolan Blackwood
Jake McGee4 hours ago

Announces His Retirement
Juan Minaya4 hours ago

Pirates Sign Juan Minaya To Minor-League Deal
Yusniel Diaz4 hours ago

Dodgers Sign Yusniel Diaz To Minor-League Deal
Franklin German4 hours ago

White Sox Acquire Franklin German From Red Sox
Aaron Sanchez4 hours ago

Twins Re-Sign Aaron Sanchez
De'Andre Hunter9 hours ago

Scores Season-High 26 Points
D'Angelo Russell9 hours ago

Notches A Double-Double With Rebounds
Eric Gordon9 hours ago

Continues Good Scoring Run
Bradley Beal9 hours ago

Leads All Scorers With 34 Points
Anfernee Simons9 hours ago

Has Nine Triples, 33 Points Against Washington
Kyle Anderson9 hours ago

Exits With Back Spasms
Mo Bamba9 hours ago

Among FIve Players Ejected
Stephen Curry16 hours ago

Probable Against Dallas
Spencer Dinwiddie17 hours ago

Questionable Against Golden State
Giannis Antetokounmpo17 hours ago

Likely To Play On Saturday
Gabe Vincent17 hours ago

May Not Play Against The Bucks
Victor Oladipo17 hours ago

Not Expected To Suit Up Versus Milwaukee
Kyle Lowry17 hours ago

Out On Saturday With A Sore Ankle
Mecole Hardman23 hours ago

Doubtful For Super Bowl
JuJu Smith-Schuster23 hours ago

Kadarius Toney Questionable
Miguel Sanó1 day ago

Miguel Sano Hosting Workout Next Week
DL Hall1 day ago

Orioles Want DL Hall To Start
Anthony Misiewicz1 day ago

DFA'd By Royals
Eguy Rosario1 day ago

Out Until Summer With Broken Ankle
Jesús Luzardo1 day ago

Jesus Luzardo Wins Arbitration Case Over Marlins
Gunnar Henderson1 day ago

To Work At Short And Third Base
John Means1 day ago

Won't Return Until At Least July
Luis Severino1 day ago

Won't Pitch In World Baseball Classic
Derek Carr1 day ago

Won't Extend Contract Trigger Date
Derek Carr2 days ago

Expected To Draw Plenty Of Interest
Aaron Rodgers2 days ago

: "I'm Not Going To San Fran"
Joe Mixon2 days ago

Charges Against Joe Mixon Will Be Dropped
Joe Mixon2 days ago

Has Warrant For Arrest
DJ Stewart2 days ago

Mets Sign DJ Stewart To Minor-League Deal
Mecole Hardman2 days ago

Unlikely To Play In Super Bowl
Stephen Strasburg2 days ago

Has Resumed Throwing
Anthony Rendon2 days ago

Feeling "Fantastic"
Kodai Senga2 days ago

Had Iffy Physical With Mets
Mark Leiter Jr.2 days ago

Re-Signs With Cubs
Mark Stone2 days ago

Out Indefinitely Following Back Surgery
Mitchell Marner2 days ago

Reaches 60 Points With Wednesday's Goal
Charlie Coyle2 days ago

Hands Out Two Assists
Alex Tuch2 days ago

Scores Only Sabres Goal In Wednesday's Defeat
Jesperi Kotkaniemi2 days ago

Picks Up Two Assists Against Buffalo
Tage Thompson2 days ago

Exits With Injury
Antti Raanta3 days ago

Shuts Down Sabres Wednesday
Stefan Noesen3 days ago

Picks Up Two Points In Victory
Pavel Zacha3 days ago

Scores Twice In Bruins Win
David Krejci3 days ago

Pockets Assist Wednesday
Jimmy Garoppolo3 days ago

Will Not Return To 49ers Next Season
Gustav Nyquist3 days ago

Set To Miss Rest Of The Season
Linus Ullmark3 days ago

Tries To End A Losing Run Wednesday
Ilya Samsonov3 days ago

Chases Another Home Win
Mattias Samuelsson3 days ago

Available Again Wednesday
Dylan Cozens3 days ago

Returns To Action Wednesday
Tage Thompson3 days ago

Ready To Go Wednesday
Tua Tagovailoa3 days ago

Clears The Concussion Protocol
Dak Prescott3 days ago

Cowboys Open To Extension For Dak Prescott
Daniel Jones3 days ago

Giants Want To Re-Sign Daniel Jones
Justin Fields3 days ago

Bears Sticking With Justin Fields; Set To Trade First Pick?
MMA3 days ago

Sergey Spivak Can Earn A Big Victory Saturday
Derrick Lewis3 days ago

Looking For First Win Since 2021
Devin Clark3 days ago

Hoping To Turn Things Around
MMA3 days ago

Jung Da Un Set For Big Co-Main-Event Spotlight
Will Gordon3 days ago

In The Field At Pebble Beach
Thomas Detry3 days ago

Set For Pebble Beach Debut
Blagoy Ivanov3 days ago

Hoping For Big Start To 2023
MMA3 days ago

Marcin Tybura Set To Improve No. 10 Ranking If Victorious
Jordan Spieth3 days ago

Always An Option At Pebble Beach
Kyle Nelson3 days ago

Hoping To Prevent Three-Fight Losing Streak
MMA3 days ago

Choi Doo-ho Returns To Action After Layoff
Viktor Hovland3 days ago

Set To Play At Pebble Beach
Maverick McNealy3 days ago

A Nice Option At Pebble Beach
Tom Brady3 days ago

Announces Retirement From The NFL
Nick Suzuki3 days ago

Dishes Out Two Assists
Thomas Chabot3 days ago

Delivers Three Assists In Tuesday's Win
Erik Gustafsson3 days ago

Tallies Two Assists
Johnny Gaudreau3 days ago

Stays Hot With 14th Goal
Sebastian Aho3 days ago

Extends Goal Streak With Game-Winner
Lamar Jackson4 days ago

Likely To Be Franchise Tagged
Houston Texans4 days ago

Texans Hire DeMeco Ryans As Head Coach
Denver Broncos4 days ago

Broncos Acquire Sean Payton As Next Head Coach
Ben Griffin4 days ago

Set To Make AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Debut
Beau Hossler4 days ago

Looks To Repeat Success At Pebble Beach
Kurt Kitayama4 days ago

Searching For Form
Russell Knox4 days ago

Looks To Stay Consistent At Pebble Beach
PGA4 days ago

Matt Fitzpatrick An Elite Fantasy Option At Pebble Beach
Adam Fugitt4 days ago

Set For A Very Tough Test
Yusaku Kinoshita4 days ago

Japanese Finisher Yusaku Kinoshita Set For UFC Debut
Taylor Pendrith4 days ago

Seeking Better Fortune At Pebble Beach
Justin Lower4 days ago

Sets Up Well For Pebble Beach
Davis Riley4 days ago

Not On Many Radars For Pebble Beach
Matthew NeSmith4 days ago

Trying To Turn Back Clock At Pebble Beach
Justin Rose4 days ago

Needs To Avoid Mistakes At Pebble Beach
Brock Purdy5 days ago

Will Have Surgery On Elbow
Brock Purdy5 days ago

Out Six Months With UCL Tear
Kyle Pitts5 days ago

' Rehab "On Schedule"
Tyler Boyd6 days ago

Has Two Catches On Sunday, Exits Due To Injury