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2 months agoAfter a remarkable 2018 campaign, Aaron Nola fell back to earth with a 3.87 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 34 starts for the Phillies last season. He kept his trend of striking batters out with a career-high 229 K in 202.1 IP, but a troublesome 9.4% walk rate plagued the right-hander. Nola was also notably burned by the league’s home run surge in 2019, giving up 1.20 HR/9 after entering the season with a lifetime 0.89 mark. He held a superb 50.9% ground-ball rate, which finished just outside the top-10, but hitters were still able to take him deep thanks to an elevated 17.4% HR/FB. The 26-year-old seemed to have set his ceiling in 2018 and his floor in 2019, so the law of averages suggests his 2020 numbers should fall halfway in between these two polarizing seasons. If he can regain his command to a BB% closer to his 7.4% career rate, with an expected regression in HR/FB, a mid-three ERA and sub 1.20 WHIP is certainly attainable. Nola’s 50.69 ADP would be justified if this scenario transpires, especially seeing as he’s one of the safer bets around his draft value to reach 200 IP next season.--Riley Mrack - RotoBaller
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