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3 months agoWalker Buehler is a dark horse to finish the 2020 season as the top fantasy starter in the game. He was already great in 2019, producing a 3.26 ERA and 3.37 xFIP en route to a 14-4 record in 182 1/3 IP. He also struck out the world (29.2 K%) while rarely walking anyone (5 BB%) for an outstanding 24.2 K-BB%, a quick yet effective way of measuring any pitcher's season. The secret to Buehler's success was throwing more four-seam fastballs (53.2% after 41.5% in '18), a pitch that rated well above average by both SwStr% (10.4%) and RPM (2,467). In contrast, he cut back on a sinker (18.1% to 7%) that generated only a 4.1% SwStr% in 2019. Of course, a pitcher isn't the only person who influences his final line. The Dodgers boast easily the best projection in the NL West, giving Buehler plenty of run and bullpen support to pad his win total that Jacob deGrom probably won't receive. He also pitches for an NL club, meaning that he won't face a DH as often as Gerrit Cole or Justin Verlander will. Perhaps most importantly, the 25-year old is literally a decade younger than Max Scherzer. Take a hitter with your first pick and draft Buehler to front your rotation at his NFBC ADP of 18.19.--Rick Lucks - RotoBaller
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