Buy Kimbrel, His Value Is Low After A Bumpy Start

SCOUT ANALYST JOHN BOLLMAN'S TAKE

Kimbrel had been dominant as the Closer for the Red Sox and was holding out for Jansen/Chapman money, but "settled" for a 3-years, $43 million with the Chicago Cubs. After not signing a contract until June, Kimbrel started off a bit rusty in his tenure with the Cubs. In his three appearances with the Cubs, Kimbrel gave up 5 ER in just 2.2 IP (16.88 ERA). In his three appearances since, Kimbrel has gone 3 innings allowing 0 ER and has given up just 1 hit, lowering his ERA to 7.94. SportsLine projects Kimbrel to finish the remainder of the season with the exact same amount of fantasy points as Aroldis Chapman. Kimbrel is projected to have a 3.65 ERA and 16 saves in his final 27 appearances of 2019. Kimbrel's career-high in ERA is 3.40 in 2016, so I wouldn't be surprised if Kimbrel's ERA is better than 3.65 ERA. Kimbrel's dip in cutter velocity from 97.5 MPH last year to 96.0 MPH this year is a bit of a concern, but I think that is mostly contributed to his lack of in game experience this season. Kimbrel has hit 98.5 MPH this season and his avg velocity should go up this season with time. Kimbrel's last three appearances are a good indication that he has found a groove.

REST OF SEASON OUTLOOK AND POSITION RANK

Expect Craig Kimbrel to be a reliable fantasy starter the rest of the season. His 108.3 projected fantasy points puts him at #6 behind Sean Doolittle and ahead of Liam Hendriks. He has averaged 5.29 fantasy points in his past 74 games, which is more than our projected per game average. He is projected to average 4.51 fantasy points. His rank based on avg proj (#8) is worse than his rank based on total fantasy points. He is slightly underrated if you compare his ownership based rank with his projection rank. At 95%, he is the #9 most highly owned reliever. With 11 games played, he is the #40.6666666666667 ranked reliever this season.

REST OF SEASON RANK (RP) PROJECTIONFANTASY STATS SINCE 2018
#4 Brad Hand (97% OWN)117 FP, 4.87 per game227 FP, 69 gp, 3.29 per game (#12)
#5 Sean Doolittle (95% OWN)113 FP, 4.93 per game210 FP, 42 gp, 4.99 per game (#4)
#6 Craig Kimbrel (95% OWN)108 FP, 4.51 per game351 FP, 63 gp, 5.57 per game (#2)
#7 Liam Hendriks (81% OWN)105 FP, 3.89 per game351 FP, 63 gp, 5.57 per game (#2)
#8 Ken Giles (85% OWN)101 FP, 4.04 per game156 FP, 55 gp, 2.83 per game (#17)

FANTASY PROJECTIONS AND ACTUAL STATS

The tables below show projected stats (totals and averages) for the rest of the season and upcoming weeks. Also included are actual stats from the current and last season.

CRAIG KIMBRELFPSVHDIPKBB
Rest of 201910814.21.2233310.6
-- Per Game (24 Proj)4.60.600.050.981.40.45
7/22 to 7/28 (0.8 Games)3.50.450.040.811.10.35
7/29 to 8/4 (2.4 Games)10.71.40.122.43.51.1
2019 Season40.77011147
-- Per Game (11 GP)3.70.640.000.971.30.64
2018 to 20193924907011038
-- Per Game (74 GP)5.30.660.000.951.50.51