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 78.35 projected fantasy points puts him at #13 behind Emilio Pagan and ahead of Shane Greene. He is expected to be out through 8/14 which impacts his rest of season ranking. He has averaged 5.13 fantasy points in his past 77 games, which is slightly more than our projected per game average. He is projected to average 4.9 fantasy points. His rank based on avg proj (#7) is better than his rank based on total fantasy points. He is slightly overrated if you compare his ownership based rank with his projection rank. At 94%, he is the #10 most highly owned reliever. With 14 games played, he is the #44.1666666666667 ranked reliever this season.

REST OF SEASON RANK (RP) PROJECTIONFANTASY STATS SINCE 2018
#11 Kirby Yates (97% OWN)80 FP, 3.79 per game135 FP, 65 gp, 2.08 per game (#31)
#12 Emilio Pagan (41% OWN)78 FP, 4.13 per game135 FP, 65 gp, 2.08 per game (#31)
#13 Craig Kimbrel (94% OWN)78 FP, 4.9 per game351 FP, 63 gp, 5.57 per game (#2)
#14 Shane Greene (89% OWN)78 FP, 4.11 per game191 FP, 66 gp, 2.89 per game (#16)
#15 Felipe Vazquez (95% OWN)76 FP, 3.78 per game282 FP, 70 gp, 4.03 per game (#9)

FANTASY PROJECTIONS AND ACTUAL STATS

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

CRAIG KIMBRELFPSVHDIPKBB
Rest of 20197810.50.816.0227.0
-- Per Game (16 Proj)4.80.640.050.981.30.43
8/12 to 8/18 (1.6 Games)7.50.990.081.62.10.68
2019 Season44.29013178
-- Per Game (14 GP)3.20.640.000.901.20.57
2018 to 20193955107211339
-- Per Game (77 GP)5.10.660.000.931.50.51