I covered Erasmo Ramirez for the main site earlier this week, disecting his repertoire and comparing him to Kris Medlen. In fantasy leagues, I picked up Ramirez before his lastest start, an impressive eight inning, two runs allowed, six strikeout performance against the Orioles at Safeco Field on Tuesday night. He is owned in just 2% of Yahoo! leagues, so if you are still alive in fantasy or are looking to bolster your rotation at the end of the roto season, Ramirez has to be one of the top targets on the waiver wire.
He will pitch against the Angels next Tuesday, and I expect another solid outing from him. His command is his best attribute, so he should maintain a rather low WHIP even if he does get hit around a bit. Expecting eight innngs and two runs is probably asking a bit too much, but a quality start is certainly attainable and something I would bet on entering this start.
In dynasty leagues, Ramirez is especially interesting. As I noted in my piece from earlier this week, he has all the tools to be a succesful starter and pitching in the AL West should help him reach “every week starter” numbers rather quickly. The big thing Ramirez has done this year is increase his velocity, which has allowed him to bring up his strikeout numbers to a respectable level. Of all the things to monitor with Ramirez, his velocity is what to focus on. If he can sustain low to mid 90’s with his fastball than his secondary pitches should become even more effective. His best pitch is his changeup, so if he can work through the early parts of plate appearances effectively enough to get into pitcher friendly counts then his strikeout numbers should stay at around 6.5-7 per nine innings.
There is a lot to like about Ramirez, both in his final few starts this year and for next season. Stash him away in dynasty leagues if he is available and pick him up in daily or weekly leagues for his final couple of starts if you need some pitching help. I doubt you will be dissappointed.