So What Exactly Is Wade Miley?

We know he is a pitcher, and we know he is a relatively good pitcher who is left-handed and pitches in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the sport. We also know that in 282.2 innings he has been worth 5.1 WAR, which is awfully impressive. But just how good is he and how heavily should you be targeting him in fantasy leagues?

Prior to his past outing against the Braves in which he was beaten up, his ERA was below 3.00 despite his walk rate taking a big spike upward this year compared to last. Currently, his strikeout rate is on par with what it was last year at 17.2% but his walk rate has doubled, which is a cause for concern. Even with the big spike, his ERA sits at a still respectable 3.75 and he has been a worthwhile starter in fantasy through his eight starts this season.

Two things Miley has done incredibly well over the course of his first 48 games in the league have been keep the ball on the ground and also in the ballpark. He is not a strikeout king, so you won’t own him or try to acquire him for his punchouts. I look at him essentially as a newer version of Tim Hudson. He will have okay strikeout numbers, should rack up a decent amount of wins, keep your ERA and WHIP competitive, and keep the ball in the ballpark.

The last statement is a difficult one considering his home ballpark – and just three of his eight starts have come at home this season. However, the only two home runs he has allowed at home this year came in his start this week against Atlanta, a team that is known for hitting a decent amount of long balls. In 99.1 innings last year, Miley allowed just six home runs in Arizona. His overall appearances at home are still in a small sample, but so far he has shown a quality ability to suppress home runs. I am not going to say for sure that it will continue, but at this point I would be more surprised than not if he had a league average home run per fly ball rate by year end.

His one seven walk outing aside, he has allowed no more than three free passes in any game. You cannot simply take out such a bad outing as that one, but it is worth noting that he has not necessarily continued to have big issues with his control. Miley is not the top end guy that he appeared to be at points last year, but he is definitely a guy I like buying after a poor outing and while his value is relatively low.




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Ben Duronio writes for Capitol Avenue Club, FanGraphs, and does the Sports Illustrated Power Rankings. Follow Ben on twitter @Ben_Duronio.


6 Responses to “So What Exactly Is Wade Miley?”

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  1. Kip says:

    A guy you like more than either Milone or Estrada RoS, or no? Thanks.

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  2. marlinswin12 says:

    Estrada gives up too many HR’s. Terrible fastball.

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  3. Joe says:

    Miley > Milone and Estrada.

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    • Ben says:

      Agreed. Millone is only start-able when he’s at home (career 2.98 ERA / 1.1 WHIP at home vs. 4.53 ERA / 1.5 WHIP on the road)

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  4. Cory says:

    He is a pitcher who went to my old college.

    But seriously, Hudson gets 5-10% more ground balls than Miley. I can see Miley getting there, but so far it is an incomplete comparison. Seems like Buchholz/Kuroda would make solid comparisons.

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  5. Josh M says:

    I have Miley in my keeper league and I kept him largely because he walks next to no one and doesnt give up the long balls. I am disappoint.

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