Can Jason Vargas Continue to Roll?

Apr 12, 2012


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Jason Vargas is off to an impressive start to the 2012 baseball season at 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and .171 BAA in 11-2/3 innings over two starts. Can he continue to pitch well and be an attractive option to fantasy owners?
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Last year he went 10-13 with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Obviously not banner numbers, but he managed a solid 201 innings of work. In 2010 he went 9-12 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Again, not great, but a solid 192-2/3 innings of work.
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You can’t simply plug him in during home starts. While that would have worked in 2010 when he went 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP at Safeco (2-7, 4.85, 1.31 on th road), he was the opposite last year. Vargas was 7-9, 4.56 ERA, 1.25 at home and 3-4, 3.79, 1.41 on the road.
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Obviously he had some luck on the road given his bloated WHIP, but he was still a more attractive pitcher at home.
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Part of Vargas’ early success can be contributed to favorable match-ups. He faced the Oakland A’s in both of his outings. They aren’t exactly the upper echelon of MLB offenses. Vargas had success against them last year despite a 1-3 record, posting a 3.86 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP against them in five starts.
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Vargas is owned in 9.0 percent of Yahoo! and 5.6 percent of ESPN leagues.
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I wouldn’t recommend adding him to your staff permanently. He certainly has some use if you pick your spots. Obviously he’ll have the occasional game where he’ll get rocked. He’ll also have games where he’ll deliver. He has shown enough consistency over the past two years though that merits consideration when the match-ups are favorable.
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