Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Fister Nationals: Move to DC Makes Pitcher More Fantasy Relevant


The Detroit Tigers have struck again in the Hot Stove season. In a move first reported by Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, Doug Fister will be on the Washington Nationals.

Justin Verlander chimed in with his take.

Oh, Verlander, why must you tease us so? Sigh. I digress.

This isn’t the first time I’ve said this, but I’m a big fan of Fister. A guy who pounds the strike zone as relentlessly as he does but still strikes hitters out at a good rate can play on my fantasy team any day. What does this move do for his value? Well, it can’t really hurt. Moving from the American League to the National League tends to be a good thing for pitchers and for Fister, it would appear to be just that. 

Doug Fister vs. National League

IP
H-BB
ER
K
ERA
WHIP
79.167-1118652.040.983
*Note: Those numbers include Fister’s one World Series start.

Weigh those numbers against a career 3.53 ERA and 1.213 WHIP and we’re possibly looking at a big upgrade. That’s not to say that Fister will extrapolate those numbers over a full year on the Senior Circuit, but it does indicate that a better season is in the cards.

But wait, there’s more.

 

The Ballparks

Comerica Park has a bit of a reputation as a pitcher’s park. But in 2013, it didn’t really ring true, at least according to ESPN’s Park Factors in runs, home runs, and hits.

Park
Run Factor (Rank)
HR Factor (Rank)
Hit Factor (Rank)
Nationals Park1.103 (13)0.804 (26)1.089 (3)
Comerica Park1.139 (3)1.103 (13)1.045 (6)
Those numbers can always be a little misleading over the course of one season, but the point is that he’s certainly not looking at a downgrade in home parks. More likely than not, Fister is going to a better place to pitch.

 

The Teams

Value the win however you want, but it’s still a stat in just about every fantasy league out there. So, in 2013, what did they bring to the table in the standings, runs scored, and bullpen

Team
2013 Wins
2013 Runs (Per Game)
2013 Bullpen ERA
Nationals86656 (4.05)3.56
Tigers93796 (4.91)4.01

This would appear to be a downgrade, but remember that the Nationals did win 98 games in 2012. Also, remember that the Tigers lost Prince Fielder and while Verlander’s note above didn’t indicate that they’re done, the loss of Fielder’s protection could very well lower the run production of Miguel Cabrera.

You also can’t ignore the bullpen differences. If you watched the American League playoffs, you’d know that the Tigers have a lot of holes to fill in the bullpen. I can’t imagine any of their pitchers handed them the ball with a one-run lead and felt good they’d get it. Sure, they’re looking to improve it, but nothing major has happened as of now. Washington is a bit more known.

So even though the Tigers had a better W-L record, I can’t call this much worse than a push for Fister.

 

Early Ranking

We’ll have projections for Fister as the rest of the offseason materializes, but this should do wondrous things for Fister. He was 58th on ESPN’s Player Rater in 2013 and right now, I don’t have much of an issue saying that this puts him in the Top-40.

Tags: Doug Fister Washington Nationals