If you selected Chris Tillman on fantasy draft day and have started him in every single outing in 2014, chances are pretty good that you’ve been a bit disappointed.
Chris Tillman, 2014
Having said that, if you picked him up eight starts ago, you might be singing a different tune about the O’s Opening Day starter.
Last 8 Starts
So, let’s take a look at what we can expect from Chris Tillman the rest of the way, starting with his probable opponents.
Remaining Probable Starts
|July 23||at Los Angeles Angels|
|July 29||vs. Los Angeles Angels|
|August 3||vs. Seattle Mariners|
|August 8||vs. St. Louis Cardinals|
|August 13||vs. New York Yankees|
|August 19||at Chicago White Sox|
|August 25||vs. Tampa Bay Rays|
|August 30||vs. Minnesota Twins|
|September 4||vs. Cincinnati Reds|
|September 9||at Boston Red Sox|
|September 15||vs. Toronto Blue Jays|
|September 21||vs. Boston Red Sox|
|September 26||at Toronto Blue Jays|
What I Like
- While his next two outings are against the Angels and the last four are against only the Blue Jays and Red Sox, there aren’t nearly as many rematches. Also, while there are some tough assignments in there, it’s not exactly a murder’s row.
- This has been a hot streak for Chris Tillman, but it’s not necessarily one that can’t be sustained. Even if it can’t, the crash shouldn’t be that hard. He’s pitching well, but not phenomenally well which, believe it or not, is a good thing.
- The consistency is exceptional. Seven quality starts in eight outings shows that at least for now, I can depend on him to not burn me. That’s a little more valuable in head-t0-head formats, but dependability is always a big plus.
What I Don’t Like
- Tillman’s overall resume isn’t great. He did have a strong 2012, but that came in only 86 innings. If you’re looking for full season success to fall back on, you’re really looking at 2013. It’s good that it’s the most recent year and that the one before was good, even if abbreviated, but you generally want to see a little more than that if you’re hoping an under-performing pitcher will continue to turn things around.
- Even in the hot streak, Chris Tillman is striking out fewer than one hitter for every two innings. I don’t necessarily believe that hot streaks aren’t sustainable because hitters are making regular contact, but that number needs to get a lot better for fantasy owners.
Full disclosure: I’ve been a fan of Chris Tillman for the better part of two seasons. Judging by his ownership rate — even through much of a good 2013 campaign — it was not a crowded bandwagon. So, I might be a bit biased here, but I like Tillman.
The strikeout rate will come up. Yes, the nearly 8 K/9 in 2013 was something of an outlier, but so is the poor rate he has recently.
The Orioles are a contending team, but they’re by no means running away with anything. So, I’m not expecting Chris Tillman to get bumped from any September starts once the rosters expand.
Having said all of that, I don’t know how patient I’d be if he takes a sharp 180 in a few starts. But for now, Tillman’s a guy you should be adding if you need the pitching help.