Fantasy Baseball Friday: Get Back on the Bumgarner Bandwagon


by Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)

The San Francisco Giants are built on their pitching staff, and if you drafted phenom Madison Bumgarner, chances are he’s one of your anchor hurlers just like he is for the Giants. Chances are that he’s also made you pull your hair out more than a few times lately with his recent string of mediocre outings; but those days are over.

The North Carolina-born pitcher shut down the offensively gifted Colorado Rockies Sept. 17, posting his first quality start since Aug. 20 against the Dodgers. Bumgarner limited Colorado to just one earned run over six innings with six strikeouts en route to his 15th win of the season.

While he has played against some talented offenses like the Diamondbacks and Braves during his recent slump, the fact he got roughed up for four runs in as many innings against the Cubs is probably where Bumgarner owners hit the panic button.

That may have been the right thing to do, but he’s been everything his owners drafted all year. The fact the skid came around the last few weeks of the season isn’t ideal, but considering his stellar outings before the slump, it’s safe to say Bumgarner is back to his dominant self.

From July 13 to Aug. 20, the 21-year-old Giant gave up three runs or less in his nine outings over that time. He posted 59 strikeouts and just 13 earned runs during the aforementioned stretch.

His 3.26 ERA is still better than Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia, Jeremy Hellickson and Zack Grienke. Those are some of the more prominent names on the pitching side of things and Bumgarner beats them all in the earned run category; kind of tells you he’s been pretty good this year.

If you drafted Bumgarner, he was likely drafted to be your Ace or No. 2 pitcher and you probably stayed with him through this recent rough stretch. Well then, you’ll be back to feeling proud of that pick soon.

Bumgarner has a history of coming through for the Giants and fantasy owners late in the season. Take 2010 when San Francisco won the World Series and he posted a 2.18 ERA in the postseason. In 2011, he brought his ERA down from 3.43 at the end of August to 3.21 by the end of September with four quality starts that month.

In his short career, Bumgarner has proven he’s a late game player for the Giants and he’ll be one for your fantasy team too.

Photo Credit MLBBoards

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