The elite left-handed starters have a big advantage just for the simple fact that most players see a lot more right-handed pitching. Look for teams that have not faced a Quality Left-handed starter for some time (five games or more) and you will have a nice winning investment. Here are my Top 5 Left-handed starting pitchers age 27 or younger going forward for the 2023 season. I'm very excited to see the new pitch clock rule speed up the game, which has been desperately needed for quite some time.
No. 1 Julio Urias (LA Dodgers) AGE: 26 (2022: 17-7, 2.16 ERA, 0.96 WHIP)
Julio Urias was No. 3 on this list back in 2020 and will occupy the top spot until he's no longer eligible. Julio had another terrific season after his breakout performance in 2021. For his career, Urias has 593 strikeouts in 599.2 innings, with a 49-17 W/L record and 2.82 ERA. The Dodgers previously refused every trade when teams asked for Julio ever since his rookie year back in 2016. I think the Dodgers made the right decision. His "stuff" is dynamic featuring a mid to upper 90s fastball, cutter, slider, curve-ball and devastating change-up. I would expect Julio to thrive with the new rules (pitching clock) as Urias has never wasted time on the bump. Grab him as your "Ace" in the 2nd or 3rd round. Love him!
No. 2 Trevor Rogers (Miami Marlins) AGE: 25 (2022: 4-11, 5.47 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)
Trevor suffered through numerous injuries last season which derailed his performance. He still managed to record 106 strikeouts in 107 innings pitched. Two years ago, Rogers recorded 157 strikeouts in just 133 innings. If he gets any run support this year, you're looking at 15+ wins. The strikeouts will always be there with a sterling 26.1% K-rate. His hard hit percentage has improved in each of his first three seasons. Trevor's fastball averages 94.5 MPH, which he throws 54.5% of the time. His change-up averages 85.2 MPH, which he throws 27.2% of the time. Both pitches appear from the same exact arm slot and with the new rules (pitching clock), Rogers should have his best season of his young career. You can draft him after round five as most fantasy owners will be scared off based on his numbers last year. Don't miss out. He's healthy and looks like a monster in spring training. These young stud lefties are hard to find. Trevor Rogers has 302 strikeouts in 268 innings pitched during his career. You want to draft starting pitchers that average at least one strikeout per inning. He's also a "play on" starting pitcher I want to back if the line is right. I am super high on him this season!
No. 3 Reid Detmers (LA Angels) AGE: 23 (2022: 7-6, 3.77 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)
Reid Detmers is extremely talented and should have his best season if he can stay healthy. He recorded 122 strikeouts in 129 innings pitched in 2022. In his career, Detmers has 141 strikeouts in 149.2 innings pitched. Keep in mind, these young lefties are like fine wine and get better with age. The Angles should be improved this season which can only help Detmers reach double digit victories. He held opposing hitters to a .227 batting average last season. His four-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, slider, change-up) from the same arm slot makes it extremely tough for opposing batters. Reid Detmers is projected to be the Angles' fifth starter this season. Pecota projects 85.7 wins for the Angles this season. Certainly, Detmers can reach double digit victories with a lot of strikeouts. The wins will depend on run support (Thanks Captain Obvious!) and Pecota is projecting 754 runs scored, which ranks No. 2 in the American League behind the Astros. The ceiling is high and should make for a nice sleeper in the mid to late rounds!
No. 4 Jesus Luzardo (Miami Marlins) AGE: 25 (2022: 4-7, 3.32 ERA, 1.03 WHIP)
The Marlins are very excited to watch Luzardo build on last year's performance. He recorded 120 strikeouts in 100.1 innings in his first full season as a starter. In his career, Jesus has 293 strikeouts in 266.2 innings pitched. Nasty! Those strikeouts could be the difference in winning your fantasy matchup week to week. The Marlins are so high on him, he's listed as the team's second starter behind stud Ace Sandy Alcantara. Jesus's fastball averaged 96.1 MPH last season, with a tremendous slider (83.8 MPH), and improving change-up, which he threw a career high 22.5% in his starts. Late round sleeper with ginormous upside once again this season!
No. 5 Nick Lodolo (Cincinnati Reds) AGE: 25 (2022: 4-7, 3.66 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
Looked imposing on the mound as a rookie last season at 6'6 and 218 pounds. Nick Lodolo recorded 131 strikeouts in 103.1 innings pitched, holding hitters to a .235 batting average. He showed great improvement in command as the season progressed. The Reds have him listed as SP2 on their depth chart. Hunter Greene is SP1. The Reds might struggle to win games (Pecota projects 67.6), but his K-rate was 29.7% (Higher than Trevor Rogers) last season. There will be plenty of strikeouts so your fantasy team will rack up a lot of points. Lodolo is poised to have a breakout season, especially if he gets run support. His three-pitch mix (Fastball, Slider, and Change-up) are all above average. I have a feeling Nick Lodolo will be ranked higher on this list next year. Late round sleeper with a lot of promise!
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Good Luck this Baseball Season!