Fantasy Baseball Hot Take Alert: Rays Tyler Glasnow a top Fantasy Starter?

Tyler Glasnow will be the Rays’ opening day starter on April 1 against the Marlins. The official ace of the Rays rotation has been blowing fastballs by opposing batters all spring. 

Glasnow is now the “guy” atop of the rotation, following the trade of Blake Snell to the Padres and declining Charlie Morton’s option. The 27-year-old right-hander, was solid for the Rays in the shortened 2020 season. He went 5-1 with a 4.08 ERA, 1.134 WHIP and had 91 strikeouts over 57.1 innings. 

Rays starter Tyler Glasnow during the postseason.

During the postseason, Glasnow was even better but the Rays would go on to lose the World Series. However, that’s all in the past and now he heads into 2021 with higher expectations. 

Expectations Around Glasnow in 2021

What do those expectations look like for Glasnow from a fantasy perspective? 

According to FantasyPros, the overall consensus ranking for Glasnow is 53rd overall but 17th amongst starting pitchers. They project Glasnow to win 11 games and have a 3.50 ERA with 201 strikeouts. 

Fantasy Pros breakdown of Tyler Glasnow.

Glasnow has been throwing gas all spring while mixing in curveballs and changeups. Rays manager Kevin Cash commented on his ace’s velocity and ability to mix pitches this spring. 

“I know he’s pretty excited about it, and he should be because he feels like he can land that pitch for strikes fairly consistently,” said Cash. “With Glas, it’s a lot of fastballs at the top of the zone [and] featuring that snap curveball right off that fastball. A slider has a little bit more shape, a little bit more tilt to it, and something that he can harness in the zone a little bit better.”

Glasnow 2020 rankings per Baseball Savant.

Glasnow needs to be consistent with his pitch variety and throw his pitches for strikes. He has the ability to dominate hitters but will need to use his other pitches to keep his opponents honest at the plate. 

Fantasy Focus

Depending on how your league is structured will depend on where you should draft Glasnow. Last season, Glasnow was dominate for only 12 games and he holds a career 4.43 ERA. His career ERA does not scream drafting him as a top fantasy starter. 

He has only been a two-pitch starter over the course of career but has begun to mix in a third as mentioned above. A lot of publications are down on Glasnow and calling him a bust. 

2020 Statcast for Glasnow.

Glasnow has been dominant this spring and his fantasy value is lower than his hype. I like drafting a starter like this because there is just so much upside with him. Drafting Glasnow has your ace wouldn’t be wise. However, I like potentially drafting him higher this season because his upside. 

Glasnow or Bust?

In conclusion, his dominant numbers are only from Spring Training but he has looked good. He might be ranked #17 best pitcher according to ADP, but the upside is there and this season he might be worth the gamble.

In the words of Jack Nicholson who played the Joker in the 1989 version of Batman, “have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?”

If you want clarification on that comment, the Joker tells Bruce Wayne he asks that question to all his prey and then he shoots Wayne. I’ll shoot my shot and draft Glasnow earlier because I love his upside. 

Glasnow or bust.

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