By Eriq Gardner //
Throughout his career, Brett Myers has been synonymous with volatility. He posted a 200+ strikeout season as an ace starter in 2005, a 20+ save season as a decent closer in 2007, and a poor 4.84 ERA as a headache-inducing starter in 2009. Simply put, fantasy owners have no idea what they’re getting in the talented but hot-headed Myers in any given season.
Remarkably, however, Myers is the model of consistency this season. He’s now pitched 23 consecutive games this season of at least six innings — a new Houston Astros record. He’s allowed three or fewer runs in 16 of those games.
The market has been slow to note the former ace’s recovery. He’s only owned in two-thirds of all fantasy leagues. For those doubting fantasy owners, Myers’ reputation for being untrustworthy has trumped a 3.21 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, and 119 strikeouts in 157 innings. Myers’ numbers compare favorably to some of the biggest-name pitchers in the game.
His fine year led to a contract extension with the rebuilding Astros, who turned down offers for him before the trading deadline.
Myers should appreciate the fact that he’s no longer in Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, traditionally one of the most friendliest to sluggers. Last season, Myers gave up an astronomical 2.29 HRs every nine innings. This season, he’s only giving up 0.80 HRs per nine innings. The massive improvement has been aided by a slightly low 8.9% HR/FB, but also a better home environment, more induced grounders, and regression from a ridiculously unlucky HR/FB of 23.4% last year – which can’t possibly all be attributed to the Phillies’ home park.
Just as impressively, Myers seems to be getting better month-to-month. He’s no longer the strikeout master that he was five years ago, but his K-rate has been steadily rising: 6.27 K/9 in April, 6.88 in May, 7.36 in June, and 7.41 in July.
Added up, Myers has a 3.87 xFIP this year, which indicates some good luck compared to his 3.21 ERA, but still very solid. Only 25 starters this season have a better xFIP than Myers.
If there’s one hole in Myers’ armor, it’s been wins. Despite going deep into games and not giving up many runs, Myers only has eight victories this year. It’s hardly his fault. Myers plays for a team that provides miserly run support. Still, the rest of Myers’ profile shows a pitcher who should be owned nearly universally in fantasy leagues.