Zack Greinke
Zack Greinke
35-Year-Old PitcherSP
Houston Astros
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Note to self: when Greinke exhibits reduced velocity, ignore it. It's become a rite of spring. Greinke struggles in the exhibition season only to kick things into gear when the games count. One of these years, Father Time will catch up, but that keeps his cost of acquisition low for those willing to take the chance for one more season. The veteran has topped 200 innings in four of the last five seasons. After struggling in the desert his first year with the Diamondbacks, he's posted nearly identical seasons. His ERA estimators portended a little higher than his 3.21 mark from 2018, but not much. Skills-wise, Greinke posted strikeout and walk rates in line with recent campaigns. There is undeniable age-related risk, as Greinke has amassed a ton of innings and only averages 90 mph with his fastball. However, he is being drafted as an SP2 in mixed leagues after finishing in the top 12 among starting pitchers in all but one season since 2014. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks in December of 2015.
Earns 200th career win
PHouston Astros
August 18, 2019
Greinke (13-4) allowed one run on four hits and three walks over seven innings Sunday, striking out six and earning the win over Oakland.
Greinke is now 3-0 since being traded to the Astros and hit a huge career milestone with his 200th victory. Marcus Semien's solo shot in the fourth inning accounted for Oakland's lone run in the contest. The 35-year-old lowered his season ERA to 2.84 with a 149:28 K:BB. Greinke will aim for a 4-0 start to his Astros career at home against the Angels on Friday.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .232 1098 254 59 237 47 2 27
Since 2017vs Right .225 1182 309 57 250 55 6 43
2019vs Left .216 311 67 15 63 14 0 8
2019vs Right .230 329 82 13 71 16 2 9
2018vs Left .234 380 80 21 82 15 1 9
2018vs Right .229 459 119 22 99 22 1 19
2017vs Left .241 407 107 23 92 18 1 10
2017vs Right .217 394 108 22 80 17 3 15
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 2.78 1.00 295.0 25 6 0 9.1 1.8 0.9
Since 2017Away 3.44 1.10 280.0 20 16 0 8.5 1.8 1.3
2019Home 2.96 1.01 73.0 5 1 0 7.9 1.0 0.7
2019Away 2.74 0.96 92.0 8 3 0 8.3 2.0 1.1
2018Home 2.55 1.04 106.0 7 4 0 8.7 2.4 0.8
2018Away 3.90 1.12 101.2 8 7 0 8.5 1.3 1.7
2017Home 2.87 0.96 116.0 13 1 0 10.2 1.8 1.2
2017Away 3.65 1.23 86.1 4 6 0 8.8 2.3 1.0
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Stat Review
How does Zack Greinke compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 70 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
89.9 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
87.5 mph
Spin Rate
2223 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
It certainly appears 2016 was an outlier as even with that tumultuous campaign, Greinke's 2.93 ERA over the past three seasons is fourth best among starters with at least 500 innings pitched. The primary reason for Greinke's bounce-back season was a sharp increase in strikeout rate (9.6 K/9), supported by a career-best swinging strike rate (12.4 percent). Greinke's velocity dropped a tick while his overall pitch mix was fundamentally the same. He threw fewer first-pitch strikes, also throwing fewer overall strikes. Perhaps it was sequencing or just confidence after spending a year in the desert, but Greinke's change and slider were much better pitches his second season with the Diamondbacks. He's still a fantasy ace, but at 34, with a lot of mileage on his arm, it's best to expect a give-back in terms of strikeouts. Though, with the humidor installed at Chase Field, any ERA correction from fewer whiffs should be mitigated with a subsequent drop in homers.
In the first year of a six-year, $206.5 million deal with Arizona, Greinke failed to meet understandably lofty expectations. Expecting a repeat of 2015 (1.66 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 19 wins, 200 strikeouts) was unrealistic, but Greinke's 4.37 ERA was his worst since his 2005 rookie season, and his 1.27 WHIP was his worst since 2008. Injuries to his oblique and shoulder played a role, as Greinke only made 26 starts and tossed just 158.2 innings, his lowest total since 2007. The move from Dodger Stadium to the more hitter-friendly Chase Field likely had an impact, as did swapping a top-third defense for a bottom-third defense. We might not see the pitcher who dazzled in three seasons with the Dodgers, but the Diamondbacks and his fantasy owners should expect more from Greinke in 2017. Given his track record, a rebound seems likely, and he could come at a slight discount given his subpar 2016. He's still a very valuable fantasy asset.
Greinke had a season for the ages in 2015, posting the lowest ERA (1.66) of any starting pitcher since Greg Maddux's 1.63 in 1995. The rest of the numbers were pretty good as well, including a 19-3 record, a league-leading 0.84 WHIP, 30 quality starts and for the fourth time in five years, 200-plus strikeouts. Greinke experienced some elbow soreness in March, but a lubricating injection again did wonders and the elbow was never again an issue. He started throwing a few more changeups last year, and that seemed to help quite a bit against left-handers, who hit just .194 against him after 2014's .246 batting average against. Greinke opted out of his deal with the Dodgers and cashed in with a six-year, $206 million deal with Arizona, making him the highest paid player in MLB history in terms of AAV. The change in parks could hurt him some, but Greinke remains a fantasy ace heading into 2016.
Greinke has evolved into one of baseball’s best pitchers and oddly, he doesn’t really get much attention for it. Part of that is the presence of Clayton Kershaw, but Greinke seems to have been lost in the shuffle a bit with the emergence of so many incredible arms. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually pay any fantasy dividends, because while he doesn’t get as much as ink as his rotation mate or a lot of the other stud arms in the National League, that doesn’t usually drop his price at the draft table. It is almost as if he has just become boringly awesome, kinda like Mike Mussina. You were never overwhelmingly excited to roster Mussina, but he carried a rightfully high draft price each year and consistently delivered on that investment. On the field, Greinke took his strikeout rate back up (25.2%) after a dip in 2013, while also dropping a career-best walk rate (5.2%) on the league. Expect another big season from the Dodgers’ second ace and don’t be afraid to pay market value for his services.
Only the incident with Carlos Quentin prevented Greinke from a top-five Cy Young finish, as the Dodgers' No. 2 starter finished 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 28 starts. Pitching for his fourth team in four years in the first year of a lucrative six-year deal, Greinke was all that was advertised and more, solidifying the top of the Dodgers' rotation and giving the team arguably the top 1-2 punch in baseball. Greinke has never had a serious arm injury, and assuming there are no more odd injuries in his near future, he should be a top-10 or top-15 starting pitcher in 2014.
Greinke had yet another impressive season in 2012, splitting the year between Milwaukee and Anaheim and finishing with a 15-5 record, 3.48 ERA, and 200:54 K:BB. As good as his numbers have been the past few years, they would probably be much better if he had more consistent defenses behind him. The Dodgers gave him a six-year, $147 million deal to work as their No. 2 starter in December, while the move back to the National League should give him an opportunity to push his strikeout rate back into the batter-per-inning range after that mark dipped to 7.9 K/9 following his trade to Anaheim last season. The Dodgers' improved lineup should provide steady run support, putting Greinke in position to rack up plenty of wins for his new club in 2013.
Greinke's strikeouts and walks indicate that he pitched better than his ERA shows for 2011. He finished with an ERA of 3.83, but had a career high 10.54 K/9IP while walking just 2.36 BB/9. The long ball was a bit of a problem for him and he also ran into some bad luck. Greinke is still one of the better pitchers in the National League, so don't be fooled by his ERA and look for better numbers during his second season with the Brewers.
The 2009 Cy Young Award winner came back to earth in 2010, but it was hardly a crash. His strikeout rate dipped to his 2006 level, and his HR/FB rate spiked after he posted a career-low in 2009. Greinke might not match his 2009 brilliance again, but his stuff is better than last year's 4.17 ERA, and his xFIP of 3.76 wasn't much higher than his 2009 mark. Now with the Brewers, Greinke will get a chance to pitch for a team ready to contend and in a market that shouldn't overwhelm a player that has dealt with a social anxiety disorder in the past.
Greinke topped off a tremendous season by being named the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner. The face of the Royals' franchise, Greinke dominated the opposition en route to a 16-8 record with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 229.1 innings. He's a complete pitcher, being able to throw any pitch in any count, and his arsenal features a mid-90s fastball and a devastating slider. Despite being a power pitcher, Greinke has supreme control (4.75 K/BB). Expectations will be at an all-time high in 2010 for the 26-year-old, but Greinke is the clear-cut ace of the Royals' staff and someone management is looking to build around in the years to come.
In a word, finally. Greinke finally reached 200 innings in a season and he finally showed signs of being the ace we thought he would be. He tied for fifth in the AL in strikeouts in 2008 and his 3.47 ERA ranked 10th. The mental problems that hounded him early in his career should no longer be an issue. Note that his BABIP was .318 (right above his career average, and a little worse than the norm), but he frequently stranded the runners that got on, causing us not to worry about a possible regression. He should be KC’s No. 1 or 2 starter entering 2009, and will likely improve as he nears his prime.
Greinke exercised his 2006 demons in 2007 and showed his capability as both a starter and a reliever. After some early-season struggles in the rotation, he was moved to the bullpen where he posted a 55:15 K:BB ratio in 53.1 innings. He dominated in seven late-season starts, posting a 1.85 ERA and turning in a 10-strikeout performance against the White Sox. He's got four pitches he can spot for strikes, and he enters the 2008 season as the team's No. 3 starter.
The 2006 season was a lost one for Greinke, who began the year on the disabled list for "personal issues" and then remained in Double-A until September. The personal issues were described as anxiety around groups and an unnatural drive for baseball. The Royals allowed the young phenom to fight his demons and didn't pressure him to return. That pressure will increase in 2007, with the Royals hoping some tough love will put him back on track to become the ace of the staff. It may be important to note that Greinke was good but not dominant in Wichita after returning.
The free-spirited Greinke downplayed a poor spring, saying he couldn't get excited about games that don't matter. Maybe that's why his 2005 season was so poor, because very few of the Royals' games mattered. Even so, it was the worst season of his life, finishing 5-17 and avoiding a 20-loss season only through the Royals' effective rotation management and a couple strong late starts. His carefree nature and obvious talent will help him bounce back from this debacle possibly as quickly as this season.
A deceptive thrower with enough pitches, speeds and locations to frustrate most batters. The key for Greinke and the Royals will be to keep the youngster – not 22 until after the 2005 season – healthy and confident as the expected bumps in the road come along. Many point to his maturity as a strength, but outings like the four home runs he allowed to Baltimore in late July and to Seattle in August would get to anyone. He claims to have an upper-90s fastball but doesn’t let it go because control is an issue. Should he add that to his arsenal, he might just become the next Greg Maddux.
Greinke dominated high Single-A and pitched well in Double-A. He will be given his first chance at a major-league job this spring but is probably destined for another season in the minors. His control and power pitching could make him a special player. The Royals know this and are being very careful with him.
Greinke was chosen by the Royals in the 2002 draft as a pitcher but could have easily been chosen as a third basemen. He hit in excess of .400 every year in high school, but his strong arm is what caused Kansas City to make him their first round pick. Possessing four pitches, he’s yet to develop one that stands out but he’s only 19. He works his fastball in the low 90’s, but scouts believe developing arm strength may result in an increase in velocity, which would catapult his prospects. Other than athleticism, the Royals feel he is exceptionally polished for a player one year out of high school because of high intellect, and a strong work ethic. He’ll begin 2003 at High Class-A, a steep level for a player with less than one-year professional experience. He should advance quickly through the system, particularily if he can find a little more velocity on the fastball, and show the maturity to use his other pitches in crucial situations.
More Fantasy News
Picks up second win with Astros
PHouston Astros
August 13, 2019
Greinke (12-4) allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts across six innings to earn a victory in the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox on Tuesday.
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Start pushed to Tuesday
PHouston Astros
August 12, 2019
Greinke will pitch Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader after Monday's matchup against the White Sox was postponed due to inclement weather, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Wins Astros debut
PHouston Astros
August 6, 2019
Greinke (11-4) picked up the win against the Rockies on Tuesday, giving up five earned runs on seven hits over six innings, striking out two and walking two in the Astros' 11-6 victory.
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Slated to start Tuesday
PHouston Astros
August 1, 2019
Greinke is scheduled to start Tuesday at home against the Rockies, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Pitches well leading into trade
PHouston Astros
July 31, 2019
Greinke gave up two runs on two hits and three walks over five innings during Wednesday's 7-5 loss to the Yankees. He had seven strikeouts and didn't factor in the decision in what is his final game with Arizona after being traded to Houston.
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