Matt Cain’s no-hitter last year for the San Francisco Giants may have been the turning point of his career. That game and the demise of Tim Lincecum clearly catapulted Cain into the position as the team’s ace. So what does this mean for your fantasy baseball draft this spring?
Cain closed out the regular season with wins in his last six decisions. His WHIP and ERA were a tidy 1.04 and 2.79, respectively, numbers that helped fantasy managers. That was the third consecutive season with a WHIP below 1.10. He totaled 15 wins and 193 Ks. This was the seventh season in a row where he started 30 or more games, a tribute to his durability.
His first several starts this spring season were a little off, but he looked better when he struck out four and yielded only one run in a three-inning outing this week. He has not yet started to throw his slider, an important part of his arsenal.
Cain is getting drafted around position 33 this spring, in close proximity to Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels and just below the elite starting pitchers. It’s close, but I’d prefer Cain over the other two, mainly because I think the Giants will definitely have a higher winning percentage than the Philadelphia Phillies , so it is reasonable to expect Cain to have more wins. Last year’s 6-9 season for Lee with his 30 starts and an ERA of 3.16 supports this point.
Just keep in mind, though, that Cain won’t have the Houston Astros to pick on this year since they have moved to the American League.