For several years SP Bud Norris has been a well-kept secret in fantasy baseball circles. He has been the ace of the Houston Astros, but the right-hander has constantly overlooked due to the team’s miserable performance.
Norris was 6-9 this year with Houston and had a 3.93 ERA. The 28-year-old was having an amazing season, especially since he was 7-13 last season with a 4.65 ERA. However, he still never received the attention he deserved pitching in H-Town.
Well that all changed when Norris was shipped off to the Baltimore Orioles on the day of the trade deadline. In his first start with his new team, Norris pitched an absolute gem. He lasted six innings and gave up two earned runs on four hits. He also struck out a season-high eight batters and was able to pickup a win in his first start.
Norris immediately sees an uptick in his fantasy value with the move to Baltimore. The team is averaging 4.6 runs per game, compared to an embarrassing 3.8 runs per game in Houston, which may not seem like a lot but it is actually a huge increase in run support. For the first time since his rookie season (6-3), Norris has a chance to finish the season with a record above .500.
Norris will be a reliable fifth starter to count on down the stretch. He may not be the flashiest hurler in fantasy, but he will be worth some spots starts as the playoffs approach.