The Duel

3 Starting Pitchers Set to Bounce Back in 2020 MLB Season

David Kaestle
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This past season had its fair share of great performances and breakout stars, but it also saw some top-tier pitchers experience some serious down years.

With 2020 Spring Training quickly approaching, let's take a look at some pitchers who could bounce back in 2020 after disappointing 2019 campaigns.

1. Chris Sale, SP, Boston Red Sox

Chris Sale pitches against the Cleveland Indians.
Chris Sale pitches against the Cleveland Indians. / Jason Miller/Getty Images

Following a dominant 2018, Chris Sale took a major step back in 2019. He had a 6-11 record with a 4.40 ERA. The timing wasn't ideal considering Boston had just rewarded him with a massive new contract, but much of his season was plagued by injury, only making 25 starts, and even in those outings he didn't seem to be operating at full health. Despite all the controversy surrounding the Red Sox off the field heading into this season, if Sale is healthy, he should be poised to get back to his normally-dominant self. Even though Boston hasn't exactly improved its team on paper, the Red Sox still have more than enough talent to support Sale when he's on the bump.

2. Trevor Bauer, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Trevor Bauer throws a pitch against the Chicago Cubs.
Trevor Bauer throws a pitch against the Chicago Cubs. / Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The outspoken Trevor Bauer was traded to the Cincinnati Reds last year. While Bauer struggled in the back half of the season with the Reds, posting a 6.39 ERA in 10 starts, he's going into 2020 with a new contract and should be more settled into his new team. Bauer had a sparkling 2.21 ERA in 2018, and he should have a real shot at a bounce-back campaign in Cincinnati. The Reds had a solid offseason, adding depth and improving their pitching rotation, which should now be considered among the league's best. Bauer doesn't have to be the ace of the staff with Luis Castillo holding down the No. 1 spot, and that should take some pressure off him.

3. Luis Severino, New York Yankees

Luis Severino pitching during the 2019 ALCS.
Luis Severino pitching during the 2019 ALCS. / Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Luis Severino's 2019 was almost non-existent. The ace of the Yankees' staff in 2018, Severino didn't make his first appearance in 2019 until the last few weeks of the season. He managed a 1.50 ERA in the three starts he did make, but he still appeared a bit rusty. However, he enters 2020 with a clean bill of health and looks ready to return to his dominant ways. Sure, he will no longer be the ace of the Yankees' staff, but he's been bumped by from the top spot by Gerrit Cole, who is arguably the MLB's best pitcher. The Yankees' lineup should also be healthier, getting Giancarlo Stanton back after he similarly missed almost the entire 2019 season, which should only improve what was already the league's best offense.


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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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