Drew Smyly

Drew Smyly

33-Year-Old PitcherSP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Brought in as a veteran option on a rebuilding team, Smyly pretty much delivered as advertised in 2022. The lefty made 22 starts, compiling a strong 3.47 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 106 innings. He missed some time with oblique and shoulder issues, but for someone who last topped 130 innings in a season back in 2016, it would have been unrealistic to expect much more in terms of workload. Smyly recorded a 7.70 K/9 last year, which was a tick below his 8.79 career mark, though his average fastball sat at 92.6 mph, which was a bit ahead of his fastball in 2021 and mostly in line with his career numbers. Following one season in Chicago, Smyly declined his portion of a $10 million mutual option with the Cubs, allowing him to enter free agency. He'll turn 34 during the 2023 season, so he's unlikely to take a huge step forward as a pitcher, and injuries remain a concern. However, Smyly figures to provide a veteran presence in the rotation for his new team, and it's reasonable to expect production that looks similar to his 2022 numbers. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a one-year, $5.25 million contract with the Cubs in March of 2022. Declined $10 million player option for 2023 in November of 2022.
Declines mutual option
PFree Agent  
November 8, 2022
Smyly declined his portion of the $10 million mutual option with the Cubs for 2023 on Tuesday, making him a free agent, Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
Smyly signed with Chicago in March and started 22 games last season, and he pitched well with a 3.47 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 91:26 K:BB across 106.1 innings. The Cubs are interested in re-signing the 33-year-old lefty, though he figures to garner a fair amount of interest in free agency following a solid showing in 2022.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
82
Last 10 Games
88
Last 5 Games
79
How many pitches does Drew Smyly generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Drew Smyly generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-13%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-26%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-8%
BAA vs RHP
2020
 
 
-76%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2020vs Left .227 279 59 18 58 16 0 10
Since 2020vs Right .262 805 181 57 193 33 1 34
2022vs Left .191 101 13 8 17 6 0 2
2022vs Right .258 346 78 18 84 18 1 14
2021vs Left .285 146 37 7 39 10 0 8
2021vs Right .263 400 80 34 94 13 0 19
2020vs Left .069 32 9 3 2 0 0 0
2020vs Right .283 59 23 5 15 2 0 1
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-20%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-43%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-7%
ERA at Home
2020
 
 
-48%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2020Home 3.46 1.13 104.0 6 5 0 9.3 2.8 1.4
Since 2020Away 4.31 1.38 150.1 12 7 0 7.9 2.6 1.7
2022Home 2.42 1.07 44.2 2 4 0 8.1 2.2 1.2
2022Away 4.23 1.28 61.2 5 4 0 7.4 2.2 1.5
2021Home 4.27 1.17 46.1 4 1 0 9.3 3.1 1.9
2021Away 4.59 1.49 80.1 7 3 0 7.7 2.8 1.9
2020Home 4.15 1.23 13.0 0 0 0 13.8 3.5 0.0
2020Away 2.16 1.08 8.1 0 0 0 13.0 3.2 1.1
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Drew Smyly 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 2019 data (min 120 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.
  • BABIP
    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.
K/BB
3.50
 
K/9
7.7
 
BB/9
2.2
 
HR/9
1.4
 
Fastball
92.6 mph
 
ERA
3.47
 
WHIP
1.19
 
BABIP
.289
 
GB/FB
1.19
 
Left On Base
77.4%
 
Exit Velocity
79.9 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
4.7%
 
Spin Rate
2129 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
19.7%
 
Swinging Strike
12.1%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Drew Smyly
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
80 days ago
The regular season is winding down and Jan Levine is here with a few players who could provide a late fantasy boost.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Cease Tops a Busy Week
81 days ago
Two-start pitchers fill eight of the top nine spots in Todd Zola's weekly pitcher rankings, but Jacob deGrom earns a spot near the top despite being scheduled for just one start.
MLB FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
83 days ago
Jason Shebilske's weekly set of waiver recommendations includes Drew Smyly, who's been consistently strong since the start of August.
MLB Picks Tonight: Expert MLB Bets for Wednesday, September 14
84 days ago
Michael Rathburn digs into Wednesday's baseball slate and breaks down his best MLB bets for the action. Visit RotoWire for more MLB picks and betting insights all season.
FanDuel MLB: Wednesday Targets
84 days ago
Chris Morgan checks out Wednesday's slate as Sonny Gray and the Twins host the Royals.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
After allowing just two homers in 26.1 innings the previous season with the Giants, Smyly's long ball issue returned last year as he surrendered 27 dingers in 126.2 frames with the Braves. However, he caught a break as a fortunate 77.4 percent LOB mark helped keep his 4.48 ERA somewhat respectable. That said, Smyly's 21.4 percent strikeout rate was the lowest of his career as his cutter wasn't as effective as normal. Smyly had one only IL stint, a two-week stay in April for a sore forearm. After posting a 6.08 ERA in August, Atlanta moved the lefty to the bullpen. The veteran is slated to embark on his age-32 season and will begin the year with a back-end rotation spot for the Cubs. With his injury history and home run proclivity, he's hard to trust for fantasy purposes. Favorable matchups in pitcher's parks could be in play, but that's not the sort of outlook worthy of a roster spot.
You could be forgiven for forgetting about Smyly heading into last year, as he missed 2017 and 2018 due to Tommy John surgery before struggling to a 6.24 ERA in 2019. A solid 25.9 K% and 8.0 BB% in 12 starts that year after a mid-season trade to the Phillies hinted at a modest amount of promise, but few would have predicted his 37.8 K%, 3.42 ERA and 2.01 FIP for the Giants last season. That came in a tiny sample of 26.1 innings, as he missed time with a strained finger, but was backed by a 2.6-mph jump in fastball velocity, enough to convince the Braves to give him a one-year, $11 million deal. It's not like his success came completely out of nowhere, as the lefty managed a 3.24 ERA over his first four seasons, and getting back to that level now that he's fully healthy could certainly be sustainable. He's still firmly in lottery-ticket territory, but he's one of the most interesting members of that group.
When the Cubs signed Smyly prior to the 2018 season, they understood that he might not contribute much in his first season with the club. The southpaw spent the early portion of the campaign continuing to rehab from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in June of 2017, and he progressed to simulated games after the All-Star break. Just when he appeared to be closing in on a return from the disabled list, the Cubs opted to shut him down for the season. After the extra-long layoff, the hope is that Smyly will be fully healthy and ready to compete for a spot in the Rangers' rotation following a November trade. He turns 30 in June and his medical history is lengthy, but in AL-only leagues and deep draft-and-hold formats, there are worse late-round speculations.
A strong showing last spring -- which he split between the Mariners and Team USA in the WBC -- signaled that Smyly was ready to bounce back from a poor 2016 season, but an elbow injury suffered in late March prevented him from being ready for the start of the season. His season was ultimately over for good when it was decided he would need Tommy John surgery in June. Smyly will not be ready to return until the middle of the 2018 season at the earliest, and it's possible he could miss the entire year. His respectable career marks of a 3.74 ERA and 8.7 K/9 make him worth holding onto in deep keeper leagues, but it's a long shot that he will pay off as a long-term stash in single-season leagues in 2018. The Cubs signed him to a two-year deal in December, likely banking on his Year 2 contributions with the club once he's completely healthy again.
The 27-year-old left-hander managed to stay healthy but struggled through the majority of the 2016 campaign. His first half of the season was particularly poor, with Smyly tallying just a pair of victories against 10 losses to go along with a 5.47 ERA. He rebounded in the second half to forge a 5-2 record and generate a more respectable 4.08 ERA, but still saw a significant drop in his K/9 and the home runs have become a major issue at this point (43 allowed in 242 innings over the past two seasons). There was no accompanying rise in BABIP to blame for his struggles in 2016, as that figure remained at a reasonable .291. A full offseason of rest will create further distance from the shoulder problems and he's relatively safe in his role even after a trade to Seattle, but Smyly remains a risk in the ratio categories.
After a pair of DL stints and just 66.2 innings pitched in 2015, Smyly is officially an injury risk who is more potential than performance at this point. He has spent some time in the bullpen so we can't just judge him strictly on the innings, but four DL stints, major shoulder issues in 2015, and a max of 153 innings as a big leaguer all ding his reliability, especially at 27 years old now. There is still a lot to like when he does pitch, including the strikeout surge from last season. He needed an 87 percent strand rate to limit the damage of a 1.5 HR/9 rate, but both were career outliers and should be expected to regress. His fastball has experienced a four percent jump in swinging-strike rate with Tampa Bay and the key difference has been elevating it. The pitch has been instrumental in cutting his platoon split with righties posting a .641 OPS against him with Tampa Bay, down from .799 with Detroit. Intriguing skills, but the health history has to temper expectations.
At the trade deadline, Smyly was 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and had struck out 20 percent of the batters he faced. He was then shipped to Tampa Bay as part of the David Price deal and things took a different course. He made seven starts for the Rays and posted a 1.70 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, and struck out 25 percent of the batters he faced. The amazing part is the Rays barely made a tweak to his mechanics as they typically do not like doing many changes during a season. Smyly increased the strikeouts with sequencing more than a new pitch, and there is a very good chance the team teaches him a changeup this offseason as every pitcher within the organization is encouraged to throw the pitch. There is some concern with Smyly since his innings total jumped from 76 to 153 last season, which is why the team shut him down in early September. He will not come at a discount in 2015.
After working as a starting pitcher and reliever for Detroit in 2012, Smyly was moved to a full-time role in the bullpen last season. The 25-year-old lefty excelled in his new role, finishing 6-0 with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 63 appearances. He improved both his strikeout rate (9.6 K/9), walk rate (2.0 BB/9) and limited the long ball (0.5 HR/9). The young southpaw was lights-out against left-handed hitters (.189 BAA), but he also limited right-handed hitters to a .242/.374/.293 line, proving that he’s far more than a situational pitcher. Originally a starter, Smyly has a steady five-pitch arsenal at his disposal. His fastball usually sits in the 90-92 mph range. He also mixes in a curveball with plus-pitch upside, a cutter and a changeup that needs some work. While none of his pitches are dominant, Smyly does a great job locating and keeping hitters off balance. The Tigers traded Doug Fister to the Nationals in December, opening the door for Smyly to take a permanent spot in the rotation and making him an excellent sleeper for 2014.
Smyly was an early-season surprise in 2012, as he earned the No. 5 spot in the rotation out of spring training. The 23-year-old lefty got off to a great start in April, posting a 1.23 ERA and 22:8 K:BB in 22 innings, but his performance dropped off in May and he eventually lost a spot in the rotation when Detroit acquired Anibal Sanchez in a midseason deal. Despite the up-and-down season, there was plenty to like with Smyly. He aptly mixed in a low-90s fastball with an effective slider to post a 3.99 ERA while striking out nearly one hitter per inning (8.5 K/9). The big question mark with Smyly is whether or not he can earn a spot in the Opening Day rotation again. With the Tigers' decision to re-sign Sanchez, Smyly will be left battling out for a rotation spot with Rick Porcello, who would likely hold the edge. Keep a close eye on Smyly's competition this spring, as he could be a decent rotation filler for mid-sized leagues.
Selected in the second round by the Tigers in 2010, Smyly has quickly moved up the team’s prospect list. He impressed during his first season in the minors, going 11-6 with a 2.07 ERA and 130:36 K:BB ratio while splitting time between High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie. The 22-year-old southpaw’s two best pitches are a sinking 89-92 mph fastball and a mid-80s cutter. He also mixes in a curveball and change-up but needs to refine both pitches. Unless the Tigers go out and sign a proven veteran prior to spring training, Smyly is expected to compete with fellow prospects Jacob Turner, Duane Below and Andy Oliver for the final spot in the rotation. Despite being named as part of the competition, Smyly is a long shot to earn a place on the Opening Day roster, but he could see his first cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2012 if he shows continued success in the upper levels of the minors. He’s worth keeping an eye on in keeper leagues.
More Fantasy News
Allows one run over three innings
PChicago Cubs  
October 2, 2022
Smyly did not factor into the decision Saturday, allowing one run on four hits over three innings against Cincinnati. He struck out two.
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Set to start Saturday
PChicago Cubs  
September 30, 2022
Smyly (shoulder) is scheduled to start Saturday against the Reds, Tony Andracki of Marquee Sports Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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Throws another bullpen
PChicago Cubs  
Shoulder
September 30, 2022
Smyly (shoulder) threw a bullpen session Thursday, Tony Andracki of Marquee Sports Network reports.
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Expected to make another start
PChicago Cubs  
Shoulder
September 28, 2022
Manager David Ross said Wednesday that he expects Smyly (shoulder) to make another start prior to the end of the regular season, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
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Next start TBD
PChicago Cubs  
Shoulder
September 25, 2022
Smyly (shoulder) will not start a game in next week's series against the Phillies, Andy Martinez of Marquee Sports Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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