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Identifying 3 potential busts at starting pitcher for 2021 fantasy baseball

We take a look at some starting pitchers you should look to avoid in your fantasy baseball draft for 2021.

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (20) leaves the field after pitching against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning during game five of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

With 2021 MLB Opening Day only weeks away, it is a perfect time to discuss fantasy baseball and what should you do in your fantasy draft. After a 60-game sprint last season, this season could be one of the best with the talent across Major League Baseball.

When it comes to fantasy baseball, there will be a lot of good players at various positions that you could possibly wait for over another. At the same time, we also have to beware of players, who might not live up to their new season expectations or what they did during the short 2020 season. We are going to discuss three potential starting pitchers, who could be busts this season in fantasy.

Tyler Glasnow, Tampa Bay Rays

With Tampa Bay surprisingly trading former AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell in the offseason and Charlie Morton signing with the Atlanta Braves, it now leaves Glasnow as the de facto ace of the pitching staff.

Last season, Tyler Glasnow had a record of 5-1 and an ERA of 4.08 ERA, which isn’t all that impressive. However, he recorded an incredible 91 strikeouts in only 57 innings pitched. The young starting pitcher only has two effective pitches in his arsenal — fastball and curveball. But when they are working in sync, Glasnow is tough to beat and gives Tampa Bay a good chance to win.

However, is he worth drafting with the 50th overall pick over other pitchers such as Zach Wheeler and Stephen Strasburg? As of right now, I couldn’t do it. Fantasy Pros projects Glasnow to have 11 wins, 3.50 ERA, but 201 strikeouts this season.

Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Ohtani should be solid at the plate this season, but the concern is what will he give the Angels on the mound. If he can be productive and stay healthy, then Ohtani will have himself in the MVP conversation.

In his Spring Training debut on the mound, the 26-year-old struck out five hitters in 2.1 innings pitched. He also allowed a run, two walks, but his fastball reportedly came in at 96-100 mph. If that’s the case, then Ohtani will be worth his 182 ADP in your fantasy draft.

As a rookie, Ohtani had a record of 4-2 with an ERA of 3.31. He also had 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched. That’s the standard for the two-way former AL Rookie of the Year heading into this season.

Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodgers

Bauer had a good 2020 season for the Cincinnati Reds, where he had a record of 5-4 and an ERA of 1.73. He also produced 100 strikeouts in 73.1 innings pitched.

For his efforts, Bauer won the NL Cy Young Award and then signed a blockbuster deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency. Based on all this, the veteran pitcher has an ADP of 14 in fantasy baseball. But Bauer may not warrant a top-15 pick in fantasy, despite joining the defending World Series champs.

Out of his nine-year career, Bauer only had two seasons where his ERA was under 3.00 (2018 - 2.21, 2020 - 1.73). In the other seasons, he was an average starting pitcher. With him joining the Dodgers, he’ll likely be third in the rotation behind Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw. If that’s the case, I’d be more content targeting another position of need or taking a risk on guys such as Max Scherzer, Aaron Nola or Kershaw.