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Fantasy Baseball Profile: Tim Lincecum

As we continue to profile the 2009 postseason award winners for their 2010 fantasy baseball prospectus, it’s time to examine next season outlook for NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum.

“The Freak” managed to win his second consecutive Cy Young award despite getting the second highest amount of first place votes. Cardinals starters Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright likely split many votes and caused themselves to finish second and third, respectively. Wainwright got 12 first place votes (1 more than Lincecum) but wasn’t able to take the award.

In 2009, Lincecum finished the year 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA, 261 strikeouts, and a 1.05 WHIP in 225.3 innings of work. According to ESPN fantasy league draft stats, he was selected in round 2 of most fantasy baseball mixed leagues last season, with an ADP of 15.1.

The question with Lincecum when it comes to fantasy baseball isn’t “should you draft him”? In fact, there aren’t many pitchers who will rank ahead of Lincecum on your cheat sheet going into next season. There are a lot of experts who might very well rank him the no. 1 pitcher going into 2010, and its hard to argue against that. Lincecum has filthy pitches, unusual mechanics, pitches in the National League and has a schedule weighted against the NL West. If he had Cliff Lee’s lineup providing him with run support, he’d probably win 22 games next season.

At Fantasy Baseball Dugout, we never recommend drafting starting pitchers based on a win total from a previous season. Why? Wins are out of the control of the pitcher and more dependent on run support. However, the fact that Lincecum pitches on a team which doesn’t provide tons of run support is an issue with him.

In our opinion, the higher quality body of work Lincecum will need to provide the Giants in 2010 to win 18-20 games keeps his fantasy value behind starters like Johan Santana, Roy Halladay or C.C. Sabathia, who all log tons of innings and have better run support.

Continue to consider The Freak a top 5 fantasy baseball starter going into 2010, and a solid no. 1 starter in all formats. If his heavy workload the last two seasons doesn’t effect his health next season, he’s almost a lock for a sub-3.00 ERA and over 200 strikeouts.

And if the Giants can bulk up their bats going into next season, he could become the no. 1 fantasy starter. Stay tuned to the Hot Stove to see what happens with the Giants in the offseason.

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