Jason Vargas won 14 games last year for a Mariners club that finished 27th in runs scored. People say wins are bogus. For the most part that’s true. But if you toss over 200 innings with an ERA under 4.00, chances are you’re going to win a good amount of games no matter what offense is backing you. (That is, unless that offense is the historically pathetic Seattle Mariners from 2009 and 2010).
Now wearing Angels red, Vargas finds himself in an advantageous position. He gets the benefit of the awe-inspiring Mike Trout-[insert anyone]-Albert Pujols-Josh Hamilton stretch of death and he gets to stay in a pitcher-friendly ballpark. Frankly, I’d be a little surprised if Vargas didn’t win at least the 14 games we project, and the potential quality of LA’s offense could push his wins total to the upper teens.
At a Glance
Strengths: QS, IP, BB/9
Neutral: W, L, ERA, WHIP, K
Best-case scenario: Kyle Lohse (STL)
Likely scenario: Mark Buehrle (TOR), Bronson Arroyo (CIN), Matt Harrison (TEX)
Worst-case scenario: Bruce Chen (KC)
Jason Vargas 2013 Fantasy Projection
Vargas is a stable, plug-and-play pitcher. He’s thrown 200 innings in back-to-back seasons, he’ll deliver a K/9 of around 6.00, and he won’t get himself into trouble with walks. For the most part you can take his 2012 stat line and bank on the same thing this year with the Angels, which is pretty much what we’ve done.
The 14 wins he tallied last year were probably a little high given Seattle’s struggles scoring runs, but with a much better offense behind him this year we can expect at least the same. Because of the sheer quantity of league-average innings, though, Vargas is a candidate for substantial loss totals. In leagues that count losses, you might want to downgrade him just a bit, and in leagues that count K/9 you probably don’t want to draft him at all.