Rays Dirty Dozen: SP Depth Leads Rays into 2016

By Mat Germain
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Sep 21, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

RHP Chris Archer – 27 years old

Some forget that after the 2014 season, Archer was in a similar position as Odorizzi is in this year. Now the clear leader of and oldest in the rotation, despite the young age of 27, he has the experience needed to lengthen many of his starts and complete more games. There’s reason to expect he’ll improve on his 6.2 IP per start and that he’ll lessen the burden on the pen as a result.

If he gets the run support he deserves and remains healthy in 2016, Archer could reach the 17+ win mark. He’s now the true ace of the rotation, and could lead MLB in strikeouts in 2016 if my expectations are met. Steamer pegs his WAR at 4.3 for 2016, while I expect it to be more in the 5.5 to 6.0 range (he reached 5.3 in 2015).

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