Perusing the names atop early-season leaderboards is always fun. Take, for example, earned run average among all starters who have thrown at least ten innings this year. Three pitchers are tied for first, having not given up a run this year. Mike Clevinger was ace-like last year, and he’s been otherworldly in 2019. Matt Moore was good, and then he was hurt. CC Sabathia was hurt, and now he’s good. But the surprising name is the guy who’s fourth: Jordan Lyles.
Lyles is a former well-regarded prospect in the Rockies system who flamed out because he couldn’t miss bats. After signing on with Pittsburgh this offseason as rotation depth, the righty has suddenly taken off. Lyles checks in with a 0.53 ERA across three starts and seventeen innings for the upstart Pittsburgh Pirates, and has quickly gone from depth arm to third in the rotation behind stalwarts Jameson Taillon and Chris Archer. With pitching always in short supply in fantasy, it’s worth looking at whether ace Lyles is sustainable, or at least worth a pickup.