I remember consistently telling people to buy low on Zack Greinke last season. Even when his ERA was over five. Even when it was four. People will look at the 3.83 ERA from last season and in a year of excellent pitching performances, Greinke might get lost in the shuffle.
When you examine things closely, the Brewers righthander had a good season. Greinke was injured to begin last season limiting him to 171 2/3 innings, as he failed to top 200 innings for the first time since 2007. In terms of ERA, Greinke got off to a poor start in 2011 and it was mostly due to a high home run per fly ball rate. It was at 13.6 percent, while his career average is nine percent, a mark he was at or under for the four previous seasons.
Greinke had a career-high 10.54 K/9 last season and had a 9.50 in 2009 when he won the Cy Young Award. Control has always been strength and it continued last season with a 2.36 BB/9. Greinke had some poor luck most of last season as shown by a 2.98 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP). Greinke went 16-6 with a 201/45 K/BB ratio and a 1.20 WHIP.
Greinke also had a 47 percent ground ball rate and just a 30 percent fly ball rate. Based on that, the home runs should regress. I am extremely comfortable with him as my No. 1 pitcher.