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Lilly Remains With Dodgers

Good news for fantasy leaguers, as lefty Ted Lilly inked a three-year deal with the Dodgers.  Lilly has found the National League to his liking since 2007, trimming his walk rate significantly.  Only a handful of starting pitchers had an average fastball velocity below Lilly's 86.7 mph this year.  Unlike Mark Buehrle, Livan Hernandez, and others, Lilly is able to deceive his way to a strikeout rate near 8.0 per nine typically.

Lilly's wart is his groundball rate, which at 29.5% was the second-worst in baseball this year behind Kevin Slowey.  Tons of flyballs means frequent home runs; fortunately, they come without men on base given Lilly's control and apparent ability to prevent batted balls from falling for hits.  Dodger Stadium has a reputation as a pitcher-friendly place, though this year and in '07 it actually inflated home runs according to ESPN's park factors.  Lilly had a 1.35 HR/9 in 46.6 Dodger Stadium innings this year, which is around what we've come to expect from him.

Lilly had a sparkling 2.96 SIERA in 76.6 innings for the Dodgers this year, with a 4.14 mark in 117 Cubs frames.  His past Cubs' SIERAs suggest you should look for something in the 3.80 range going forward.  Lilly turns 35 in January, and there is health risk.  He missed most of April this year due to minor shoulder surgery, and has a history of shoulder problems from his American League days.

Lilly isn't an exciting pitcher, but he still gives you 165 Ks and a strong WHIP.  Last year he was drafted in the 16th round on average, and he should be in the same bargain range in 2011.



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