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NBC Sports EDGE's Drew Silva breaks down what fantasy managers should expect from Minnesota Twins SP Kenta Maeda, highlighting his terrific 2020 season and why his strong numbers should carry over into 2021.
DREW SILVA: Kenta Maeda moved into a permanent rotation spot with the Twins last season, after bouncing between starting and relief duties over the previous three years with the Dodgers. And that more consistent role, that more consistent routine, seemed to help him reach a new level as a pitcher.
Maeda went on to finish, second only to Shane Bieber, for the 2020 AL Cy Young Award with a 2.70 ERA and 0.75 WHIP in 11 starts. He racked up 80 strikeouts and issued just 10 walks in 66 innings. And he also pitched well in his one postseason start against the Astros. Now, he certainly did benefit from the geographic-based scheduling during the pandemic season, only having to face teams from the AL Central and the NL Central.
But Maeda even against some better offenses in 2021, should again be a top 20 fantasy starter, possibly even top 15. As the ace of a Twins team with designs on repeating as division champs and maybe even winning a playoff series for the first time since 2002.