Friday, February 22, 2013

Fantasy Focus: SP's I Like

In order to do justice to the SP position in a straight ranking, I would need to rank at least 100 pitchers.  That is not really practical and would probably bore all of you to death.  Instead, I'm going to discuss several SP's I really like and will be targeting in my own fantasy draft.


Justin Verlander, Tigers:         17 Wins, 2.64 ERA, 239 K, 1.06 WHIP.
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals:  15 Wins, 3.16 ERA, 197 K's, 1.15 WHIP.
David Price, Rays:                  20 Wins, 2.56 ERA, 205 K's, 1.10 WHIP.

I would not be afraid to pay top dollar for any of these 3.  Price is the value pick as he is going half a round later in snake drafts and for $5-10 cheaper in auction drafts.  I'm staying away from Kershaw due to his hip issue late last year.


Matt Cain, Giants:             16 Wins, 2.79 ERA, 193 K's, 1.04 WHIP.
Zack Greinke, Dodgers:     15 Wins, 3.48 ERA, 200 K's, 1.20 WHIP
CC Sabathia, Yankees:       15 Wins, 3.38 ERA, 197 K's, 1.14 WHIP
Yu Darvish , Rangers:        16 Wins, 3.90 ERA, 221 K's, 1.28 WHIP
Johnny Cueto, Reds:           19 Wins, 2.78 ERA, 170 K's, 1.17 WHIP
Mat Latos, Reds:                14 Wins, 3.48 ERA, 185 K's, 1.16 WHIP.
Felix Hernandez, Mariners: 13 Wins, 3.06 ERA, 223 K'S, 1.14 WHIP.
Cole Hamels, Phillies:        17 Wins, 3.05 ERA, 216 K's, 1.12 WHIP

Cainer is finally getting some run support and he certainly put up ace numbers last year.  I am concerned that he is building up tremendous mileage on his arm and he was visibly fatigued down the stretch an into the postseason.  Darvish has tremendous upside and seemed to turn a corner down the stretch last year, but needs to prove he can keep his walks down over a full season.  I worry about whatever is going on with Hernandez' elbow and I question Hamels' longterm durability.  Sabathia and Cueto may be the two value picks here.  I am avoiding Wainwright, Halladay, Sale and Dickey for various reasons.

Breakout Specials:

Matt Moore, Rays:       11 Wins, 3.81 ERA, 175 K's, 1.35 WHIP
Matt Harvey, Mets:      3 Wins, 2.73 ERA, 70 K's, 1.15 WHIP.(59.1 IP).
Brett Anderson, A's:     4 Wins, 2.57 ERA, 25 K's, 1.03 WHIP(35 IP).
Homer Bailey, Reds:    13 Wins, 3.68 ERA, 168 K's, 1.24 WHIP.

These are the guys I think are going to have huge breakouts in 2013.  I intend to get at least 2 of them for my fantasy team.  Moore has a little post-hype sleeperishness to him.  Harvey looks like beast.  Anderson should be fully recovered from TJ surgery.  Bailey was a beast down the stretch last year and is a classic post-post-hype sleeper.

WHIPping Boys:

Madison Bumgarner, Giants:       16 W, 3.37 ERA, 191 K, 1.11 WHIP
Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals:  12 W, 2.94 ERA, 153 K, 1.17 WHIP
Doug Fister, Tigers:                   10 W, 3.45 ERA, 137 K, 1.19 WHIP
Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees:            16 W, 3.32 ERA, 167 K, 1.17 WHIP
Mike Minor, Braves:                  11 W, 4.12 ERA, 145 K, 1.15 WHIP
Jonathan Niese, Mets:                 13 W, 3.40 ERA, 155 K, 1.17 WHIP
Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays:            13 W, 3.74 ERA, 125 K, 1.17 WHIP

WHIP often gets ignored as a category by fantasy managers, so it presents an opportunity for undervalued commodities.  If you are in a H2H league and can use your bench as a rolling extension of your SP rotation, it can pay off big time to load up on modestly priced pitchers with a low WHIP and plan on winning your K's and W's just by shear volume.  All of the above pitchers should be reasonably priced in your draft.  WHIP's under 1.20 are a big plus!

SP's With RP Eligibility:

Lance Lynn, Cardinals:       18 W, 3.78 ERA, 180 K's, 1.32 WHIP
Marco Estrada, Brewers:      5 W, 3.64 ERA, 143 K, 1.14 WHIP.
Alexi Ogando, Rangers:       2 W, 3.27 ERA, 66 K, 1.00 WHIP.
Wade Davis, Royals:            3 W, 2.43 ERA, 87 K, 1.09 WHIP
Shelby Miller?, Cardinals:    1 W, 1.32 ERA, 16 K, 0.95 WHIP
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners:  9 W, 3.16 ERA, 101 K, 1.28 WHIP
Erasmo Ramirez, Mariners:   1 W, 3.36 ERA, 48 K, 1.00 WHIP.

If you are thinking of punting Saves, then you will want to use your RP slots to boost your W and K totals and surest way to do that is to have a SP in those slots.  These are some guys you will want to have on your list should you decide to go that direction come draft day.  Some of these situations bear watching in spring training, but all are pretty good bets to make their respective team's rotation.


  1. Off topic, but Conor Gillaspie was just traded to the White Sox according to MLBTradeRumors.

  2. I know he had a bit of a down year last year but I still like James Shields for some reason. Just read the comment above and was going to ask when we can expect the Connor Gillespie obituary?? That is about as good a riddence as you can get IMO. The guy had attitude from day one that could not be matched by his soft bat or his pie tossing arm. Glad to see we are moving on from that mistake (that was our second first round pick after buster that year I believe). One more thing Dr. B, I imagine you will be coming out with a relievers post as well?? Closers are my biggest headache in fantasy baseball and would love to hear your thoughts on who is worth the risk!

    1. I'll check out the Gillaspie trade. Glad the Giants got something for him rather than just DFA'ing him at the end of ST.

      Closers are a huge headache for me too. I won my league championship one year by overpaying in the draft, but then last year I won while essentially punting the category. There are several different strategies that I think can work. I will post my thoughts in the near future.

  3. Soptic appears to be a typical Giants pitching prospect. BIG body with a HUGE fast-ball but SERIOUS control issues. Through another lottery ticket in the mix, in exchange for a guy who had almost negative value for the club.

    GREAT trade!

    1. There was an article recently, in Sfgate or maybe CSNBayArea, I think, about throwing less hard (to gain control, I guess).

      Maybe that's the key.

    2. I should say, if you're in the upper 90's, you can afford to reduce it.

      If you are in the 80's, and have no control, reducing it may not help.

  4. interesting that trade came just a few hours after gillaspie was being praised on the hot stove show. fact is, conner was not gonna make it to the current team as he has not transitioned to super sub and soptic adds to pen depth

    solid trade


  5. Conor G goes for exactly what we expected. A Tidrow project. Sounds good to me.

    Ben Badler put up his IFA review of the Giants. I have to say I find it a bit sloppy. First, he missed out on reporting Argenis Rodriguez, a 6'2 175 RHP who we signed for 160K in November. Second, he goes off on Gustavo, going so far as to say he had trouble making contact in batting practice. I'm curious how many BPs Badler attended, because that doesn't jive with other sources. Third, he starts his review off with another reminder of Angel V and RafRod. 2006 and 2008. Maybe by 2015 that story will die, kind of like Zito/Rowand. I guess busts need to be remembered, but it sure seems like the Giants are dredged up quite a lot. And we still don't even know if they are busts!

    I like what the Giants have done on the IFA market. They might come up snake eyes, but they've gone out and tried again. Nobody will know about Gustavo Cabrera for another 2 years. This was the worst review I've seen of him though. Even threw in a Donavon Tate comp. Geez. Did somebody deny Badler access or step on his loafers?

    1. AngelV and RafRod, well, their stories have not ended yet.

  6. Listening to the latest Sabean interview on KNBR, he said Heston drew a lot of trade interest at the deadline. Interesting. Gotta rock the Bobby Evans interview, I've been tipped that Evans says they're high on Kieschnick, who is suddenly getting some noise.

    1. Are they thinking about bringing back Freddie Sanchez?