February 10, 2012

An In Depth Look At Starting Pitchers

Well, it’s no secret, starting pitcher get treated like red-headed stepchildren when it comes to fantasy baseball. They are constantly passed over for hitters. Time and time again they are knocked down the overall rankings sheet because they throw a ball for a living instead of hitting it, and rightfully so!  Poor multi-millions, why don’t you go cry to your super-model wife in your humongous mansion, and after, take a tear-filled ride in your sweet sports car that would take me 20 years to purchase! Babies!  Oh and to our ginger readers I want to apologize for the red-headed stepchild comment, it just sort of slipped out (I have to apologize otherwise they’ll track me down and suck out my soul).
When I go into a draft, I know I’m not getting a top 10 starting pitcher (SP). They are too costly, and the comparable hitter I can get is much more valuable.  In a standard 5x5 league, hitters can contribute to all 5 categories, whereas starting pitchers can contribute to 3. 3!! That’s like going to Golden Corral or Old Country Buffet, and only eating the salad (Truth be told, that’s my wife. It drives me insane! I’m paying $25 for you to have 2 plates of salad?! “But babe, I can put sunflower seeds and hardboiled egg on the salad!” Seriously? No…Seriously?...ugh).  SPs have no control over Saves and Wins. I’m all for the “new-age” idea of switching out Wins for quality starts, but that’s for another article. This leads us to the 3 categories; Strikeouts (K), ERA, and WHIP.  Using those 3 categories as indicators, targeting a pitcher that has a high strikeout rate and a low walk rate would be the way to go.
This is a popular tool I see used a lot:
Pitcher A

IP
W
ERA
SO
WHIP
235.2
18
2.41
198
1.01


Pitcher B

IP
W
ERA
SO
WHIP
225
15
2.92
178
1.14


Which pitcher would you rather have? Pitcher A is clearly better in every category, but not by that much.  Well pitcher A is Jered Weaver, whom is being drafted in the 3rd round, and pitcher B is Ricky Romero, whom is be drafted in the 8th round.  Hitters in the 3rd round include; Hamilton, Stanton, Pence, and Phillips. Hitters in the 8th round include; Adam Jones, Gardner, Stubbs, and Freeman. The difference in hitters far outweighs the difference between Weaver and Romero.  Having said that, these are the SPs I’m targeting, in order:
Beachy- Monster year, I think this will be the last year I’ll get him on the cheap
Hellickson – Not the K pitcher I go for, but I think he’ll increase his K-Rate from 5.57 K/9 to closer to 7
Scherzer – One year he’ll put together a full quality season, and when/if he does…Cy Young
Chacin – I see a Brandon Morrow type in 2012. Great K total, but high-ish ERA/WHIP
Morrow – I believe he takes that next step into lowering his WHIP. This is also the last year you’ll be able to get him on the cheap.
Doug “The Fist”er – Love this guy!
Jimenez – He’ll pull it together and be a solid ace, even though he’s in Cleveland…blegh, Cleveland

Also, if you haven’t already take a look at my Pitchers To Target Article. I do some intense statistical breakdowns to give you a chunk of guys to go for in drafts. 

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