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THT's Fantasy Archives
Friday, August 10, 2012
The Daily Grind provides daily match-up advice based on my every morning waiver wire search. I welcome advice to help make this column more effective. Ownership rates are from Yahoo!
The Fanduel picks are a mixture of Daily League specific advice and information for the more typical fantasy owner.
Those in leagues with same-day moves should refer back to yesterday’s table.
The Fanduel Daily League Players of the Day are:
Pitcher (to start): It's not the best collection of arms today. Matt Harvey is interesting in that he's a prospect and has been rather successful in his first few big league starts. That said, he's not a dominate pitcher so he's going to run into some bumps. The Braves might be one of those bumps.
Mark Rogers is less interesting, but perhaps he shouldn't be. He's only one-percent owned and he's MUCH better than that. He should be owned in all NL-only leagues at the very least and those have to make up more than one percent of leagues...
Brandon McCarthy would be a nice streamer choice today if he wasn't 49-percent owned. He's coming off the disabled list.
Pitcher (bum): The Red Sox face lefty Chris Seddon. Not much to say on that; they should score runs in bunches.
Freddy Garcia will be opposed by Ricky Romero today. Shall we set the over/under on total runs scored to 12.5?
Hitter (power): Andruw Jones reprises his role as top slugger off the waiver wire. And Todd Frazier reprises his role as my most popular new pick.
Hitter (speed): Eric Young Jr. has been getting consistent play with Michael Cuddyer out. Then there's Ben Revere, who's somehow only 42-percent owned, and Trayvon Robinson.
Tomorrow features several pitchers who are moderately interesting. You could try Franklin Morales against the Indians, Chris Tillman against the Royals, or Marco Estrada against the Astros.
Kris Medlen's finally stretched out enough to be useful, too.
The options are almost too plentiful to count. There are regulars like Jones and Jonny Gomes, fresh names like Travis Snider, Starling Marte, Delmon Young, and Domonic Brown, and even a great speed option in Carlos Gomez.
Nothing to report.
Posted by Brad Johnson at 5:59am
Recap: Last week’s recommendation of Patrick Corbin as a matchup-dependent stream option is solidified after striking out seven Buccos in a quality start... Wade LeBlanc, on the other hand, didn’t get a chance to show off his chops in Marlins Park, and struggled with his WHIP at Citi Field... Joshua Vitters got the call and drove in a couple of runs, and he’s certainly worth keeping around for his mix of power, third-base eligibility, and opportunity... Best of all is that Nate Schierholtz, free at last, started a clean five-out-of-five Phillies games at this writing. Let’s touch on next week’s helpers.
Jean Segura | Brewers| 2B| 2 percent Yahoo ownership | 0.6 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: .267 / .304 / .364
Oliver ROS: .264 / .299 / .384
A big part of the Zack Greinke haul, Segura is a speedster who hardly set the world ablaze in the Texas League (Double-A) but warranted a promotion anyways with his .294/.341/.404 line for the Angels affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers. Think of Segura as a Jose Altuve spin-off: they aren’t entirely alike, as Altuve’s much shorter and will hit for a much higher average, but both jumped from Double-A straight to the majors and both project for about 10 homers (despite small frames) and 30 steals over the course of a full season. Another difference—as if it matters for fantasy—is that Segura is skilled with the leather at shortstop, where he was converted last year. A soon-eligible shortstop with small pop and quick speed who won’t drain your batting average? Count me in, even through the growing pains.
Recommendation: Worth an add by any team that can’t stomach a low batting average and has a need for speed and a little bit of power.
Tyler Greene | Astros | 2B, SS| 1 percent Yahoo ownership | 0.4 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: .218 / .272 / .358
Oliver ROS: .249 / .320 / .388
Because of his hacking ways and lacking pitch recognition, Greene will forever be a flawed hitter who can’t manage a high average. At this point in the season, though, a couple of months of a .220 batting average will hardly kill you, especially when it comes with a dozen or so steals. Greene is speedy and efficient, going a hot 25-for-27 over his 495 major-league at-bats, and now resides in Houston, who scooped him up when the Cardinals decided they’d had just about enough. The Astros attempt more steals and have a hole at shortstop with Jed Lowire nursing a leg injury for the indefinite future. Greene might not make the playoffs, but he’ll surely enjoy some free reign in Houston.
Recommendation: Worth an add by any team that can stomach a low batting average and has a need for speed.
Eric Young Jr.| Rockies| OF | 2 percent Yahoo ownership | 0.1 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: .218 / .272 / .358
Oliver ROS: .249 / .320 / .388
How about an alternative to Greene if you truly can’t stomach the batting average? Young is among the fastest major leaguers—far speedier than Greene—but doesn’t have the playing time assurances. That hardly mattered last year, though, as Junior scurried to nearly 30 steals in just 77 games. I’d be surprised if he’s not already owned in single league formats, but this month’s Tony Campana deserves a roster spot.
Recommendation: Worth an add by any team that can’t stomach a low batting average and has a need for speed.
Brett Jackson | Cubs| OF | 3 percent Yahoo ownership | 1.8 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: .221 / .293 / .397
Oliver ROS: .240 / .317 / .415
Jackson’s even less likely to be available and is even more flawed, in this author’s opinion, than the two above names. Long a staple on top prospect lists, Jackson’s underwhelmingly risen through the Cubs system despite his ugly plate discipline (promoted with a 24.9 percent strikeout rate in Double-A!), and graduated this year despite a 33.8 percent strikeout rate in Iowa. I can hardly argue against a power-speed outfielder in fantasy, but comparisons to Drew Stubbs are greatly premature; Stubbs’ strikeout rate never touched 25 percent in the minors. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jackson’s strikeout rate hovers near 40 percent, and I wouldn’t expect a batting average high above the Mendoza Line, but he’ll provide the power half of the punch that Young, and to some extent Greene, can’t.
Recommendation: Worth an add by any team that can stomach a low batting average and has a need for speed and power.
Rudy Owens | Astros | SP | 0 percent Yahoo ownership | 0.0 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 4.94 ERA / 1.36 WHIP / 5.3 K/9
Oliver ROS: N/A
Admittedly, this is a stretch, but so is the case with searching for starting pitching in the post-deadline days of August. Owens was moved to Houston in the Wandy Rodriguez swap, and was obviously better suited for PNC Park (who isn’t?) with his fly-ball tendencies and underwhelming strikeout totals. To add to the list of cons, he’s struggled mightily since his introduction to the Pacific Coast League, where he’s flashed uncharacteristically poor control and surrendered four long balls in three starts. So, why the hell is he among suggested waiver wire pickups for the rest of the year? Opportunity is a big reason why: assuming he finds his groove over the next handful of starts in Oklahoma City, Houston has no reason not to test Owens’ chops against big-league competition (logic dictates that if Dallas Keuchel gets a chance, the more talented Owens will, too). Scarcity is another: you’d be hard pressed to find even one viable starter on the Waiver Wire, and Owens managed a 3.14 ERA in his second go-round of Triple-A, showing marked improvement and pinpoint control. He won’t blow you away, but he’s worth a shot as someone who can likely give you major league innings in a couple of weeks. Ah, a stretch, but sometimes those gambles can land you a little guap.
Recommendation: Worth an add by any team desperate for innings, strikeouts, and wins without concern for ERA and WHIP.
John Lannan | Nationals | SP | 0 percent Yahoo ownership | 0.6 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 6.12 ERA / 1.72 WHIP / 4.7 K/9 (Triple-A)
Oliver ROS: N/A
A Lannan pickup would be a gamble in its own right: he’s never put up the prettiest ratios at the major league level and he’s absolutely laying a turd at Triple-A. That said, he’ll be a major league starter on a pretty good team in September (remember Stephen Strasburg’s innings limit?), and that means wins. If you ignore the ratio stats (because how much will five starts or so swing your totals in the ultimate month?), you’ll have a good bet at wins (Lannan’s won his two spot starts this year at the major league level). Go ahead, we won’t judge you.
Recommendation: Worth a speculative add by any team desperate for wins in the stretch run.
Javier Lopez | Giants | RP | 1 percent Yahoo ownership | 0.1 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 3.48 ERA / 1.72 WHIP / 8.1 K/9
Oliver ROS: 3.72 ERA / 1.25 WHIP / 6.6 K/9
So you missed out on the Steve Cishek, Wilton Lopez, Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affeldt sweepstakes, respectively, and you’re desperate for saves. You’ll likely fish a few out with Javier Lopez, who is one of six whose finished a close game successfully for the Giants this year. He’s the dark horse for saves in the newly formed committee, and though the opportunities he’ll get will be far and few (as both the least talented and least deployable member of said committee), this lefty specialist will likely tally a few. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right?
Recommendation: If you really need saves...
Posted by Nick Fleder at 5:56am
Since we began our AL bargain-hunting relationship, we’ve had some ups, like (Greg Holland ascending to the closer’s role, Lorenzo Cain hitting a lot of things stitched in red) and downs (not a peep from Nick Castellanos, Zach Britton is down in the minors, and A.J. Griffin has landed on the DL). But hey, with each new week comes a new beginning, as well as—surprise!—new talent to survey in the silver mines of AL-only leagues the nation over. Here’s a look at a few players you might want to consider adding to your team as fantasy playoff time nears.
Scott Feldman | SP | Texas Rangers | 15 percent Yahoo ownership | 16 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 4.52 ERA / 1.300 WHIP / 6.1 K/9
Oliver ROS: 4.52 ERA / 1.360 WHIP / 5.4 K/9
There’s never going to be a huge grassroots movement to get Feldman elected to the Hall of Fame, but surely there are plenty of people who recall the right-hander’s 2009 campaign, when he pitched to a 17-8 record and was worth 3.5 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs. But as the Rangers have soared to become one of baseball’s elite teams in the intervening years, Feldman hasn’t been as fortunate, compiling a 9-12 mark with a 5.19 ERA and 1.506 WHIP in 2010-11. After undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee in November 2010, he didn’t appear in a major league game last year until late July, made only two starts, and, for good measure, suffered a blown save in the infamous World Series game six.
Although he was healthy to begin 2012, Feldman was still lacking the magic of 2009, as he spent the first three months of the season shuttling between the bullpen and the rotation, compiling a 2-6 record with a 6.13 ERA and 1.531 WHIP. Beginning on July 23, however, Feldman has looked like a new man over his past three starts, going 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA, and pitching at least seven innings in each of the outings. With Roy Oswalt knocked to the bullpen, Neftali Feliz a goner for 2012 thanks to Tommy John surgery and Derek Holland having a down second half, Feldman has re-emerged not just as a rotation man for the AL west’s leading team, but as a viable fantasy arm.
What’s changed? Feldman has typically been effective at keeping walks under control in his career, but he’s been especially stingy this season, walking fewer than two batters per nine innings. During his past three starts, he’s practically stopped walking people altogether, allowing just one base on balls (against 14 strikeouts) in 22.2 innings. Data compiled by PITCHf/x show Feldman has seriously cut back on his changeup, instead relying more on his cutter and curveball, which might explain a four percent increase in his strike rate, as well as an improved line drive rate.
Feldman has never been especially adept at stranding runners, and the 72.8 mark he achieved in 2009, hardly an astounding rate, still marked a career high. But the 62.6 percent rate he’s achieved in 2012 sounds a bit low and suggests, along with a .296 BABIP and a FIP (3.29) and xFIP (4.15) that are below his ERA, that he’s pitched within his means.
He’ll never resemble a fantasy ace so long as he struggles to maintain a 6 K/9, but there’s evidence to suggest that Feldman can be counted on to provide some consistent, modest production, which, on a team like the Rangers, certainly isn’t a bad thing—or a commodity not worth owning as playoff time nears.
Recommendation: Worth picking up in all AL-only leagues, as well as some standard mixed leagues.
Chris Tillman | SP | Baltimore Orioles | 9 percent Yahoo ownership | 11.7 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 2.38 ERA / 1.206 WHIP / 6.6 K/9
Oliver ROS: 5.42 ERA / 1.530 WHIP / 6.3 K/9
I’m going to assume you’ve seen the beginning of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and understand the reference when I point to Indy’s pursuit of that gold Buddhist statue thing: it’s highly coveted, but ultimately a prize for which our hero must navigate a series of threats, hazards and a devious Alfred Molina for success.
Think of Tillman as that gold Buddhist idol: he’s a guy who’s part of the Orioles’ would-be wave of top-of-the-rotation power pitchers, but plays on an Orioles team that has a mediocre offense and, according to FanGraphs’ ultimate zone rating, the worst defense in the American League. In this analogy, Baltimore is an ancient Peruvian temple, a jungle of booby traps and arrows that can ensnare even the most talented major league prospect—or a daring fantasy owner who just wants his share of the gold.
But fear not, fellow fantasy owner: Tillman, 24, has started to turn a corner. And judging by his lack of respect from fantasy owners, he’s probably available in your league.
The facts: Tillman has made six major league starts so far this year, and has compiled a 5-1 record with a 2.38 ERA, 1.206 WHIP and 2.5/1 K/BB ratio. This comes after a very impressive Triple-A season, in which he punched out hitters to the tune of a 9.3 K/9. With an average fastball velocity touching the mid-90s, Tillman’s heater seems re-energized, and he’s been mixing in his change-up and cutter more often, according to PITCHf/x data compiled by Texas Leaguers.
That’s made for a lethal potion so far as AL hitters are concerned, as his swing rates have jumped in comparison to years past. Granted, he’s made two starts against Seattle’s weaklings, and feasted on Cleveland and Minnesota matchups as well, but he’s also dealing with a subterranean 60.2 percent strand rate, which has to climb.
As for the Orioles ... whatever. The team continues to play over its head (nine games over .500 with a -47 run differential entering Thursday night’s action), but I choose to believe that a good pitcher, even without much help, can still make a fantasy impact, particularly when he’s aided by a bullpen that features a 78.5 percent strand rate, still good for second in the American League. Tillman is hardly a slam dunk case—for one thing, his ridiculously low 4.8 percent HR/FB rate has nowhere to go but up—but he offers mucho upside and now has a real chance to shine.
Recommendation: Worth a pick up in all AL-only leagues, and some deeper mixed ones as well.
Grant Balfour | RP | Oakland A’s | 39 percent Yahoo ownership | 39 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 2.72 ERA / 1.019 WHIP / 7.6 K/9
Oliver ROS: 3.23 ERA / 1.160 WHIP / 7.9 K/9
When Balfour opened up the season as Oakland’s closer, he was mediocre, compiling a 4.24 ERA, blowing two saves and eventually losing the job on May 13.
Since he was moved to the eighth inning however, things had seemingly snapped into place for the A’s, as Balfour settled down, compiling a 2.00 ERA, .917 WHIP and 8 K/9, providing solid late-inning relief as Ryan Cook’s caddy. Cook, of course, made the All-Star team, the A’s have gone on to surprise baseball by making a run at a postseason spot and this is just another happy ending in the saga known as a Major League Baseball season, right?
Well, not really.
Cook has been bleeding runs since a shaky save on July 19, watching his ERA jump nearly a run and a half and coughing up nine earned runs and four home runs. In half of those eight trips to start the ninth, Cook has returned to the dugout with a blown save.
Meanwhile, Balfour, who gave up an earned run on Wednesday for the first time since June, continues to roll, and is now a candidate to replace his ninth-inning successor. I’m not ready to endorse Balfour as a must-add in all leagues so long as Cook is in command, and the taste of Balfour’s closing prowess might suggest he doesn’t have the mental makeup that’s par for the course. But in AL-only leagues, this bullpen’s dominoes might be the first to fall—and if so, you’ll want to reintroduce yourself to Balfour.
Recommendation: Not yet worth a pick up in AL-only leagues, but could be within a matter of days.
Blake Beavan | SP | Seattle Mariners | 5 percent Yahoo ownership | 6.6 percent ESPN ownership
YTD: 5.12 ERA / 1.231 WHIP / 4.7 K/9
Oliver ROS: 4.47 ERA / 1.300 WHIP / 4.4 K/9
Starting Beavan is like swallowing whatever people had to swallow before Robitussin made that somewhat-potable grape flavor—it’s not something you do because you like it, but because you need to do it. So while I’m not here to trumpet the special skills of Beavan, he is getting two manageable matchups next week at Safeco’s comfy confines, pitching against the Rays, the team featuring the third-lowest AL batting average against right-handed pitching, and Minnesota, a team that, well, kind of sucks.
Over his last five starts, Beavan has been solid, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, .903 WHIP and a 10:1 K/BB rate, a period during which he lowered his ERA by nearly a full run. Regrettably, his strikeouts are still lacking, as he has just a 5.24 K/9 to show for his strong run, and the 16 home runs he’s allowed in 96.2 innings is way too much. But it’s important to remember that Beavan, 23, is a former first-round pick, and was highly touted enough to be a part of the Cliff Lee-Justin Smoak trade a couple of years ago.
There’s nothing glamorous about Beavan, but he’s got some longer-term upside, and with two decent starts this week, he’s probably worth a gamble.
Recommendation: Worth using in most AL-only leagues, though mixed league owners can probably do better elsewhere.
Posted by Karl de Vries at 5:33am
Most fantasy rankings are forged on "gut calls" and the whimsical notions of whoever is compiling the list. Some experts don’t pay for saves, some don’t pay for steals, some wait on pitching, some value upside, some value reliability, and so on. While it might be nice to see plenty of different opinions, it probably doesn’t truly help unless you understand the biases of each individual ranker. This is why some of the writers here at The Hardball Times have created their own, objective valuation methods, outlined here and here (reading, or at least skimming, these introductory articles will give you a much better understanding of the rankings that follow and should help to answer most potential questions).
In accompaniment with
These rankings will assume a 12-team league in adjusting for league average. The ordering of players, however, is unaffected; players will rank in identical order for leagues of all sizes.
Quick Note: ZiPS is a projection system that takes past performance into consideration. For many pitchers, the past applies less to the present than it does for hitters, as is the case with pitchers who have experienced significant velocity loss; this is something that pitchers generally don’t recoup. ZiPS may not recognize diminished skill sets, but I will try to cover what I can in the analysis section.
*Full season = the raw (non-adjusted) full season pace roto score using the roto points-above-replacement method. This is, essentially, the amount of expected roto points each player would score above an empty spot in a lineup over a full season.
Pitchers I like less than their ZiPS ranking
Tim Lincecum—What to make of Tim Lincecum? He has undoubtedly been one of the most disappointing fantasy pitchers in all of baseball. His ERA sits at 5.43, his WHIP at 1.49. But, despite his woeful surface numbers, Lincecum has maintained a 9.67 K/9 rate and his FIP, xFIP and SIERA are all sub-4.00. Even his 4.31 walk rate has a silver lining, as his first strike percentage of 58.2 percent is the highest it has been since 2007, which suggests that he should be demonstrating better control.
Lincecum has been bitten by a strand rate that is 10 percent lower than his career average, a BABIP 27 points higher than his career mark, and a four percent spike in his HR/FB rate. ZiPS is looking at Lincecum’s dominant 2008-2011 where he posted an average FIP of 2.82, and his 3.82 FIP this season and is expecting some regression toward’s his personal mean.
DIPS don’t absolve Lincecum of all blame for his results, he has not been sharp with his command, but this type of thing generally doesn’t continue to happen over extended periods of time. We should expect Lincecum to improve, but lets not go overboard and write off the first four months of his season solely as bad luck.
I would certainly not treat Lincecum as a top-10 pitcher going forward, but his underlying numbers make a good case for him as a buy-low.
Matt Garza— Garza was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday with a stress reaction in his right elbow—an elbow-related trip to the disabled list is typically not a good thing. The move was made retroactive to July 28, but that doesn’t mean he is close to returning. There is currentlyno word on whether or not Garza will return in 2012. Garza is the Cubs’ biggest trade chip, so they won’t want to rush him back before they are certain he is healthy. Since there is no timetable, it is almost futile to put a rank on him, just be judicious in your valuation.
Ricky Romero— Unlike Tim Lincecum, Romero’s peripherals don’t exonerate him of any blame. His ERA is 5.47 and his FIP (5.05) and xFIP (4.62) agree that he has been awful. His walk rate has shot up to 4.87 and his F-Strike percentage (53.1 percent) is far below his career average. His strikeout rate is down to 6.39 and his swinging strike rate (7.8 percent) confirms that he is missing less bats. He is probably stranding fewer runners than he should and is giving up home runs a little more frequently than he should, but he has been really bad, without any real positives.
With Lincecum, we are hoping that he sharpens control enough to allow his underlying numbers to show through. With Romero, there appears to be no quick fix. We aren’t puzzled as to why Romero is struggling. We may wonder what has caused the degradation of his skills, but the numbers are clearly telling us that there are ample differences with the 2012 version of Ricky Romero.
The American League East is unforgiving, so when you pitch poorly you don’t often get away with it. Romero is showing no signs of turning things around, and even if he does, the division he pitches in will limit his upside. With less than two months remaining in the season, expecting Ricky Romero to return to some semblance of his former self is probably unwise. ZiPS is regressing what he is doing this year towards what he has been in the past, but Romero has not been that pitcher at all this year. He should get a little better, but you don’t want to be rolling him out there unless you are trying to attain a better draft slot for 2013.
Ubaldo Jimenez— ZiPS is, again, taking Ubaldo’s 2008-2011 into consideration. But, Ubaldo is simply not the same pitcher. He has lost 3.3 mph off of his fastball since 2010 (down 1.4 mph from 2011) and hasn’t developed enough command to mitigate these loses. Without that mid-90’s heater, Ubaldo is not generating swinging strikes—just 6.5 percent in 2012 (career 8.6 percent), well below league average—and batters aren’t going out of the zone as much, either—22.5 percent in 2012 (career 25.9 percent). And, to add to his woes, his control has completely abandoned him, as he is walking an outrageous 5.36 batters per nine innings (13.2 percent).
His ERA is 5.29 and all of his DIPS agree that an ERA over 5.00 is appropriate. He isn’t even getting unlucky with his BABIP or his strand rate. The story is similar to that of Romero, only Ubaldo offers less hope of respite.
Jair Jurrjens — In 2010, Jurrjens averaged 91.3 mph on his fastball. This year, his average heater is registering just 88.6 mph. As a result, Jurrjens isn’t missing bats. He is striking out just 3.54 batters per nine, a level that is fully embraced by his 4.6 percent swinging strike rate (career 8.0 percent). With a 6.89 ERA, it is difficult to imagine he won’t improve some, but he just doesn’t have the same stuff as he used to and a return to fantasy usefulness in any format seems unlikely.
Pitchers I like More than their ZiPS ranking
RA Dickey— Dickey’s swinging strike rate of 12.1 percent ranks fourth among all starting pitchers this year. Since he began resorting to the knuckleball as a main component of his arsenal, he had not posted a swinging strike rate of higher than 8.4 percent in any season prior to this one. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing all of the extra whiffs. Batters are chasing pitches out of the zone more and he is throwing the knuckler 1.1 mph faster this year than he did in 2011, but it isn’t as if he has added a breaking pitch or drastically changed the usage of any single pitch. He is just getting batters to swing and miss more often than ever before.
ZiPS projects a conservative 7.08 strikeout rate going forward, but given his newfound ability to miss bats, I think Dickey has the upside to maintain a strikeout rate of nearly a batter an inning. Thus, I see Dickey as more of a top-15—or fringe top-10—pitcher than top-20.
Doug Fister— Fister upped the usage of his slider and curveball in 2011 and saw his strikeout rate climb from 4.89 to 6.07, validated by a 2.3 percent increase in his whiff rate. This year, Fister has increased his curveball usage further and is also utilizing his changeup more. The result: an increase in swinging strike rate from 6.7 percent to 8.1 percent and a jump to 7.68 strikeouts per nine.
While this type of strikeout rate surge will probably not be completely sustained, a change in pitch mix, especially when increasing the usage of off-speed pitches, makes an increased strikeout rate more explainable. ZiPS projects a strikeout rate of 5.94 going forward, but given the pitch mix/swinging strike rate combination, it seems reasonable that Fister could outperform that projection, and, in turn, produce a lower ERA and WHIP, as well.
Ryan Dempster— With a BABIP 46 points lower than his career average and a strand rate 8 percent higher, it is reasonable to expect a lot of regression from Dempster down the stretch. And swapping the NL Central for the AL West will only fuel that regression further. The question is how much regression, though? ZiPS thinks a 4.50 ERA is an appropriate adjustment given Dempster’s track record and league switch. Maybe ZiPS will end up being correct, but given the way he has pitched so far this year, and given his control gains both in walk rate and in his first strike percentage—the best of his career—I would give Dempster more credit than that.
Arbitrary Adjustment: Giving him a 4.00 ERA, 1.35 WHIP would move him up to 56th among starters. A 3.75 ERA and 1.30 WHIP moves him to 46th, and add a win to the latter projection and he slides up to 33rd. Dempster is a sell-high right now, there is little debate about that, but I would still move him up to the 40-50 range among starting pitchers.
Matt Harvey—ZiPS only projects Harvey for six starts. If we translate his numbers to nine starts, he would move up to 89th.
Wade Miley—One would assume that a pitcher with a 3.64 FIP over his first 172.2 major league innings would get more love from ZiPS, but this is not the case. Miley has never really had the type of success in the minors that he is having this season. He is probably getting some BABIP assistance and some good fortune with his strand rate, too, but he has demonstrated tremendous control and is crafting a profile that is beginning to look very reminiscent to that of Doug Fister - good ground ball rate, very low walk rate, modest strikeout numbers. He isn't quite in Doug Fister's range yet, but he has probably established himself as a top-60 option.
Posted by Jesse Sakstrup at 5:21am
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