Tag Archive | "Cole Hamels"

Stephen Strasburg – Is he a keeper?

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Stephen Strasburg – Is he a keeper?

Posted on 30 March 2013 by Trish Vignola

Stephen Strasburg – Is he a keeper?

sstrasburg

Well, I guess that’s too late to figure out now. I kept him. He’s now the “ace” of my fantasy baseball team. I know what you might be thinking. Keeping Strasburg? Isn’t that a no-brainer? He’s already been named the Nationals’ Opening Day starter. However, you are talking to the same woman who had Joey Votto on her team last year. The same Joey Votto who missed like a third of the season due to injury.

In fantasy baseball, I’m kind of the kiss of death.

Last Friday, Strasburg yielded 3 runs in 6 innings of pitching to the Tigers. All right that’s pretty average. Actually, that’s pretty good by mid-season standards. He only walked one person and he struck out five, which is even better. Then Strasburg took a comebacker off his thumb. Yes, it was his non-throwing thumb but shades of Joey Votto flooded my nightmares for the next half of week.

Yes, my nightmares are of the fantasy baseball variety.

There are positives though. He’s not Johan Santana and he’s not signed by the Mets. Seriously though, Rotoworld ranks him 5th. Only Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, David Price and Cole Hamels are ranked higher. ESPN ranked him lower but still in the top 20. The key to Strasburg’s success though is pretty obvious. It comes down to two words…

Innings… Count…

Is there one or not? The Nationals ended Strasburg’s season in early September last year at 159 1/3 innings pitched. Their concerns about Strasburg’s health in his first season following Tommy John surgery seemed to trump the importance of their first trip to the playoffs. It seems ludicrous. However, think about the situation with Johan Santana. After throwing the Mets first no-hitter, coming off of a season ending surgery, he’s now headed again towards… you guessed it… season ending surgery.

Based on how the Nationals treated Jordan Zimmerman’s rehabilitation, there will be a watchful eye but no official innings count. I am essentially banking on Strasburg giving me 190 innings, give or take, in order to get me out of the fantasy cellar. (No, that’s not something from “Fifty Shades of Grey.” I’m that bad in fantasy baseball.)

ESPN is projecting that if Strasburg can give me (yes, me personally) about 196 innings, his line would look something like 16 wins, 244 strikeouts, a 2.94 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. That would pretty much keep him in the elite of fantasy statistics amongst starting pitchers. That also gets me out of the proverbial cellar. If he “Joey Votto”’s me, I’m going to start testing for mold because I will be living in the cellar for the rest of the season.

If Strasburg stays healthy, he could be the best keeper you or I could have ever traded for. A healthy Strasburg has tremendous upside. He’s only 24 and has an entire career ahead of him. Regardless of the little knock to his finger, Strasburg is projected to have no issue in completing the season. If that is the case, he might help me out of the cellar to at least the middle of the pack of my head-to-head league.

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Starting Pitching Valuation (SPv) Leaderboard

Posted on 16 August 2012 by Dylan Cain

Loyal Full Spectrum Baseball readers may remember an article I wrote a while back about an innovative new stat, one I call Starting Pitcher Valuation (SPv).  For a brief introduction to the statistic for those who have not read the article, SPv is a stat that encompasses 1) the number of base runners a starting pitcher has allowed, 2) how many earned runs he’s allowed, 3) how many batters he strikes out as opposed to how few batters he walks 4) and how well he can lead his team to a victory.

I have taken all these stats and “blended” them together, creating a pitching stat that ranks starters (not relievers) on a scale of 100%-0%. This gives analytically-minded  fans like you the chance to see one stat that is “easy-to-digest” as opposed to reading a long line of the 10-15 most commonly used statistics.  I wrote this article in hopes of providing a weekly “leaderboard” of SPv and to also give my opinions and some notes about how they (starting pitchers) have done of late.  Here are your season-to-date SPv leaders (as of  August 12th). Enjoy!

1) Jered Weaver (84.87%)- The Angels’ ace has been dealing this year, even in an offensive powerhouse division like the AL West. He’s only lost one game this year and with the offensive production of the Halo’s lineup, he doesn’t seem to have that much pressure on him.  With guys like Mike Trout (.340 AVG) and Albert Pujols (Did you hear about his 24 homeruns?? Talk about coming back after a slow start…), any pitcher would feel relaxed on the hill.  His fastball isn’t Aroldis Chapman caliber but it’s enough to get the job done.

2) R.A. Dickey (81.19%)- The Tim Wakefield impersonator has looked slightly more human of late, with his ERA going up .74 points since his second consecutive one-hitter.  Remember, he still has the best SPv in the senior circut, meaning he is on track to have the best season a knuckleballer has ever had, statistically. His 15 wins are tied for the most in the the bigs, he still makes batters look silly, and he is still very likely in line to win the NL Cy Young Award.

3) Chris Sale (80.96%)- The lanky southpaw for the Chicago White Sox has given his rotation a big boost, even with his young, inexperienced arm.  He puts on a show with the radar gun and can shutdown powerful lineups.  He does have an advantage of facing some weaker offensive teams in the AL Central, however.  Six of his 13 wins have come against the Royals, Indians and Twins.  He is a great pitcher but needs a little more experience to convinced me. The addition of Jake Peavy helped him greatly and Francisco Liriano will give him more of an advantage.

4) David Price (79.77%)- The three-time All-Star is on pace to get the most wins of his career and as far as the AL Cy Young Award voting is concerned, he is breathing down the neck of Sale and Weaver.  The only thing he actually lacks is a big bat to support him offensively.  Evan Longoria coming back will hopefully help with that problem.  If any pitcher can help Tampa Bay get a playoff spot from the A’s it will be Price.  He WILL have a Cy Young Award on the wall before his career is done.

5) Justin Verlander (78.62%)- Finally on the list, Verlander comes in at fourth place in the junior circuit, quite surprising for the Detroit Tigers ace. In my opinion, he is the most overrated pitcher in baseball.  Sure, he has a blazing fastball. Sure, his ERA is under two and a half.  But, he has been inconsistent at moments and is on pace to have the most losses in his career since 2008.  I will give him credit, however, because he tends to dominate one of my favorite statistics (WHIP).

6) Stephen Strasburg (77.71%)- The Strikeout king is now on the list and he is very deserving.  In seven of his twenty three games this year, he has struck out nine batters or more!  That is 30.4% of the time.  Looking for a whiff?  He’s the guy you have to call.  His innings limit has been in the news lately and I think if the Nationals want to keep winning he must be in the rotation. We’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out.

7) Matt Cain (76.7%)- “Mr. Perfect”, “Cain-O Insane-O”, “The San Fran Man”…regardless of what you call him, he is still a dominant force on the hill out on the west coast.  His ERA is under 3 for only the second time in his career but he’s currently regarded as the best pitcher in the Giants’ stacked rotation.  This is due mostly to Tim Lincecum‘s recent struggles, and the fact that most of the rotation is considerably “young talent”.  One of his statistics which catches my eye the most is the fact that his walks per 9 is the lowest in his career.

8) Felix Hernandez (76.44%)- “King Felix” is one of my favorite pitchers and I feel he is very underrated.  Although he may only have 10 wins, he already has 3 shutouts, leading the league.  He continues to strikeout batters (he is nearing his 1,500th strikeout) and his ERA is staying low.  His division rivals include the Texas Rangers and the LA Angels, two huge offensive teams.  Hernandez continually gets the job done, though.

9) Madison Bumgarner (76.4%)- When looking at the ERA leaders, you could easily think his fellow teammate Ryan Vogelsong has the edge. However, Bumgarner has a higher SPv for a couple of reasons.  One, he strikes out more batters and walks less, as opposed to Vogelsong.  And secondly, Bumgarner has a better WHIP.  Walks plus Hits divided by Innings Pitched is a crucial statistic in the makeup of SPv.  The first round pick in the 2007 draft is off to a good start in his career and he makes a good #2 behind Matt Cain.

10) Kyle Lohse (76.27%)- I was very surprised when I realized Lohse had made the Top 10. When we look at his stats, he has the second most wins on the St. Louis Cardinals staff (12, just behind Lance Lynn‘s 13) against only has 2 losses.  He hasn’t had much popularity since 2008 when he had 15 wins but the baseball community should know that Kyle still has his stuff.  His WHIP and ERA are at career bests and along with Jake Westbrook and Lance Lynn, they are filling the hole left by the Chris Carpenter injury quite nicely.

11) Johnny Cueto (76.18%)- I can truly say that in my mind, Cueto is the best pitcher in the packed NL Central.  I say this because he doesn’t allow many base runners, keeps batters guessing and even when things do get out of hand, he can still often get the win.  This is because of an offense led by Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Brandon Phillips.  These athletes, led by Cueto, will help the Reds gain an even larger lead over Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates as the season winds down.

12) Jordan Zimmermann (76.14%)- I know I say the word underrated too often, but it’s one of the few words that describes Zimmermann accurately.  The reason I feel he hasn’t had instant stardom is due to the fact that, earlier in the year, he lacked run support.  At one point he had a losing record with an ERA under two and a half.  He doesn’t strikeout very many batters but he doesn’t walk many either. This keeps men off the base, keeping his WHIP low.  If anyone on this list will win the NL Cy Young Award in dramatic fashion, it’s Zimmermann.

13) Cole Hamels (75.75%)- This southpaw has been the talk of trade rumors year in and year out, but he remains in Philly, being the only pitcher to have double-digit wins for the Phillies.  He also has the most strikeouts, most innings pitched, leads in ERA+ and the lowest hits per nine innings.  Once the #2 pitcher to Roy Halladay, he is now the ace of the struggling team.  He just signed a huge, $153 million contract, so expect him to stick around for a while.

14) Clayton Kershaw (75.17%)- “The Claw” is the same man as he has been his whole career but isn’t quite as dominant as he was last year.  He is in the very pitching dominant NL, hurting his chances of winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards.  He strikes out a whole batter less per 9 inning than he did last year but he still has a WHIP of 1.027.  He leads the league in shutouts (2), is still the ace for the NL West leading (tied) Los Angeles Dodgers and no longer has to face Melky Cabrera due to a 50 game suspension.

15) CC Sabathia (75.06%)- CC has been on the DL for an extended period of time.  I think the Yankees are in a good enough position to where they can retain first place in the AL East without him.  If you asked me a year earlier, I would’ve told you that New York couldn’t have competed without Mariano Rivera and with Sabathia out, however, that’s exactly what they are doing.  Yankees’ fans just need to hope that C.C. can bounce back from the injuries, and continue on the pace where he left off.

16) A.J. Burnett (74.81%)- I would’ve expected the Pirate’s righty to be higher on this list, with 14 wins and a new beginning in Pittsburgh, however, he is not.  Like many of the pitchers ranked above him, he doesn’t possess a high number of K’s.  Through 21 starts, he already has the most wins in his career since 2008 in Toronto.  Not only does he have a career low WHIP (with 21+ games started), but he has a one-hitter under his belt.

17) Ryan Vogelsong (74.64%)- The reason this guy may not quite be a household name is because he hasn’t performed in the past, as he is just showing signs of greatness.  The last season that he had 25 or more starts before San Fransisco, he had an ERA of 6.50 with a 6-13 W-L record. He has redeemed himself, however, in his second stint for the Giants.  His two years back have been astounding, posting 249 strikeouts and a 23-13 record.  He does walk a few too many, but nothing to worry about. Expect him to have more than one all star selection in his career.

18) Scott Diamond (74.35%)- I consider this young man the only “stud” in the Minnesota Twin’s rotation.  He isnt like many of the guys on this list as far as strikeouts are concerned (5.0 strikeouts per 9 innings), but he makes up for it because he doesn’t walk many either (1.3 walks per 9 innings, a league lead).  He’s only pitched 18 games, and I really don’t expect the trend to continue, as he allows almost a home run a game.  That’s low enough to be a quality pitcher, but not to consistently be on this list.

19) Gio Gonzalez (74.15%)- Gio is one of the best parts of the Washington Nationals “Big 3″ (Strasburg and  Zimmerman included).  He has the most wins out of all of them (15, 2 away from a career high), he has the league lead in home runs per 9 innings (0.4), and the league lead in hits per 9 innings (6.9).  His wicked curveball is similar to those of fellow teamate Stephen Strasburg and Barry Zito.  With Strasburg supposedly being out of postseason play, Gio is the man who needs to step up even further, if possible.  This would be by walking less and staying consistent.

20) Ryan Dempster (73.62%)- The Texas new-comer is lucky to even be on this list.  His ERA has gone up 79 points in 4 games, but I think he still has some success in him.  He is aging, however, and is struggling to get wins.  He is a great #3 or #4 in the Rangers rotation, and run support won’t be an issue anymore, as it was with the Cubs.

Think one of your favorite pitchers deserved to be on the list or would you like to just discuss Starting Pitching Valuation, contact me on Twitter @pitchingstats or use the comments section below. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about about this list, how to calculate SPv and/or how to apply its usage to fantasy baseball. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back next week.

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3 Up and 3 Down: Cole Hamels, Alex Rodriguez and more

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3 Up and 3 Down: Cole Hamels, Alex Rodriguez and more

Posted on 30 July 2012 by Gary Marchese

It is time for the weekly three up and three down column.  As always feel free to contact me through twitter, face book, email or comment under the article.  Thanks for reading and the support you give me and the full spectrum site in general. My twitter is @gmarchesej, email me at gmarchesej@aol.com and you can find me under my name on facebook.

Down - Alex Rodriguez

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Down - Alex Rodriguez who is out 6-8 weeks with a broken hand.  Rodriguez was having a tough season but on a tough west coast trip for the Yankees Arod was starting to hit better then he has all season.  On Tuesday night he was hit by a pitch in the hand and fractured it, he will be out now until September.

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NL Pitching Planner:  June 18 – June 24

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NL Pitching Planner: June 18 – June 24

Posted on 18 June 2012 by Mark Sherrard

Fresh off his perfect game, Matt Cain headlines this week’s list of two-start pitchers in the NL.  The pool of two-starters is strong at the top.  However, these strong two-starters are offset by a larger than usual pool of bottom feeders.

Here are the NL two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for Week 12:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Matt Cain:  6/18 @ LAA; 6/24 @ OAK – although Philip Humber hasn’t fared well after his perfect game, you have to feel Cain can keep pitching well, as he has a better track record.

R.A. Dickey: 6/18 vs BAL; 6/24 vs NYY – one questionable call away from a no-no last time out

Cole Hamels: 6/19 vs COL; 6/24 vs TB – should bounce back after poor start last time out

Lance Lynn: 6/19 @ DET; 6/24 @ KC – has proven to be one of the more reliable pitchers in the NL

Results

Week 10 -4 GS, 3 QS, 1 W, 27.2 IP, 30 H+BB, 37 K’s, 12 ER, 3.90 ERA, 1.08 whip

YTD – 60 GS, 40 QS, 24 W, 388.1 IP, 436 H+BB, 385 K’s, 134 ER, 3.11 ERA, 1.12 whip

Not Too Shabby

Matt Garza: 6/18 @ CHW; 6/24 @ ARI – a little shaky last time out.  Are the trade rumors distracting him?

Mark Buehrle: 6/19 vs MIA; 6/24 vs TOR – has only given up more than 4 runs in one start

Mike Minor: 6/18 @ NYY; 6/24 @ BOS – two straight strong starts has solidified his position in rotation, for now

Aaron Harang: 6/19 @ OAK; 6/24 @ LAA – does not pitch well on the road (4.37 ERA vs 2.51 at Home), but the A’s could help change that

Wade Miley: 6/18 vs SEA; 6/24 vs CHC – putting up great number in rookie year and faces a couple weak teams

Mat Latos: 6/18 @ CLE; 6/24 vs MIN – still trying to string together some quality starts

Results

Week 10 – 24 GS, 14 QS, 7 W, 149.2 IP, 192 H+BB, 115 K’s, 71 ER, 4.27 ERA, 1.28 whip

YTD – 204 GS, 120 QS, 76 W, 1265.1 IP, 1584 H+ BB, 999 K’s, 520 ER, 3.70 ERA, 1.25 whip

Risky at Best

Randy Wolf:  6/18 vs TOR; 6/24 @ CHW – Wolf was decent last year, but not so much this year.  Best to avoid.

J.A. Happ:  6/18 vs KC; 6/24 vs CLE – its hard to get excited about Astros pitchers, especially those with 5.33 ERA’s

Kevin Correia: 6/19 vs MIN; 6/24 vs DET – A 25/21 K/BB ratio to go with 4.43 ERA and poor offensive support

Josh Outman: 6/19 @ PHI; 6/24 @ TEX – 8.44 ERA, including 7.94 ERA is 3 starts, does not bode well

Jason Marquis: 6/18 vs TEX; 6/24 vs SEA – might benefit from pitching in Petco, but was released by Twins for a reason

Chien-Ming Wang: 6/19 vs TB; 6/24 @ BAL – Nats should have kept Ross Detwiler in the rotation

Results

Week 10 – 9 GS, 7 QS, 6 W, 54.2 IP, 65 H+BB, 41 K’s, 27 ER, 4.45 ERA, 1.19 whip

YTD – 74 GS, 41 QS, 23 W, 446.0 IP, 587 H+BB, 307 K’s, 223 ER, 4.50 ERA, 1.32 whip

Other Favorable Matchups (<50% owned)

Nathan Eovaldi (16% owned): 6/20 @ OAK

Favorable matchup for young pitcher who is throwing well

Dillon Gee (41% owned): 6/20 vs BAL

3.05 ERA over his last 3 starts, could be a good time to take a chance on him

Joe Kelly (5% owned): 6/22 @ KC

Young sinkerballer will square off against a Royals offense that’s 28th in the majors in runs scored

Clayton Richard (16% owned):  6/23 vs SEA

Has a 2.79 ERA in last 3 starts and 1.97 career ERA against the Mariners

Results

Week 10 – 2 GS, 0 QS, 0 W, 12.2 IP, 17 H+BB, 6 K’s, 8 ER, 5.68 ERA, 1.34 whip

YTD – 28 GS, 14 QS, 14 W, 175.2 IP, 231 H+BB, 156 K’s, 81 ER, 4.15 ERA, 1.31 whip

Be sure to check out the AL Pitching Planner and see ya next week.

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NL Pitching Planner: May 28 – June 3

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NL Pitching Planner: May 28 – June 3

Posted on 29 May 2012 by Mark Sherrard

We’re heading into Week 9 of the season, one third of the way home and the NL two-fers feature some quality youngsters, some lefties and at least one veteran having a comeback year.

So let’s get right to it, here are the NL two-start pitchers and favorable matchups for Week 9:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Tommy Hanson:  5/28 vs STL; 6/3 @ WAS – he has fared well against STL (2.25 ERA) and the Nats (3.48 ERA)

Cole Hamels: 5/28 @ NYM; 6/3 vs MIA – 7-1 with a 2.17 ERA, what more do you need?

Jordan Zimmermann: 5/28 @ MIA; 6/3 vs ATL – for the Nats, pitching is not a problem

James McDonald: 5/28 vs CIN; 6/3 @ MIL – he has made a believer out of me.  Can the Pirates score any runs though?

Results

Week 6 – 10 GS, 6 QS, 6 W, 64.2 IP, 75 H+BB, 59 K’s, 19 ER, 2.64 ERA, 1.16 whip

YTD – 39 GS, 30 QS, 14 W, 263.2 IP, 281 H+BB, 242 K’s, 75 ER, 2.66 ERA, 1.11 whip

Not Too Shabby

Lance Lynn: 5/28 @ ATL; 6/3 @ NYM -  3 straight starts giving up 3 runs or more

Wandy Rodriguez: 5/28 @ COL; 6/2 vs CIN – Coors has not been kind to pitchers this year

Trevor Cahill: 5/28 @ SF; 6/3 @ SD – Cahill owns the Giants (2.16 career ERA) and the Padres can’t hit

Shaun Marcum: 5/28 @ LAD; 6/2 vs PIT – the Pirates are the only team worse than the Padres

Jonathon Niese: 5/28 vs PHI; 6/3 vs STL – has fared well against the Phillies (3.58 ERA) and Cards (2.63 ERA)

Carlos Zambrano: 5/28 vs WAS; 6/3 @ PHI – comeback kid had first poor start of season against Rockies last time out

Juan Nicasio: 5/28 vs HOU; 6/2 vs LAD – strikeout rate is up, but so is hit rate and walk rate

Aaron Harang: 5/28 vs MIL; 6/2 @ COL – Coors makes me nervous, so tread carefully

Bronson Arroyo: 5/28 @ PIT; 6/3 @ HOU – a couple favorable matchups for the Reds righty

Results

Week 6 – 33 GS, 17 QS, 7 W, 200.0 IP, 278 H+BB, 151 K’s, 102 ER, 4.59 ERA, 1.39 whip

YTD – 136 GS, 83 QS, 48 W, 844.1 IP, 1062 H+BB, 647 K’s, 337 ER, 3.59 ERA, 1.26 whip

Risky at Best

Barry Zito: 5/28 vs ARI; 6/3 vs CHC – after strong April, the wheels are starting to fall off

Jeff Suppan: 5/28 @ CHC; 6/3 vs ARI – you have to be really desperate to consider using this guy

Travis Wood: 5/28 vs SD; 6/3 @ SF – Chris Volstad‘s replacement is only marginally better

Results

Week 6 – 12 GS, 7 QS, 3 W, 66.2 IP, 96 H+BB, 50 K’s, 31 ER, 4.18 ERA, 1.44 whip

YTD – 49 GS, 27 QS, 13 @, 293.2 IP, 396 H+BB, 205 K’s, 147 ER, 4.51 ERA, 1.35 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Going forward, I will be focusing here on pitchers who are less than 50% owned in CBS leagues (and therefore likely available on your waiver wire).

Homer Bailey (25% owned): 5/29 @ PIT

He owns a 5-0 record and 1.94 career ERA against the Pirates

Lucas Harrell (8% owned): 5/30 @ COL

Risky, I know, but Harrell shut out the Rockies over 7 innings in his first start of the year

Jeremy Guthrie (10% owned): 5/31 vs HOU

1-0 with a 2.40 ERA against Astros in his career, albeit in a small sample size (15.0 IP)

Paul Maholm (15% owned): 6/1 @ SF

2-1 with a 3.10 ERA against the Giants in his career (52.1 IP)

Results

Week 6 – 2 GS, 1 QS, 1 W, 12.0 IP, 17 H+BB, 14 K’s, 6 ER, 4.50 ERA, 1.42 whip

YTD – 20 GS, 13 QS, 12 W, 126.1 IP, 152 H+BB, 124 K’s, 42 ER, 2.99 ERA, 1.20 whip

AL is up next.

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