Tag Archive | "Madison Bumgarner"

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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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JeffSamardzija

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Shark Week: The Jeff Samardzija Evaluation

Posted on 15 August 2012 by Will Emerson

We are in the midst of one of the greatest weeks of the year folks. That’s right, it is Shark Week ladies and gentleman! No better time to try and figure out the real fantasy value of Jeff “The Shark” Samardzija than by taking a bite out of his numbers! You see, The Shark has actually been very solid for the Cubbies this season. Even more solid than his 8-10 record would indicate. Even more solid than his 4.06 ERA would indicate. And yes, even more solid than that 1.28 WHIP would indicate. Don’t believe me? Well then, let’s dive on in and look inside his numbers this season.

Generally, I do not hold much stock in a starting pitcher’s win-loss record because there are just way to many factors that are out of the pitcher’s control, like the rest of their team for example. Shark’s team, the Cubs, have been one of the worst offensive teams this season. Their wOBA is better than only the Mariners and no one has scored fewer runs this season than the Cubs, so the run support is not always there. Thus, I am not too concerned about the actual  win-loss record Shark is sportin’. Instead, let us take a look at his Wins Above Replacement (WAR) as compared to the rest of the qualifying starting pitchers in the majors. Samardzija has a WAR of 2.8, which is tied with Madison Bumgarner this year for 23rd best amongst qualifying starting pitchers this year. Samardzija is owned by less than 50% in ESPN and Yahoo! fantasy leagues, yet at the very least, in real life, he is worth more wins above a replacement player than the much more widely owned likes of Yovanni Gallardo, CJ Wilson, Mat Latos and Jon Lester. Now, sure WAR does not necessarily translate into fantasy value, but it is a good jumping off point for our purposes. Now, hows about we get into some advanced stats and see what Shark has been doing this season, shall we? That was a rhetorical question.

While his actual ERA is up over four his xFIP is over a half of a run lower at 3.51, which is a highly decent number. Decent enough for 19th among all qualifying starting pitchers this season. That xFIP is better than that of some of your no name pitchers like Matt Cain, Jered Weaver, Tim Hudson and Dan Haren. Now let me be clear, I am not necessarily saying Samardzija is a better pitcher than these other fellas. Don’t go trading Jered Weaver for Samardzija or anything crazy like that, but just keep an eye on the Shark. Shark also shows that he has the stuff to get to that 3.60ish ERA with a SIERA of 3.59. In case you were wondering, and I know you were, his SIERA is better than that of Jered Weaver, again, Yu Darvish, Mat Latos and Yovanni Gallardo, among others. Again, it is not that Shark has been better, per se, but for a guy with these numbers, you would think he would be owned in a few more fantasy leagues. Now I realize this is what he has done this season, and he has had some bumps in the road (read June), so while in my mind he has been somewhat undervalued this year, the question is, are his numbers sustainable to make him a future fantasy stud? Or, in other words, is this season and an advanced stat anomaly? Well let us take a looksie!

Samardzija has an 9.09 K/9, good for 8th in the league among qualifying starting pitchers and this number is the real deal. The Shark’s average fastball is 95 MPH, and only Stephen Strasburg and David Price, perhaps you’ve heard of them, have a faster average fastball. When you can throw gas like that you can tend to miss quite a few bats. But that is just the straight gas, he also mixes in a two-seamer, a cutter and a split-fingered fastball into the repertoire as well. He just started tossing the cutter and the splitter more this season, allowing him to use the straight four-seam fastball less than usual, down to 54.5% of the time, the lowest of his career by almost 5%. The average velocity of the Shark’s cutter is 92 MPH and his average two-seamer has been about 94.7 MPH, meaning these come in to hitters close to the same speed as his four-seamer, but with some more movement. His mixing of these pitches has led to batters chasing balls out of the strike zone a little over a third of the time, up 3% from last season. In comparison, David Price has batters chasing balls out of the zone only 25% of the time and he has never had that percentage over 30%. Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey? He is getting batters to chase 34.5% of the time which is higher than Samardzija, but not by much, so Shark is showing that he has the tools in place to be a must have fantasy starter.

From the numbers above, and remember these numbers are with a clunker of a June thrown in there, you can see the potential and judging by the fact he is still unowned in over half of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues this season, he could be a heck of a sleeper pick for a fantasy playoff team down the stretch and a nice fantasy sleeper pick in 2013. Now this is only his first full season as starter, so it is a small sample size, but things are looking good for Shark. The Ks should stay in the same range and look for that ERA to drop into the mid to high threes, say the 3.50-3.75 range. I see him as hovering the top 25 of starting pitchers next season, meaning he will be a solid two, most likely, three starter for your fantasy rotation, but you should be able to get him for fourth or fifth starter prices on draft day. Samardzija is gonna be fantasy gold, so get on the bandwagon while you can and prepare for next year to be the year of the Shark!

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10 Best Storylines Through the All-Star Break

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10 Best Storylines Through the All-Star Break

Posted on 11 July 2012 by Dennis Lawson

Special Edition Cano Jersey to Commemorate HR Derby Performance

Admit it.  You find yourself easily distracted by a funny headline, creative story lede, or shiny objects.  If none of those things were true, you probably would not read something written by the author of the “Point and Grunt Baseball” series on this site.  Fortunately, you made it here by choice, and we’re all about 12 years old in either dog years or social maturity.  Either way, the top 10 story lines through the All-Star break should appeal to your inner child.

10.  “Reigning NL MVPee Ryan Braun Beats the Rap” – Regardless of how competent arbitrator Shyam Das may or may not be, Braun took on the system and won.  Also, many of us learned about the “chain of custody” concept and that storing another man’s urine in your refrigerator for the weekend seems completely normal under the right circumstances.

9.  “Washington Nationals Suck Less Than Expected” – The Nationals reached the break with a record of 49-34 and a lead of 4 games over the Atlanta Braves.  Amazing news, especially considering the fact that the highest WAR produced by a position player for the Nationals is 2.1 by Ian Desmond.  The highest ERA for any starting pitcher belongs to Edwin Jackson (3.73), and Ross Detwiler, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, and Jordan Zimmermann have been as solid as any starting staff in baseball.  Perhaps even more impressively, the bullpen consists primarily of 4 guys who have ERAs below 2.00.  Tyler Clippard deserves credit for locking down the last inning, but Craig Stammen, Sean Burnett, and Ryan Mattheus have done a great job of not dropping the baton before the anchor leg.

8.  “San Francisco Giants in the Hunt Despite Tim Lincecum’s Barry Zito Impersonation” – The Giants have a starter with an ERA of 6.42 and 3 wins, and that pitcher’s name isn’t Barry Zito.  Then again, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Ryan Vogelsong provide a 3-headed pitching monster that can go pitch for pitch with the best of them.  If Timmeh gets on track, they should pass the Dodgers and run away with the division.  If not, then they just need to realize that the Dodgers cannot win with just Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp alone.

7.  “Phillies Not Likely to Bring Hamels Back (yeah!)” – Everything from Hamels to Victorino to Utley to the Liberty Bell may hit the trading block in Philadelphia soon.  Watching a team that went 102-60 a year ago plummet to a 37-50 record at the break might be as bad as watching your pet rock be euthanized.  It will not take long, and you will not enjoy it.

6.  “Mike Trout Claims Baseball Jebus Title from Bryce Harper” – This could be Ali-Frazier, Pujols-Votto, Tweety-Sylvester for 2012 and beyond.  More likely, these are just two really good players with potentially bright futures.  I would get more excited, but I do not care for player comparisons until someone starts pushing up close to 40 WAR, several Gold Gloves, a couple Cy Youngs, or $100M in career earnings.  Also, Harper’s season pales in comparison to Trout’s season.

5.  “Nobody Really Cares That Pujols Left St. Louis” – After all the drama and much ado about nothing, a good portion of Cardinal Nation does not care one bit about Pujols playing elsewhere.  Nobody but the meth addicts using mobile meth labs in Wal-Mart wanted the Cardinals to hand him a 10-year deal worth anything north of $225M.  Pu, don’t go away mad, just go away.

4.  “The Weekly Broadcast of Yankees vs Red Sox on ESPN Still Takes 5 Hours” – If ESPN could possibly dig up video of 2 Little League teams in “Yankees” and “Red Sox” tshirts playing, the network would preempt Bob Ley to show it.  The next chance the folks at Bristol get to air fans of both teams angrily playing frisbee in a parking lot 2 hours before first pitch, that moment will make Web Gems later that night.  The amount of time and saliva dedicated to a division leading team playing against a team 9.5 games back amounts to the Mt. Everest of insufferable ignorance.

3.  “Aaron Hill Now the Rodney Dangerfield of Baseball” – No respect.  Hill made it to the break with a line of .300/.355/.505/.860 with 11 HR and 40 RBI while playing some solid baseball at 2B.  Dan Uggla wins the stupid vote despite being unable to scratch his own back without using  a tree.

2.  “The Texas Rangers Are Still Better Than Just About Everybody Else at Just About Everything” – The team could probably explain the Higgs Boson, cure the common cold, and land an airplane unassisted while hammering a metric butt-tonne of home runs.  Also, they lost CJ Wilson and added Yu Darvish which I consider a win in just about every department except “Most Douches per Team”.

1.  “The Mets Suck Just Slightly More Than the Nationals” – By itself, this statement may not surprise too many people.  Put it in the context of the Mets being only 4.5 games back of the division leading Nats, and it shocks even Mr. Met.  Though I still do not think they will make the playoffs, the fact that they brought us the “Dickey vs Wang” jokes remains a priceless gift to amateur comedians everywhere.

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NL Pitching Planner: June 11 – June 17

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NL Pitching Planner: June 11 – June 17

Posted on 11 June 2012 by Mark Sherrard

Interleague play is in full swing this week, which means even more unpredictability when it comes to pitching.  Not only do you have to try to figure out each pitchers ever changing whims, but you have to figure out how they might perform against unfamiliar opponents.

In the NL, there’s not a lot of quality up top, but there’s not a lot of crap at the bottom either, so most of your two-start pitchers are fairly safe bets.

Here are the Week 11 two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for you NL pitchers:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Zack Greinke: 6/12 @ KC; 6/17 @ MIN – Greinke gets to face his former team for the first time this week

Johnny Cueto: 6/12 vs CLE; 6/17 @ NYM – 15-8 with a 2.42 ERA over his last 36 starts

Madison Bumgarner: 6/12 vs HOU; 6/17 @ SEA – 3.13 career ERA, but only 27-23 (if only the Giants could score)

Results

Week 9 – 7 GS, 3 QS, 4 W, 45.0 IP, 53 H+BB, 43 K’s, 22 ER, 4.40 ERA, 1.18 whip

YTD – 56 GS, 37 QS, 23 W, 360.2 IP, 406 H+BB, 348 K’s, 122 ER, 3.04 ERA, 1.13 whip

Not Too Shabby

Josh Johnson: 6/11 vs BOS; 6/17 @ TB – has not given up more than 3 ER in any of his last 6 starts

Adam Wainwright: 6/12 vs CHW; 6/17 vs KC – still not 100% back, but getting better (4.05 ERA in last 8 starts)

Ian Kennedy: 6/12 @ TEX; 6/17 @ LAA – Diamondbacks ace has only allowed one run in last two starts

Bud Norris: 6/12 @ SF; 6/17 @ TEX – the Giants are 20th in the majors in runs scored, the Rangers are first

Edwin Jackson: 6/1 @ TOR; 6/17 vs NYY – has pitched well this year, but these are tough matchups

Chris Capuano: 6/11 vs LAA; 6/17 vs CHW – 8-2 with a 2.82 ERA nearly earns him the no-brainer label

Clayton Richard: 6/12 @ SEA; 6/17 @ OAK – below average pitcher, but gets to face light hitting A’s

Randall Delgado: 6/11 vs NYY; 6/17 vs BAL – should stick in rotation thanks to strong performance of late

Chris Young: 6/12 @ TB; 6/17 vs CIN- cannot throw over 85 mph, but can still get guys out

Results

Week 9 – 18 GS, 8 QS, 8 W, 104.1 IP, 144 H+BB, 96 K’s, 47 ER, 4.05 ERA, 1.38 whip

YTD – 180 GS, 106 QS, 69 W, 1115.2 IP, 1392 H+BB, 884 K’s, 449 ER, 3.62 ERA, 1.25 whip

Risky at Best

Jeremy Guthrie:  6/12 vs OAK; 6/17 @ DET – two straight shellackings has raised talk of removal from rotation

Paul Maholm:  6/12 vs DET; 6/17 vs BOS – has given up 4 or more runs in 4 of last 5 starts

Kyle Kendrick: 6/12 @ MIN; 6/17 @ TOR – just does not have the stuff to consistently succeed

Brad Lincoln: 6/12 @ BAL; 6/17 @ CLE – 5 ER allowed in last start (4 IP) and career 4.97 ERA has me wary

Results

Week 9 – 5 GS, 3 QS, 2 W, 32.1 IP, 35 H+BB, 21 K’s, 15 ER, 4.18 ERA, 1.08 whip

YTD – 65 GS, 34 QS, 17 W, 391.1 IP, 522 H+BB, 266 K’s, 196 ER, 4.51 ERA, 1.33 whip

Other Favorable Matchups (< 50% owned)

Jason Marquis (1% owned): 6/13 @ SEA

Not for the faint of heart, but Marquis does own a 1.95 career ERA against the Mariners

Travis Wood (6% owned): 6/14 vs DET

Has never faced the Tigers, which could work in his advantage

Michael Fiers (5% owned): 6/15 @ MIN

Has pitched well in first two major league starts and faces a light hitting Twins team.

Anthony Bass (39% owned): 6/16 @ OAK

Has been surprisingly good this year and faces a weak hitting A’s team

Results

Week 9 – 3 GS, 0 QS, 1 W, 17.1 IP, 35 H+BB, 9 K’s, 18 ER, 9.35 ERA, 2.02 whip

YTD – 26 GS, 14 QS, 14 W, 163.0 IP, 214 H+BB, 150 K’s, 73 ER, 4.03 ERA, 1.31 whip

Up next is the AL.

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NL Pitching Planner: May 21 – 27

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NL Pitching Planner: May 21 – 27

Posted on 17 May 2012 by Mark Sherrard

After a little bit of inter-league play, its back to a NL and AL only schedule this week.

Here are the NL two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for week 8:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Roy Halladay:  5/22 vs WAS; 5/27 @ STL – only one hiccup this year (8 ER in 5.1 IP vs ATL), no more than 3 ER in all other starts

Matt Cain:  5/22 @ MIL; 5/27 @ MIA – the real Giants ace.  If only they could score some runs.

Gio Gonzalez: 5/21 @ PHI; 5/27 @ ATL – rough 1st start of season, but no more than 3 ER allowed in any start since

Brandon Beachy: 5/22 @ CIN; 5/27 vs WAS – has not given up more than 2 ER in ANY start, including shutout last start

Johan Santana: 5/21 @ PIT; 5/26 vs SD – normally not a no-brainer, but gets to face the two worst hitting teams in NL

Results

Week 6 – 6 GS, 4 QS, 1 W, 41.0 IP, 40 H+BB, 40 K’s, 12 ER, 2.63 ERA, 0.98 whip

YTD – 29 GS, 24 QS, 8 W, 189.0 IP, 206 H+BB, 183 K’s, 56 ER, 2.67 ERA, 1.09 whip

Not Too Shabby

Madison Bumgarner: 5/21 @ MIL; 5/26 @ MIA – despite a couple rough starts (4 ER apiece), still reliable

Matt Garza: 5/21 @ HOU; 5/27 @ PIT – a couple nice matchups for the Cubs ace

Chris Capuano: 5/21 @ ARI; 5/27 vs HOU – got roughed up a little by SD, but still a pretty safe bet

Adam Wainwright: 5/22 vs SD; 5/27 vs PHI – you may want to wait until he strings some good starts together

Mat Latos:  5/22 vs ATL; 5/27 vs COL – still a little iffy, but seems to be getting back on track

Jaime Garcia: 5/21 vs SD; 5/26 vs PHI – giving up a few more baserunners than usual, but has limited the damage

Mark Buehrle: 5/21 vs COL; 5/26 vs SF – does not strike out many, but keeps the ball in the park

Edinson Volquez: 5/22 @ STL; 5/27 @ NYM – has not given up more than 3 ER in any of his last 5 starts

Bud Norris: 5/21 vs CHC; 5/27 @ LAD – gets to face Kemp-less Dodgers and a weak Cubs team

Ricky Nolasco: 5/22 vs COL; 5/27 vs SF – got roughed up by Mets last time out, but still pitching well

R.A. Dickey: 5/22 @ PIT; 5/27 vs SD – knuckleballers seem to get better with age

Erik Bedard: 5/21 vs NYM; 5/27 vs CHC – already the subject of trade rumors, maybe he’ll go to a team that can score

Clayton Richard: 5/21 @ STL; 5/26 @ NYM – an iffy pick, but pitched well last time out

Results

Week 6 – 16 GS, 8 QS, 7 W, 96.2 IP, 119 H+BB; 82 K’s, 40 ER, 3.72 ERA, 1.23 whip

YTD – 103 GS, 66 QS, 41 W, 644.1 IP, 784 H+BB, 496 K’s, 235 ER, 3.28 ERA, 1.22 whip

Risky At Best

Kyle Kendrick: 5/21 vs WAS; 5/26 @ STL – filling in for Vance Worley, best to avoid

Mike Minor:  5/21 @ CIN; 5/26 vs WAS – going through a rough patch

Randy Wolf: 5/21 vs SF; 5/27 @ ARI – 6.38 ERA and 1.80 whip on the season, let someone else take a chance

Mike Leake: 5/21 vs ATL; 5/26 vs COL – one good start is not enough to convince me

Patrick Corbin: 5/21 vs LAD; 5/27 vs MIL – only good start came against the light hitting Giants

Jamie Moyer: 5/21 @ MIA; 5/27 @ CIN – despite 4.20 ERA, he’s too hittable for my taste (1.60 whip)

Results

Week 6 – 6 GS, 5 QS, 1 W, 38.2 IP, 49 H+BB, 28 K’s, 18 ER, 4.19 ERA, 1.27 whip

YTD – 37 GS, 20 QS, 10 W, 227.0 IP, 300 H+BB, 155 K’s, 116 ER, 4.60 ERA, 1.32 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Cole Hamels: 5/23 vs WAS

Hamels is 11-4 with a 2.62 ERA against the Nats

Anibal Sanchez: 5/24 vs SF

Sanchez has gone 2-0 with an 0.75 ERA in 24 IP against the Giants

Tim Hudson: 5/25 vs WAS

14-3 with a 2.03 ERA in his career against the Nats

Yovani Gallardo: 5/25 @ ARI

5-0 with a 1.20 ERA against the Diamondbacks

Results

Week 6 – 4 GS, 4 QS, 2 W, 27.0 IP, 24 H+BB, 36 K’s, 5 ER, 1.67 ERA, 0.89 whip

YTD – 18 GS, 12 QS, 11 W, 114.1 IP, 135 H+BB, 110 K’s, 36 ER, 2.83 ERA, 1.18 whip

Next up is the AL.

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