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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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AndyPettitte2

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AL Pitching Planner: June 4 – June 10

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Mark Sherrard

Like their NL counterparts, the AL Week 10 two-start matchups are weak at the top, however, they are also weak in the middle, showing the lack of quality pitching depth in the AL.

Here are the Two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for Week 10 in the AL:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

James Shields: 6/5 @ NYY; 6/10 @ MIA

Ricky Romero: 6/5 @ CHW; 6/10 @ ATL

I’m not sure either of these guys are “no-brainers”, but I needed to put someone in this category

Results

Week 8 – 6 GS, 3 QS, 4 W, 37.0 IP, 46 H+BB, 34 K’s, 14 ER, 3.41 ERA, 1.24 whip

YTD – 49 GS, 34 QS, 28 W, 326.0 IP, 395 H+BB, 277 K’s, 115 ER, 3.18 ERA, 1.21 whip

Not Too Shabby

Jon Lester: 6/5 vs BAL; 6/10 vs WAS – not pitching up to previous years’ standards, but still a pretty safe bet

Ervin Santana: 6/4 vs SEA; 6/10 @ COL – 15 HR’s allowed in 11 starts and has to go to Coors, be careful

Derek Holland: 6/5 @ OAK; 6/10 @ SF – Giants and A’s can help struggling pitchers get back on track

Jason Vargas: 6/4 @ LAA; 6/10 vs LAD – maybe this guy is your no-brainer, if only he had more K’s

Philip Humber: 6/5 vs TOR; 6/10 vs HOU – has been maddeningly inconsistent

Jarrod Parker: 6/4 vs TEX; 6/9 @ ARI – shows a lot of promise for a rookie

Andy Pettitte: 6/5 vs TB; 6/10 vs NYM – he’s back

Drew Smyly: 6/5 vs CLE; 6/10 @ CIN – pitches well but gets little run support

Scott Feldman: 6/4 @ OAK; 6/9 @ SF – will eventually lost job to Roy Oswalt, but has some nice matchups this week

Results

Week 8 – 16 GS, 10 QS, 6 W, 95.2 IP, 148 H+BB, 62 K’s, 49 ER, 4.61 ERA, 1.55 whip

YTD – 131 GS, 75 QS, 54 W, 804.0 IP, 1072 H+BB, 584 K’s, 359 ER, 4.02 ERA, 1.33 whip

Risky at Best

Ubaldo Jimenez: 6/5 @ DET; 6/10 @ STL – leads the league in walks allowed

Will Smith: 6/4 vs MIN; 6/10 @ PIT – has allowed 3 HR’s in first two major league starts

Travis Blackley: 6/5 vs TEX; 6/10 @ ARI – don’t be fooled by one good start…

Cole De Vries: 6/4 @ KC; 6/10 vs CHC – …or two good starts

Results

Week 8 – 7 GS, 4 QS, 1 W, 44.1 IP, 62 H+BB, 23 K’s, 28 ER, 5.68 ERA, 1.40 whip

YTD – 68 GS, 28 QS, 17 W, 373.1 IP, 561 H+BB, 251 K’s, 227 ER, 5.47 ERA, 1.50 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Again, the focus here is on pitchers less than 50% owned in CBS leagues, with favorable matchups for the week

Blake Beavan (7% owned): 6/5 @ LAA

Surprisingly owns a career 1-0 record and 2.86 ERA against the Angles

Jerome Williams (42% owned): 6/6 vs SEA

3-0 with a 3.43 ERA against the Mariners in his career

Derek Lowe (50% owned): 6/7 @ DET

Right on the threshold, but owns a career 7-2 mark against the Tigers with a 1.87 ERA

P.J. Walters (14% owned): 6/8 vs CHC

3.72 career ERA against the Cubs and helped by a weaker 2012 version of them

Results

Week 8 – 2 GS, 2 QS, 0 W, 13.2 IP, 14 H+BB, 9 K’s, 5 ER, 3.29 ERA, 1.02 whip

YTD – 21 GS, 12 QS, 6 W, 139.1 IP, 172 H+BB, 120 K’s, 53 ER, 3.42 ERA, 1.23 whip

Good luck and see ya next week

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AL Pitching Planner: May 7 – May 13

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AL Pitching Planner: May 7 – May 13

Posted on 06 May 2012 by Mark Sherrard

This week’s AL pitching lineup features two starts from the reigning CY Young/MVP, as well as a bunch of risky pitchers.

Here are the two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for Week 6:

Two-Start Pitchers

No-Brainers

Justin Verlander: 5/7 @ SEA; 5/12 @ OAK – I told you these were no-brainers

Jered Weaver: 5/7 @ MIN; 5/13 @ TEX – how will he follow-up his no hitter?

James Shields: 5/8 @ NYY; 5/13 @ BAL – Shields is 5-0, but faces a couple tough matchups

Ricky Romero: 5/8 @ OAK; 5/13 @ MIN – Facing the AL’s two worst offenses, Romero could quickly be 6-0

No-brainers results

Week 4 – 6 GS, 3 QS, 3 W, 42.1 IP, 53 H+BB, 32 K’s, 19 ER, 4.04 ERA, 1.25 whip

YTD – 23 GS, 16 QS, 14 W, 160.0 IP, 184 H+BB, 122 K’s, 48 ER, 2.70 ERA, 1.15 whip

Not Too Shabby

John Danks: 5/7 @ CLE; 5/13 vs KC – Danks has struggled a little, but has a couple favorable matchups

Neftali Feliz: 5/7 @ BAL; 5/12 vs LAA – Feliz has transitioned well to the starting role

Ivan Nova: 5/8 vs TB; 5/13 vs SEA – despite high ERA (5.58), he is 3-1 and has a 28/9 K/BB ratio

Matt Harrison: 5/8 @ BAL; 5/13 vs LAA – has had a couple bad starts in a row, but stick with him

Daniel Bard: 5/8 @ KC; 5/13 vs CLE – has adapted well to starting, just needs to cut down on the walks some

Jake Arrieta: 5/8 vs TEX; 5/13 vs TB – these are the kind of matchups that separate the men from the boys

Philip Humber: 5/7 @ CLE; 5/12 vs KC – Humber perfect game shows his stuff is good, but he is still a bit inconsistent

Jarrod Parker: 5/8 vs TOR; 5/13 vs DET – rookie has pitched well in first two starts, can he keep it up?

Duane Below:  5/8 vs SEA; 5/13 vs OAK – has not given up a run this year and faces the two worst offenses

Justin Masterson: 5/8 vs CHW; 5/13 @ BOS – only one really bad outing so far, but beware of the Red Sox

Not to shabby results

Week 4 – 24 GS, 19 QS, 10 W, 156.1 IP, 183 H+BB, 103 K’s, 50 ER, 2.88 ERA, 1.17 whip

YTD – 48 GS, 32 QS, 21 W, 309.0 IP, 373 H+BB, 219 K’s, 114 ER, 3.32 ERA, 1.21 whip

Risky At Best

Francisco Liriano: 5/7 vs LAA; 5/12 vs TOR – former future ace has fallen flat and can no longer be recommended

Jonathan Sancez: 5/7 vs BOS; 5/13 @ CHW – 19 walks in 22.1 IP so far.  Avoid until he can find the plate.

Brian Matusz: 5/7 vs TEX; 5/12 vs TB – Rangers are 1st in runs scored and Rays 5th, not good for an average pitcher

Felix Doubront: 5/7 @ KC; 5/12 vs CLE – 5.19 ERA this year and 4.99 for his career

Josh Tomlin: 5/7 vs CHW; 5/12 @ BOS – 5.27 ERA so far this year and must face Red Sox

Blake Beavan: 5/7 vs DET; 5/13 @ NYY – poor minor league record and no offensive support from teammates

Liam Hendriks: 5/8 vs LAA; 5/13 vs TOR – still hasn’t figured out how to majors leaguers out

Risky at best results

Week 4 – 4 GS, 3 QS, 2 W, 25.3 IP, 31 H+BB, 9 K’s, 11 ER, 3.91 ERA, 1.22 whip

YTD – 35 GS, 14 QS, 8 W, 190 IP, 288 H+BB, 128 K’s, 106 ER, 5.02 ERA, 1.52 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Jon Lester: 5/9 @ KC

Lest is 5-1 with a 1.30 ERA against the Royals in his career

Jeremy Hellickson: 5/11 @ BAL

Hellickson is 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA against the Orioles

Dream Matchup:  David Price vs C.C. Sabathia – 5/10 @ NYY

Price is 5-2 with a 3.96 ERA against the Yankees, including a win this year.  Sabathia is 9-7 with a 3.25 ERA against the Rays.

Other favorable matchups results

Week 4 – 2 GS, 2 QS, 1 W, 14 IP, 15 H+BB, 13 K’s, 3 ER, 1.93 ERA, 1.07 whip

YTD – 9 GS, 6 QS, 3 W, 62.2 IP, 73 H+BB, 59 K’s, 20 ER, 2.87 ERA, 1.16 whip

That’s all for now.  See ya next week.

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Connecting Game Scores with Pitching Success

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Connecting Game Scores with Pitching Success

Posted on 24 April 2012 by Dennis Lawson

This is how I calculate game score

The “game score” is a value invented by Bill James that attempts to evaluate the quality of a pitcher’s start.  It basically represents an attempt to quantify the quality of a pitched game without regard for factors such as game outcome, game conditions, park factors, lineup factors, time of day, or factors which would risk increasing inherent bias in the game score itself.  Consider the calculation method:

Start with 50 points, because 50 points is a perfectly arbitrary number, and there is nothing quite like quantification built upon some arbitrary number.

Record an out?  Add 1 point.  Finish an inning after the 4th inning, and you add 2 points.  Add 1 point for each strikeout, and subtract 2 points for each hit allowed.  Take away 4 points for yielding an earned run and just 2 points for each unearned run.  Subtract 1 point for any walks issued.

Philip Humber pitched a “perfect game” for the White Sox this past weekend, and his game score in that perfect game was a healthy 96.  That’s 50 points plus 27 points for outs recorded and an extra 10 points for finishing the 5th-9th innings.  That’s a total of 87 points plus 9 points for strikeouts which gives you the final total of 96 for the game score.

Oddly enough, Humber’s 96 tied Matt Cain‘s gem that he tossed against Pittsburgh on April 13th.  Cain went 9 innings, giving up a single hit ans striking out 11.

Does this mean that Cain’s one-hitter was as good as Humber’s perfect game?  Was it as difficult?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  That’s not the point of the game score.  The game score includes minimal bias in exchange for a very no nonsense approach to evaluating a pitching outcome which does not equate to a game outcome.

The limitations imposed by the game score concept make it difficult to quantify anything more than the cumulative effect of pitched ball outcomes for a game, and that leaves me wanting more.  How difficult can it be to develop a slightly more complex evaluation that takes a lot more factors into account?

  1. Start with a base score of 100.
  2. Add 1 point for each out recorded the first time through the lineup.
  3. For subsequent times facing the hitters, use a small multiplier to alter the value added as a function of times through a lineup.  The basic premise here is simply that it really is difficult to get the same guy out 3 or even 4 times in a game, and the game score should reflect that.
  4. Add 1 point for each strikeout and subtract 1 point for each walk.
  5. Take away 2 points for each hit, 4 points for each earned run, and 2 points for each unearned run.
  6. Add 2 points for each base runner resulting from an error that does not result in an unearned run.
  7. Add 2 points for being the visiting team’s pitcher, and add 1 point for being the home team’s pitcher.
  8. Include a fancy park factor that involves the park factor ranking subtracted from 30 and normalized to a scale between 0 and 3 such that the most hitter friendly park adds 3.0 points to the pitcher’s “Game Score Remix”, and the most pitcher friendly park adds only 0.1.
  9. Include another fancy factor that is a function of lineup factors.  Take the combined OPS+ of the starting lineup and rank it among the 30 teams in baseball.  Use the same normalization method as in step 8 so that facing the lineup with the best OPS+ in baseball earns the pitcher 3 extra points while facing the weakest results in a 0.1 bonus.
  10. One last thing to keep in mind.  Wins and losses do matter.  If the pitcher’s team wins the game, the starting pitcher gets 1 bonus point.  If the pitcher’s team losses the game, the pitcher loses 0.  It is mostly a symbolic gesture, but it shows that wins matter to some people.

Perhaps the world is not ready for a “GSR” or “Game Score Remix” concept yet, but I just want to get the discussion moving in the right direction.  I just have issue with the idea that the showdown on April 18th between Cliff Lee (game score 85) and Matt Cain (86) resulted in the 2 pitchers being separated by a single game score point.  Maybe the strikeout needs to be weighted as  a function of situational leverage or something, because not all strikeouts are equal.

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AL Pitching Planner: April 16 – April 22

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AL Pitching Planner: April 16 – April 22

Posted on 15 April 2012 by Mark Sherrard

Yesterday I took a look at the NL pitching matchups for Week 3.  Here are the AL matchups:

Two Start Pitchers

No-brainers

Justin Verlander: 4/16 @ KC; 4/21 vs Tex

Jered Weaver: 4/16 vs Oak; 4/21 vs Bal

C.C. Sabathia: 4/17 vs Min; 4/22 @ Bos

James Shields: 4/16 @ Bos; 4/21 vs Min

Dan Haren: 4/17 vs Oak; 4/22 vs Bal

When you have last year’s top 4 Cy Young finishers (Verlander, Weaver, Shields and Sabathia) all making two starts in one week, you know its a good week for pitching.  Haren benefits from facing two weak offenses

Not too shabby

Ricky Romero: 4/17 vs TB; 4/22 @ KC

Colby Lewis: 4/17 @ Bos; 4/22 @ Det

Brandon McCarthy: 4/16 @LAA; 4/21 vs Cle

Jeff Niemann: 4/17 @ Tor; 4/22 vs Min

John Danks: 4/17 vs Bal; 4/22 @ Sea

Justin Masterson: 4/17 @ Sea; 4/22 @ Oak

Jake Arrieta: 4/16 @ ChW; 4/21 @ LAA

Philip Humber: 4/16 vs Bal; 4/21 @ Sea

These pitchers have at least one favorable matchup or are talented enough that they should not hurt you.

Risky at best

Freddy Garcia: 4/16 vs Min; 4/21 @ Bos

Kevin Millwood: 4/17 vs Cle; 4/22 vs ChW

Carl Pavano: 4/16 @ NYY; 4/21 @ TB

Daniel Bard: 4/16 vs TB; 4/22 vs NYY

Francisco Liriano: 4/17 @ NYY; 4/22 @ TB

Drew Smyly: 4/17 @ KC; 4/22 vs Tex

Wei-Yin Chen: 4/17 @ ChW; 4/22 @ LAA

These guys just aren’t trust worthy.  Start them at your own risk.

Other Favorable Matchups

David Price: 4/18 @ Tor

Price is 9-2 with a career ERA of 2.06 against Toronto.

Felix Hernandez: 4/19 vs Cle

Hernandez is 5-3 with a 2.80 ERA against Cleveland.

Matt Moore: 4/20 vs Min

Moore has never faced Minnesota, but that may work in his favor.  Plus, the Twins just aren’t very good.

 

 

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