Matchups

Matchups of the Week 8/4: Two Pitchers You Need to Start

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There is a statistical jungle in baseball, filled with so many numbers it’s easy to get lost. You’re a busy person – there’s no time for you as a fantasy owner to go out and discover the statistical gold. That’s where I come in. Every week, I’ll be out there for you, looking through stats and information databases to find the two starting pitcher matchups that stand out from the rest. They won’t always be the best pitchers and won’t always be streamers, but these are my “Matchups of the Week.”

Jimmy Nelson (#77 on The List) vs. San Diego Padres (Tuesday August 4th)

Now that Mike Fiers has been traded to the Houston Astros, I naturally have to find the next Milwaukee starting pitcher that I have irrational love for. I’ll admit it, I was also a fan of Nelson at the beginning of the year and acquired him in my draft for cheap. I thought there was a chance that he could be a solid back of the fantasy rotation starter and contribute because of what he did last year at AAA and in his 12 starts in the majors. Of course Nelson couldn’t keep up his AAA stat line when he was leaving over 80% of runners left on base and a BABIP of .241, but he performed way worse than expected in Majors with a BABIP of .344 so I was buying on the hype that we’d find a happy medium. To be honest, I think we have reached that medium with Nelson and it’s not that exciting. However, the types of pitchers that we highlight here are not always perfect pitchers and they have their flaws, but it’s about finding hidden value and Nelson may have that right now. In the right-hander’s last 4 starts, he’s posted an ERA below 1.00 while striking a batter and inning. Yes, the walks were still there and that will be a problem with Nelson, but it’s hard to argue with the results in his last few starts. You could point to the fact that he hasn’t faced any good teams in his last four starts and I would agree for the most part, but he did also shut down a Dodger’s offense that has posted a wRC+ against right-handed pitchers of 112. Is this a new Nelson that we’re finally seeing? No, I don’t think this more than a little hot streak, but you can always try to find some short term value in hot streaks and Nelson is the perfect guy to buy in to for the short term.

GIF night zx

Ervin Santana’s Changeup + The Best Pitches From Monday’s Games

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Every morning we review the five best pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious HD GIFs.  Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the “GIF of the Week”.  Did we miss your favorite pitch?  Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.

Ervin Santana‘s Changeup – Santana had a tough matchup in Toronto and ultimately got the loss against the Blue Jays’ new ace David Price.  He was still able to make some quality pitches like this nasty Changeup to Josh Donaldson that induced some fun antics from the slugger.

SP Roundup qw

Lance In The Pants

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Boy was it a rough night for Lance McCullers owners.  Just a week after he had a great effort against the Los Angeles Angels, owners confidently plugged him in against the Rangers and were met with a 0.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks effort.  In other words, Lance get Felix’ed and there’s nothing you can do about it.  However, you shouldn’t be rash and bounce him from your team.  He got Singled Out like whoa, and he was killing it until yesterday’s effort.  But he was sent down to the minors after the game! Well that’s because the Astros didn’t have anyone to start Tuesday’s game after Mike Fiers had to show up and eat some innings (he didn’t do all much better with 6 ER over 5 innings), so they are sending McCullers down to open a roster spot for a Dan Straily today.  McCullers will be back for his next start against Oakland and I’m rolling with him. UPDATE: Okay so now it looks like McCullers will be down for at least 10 days as the team is trying to conserve innings for the youngin’ so he can be in full force down the stretch in September and beyond.  It’s annoying, but plan accordingly.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

The List

The List 8/3: Weekly Rankings Of The Top 100 Starting Pitchers ROS

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Every Monday, I will be releasing “The List” where I rank the current value of the Top 100 pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season.  Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from pitchers for the rest of 2015, and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues.

Let’s see what has changed in the SP market since last week:

The List (Click to expand table)

Current RankingPlayerPrevious RankingsWorst RankingBest Ranking
Clayton Kershaw 111
Max Scherzer262
Chris Sale343
Corey Kluber454
Zack Greinke5165
Jake Arrieta6146
Jacob DeGrom7207
Jose Fernandez 9659
Felix Hernandez 882
David Price10147
Gerrit Cole11247
Chris Archer125610
Madison Bumgarner13136
Dallas Keuchel145714
Johnny Cueto151510
Cole Hamels162110
Matt Harvey17176
Sonny Gray183616
Noah Syndergaard19Unranked19
Jon Lester203315
Francisco Liriano215420
Jason Hammel238222
Lance Lynn245220
Carlos Martinez256924
Carlos Carrasco262613
Michael Wacha274425
Masahiro Tanaka284024
Danny Salazar29Unranked21
Shelby Miller307429
Garrett Richards313418
Stephen Strasburg32425
Scott Kazmir335132
Jake Odorizzi345925
Lance McCullers35Unranked34
Jordan Zimmermann363713
Tyson Ross393823
James Shields404018
Hisashi Iwakuma416223
Jose Quintana426339
Jaime Garcia43Unranked40
Michael Pineda224112
Taijuan Walker 488636
Chris Heston44Unranked43
Kyle Hendricks50Unranked44
Aaron Nola53Unranked45
Patrick Corbin55Unranked46
Eduardo Rodriguez37Unranked34
Gio Gonzalez495537
Collin McHugh545619
Andrew Heaney 46Unranked50
Jeff Samardzija455323
Mike Fiers566237
John Lackey58Unranked53
Mat Latos71Unranked35
Luis SeverinoUnrankedUnranked55
Yordano Ventura475626
Alex Wood686816
Nathan Karns65Unranked58
Julio Teheran616423
Ivan Nova75Unranked60
Hector Santiago52Unranked50
Brett Anderson64Unranked58
Trevor Bauer667538
Wei-Yin Chen69Unranked64
Taylor Jungmann79Unranked65
Matt Shoemaker809333
Kevin Gausman89Unranked63
Anibal Sanchez576834
Andrew Cashner636936
Steven Matz72Unranked37
Carlos Rodon67Unranked39
Jesse Chavez60Unranked42
Ervin Santana59Unranked59
Chris Tillman99Unranked74
Mike Montgomery77Unranked77
Ubaldo Jimenez62Unranked43
Jimmy Nelson879444
Daniel NorrisUnrankedUnranked65
Dan Haren83Unranked71
Justin VerlanderUnranked8357
Mike Leake95Unranked81
Robbie Ray78Unranked78
Erasmo Ramirez90Unranked83
Zack Godley91Unranked84
James Paxton738530
Rubby De La Rosa70Unranked71
Nathan Eovaldi929851
Kendall Graveman93Unranked59
Drew Hutchison829154
Henry OwensUnrankedUnranked90
Matt Cain94Unranked90
Matt Moore74Unranked68
Edinson Volquez889964
Colby Lewis96Unranked94
Jon GrayUnrankedUnranked95
Raisel IglesiasUnrankedUnranked70
Phil Hughes849740
Mark Buehrle98Unranked98
Mike FoltynewiczUnrankedUnranked41
Joe Ross81Unranked75

Notes

– Outside of Jose Fernandez and Felix Hernandez swapping places, there’s nothing to report in the Top 20.  There were a bunch of guys that I’ve been more encourage about (Jon Lester, Noah Syndergaard), but it’s not enough to disregard the guys in front.  There is definitely a tier drop after Lester, though.

GIF night zx

Adam LaRoche’s Curveball + The Best Pitches From This Weekend’s Games

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Every morning we review the five best pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious HD GIFs.  Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the “GIF of the Week”.  Did we miss your favorite pitch?  Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.

Congrats to Carlos Martinez’s Fastball for winning GIF of the Week!  Generating that much movement at 96 MPH is simply too deadly.

Adam LaRoche’s Curveball – It was a blowout in Friday’s ChiSox loss to the visiting Yankees, allowing veteran LaRoche to get a shot on the hill.  He even struck out Brendan Ryan and earned his first strike with this 62 MPH “Curveball.”

SP Roundup qw

The Mighty Thor

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I haven’t spent much time talking about Noah Syndergaard this season, but after his second straight start of 8 IP (8.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks against the Nationals), it’s time for a little chat. Thor’s numbers this year are just as sexy as the 2-0 Changeup he threw Yunel Escobar for a swinging strike one: 2.65 FIP, 9.45 K/BB, 2.08 BB/9, and a hard contact rate of only 23.5%, while averaging over six innings per start.  Those are elite numbers that are not going away.  Given that he’ll reach at most 180 innings at his current pace (including the minors) and how the Mets are well in the hunt for a playoff spot, there’s little reason to believe that Syndergaard will not be pitching through September.  Be happy, laugh with glee, and do not sell the man with the glorious yellow hair.  He’s a keeper.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Prospects Rankings

Trade Deadline Edition: Top 10 Minor League Pitchers to Stash

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In this week’s edition, a few talented but unruly hurlers finally start to put their life together and are on the verge of the destiny of which they always dreamed. Meanwhile, unexpected trade winds have swept a few young pitchers off their feet and now they must discover a new life in a strange and alien farm system. Will these young souls triumph and prove their worth to their major league overlords? Tune in next week to find out.

These players are ranked in order of most likely to make an impact for your fantasy team in 2015. It does not include pitchers who have already hit in the majors this year.

1.  Jose Berrios (MIN) – Berrios’s pitched a gem in his latest outing with 8 Ks and 3 walks. With the Twins slipping fast in the standings, they’d look foolish by not promoting Berrios to sub for one of their mediocre rotation options. But the Twins don’t seem to mind looking foolish.

SP Roundup qw

Hendricks Up Your Sleeve

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It’s no secret that I’m a bit higher on Kyle Hendricks than most given his current #50 ranking despite being owned in only 30.9% of ESPN leagues. I don’t really understand the distaste for the Cubs pitcher as he went 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks last night against the Brew crew.  He’s now holding a 3.33 FIP and 3.35 xFIP, with a solid K-BB% of 15.6% as his walk rate is super low at 1.83 per 9.  Because of this walk rate, Hendricks will hold a higher floor than most, giving him a better chance at a low WHIP, go deeper into games, and reduce the baserunners to damage his ERA.  Mix that with an above-average 20% soft contact rate, and he should be taken in every 12 team league.  Seriously.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

zx

The Best Pitching GIFs Of The Week 8/2 – Who Will Take The Crown?

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It’s been another exciting week of baseball with many excellent pitches from around the league.  You’ve been voting all week, now the top pitches battle for the crown of “Pitching GIF of the Week”.  Who will win? Did we miss your favorite pitch?  Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.

Aaron Nola’s Curveball – Sometimes you can be one of the best hitters in the game and just have a bad at-bat.  Here Anthony Rizzo gets so fooled by Nola’s Curveball that he whiffs while the ball hits him in the knee.  It takes some serious filth to make that happen.

SP Roundup qw

Walking The Taightrope

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After four starts that combined for 19 ER Taijuan Walker shocked the world by going 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hit, 1 BB, 11 Ks against the Twins.  The only blemish on the evening was a Miguel Sano HR in the 4th inning as he cruised through 9 frames with only 101 pitches.  This is just absurd. His Changeup was as good as it’s been all season, and he was able to switch to his Curveball as the lineup turned over to continue dominating the helpless Minnesota lineup.  If this was the guy that shows up each time out, he would be in the Top 30, no question.  But that’s the problem.  Walker is still very young and volatile, making him a poor man’s Salazar.  He has this upside (I was very high on that upside to start the year!), but I’ve seen him fail to produce with consistency.  If need to chase upside, go for it as it will come with a cheaper price tag than the rest, but for those who are nearing the top of the standings, he could be a guy that pulls you out of it.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday: