Monday 6/15 SP Stream of Consciousness Report

Okay, another full slate here – and the one glance I took I saw a lot of raindrops lighting up. This far ahead of game time that’s pretty meaningless – so all of this pseudo-analysis is totally weather-independent.

No umpire information on Mondays. But keep reading!

Full slate = not going to do pitcher-by-pitcher breakdowns. Instead we will look at some tiers.

My first reaction is that … unlike Sunday, where we were littered with stud SPs, I feel like the field is slightly more debatable this time, and we will see ownership spread out amongst a group of pitchers where some of them will surely do bad, and some of them will surely do very well – and if you read my BONUS SUNDAY FUNDAY article yesterday, you know what this means – we have a chance for some ever-cherished separation at the SP spot today! (in case you missed it – )

My composite projections (that really are mostly just a suggestion at this point) have Gio Gonzalez jumping out slightly ahead of a clear tier one that also includes Dallas Keuchel, Masuhiro Tanaka, Francisco Liriano, and Jake Arrieta.

So, I’ve recently gotten to the point in the season where there’s enough sample size that I feel like we can get a lot of value from looking at 2015-only team batting statistics. For my streamlining purposes I only use wRC+ as I find it pretty much covers me for a one-off assessment of the general condition of a team’s offense versus RHP or LHP this season.

So it turns out – this is going to come in very handy when trying to whittle down this list. First of all, I am not sure why Gio is a clear 1st. I could piece it together but I don’t really care – I’m not playing him. He’s good but the first thing I’m going to do is shave him and Jake Arrieta off the list, as TB and CLE have 108 and 107 wRC+ against LHP and RHP, respectively, this season. That’s not always a deal breaker but when you consider the other guys are playing teams that have wRC+ numbers bordering from ‘very very bad’ (82, MIA) to ‘absolutely insanely atrocious’ (69, COL) all the way down to ‘worst. offense. ever. – comic book guy’ (47, CHW) (all against the respective handednesses of the opposing SPs). Now I will say that vLHP ones … it’s fair to say they are a little less normalized than the vRHP ones, because, well, pretty much can guarantee everyone’s faced a good chunk LHPs than RHPs so far. So that’s why we see those outliers like CHW at 47 – that is … there is no way they will finish the season anywhere near that low.

In the case of CHW and MIA though, we see their terrible 2015 wRC+ ratings corresponding strongly with their 2013-present wRC+ ratings – with them being strongly BAD all around. So I have a lot of confidence in these teams being fantastic to target SPs against them. “You’re welcome” – Captain Obvious.

So, Liriano and Tanaka. I can live with that. Keuchel can’t go without mentioning again though … he’s due for some regression, but still very very good (just not sub-2.5 ERA good) … and COL is definitely fantastic to pick on, especially with a LHP. Park is definitely an issue, but not a deal-breaker. I give the nod to Liriano as A#1 across the board with the matchup, and Tanaka #2 and Keuchel just a hair behind him ONLY due to confidence issues with the park, and limited strikeout upside. Especially considering we have good parks for the PIT and NYY@MIA games.

Right in behind here we’ll mention Trevor Bauer, as a guy who is a little bit behind the above guys in overall skills right now, and on the road … but when the host team is CHC and we have a pitcher with some stuff, we always have to consider GPP rosterability. It’s not a perfect spot but CHC is strikeout-happy enough that we can keep him on “flier” status for GPPs. I still like Liriano as the best GPP and cash pitcher of the day, though.

We’ll go Tyson Ross next, and quickly move on because he’s playing OAK, which is at the very least death to strikeouts, and a good chance they’ll do some damage on top of that.

I’ll talk about Noah Syndergaard and Anibal Sanchez together. Why? This might be blasphemy to some but I think they’re pretty similar. We got Noah for near-reliever prices for awhile and some of us got some good plays out of him … especially when he blew up … now the price is up, and he still has SOME value, but it’s not the electric play it was when he was down at the bottom of the SP salary list. Anibal has had some control issues early but enough track record to suggest he’ll be okay. So I still project him like I would have pre-season, and I think Syndergaard is about the same overall value. They’re both pitchers that hover around $8k right now and if they play to their true form they’re probably worth around $9k – overall not sexy enough to make them attractive options on full slates. Noah has the potential to keep getting better this season though, and by the second half he could be a total steal at $8k. But for now, I got a lot of good play out of him when he was cheap, and I’m standing pat and waiting to see what happens next.

John Lackey and Wei-Lin Chen are both solid, but I’m not playing them, they represent just a touch above vanilla opponents for PHI and MIN … who are bad enough as it is. If you want to reach down and grab somebody around this level though, and base it on matchup, I would go for Jesse Hahn playing at Petco against a pretty non-productive and high-strikeout Padre team. Especially on DK at SP2 for $6400 … he’s a decent risk/reward option in the pitcher’s park there.

So we’re going to come across a lot of horrible pitchers here, but one of them I want to put up front and therefore bury in the middle of the stream …

Jered Weaver is a consistent disaster waiting to happen … and I will be playing strongly against him every single turn until he either retires or caves in and starts taking steroids. He’s been slipping for awhile, pretty steadily, and this year, his fastball has fallen off probably more than any other MLB pitcher in the offseason. It’s so drastic that I have to think it might be due to a deliberate change in pitching style – his control was always good, but it’s exceptional this year. Still that is only barely keeping him afloat at a fringe-5th-starter-type-performance-level. And his HR numbers are up … so … he’s already bad … but I see a recipe for total imminent disaster here. He’s skating by with the best BB/9 he’s ever posted in his career by a LONG SHOT. If that slips at all he’ll be truly throwing batting practice up there at 83mph fastball velocity. Load ARI on Monday and load up on him for a month or two and thank me later.

Chad Bettis, Edinson Volquez – definitely below average.

Rick Porcello and Tim Hudson – pretty comfortable playing a FIRM vanilla here. Definitely not bad pitchers but nothing to be afraid of, either.

Tom Koehler – pretty horrible

Carlos Rodon – pretty horrible … PIT’s offense has been equally horrible in 2015 but I see a lot of signs for optimism … they are performing very well in some metrics and have some history behind them to say we should expect them to play better-than-league-average offense going forward. Actually very good offense. So, who knows when it will start, though. I will have some money on it being against Rodon tomorrow, though.

Aaron Harang, Kyle Lohse, Mark Buehrle, all middling or worse but kind of control specialists. Do with that information what you wish. I will not be playing any of them but Buehrle will be interesting to watch as … NYM has a ton of holes in that lineup when they play LHP … so again I wouldn’t play him … but since he’s generally a guy I like to find against strong RHB lineups and tee off on … I’ll be interested to see how this “showdown of shittyness” plays out!

Trevor May and Taijuan Walker are two guys who don’t get projected very well, but I think they are both worthy of treading lightly against. Taijuan I feel is more of a risk/reward … I don’t want to play either of them, but playing batters against a risk/reward pitcher gives you the same risk/reward potential when playing batters against them… May is just more overall solid, he’s having a breakout year, his ERA is not representative of how he’s pitching … he has elite BB/9 numbers and keeps the ball on the ground and in the park… always a great start to a recipe for good, consistent SP success. Again not good enough for me to play him, but I rarely if ever play batters against him on a full slate.

I’ll go ahead and single out Robbie Ray before I get to this final group … because, well, I don’t really have enough to go on to say he’s bad. 1.5ERA over extreme short sample – totally disregard. 3.9xERA over same extreme short sample? Sounds more reasonable. He’s dicey. But I am more CONFIDENT that a lot of these pitchers are firmly bad than I am with Ray. So. No reason to avoid him but I can’t exactly lump him in with guys who have taken some time out of their recent careers to establish that they are bad on the MLB level.

Everyone else I feel is pretty firmly terrible … just so nobody feels left out, that’s you Williams Perez, Carlos Frias, Yovani Gallardo (actually mediocre but vLAD should be a nightmare for him), and Jon Moscot.

A few tips. LAD and DET are elite producing offenses drawing one of these shit-tastic pitchers, so make sure to get a piece of them. We also have LAA and BOS as offenses that are sliding potentially under the radar still or fallen off of it in BOS’s case … and well I guess LAA vLHP is pretty common strategy … but I’ve said it several times in past blogs and will say it again … Sandoval and Ortiz both are TOTALLY FINE against RHP’s and all of their struggles have come against LHPs. Sure the BOS lineup has been up and down but don’t overlook them here, especially with deflated salaries.

I also like LAD’s “blow up” ability because TEX plays very bad defense and has a very bad bullpen … so to me that’s a recipe for things to start snowballing, and nobody to stop the bleeding.

Oh, yeah, and you, Erasmo Ramirez … you suck, too.

Good luck!

About the Author

  • Sean O'Donnell (hokie2009)

  • Sean O’Donnell is a proud Hokie (Virginia Tech class of 2009, electrical engineering) as well as a Grateful Dead enthusiast. A fantasy baseball player since age 12, he has flirted with DFS in the past, but only this season stumbled onto the dearth of information that exists pertaining to daily fantasy golf and made a commitment to analyzing PGA tournament data on a weekly basis. When he’s not scouring the web for obscure PGA data, he works as a consultant for small businesses involved in research grants with the federal government.


  • FearinLoathin

    LAD and DET are elite producing offenses drawing one of these shit-tastic pitchers, so make sure to get a piece of them.”

    Total donkey-laugh.

    Great work, man. I need to catch you more often. +1

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