Where do the starters exit the stadium when the game’s over because I’m a groupie for strikeout heavy pitchers, i.e., Grey’s high on a high K/9, i.e., ergo, henceforth, vis-a-vis, I’d own these starters. Why the hearts on the notebook, Grey? Glad you asked, random italicized voice. Picture this scenario, your pitcher’s in a jam. Man on 3rd with one out in the bottom of the 2nd. Up walks the eight hole hitter. (For this example, let’s assume it’s not the Cards, cuz then it would be the pitcher.) In this situation, a ground out will probably score the man on third, so the best scenario is a strikeout. When you have a high K/9 pitcher, that’s a strong possibility. If you have a guy that pitches more to contact cough Pineiro cough, then you’re relying on factors out of the pitcher’s control, namely the defense. Now I didn’t bother listing pitchers that have top K/9’s like Lincecum because they’re all owned or expensive to get in a trade. Instead, I listed pitchers that have a strong K/9 (above eight) that I could see either being available or getting in a trade for a reasonable price. Anyway, here’s some top K/9 fantasy baseball starters:
Clayton Kershaw – 9.61 K/9. Has the 7th best K/9 and a 5+ BB/9, which is incredibly bad. In his young career, Kershaw seems like he needs to audit Pitch Management 101.
Jered Weaver – 9.92 K/9. Throwing his curveball a lot more this year has bumped his K-rate up by more than 2 per inning and has batters swinging and missing at pitches outside the strike zone by 7% more. Meanwhile, his brother, Jeff cries himself to sleep.
James Shields – His K/9 in 2009 was 6.84, his K/9 this year is 9.22. What the flippin’ frack is going on?
Tom Gorzelanny – K/9 is 9.23, which is excellent. Might be the first time I’ve mentioned Gorzelanny in a positive light this year. Just hard for me to get behind reclamation projects. I’m like the Councilman in that scene of Treme where Big Chief… *snooze* Wait, is the episode over? What happened in that scene where… *snooze* At this point, I just hope Treme doesn’t ruin my future re-watchings of The Wire. Anyhoo, Gorzelanny might get bumped for Big Z, so I’d put my excitement on simmer.
Ricky Romero – 9.48 K/9. Still going to have some terrible matchups, and I have my doubts if he can continue at the pace he’s on, but definitely worth owning and starting just about everywhere.
Colby Lewis – 9.10 K/9. He was terrible in the US, then he found himself in Japan and returned to find success here. Colby is a Survivor! His xFIP is 3.99 and I think in his home park in the summer he might be lucky to keep it that low, but the Ks are definitely there.
Felipe Paulino – 8.59 K/9. Yeah, that’s nice, but his walk rate is 5.26, which even beats BBershaw.
Phil Hughes – 8.88 K/9. Top Yankee strikeout pitcher by a huge margin with CC coming in with a 6.75. BTW, Halladay has a 6.90 K/9, way down from last year, which is almost as odd as what Shields is doing.
Justin Masterson – 8.81 K/9. His walk rate is bad at 4.98, but his xFIP is over two runs lower than his ERA because his BABIP is an insane .405. I know numbers make your brain hurt, so I’ll say this. In theory, he should be a lot better, but so should deep-fried Twinkies but, in the end, they just taste like greasy batter. Wait, greasy batter’s delicious!