Last month, I told you Ubaldo, Mike Leake, Hi-Me Garcia, Buchholz, Livan, Garland, Niemann, Tim Hudson, David Price and Pettitte would get worse. Price and Buchholz were the only pitchers to have a better June than May, and Buchholz didn’t pitch the whole month. How’s those odds? If you don’t know what the FIP I’m talking about. Read the following: xFIP — stands for Expected Fielding Independent Pitching. It’s basically ERA without those pesky fielders helping or hurting you. It’s a pure ERA. It’s like when you go to the Supercuts and then you don’t want to shower for like 2 weeks because you’ll never get your hair styled again like Jeffrey does it. It’s your hair right after Jeffrey styles it and before you wash it. That’s xFIP. Okay, so let’s take a Exhibit A pitcher, who has an ERA of 2.75, but his xFIP is a 6.75. A -4.00 difference. That means he’s been very lucky and there’s a good chance his ERA is going to go way up. So here’s a list of pitchers with the biggest difference between their actual ERAs and their xFIPs for the first three months or so of the fantasy baseball season. (If your guy’s on the list, it’s not a great sign.)
Clay Buchholz – -1.83. Combine this with the injury, a 6.26 K/9, a 3.72 BB/9, an inflated Win total and an unrealistic ERA and there could be some trouble ahead.
Matt Cain – -1.73. Of course Matt Cain’s on this list. He’s been on just about every list of lucky pitchers for the last two years.
Tim Hudson – -1.73. His ERA corrected itself a bit in June and it should continue to trend the wrong way as his good luck leprechaun becomes a lepre-can’t. Oofa!
Jeff Niemann – -1.67. There’s some guys I wish would just pitch as terribly as they’re capable of so I can stop talking about them. Niemann’s one of those guys.
Wade LeBlanc – -1.61. Then there’s times I come across a guy on these FIP lists that hurts me to see. LeBlanc’s one of those because I own him on a few teams. I’m going to continue to start him only at home as a hodgepadre, try to keep him dry and not feed him after midnight.
Jaime Garcia – -1.61. His xFIP and FIP are both below 4 and his K-rate is over 7. I before e, things might get worse but still usable.
David Price – -1.55. Basically what we’re seeing today is the guys that were lucky are still being lucky. The nice thing on Price and why I wouldn’t completely shy away from him is his xFIP is 3.97 and his K-rate is near 8.
Livan Hernandez – -1.55. Livan’s not a 3.12 ERA pitcher? C’mon! No way!
Ubaldo Jimenez – -1.47. So I could’ve just said look at last month’s post about lucky pitchers. Okay, point taken. Because of that I’m going to skip Jon Garland (-1.22) and Andy Pettitte (-1.27) and move to some new names…
C.J. Wilson – -1.45. The Texas heat combined with his home park is already a recipe for disaster.
Jonathan Sanchez – -1.21. If you thought/think (depending on your tense/density) that Sanchez is a low-3 ERA, news flash! He’s not. But his K-rate is also the best on this list. Yes, better than Ubaldo.
Mat Latos – -0.97. The xFIP is a concern, but the bigger concern for H2H leagues is once the Padres realize they are costing themselves their best pitcher for 2011 by pushing Latos, they will probably start skipping him in September.
Clayton Richard – -0.96. According to this list, the Padres might want to consider trading Bell before the inevitable collapse. In fairness to my beloved hodgepadres, they pitch their home games in Yellowstone. Don’t drop any of them. Just use your head when starting them. Or just look for “@San Diego.”