If you’re a Razzball regular, then you’re familiar with the term FIP. If you’re into twodels, you’re familiar with the term FAP. If you aren’t familiar with the former, ask Wikipedia about xFIP. If you aren’t familiar with the latter, ask a twodel. Let’s just say that I have a hunch the rash of TJs going around are earning the acronym a new moniker, Twodel Job- distant relative to the other blank-Jays you have endlessly received- EH HEM!!! -referred to. I’m blaming the social media harems for the destruction of UCL’s across baseball. I mean all of the analogies hold true. “He started too young. He’s logged too many innings. They’ve gotten him up and down too many times. His arm angle is unnatural. His hand lags behind his elbow too far. Unnatural motion.” Blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it all.
So, unless you’ve won the fantasy baseball lottery, you have at least one guy who’s seen Dr. Freeze. Let’s find you some decent options to replace those points. There’s a lot of variance in scoring systems for points leagues, so make sure you understand which categories are of the greatest or least importance in your league. With each of the following players, I’ll highlight typical point formats that they’ll be of more use in. As per the usual, I’m not gonna focus on the top 100 guys. Here’s some value to buy at a discount for your points league.
Everyone is holding themselves in anticipation of Mat Latos and Taijuan Walker making their 2014 debuts. I’m not trying to sit here and say that they won’t be really good, but there is a very small chance that you are going to be able to buy them via waivers or trade for any decent value. However, my fantasy desires are for are the returns of lesser covered James Paxton and Michael Pineda. Look, both of these guys are young and unproven, but they both have been coveted Mariners and have ace or #2 potential. They both have shown in small sample sizes that they can perform in every single category and they have shoulder issues which tend to be less career threatening than multiple TJs… hookers be damned.
Ian Kennedy has been extremely solid so far for the Friars. He’s had a couple of crappy seasons but moving from a top 5 run producing park to a top 5 run suppressing park has proven to be as helpful as it sounds on paper. So far this year he’s sporting a 3.59 ERA with a K/9 over 9. The catch here is that his offense is atrocious and that is gonna cost him some wins. If you’re league heavily values wins and penalizes losses he’s not a top target guy. Otherwise he is. Oh, his FIP is 3.02 so there’s not a lotta flukey going on here. Any guy who throws half his starts in Petco is worth a look as a streamer and Kennedy is probably solid gold unless he’s facing the Rockies or D-Backs on the road.
If you got a league that loves to give you crazy points for Ks and doesn’t penalize heavily for a lack of innings or a lack of wins (a byproduct of a pitcher who can’t go deep) then you should seriously take a look at Danny Salazar, Tim Lincecum and Francisco Liriano. Lincecum has kinda been who he is so far this year but he’ll have some more games where he shines and gives you elite points. I expect Salazar and Liriano to improve for the rest of the year in general, but I especially like them in points leagues that reward Ks. They both are great at getting the K when in trouble and the trouble seems to be self inflicted. ERA should drop as well due to some FIP correction.
Chris Archer is a young and studly Tampa Bay pitcher who is just finding his groove. I think he’s going to rival Price/Cobb/Moore production as soon as he settles into the bigs. That might be happening right now. If his owners this year are still feeling iffy due to the slow start, snatch Chris Archer ASAP. He’s FIPping .77 better than he’s ERAing so he’s not fapping around. A good target to trade your “hot start guy” in exchange for.
Jim Johnson will be a top 5 relief pitcher in August and September. I’m confident. The A’s are too. The A’s players and coaches seem to love him. The A’s fans think he’s a poison and I think it’s affected him. They also have to trudge through excrement fields to make it to their seats so I’d be ready to boo too. Oh, the condition of Oakland sports… He’s worth owning, absolutely if he’s available on your wire to hold. By the All-Star break Bob will give him a Melvin and he’ll get his act together.
Bring your league specific details to the table and hit me in the comments.
POINTS ARE POINTS