Two weeks ago we looked at the speedsters from 2013 and there were more than a few names on the list that were available on the waiver wire at some point. For deeper leagues and daily fantasy players that need to maximize each and every matchup, even the smallest advantages can mean the difference between a win and a loss. That’s why we focused a lot on matchups this past year, and we’ll do it again in 2014. Even the best base stealers get caught once in a while, so it’s good to know as much as we can about who might be doing the catching before deploying our fantasy lineups. There’s a lot that goes into a stolen base, of course, and the battery of pitcher and catcher is a large piece of the puzzle. Pitchers who are good at holding baserunners can be avoided while pitchers who have a tendency to cough up a lot of steals can be exploited. Here’s how some starters fared in 2013 and over the last three years against the stolen base.

             Most SB Allowed              Least SB Allowed (Min. 150 IP)
Player IP SB Player IP SB
John Lackey 189 36 Chris Tillman 206 1
Scott Feldman 181 30 Hyun-Jin Ryu 192 1
Anibal Sanchez 182 25 Ian Kennedy 181 2
Cole Hamels 220 25 Miguel Gonzalez 171 2
Edinson Volquez 170 24 Patrick Corbin 208 2
AJ Burnett 191 22 Matt Harvey 178 2
Tim Lincecum 197 21 Bronson Arroyo 202 3
Justin Verlander 218 21 Cliff Lee 222 3
Tommy Hanson 73 21 Zack Greinke 177 3
Chris Sale 214 19 Adam Wainwright 241 3
Edwin Jackson 175 18 Mark Buehrle 203 4
Roberto Hernandez 151 18 Travis Wood 200 4
Jacob Turner 118 18 Mike Minor 204 4
Yu Darvish 209 18 Erik Bedard 151 5
Matt Cain 184 17 Clayton Kershaw 236 5
Felix Hernandez 204 17 Matt Garza 155 5
Joe Blanton 132 17 James Shields 228 5
      Wade Miley 202 5
      AJ Griffin 200 5
      Hisashi Iwakuma 219 5

Keeping in mind that there is a catcher in the other end of these batteries as well, the arms on the right side of the table pitched a heck of a lot of innings and gave up very few steals. The Angels were just all around bad at holding baserunners and they appeared as a green light match up most weeks, so it’s no surprise to see Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton here. On the other hand, I felt like Matt Harvey, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Patrick Corbin, and Chris Tillman were worth highlighting given their remarkable numbers and the fact that they are relatively young.

The chart below is the same idea but includes the 2011 and 2012 seasons for good measure. Obviously there are some names that appear in both charts and are probably best avoided when trying to glean steals out of a particular match-up. Also, there are some lower innings counts on the right side even with the 450 IP minimum, so bear that in mind when comparing two guys like Jhoulys Chacin and Ian Kennedy. I highlighted some names that stood out to me.

               Most SB Allowed               Least SB Allowed (Min. 450 IP)
Player IP SB Player IP SB
AJ Burnett 583 84 Mark Buehrle 611 12
Tommy Hanson 377 82 Jhoulys Chacin 460 12
Ubaldo Jimenez 547 72 Ian Kennedy 611 12
Cole Hamels 651 71 Bartolo Colon 507 13
John Lackey 349 69 Doug Fister 586 14
Tim Lincecum 600 69 Kyle Lohse 598 15
Felix Hernandez 670 65 Travis Wood 462 15
Anibal Sanchez 574 63 Mike Minor 466 16
Edinson Volquez 461 62 Chris Capuano 490 17
CJ Wilson 638 61 Matt Garza 457 17
Ervin Santana 617 57 Jon Niese 490 17
Mat Latos 614 56 Cliff Lee 666 18
Trevor Cahill 554 56 Bronson Arroyo 603 19
Ryan Dempster 546 55 RA Dickey 667 19
Josh Beckett 406 53 Kevin Correia 510 19
Matt Cain 625 53 Jake Westbrook 474 20
Scott Feldman 337 53 Zack Greinke 561 20
Justin Masterson 615 48 Jeremy Guthrie 601 20
Edwin Jackson 564 47 Kyle Kendrick 456 21
Madison Bumgarner 614 47 Mike Leake 539 22
Justin Verlander 707 47

Avoiding Cliff Lee is probably a good idea given the stingy steals allowed and the fact that his IP over the last three years is the number of the Beast. Kyle Lohse benefited from allowing only one steal back in 2011 which I at first thought must have had just as much to do with Yadier Molina as anything else. But looking closer, Molina only caught 29% of basestealers that year (compared to his usual 40% + rate in 2010, 2012, and 2013).

Thanks for reading. Speaking of catchers and their CS%, next time we’ll take a look at how the backstops fared, and then it’s on to some 2014 sleepers and strategies. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving in the meantime.

If you’re a tweeter on Twitter, you can follow Mike @643ball

  1. Count de Monetball says:

    Fun read mike! Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:

      @Count de Monetball: Thanks, Count. BTW, your Razzball handle makes me chuckle every time I see it. I’m a huge Mel Brooks fan. “-it’s good to be the king…”

      • Count de Monetball says:

        @Mike: Your highness, you look like the pissboy!

  2. Wake Up says:

    just in case you didn’t like Harvey, Waino, and Kershaw enough…here’s another reason…they don’t allow runners to get into scoring position…very nice!

    btw, any idea where to get a new pulling guard for a dandle board…mine broke…dammit!

  3. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:

    Thanks, Mike. Copied and pasted straight to my sagnof spreadsheet. I will be consulting daily to fill streaming sagnof.

    (btw: I went from mid-pack to top of rcl league in SB in just two weeks just by loading up on speedsters end of last year.) (gained that ‘luxury’ ‘cuz my team was lost cause by then… :-) )

    • Mike

      Mike says:

      @simply fred: that’s awesome! glad it was helpful! BTW, I still refer to your pitcher streaming post from ’12 multiple times a season. it’s one of my favorite all time Razz articles…

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