Well at this point you kinda sorta maybe know what this is all about.  I mean, I’ve now dropped April, May, June and July on you so if you’re lost about what we’re trying to look at it simply means you haven’t been keeping up.  That’s ok, that’s what hyperlinks are for.  Now if you’re asking me to spoon-feed you info…well, ok.  Vvvvvvvvvvrooooooom, open the mental hangar, we’re about to drop some #PitchingIsSoDeep knowledge on you.  We’ve been looking back at 2014 to get some feel for just how deep the pitching rabbit hole really went.  Did we reach Wonderland?  Well, I’m not here to make a verdict on either side but so far we have seen an abundance of ownable arms either for extended periods or for at least a few weeks that were sufficient if you didn’t draft a ‘top’ arm in the draft.  Better yet, if your top arm was Jose Fernandez, you had your chances to make up for it.  This isn’t a West Side Story thing, BTW.  I’m not ‘team draft late arms forever’ any more than I am ‘draft Kershaw in the first’.  I want to see both sides and weigh them out for myself so that’s why I’m here.  Come join me, will you?  Here’s the top August arms from the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

Overview:

So what the heck am I looking at, you might ask yourself.  Well, unfortunately, the names I gave those secondary columns just won’t cut through so I gotta give you some breakdown.  The first column labelled simply ‘$’ is Rudy’s formula for evaluating streamers.  I can’t share the secret formula, though I have been told if used in the kitchen it makes some great baked beans.  The column to its immediate right is what I simply called ‘Minus Wins.’  It’s Rudy’s numbers minus the impact of wins on their value.  Clearly it knocks a few bucks off the top for everyone, but it does go to show whether a guy pitched well or if it was the wins that pushed them through the gate.  The third and final column is ‘Win Value Difference.’  This is simply to show the separation between their value when counting wins vs their inherent value without them.  Some are drastic, some are not and some may be misleading.  Also notice the spreadsheet itself has two different tabs to peruse: ‘August With Wins’ and ‘August W/out Wins.’  I don’t think this needs further explanation.  If it does, please refer to Appendix I-IV.  Hint:  there is no appendix.  PS, if this looks familiar from the previous posts in this series…it is!  It’s a breakdown of what you’re looking at, I don’t see a reason to recreate the wheel.  Unless the original wheel were inefficient, of course.  Maybe it needs spikes?  YES!  Back to the drawing board we go!  JK, moving along…

First Impressions:

Preseason Top 20 Pitchers for 2014 Fantasy Baseball in the top 25 for April with wins: Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, Alex Cobb – 5 total

Preseason Top 20 Pitchers for 2014 Fantasy Baseball in the top 25 for April without wins: Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Chris Sale, Alex Cobb – 6 total

Largest Positive Win Value Difference: Matt Shoemaker (20.6)

Largest Negative Win Value Difference: Vidal Nuno (-13.6)

Pitchers outside top 25 without win category: Collin McHugh, Jarred Cosart, Corey Kluber – 3 total

Pitchers inside top 25 without win category: Brandon McCarthy, Vidal Nuno, Chris Sale – 3 total

Not overly obvious free agent pitching pickups from the lists: Matt Shoemaker, Chris Tillman, Mike Fiers, Drew Smyly, Vidal Nuno, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Peavy, Tsuyoshi Wada, Danny Duffy, Brandon McCarthy, Jarred Cosart, Ryan Vogelsong – 12 total

Second Impressions:

Vidal Nuno – At first you kinda feel bad for Vidal and his bad luck with the win totals.  Then you realize a majority of how ‘good’ he was in August is simply based on volume as he had 6 starts.  Were they good?  Sure.  But is a 3.08 ERA and a 7.11 K/9 gonna get any Cy Young votes?  Rhetorical.  The cool thing about Vidal is he made it all better in September when he regressed back.  That’s what you get for picking him up after looking at his August starts!

To qwell some ‘yeah but’ responses to the not overly obvious section – It’s August.  If you’re holding dead weight like a Drew Smyly from your late rounds or a Jake Peavy or even a Chris Tillman, then you deserve your place which is probably dead last.  They’re known names on some level but by August, people should’ve moved on and these guys should’ve been out there.  Don’t hate the player, hate the game.  Well, maybe you can hate the player and the game there.  Not like they did you any favors if you drafted them.

Matt ShoemakerWent 6-1 in the month of August as he threw in a relief win early on to have a 7th appearance.  This again is a clear sign that going by month isn’t exactly the best way to navigate but do you really want weekly numbers on this shizz?  I think not…on the ‘looking into 2015’ side of things, Shoe is gonna be an interesting case.  I think he’s Ryan Vogelsong’ish.  He’ll be good but won’t relive this moment.  I’m just glad he’s no longer working in a Nike sweatshop, honestly.

Drew SmylySomething unlocked in Tampa. Like, it’s almost as if they know how to get good pitching from good, young yet unrefined arms or something…yeah, I liked Drew in 2014, I’ll like him again and probably more in 2015.

Kyle HendricksThanks for the memories, Kyle.

22% – The amount of top 20 pitchers in the top 25.  It’s a low number but we’re also at that crossroads in the season where the idea of a top 20 pitcher doesn’t really matter any more.  Gio Gonzalez?  Long gone.  Homer Bailey?  Buh-bye, sweetie pie.  You realized who was a stream and who was a dream from this bunch long ago.  That said, it does put more merit into waiting on pitching if you look at it from that angle.

Aftermath:

The group of pickup arms was heavily influenced by the trade deadline.  Nuno, McCarthy, Cosart, Peavy, and Smyly all seemingly benefited from a change of scenery mid-season for varying reasons.  Makes you wonder if it sparks something in a player.  Is that something we can bottle?  How do you say ‘something to prove’ in French?  I have a perfume idea!  Overall, it was definitely a solid month for people with streaming/late round pitching aspirations given that nearly half of each list was either an FA arm or a late round draft pick.  Again, not something we can base an argument off of but it definitely leans team #PitchingIsSoDeep when your 12th best pitcher in a given month is Kyle Hendricks.  I mean, none of us owned him because he’s Kyle Hendricks so it didn’t help us that much but point made, right?  Exactly.  Until next time.

  1. J_FOH says:
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    First!

    • Cram It says:
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      @J_FOH: Actually, I was first, I just didn’t feel the need to gloat about it.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Cram It: Some people always need to be the center of attention

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Cram It: can’t a man be sarcastic on a site where sarcasm is mentioned in our theme music

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          You forgot the sarcasm font…and to watch the Randy Quaid video.

          • J-FOH says:
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            @Sky: I watched it and my main takeaway is now I know what the streetsfa will look like when he gets older.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              @J-FOH: Mayhap he is StreetFA at this point.

              • J-FOH says:
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                @Sky: well played. You should tweet that video to him and ask what it was like working with Chevy chase

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  You have my blessing to do so

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Sky: I don’t want to piss that guy off on twitter

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      Where would you prefer to piss him off?

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Sky: in person, he can do more damage to me on twitter. I’ve had my ass kicked many times before but destroying me on twitter would be the worse. Dammit, I just realized I’m modern. FMSML

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      You worried about your twitter rep?

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Sky: sadly yes I am

        • Cram It says:
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          @J-FOH: Can’t a man follow another man’s sarcasm in hopes of spawning a running joke? Magoo was on board.

          There’s theme music? Guess I never noticed the bells and whistles since I don’t have speakers at work. I’m old school. Just give me the content!

  2. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    That Brandon McCarthy fellow had a solid 2nd half. I wonder if he’ll be able to pick up a few more Ws in LA…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      F the W…I’ll take those nice stats any day.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: F to the W’s? The Bushes aren’t president again….are they?….yet?

  3. William Bobby says:
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    Hello

    $260, 14 team, 5×5 roto, 9keeper league

    who is a better keeper… $13 Jansen or a $5 Allen

    thanks!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @William Bobby: If you’re keeping a closer, you’ll want the cheaper one. Allen

  4. Hondo says:
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    Thanks Sky-you made my day.Not with the article,but with the Randy Quaid video commenter’s,ummm, comment that “This is nearly impossible to masturbate to”

    On a more serious note(cause what’s more important than MY fantasy baseball teams?) I’ve got JZimm,Shoe,Fiers and Hughes as 4 of my 6 SP targets.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Haha, it might be my finest work yet! I’m not sure I’m a Shoemaker believer in full but his stats down the stretch were hard to ignore, that’s for sure

  5. MB says:
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    So you would rather have lance lynn way more than shoemaker?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I wouldn’t say way more. I think they’re both due for regression in their own right. They’re good not great in my book. Could see both slipping to SP3/4 material.

      • MB says:
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        @Sky: Okay cool thanks. Trying to get shoemaker for lynn actually. Appreciate the good work

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          No prob, good luck!

  6. Alan says:
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    Hey Man, hows it going Sky?

    I cant decide who to keep out of these dudes. We keep five in shallow 11 team yahoo (10 offensive slots, no CI/MI and 3 OF/2 UT) and 1350 inn limit so K/9 matters. 7×7 with obp, slg, hold, QS

    Which five you want?

    Dickerson
    J Up
    Chris Davis
    Freeman
    Seager
    Cano
    Lester
    Arrieta
    Jose Fernandez
    Ortiz
    Yelich
    Soler

    Thanks!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Dickerson/JUp/Cano/Seager/Lester

      Hard choices, my man. Aim for the others in the draft, especially Davis/Arrieta/Yelich/Soler. Jo-Fer too, but don’t go crazy; he’s not gonna be a huge help to you this year.

      • Alan says:
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        @Sky: Thank you Sky

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          No worries glad to help!

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