Sometimes I use opening paragraphs of off-season content to remind myself what I was doing at the time of writing it.  It’s hard to say when this stuff will come out so I like to treat these like that YouTube guy did with himself.  Sky, this is me from the past!  Are you falling asleep to Jeopardy now?  Do you have dentures?  Are you, by any chance, dead?  If so, can I have your stereo?  Sorry, you just never know when these posts might go live.  Maybe if I pass along the way, this post could become a piece of art reveled by many…or it could just be another one of my crappy posts.  Yeah, prolly one of those!  Oh well, if you’re not famil with the series, take a look back at Top April and Top May pitcher posts from earlier.  The premise is pretty basic.  We’re slowly looking back on the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season in month sets of data just to see how much value you got from drafting a high end pitcher compared to what you could’ve gotten late in the draft or from your free agent pool.  As you may or may not remember/know, we were chirping ‘#PitchingIsSoDeep’ earlier in the year so here’s us – well, me at least – trying to see if that was truly true.  So without further ado, let’s begin anew…sorry, got caught up in rhyming.  Let’s just get on with it. Anyone want a peanut?  Here’s the top June pitchers from last year to see what we can gleam for 2015 fantasy baseball…

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: ‘June With Wins’ and ‘June 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 top 25 for June with wins: Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, David Price, Yu Darvish, Chris Sale, Adam Wainwright – 6 total

Preseason Top 20 Pitchers For 2014 Fantasy Baseball in top 25 for June without wins: Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, David Price, Chris Sale, Yu Darvish, Adam Wainwright, Julio Teheran, Madison Bumgarner – 8 total

Largest Positive Win Value Difference: Clayton Kershaw (26.2)

Largest Negative Win Value Difference: Jake Odorizzi (-5.1)

Pitchers outside top 25 without win category: Bud Norris, Jarred Cosart, Tanner Roark, Henderson Alvarez

Pitchers inside top 25 without win category: Chris Archer, Homer Bailey, Jake Odorizzi, Julio Teheran, Madison Bumgarner

Not overly obvious free agent pitching pickups from the lists: Jake Arrieta, Jesse Hahn, Danny Duffy, Bartolo Colon, Roenis Elias, Bud Norris, Jarred Cosart – 7 total

Second Impressions

Jake Arrieta – I <3 u, bae.  I don’t even have to look at the data, I’m sure he was top 10 pretty much the rest of the way and probably the best FA arm most picked up in the regular season.

Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and David Price – How bad did the Rays have to be offensively to have only one of these three in the top 25 for wins category in June but three in the w/out wins section?  Rhetorical.  Epically bad.

Bartolo Colon#NeverForget.  Big, fat Bartolo Colon had a 2.57 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in the month of June.  His ERA and WHIP for the year were 4.09 and 1.23, respectively.  So a month’s worth of Cy Young-type ratios from a guy who looks like a retired offensive lineman who now is an unpaid spokesperson for Kentucky Fried Everything.  Makes sense.

Jesse Hahn – Despite only pitching 27.2 IP, Hahn snuck into the top 25 in wins because he went 4-1 in June and into the w/out wins because he faced anemic offenses in that stretch either at Petco or in generously pitcher-friendly ones elsewhere (@NYM, @SFG).  Of course, the 11.7 K/9 didn’t hurt either but you know what did?  Your ERA when you held him too long.  Oops.

Injuries – They cleared up from the previous months and the stats showed with Clayton and Felix along with Darvish anchoring the pitching ranks again.

28% – The amount of top 20 pitchers in the top 25 for the month of June.  I do believe it’s the most successful month yet.  I also do believe that’s not saying much.  I see your Felix Hernandez and raise you a Jake Arrieta, good sir.

Aftermath:

Season-long trends have begun to establish themselves at this point.  I would say by the numbers of who you could find out on the FA pool reasonably, June has been the weakest month yet.  Of course, my metric for that will be hard to gauge as we roll these out.  Did everyone hold onto Homer Bailey when he struggled early or did they move on and give others a chance to swoop him up?  It’s doubtful but still it would make sense that as the months roll along, seeing less of these types of FA pickup options would make some sense given how trends settle in.  Let’s also not forget how reluctant we as humans – yes even if you play fantasy sports you’re a human.  Don’t let your mother tell you any different – tend to be in letting go of the past even when the present is mercilessly beating our ratios senseless.  Psychology is a huge part of fantasy sports and it’s hard to quantify it so…uh…I’m not gonna.  But I WILL keep going with this series.  See ya next time!

You can follow Sky on twitter @Sky_Razzball and in your most sweetest of dreams

  1. Joeg414 says:
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    Picked up Arrieta on 6/15 for my mixed daily 13 team roto league . He helped me win the title going : 113 ip, 123 k’s, 8 w(would have had more if the Cubs bullpen were better), 2.69 era , .89 whip , 9.74 k/9.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Joeg414: Cool, glad he helped you. He had a great season, for sure.

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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      @Joeg414: how many starts in was that? as us around here were on average very slow to gobble him up. In only one of my leagues did i grab him (and keep him) ahead of others, and i’m very very active. His 4-5 years of being pretty shitty def kept the stats being believed very little for a while. I know Grey was able to grab and keep him really late into his greatness, but Razzball leagues are set up for few kept starters, and lots of drops/adds, even of guys who are doing well.

  2. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    Arrieta is the 26th SP off of the board with an ADP of 111.50 in early NFBC drafts thus far. With all of the offseason buzz he’s been getting (and rightfully so), he’s likely to move up into the 90-100 overall range where guys like Cobb, Cole, and Shields currently reside. You’ll have to pay up to get your man crush next season, sorry to say.

    Not sure I’d put a hashtag next to Bartolo’s name. He might mistake it for hashbrowns, or perhaps corned beef hash, and make it disappear in short order. I’ll distract him for you – #hashbrowns #cornedbeefhash #friedfoods #fatolo

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yeah, he and Carrasco went around the 10th/11th in my mock. When draft season starts, I don’t expect to see them below round 9. Most likely 8th rounders.

      I heard Bartolo was working on sliders this off-season:

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: thats a lot of variation of his slider

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          He’s clearly still experimenting with it.

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
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            @Sky: I’m sure that he’s done quite a bit of experimenting…

  3. Joeg414 says:
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    Shoemaker should be listed as one of the top SP in the month of August.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Probably

  4. Joe LoPiccolo says:
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    Keeper question? Arreita or Detroit Martinez OF

    Thanks

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Joe LoPiccolo: Tough as I like both. I’d lean towards Arrieta simply because I don’t think people believe in JD. I’d aim for Martinez in the draft.

  5. james says:
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    Really off topic (at least is it about a pitcher)…. How healthy will Tanaka be this season. in a new dynasty in the 8th round I am split between Hamels (great floor but 31), Ventura (young, huge ceiling) and Tanaka (no idea if he is healthy).

    Has he chosen to go though TJ since the end of the season, or even if so, when is the right time to take a risk on him for the future.

    • Bull in a Chinese Restaurant says:
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      @james: no TJ yet, and if he has any plans to, there’s no news of it yet. It’s almost as if these agents/players/owners/managers/coaches/trainers/doctors and the like with Tanaka/NYY seem to not notice that there’s literally almost never been somebody in his condition not have this surgery and continue on a career path that is anything but bad for him. In fact, i can’t remember a single pitcher coming out of this with “rest” doing anything but
      A.sucking
      B. getting more injured
      and/or
      C. getting more injured then needing the same TJ they needed in the first place.
      A/B/C are of course not mutually exclusive.
      Can ANYONE remember a pitcher who continued on the same great career path without having TJ? I’ve yet to find a positive answer to this.

      • Bull in a Chinese Restaurant says:
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        @Bull in a Chinese Restaurant: the only motivation i could see for somebody advising him not to have this surgery is simply to be contrarian, like a little kid doing something simply since either his parents told him not to, or just to be unique and different from everybody else.

        • james says:
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          @Bull in a Chinese Restaurant: I must have projectected the TJ onto him, since it seems like the only reasonable route. I had a buddy with a partial UCL tear that opted for rest, he is fine.. but he is a teacher and not a pitcher.

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            @james: It’s hard to say how healthy he is. If you don’t want to risk it with Tanaka, I think Ventura is the get there. You’ll have a hard time getting him back in the draft.

          • Bull in a Chinese Restaurant says:
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            @james: yeah i meant only among pitchers, not regular people.

  6. Ante GALIC says:
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    Sky!

    Gr8 stuff, man! Give me like 5 SPs who would be like Arrieta ’14 in 2015, please!!!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks Ante! Ha, if it were that easy, I don’t think you’d have to ask. Need to see how some rotations shake out and to exit football season: one more day!

  7. Clint says:
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    Loved Arrieta even being a Brewer fan. Bounced me into first place until I ran out of inning the last two weeks and lost my roto league but he helped me win my h2h one’s championship so it’s a wash I guess. I’ll be interested to see what Razz has to say about his 2015 prospects since I don’t know much about him other than him being previously injury prone (?).

    On an offseason note, anyone note the alarming number of articles proclaiming death for MLB franchises if they haven’t “won the offseason” by January 1st? Most of mine come from Bleacher Report but man, it’s astounding how much media’s measuring things the Yankees/BoSox way despite the results come October (which they never seem to follow up on when that time arrives either).

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      He wasn’t injury prone. Was a fairly high prospect for the Orioles. Just didn’t work out with them (as seemingly many BAL arms tend to not do). Looks like he worked on some things down on the farm with the Cubs but was always considered a talent.

      Sounds like articles I don’t read. Kinda pointless reading off-season ‘news’. None of these moves mean anything until the dust has settled and people are battling for spring training positions.

  8. james says:
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    I asked about Tanaka yesterday, and now another round into the draft, I shoul just ask, When should Tanaka be taken in a dynasty league:

    The best SP out there right now are Wacha, ross, Tanaka, Richards, Gio, Ryu, Iwakuma, degrom, wheeler.

    So the first question, Is it worth taking Tanaka (it is round 9.10, 12 team league). THe 2nd question is to rank those SP for a dynasty league

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Not really a dynasty guy. If I had to choose, though, I’d lean Tanaka, deGrom, Richards, Wheeler, Wacha, Ross, Ryu, Gio, Iwakuma

  9. Squidblob says:
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    I get 8 keepers in my league- already keeping 6 solid bats (Goldschmidt, Hanley, Kinsler, Beltre, Brantley, VMart). Planning on keeping Cole Hamels and Max Scherzer for my last 2. Given your philosophy on the depth of pitching, any chance you’d recommend throwing back Hamels and/or Scherzer and keeping Bogaerts and/or Betts?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I don’t think Betts even has a starting job. Would be a bit much to keep him over a proven arm. And keepers vs draft principles are two very different things. Hamels/Scherzer aren’t too old and are performing. Neither of those bats have done much of anything for you. Throw them back and get them in the draft.

      • Squidblob says:
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        @Sky: Thanks Sky. I’m a big Red Sox fan (and an optimist) so I try to avoid Yankees and Red Sox on my team so I can make rational decisions. I’m assuming when Rusney Castillo runs away with the Rookie of the Year award this year, he is going to push Bogaerts and Betts to deliver Hall of Fame caliber seasons. But yeah, Hamels and Scherzer are pretty good players too.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Yeah, too many people play keepers like they’re dynasty leagues. Young players are great but not a vital part of success in keeper leagues. You can and should be competitive every year in a keeper setup, which means you don’t need to dive that deeply into prospect pool.

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