I’ll admit that I rarely write about pitchers, which may not come as a surprise if you knew my long and troubled past. Many years ago, I had a strong affinity for many pitchers on my favorite team (rhymes with Drew Stubbs). Unfortunately the coach – let’s call him either “D. Baker” or “Dusty B.” – was bent on crushing my hopes. But for you, my favorite readers, I will temporarily set aside my shattered dreams to review how 2013 “OPS against” views different pitching staffs. I’ll also include WHIP and BB/9 because I’m just that generous (don’t forget humble!). Anyway, here is the list of the worst pitching staffs:

The Worst Teams

Houston Astros: .812 OPS, 1.51 WHIP, 3.82 BB/9

I’m glad that this helps justify the “stream everything against the Astros” philosophy. Somewhere, Yu Darvish agrees.

Toronto Blue Jays: .764 OPS, 1.37 WHIP, 3.19 BB/9

Now I’m not saying to stream hitters against each of these teams without any thought, but it could factor into your decision-making process. Although I didn’t expect to see the Blue Jays here.

Minnesota Twins: .759 OPS, 1.40 WHIP, 2.86 BB/9

You should obviously check to see who your hitters would face before streaming against a team. No need to do this for the Twins.

Philadelphia Phillies: .750 OPS, 1.37 WHIP, 3.06 BB/9

Remember when these guys had the best pitching in the league? Me either. I do have a really short-term memory though.

Baltimore Orioles: .749 OPS, 1.32 WHIP, 2.97 BB/9

Where was I? Ah yes… a little bird told me that the Orioles move their fences in when Chris Davis bats, but occasionally forget to bring them back out before their opponent bats. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger pigeon.

Colorado Rockies: .749 OPS, 1.39 WHIP, 3.04 BB/9

Look around. See all those surprised people? They’re faking it.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: .740 OPS, 1.37 WHIP, 3.22 BB/9

Despite Mike Trout’s best efforts to save his team in every aspect of the game, the Angels have had mediocre pitching. And they didn’t even let Carlos Quentin get to their part of Los Angeles (of Anaheim)!

Seattle Mariners: .739 OPS, 1.31 WHIP, 2.73 BB/9

Their pitchers actually have a fantastic BB/9. Maybe bringing in the fences really did have an effect?

San Diego Padres: .734 OPS, 1.35 WHIP, 3.30 BB/9

Repeat what I just said for the Mariners and replace the word “actually” with the word “don’t.”

Boston Red Sox: .730 OPS, 1.34 WHIP, 3.35 BB/9

This probably doesn’t surprise Sawx fans. Does it?

Bonus! Because I’m so fond of you, here are the best pitching staffs.

The Best Teams

Pittsburgh Pirates: 646 OPS, 1.21 WHIP, 3.23 BB/9

A surprisingly mediocre BB/9, despite the league’s lowest OPS. So they are putting runners on base, but their great defense and pitching strands the runners? I was surprised to see them this high, but it does feel like they can turn around any mediocre pitcher.

Detroit Tigers: .667 OPS, 1.21 WHIP, 2.68 BB/9

Imagine if they had a decent defense…

Atlanta Braves: .667 OPS, 1.18 WHIP, 2.57 BB/9

They have the best WHIP in the league. Best Upton brothers in the league too, but maybe I’m just biased against Cracker Jack vendors.

St. Louis Cardinals: .675 OPS, 1.24 WHIP, 2.77 BB/9

Now I’m not saying to avoid streaming hitters against these teams, but I’d prefer to only do it if the ballpark and starter were enticing.

Oakland Athletics: .679 OPS, 1.20 WHIP, 2.53 BB/9

They have the lowest BB/9 in the league. Moneyball Part 2: Saving your pitches for movie directors.

Tom Jacks is sporadically on Twitter @votetomjacks

  1. Tio says:

    Interesting to see that the Astros have one of the highest walk rates of the teams listed. I would love to see if the accusations that they were instructing players not to swing with 3 balls regardless of strike count are true. They sure K a ton.

    • I'm Keith Hernandez says:

      @Tio: Tio he’s refering to how many walks the Astros pitching staff is giving up per 9IP.

  2. John E Depth says:

    Great article, I have clicked 20 times to get this kind of info before to decide who to start that day if the decision was close….

    Speaking of pitching…

    Its coming up on trade deadline in my 12 team Keeper league that includes QS and K/9…

    This is my first serious year playing FB and with Razzballs help I drafted a first place team in a salary cap league that is 5 games ahead of anyone else in my H2H.. Included in my exploits were drafting Matt Harvey for 10$,and I picked up Jose Fernandez for 3$. The price will only go up 3$ for next season so I would be in great shape pitching next year. However, I have been trying to ignore that Harvey and Jose Fernandez are getting shut down this season which could ruin my teams chances of winning in the playoffs. Do I try to trade them for less on the dollar for some better than average dudes like Iwakuma, Ryun, or Holland?
    Was thinking of trades such as
    Harvey for Holland7$ +Minor 6$
    Fernandez for Anibal5$
    Harvey/Fernandez for Yu22$

    My staff includes…
    SP Aroldis Chapman, Cin SP, RP
    SP Hiroki Kuroda, NYY SP
    SP Jeff Samardzija, SP
    SP Jose Fernandez, Mia SP
    SP Justin Masterson, SP
    SP A.J. Burnett, Pit SP PP
    RP Joe Nathan,RP
    RP Sergio Romo, SF RP
    Bench Matt Harvey, NYM SP
    Bench Travis Wood, SP
    Bench Rick Porcello, Det SP
    Bench Jose Quintana, CWS SP
    Bench Danny Salazar, SP
    DL Corey Kluber*, Cle SP DL15

    Or if you think my pitching is strong enough, I could just stand pat, stream matchups, and maybe still pull it out. I have about 9 waiver wire moves left. Best guys out on wire are Tyson Ross, Santiago, Arroyo types…. Anyway sorry I went kind of long. Thanks for your help.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @John E Depth: Thanks and no problem!

      I don’t like selling low on young studs in keeper leagues, but I would do the Fernandez for Anibal deal because I feel like you’re getting a better pitcher (and still great keeper) who will help you win now for only a slight increase in cost.

      I don’t like the first deal because those two pitchers aren’t good enough for me to want to trade Harvey. The Yu deal might severely hurt your financial flexibility in future years, so I wouldn’t do that one either.

      • huge caulk says:

        @Tom Jacks:

        Thanks for the quick reply. Am I too high on Fernandez? I was thinking in a QS league JoFer is almost on Harvey’s level. The past month or so JoFer has been as good as Harvey. But Harvey has done it all year.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:

          @huge caulk: No, I don’t think you’re too high on JoFer, but I think Anibal is right there with him and on a better team.

  3. For ROS in a league where OPS is a good indicator

    Reddick, Moustakis, Ruf or Frazier?


    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @Danny Tanner: As crazy as it sounds, I’ll go with Ruf ROS.

      • @Tom Jacks: ah shoot. i misphrased it. I have to drop one of them. Not get one of them.

        sorry. and thanks. Yeah, Ruf was one I was really not htinking of dropping. I am leaning Fraizer, but IDK if Mouse is gonna even play again.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:

          @Danny Tanner: No worries – it would be between the two for me as well, but I’d lean toward dropping Moustakas.

  4. Josh says:

    Hey, hope all is well. H2H 10-team keeper (keep 12) I have Sandoval as my starting 3B, Altuve as my 2B. There are options on the DL, but is Pablo droppable, and for who? Options on the Wire D. Uggla(2B), H. Kendrick(2B), N. Franklin (2B), A. Rendon, C. Johnson (3B), M. Young(3B), A. Rod (3B)

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @Josh: Hey Josh – I think Pablo could he droppable in a 10 teamer, but I don’t think he’s significantly better than any of those for this year (I’m assuming he’ll improve a bit). Although in a keeper league, I’d rather have Rendon than Pablo, so I’d switch them.

  5. Marv says:

    Hi, please help H2H 10-team Get to keep 12: Votto, Goldy, Mauer, Braun, McCuth, Bruce, Rizzo, Sale. Then I have to pick 4 from: Altuve, Sandoval, Castro, Holliday, H. Bailey, Chapman, Kuroda, Samardzija, Beachy, Cobb

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @Marv: I’d pick Castro, Holliday, Chapman, and Samardzija.

  6. Longotulo says:

    Samardjiza, Sonny Gray or Salazar ROS in 12 team h2h? Thanks!!

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @Longotulo: I’ll stick with Samardzija.

  7. Edward Scherzer Hands says:

    Love your stuff and OPS work. I’m in a 12team H2H OBP Keeper league. I can only keep 4 players. I was planning on keeping Oscar Taveras, either Eaton/Yelich, Wheeler, Ryu. Should I drop Taveras (due to surgery) and pick up Wong or a hot bat/streamer or just keep on stashing Taveras? I am in 1st place now and am trying to win.


    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:

      @Edward Scherzer Hands: Thanks!

      I’d still want to stash Taveras, given his upside and value in a keeper league. I’d want him over Yelich and Ryu for next year. If it makes sense, maybe you could drop one of them instead for a streamer.

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