Last week I put together comprehensive year-to-date, rest of season and end of season rankings for batters. Quite honestly I think it was the bees knees, but that’s just me tooting my own horn. Do bees even have knees? If you are in a points league and missed it, I highly recommend you check it out. And when I say I “highly” recommend it, that does not mean I ate pot brownies two hours before making said recommendation. I was just standing at the top of a 30-foot ladder.
Have you ever heard the expression “A pitcher is worth a thousand points”? Of course you haven’t. I just made it up and it’s not true. No pitcher has, or ever will, score 1000 points in a season. Even in my personal league in which pitchers score a lot more points that hitters, the closest any pitcher has come was Justin Verlander when he scored 970 points back in 2011. If I calculate his points based on the standard scoring system I use for my posts, he would have had 833. It’s wishful thinking, but next to impossible.
Okay, so I’m not going to get 1000 points. How about 900? With 460 points at the All Star Break, Max Scherzer, while unlikely, has an outside shot. I’m not betting on him to get there, but I will say this. Max Scherzer was the most valuable pitcher in points leagues in the first half. I know. Thank you Captain Obvious? The truth is that might not be completely accurate. While he did lead all pitchers in points, the question becomes “how do you define valuable”. Does a pitchers’ average draft position come into play? Scherzer (25.56 PPS) was a 1st rounder in points leagues. Second at worst. Dallas Kneuchel was an 8th round pick and he currently has 410 points (21.58 PPS). Or how about Chris Archer with 373 points (19.63 PPS) and his 13th round selection. And lastly I’ll throw A.J. Burnett into the mix as he was drafted in the 22 round, on average, and has compiled 312 points (17.33 PPS).
So you’ll see, determining which pitcher was the most valuable is not as simple as picking the pitcher that has posted the most points. Or is it?
Here are my top 20 starting pitchers YTD which is based solely on points scored.
How about rest of season? Ask and you shall receive. Just be careful what you ask for. The following list is based on a combination of YTD performances, ROS points per game projections and a little bit of old fashioned gut instinct.
Wire to wire Max Scherzer will be the top pitcher in points leagues. To the max! Now that I’m done maxing out, I’d like to admit something. I really wanted to put Chris Sale at number one, but pitching for the White Sox, I just couldn’t do it. I like Sale a lot. If he was in Washington and Scherzer in Chicago, there’s no doubt that Sale would be on top.
As you can see I am high (back up on my ladder) for Jose Fernandez as I have him being in the top five rest of season. I think it’s becoming clear that Jacob deGrom is the ace in New York. And that includes the Yankees. While we’re discussing the Mets, Stephen Matz‘s ranking is based on him coming back healthy and pitching the rest of the seaosn.
I think you’ll see Dallas Keuchel come back down to earth a bit. I hope everybody sold high. Andrew Heaney‘s ranking is contingent on him staying in the rotation. As for Stephen Strasburg this one has a little more to do with that gut instinct I was talking about. And perhaps a little bit of wishful thinking. I guess we’ll have to see if he can get healthy first. Don’t let me down Stephen!
Here are some pitchers that the numbers say have a chance of pitching better in the second half than they did in the first half. Ian Kennedy, Justin Verlander, Danny Duffy, Kyle Lohse, Mat Latos, David Phelps, Mike Fiers, Jon Lester, and Andrew Cashner. I am certainly not advocating running out to grab any of these guys, except maybe Lester and perhaps Cashner, but they are pitchers I would keep an eye and maybe look to stream when possible.
Best of luck in your march towards a points championship.