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.

Name Points PPS
Max Scherzer 460 25.56
Dallas Keuchel 410 21.58
Chris Sale 398 23.41
Zack Greinke 392 21.78
Sonny Gray 376 20.89
Chris Archer 373 19.63
Jake Arrieta 372 20.67
Gerrit Cole 371 20.61
Clayton Kershaw 366 20.33
David Price 363 20.17
Felix Hernandez 347 19.28
Jacob deGrom 347 20.41
Madison Bumgarner 335 18.61
Johnny Cueto 329 19.35
Corey Kluber 320 16.84
Carlos Martinez 318 18.71
Francisco Liriano 313 17.39
A.J. Burnett 312 17.33
Michael Wacha 303 17.82
Matt Harvey 302 17.76
James Shields 300 15.79
Carlos Carrasco 296 16.44
Michael Pineda 291 17.12
Hector Santiago 291 17.12
Chris Heston 291 16.17
Jason Hammel 289 17
Danny Salazar 285 17.81
Jeff Samardzija 282 15.67
Mark Buehrle 279 15.5
Clay Buchholz 275 15.28
Shelby Miller 275 15.28

 

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.

Name ROS PPS
Max Scherzer 23.14
Chris Sale 21.99
Clayton Kershaw 21.57
Jose Fernandez 20.65
Zack Greinke 19.78
Felix Hernandez 19.77
David Price 19.74
Madison Bumgarner 19.55
Jacob deGrom 19.53
Gerrit Cole 18.74
Corey Kluber 18.60
Johnny Cueto 18.58
Jake Arrieta 18.5
Sonny Gray 18.34
Matt Harvey 17.7
Cole Hamels 17.4
Carlos Martinez 17.32
Dallas Keuchel 17.30
Masahiro Tanaka 17.25
Chris Archer 16.97
Michael Wacha 16.44
Carlos Carrasco 16.39
Stephen Matz 16.33
Stephen Strasburg 16.32
Andrew Heaney 16.31
Danny Salazar 16.24
Lance McCullers 16.23
Francisco Liriano 16.21
Michael Pineda 16.08
James Shields 16.04
Jeff Samardzija 16
Jesse Chavez 15.94
Jordan Zimmermann 15.91
Hector Santiago 15.67
A.J. Burnett 15.59
Lance Lynn 15.59
Jason Hammel 15.38
Jon Lester 15.26
Noah Syndergaard 14.81
Garrett Richards 15.12
Cody Anderson 15.11
Ervin Santana 15.11
Jake Odorizzi 15.11
John Lackey 14.91
Scott Kazmir 14.88
David Phelps 14.84
Wei-Yin Chen 14.67
Collin McHugh 14.67
Phil Hughes 14.42
Andrew Cashner 14.37
Chris Young 14.36
Shelby Miller 14.31
Trevor Bauer 14.24
Julio Teheran 14.22
Ubaldo Jimenez 14.21
Tyson Ross 14.06
Gio Gonzalez 13.93
Carlos Rodon 13.91
Mark Buehrle 13.9
Bartolo Colon 13.9
Taylor Jungmann 13.87
Dan Haren 13.83
Tommy Milone 13.64
Hisashi Iwakuma 13.61
Mike Montgomery 13.5
Joe Ross 13.5
Kyle Hendricks 13.47
Alex Wood 13.41
Jose Quintana 13.38
Yordano Ventura 13.36
Mat Latos 13.35
C.J. Wilson 13.35
Mike Fiers 13.21
Mike Leake 13.19
Justin Verlander 13.15
Edinson Volquez 13.06
Kevin Gausman 13.05
Tom Koehler 13.02
Charlie Morton 13.02
Drew Hutchison 12.96
Brett Anderson 12.93
Miguel Gonzalez 12.93
Yovani Gallardo 12.92
Matt Wisler 12.89
Tsuyoshi Wada 12.86
Taijuan Walker 12.85
Matt Moore 12.85
Jered Weaver 12.84
Kyle Gibson 12.83
Rubby De La Rosa 12.79
Colby Lewis 12.77
Matt Shoemaker 12.71
Matt Cain 12.71
James Paxton 12.7
Jesse Hahn 12.6
Jason Vargas 12.6
Mike Bolsinger 12.48
Chase Anderson 12.47
Anibal Sanchez 12.45
Jonathon Niese 12.1
CC Sabathia 12
R.A. Dickey 12

 

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.

 

 

 
  1. Hern says:
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    Thank you for these projections and rankings.

    With Buchholz and Matz on the shelf and not knowing the real severity of their injuries, would you drop either for Heaney?

    Or possibly drop Jamie Garcia?

    Thank you!!!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Hern: I’d probably drop Clay. I don’t trust him. Plus he doesn’t usually bounce back from injuries. I don’t know enough about the extent of Garcia’s injury and when he will return, but he looked good before going down. I’d prefer to hold onto Matz.

      Is this a redraft league?

  2. Clint says:
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    Okay, so your ROS rankings have Holliday ahead of Tomas by about 30pts. Today, Grey suggested I pick up Holliday for a bat over Tomas in my h2h points keeper league and he had Holliday in his Top 100 ROS but no Tomas. Tomas has hit for average in a hitters park, is 25yo vs Holliday’s 36yo & injuries, and Holliday hasn’t hit for power since the 2nd week of May. What am I missing in why Holliday is the favorite son here? Seems like all Yasmany needs is his power to come around to be a h2h points stud while Holliday is a schmohawk on the downslide? Teach me, oh great Razzball, please!

    • Clint says:
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      @Clint:
      One more thing: Tomas is hitting next to Goldy on a team near the top in the league in scoring runs too as he also has been stealing bases :) If I’m wrong, please essplain it ta me Bwana.

      • malamoney

        malamoney says:
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        @Clint: In a long term keeper league where you can keep Tomas, I’d take Tomas over Holliday. But that is based solely on the age difference.

        For the rest of this season I’m going with Holliday. As you stated, my ROS projections have him 29 points. But remember those are just projections. I takes just on week for that 29 point difference to be single digits.

        Excluding last year’s injury shortened season, every year Holliday hits at least 20 homers and bats around 300. While his power seems down this season, he is still batting 300. As I’ve stated numerous times in previous posts, one of the things I look at for hitters is points per plate appearance. Holliday currently has a 0.587 PPPA compared to Tomas who is at 0.484 PPPA. So despite having 38 more plate appearances, Tomas has 1 less point than Holliday. This is where I let the math help me make decisions.

        But of course if it was all just math then this would be much easier (and less fun). Holliday is almost 36 and is coming off a quad injury. Maybe he ends up back on the DL. That would give Tomas a great chance at being the more valuable player ROS.

        Tomas only has 2 more homers and 3 more stolen bases than Holliday.

        Batting behind Goldschmidt certainly is a good thing. Not to mention that Diamondbacks are in the top 5 teams in runs scored. If you want to take a shot on Tomas, I wouldn’t hold it against you…

  3. DisEnfranchised says:
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    It’s also worth looking at Holliday’s before and after ASB splits. I don’t recall him ever having a season in which he didn’t hit better after the ASB. He’s a good guy to have this time of the season, health permitting.

  4. Ron says:
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    I proposed the same question to Grey so I’m here cause I wanted to see what the Points Guru had to say about this to get a different perspective as well.

    I have a manager in my points league trying to trade with me for Trout. He is willing to give me two players for him.

    1) Based on my team composition and the players he has available, is there a two player combo on his team that you would definitely trade Trout away for?

    2) IF one of the available players were Harper (he has him but he is not available) is there a duo that includes Harper that you would definitely trade Trout away for?

    My Team:
    C – Lucroy
    CI – Donaldson, Encarnacion
    MI – Reyes, Correa
    OF – Trout, Brantley, Baustista
    Util – Ellsbury, Bryant
    BN – Upton
    DL – Harrison
    NA – Schwarber

    SP – Arrieta, Gray, Keuchel, Pineda, Syndergaard, Kazmir, Odorizzi, Hendricks
    RP – Carrasco, Chavez
    DL – Matz
    NA – Nola

    His Available Players: Sherzer, Cole, Fernandez, DeGrom, Cueto, Votto, Braun, Altuve, Peralta

    Thanks!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Ron: Is this a keeper or redraft league? How many pitchers do you start? I would trade Trout for Harper and any of Scherzer, Cole, Fernandez and probably deGrom.

      • Ron says:
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        @malamoney: This is a redraft league H2H . We have 2 SP, 2 RP, 3 P and 4 Bench that can be pitcher or bats so technically I could have at most 11 pitchers if two of them are RP.

        And if I understand your answer, unless Harper is included there is no other pair that you would trade Trout for right?

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
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          @Ron: That’s not necessarily true. The key here is calculating point differential. How many points do you lose by replacing Trout with another OF. Then how many points do you gain by replacing an existing player with a new player such as Scherzer. And remember you don’t gain anything from a player on your bench. I’d really have to examine a lot of combinations here.

          For example. Let’s say you slide Ellsbury into Trout’s spot and replace Ellsbury with Schwarber now that he’s been called up. I’ve got Trout scoring about 260 ROS. Schwarber is much harder to predict, but I think he could get 200 points. That’s -60 for you there. I’m guessing you start 5 starters given your roster. Arrieta, Gray and Kneuchel for sure. So how many points would you cain by replacing one of the remaining two starters with Scherzer and Fernandez? Is it more than 60?

          The deal is a no brainer for Harper and Scherzer however. I don’t even have to think twice. Try and up play Harper’s propensity for injury…

  5. Marty Janetty_Was Set Up says:
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    In a points league would you which side Axford/Hosmer or Lester?

  6. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    Good stuff…I appreciate the time you put into both of your rankings. Quick question, I’m in a 10-Team H2H Keeper League (Keep 6) and have a strong outfield in McCutchen, Martinez, Pollock, Heyward and Soler with Revere in UTIL (Stanton is on the DL). I have no plans to keep Soler and there’s a couple owners who potentially could. Got an offer of Polanco for him straight up. No thanks, but thinking of targeting Cespedes for Soler + SP, or, just Reddick for Soler straight up? Your rankings suggest Reddick would be the play, but wanted to see if you had any other ideas. Again, thanks for the post(s).

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Peter Nincompoop: Thanks. Despite my rankings, I kinda like Cespedes the most. By the numbers, however, Reddick is the play. I even like Polanco over Soler. What SP would you have to package with Soler to get Cespedes?

      How many OF do you start?

      • Peter Nincompoop says:
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        @malamoney: I like Cespedes more as well. I’m not sure what type of SP it would take. My current SP staff consists of the following: Sale, Carrasco, Pineda, Lester, Salazar, Samardzija, Zimmerman and McHugh. I believe, and have held JB’s weekly pitcher rankings in high regards, so the first 3 in the aforementioned list aren’t going anywhere and I could even extend that to Lester and Salazar. It’s a QS league, so I would prefer to hold Zimmerman as well. McHugh is in my streamer slot, so I guess that makes Samardzija (who he likes a lot) the play.

        To answer your other question, our league starts 5 OFs. If I move Soler for Polanco straight up then that would make cutting Revere (as SB is the category in question there) easier once Stanton comes back in 2-to-3 weeks, but I have my reservations on Polanco.

        As always, I appreciate your response.

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
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          @Peter Nincompoop: Is this a points league? If so, remember that JB’s list is NOT a points league rankings. I value Samardzija over McHugh. I would probably give up Soler and McHugh for Cespedes.

          I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, I really like having Revere on my team in points league. Him and a healthy Denard Span. And a healthy Coco Crisp…

          • Peter Nincompoop says:
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            @malamoney: It’s not a points league. Just a standard H2H format where you win a category. I agree with your assessment not knowing that. Don’t think he would do McHugh, but it’s worth a try. Too much to include Samardzija. If that’s the case, and he says no, move Soler for Polanco? Then, once Stanton comes back, make a decision on activating him over Revere or Polanco?

            I’m in really good shape for the playoffs (i.e., 1st currently by 14 games). Perhaps I’m overthinking? I think that’s probably the case. Thanks again.

            • malamoney

              malamoney says:
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              @Peter Nincompoop: 1st by 14 games equals “no need to make a trade”…

              • Peter Nincompoop says:
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                @malamoney: You’re right. Thanks for the feedback and the rankings. Cheers.

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