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The other day I looked at the pitchers that were getting lucky for fantasy baseball.  Today, we hold that up to the mirror and see how the other half lives.  Last time I looked at the starters that were being unlucky the list included:  Dempster, Garza, Wood, Liriano, Narveson, Ervin, Gallardo, Daniel Hudson, Bumgarner and Edwin Jackson.  Bumgarner’s ERA went from 4.25 to 3.23; Edwin’s ERA went from 4.53 to 4.39; Hudson’s 4.41 to 3.82; Gallardo’s 5.11 to 3.96; 4.85 to 4.37 for Ervin; Narveson went 4.38 to 4.32; Wood went 5.28 to 5.38; Garza went 4.17 to 3.84 and Dempster went 7.20 to 5.48, i.e., there was only one pitcher who gained in ERA — Travis Wood.   I.E. II, The Return of I.E.:  Everyone did better except one guy.  Anyway, here’s a list of pitchers with the biggest difference between their xFIP and their ERA. (If your guy is on the list, it’s a good sign.  Some would even say you could go out and trade for some of these guys, you educated fantasy baseball owner you!)

Ryan Dempster – 2.17.  Will continue to get better.  Oh, and the two of the three unluckiest pitchers are Cubs.  Blame Bartman!  (BTW, there were some pitchers I left off of here that came with xFIPs that were better than their ERAs, but still terrible.  Javier Vazquez come to mind.)

Chris Volstad – 1.96.  Harumph, where did that name come from, huh?  His K-rate is 6.72, which isn’t terrible, and his K to BB ratio recently has been solid.  Worth a shot in deeper leagues to see if he can right the ship and leave a few more men on base and stop having balls go through.

Matt Garza – 1.54.  He has the 4th best xFIP in the league.  Right after Halladay, Hamels and Cliff Lee.  Maybe the Phils will trade for him.

Chris Carpenter – 1.05.  I’ve spent a lot of energy on Razzball talking about how I don’t like Carpenter, so I won’t bore myself by rehashing.  Instead, I’ll bore myself by talking about how I won’t rehash it.  If you can get Carp on the cheap, it’s worth considering, he’s not a mid-4 ERA pitcher.

Chris Narveson – 0.98.  Has a real nice K-rate and his xFIP is below 3.50.  The walks kinda drive me crazy though.  If he’s on waivers, it’s worth a shot.

Derek Holland – 0.89.  I really don’t like messing with Texas pitchers.  I wouldn’t like to sit in the stands in 100 degree heat, let alone play in it.  Now get off my lawn!

Ubaldo Jimenez – 0.80.  Jackie Chiles thinks his walks have been egregious, and his K-rate has been down.  On the more positive side, he’s not a mid-4 ERA pitcher, but closer to a mid-3 guy.

  1. mets fan says:

    Grey speaking of Jackson is he still getting unlucky or woukd you say he’s right where he’s supposed to be?

  2. Grey….I know your not a Nolasco fan….he’s driving me crazy, is it worth dropping him for Niese, or ride him out as my #4?
    Also…rest of year – Nishioka or Uggla? – yikes!

  3. Grey — That headline was just asking to be written.

    A coupla questions:

    Trolling for saves, who do you think is a better roll of the dice between Isringhausen (on the idea that F-Rod may be traded to limited to prevent his expensive vesting option), Fuentes (in case Bailey gets hurt again), Choate (Nunez has been stinking up the joint), Lindstrom (in case Street gets hurt), or Kuo (in case he’s over the yips and Broxton stays away for a while yet)?

    Also, would you drop Minor after tonight’s start? Assuming he stays up, his next start is against Toronto, which is hitting .292 against LHP, and Beachy should be back soon after that. Or am I missing something?

    Both questions are for a 20-team roto league.

  4. Grey

    Grey says:

    @mets fan: He should be better.

    @AmishGangster: Uggla…I’d go with Niese.

    @Enrique: Yup…Fuentes…Yeah on Minor….Beachy’s due back.

  5. theguarantee says:

    Morrow doesn’t make thjs list? That’s surprising to me. I know his SIERA or whatever they call it over at BP is a lot better than his ERA, would’ve figured his xFIP would be too.

  6. Black Beard says:

    Hill or Ackley?

  7. Dick Smothers says:

    @theguarantee: I was thinking the same thing. With a difference of 2.03 he’s right up there with Dempster.

  8. Dick Smothers says:

    That being said, loyal readers will already know of Grey’s unabashed love for Morrow and his lovely K rate.

  9. Biggidy says:

    Would you drop Daniel Hudson or Scherzer to pick up Garza? It’s a 10 team standard roto.

  10. Al Swedgin says:

    Grey, would you cut any (or all) of:

    Travis Wood
    Scott Baker
    Jordan Lyles (getting roughed up tonight) for any

    for any (or all) of:

    Brian Matusz
    Charlie Morton
    Rubby de la Rosa

  11. @Grey: Thanks Grey.

    Ugh! Among that list of could-be closers, I was scared you’d say Fuentes (he does so much damage to ERA and WHIP), but I sort of suspected you’d say Kuo. Do you think he’s not over what ails ‘im? Or do you think the Dodgers bullpen situation is too much of a mess.

    If I’m hesitant on Fuentes, who is No. 2 on that list (Isringhausen, Choate, Lindstom, Kuo)? Or do you think my concerns about Fuentes may be overblown? I’m in the middle of a scrum of six teams within 0.02 on WHIP and I’m worried I could fall off the back of that pack if Fuentes does his magic.

  12. bogbert says:

    I ask this every start, and I’m sick of it. Today’s the last day.

    To Gio, or not to Gio?

    I think I’ve benched him for 3 straight starts, which in a 10-team league is unacceptable.

  13. Tom Thumb says:


    Ike Davis/Kershaw or Heyward/Alex Gordon/Moreland where the Kershaw side has Felix, Norris, Liriano, EJax at SP and Kemp, Markakis, Swisher in the OF

  14. Tom Thumb says:

    @Tom Thumb: That is those are the players in SP and OF for the team GIVING Kershaw

  15. Tom Thumb says:

    @Tom Thumb: And do you like Kershaw/Davis/Montero for Heyward/Santana/Britton more?

  16. Danks Nugs says:

    Hey, Grey, got a trade question for ya. Currently sitting 11th in a 15-team roto keeper. I’m hanging around the middle in batting cats, but I’m second-to-last in pitching with a staff of Weaver, Josh Johnson, Price, Garza, Morton, Ervin, Fr. Garcia, and Nova. Offensively, my top guys are Miggy, Zimmerman, Heyward, Morse, S. Drew, and Kubel.

    Whaddaya think about doing Miggy/Morton for Howard/CC?

  17. virinder says:

    What about Brandon Morrow??

  18. Wilsonian says:

    Would you start Gio today on a team that has a 1.04 ERA, a 0.55 WHIP, and a 10.04 Ks/9?

  19. Wilsonian says:

    @Wilsonian: those are my stats for the week. I’m starting him in a different league.

  20. AL KOHOLIC says:

    greinke and garza playing a suckathon

  21. Wilsonian says:

    Dear God, Adam Lind is really good. My Rasmus/EJax for Hamels/Lind deal at the start of the season looks amazing and kind of makes up for the Bruce/Contreras for CSantana/Walden deal that I did.

  22. Schmohawks Bob says:

    Sorry, asked this question in your previous entry:

    Pedro Feliz or Daniel Hudson?

  23. Trevor

    tggq21 says:

    Adam “Is this a video game or real life?” Lind

  24. Joel says:

    Grey: would u trade Mike stanton and CJ Wilson to get Josh Hamilton and Dan Haren in a 6×6 h2h league?

  25. Wilsonian says:

    Do you like Morrow morrow than Gio, Pineda, Beachy in a Ks/9 league?

  26. Graveyard Duck says:


    What do you think about dropping either Kuroda or Gavin Floyd for a Dumpster on waivers?

    Potatoes v. Potahto situation? Or Potatoes v. Loaded Disco Fries situation?

    (assuming you like Disco Fries)

  27. Schmohawks Bob says:

    @Grey: Neftali Feliz or Daniel Hudson?

  28. KarlJ. says:

    Hey Grey:
    You helped me out last week with a question about my nephew’s team who is looking for a power infusion by acquiring Mark Reynolds
    The other owner has come back with an offer of Reynolds/ Masterson for Yunel Escobar and Markakis which I think is much better than his original request of Romero for Reynolds
    My nephew should jump on this right?

  29. Fletch says:

    @Grey: Please rank for ROS: Markakis, A. Jackson, Sandoval, Dunn and Cuddyer…

  30. Brandon says:

    D Wrong on DL so:

    Rolen or Trumbo until he returns?

    and 1 more:

    Trumbo or Joyce rest-of-year?

  31. Eddy says:


    I’ve rostered James McDonald for his past 3-4 starts in a 12-team H2H league. Is he still rosterable?

    He has tied me to the WHIPping post time and time again.

  32. Eddy says:


    Also: Posada or Salty in a 12-team standard league?

  33. DSimms says:

    Would you trade adam jones straight up for Scherzer?

    10 team H2H

    OF- Dread Pirate, Krispie Young, Morse, Grady Sizemore and jones (can only play 4 of them)

    SP- Kershaw, Gallardo, Marcum, Liriano, Bedard and Bud Norris

  34. quimmy says:

    Keeper League 7×7(OBP, TB+BB are the extra offensive cats)

    My Howard/CC


    His Miggy/Morton

    Is Miggy worth this cost considering I can keep him for 3 years if I do this trade?

  35. lost says:

    i give espinoza and bj. upton for ricky weeks? i have hamilton ellsbury and werth for cf already is this an ok trade?

  36. Wilsonian says:

    @Grey: you wouldn’t drop Pineda for Morrow, though, correct?

  37. Graveyard Duck says:


    Grey, I haven’t encountered anyone who doesn’t like them, but if I ever do, I’m running as fast as I can in the opposite direction.

    2nd question: You think Oswalt is getting back on track?

  38. pubscout says:

    grey, what’s up with alexxxxxxxxis rios? is he this bad. or a buy low guy?

  39. Grey

    Grey says:

    @DSimms: Sure

    @quimmy: Didn’t you just ask me this? The Howard side is better for this year, I’d prefer Miggy moving forward.

    @lost: Looks fine.

    @Wilsonian: Nope

    @Graveyard Duck: I worry about Oswalt, but not that much. He faces weak offenses and he muscles through seasons.

    @pubscout: I wouldn’t touch him.

  40. quimmy says:

    grey, please don’t get snooty with me…. ;)

  41. Black Beard says:

    6×5 (+OPS), keeper, ten team:

    Kemp and Romero


    Votto and Kershaw

  42. Fletch says:

    @Grey: You like Chacin @ Cle next week or Sabathia home against Col?

  43. elwood blues says:

    With E. Sanchez going on DL .. I have an opening in my NL 4X4.. someone dropped Volquez.. worth a grab?
    His last 2 starts seem promising..

  44. yankees2011 says:

    It appears Danks Nugs and quimmy are in the same league and are using the same site for their advice.

    I think you got yourself a good old fashioned baseball advice duel on your hands Grey!

    Good stuff. Thanks.

  45. Fletch says:

    @Grey: Cruz/Sandoval for McCann/Victorino?

  46. yankees2011 says:

    Hey Grey,
    What would you think about a trade of B.J. Upton for Carpenter? I would be giving up the BJ (that didn’t sound good).

    This is with the same Owner who I offered Pence and Tabata to for Hanson and he hasn’t moved on it either way. Too much? Should I leave that one up there?

    Thanks much Grey.

    P.S. I wonder how many times you have had people in the same league ask for advice on deals between eachother.

  47. Fletch says:

    @Grey: Also, I just got offered Heyward, V-Mar and B. Wilson for my Cruz, Molina and Nunez?

  48. Donnie Baseball says:

    Madson and Walden for Haren?????


  49. The Burghler says:

    12 team head to head 7×7 with ops, ks

    Hanley/Dunn or Votto/Yunel?

  50. yankees2011 says:

    Last question – promise. Would my Upton for his Zimmerman be better than Carpenter? I could really use another top starter (hence the offer for Hanson), but I would settle for a solid Number 2 (that sounds like my plea in the AM after chimichanga night at South of the Border).

    Thanks Grey.

  51. Grey

    Grey says:

    @The Burghler: Hanley…It’s fair though.

    @yankees2011: Ha… Zimmermann the pitcher? He’s not a solid #2. It’s fair for Zimm. Wouldn’t do it in most 12 team leagues or under.

  52. KCC26 says:

    12 team mixed league that plays 4 OF and a utility position. alex rios was dropped today. you taking a flyer?

  53. Steve says:

    The Lohse Regression is in full swing.

  54. pat says:

    adrian gonzalez and romero for pujols (3B eligibility coming soon). which side wins in an 8 team league?

  55. Donnie Baseball says:

    Greinke or Haren?

    Thanks again.

  56. Trevor

    tggq21 says:

    wow first at bat back from the DL.. Holliday write back soon ;)

  57. DHill Dragons says:

    Grey, I’d like to add Ackley.

    Who is most droppable? Matt LaPorta or Chris Coghlan in a head to head points league. I’ve got adequate bench options at both 1B & OF.

  58. Tele says:

    @Grey: What do you expect from Gallardo, Bedard, and Hosmer for the rest of the season? I have a trade on the table and I’m having trouble putting values on these 3. Thanks in advance. :)

  59. Steve says:

    @Grey: Is Gallardo enough for Reyes right now?

  60. royce! says:

    Randall Delgado is getting the call up to start tomorrow against TEX. Good spot start? Nah, kidding. But it is crazy how deep the Braves system is for pitching. They basically have an 8-10 man rotation.

    Oh, this is because Hanson is scratched for tomorrow- sore shoulder.

  61. Steve says:

    @royce!: What did I tell you? The Kiwis are in full retreat…

  62. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    The Red Sox have pushed back the start time of their Saturday home game with the Milwaukee Brewers to avoid a conflict with the Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup victory parade.

  63. Exactly says:

    Speaking of FIP and being unlucky, Zach Greinke should be in for a big correction…he got tagged a bit today, but still had 10Ks…would you trade either Morse or J-Upton for him straight up in a 12-team, 4 OFer league?

  64. WDE05 says:

    Hey grey…

    Would you dump Rajai Davis in favor of Pagan at this point? Also, am I correct to assume you’d take Pagan over Blackmon?

  65. Eng says:

    Vladdy or Alex Rios? Also, do you concur with my sitting of Demp vs. the Yanks?

  66. royce! says:

    @Steve: Betcha can’t beat me to the bottom! My “trade Lester and stream SP” experiment is off to a rousing start!

  67. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    @Grey: Ha. Yeah, and idiots in Vancouver used it as an excuse to riot.

  68. Public Enemy #1 says:

    Need help from gallery! Commish and another guy agreed to a deal in a standard 10 team roto league. Commish gets Felix Hernandez and Kemp…other guy gets Cueto, SBaker, Konerko and Boesch. Give it to me straight guys, am I crazy for overreacting to this? Thanks in advance!

  69. Grey

    Grey says:

    @VinWins: Wow, my blinders really block out everything but baseball. Hadn’t heard about any of that.

    @Public Enemy #1: Pretty terrible trade.

  70. Eddy says:


    Which start is best?

    Carlos Carrasco v. PIT (@CLE)
    Vance Worley v. SEA (@PHI)
    Alex Cobb v. FLA (@TB)
    Rub-Me with some Roses v. HOU (@LAD)

  71. Eddy says:


    PHI v. SEA is @SEA, not @PHI.

  72. Eddy says:


    Last SP to add:

    Jason Marquis v BAL (@WAS)

  73. Wake Up says:

    Hanson possibly to the DL. Wonder if you recall my mid-June prediction from March?

  74. Long Bawls says:

    @Wake Up: Aah! Hanson! Hit with the Tommyhawk! Shouldn’t’a built that stadium on the burial ground (further research indicates it’s not a burial ground, just a dump for old Coke bottles. But, given what went into the stuff, same vibes).

  75. Long Bawls says:

    Do you guys think my Cueto/Moustakas for his Heyward is fair to either/both of us?

  76. .– …. . .-. . / -.. .. -.. / – …. .. … / — — .-. … . / –. ..- -.– / -.-. — — . / ..-. .-. — —

  77. Eddy says:

    @Awesomus Maximus:

    Is that Morse code for “why the hell did Salas hit Morse with a pitch, he should’ve allowed a 2-run game-winning HR?”

  78. Wilsonian says:

    Espinosa 3 run walk off.

  79. Wake Up says:

    @Long Bawls: Ha. Best news I’ve heard all season!!!

  80. That didn’t seem to work properly, second try:

    .– …. . .-. . / -.. .. -.. / – …. .. … / — — .-. … . / –. ..- -.– / -.-. — — . / ..-. .-. — — / ..–..

  81. Wilsonian says:

    Thanks to Venters and K-Rod for really f-ing up my ratios..

  82. Meh… your site parses some character groupings in odd ways. My Morse joke would have been mildly amusing if it worked on the first shot… mais non.

  83. Eddie says:

    Glass Chipper left the game with an injury. GFD.

  84. Martin says:

    @grey and everybody- In case you havnt seen it yet, the first official trailer for Moneyball was released today. The book was great and hopefully the movie will be as well. While the concept at the time was fantastic, a lot of Billy Beane’s draft picks have not been that successful and Oakland has struggled in recent years.

    Check it out

  85. Kazmir waived after posting a 17 ERA in the minors. Kazaam on VHS is a better pickup at this point.

  86. K!cks says:

    I’ve got Alfanso Soriano coming off the DL … drop any of Abreu, Rizzo, or Mouse to activate him … or just drop Soriano altogether?

  87. chata says:

    walk-off balk

  88. Eddie says:

    Walkoff balk in Atlanta… LOL. Only the Mets.

  89. Mike says:

    Hi Grey, I’ve been shuffling around my catchers all year…moving forward, who do you like of the following? Arencibia, Lucroy, Posada, Hernandez, Torrealba, Salty. Thanks a ton.

  90. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mike: Arencibia

  91. Wake Up says:

    @Grey: I said 40% SL/CRV. No changeup. Will have a DL stint by mid-June. Injury concern. I expect this to be awhile. You said Don’t no about that Hanson thing. Will see what happens. I have been in Dubai, just got back in time for the great news. At least I got something right this year.

  92. Fletch says:

    @Grey: Peavy or Beachy?

  93. Wilsonian says:

    In an 8 Team H2H would you deal Pineda/Zobrist for Greinke/Espinosa? What about for Scherzer, Shields or Kennedy paired up with Espinosa?

    Would you rather deal Uggla instead of Zobrist?

    Can you tell I’m drinking the Espinosa Kool-Aid?

  94. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Wilsonian: I’d take Greinke and Espinosa. I’d deal Zobrist.

  95. Fletch says:

    Espinosa over Sandoval or Dunn?

  96. iceman says:


    Trade in a keeper league:

    I give CJ/Volquez, I get jiminez/zimmermann. Volquez is under contract for two more years at 5 dollars, Jiminez is under contract for one more year at 5 dollars. I would also swap my 15th round pick for his 20th round pick in next years draft. Greenl ight right?

  97. Wilsonian says:

    @Grey: no Greinke. Would you do it for Scherzer, Shields, Jimenez or Kennedy? Would you flip just Zobrist for Espinosa?

  98. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Fletch: Eh

    @iceman: Go for it.

    @Wilsonian: Shields, Scherzer, Ubaldo… Or just flip Zobrist for Espinosa.

  99. Steve says:

    @Grey: Gotta go Essss-piiiiii-noooo-ssss-ahhhhhh! over Hill, right?

    Elsewhere, he’d find the AL East much tougher than where he is, but you gotta think the Yanks would like to have Kennedy doing work for them right now.

  100. AdamH says:

    Two questions, sorry.

    1) Should I trade Ryan Roberts, Axford, and Chacin for Kershaw and Garza?

    My other SP are:
    JJ (out), Scherzer, Gee, Norris, Bailey (out), Maholm, Nicasio (stream guy)

    I have Utley, Reynolds, Alex Gordon and Pujols (with one more start) to man 2B and 3B.

    2) What do I do with Jeter? No one in my league wants to give up ANYTHING for him. Trust me, I’ve asked everyone and all replied they don’t want him. I know if I drop him, someone is bound to pick him up.

  101. DiscoD says:

    @ Grey

    Who should I drop to add Beachy as a FA? Holland, Narveson or Stauffer

  102. tHe sHiT says:

    @Grey: Gotta drop one between Reynolds, Pena and Boesch. Who gets the axe?

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