Friends, folx, well-wishers, and haters — Happy third birthday to my tenure as the Top 100 SP writer. There have been ups (Robbie Ray), Downs (Scott), and 89,140 instances of me saying “that’s a lateral move.” When Grey found me living behind a Burger King dumpster in 2020 (yes, he was wearing one of those paper crowns), he came to me and said, “EWB, would you like to become the 15th most important imaginary sports pitching ranker on Reddit?” And I said, “King, you’re so short and your ideals are so pure. I will endeavor to be better than the previous guy yet not so good that we put the other 14 rankers out of business.”

Everything in moderation, right?

Here’s the ab-so-freaking-lute truth of fantasy ranking: If an analyst isn’t showing you their “score” (however defined) or a projection, then they’re just arbitrarily ordering players by their whims. In itself, this is a morally neutral way of producing fantasy content. Like I said last week, most fantasy content creators are working for nickels and a supply of Zebra Stripes gum. And like I said in my Fantasy Sports Writers Association-finalist article (how about that name drop?), you can order starting pitchers in 1×10^bajillionth ways. Tony Gonsolin being a top 10 pitcher? The guy has never pitched more than 60IP in the majors. Kyle Wright in the top 20? His MLB ERA was like 7+ coming into this year. Nestor Cortes at SP17 and he wasn’t even supposed to be in the Yankees’ rotation. Nobody actually knew these guys were going to be your fantasy studs this year.

Let’s metaphor:

Stranger Things

Vecna limps towards you, the Hero of Hawkins. With a bent finger, he points at your heart, his mouth starting to open. In ten seconds, you will die — unless you slay the lich with one final blow. What do you do? 

The Dungeon Master looks at you and says, “Friend, you’ve worked hard to get here. I’ll let you know that Vecna has less than 20 hit points left. I’m not telling you the exact number though. I’m not a cheater. Just that it’s less than or equal to 20 — you can win! Luckily, you’ve got a weapon that can deal 20 damage.” The Dungeon Master feels generous for you and allows you to choose your own damage roll from the following options — and remember, you want to do the most possible damage because otherwise, Vecna will kill you with his next attack because he’s a boss lich like that:

  • Roll 1 20-sided die (1 die numbered 1-20)
  • Roll 5 4-sided dice (5 dice, numbered 1-4)

So, hot shot: your game is on the line, which option do you choose?

Statistically, you should roll the 5 4-sided dice. Let’s break this down.

  • You know Vecna has between 1-20 hit points left. There’s a 5% chance he has 1 hit point…and a 5% chance he has 20 hit points. Restated, he has a 95% chance of having more than 1 hit point, and a 95% chance of having less than 20 hit points. And 50% chance he has more than 10 hit points, 50% chance he has less than 10.
    • Fantasy sports translation: you never know how good your opponent is going to be over the rest of the season.
  • If you roll the 20-sided die, you have a 5% chance of the worst outcome of the whole lot: a 1. You have a 95% chance of losing.
  • If you roll the 20-sided die, you also have a 5% outcome of the best outcome of the lot: a 20. A 20 guarantees victory, but you also have a 95% chance of arriving at any other number.
    • Fantasy sports translation: Just because you choose the highest-powered potential option, that choice doesn’t guarantee you the highest-powered outcome.
  • If you roll 5 4-sided die, you have a 0% chance of getting a 1 because the minimum cumulative roll you can get is a 5 — 5 dice all rolling 1. Furthermore: the chance of all those dice rolling 1s at the same time and you getting a 5? Way less than 1%. Using this strategy, you have a 15% chance of rolling a cumulative 12 or 13. So, 3x the possibility of this outcome compared to rolling the single 20-sided die. What’s more, is that you’re more likely to roll a 16 by 5 4-sided dice than by 1 20-sided die. So, you’ve still got a potential for a nice outcome.
    • Fantasy sports translation: If you distribute your odds over multiple pitchers, you have a higher floor, a significantly higher median outcome, and a nearly as-good optimal outcome as the proverbial “ace” option.

Still with me? No? Did you go watch Hopper un-die? It’s OK, I’m just gonna keep explaining for the three of you that care. I’m gonna convert a bunch of you degenerates to Dungeons and Dragons by the end of this, I swear…

Here’s the summary of the above:

  • Roll 1 20-sided die, 5% of getting any number from 1-20, with low of 1 and max of 20.
  • Roll 5 4-sided dice, receive a minimum score of 5, with most likely combination being a 12 or 13, and has better odds than a 20-sider up to 16.

What does killing Vecna in the Upside Down have to do with your fantasy baseball pitching staff?

  • They’re each tools to win a game: you kill Vecna, you win. You pitch well, you win.
  • They’re each metaphors for uncertainty: you don’t know the threshold score required to kill Vecna, and you don’t know the threshold score required to win your fantasy league.
  • Uncertainty cannot be predicted, but it can be managed.
  • Each scenario is statistically driven: you can reach 20 in many ways by rolling dice, just like you can have a good pitching staff in many compositions.
  • If you perform poorly on your rolls, you are certain to lose: There was a 95% chance Vecna had more than 1 hit point remaining, and an 80% chance that Vecna had more than 4 hit points remaining. If you chose the 1 20-sided die option and rolled low, you had an 80% chance of losing from the outset. If you chose the 5 4-sided dice, your base was a 75% chance of losing.
  • If you can’t guarantee optimal outcomes, sometimes the best recourse is to limit your chance of losing.
  • Poor pitching will cause you to lose: if you have one ace on your staff and that ace fails, you are much more likely to lose. Your odds of winning are much better to have 5 pitchers capable of putting up status quo numbers than 1 pitcher who is boom or bust.

Done with the dice? Never going to Vegas? Sure, let’s see the fantasy world implications of this data.

The question is: do we want one ace, or 5 “others.”

This is to say, the top 5 pitchers on the Player Rater were all easily draftable on the same team:

Name ADP Current Player Rater
Corbin Burnes 8 SP4
Sandy Alcantara 38 SP3
Justin Verlander 96 SP2
Shane McClanahan 106 SP1
Tony Gonsolin 269 SP5

Somewhere out there, there’s a team that started Corbin Burnes, Yordan Alvarez, Aaron Judge, Sandy Alcantara, and Pete Alonso. That team was probably given a C draft rating by FantasyPros and never shared on social media because it’s pretty unsexy. Yet, that team would be decimating the competition at the midway point. The remainder of the pitching staff? Verlander and McClanahan were sensible picks, coming much later in the draft.

Of course, these theoretical drafts mean nothing without real-life performance, right? So, let’s take a look at the top-performing teams from the National Fantasy Baseball Championship right now:

#1 Main Event Team SP:

Name ADP Current Player Rater
Sandy Alcantara 38 SP3
Frankie Montas 79 SP35
Joe Ryan 205 SP33
Jon Gray 241 SP66
MacKenzie Gore 407 SP72

 

#1 Bestball Cutline Team SP:

Name ADP Current Player Rater
Shohei Ohtani 8 SP11
Yu Darvish 85 SP21
Walker Buehler 14 SP77
Cristian Javier 275 SP15
Kyle Wright 510 SP14

Sure, this is half the season and small sample size, but I think you can see the point that I’m driving home right now — diversifying over many, “smaller” players is generally more effective than “pocket aces.” These teams I’m showing you now aren’t beating just 11 other teams in a home league; they’re beating hundreds of other teams from people who ostensibly study fantasy baseball non-stop and are willing to pay significant money to compete in these leagues.

I suppose this is a long way of saying: over the course of a season, it’s better to keep a diverse group of pitchers, rather than to consolidate by trading away your “excess” staff.

ENYWHEY. This is all just a mathematical and metaphorical explanation of variance, hopefully in a more understandable way than saying, “Pitchers are kinda random.” When touts say, “You can make your own luck,” this is what they mean. Just like over a long time index funds are “safer” and have more “return” than individual stocks, this is the same for pitchers: the more status quo pitchers you have (and by status quo, I’m saying, the top 70 or so), the more likely you are to out-perform your peers. Only in DFS are speculative pitchers worth the investment.

And to circle back to my initial problematic, this is why it matters if your ranker is providing a score or a projection: arbitrary rankings a meaningless for fantasy sports. Hunches succeed in the short run because they amplify randomness, but they don’t work in the long run. Conversely, predictors of future long-term performance often look foolish in the short run because seemingly outlier results (i.e. “black swan” events — low-frequency events that skew otherwise predictable outcomes) seem to “disprove” predictions. In the end, we’re all armchair astrologers, and the best we can do is tell y’all what is most likely to happen.

With that, happy third birthday to SP me, and I hope you slay Vecna this weekend.

News and Notes

Jacob deGromStarting rehab, and not the Amy Winehouse kind. DeGrom has been out of professional action for about a year, and there are pundits out there who will chant, “Our fantasy savior is here!” Sure, deGrom’s per-game fantasy contribution will be nice — sometime around August or September. Just in time for the playoffs! But first, you gotta make it to the playoffs, right? Think about Mike Clevinger’s return after a year off — he just reached a 6IP outing after 3 months of the season. deGrom will be great, we’re all going to love watching him on Pitching Ninja or Sports Center or whatever, but statistically, he’s not going to be racking up enough innings to move your fantasy needle until he’s got his mound legs under him. Start every time in DFS, grab him in leagues if your unaware competitors left him on the FA, and enjoy the playoff run if he’s healthy.

Max ScherzerBuying all the minor leaguers dinner and AirPods. Sometimes I wish MLB millionaires would take us fantasy analysts to dinner, right? Scherzer’s starting on Tuesday, but bad news is — that oblique muscle can be fussy. See Jack Flaherty in 2021…and 2022. Ostensibly, Scherzer — an MLB workhorse for over a decade — should know how to better recover from these types of injuries than the greenhorn Flaherty. But Scherzer’s also 38 years old and dealing with the Mets trainers, who have basically torched every arm they’ve come into contact with over the past few years. [whispers Firestarter, twisted firestarter] Start Scherzer when he returns, just temper those expectations a bit until we know if he’s actually healed or if the Mets are repeating their nefarious history.

Cristian JavierHere’s what I wrote about Javier back in May:

Even after getting blown up for 7 runnings early in May, his time as a “starter” has been pretty effective: 10.5+ K/9, 3.90 ERA, and 3.75 FIP, and 2 Wins. His pitch mix is changing pretty drastically recently — nearly 15% more fastballs, a quintupling of curveballs, and a big cut to his slider usage. Plus, he’s gaining some velo on his fastball. So, the [Astros](https://razzball.com/teams/houston-astros/) are tinkering with both his role (starter/Roleless Rob) and pitch mix, and we could see a big change in his results soon. In his last start, he went 6IP with 9 strikeouts and a walk, which fantasy managers will take to the bank every day.

That was then, this is now:

I mean, I’m not saying my system is perfect — it has many known flaws. But I was also giving you fringe Tier 1 Cristian Javier when he was still a Roleless Rob, and now he’s SP15 on the year. Yes, dear readers — that is why I decided to include “non-starters” in my starting pitcher list. In fact, I picked up Javier a month before I told y’all to get him, and I put this bid 10-20% below what I expected his true value to be. Sometimes, it’s rough being ahead of the curve (takes a bath in milk and ego).

Keegan ThompsonOn that same fabled May table that called the success of Cristian Javier, I see Keegan Thompson sitting nonchalantly at the top of Tier 3, ahead of guys like Jose Berrios, Ian Anderson, George Kirby, etc. Flash forward a month and Thompson is SP36 on the year, and after a couple rough outings in early June, he put up 24 strikeouts in 18 innings while walking a meager 3 batters. His ERA is 2.45 while his FIP over that period is 1.69, indicating he was even better than he performed. He’s available in 50% of RCLs, so go roster him and get excited about Cubs pitchers again. It’s worthwhile to point out that his swinging strike rate is a dismal sub-10% — even with these recent punchout-filled games, so we should expect a decent amount of regression. What we’re looking at is a Roleless Rob who is tinkering with his pitch mix — the fastball mix has increased nearly 10% over the past few outings, while his cutter and change mix has plummeted. Play to your strengths, Keegan!

Eli Morgan: We’ve already talked about two Roleless Robs who have broken the top [checks notes] 36 starting pitcher plateau on the Razzball Player Rater, and here’s a long-shot. Eli Morgan came into the Guardians organization as a starter and even started 18 games for the club last year. This year, Morgan transitioned into the Roleless Rob — he has 6 holds, 1 game started…and is SP39 on the year. Like, you can criticize me and my system as much as you like, but…your team’s SP 3 is sitting right out there on the waiver wire (rostered in 23% of RCLs). On the year, Morgan is 4-2 with an 11.25 K/9 and 2.75 ERA across 36IP. He’s got more Wins than Shane Bieber, a higher K/9 than Corbin Burnes, and a better ERA than Zack Wheeler. All he needs are…IP. Did I mention that Morgan was a starter in the Guardians’ organization from 2017-2021 and started 18 games last year? Far be it from me to re-define Morgan’s role from setup to starter…but…is Kirk McCarty really the spot starter? Is the Cal Quantrill project working out? If I’m in a deep league and looking for a speculative edge, I’m grabbing Morgan and crossing my fingers that the Guardians move him back to a starter role. Even in his current Roleless Rob spot, he’s SP39 on the year, and that’s plenty usable — might even get some vulture saves out of him down the road.

Kyle GibsonGood news: The guy who was drafted before Mike Trout went in the record books! Bad news: it was because he allowed 4 homers in a row. Good news: If you started him, your fantasy season is basically over now and you can go back to watching Stranger Things. Bad news: Stranger Things Season 4 is…not good.

Yusei KikuchiHad a Twitter question about using the rest of season Razzball projections this weekend, so I figured I’d expand that question to this column. First: Ch’Y’all know that Razzball offers the most voluminous, most free (‘mericuh), most accurate rankings out there? I think people often forget these unassailable facts. ENYWHEY. Rudy’s got Kikuchi in the top 50 SP for the rest of the season, and he’s available in 90% of leagues. Add.

Alex Cobb, Alex Wood, Blake Snell, Trevor RogersSee Yusei Kikuchi blurb but replace “90%” with “30-40%”.

Spencer StriderThis

The Rankings

Tier Name Team Confidence Own% L30$/G
1 Spencer Strider ATL 4.954 100 22.6
1 Shane McClanahan TB 4.865 100 55.1
1 Carlos Rodon SF 4.706 100 41.9
1 Shohei Ohtani LAA 4.763 100 41.7
1 Cristian Javier HOU 4.741 100 35.6
1 Corbin Burnes MIL 4.560 100 21.8
1 Dylan Cease CHW 4.472 100 27.8
1 Gerrit Cole NYY 4.431 100 23.2
1 Max Scherzer NYM 4.392 100
1 Brandon Woodruff MIL 4.373 100 72.1
1 Kevin Gausman TOR 3.873 100 -27
1 Aaron Nola PHI 3.868 100 33
1 Zack Wheeler PHI 3.762 100 26
1 Tarik Skubal DET 3.702 100 -47.3
1 Aaron Ashby MIL 3.698 89 -59.8
1 Max Fried ATL 3.655 100 26.6
2 Shane Bieber CLE 3.579 100 0.6
2 Kyle Wright ATL 3.495 100 4.6
2 Frankie Montas OAK 3.492 100 -9
2 Jon Gray TEX 3.441 100 19.4
2 Logan Webb SF 3.426 100 8.8
2 Hunter Greene CIN 3.417 64 -7.9
2 Joe Musgrove SD 3.415 100 26.4
2 Tyler Mahle CIN 3.413 100 0.7
2 Tanner Houck BOS 3.397 100 2.6
2 Yu Darvish SD 3.366 100 31.6
2 Nestor Cortes NYY 3.354 100 2.6
2 Alex Cobb SF 3.349 77 -16.1
2 Luis Severino NYY 3.341 100 9.7
2 Alek Manoah TOR 3.313 100 21
2 Luis Castillo CIN 3.303 100 -8.5
2 Clayton Kershaw LAD 3.299 100 -30.3
2 Sandy Alcantara MIA 3.286 100 29.3
2 Pablo Lopez MIA 3.256 100 -23.6
2 Sean Manaea SD 3.244 100 -9.4
2 Chris Bassitt NYM 3.215 100 2.1
2 Martin Perez TEX 3.211 100 -16.6
2 Justin Verlander HOU 3.200 100 39.6
2 Tyler Anderson LAD 3.186 98 3
2 Robbie Ray SEA 3.183 100 27.1
2 Sonny Gray MIN 3.178 100 -3.9
2 Carlos Carrasco NYM 3.165 80 -36.3
2 Jameson Taillon NYY 3.164 100 -6.7
2 Logan Gilbert SEA 3.164 100 6.6
2 Garrett Whitlock BOS 3.158 77 -49.7
2 Tony Gonsolin LAD 3.152 100 50
2 Lucas Giolito CHW 3.152 100 -57.9
2 Nick Pivetta BOS 3.151 100 26
2 Alex Wood SF 3.151 66 -18.9
2 MacKenzie Gore SD 3.144 100 -51.4
2 Ross Stripling TOR 3.126 66 24
2 Corey Kluber TB 3.116 82 -6.4
2 Framber Valdez HOU 3.110 100 15.5
2 Charlie Morton ATL 3.098 100 9
2 Patrick Sandoval LAA 3.096 100 -28.6
2 Zac Gallen ARI 3.075 100 -34.5
2 Miles Mikolas STL 3.057 100 14.2
2 Merrill Kelly ARI 3.030 68 9
2 Luis Garcia HOU 3.021 100 11.7
2 Luis Garcia HOU 3.021 100 11.7
2 Adam Wainwright STL 3.016 100 -17.4
2 Justin Steele CHC 3.010 -7.9
3 Joe Ryan MIN 2.962 100 -12.7
3 Michael Kopech CHW 2.956 100 -9
3 Taijuan Walker NYM 2.951 84 12.5
3 Jordan Montgomery NYY 2.945 100 0.5
3 Zach Eflin PHI 2.919 25 -8.5
3 Jose Quintana PIT 2.918 14 -29
3 Paul Blackburn OAK 2.916 82 -26.1
3 David Peterson NYM 2.914 52 5.8
3 JT Brubaker PIT 2.905 9 -23.1
3 Marcus Stroman CHC 2.902 39 -133.4
3 Keegan Thompson CHC 2.900 41 -23.5
3 Kenley Jansen ATL 2.884 100 6
3 Julio Urias LAD 2.857 100 31.3
3 Yusei Kikuchi TOR 2.856 11 -40.6
3 Brady Singer KC 2.811 45 -32.4
3 Dane Dunning TEX 2.810 23 -25.6
3 A.J. Minter ATL 2.796 93 4.2
3 Freddy Peralta MIL 2.793 84
3 Noah Syndergaard LAA 2.783 93 -6.5
3 Joe Jimenez DET 2.734 -4.3
3 George Kirby SEA 2.732 100 -12.2
3 Rich Hill BOS 2.726 9 -4.5
3 Jeffrey Springs TB 2.722 98 -0.9
3 Jordan Lyles BAL 2.720 2 -33.9
3 Edwin Diaz NYM 2.715 100 5.4
3 Scott Effross CHC 2.713 -5.4
3 Devin Williams MIL 2.711 93 -0.6
3 Ryan Helsley STL 2.708 100 8
3 Drew Rasmussen TB 2.706 95 -27
3 Mitch Keller PIT 2.696 5 -32.6
3 Justin Wilson CIN 2.688
3 Michael King NYY 2.683 4.9
3 Taylor Rogers SD 2.680 100 -2.2
3 Nathan Eovaldi BOS 2.666 100 52.7
3 Kyle Gibson PHI 2.649 50 -45.2
3 Raisel Iglesias LAA 2.645 100 3
3 David Bednar PIT 2.641 100 -3.2
3 Zach Davies ARI 2.638 9 -1.5
3 Triston McKenzie CLE 2.618 100 -35.2
3 Josiah Gray WSH 2.613 98 4.7
3 Daniel Lynch KC 2.611 -22.6
3 Eric Lauer MIL 2.602 66 -44.6
3 Collin McHugh ATL 2.602 2 3.9
3 Eli Morgan CLE 2.594 25 -8.9
3 Hector Neris HOU 2.586 2 -11.6
3 Andrew Chafin DET 2.580 -4.4
3 Seranthony Dominguez PHI 2.580 98 4.1
3 Brooks Raley TB 2.578 18 -2.1
3 Reynaldo Lopez CHW 2.577 5 -7.2
3 Josh Hader MIL 2.576 100 4.7
3 Sean Hjelle SF 2.570 -25.2
3 Jimmy Yacabonis MIA 2.567 2 -3.8
3 Patrick Corbin WSH 2.562 11 -12.3
3 Chad Kuhl COL 2.555 14 -20.3
3 Penn Murfee SEA 2.554 -3.6
3 Emmanuel Clase CLE 2.552 100 10
3 Jhoan Duran MIN 2.549 100 -2
3 Johnny Cueto CHW 2.543 9 -4.1
3 Dylan Bundy MIN 2.540 16 -26.4
3 Tanner Scott MIA 2.526 100 9.4
3 Adrian Houser MIL 2.523 9 -46.2
3 Michael Lorenzen LAA 2.515 39 -61.1
3 Ian Anderson ATL 2.515 64 -36.8
3 Michael Wacha BOS 2.514 82 4.3
3 Bryan Abreu HOU 2.513 2 -10.4
3 Ranger Suarez PHI 2.506 43 -11.3
3 Giovanny Gallegos STL 2.490 100 3.1
3 Erick Fedde WSH 2.478 -13
3 Craig Kimbrel LAD 2.460 100 -0.2
3 Austin Gomber COL 2.460 7 -45.7
3 Brad Keller KC 2.450 18 -21.2
3 Trevor Rogers MIA 2.446 57 -25.7
3 Walker Buehler LAD 2.437 89 -60.5
3 Kyle Freeland COL 2.435 3.2
3 Zach Plesac CLE 2.434 48 6.3
3 German Marquez COL 2.431 52 -9.4
3 Kyle Hendricks CHC 2.430 48 6.9
3 Tyler Wells BAL 2.424 41 20.1
3 Griffin Jax MIN 2.415 9 -7.4
3 Diego Castillo SEA 2.414 52 10.7
3 Liam Hendriks CHW 2.399 100 5.5
3 Victor Arano WSH 2.394 -29.7
3 Daniel Mengden KC 2.392 -18.9
3 Rony Garcia DET 2.387 1.1
3 Antonio Senzatela COL 2.383 -29.2
3 Camilo Doval SF 2.381 100 0.4
3 Wil Crowe PIT 2.378 16 -9.6
3 Taylor Hearn TEX 2.378 -45.2
3 Jimmy Herget LAA 2.375 -8.3
3 Brock Burke TEX 2.375 7 -0.4
3 Andres Munoz SEA 2.374 7 -3.3
3 Jose Berrios TOR 2.372 100 -17.7
3 Evan Phillips LAD 2.372 -1.8
3 Zach Jackson OAK 2.371 2 -4
3 Jason Adam TB 2.371 36 -5.4
3 Caleb Thielbar MIN 2.371 -6.9
3 John Brebbia SF 2.368 -19.4
3 Clay Holmes NYY 2.364 100 4
3 Jakob Junis SF 2.347 18 40.3
3 Zack Greinke KC 2.346 20 47.2
3 Cole Irvin OAK 2.346 7 -25
3 Jesus Luzardo MIA 2.346 52
3 Enyel De Los Santos CLE 2.344 -26
3 Jesse Chavez ATL 2.339 0
3 Matt Strahm BOS 2.335 7 -5.3
3 Erik Swanson SEA 2.333 2 -2.9
3 Cal Quantrill CLE 2.333 52 -17.2
3 JT Chargois TB 2.331
3 Colin Holderman NYM 2.327 -9.7
3 Cody Stashak MIN 2.320
3 Blake Snell SD 2.314 64 -40.2
3 Duane Underwood Jr. PIT 2.304 -13.1
3 John Schreiber BOS 2.295 25 -2.8
3 Chris Flexen SEA 2.293 11 -23
3 Jose Urquidy HOU 2.292 7.3
3 Matt Moore TEX 2.289 5.5
3 Zach Pop MIA 2.286 -4.5
3 David Robertson CHC 2.285 100 3.4
3 Sam Hentges CLE 2.285 -4.4
3 Joe Mantiply ARI 2.284 7 -5.2
3 Jovani Moran MIN 2.284 -4.6
3 Peter Strzelecki MIL 2.284 -3.2
3 Devin Smeltzer MIN 2.279 36 -9.9
3 Jorge Lopez BAL 2.273 100 2.1
3 Will Vest DET 2.239 -12.9
3 Steven Matz STL 2.237 14
3 Andrew Heaney LAD 2.234 86 0.5
3 Adam Ottavino NYM 2.231 -3
3 Chris Martin CHC 2.221 -5.6
3 Felix Bautista BAL 2.221 14 0.5
3 Lou Trivino OAK 2.220 57 -13.3
3 Reid Detmers LAA 2.219 2 -35.2
3 Alex Lange DET 2.219 -6.4
3 Joely Rodriguez NYM 2.217 -11.5
3 Ron Marinaccio NYY 2.212 1.7
3 Dakota Hudson STL 2.211 23 -29.9
3 Jalen Beeks TB 2.196 2 -11.8
3 Pierce Johnson SD 2.195
3 Nick Martinez SD 2.194 2 -24.8
3 Nick Nelson PHI 2.194 -17.2
3 Trevor Gott MIL 2.193 -12.8
3 A.J. Puk OAK 2.191 9 -8.9
3 Bailey Ober MIN 2.191 34
3 Brusdar Graterol LAD 2.185 2 -5.7
3 Daniel Bard COL 2.184 100 1.7
3 Trevor Stephan CLE 2.182 -4.6
3 Jesus Tinoco TEX 2.177 -6.7
3 Daniel Hudson LAD 2.176 7 -3.5
3 Rafael Montero HOU 2.175 43 -8.9
3 Anthony Bass MIA 2.155 -6.6
3 Jose Alvarado PHI 2.153 -1.5
3 Ryan Brasier BOS 2.152 -5.2
3 J.P. Feyereisen TB 2.150 7 -14.9
3 Yimi Garcia TOR 2.149 -4.5
3 Sean Doolittle WSH 2.148
3 Mark Leiter Jr. CHC 2.148 0.6
3 Darren O’Day ATL 2.147 -24.2
3 Alex Vesia LAD 2.147 -9
3 Bryan Baker BAL 2.145 -17
3 Tyler Kinley COL 2.128 -5.7
3 Amir Garrett KC 2.128 -15
3 Matt Foster CHW 2.125 -19.1
3 Cole Sulser MIA 2.125 2 2.3
3 Madison Bumgarner ARI 2.121 14 -36
3 Andre Pallante STL 2.121 -17.5
3 Andrew Bellatti PHI 2.120 -5.1
3 Shane Baz TB 2.118 100 -7.3
3 Joel Kuhnel CIN 2.117 -18.7
3 Josh Staumont KC 2.115 7 -10.5
3 Mike Clevinger SD 2.106 100 0.1
3 Seth Lugo NYM 2.106 -5.7
3 Nabil Crismatt SD 2.099 -13.4
3 Tylor Megill NYM 2.096 34 -41.3
3 Taylor Clarke KC 2.096 -5.4
3 Kyle Crick CHW 2.091 0.1
3 Eric Stout PIT 2.077 -4.6
3 Tommy Nance MIA 2.076 -18.9
3 David Phelps TOR 2.072 -11.5
3 Kyle Finnegan WSH 2.067 2 -6
3 Jose Quijada LAA 2.062 -4.6
3 Alexis Diaz CIN 2.061 2 -11.8
3 Mitch White LAD 2.057 5 -12.8
3 Chris Archer MIN 2.054 9 5
3 Chad Green NYY 2.054 2
3 Phillips Valdez BOS 2.053 -12
3 Dany Jimenez OAK 2.053 75 -11.3
3 Michael Fulmer DET 2.052 20 -1.7
3 Jake Walsh STL 2.047
3 Adam Cimber TOR 2.046 14 -10.3
3 Daniel Norris CHC 2.045 -17.9
3 Jeremy Beasley TOR 2.039 -11.3
3 Anderson Severino CHW 2.037
3 Paul Sewald SEA 2.033 100 3.7
3 Ryne Stanek HOU 2.028 -4.5
3 Matthew Festa SEA 2.027 -8.9
3 Steven Okert MIA 2.024 2 0.8
3 Kervin Castro SF 2.022
3 Wyatt Mills KC 2.022 -4.4
3 Gregory Soto DET 2.020 100 0.8
3 Jackson Kowar KC 2.017 -9.5
3 Elieser Hernandez MIA 2.014 11 -115.3
3 James Norwood BOS 2.013 -17.5
3 David Price LAD 2.005 -21.3
3 Beau Brieske DET 2.003 -15.5
3 Jordan Romano TOR 2.003 100 -3.3
4 Michael Rucker CHC 1.996 -49.9
4 Alex Faedo DET 1.987 -51.8
4 Brandon Hughes CHC 1.983 -9
4 Trevor Megill MIN 1.982 -3.3
4 Connor Brogdon PHI 1.981 3.1
4 Drew Smith NYM 1.978 -4.1
4 Jeff Hoffman CIN 1.977 -8.1
4 Kyle Barraclough LAA 1.976
4 Reiss Knehr SD 1.973 17.2
4 Sam Selman OAK 1.971 -15.1
4 Dennis Santana TEX 1.971 -3.7
4 Kendall Graveman CHW 1.969 89 -1.9
4 Bruce Zimmermann BAL 1.967 -99.1
4 Steve Cishek WSH 1.965 -8.4
4 Parker Mushinski HOU 1.963 -9.5
4 Aaron Civale CLE 1.962 27 -40.7
4 Steven Wilson SD 1.961 2.9
4 Corbin Martin ARI 1.960
4 Ryan Tepera LAA 1.959 2 -6
4 Scott Barlow KC 1.957 100 -0.9
4 Hoby Milner MIL 1.953 -4.6
4 Chris Stratton PIT 1.952 5 -9.8
4 Dillon Tate BAL 1.950 -9.8
4 Ken Giles SEA 1.947 36 -3.2
4 Jhon Romero MIN 1.945
4 Blake Treinen LAD 1.940 9
4 Aaron Loup LAA 1.937 -12.3
4 Marco Gonzales SEA 1.930 41 -13.8
4 Lance Lynn CHW 1.927 100 -15.4
4 James Kaprielian OAK 1.922 -31.6
4 Joe Kelly CHW 1.921 -10.2
4 Joan Adon WSH 1.920 -80.5
4 Matt Bush TEX 1.920 5 -10.3
4 Keegan Akin BAL 1.915 -4.5
4 Eduardo Rodriguez DET 1.910 41
4 Chris Paddack MIN 1.906
4 Tanner Rainey WSH 1.905 100 -3
4 Daulton Jefferies OAK 1.903 2
4 Phil Bickford LAD 1.902 -11.5
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martinrostoker
martinrostoker
1 month ago

Hi Blair,

your advice is always appreciated!

These questions concern Saturday’s games

1. Miami’s Lopez is on the road against the Mets Bassett. Start or sit?

2. Jon Gray of Texas is at home against the Twins Sonny Gray. i was leaning to starting Jon Gray. Thoughts?

3. Aaron Ashby of the Brewers is at home against the Pirates’ Brubaker. Thoughts?

thanks!

martin

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
1 month ago

Hi Blair.

sorry forgot to ask.

1. Would you start Tyler Anderson of the Dodgers at home against the Cubs and on on the road against St.Louis?

2. Has anyone done an analysis of the razz dollar values as a predictor for pitching? For example, if the Razz dollar values are minus, they will win x% of the times.

your help is very much appreciated!

martin

ray
ray
1 month ago

I drafted Javier in the final round of my draft (RD 29) and am keeping him for the cost of a 28th rounder next year hahha

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
1 month ago

Hi Blair,

thanks for all your hard work!

would you start or sit the Cards Mikolas on the road against Atlanta?

Am i wrong to sit Pivetta since his next two starts are against the Yanks?

thanks!

Omar
Omar
1 month ago

In the comment below (based on my current staff), I’m thinking about the following: (10 team Weekly H2H – 6×5 – Standard + OPS):

Give: Cole / Bell / Merrifield
Get: Mookie / Baz

Current 2b’s are Gleyber, Whit and Cronenworth.

**Keep 3 for one year. I already have plenty of keeper options (Vlad, Tatis, Bichette, Julio Rodriguez, Robert, or any of the pitchers – though I never keep pitchers) so the keeper aspect is not really a driving force.

Go for it or hold Cole?

Beans
Beans
1 month ago

What’s up EB? It’s been a few months since we talked. Thanks for all the help in winning my football CHIP!! My question is can you please rank these SP’s for ROS please. I can’t figure out who is droppable. H2H scoring. Buehler is a keeper.
Buehler
Berrios
Lynn
Mahle
Pablo Lopez
Joe Ryan
Triston Mckenzie
Roansy Contreras
Josiah Gray
Lodolo

Thundershoe
Thundershoe
1 month ago

Hey Blair – I can’t wait to go back and dig deep into this piece, especially the Stranger Things section (on S4 Ep 8 right now!). Your work continues to impress and amaze!

A bird’s eye view question: How do you think my pitching staff is looking overall heading into the 2nd half? 12-team H2H points league

SPs = Giolito, McClanahan, Manaea, Gonsolin, Bassitt, Sandoval, Cobb, Jon Gray, Stripling
RPs = Rogers, Helsley, Minter, Adam (maybe swapping for Schreiber), Morgan

Anyone you’d be looking to move on from or concerned about in particular? Some guys on the waiver include Carrasco (rostered him for a while but recently dropped due to his injury – he did have a solid outing last time out…), Brubaker, Singer, Trevor Rogers, Quintana, Lodolo, Crawford, Urquidy, Steele, Wells, Smeltzer…..

Thanks in advance!

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
1 month ago

As I was reading this, I suspected I was the only one who loved it. Especially the comment on how sites typically rate my team last after the draft.

It’ll take me a few days to digest this. But since I feel I owe you a comment immediately, here it is: I see King has dropped precipitiously (was always near top of 1 — and now he’s in 3). Is this simply due to not crossing some innings boundary?

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
Reply to  everywhereblair
1 month ago

I’m a certified Yankee hater. If they are messing him up, I hope they keep up the good work.

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
1 month ago

Hi Blair,

i so enjoy your comments and insight!

i just waived Dean Kremer to pick up Eric Lauer. Was that a good move?

i have both Boston’s Nick Pivetta and TB Jeffrey Springs. i was going to sit both. Is that a good move?

I was going to start the Giants Alex Wood (at Az), SD’s Clevinger (at home against Seattle) and the Dodgers Mitch White (at home against Colorado). Do you agree with my decision to start all three?

Thanks again for your help!! it is much appreciated!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  everywhereblair
1 month ago

Thanks!!!

Y2B
Y2B
1 month ago

10 team league – Verlander, Burns, Gonsolin, Gilbert, Javier and have Baz sitting for spot starts.
Dansby, Yordan, and JRAM, Olson, and Xander and I am crushing the competition.
Should I have any concerns with inning limitations? Seems like almost all could be on something of a innings limit.
Also considering trading Dansby or Xander. Who would you rather have ROS?

Y2B
Y2B
Reply to  everywhereblair
1 month ago

Thanks and so much appreciate the perspective and time.

omar
omar
1 month ago

Baz really low… Is that based on limited data? If so, where do you anticipate he falls in relation to the other guys in say a month from now?

omar
omar
Reply to  everywhereblair
1 month ago

In the comment below (based on my current staff), I’m thinking about the following: (10 team Weekly H2H – 6×5 – Standard + OPS):

Give: Cole / Bell / Merrifield
Get: Mookie / Baz

Current 2b’s are Gleyber, Whit and Cronenworth.

**Keep 3 for one year. I already have plenty of keeper options (Vlad, Tatis, Bichette, Julio Rodriguez, Robert, or any of the pitchers – though I never keep pitchers) so the keeper aspect is not really a driving force.

Go for it or hold Cole?

Omar
Omar
1 month ago

Better IL stash for this year only:

Dustin May or Freddy P?

paulerikstamnes78
paulerikstamnes78
Reply to  everywhereblair
1 month ago

To piggy-back off that, what are your thoughts on Sale in the 2nd half?

Omar
Omar
1 month ago

10 team Weekly H2H. Current Staff (punting saves):

Cole, McClanahan, Wheeler, Webb, Morton, Javier, Strider, Skubal (just picked up as he was dropped yesterday), J.Montgomery, Kirby, Sandoval

Win Ks and usually Ws pretty handily every week. Ratios the majority of the time as well. Wondering if I should trade some of that depth for hitting, or hold. If the former, which arms would you move to maximize return?

Or should I lose any of the back end guys? Available arms on the wire that are high on your list are: Ashby, Greene, Cobb, Whitlock, Blackburn, Kikuchi, Stripling.

Love columns like these that veer from the status quo. Keep up the good work!

luvdarooks
1 month ago

I’d like to pick up Ashby in a 6×6 where K’s, QS and NetWins are 3 of the 6 categories. Drop T Skubal or Springs or Mitch White or Lodolo. which are your top two to drop ?

Hoove
Hoove
1 month ago

Good stuff EWB—always, always show your work. Whimsical rankings are….

CTFDU
CTFDU
1 month ago

Skubal has been killing me. Why is he still on tier 1?

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
Reply to  CTFDU
1 month ago

As I’ve been reading up heavily on Skubal, I want to add something I read today. In the story centered on Skubal, it said:

“On the bright side, Skubal added that he thinks he is close to figuring some things out.

“I’m the same guy,” Skubal said. “It’s just the results are different. I feel like I’m close to figuring some things out. Some things just take time, and that’s what I’m going through.”

For me, I’m leaning towards trusting what Skubal stated. Like buying stock at the bottom instead of at the top. I feel he’s already bottomed out and will be on the rise back to April/May levels very soon. I expect above average production the rest of the way.

Go with what EWB says, 100%. I just wanted to add an alternative take on one of the guys I’m following closely. Thanks.

Jolt