The royal we already went over all the hitters for 2015 fantasy baseball rankings.  That’s not the “royal we” as that term usually implies.  It was me writing it alone while wearing a Burger King crown.  I refuse to draft a top starter where they are usually drafted.  Unlike hitters, you need six starters, depending on your league depth.  Simple math tells us there’s plenty of starters to go around.  Simple Math, “Stop putting words in my mouth!”  In most leagues, there’s a ton of guys on waivers that can help you — all year.  Not just in April, and then they disappear.  With the help of the Stream-o-Nator, you can get by with, say, three starters while streaming the rest.  To read more about streaming as a draft strategy.  There’s also the fact that three stats by starters are difficult to predict due to luck.  Wins, ERA and WHIP are prone to shift due to which way the ball bounces and whether or not the guys behind the pitchers can score runs.  Finally, the best starters can give you four categories.  The best hitters can give you five categories.  As always, where I see tiers starting and stopping are included and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball:

1. Clayton Kershaw – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Sale.  I call this tier, “Security blankets are for bouncers who are chilly.”  If you own Kershaw or any of the guys in this tier, you’re drafting scared.  You’re scared to go into the season without a number one starter.  You’re afraid that if you don’t have an ace you’ll never find a starter off waivers or your later picks won’t pan out.  You’re chicken, as Biff would say, because there’s more pitchers than Michael J. Fox can shake a stick at.  The only people that draft a top starter want a security blanket.  They want to feel like they’re pitching staff is safe.  They want to feel nuzzled like a bug in an alpaca rug.  If you would’ve owned Matt Shoemaker, Tanner Roark, Phil Hughes, Collin McHugh, Garrett Richards and Lance Lynn last year, your ERA would’ve been 2.93 in 1071 2/3 IP.  Sure, I’m cherrypicking guys from last year…Just like you could’ve cherrypicked any of them off waivers in your league.  In some leagues, you could do fine not drafting ANY starters.  Yes, I brought out the caps.  I’m not only talking about H2H leagues where you can carry only relievers.  I’m talking 10 or 12-team roto leagues where you can stream starters.  Maybe you own one starter and stream five spots.  Maybe you own two guys and stream four spots.  Maybe you drink seven cups of coffee and stream all day.  Even if you want to draft an entire rotation and hold them (or try to), you don’t need a guy from this tier.  There’s plenty of options later to fill out your rotation so you’re competitive in leagues where you can’t stream.  I’m not suggesting you Reggie Roby starters.  I’m telling you to Reggie Roby top starters.  Concentrate on your hitting while these guys are being drafted.  As for Kershaw, I went over him in the top 20 for 2015 fantasy baseball.

2. Felix Hernandez – F-Her’s Hall of Fame speech from 2029, “I like to thank Murray Chass for never believing in me, and making me a second ballot Hall of Famer.  It’s amazing you’re still going strong at 117 years old.  My wins were wonky at times in my career, but have you seen my ERA, xFIP, K-rate and other acronyms made up by guys with a lot less of a social life than I?  When I was 28 years old, I was coming off a year where I had a 2.14 ERA, 2.51 xFIP and a 9.46 K-rate.  Nerds tell me those are beautiful.  Perhaps I’ll best be remembered as the guy that made the colloquialism ‘F-Her in the Big A’ about me pitching in Anaheim and not about anal sex, but I hope you’ll not let Kershaw’s achievements overshadow me completely and give me my just desserts.  I love chocolate lava cake.”  2015 Projections: 16-5/2.41/0.99/239

3. Max Scherzer – With the signing of Scherzer by the Nats, he went from facing major league hitters to facing NL East hitters and Giancarlo.  “Is it already time for the Triple-A All Star game?”  No, Scherzer, that lineup you’re facing is the Braves.  “Oh, fun, I get to pitch during Old Timer’s Day!”  No, Scherzer, that’s the Phils.  Let’s not shortchange the Mets.  Sure, they had the worst home offense in 2013 and the 27th worst in 2014, but they added Cuddyer, who will be 36 years old and coming off an injury-plagued 49-game season.  Oh, and let’s not forget the new-look Marlins.  They have Prado, Dee Gordon and Morse.  That’ll put the shivers into Scherzer.  “Ooh, a perfect bunt laid down by Gordon using Morse’s oblique.”  I wonder if Scherzer could win two Cy Youngs in one year.  Has that been done before?  Prolly by Joel Youngblood.  Sadly, I won’t own Scherzer, but I could easily see 250+ Ks with a sub-2.50 ERA.  2015 Projections:  18-5/2.49/1.10/248

4. Corey Kluber – Pitching is fun to rank.  Or bitching as my autocorrect wanted to write.  I think my autocorrect is being a smart ass.  It’s fun to rank because it’s easier than hitters.  There’s so many different indicators that are predictive.  Does a guy strikeout a lot of guys and not walk many?  Do they have the stuff (velocity, unhittable breaking stuff, Carlin’s stuff) that backs up their K-rate?  Do they get swings and misses?  What was their xFIP last year?  Do they chew bacon instead of gum?  Put it in a pot, mix it up and you have how good a pitcher really is, while not even considering ERA.  You just have to know where to focus your attention.  Luckily, I’m doing all the research for you so you can devote your time to more important things like ignoring my research.  With all of that said, Kluber’s 2014 wasn’t just good, it was indicative of more great things for 2015.  Sadly, we won’t own him.  Though, I fully support bringing a 19-year-old Asian with glow sticks and herbal Ecstasy to your draft so you have your very own Kluber.  2015 Projections: 16-7/2.63/1.07/252

5. Stephen Strasburg – Last year, Strasburg had a 10.1 K/9 and a 1.8 BB/9.  That’s so sexy I just wrote the preceding sentence without the use of my fingers.  If you don’t understand that visual, find me on Ashley Madison, you’ll see it there.  There were three starters with a 10+ K/9 and sub-2 BB/9 (Kershaw, Kluber, Strasburg).  That could’ve been the top 3 SP ranks, and if you want them in that order, put them in that order in your rankings of guys you don’t want to draft.  You are quibbling right now, you quibbler.  2015 Projections:  17-6/2.58/1.03/247

6. David Price – His velocity drop from two years ago had me concerned last year, and I still am to the point where I almost dropped him to the next tier, but I kept him here because he seemed to make the lower velocity work for him last year and it’s not like he’s throwing Bronson Arroyo-like; he’s still throwing 93 MPH on his fastball.  If you have Siri read you the last sentence, she’s out of breath by the period.  Stop smoking, Siri!  2015 Projections:  17-8/2.69/1.07/239

7. Chris Sale – If someone came from the future and told me Chris Sale would throw 230 innings in 2015, I’d first ask them why they bring me such crap info from the future, you can’t tell me lottery numbers or something?  Second, I’d say that means Sale will challenge Kershaw for the number one fantasy slot.  Unfortch, assuming Sale throws 230 innings makes an ass out of you and Ming, the DP for your company’s low-budget commercial.  “Ming, are you getting the President’s Day Sale banner?”  “Ming is getting it.”  UPDATE:  There’s a Sale on fractured feet and Chris bought one.  It doesn’t change my ranking and projections because I originally was only assuming 189 IP.  Who’s the ass now, Ming?!  2015 Projections:  15-5/2.41/0.99/217

8. Zack Greinke – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Cueto.  I call this tier, “Still number ones, but my teeth hurt.  It might be the caveats.”  These guys are pretty much the same as the first tier, but I’m separating them because not only would I not draft them, but I also have worries about each of them.  My worries might be for naught, and it’s basically just picking nits why I don’t like these guys since you shouldn’t draft them anyway because they’re going too high.  As for Greinke, two years ago his velocity dipped.  He made it work last year, but it worries me when a guy of slight build in his thirties starts to see velocity decreases.  I told you I was picking nits.  2015 Projections:  18-6/2.95/1.13/212

9. Madison Bumgarner – Wouldn’t draft him in any way, shape or form simply due to how many innings he threw last year.  He’s young, yeah.  He’s ridunk talented, yeah.  He threw 260 IP last year, yeah, no thank you.  2015 Projections:  16-10/3.01/1.06/206

10. Jon Lester – This offseason, I wrote, “‘Hey, Intern, let’s get the Mayans on hold just in case we need them in a hurry.  What?  Who the hell is Ralph Mayan of the Mayan Empire and Grille in Norwalk?  Your blank stare tells me nothing.  Go buff out my El Dorado while I write this post!’  So, I’ve seen The Theory of Everything, the story of Stephen Hawking and his wife.  It touches briefly on his theorems and the universe’s push and pull.  Imagine the universe breathes in and out.  The in is gravity and the out is energy generated by particles.  However, the Cubs would breathe in, but when they exhaled it sounded like a wheeze.  For over a hundred years, people thought it was dying.  That constant wheeze of death.  Then, Theo Epstein came along, kicked the Cubs in the ass and realized it wasn’t a wheeze but there was something stuck in its throat.  The Cubs won’t breathe easy until they win a championship again, but the signing of Jon Lester should help.  Last year, Lester had a 9 K/9 and a 2 BB/9.  I just touched on this with the signing of Samardzija the other day, but a difference of 7 between K/9 and BB/9 is about the most beautifulest thing in the world, Keith Murray.  For K-BB, Lester was 11th in the majors last year.  Top ten is a who’s who that’s more glamorous than your Who’s Who of American High School Students Who Paid $75 To Be In That Who’s Who Book.  I’ll give you a little hint:  if you were to just draft based on K-BB, you’d win your league.  Why is K-BB so important?  It’s so basically basic basically basic it’s silly.  If you strikeout hitters and don’t walk them, good things will happen.”  And that’s me quoting me!  I put Lester in this tier of pitchers with caveats because Lester seems to have seasons where he randomly puts up a 7-ish K-rate and terrible ERAs.  2015 Projections:  15-9/2.92/1.08/206

11. Jordan Zimmermann – Going off what I said in the Lester blurb — the blurbster? Word up! — any time a pitcher can walk less than 2 guys per nine and throw hard, then they have a chance to be great.  Zimmermann’s 2014 shows why.  When a pitcher controls his stuff (few walks) and throws hard, there’s the thought they just need to figure out how to use that control to miss bats.  Zimmermann did that last year.  Zimmermann’s caveat comes from him never having such a high K-rate as he did last year (8.2), but unlike other pitchers in this tier, Zimmermann’s downside isn’t that scary.  After all, his worst year was a 3.25 ERA.  After All, Part II:  This Is After All The Other Alls, I think the average starter’s ERA last year was only 3.25.  2015 Projections:  17-7/2.89/1.06/186

12. Johnny Cueto – This is gonna be like a kick to the head as delivered by Cueto himself, but he’s a victim of underlying numbers why he’s not ranked higher.  His ERA is constantly terrific.  Last four years, it’s been 2.31, 2.78, 2.82 and 2.25.  If this were ten years ago, we’d think he was a top five pitcher.  It’s not ten years ago though so you can take off that Wasssssup t-shirt, and we have to look at how much he outperforms his xFIP, due to a low BABIP.  He makes hitters chase (which is different than the portmanteau from “makes hitters” that was a rejected slogan of the National Prune Association).  Cueto was tenth in the majors for getting hitters to swing outside of the strike zone.  It only follows logic:  get a hitter to swing outside of the strike zone and you’re likely to induce weak contact.  Weak contact would equal what?  Kate Bosworth’s terrible and unnecessary plastic surgery?  No, that’s not right.  It equals a low BABIP.  So, Cueto should outperform his xFIP with a low BABIP, but his K and walk rate are still merely solid, not elite.  2015 Projections:  15-8/2.89/1.08/204

13. Jeff Samardzija – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Iwakuma.  I call this tier, “Commence drafting, Drafty McDraftstein.”  I’ll go over in a later post exactly how to assemble your staff (which pitchers to get from which tiers, and how many), but this tier is the first time I can see drafting a starter.  It’s also not necessary.  You don’t need a starter from here.  It’s merely now an option.  As for Samardzija, on our Player Rater last year, Alphabet Soup ranked 32nd overall for all SPs.  Let’s compare him to Jordan ZimmermannOoh, this sounds like fun– Snooze!  Shut up, Random Italicized Voice.  Shut don’t go up but prices do so buy in bulk.  What?  Seriously, I’m going to take a nap.  Last year, Zimmermann’s numbers were:  2.66 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 182 Ks.  Samardzija’s were 2.99 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 202 Ks.  Can we say that an extra 30 Ks is the same as their difference in ERA?  We could be it wouldn’t be completely true.  Samardzija was actually twenty cents better.  (Ks made Samardzija $1.50 better, and Zimmermann’s ERA was $1.30 better.  Voila, snitches!)  So, how was Zimmermann the 13th best SP last year and Samardzija the 32nd?  Was there a glitch in the Matrix?  If you said Wins were the difference, you’re quick, grasshopper.  No, I’m not talking to the Creme de Menthe you have in your thermos.  Why do you have that in your thermos?  Zimmermann had 14 wins last year and Samardzija only seven.  There’s no accounting for wins and Samardzija could easily be more valuable than Zimmermann this year.  2015 Projections:  14-6/3.24/1.12/206

14. Tyson Ross – By the power of Kemp, Myers and Upton, please let Ross win 14 games, right?  Stop sour yilliness, Spooner.  He won 13 games last year.  This ranking isn’t about wins.  It’s about a 9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 from last year.  It’s about a 12.5% swinging strike rate.  That’s the percentage of strikes that were swung on and missed.  I want to break that down one more level for the noobs without boobs aka the prematurely balding men aka your daddy and you fighting over Mookie Betts’s ceiling aka you sleeping through Still Alice aka YOU!  If a pitcher throws the ball and the hitter swings and misses, isn’t that one of the best signs of stuff?  Rhetorical!  It is, dyslexic donuts!  Okay, so some of the best pitchers should have high swinging strike rates, yeah?  Yeah.  Number one last year was Kershaw.  Tyson Ross was fourth best, right in front of Kluber.  Zoinks!  Ross also had the 16th fastest fastball of any starter, the 15th best K-rate, Petco, and a whole array other reasons (not really or I would’ve listed them).  I think I’m ranking Ross higher than most, because I want to own him.  (Oh, and I say I think I’m ranking him higher rather than I know I am, because I don’t really look at other rankings until I’m done with mine.)  2015 Projections: 14-9/3.11/1.15/204

15. Jake Arrieta – We’re only halfway through this post (I can’t count; sue me!) and we’re already pushing 18,000 words (still can’t count), so I’m gonna have to be economical with my Arrieta flattery.  Flatterieta?  Off to a great start already!  I went over Arrieta so much last year and why his breakout was real that I don’t want to tread on similar ‘scapes.  I need new terrain like Reese Witherspoon cooking meth on the PCT.  (I’d say Spoiler Alert, but that’s actually a You’re Lucky You Don’t Have To See It Now Alert.  This offseason I saw so many movies because not only did I get my WGA screeners, but Cougs joined the PGA in 2014.  Yeah, I’m Ray Knight married to Nancy Lopez.  Cougs can’t golf; wrong PGA.  By the way, I went to the PGA Awards this past Saturday.  Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood, Bryan Cranston, etc etc etc were there, but my favorite star sighting?  Leslie from last year’s MasterChef!)  Arrieta is an ace, and there’s no reason to doubt it, but if you want reasons, search the site for last year’s articles on him.  2015 Projections:  12-9/2.88/1.06/198

16. Hisashi Iwakuma – People always compare Iwakuma to Darvish or Nomo or other Asians.  So, I guess CC Sabathia can only be compared to Fat Albert.  This might get a Braves fan to throw their laptop out the window, but you know who Iwakuma should be compared to?  Greg Maddux.  Only Maddux wasn’t as good when he was 33 years old.  Oops, yeah, I said it.  Last year, Iwakuma had a 7.7 K/9, 1.1 BB/9 and a 2.85 xFIP.  He’s simultaneously the safest number one starter you can get, and also the boringest.  Boringest isn’t bad just because it’s not in the dictionary.  Ain’t says, “Thank you!”  2015 Projections:  14-6/3.15/1.07/177

17. Cole Hamels – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the top 40 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball.  I call this tier, “Save your druthers for your mothers, these are (this is?) my druthers.”  I don’t know what druthers are; I don’t even know if they’re plural, but I like these guys.  As for Hamels, would you think less of me if I said I flipped a coin on whether I would draft Hamels this year?  What if Ellis Burks flipped the coin for me?  Okay, good to know how much I can get away with.  I don’t love Hamels’s age or team, but I’ll be a canary’s uncle’s nephew if he doesn’t continue to put up solid stats.  You can say you think Hamels will fall off this year, but you’re just going on gut, and, with what you put in your stomach, that’s not a good decision.  Please, don’t make me have Ellis flip the coin again.  He kept the last one!  2015 Projections:  12-10/2.97/1.15/192

18. Gerrit Cole – I don’t know if he’ll ever average 95+ MPH on his fastball, have a 9 K-rate and a 3.25 and under xFIP.  Oh, wait, he did all of those things last year.  Yeah, in the midst of getting injured last year, Cole had his breakout year and you didn’t even know it because he missed ten starts.  Wanna draft a guy that could jump up to the top 5 for 2016?  Cole will be that guy, and, at the end of this year, you’ll look back on it and it will be so obvious that you’ll be like, “How is Grey the only one that saw the obvious?”  All Cole needs to do is stay healthy in 2015 and he will break out– Sorry, I keep making the same mistake as you.  He will continue to break out.  2015 Projections:  15-8/3.20/1.18/198

19. Carlos Carrasco – I already went over my Carlos Carrasco fantasy.  I wrote it back in November and posted it in December and a funny thing happened on the way to posting it.  Carrasco’s perceived value went up without pitching in any games.  The only thing I’d change about my Carrasco sleeper post is removing the word sleeper.  Even in that post I say he seems overhyped already.  That’s not likely to subside in the next few months.  Whatevs!  I’ll draft Carrasco if he’s around in this draft slot, but if he’s not then SoBe* it.  *This blurb was brought to you by our good friends at PepsiCo, which is not related to CarrasCo, to my knowledge.  ‘To my knowledge’ is also the best way to assuage anything you ever say.  “You’re a total douche, to my knowledge.”  See, softens it.  Okay, I just typed 87,000 words and need to Calgon.  2015 Projections:  13-6/3.27/1.09/192

20. Alex Wood –  I wanted to move Wood into the top 20 starters post and give him his own tier named, “Wood,” but I was afraid of being arrested for moral turpitude.  I’m wicked!  And not wicked like it would be used by a Masshole, but wicked like Elphie.  I want Wood on every team.  Likely someone will get hurt in the top 20 during spring training and I’ll move guys up one and Wood will at long last make it to my top 20.  Shoot, I may just boost him into my top 10 because I have lots of love for Wood; please don’t take that out of context.  Not there’s anything wrong with that out of context.  Wood is a 9 K/9 starter with a low-2 BB/9.  That’s a number one starter.  Now way around it.  Last year, he had a 2.78 ERA in 171 2/3 IP.  That alone makes me wonder why I even have to go into depth why I like him.  He doesn’t throw very fast (90 MPH fastball), but he doesn’t throw his fastball very often.  His knuckle-curve is dominating and his swinging strike rate on that pitch was 15.3%.  To give you an idea, Kershaw’s curve produced a swinging strike rate of 16%.  My only real concern with Wood is twofold, he’s never pitched 200 IP in a year (171 2/3 IP last year was his high), and Fredi Gonzalez occasionally thinks the Braves best pitcher should be the long man in the bullpen.  Assuming Fredi doesn’t give me an aneurysm this year and Wood gets 30 starts, he will be a number one starter.  2015 Projections:  13-7/3.12/1.21/192

439 Comments
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Clint
Clint
7 years ago

I always love the rankings, Grey, but I often find myself wondering where your lines on pitchers are for keeper leagues? I’m in 2 leagues (1 h2h; 1 roto) from last year and have a few guys like Bum & Scherzer as well as a few more in the top 40 to choose from. Obviously hitters would come first but where’s your Mendoza Line to start considering some? After 5 keepers? 10?

Softie
Softie
7 years ago

Great writing once again Grey. Here’s a quick question: How much higher would you be on Hamels if he went somewhere like STL, BOS or SD? Think it would jump him up a few spots and gain him 3-5 wins?

Steve Frogs
Steve Frogs
7 years ago

I must say, Grey, I respect you and your rankings but leaving Alex Wood out of the top 20?

DROPPED

RobbyRobDu
RobbyRobDu
7 years ago

The blurbster is very Lesturbing.

Oppo Taco
Oppo Taco
7 years ago

Howdy, first post of the new season! this website helped me win my big money keeper league last season. major props grey! I have a team full of studs but can only keep 8 of these guys. who ya got?
c- yadi
1b – goldy
2b – wong
ss – hanram
3b – frazier
of – Jup, Joey Bats, Cutch,
util – Rizzo, Vmart
bench – soler, segura, gracia

sp – madbum, price, gerrit cole, cobb, iwakuma, alex wood, degromm,
rp chapman

Not sure who to keep besides Cutch, Goldy and rizzo. who ya got? 8 players total. thanks

james
james
7 years ago

dynasty league question… just got this offer and I am on the fence…

Taijan Walker, Jurikson profar and Sean Manea for Andrew Cashner, Hutchingson, M. Saunders, and Jose Berrios

Is this a good deal or not (thought this was a decent place to ask since 5 of the 7 guys in the trade are SP)

nick the dick
nick the dick
7 years ago

You were asked to do a top 10 favorite hip hop tracks above. Geez what a tough task, damn near impossible. Gotta be way as tough as baseball rankings. Ya know what I don’t like? How Beanie Sigel and Memphis Bleek re-did So Whatcha Sayin. You don’t mess with the classics!

Happy Vegans
Happy Vegans
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Thanks for the workout, Grey. I’m tooootally exhausted from reading the entiiiiire article and all of these comments.

Somebody needs to call the initial poster a wha-mbulance.

BTW, you fellers use some purty big words ’round here.

J-FOH
J-FOH
7 years ago

This is a football discussion we had but I wonder if it could/would be applied to baseball. The above council of brett provided me time to think about why…or why not? (I was deciding between a mounds or an almond joy) In football the biggest issue in the emergence of the IDP league or individual defensive players (thisis for the ignorant and grey) is assigning a value to a defensive player that reflects their relative value to an offensive player.

On twitter, myself and a few well known football guys discussed this and we came to the conclusion that a separate draft is the best way to iron it all out. Basically a draft of offensive players and a draft for defensive players. Yes two drafts. And an after thought is that it would make teams more balanced. Could this work in baseball, where you actually have a pitchers draft and a hitters draft?

The following crazy has been brought to you by my mother, making us nuts since ’71.

Fuzzy Dunlop
Fuzzy Dunlop
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: that certainly makes it easier, but i don’t know if it’s better.

RobbyRobDu
RobbyRobDu
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH:

It would definitely work, and probably add to parity…but it would take away from the oh so important overall draft strategy.

Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
7 years ago

RE: joyce not in top 100 OF yet is no worse than good side of a platoon currently, while listed as #2 in batting order. So i’m assuming you think there’s a good chance some of the guys you do have in top 100 OF, like presley/ruggiano/lake/coghlan, and are more likely to get at bats than joyce (at least eventually). I’m not saying Joyce is great by any stretch, but dude batting #2 against righties sure seems more likely to produce (maybe you think he’ll lose that spot/role of course)

Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: ok, so some of it is that these are ranked for standard sized leagues, and by this point the upside trumps the boring production of joyce. that makes sense. In 12 team leagues having Presley get demoted to minors (if you drafted him with a flyer ahead of Joyce) is less hurtful to one’s team than if in a 20 or more team league you drafted Presley ahead of Joyce.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
7 years ago

@Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: I t really deends on your league, if you have dee benches and can hold a platoon layer or two then sure why not, he is a matchups guy who we use a lot in DFS. Trying to figure out the batting order of the Angels in January is like trying to figure out why women want what they can’t have and criticize what they do have that treats them good….

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: you have an analogy for everything

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  nick the dick
7 years ago

@nick the dick: where is the zombie avi?

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: in the other post. Forgot to save it, could go back and hook it up

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  nick the dick
7 years ago

@nick the dick: I’ll Email you a copy

J-Man
J-Man
7 years ago

Well I can understand Darvish not being on the list with risk and all; it seems with Iwakuma and Carrasco you are just trading one risk for another. Especially Iwakuma, as a life long M’s fan, I can’t see him be more viable for more than 1 to 3 years, and this year might be it. His late season drop-off seems a huge red flag to me. Luckily the M’s staff has a bunch of talented young arms.

Ghost
Ghost
7 years ago

So how many spots will Polanco climb now? (I told you on your top 60 OF post that Snyder would get traded).
I hate to waste any pick in the first ten rounds on a pitcher. In today’s game pitching is everywhere. Ross is a Stud for sure.

Ghost
Ghost
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

I’m pulling my hair out, wanting to keep, Abreu, Arenado, Springer and you keep telling me to keep Gomez! 10 team 3 keepers Roto 5×5. Y am I not wanting Gomez? Is it Because I have hope Springer will be 30/30 for years?

Boomer19
Boomer19
7 years ago

One of the pools I am in is a weekly lineup league. Does it change the values of pitchers? Its a 14 team 5×5 roto league. Streaming isn’t an option. What round would you look at drafting your first pitcher? Thanks.

VinnyECB
VinnyECB
7 years ago

Hey RB Regs. I’ve been an avid reader the last couple years but don’t get around to comment. I couldn’t resist. I think people like Joe L should just be ignored since they don’t know (or want to comprehend) what they’re reading. It’s tough to read a Grey article since you’re on the floor half the time! You eventually get through it though. Thanks & keep up the great work.

Rackethat
Rackethat
7 years ago

Keep one: Mookie Betts, Marcell Ozuna, Jeff Samardzija, Alex Cobb, Devin Mesoraco

Already keeping Goldy, Carlos Gomez, Billy Hamilton.

Thanks!

Ghost
Ghost
Reply to  Rackethat
7 years ago

Why not keep Devin? Regression? Ozuna gonna Smash 35 bombs???

Fuzzy Dunlop
Fuzzy Dunlop
Reply to  Rackethat
7 years ago

@Rackethat: ozuna 49% GB rate last year, i’m betting if mookie was either guaranteed more playing time, or had more positive experience (not the kind gotten at burning man) it could be him, and if this was being asked next year it will be him.

Swinging Friar wears brown
Swinging Friar wears brown
7 years ago

First of all, I very much enjoy reading your articles and want to thank you for giving me a leg up in my leagues over the past 3 years since I stumbled onto your site. I’m Coming into the second year of my first keeper league. It’s 5×5 rotisserie (OBP) w/ 5 OF positions and CI/MI slots on top of standard IF. Get to keep 8 players every year. Keeper rules are draft price plus additional 3 dollars for each new year of control. Player who went undrafted and picked up through waivers over the course of the season are treated like they were drafted for 1 dollar. Scrambled together some short-sighted trades got lucky with a few waiver pick ups to finish 3rd in the leaugue last year, but I didn’t leave myself with too many controllable prospects. Trying to decide who stays on my team and would very much appreciate your insight. Thinking Yelich, Cueto, Fraizer, T. Ross, and Gordon for sure…

Cruz ($5), Yelich ($1), Cueto ($2), Tulo ($30), T. Ross ($1), Duda ($1), Gordon ($1), Kemp ($18), Fraizer ($1), Tanaka ($18), Posey ($17), C. Carter ($1)

Left out others on my team who defintely don’t fit the bill.

Q
Q
7 years ago

Thanks for the help above.

Follow up question:

I have the option of signing these guys to long term contracts.
All of these guys would be $10 for 1 year, $15 per year for 2 years, $20 per for 3 years, etc.

Any of these guys worth locking up beyond 2015? If so, how many years?

Desmond
Beltre
J Zimm

Any of these I want to adore long term?

Thanks

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
Reply to  Q
7 years ago

@Q: Nope

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Q
7 years ago

@Q: whats your budget?

Q
Q
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH: $270. It’s a shallow league, only 8 teams. 27 man rosters. 80 guys will be kept.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Q
7 years ago

@Q: then at that price I like Zimm and Desmond if Im reading it right.

Ryan
Ryan
7 years ago

The non-ranking of Darvish here is pretty odd. It’s based on injury? If you’ve discovered the ability to project pitcher injury time, I know about 30 professional baseball organizations that would love to hire you.

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Amen

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: He is so ending up In Jays bold prediction post.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: I need my own contrary to popular opinion post because I like to be contrary just for the sake of being contrary.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: damn I have more ideas than fingers

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Ryan
7 years ago

@Ryan: D7! (or 8, i’m turning into Gareth with his counting)

Derek
Derek
7 years ago

Keep 8 of the following 10 players (or leave out two), all entering year 2 of a 3 year contract. $260 auction, 5×5, 12 team head to head.

Devin Mesoraco ($1)
Kyle Seager ($4)
Kris Bryant ($1)
Charlie Blackmon ($5)
Joc Pederson ($3)
Gregory Polanco ($4)
Jorge Soler ($5)
Avisail Garcia ($1)
Alex Wood ($1)
Matt Harvey ($13)

I’m leaning towards leaving out Garcia and Harvey??

Derek
Derek
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey:

Thanks! Love this site btw… 2 catcher league, still axe Mesoraco?

This would leave with me 5 OF and no room to auction any more also… Still the way to go?

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

Times change. People change. Things change. Sometimes people ask for things like change.

I’m working on a theory. This from me, who you may remember from such films as “You All Need To Be Streaming in RCL or You’re Doing It Wrong.”

It’s time to draft elite pitchers. The dawn of a new era. You want them and you need them.

Here’s my thinking and this will be somewhat loose for the moment because I’m too lazy to do the full analytics (that’s not true…I’m not lazy. I’m at work. From my employer’s standpoint this is lazy. From where you’re sitting it’s rather industrious multi-tasking).

1. Elite pitchers tend to return something closer to their draft slot. Go back and just do a back of the envelope check of the rankings for the last year and note which guys were busts and which guys were close in value to their pre-season rank. You’ll find the top pitchers fare a lot better than hitters in avoiding washout seasons. See if you can dig up any of Mike Gianella’s old work on the subject. He had years and years of supporting data on his old blog before he moved to I think BP.

2. In times of scarcity, you need less. In times of abundance you need more. This is incredibly counter intuitive but I’m convinced it’s true. After the first round (don’t take a pitcher in the first round), the projections for hitters become very compressed. NFBC ADP says you’re looking at getting an elite starter somewhere starting around pick 25 and down to around pick 75 for the bottom of the tier 1 aces. The difference in the projections between hitters ranked at 25 and hitters ranked at say 150 and the pitchers ranked at 25 vs 150 is much smaller because there is a much smaller total stat pool to draw from on the hitting side because hitting is so scarce. Restated, the fewer the raw materials (sbs, hrs, rbis, etc.) the less margin there is between each hitter. Therefore you actually do better by striving for mean performance with depth than a little top tier offense mixed with scrubs. But on the other hand, while there is great depth at pitching, there is also a wider spectrum of performance. The performance probability ranged is elongated. And if you look at the numbers, there is a good gap between the projections of the elite starters and those in the tier below.

Keep in mind that I am talking about projections which means possibility ranges, which is one of the basic building blocks of draft ranking. Which brings me to the next point.

3. Streaming has become less desirable from a game theory perspective. This is going to be particularly true in RCL. All the competitive leagues will feature heavy streaming. This has boosted the value of the elite starters once more. The critical component of streaming in the RCL has never been the starters themselves. It’s always been leveraging the elite MRs to boost K’s and Ws while seriously lowering ratios within the parameters of the games started limit. When streamers were abundant, one could stream exclusively. But when streamers become scarce, all things being equal a higher percentage of starts from the top starters becomes an edge.

My strategy this year is going to be get an ace (Price or Scherzer) and a tier 2 ace (Cole or Cobb) and then pack the rest of the staff with Brandon McCarthyses. The talent pool on the offensive side seems skinny on each end and fat in the middle. Pitchers are skinny on the top and then consistent from middle to end. That’s just how I’m feeling it when I look at the distribution.

Course I could be wrong.

Course I could be wrong.

Rudy Gamble
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

I’ve been saying/doing for two straight years – Aces are undervalued, all 2nd-tier pitchers are close to worthless. I drafted 4 SPs/year in RCL. Last year, I drafted Wainwright (3rd), Verlander (4th), Hamels (8th-10th?), Miller (teens). Grabbed SPs on waivers throughout year for pickups/streams. It worked out okay (finished 3rd out of 1008)…and that was with picking Verlander over F-Her.

Year prior, I drafted Cliff Lee and F-Her which were a great duo that helped mask some bad luck/choices in streaming.

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Rudy Gamble
7 years ago

@Rudy Gamble:

Last year was the first year for me where the amount of streaming overcame the value in the streaming strategy for RCL. I still think you need to stream enough there, but I feel like where I used to want to hold somewhere between 7.5 and 8 daily line up spots for relievers, you might be able to get by with 6.5 now.

In the NFBC I think the marketplace is very efficient and the SP ADP for aces has moved up consistently. Of course it’s exaggerated there because it’s a weekly league with a 7 man bench. But I still feel like the scarcity/abundance analysis will hold when I get around to it as does the talent distribution curve idea.

Rudy Gamble
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

i was never a fan of massive streaming. i like to opportunistically use it throughout the year for maybe 25% of my starts.

the nfbc format (both weekly and 15-team) tend to boost up aces a bit. i’ve yet to go two aces in that format b/c of the need for hitting + closers

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Rudy Gamble
7 years ago

@Rudy Gamble:

I don’t think you need closers. Bob Particelli won the Auction overall last year drafting only Huston Street. He added McGee and Casilla but didn’t use all three with any consistency and finished with 51 saves. The no innings limit and the weekly line up changes greatly devalue RP in NFBC.

Rudy Gamble
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

I’m undecided on closer strategy in 15-team this year. Just hate spending tons of faab on speculative closers.

Wake Up
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

@GhostTownSteve: “Last year was the first year for me where the amount of streaming overcame the value in the streaming strategy for RCL”

If only someone would have emailed this to you in March of last year…

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Wake Up
7 years ago

@Wake Up:

you were ahead of the curve as usual

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

@GhostTownSteve: I love the boldness and I have a lot of observations from the competitive RCL world.

Sky
Sky
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

I honestly have a hard time agreeing here given that at least 25% of Grey’s top 20 were either drafted as SP3 or later or not drafted at all. Carlos Carraso/Jake Arrieta were basically top 10 pitchers from the moment they became starters last year, but the problem was they didn’t start until May or June. And let’s not forget Garrett Richards – who probably would’ve been a top 15 arm here had he not got hurt – was a top 20 arm in 2014. We could also include your second ace call in Cole Hamels as a counter argument: he finished as the 21st best pitcher behind Lance Lynn, Tanner Roark, Tyson Ross, Jake Arrieta, Phil Hughes and Garrett Richards. I think we both know where we drafted all those arms last year (if we had to draft them at all).

Sky
Sky
Reply to  Sky
7 years ago

Let me rephrase: I don’t agree with you about needing a top arm but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying to draft one later. Streaming can be tight, I won’t argue that. But I also can’t get behind the ‘need’ for an ace given the data tells us that our top 20 pitchers for 2015 aren’t all holdovers from those consider top arms from 2014. You can still build a great – and sometimes greater – staff without an ace.

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Sky
7 years ago

@Sky:

I would counter with you need not only a Kluber to compete, you need a Kluber and a King Felix. Because of the inflation in the stats the margins widen. The argument must also be taken as a whole. It’s: a. the compression of value ranges among hitters taken outside of the top 25 where you begin to draft aces, b. the relative reliability of those aces compared to their hitting counterparts and c. (and there is a c.) the inflation of the stats means that you need a great deal of pitching to compete (more than you are likely to accumulate by hitting on the right second tier aces). This presupposes a league where streaming is minimized due to depth or competition for streamers.

Go look at last year’s year end player rater: Kershaw, King, Wainright, Price, Baumgartner, Scherzer, Sale and perhaps Greinke all finished in the top 30.

Trout, Cabrera, McCutchen and Jones were the only consensus 1st rounders who finished in the top 30. Bautista, Stanton, Gomez and Upton were possible 1st rounders.

Only Cueto, Lester and Kluber were surprise top 30s with Lester and Cueto having excellent track records.

Meanwhile on the offensive side you had: Altuve, Brantley, Martinez, Abreu, Rendon, Frazier, Donaldson, Dozier and to a lesser extent Kinsler and maybe lesser still Desmond returning insane profit.

Sky
Sky
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

A few problems I have with your argument:

1) It’s very 2014-centric. Similar arguments were made about why you needed a top tier arm heading into 2014 and were disproven as well if you…

2) Are actually comparing apples to apples. Top 30 players and whether or not an arm was an impact arm are two different conversations. Top 20 pitchers still tells me what I’m arguing: I had at least six arms that didn’t even have to be drafted in the top 100 to finish the year in the top 20 of SP and some of them were FA pickups. This is important because…

3) Your argument regarding hitters makes me question which of those guys wasn’t drafted? Abreu was a top 100 guy. So was Altuve and Donaldson. Of the arms in the top 20, how many could’ve been had after round 10 or from the FA pool? We are looking at the same data but viewing through a vastly different lens.

In the end, I feel your argument stands in stark contrast to what Grey’s top 20 shows and would’ve shown/said about last year had you made a similar argument (as many others had). I think the supposed moat between the tiers at pitching is a lot murkier than you make it out to be (this is where we’ll always agree to disagree, methinks). To clarify, I don’t dislike your approach but I don’t think the stats and the players involved actually back that an upper-tier ace is needed this year any more than it would’ve been proven in years’ past. I think it’s a valid draft approach but to say it is needed based on the stats, I have major cause for concern since I don’t think the evidence supports it. But again, this is the fun part of the year where everyone is right. I’ll see if I can nail my Kluber of 2015 and we can rehash in September :)

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Sky
7 years ago

@Sky:

I think you missed the point. Of course top 30 overall is important because you don’t draft pitchers and hitter separately. At that early point in the draft you have to decide whether or not to take a pitcher or a hitter. See below for further explanation of why a top pitcher is likely to outperform the hitter you will take relative to their opposites taken later in the draft. The reason you need a top pitcher is because your competition who will have both Klubers and King Felixes will not be yielding equivalent ground in the hitting relative to draft slot.

You also missed the point on hitters vs pitchers, where top pitchers were more likely to perform according to draft slot where hitters were more likely to underperform relative to draft slot and more hitters in the top tier of overall fantasy value came from draft slots well below that final performance.

Sky
Sky
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

@GhostTownSteve:

In look at the top 30, 9 of the top 30 were OF. Does that mean that 3 of our first 5 picks should be OF? I said apples to apples because you’re pointing at a subset of pitchers from 2014 that were actually good all year while glossing over the ones that were good (some times just as good, sometimes better than) from a certain month on. Garrett Richards vs Stephen Strasburg by month: $15.3/$5.5, $0.5/$18.1, $35.1/$0.4, $30/$10.6, $11.1/$26.9. Richards season ended August 20th with a start that barely went 1+ innings. My point is, if we’re going by the data and drawing lines saying a top arm is needed, I’m saying the top 20 SP tells me there was more than one way to do this. Top 30 just tells me who stayed healthy and neglects the pitchers who were in the ace/sub-ace category last year who either got hurt (which is usually a sticking point about drafting pitching early) or underperformed. I do not think it’s a fair assessment of pitcher value had in 2014 nor should it be that aggressively applied to a 2015 draft strategy.

I think I’ll defer back to what Grey said up below with regards to your hitter/pitcher comparison in the second paragraph (Altuve/Scherzer, et al). I think he says it best.

And of course, as always: fantasy baseball convos in January are the best. Cuz you’re right and I’m right and Grey is right and…it’ll be fun to see how the hypothesis plays out.

Sky
Sky
Reply to  Sky
7 years ago

@Sky: To tie this all together, though, that maybe puts us in a similar ballpark, when I did my mock this off-season, Kluber fell to the 5th round. I would’ve gone all in there had he gone the couple of spots I needed. He went at 5.52, would’ve taken him at 5.55 without hesitation. But it wouldn’t have been because I thought I needed an ace that high in the draft: just that it was a value pick.

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Sky
7 years ago

@Sky:

Misses the point entirely. Probably my fault though. I’ll see if I can frame it up better.

Ray
Ray
Reply to  Sky
7 years ago

@Sky: for every Carrasco and Arrieta there is a Corey Dickerson, Charlie Blackmon, Dee Gordon who were either drafted late or not drafted last season. JD Martinez is another.
Aces like Kershaw and Felix are the Todd Helton’s and Barry Bonds from a decade ago. Elite fantasy talents.

Sky
Sky
Reply to  Ray
7 years ago

@Ray: But that’s not really his stance based on the language of his argument. His ace is possibly David Price. If that’s an ace, there are other arms that could go later with comparable numbers when the year ends.

Rudy Gamble
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

I finished 2nd in our league in 2013. Lost to you as you crushed me in first 3 rounds (you had best case scenario w/ your top 3, i had braun PED debacle w/ my 1st pick). i still finished top 10% or so in RCL.

Last year, Trout certainly was a key but Wainwright and Hamels were also huge factors. You’re irrevocably biased on this topic. You selected Jay Bruce and Ryan Zimmerman in 3rd/4th round last year when I picked Wainwright/Verlander. Sale and Bumgarner got taken right before Verlander (i had both ahead of him) and I was dumb not to take F-Her.

You’ve had success drafting first pitcher in 6th-8th round. It works for you. But while you drafted Cole/Teheran, I drafted Rizzo and Altuve :)

So I think this comes down to preference but both strategies work if you pick the right players (i’m 2nd/2nd/1st in our league the last 3 years)

Sky
Sky
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

New Grey/Rudy draft strategy code: ‘You Do You’.

Wake Up
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: This is also completely league dependent…
If you have 12 players all streaming obviously it’s going to be a lot harder.
If there are only 2 or 3 players that are really active (read the experts league) you’ll have your pick of steamers and don’t really need the ace.
Both strategies are completely dependent on the other 11 players, and how they are going to play/draft.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Trying to jump into this convo is like the jump rope game with four ropes and someone lobbing maltovs at you. I hear its big in Indonesia.

This discussions centers around the RCL/ESPN format. I want to ask a question I’m sure some Yahoo users would like to ask. For those that use the Yahoo default settings, they use innings limit as opposed to GS, and cant stream MR’s to balance their ratios out, what does this do to values of pitchers in term of where to draft? I know what my take on this is and wont post it because no one gives a crap what I think in January, but I’m sure would like to hear January Grey’s thoughts on the strategy.

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH:

The yahoo settings hurt MR value because of wins, but the top ones are still useful. But you can still use them, especially in deeper roster formats with IP limits.

As to the value of top tier starters versus waiting on starters, it doesn’t reframe the argument that much.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

@GhostTownSteve: I always used MR’s when I played, Broxton pre closer comes to mind. But I’m talking about the streaming of MR’s on the daily in the RCL’s. Its nucking futs

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  J-FOH
7 years ago

@J-FOH:

Yeah I never was a fan of streaming MRs even RCL. I think it’s much better to get a core group and hold them.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: by mid August I was jumping 2 to 3 days ahead

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey:

I think you need an ace but not a first or second round ace. I think the NFBC is valuing them correctly in the 25-50 ADP range.

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey:

It’s interesting because I used to be a very staunch wait on pitching guy. 60 overall was my starting line and often much later. But I really think there’s been a shift because of the lack of offense. It’s a compelling idea, don’t you think? The idea the offensive scarcity actually devalues the majority of offensive players relative to pitchers?

Wake Up
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: In the RCL you don’t really have to be good at streaming hitting. You need to draft HR and SB. Runs and RBI comes from just making sure that you have someone going everyday, quantity. And AVG, as you know doesn’t matter. Pitching, you need MRs going everyday for the same reason, quantity. There is no IP limit, you need to take advantage of that.

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey:

This is the thing you have to wrap your head around. You can and you will of course find deep pitching past the aces. But so will your competitors. And if they find as much deep pitching as you do, then their aces trump yours. You need a lot of pitching. There’s a huge inflation in Ks and downward pressure on ratios. I think the disconnect that will start to be a loop that closes is that in leagues where you could stream, folk either semi-punted and streamed or they drafted pitching and didn’t stream. But all things being equal, where players are drafting top starters and competing with you for the second tier aces and for the late gems and streaming, they are going to beat you. Now it used to be that because there were more hitting stats…there were guys hitting 60 homers and guys hitting 0 homers…there were larger gaps between hitter projected values from round to round. So your edge for waiting on pitching was getting more hitting. But the reality is that there really isn’t much difference between the hitters you draft in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and the ones you draft 10 rounds later. It’s not like it drops from 50 to 20 homers. It drops from 22 to 18. And when the margins are that thin, you really begin to look at depth and playing time as the determining margins at offensive positions rather than talent level.

Right now Scherzer’s ADP is 30 and Cano’s is 22. Neil Walker’s is 130 and Zach Britton’s is 128. But last year Scherzer produced 24 bucks and Britton 15.6, a gap of just over 8 dollars. Cano produced 19 and Walker 15.2, a gap of under 4 dollars. You see what I mean about compression? There’s just not as much distance between the values of the hitters because they all look very the same. There’s a lot of good pitching out there but even still the best pitchers are further ahead when you look at comparable because they are putting up ridiculous stats.

Wake Up
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: One more thing, then I’ll burn this soapbox cuz I’m cold. There’s a saying in Texas, I don’t know if they say it in Tennessee, regarding pitching is sooo deep. When the shoeshine boy gives you stock tips, it’s time to sell…

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey:

It’s totally irrelevant to what I’m saying.

jal179
jal179
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

@GhostTownSteve:

I’m beginning to see Ghostowns’ argument.

It’s preferabe to not lay an egg in the early rounds obviously, and taking a Price type in the 4th is a fair plan.

Your league mates are just as capable as scooping up the Arrietas

Wake Up
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
7 years ago

@GhostTownSteve: Streaming MRs is for GS limit.
Holding a core group is for IP limit.

Garrett
Garrett
7 years ago

Grey I love your raniings

I got offered Gerrit cole for Alex cobb

cole is $6 and cobb is $12 I guess by your rankings I should do this ?

Hawk
Hawk
Reply to  Garrett
7 years ago

@Garrett:

I’d take Cole and save $6

Schwab
Schwab
7 years ago

Hey Grey,
Keeper league questions. 8 teams H2H Points.
Would you trade Cargo for Tyson Ross?
Would you trade Hosmer/Paxton/Waino for Goldy?
Thanks.

Hawk
Hawk
Reply to  Schwab
7 years ago

@Schwab:

8 team league you want the best player in any deal.

I wouldn’t take Cargo at all (personal preference against perennial injury guys)
I’d definitely do that deal to get Goldschmidt

Matt
Matt
7 years ago

Is Soria a good trade target since Nathan sucks so bad and is at a good price. Lost Doolittle

Hawk
Hawk
Reply to  Matt
7 years ago

@Matt:

Soria is a “fine when healthy” pitcher. The question is do you trust his health?

I don’t.

Baezaworldseries
Baezaworldseries
Reply to  Matt
7 years ago

@Matt: Seems like I’ve read this every day this week. For real. All these guys are not worth keeping. A “closer” will appear out of thin air and will be better than all 3. Watch the WW for one.Use your keeper on someone else.

Hawk
Hawk
7 years ago

Love, love love these rankings. Especially seeing Carrasco so high up. Think of the looks you’ll get when you draft Carlos Carrasco ahead of Yu Darvish….and then win with it!

I’m in a 10 team, 5×5 keep forever league (no cost or rounds. We have to protect 12. Keeping 6 hitters (Rizzo, Encarnacion, Wong, Arenado, Stanton, Kemp).

Which 6 pitchers should I protect out of:

King Felix
Tanaka
Jake Arrieta
Yordano Ventura
Michael Wacha
Alex Wood
Carlos Carrasco
Colin McHugh

Or should I protect 5 pitchers and include Devin Mesoraco as a hitting protect?

Ryan
Ryan
Reply to  Hawk
7 years ago

@Hawk: Except that’d never happen because no group of 12 fantasy baseballers in the world would let Darvish fall that low. Trying to project pitcher injuries is very foolish.

ar
ar
7 years ago

I have a sort-of weird keeper league, where you can only keep players for one year. Also, it’s a weekly league, and you have to pay for transactions (each transaction is 2% of the league’s entry fee). So streaming pitchers is way less advantageous than in most other leagues. With that said:

I’m definitely keeping:
Arenado (15th)
Dickerson (24th)
Harvey (22nd)

and I have to choose between:
Jose Fernandez (20th)
Salazar (20th)
Hamels (8th)
Torii (14th)
Melancon (27th)

I’ve somehow convinced myself that it’s right to keep Melancon. But that seems so impossible. I’m starting to think Fernandez, but i’m just not buying he pitches more than 100 innings… and getting 45 saves from the 27th rd seems like incredible value?

Thanks man. Love your stuff.

Fungazi
Fungazi
7 years ago

Oh no Yu diínt!

Alan
Alan
7 years ago

Which five do you like for next year? 7×7 obp slg hold QS. They are our first five picks, no prices. 11 team yahoo league (so 10 offense spots and 1300 IP limit)

Freeman
Cano
J Upton
Chris Davis
Seager
Soler
Dickerson
Jose F
Arrieta
Lester

Thank you

Corey
Corey
7 years ago

Assuming equal playing time, who do you like between Betts and Yellich. The Betts hype train is out of control. As a sox fan, I drink the kool aid. As the owner of a fantasy baseball team, I am loathe to let rookies go through their growing pains on my roster. Which is why I lean towards Yellich.

Big Magoo
7 years ago

Drafting starting pitchers is always an interesting study in risk management. Based on the omissions of Darvish, Harvey, and Tanaka in this first set of rankings, I assume you’ve determined that the perceived risk of drafting those pitchers outweighs the potential rewards. While there’s no denying that there’s some risk involved with all of those players (particularly Tanaka), there are a few other pitchers who look to have some red flags in their profiles. One of these players for me is Tyson Ross.

In his write-up, you referenced Ross’ strikeout, walk, and swinging strike rates. All of them were well above the league averages, and have been over the past two years. This is mainly due to his approach of working outside of the strike zone and attempting to get batters to chase. The pitch that he does that with far more than any other is his slider. His SL% of 37.7% is the highest mark in MLB among all starting pitchers over the past two seasons, and his 41.2% mark last year led all other SPs by a 7.1% margin. He threw 1,284 sliders last season alone. 1,284. That’s a lot of stress on the elbow. Quite a bit of risk here.

Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Yeah, forgot about Waino. Probably because his profile is full of red flags too. I don’t consider him to be a glaring omission. Not really Tanaka either. His elbow is a ticking timebomb.

Darvish and Harvey are surprising though. While Ross is very good, I don’t consider him to be an elite option like those two, and a case can easily be made that he’s the riskiest of the bunch.

Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Why? He’ll be 18 months removed from TJS by the start of the regular season, and was as good as any pitcher outside of Kershaw in ’13. Should be fully recovered and ready to roll.

MattTruss
Editor
Reply to  Big Magoo
7 years ago

@Big Magoo: Rudy used to write a “risky pitchers” article way back when. He’d go over slider usage in that I believe. I think he stopped because the correlation really wasn’t there. It’s something I’ve always looked at too, but then you get a guy like Bumgarner who I avoided for a while because of slider use that just doesn’t seem to care.

I did notice though in researching that a few places have started labeling Bumgarner’s slider as a cutter. That could be why he’s shown no signs of breakdown. Still, he threw 1420ish sliders last season if you do call them that.

Wake Up
Reply to  MattTruss
7 years ago

@MattTruss: I’ve been here saying it was a cutter for years

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Wake Up
7 years ago

@Wake Up: I just cut one reading that

Big Magoo
Reply to  MattTruss
7 years ago

@MattTruss: Yeah, I remember the risky pitcher post that Rudy used to do. The results tend to be all over the place, but the slider is still generally considered to be the pitch that creates the most stress on a pitcher’s elbow.

I’ve seen that about Bumgarner too. He’s called it a cutter in the past, but it’s still classified as a slider in a lot of places.

MattTruss
Editor
7 years ago

Reading all 228 of these comments was literally exhausting. I may have to go read an Ayn Rand novel…

Piling on Braves fans Grey. You know they have no laptops left to toss out windows since they all got broken over their knee when they saw the 2015 projected lineup card…ugh.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  MattTruss
7 years ago

@MattTruss: wait till it’s up to 1100.

Homerj24
Homerj24
7 years ago

5×5 Roto (OBP instead of Runs)
12-team
23 player rosters
$260

Move MadBum $27 for Donaldson $20?

NCPhilly
NCPhilly
7 years ago

In ranking Tyson Ross higher than others have or likely will, I like to think that you are just making up for forgetting him last offseason.

Wake Up
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: I see Sky’s otiboner from here…

Cram It
Cram It
Reply to  Wake Up
7 years ago

@Wake Up: haha

Warren
Warren
7 years ago

Grey, pumped it’s razzball season again. My first click when I get to work (gotta stick it to the Man somehow)

Keeper deadline approaches in my league. $1000 budget, 6 keepers. H2H

Definitely keeping these dudes:

$70 Goldy (drafted him a few seasons ago at a major bargain thanks to you)
$19 Abreu (the steal of my draft last year)
$129 McCutchen (too safe, too good)
$67 Gomez (makes me nervous, but too good of a price)

Out of these remaining guys, which 2 should I keep?

$104 Puig – decent price, but his streakiness is annoying.
$46 Arenado – Love him, but I think I could get him for the same price/cheaper in the draft
$16 Cueto – great price for a steady ace, can really wait on pitching with him anchoring staff
$10 Sandoval – good price for Panda who I like in Fenway

MB
MB
7 years ago

Well I was going to ask you arrieta or lester but now I dont have to. Thanks!

Q
Q
7 years ago

Hoping for some keeper advice if you’d be so kind. Shallow Weekly Points league where we only start 3 OF, no CI or MI, and 5 starters a week. Counting stats are good, steals are worthless, batter Ks are bad. Pitching basically the same, but no daily streaming.

I can keep 10, so pick 4 of these guys to let go. Thanks

Jose Abreu $20
Big Papi $16
Lester $16
Kinsler $10
Desmond $10
Beltre $10
Greinke $10
Jordan Zimmermann $10
Dickerson $3
Alex Wood $3
Arrieta $3
Polanco $1
Avisail $1
Gausman $0 (but takes a spot)

Cram It
Cram It
7 years ago

Grey do you do auction drafts at all? From above, you only spend $160 on offense generally? ($260 budget). Rudy’s auction draft values seem off. Wondering if you’ve looked them over.

Cram It
Cram It
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Right on. I think next year you should put your auction value cost with each ranked player. I feel like you’d pay more than $10 for Cobb or $8 for Ross, based on your rankings. Rudy said the values are based on Razzball stat predictions, but those dollars don’t seem to align.

Cram It
Cram It
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: But I don’t care about everyone, Grey. Really I just want to know if I can conference call you in during my draft. I’ll feed you whiskey!

Rudy Gamble
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

i set pre-season auction values for ESPN and Yahoo at 67/33 ($174/$86). this is the best fit I’ve found with standard auctions.

if you go with no skew towards hitters, then your hitter $ are always low and your pitcher $ always look high.

this way, it’s clearest to determine the best values vs what the market will typically pay for hitters/pitchers.

of course, they’ll be certain hitters/pitchers that my values are markedly divergent. those are the guys that hopefully net big returns (like my 2014 crush Corey Dickerson).

Cram It
Cram It
Reply to  Rudy Gamble
7 years ago

@Rudy Gamble: I guess your values are based on your 67/33 algorithm on a $250 budget? I hover around $190/$70 in my leagues, so maybe it’s throwing me off on what I think their perceived values will be. Maybe I’ll just wait for closer to season to understand because I stink at applied math.

Rudy Gamble
Reply to  Cram It
7 years ago

$260 budget ($174/$86). You can adjust to your 190/70 by multiplying all hitters by 190/174 and all pitchers by 86/70.

Joe
Joe
7 years ago

Hey Grey,

If you were drafting, rankings notwithstanding, would you go for a Carrasco or a Cobb over Iwakuma out of concern for his age? Every year since the post-HGH era I worry more about drafting starters in their 30s, even those with a track record.

Cram It
Cram It
7 years ago

You know what’s fun…looking at your fantasy baseball teams from 10 years ago and the players you drafted. Rocco Baldelli in the 5th round. Yes please!

Tracy
Tracy
7 years ago

Thanks for gearing things up with your preseason articles! It’s been a long off-season. I have been waiting for your article on SP and where to draft. The question I have is where to slot SP’s in a keeper league?
I am in the 4th year of a 10 team keeper league, 5X5 H2H using OBP, QS and this year saves+holds. We keep between 7-12 players this year. For the first two years, using mid-level pitchers and streamers worked well. Last year, the rest of the league caught up and started filling their bench spots with SP and streaming, so the open pitching supply is not as great as in most leagues.
My first nine are relatively easy: A Jones, Bautista, Cano, E5, Rizzo, B Hamilton along with Felix, Cueto and Kimbrel. I would like to go up to 10-12, with more hitters as I already have 2 SP, but the following are my options for any remaining slots: C Davis, M Betts, Iwakuma, G Gonzalez, J Shields, Melancon and C Lee. Right now I am leaning toward C Davis and Iwakuma [trade bait] and would appreciate your thoughts.
As always, thanks in advance.

Tracy
Tracy
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Glad to hear that you are that high on Betts. Thanks for the advice.

the tone ranger
the tone ranger
7 years ago

hey grey, does the travis snider trade clear a full time spot for polanco now? if so, does that bump your projection up any?
thanks.

Thirsty fo' Ayahuasca
Thirsty fo' Ayahuasca
7 years ago

Always enjoy reading post and comments on here – good job, fellas.

Please rank for keeper league:

Bryant, Springer, Pederson, Braun, Cespedes, Bruce, Sano, Syndergaard

Thirsty fo' Ayahuasca
Thirsty fo' Ayahuasca
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey:

Thank you – Sano vs Syndergaard

Wake Up
Reply to  Thirsty fo' Ayahuasca
7 years ago

@Thirsty fo’ Ayahuasca: nice handle…

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
Reply to  Wake Up
7 years ago

@Wake Up: Thats what she said

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Wake Up
7 years ago

@Wake Up: ;)

OldMilwaukeePounders
OldMilwaukeePounders
7 years ago

Grey, what a dope Keith Murray reference. You sir truly are the number one chief rocka. Could you rank your top 10 classic hip-hop tracks?

OldMilwaukeePounders
OldMilwaukeePounders
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Solid statement right there. What are your thoughts on Audio Two – Top Billin and Schooly D – Gucci Time? They have both been creeping up my list recently.

the swinging
the swinging
7 years ago

Grey why u so bearish on Yu? He’s a monster fantasy stud muffin and a bag of chips. His innings 3 years as a pro are 191, 209, and 144 respectively. Reports are good, arrow up.

the swinging
the swinging
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey:

Huh there are guys on your top 20 with less innings than that last season.

Did you just forget about ranking darvish?

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  the swinging
7 years ago

@the swinging: even if he did the 5 questions in the last 6 hours about darvish would’ve made him remember.

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
7 years ago

love the stuff Grey.

question – my first year in 12 team, 3o-man roster roto keeper league. my keepers suck. would you trade my 1st round pick (9th) for 3 years of Arenado in the 28th round?

It seriously has me thinking

Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma
7 years ago

All things equal, in a Roto league (OBP), please rank

D.Gordon
J.Zimmermann
G.Cole
D.Mesoraco
R.Odor

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
7 years ago

Outside..3 feet of snow….in here…sunny and warm…except for that first post…but like you said…hes the first one here in the am…I bet hes growing a mustache

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: yeah some spots on the island got more than others…..from town to town it was all over the place

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Yes…with 1 F

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey: Yeah …5 minutes from my house got about ten inches less…crazy

JeF With 1 F
JeF With 1 F
Reply to  Grey
7 years ago

@Grey:yeah I heard the Bronx only got like 8 inches…so it was all over the map