Daily Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Analysis April 15 2012
Posted on Apr 15th, 2012 07:26 AM
Starting Pitcher Analysis April 15 2012

I heard a funny story while watching the Oakland game that I thought I’d share. Jemile Weeks is at the plate with the bases empty and the announcer states, “Bases clear for Weeks.” Yep, that sounds like the Oakland offense. Sunday’s an interesting day with a lot of young pitchers taking the mound for their teams. Almost every matchup has at least one pitcher worth watching, if not all for the right reasons.

For a detailed introduction to some of the stats we’ll be using in the DFB SPA each day, click here. Color shading on the chart is an attempt to help give those who are less familiar with batted ball rates or rate stats in general a better grasp on them by illustrating what constitutes strong or weak performances in each area. Remember to check updated wind conditions and weather reports throughout the day.

Players are sorted alphabetically by their first name in the chart and all stats are since the beginning of the 2011 season, which include any games pitched in 2012 so far. Stats to the right of the label are for that split, while those to the left are overall rates.

Park Factors, courtesy of parkfactors.com, are posted for Runs, without regard to HR’s because most DFS sites do not penalize for Home Runs allowed above the Run scored penalty.


Baltimore @ Toronto 1:07 ET

B.Matusz: He showed some promise this spring, but same old Matusz after one particularly disastrous start? It was the Yankees, so you might be tempted to let that one go…..but it was REALLY ugly. I'd bench him against Toronto, but he might be worth keeping an eye on for next time.

K.Drabek: The talent’s always been there and while he was surprisingly effective against the Sawx, SIERA (4.87) didn’t like it as much as ERA (1.69). That was likely due to the 1.33 K/BB ratio. The risk may be worth the reward at these low prices though, just in case he has turned a corner. We’re looking for potential at the bottom of the board. This makes 3 Toronto pitchers in a row from this column this weekend. One’s gotta hit, no? Sleeper Alert

Tampa Bay @ Boston 1:35 ET

M.Moore: Watch it. Don’t play it. Thought he’d be under-priced for a while, but apparently hype plays into DFB pricing models just as much as statistics. Can’t imagine what he’ll command once he starts facing non-elite offenses.

F.Doubront: Middle of the board, huh? Who are you and what have you done besides walk 11 in 15 innings in 15.1 major league innings since the start of the 2011 season?

Cleveland @ Kansas City 2:10 ET

U.Jimenez: Oh God no! Nothing’s changed, at least not positively.

L.Mendoza: He’s priced so low on some sites that it would be hard for him to hurt you too much, but his Oakland start was hardly impressive despite the results. He takes a slight step up in class here too.

Detroit @ Chicago (AL) 2:10 ET

R.Porcello: His worm burning ways will help him in this ballpark and he was solid his first time out. Porcello still doesn’t compensate for his inconsistency with enough K’s, so the risk often isn’t worth the potential reward. However, there are some lesser options above him on some sites, so although I’ll probably regret this by dinner time, I think he’s worth a shot if you find him hanging around your bottom third. Good Value

C.Sale: I’ve been learning recently that DFB pricing models don’t seem to understand that certain regressions are expected when a pitcher moves from the pen to the rotation. (If not, why wouldn’t everyone start their closers?) They seem to think that K rates translate smoothly and over-price these arms. This is the case with Sale, who was very good his first time out, but steps way up in class here, yet sits in the top 25% of most boards on Sunday.

Texas @ Minnesota 2:10 ET

N.Feliz: The results were fantastic, but the performance was merely ok in his 1st start. He didn’t miss many bats and may have been slightly fortunate to keep all the balls hit in the air inside that park in Texas. He has a much better park for his fly ball tendencies here, but we have a similar issue to Chris Sale above. Pricing is based on his bullpen stats which and it’s much too high.

L.Hendriks: He may be Minnesota’s top prospect and is all over the board on Sunday. The Texas lineup is always scary no matter where they play, so it’s tough to chance unless you play somewhere where you can find him at replacement pricing and really need a cheap arm to fill that last slot.

Oakland @ Seattle 4:10 ET

G.Godfrey: He has struck out only 14 of the 136 major league batters he’s faced and has failed to go deep in his most of his starts. It may be Seattle, but what does that leave you with?

B.Beavan: The same as above with a larger sample size of 45 K’s of 431 major league batters faced, except that he’s been able to pass the 6 inning mark with some consistency. That’s at least worth something and at similar prices he’d be the one I’d chose if forced to.

Los Angeles (AL) @ New York (AL) 8:05 ET

J.Williams: Good luck.

I.Nova: If he’s going to start striking out people and stop walking him, it would be a game changer. It was also Baltimore so let’s not over-react just yet.


Houston @ Miami 1:10 ET

J.Happ: Walks, which have been his main nemesis, were down in his 1st start. This is almost a good enough spot to take a shot, but the price is just a bit too high in most places and the Marlins are a bit too right handed (4.66 xFIP career vs RHB).

A.Sanchez: Here’s a pitcher with an elite strikeout rate and no red flags, facing what is predicted to be one of the worst offenses in the league, in a favorable park, yet with a fairly reasonable price tag. He’s safer and has a better track record than anyone else in his range. Top Value

Cincinnati @ Washington 1:35 ET

M.Leake: He’s a decent middle of the pack pitcher with a decent middle of the pack price tag.

R.Detwiler: Pass.

Milwaukee @ Atlanta 1:35 ET

C.Narveson: Given his apparent skill level, he seems more or less accurately priced in this situation. Taking a shot with him isn’t unreasonable if you find him in the bottom 25% on your site though.

B.Beachy: He came out of nowhere last season and as I said in his last start, he’s going to have to prove he wasn’t just a one hit wonder this year. That outing did him no favors and it would be difficult to endorse him at elite or nearly elite prices without at least a couple of good starts under his belt in 2012.

New York (NL) @ Philadelphia 1:35 ET

M.Pelfrey: Mike Pelfrey in road starts against division opponents during the day is an absolute disaster.

C.Hamels: He struck out 9 and walked none in his 1st start, but he only lasted 5.1 innings as he got smacked at a healthy 45.5 LD%. For some reason, the Mets seem to have had his number ever since he made his famous “choke” statement a few years back. You shouldn’t shy away from him in draft leagues, but may want to think a bit about paying his elite price.

Chicago (NL) @ St Louis 2:15 ET

P.Maholm: No thank you.

J.Westbrook: There are both safer guys and pitchers with more upside in his price range.

Arizona @ Colorado 3:10 ET

T.Cahill: You’re looking for a few things in a pitcher taking the mound in Colorado on any given day. Strong ground ball rate? Yes! Misses bats? Eh. If the answers to the first 2 questions aren’t a resounding YES, then the 3rd question is: Bargain price? Not really.

D.Pomeranz: The key piece in the Ubaldo trade makes his 2012 debut. His price tag seems to reflect hype and minor league numbers more than a rookie pitcher with 18 major league innings under his belt in an unkind spot.

Pittsburgh @ San Francisco 4:05 ET

K.Correia: He offers little upside beyond the park he’s pitching in on Sunday. He may not be the worst choice in his price range, but there are more compelling.

R.Vogelsong: There are a lot of questions here, concerning both his physical health and the validity of his 2011 performance, but the Pirate offense has been terrible this year and his price isn’t.

San Diego @ Los Angeles (NL) 4:10 ET

E.Volquez: Volquez has pitched the most 2012 innings (12) of any starter on Sunday. His walk rates are still atrocious so far, but he’s struck out 15 of the 50 batters he’s faced. Prices seem just about right for someone with that high a ceiling for the risk involved, but we can almost be confident enough that the K’s are going to be there that taking a shot is justifiable despite what other disasters may come. You can’t call someone on the top third of the board a sleeper though and he’s too risky to be called a good value.

C.Kershaw: You, sir, are what poker players might refer to as The Nuts. Kershaw’s tag would have to exceed 20% of your allowable salary cap to even consider that he might be accurately priced. He’s the only pitcher with green in every eligible spot in the chart above and well worth sacrificing a bat or two. Only the flu seems to be able to hold him down. Top Value

*Top Values for Sunday: Anibal Sanchez, Clayton Kershaw

Good Values: Rick Porcello (price conditional)

Sleeper Alert: Kyle Drabek

Top Draft Targets: Kershaw, Sanchez, Cole Hamels,

*Players are priced differently across sites. A top value on one site may not be so on another. All values are a consensus generalization.

Sunday offers a solid stable of starting pitchers for your Daily Fantasy Baseball rotation, with at least one SP in each category and not enough to overwhelm.

Matt Trollo reUP Sports Profile