Hard to believe that we are already a third of the way through the season. It means that continuing to say that â€œitâ€™s earlyâ€ is not going to be allowed much longer. While we can see spots where there are buy-low or sell-high opportunities, some pitchers simply are what they are. The model has been re-run with new data from the last two weeks and there is certainly a fair amount that has changed both inside and outside the top of the leader board.
No tweaks to the formula based on the results. While I have a little trouble with the fact that Gio Gonzalez is sitting at number one, when you look at his overall portfolio it makes sense as to why. That is why we take the names out of the equation. Stats are stats and they can surprise. Some of the names you will see below certainly do just that.
As always, numbers referenced are through games on Monday (June 4th). Want to debate? Have questions? Follow me (and the rest of the FantasyPros staff) on Twitter (@CWHager).
- The lack of wins is killing Justin Verlander. Sure, wins are hard to control for, but we do need to factor them in as one of the key categories for a starting pitcher. Even looking at wins as a nominal weight, his other numbers though spectacular are not better than many of his elite counterparts. Verlander is far more likely to continue this long-term, but Matt Cain and Cole Hamels will give him a run for his money at the top of the leader board through the end of the year.
- Five closers are inside the top-50. It continues to show the values that starters have in head-to-head formats. The impact of 30-plus innings for starters on a weekly basis against six innings is substantial. The elite relievers of this year like Fernando Rodney and Craig Kimbrel make sense to see inside the top-30. Jim Johnson (whose first blown save on Tuesday is not in these numbers) is at 41. Though three categories (saves, WHIP, ERA) are strong, his strikeout totals for a closer are lacking.
- Hard to believe that Cliff Lee is sitting at number 45 right now. Lee has shown strong numbers in WHIP, ERA, and strikeouts since returning from the DL. His lack of any wins keeps him buried in terms of incremental value. My feeling is that he is worth taking a shot with an owner to buy-low here and ride him out in the second half.
- Proving that wins are not everything, Yu Darvish is sitting at 32 overall. Darvish has struggled with his WHIP, posting a 1.46 number through the first third of the season. Additionally, the Texas starter has an ERA a half to a full run worse than many of the top-20 pitchers. Darvish is going to get wins with the lineup hitting behind him, but these two categories weigh him down from becoming elite.
- Some interesting names inside the top-50: Brandon Beachy (11, check out his WHIP and ERA), Jason Vargas (20), Carlos Zambrano (31, ahead of Tommy Hanson), Ryan Vogelsong (36), Dillon Gee (44), Aaron Harang (50).
- Players sitting just outside the top-50: Phil Hughes (55, on his way up), Ryan Dempster (56, another pitcher killed by lack of wins), Wade Miley (63, lack of strikeouts), Erik Bedard (67, health is still a scare), Brian Matusz (80, buy low now), Jaime Garcia (88, buried right now).
Here we go with the rest of the Top 50: