2014 Fantasy BaseballFantasy BaseballTotal Run Index

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Total Run Index – ADP vs. TRI Starting Pitchers 41-60

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Source: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images North America

We reach the end of the line in terms of the starting pitchers we will officially rank, but you will see far more than 60 used in your league. Even ten team leagues will probably see closer to 100 starting pitchers used than 60. Judging by the ADP, in a league with 300 draft choices we will see somewhere between 70 and 80 starting pitchers actually drafted. Five starters in a 12 team league is the standard starting lineup, but many players fill their fantasy bench with starting pitchers they can sub in on the days when they start.

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You can do the math as easily as I can. With 30 teams in the league, that equals 150 starting pitchers at any one time. So, many fantasy players compete through volume rather than quality. When you consider that half of the fantasy categories are volume numbers it makes considerable sense. Picking two or three pitchers from this final list would go a long way to making the quality and volume plan work; if you pick the right guys.

POS

ADP

Index

Jeff Samardzija

41

176.30

+7.3

C.J. Wilson

42

181.70

+19.4

Johnny Cueto

43

189.49

+10.6

Clay Buchholz

44

193.95

+9.0

Justin Masterson

45

200.88

+15.0

CC Sabathia

46

214.26

+25.9

Neftali Feliz

47

214.88

-0.9

Zack Wheeler

48

215.33

-1.6

R.A. Dickey

49

220.05

+15.3

Taijuan Walker

50

220.91

+2.0

Marco Estrada

51

223.77

+3.1

Lance Lynn

52

224.21

+9.5

Chris Archer

53

228.63

-1.8

A.J. Griffin

54

229.40

+3.2

Ubaldo Jimenez

55

240.88

+21.2

Brandon Beachy

56

241.49

+0.9

Chris Tillman

57

247.47

+4.0

Tim Lincecum

58

249.30

+16.9

Hiroki Kuroda

59

250.95

+19.7

Matt Garza

60

258.14

+10.5

TRI Potential Bargains

CC Sabathia— New York Yankees

Winning in fantasy baseball is a lot about managing risk. No one wins their fantasy league unless they come up with a few diamonds in the rough. Sabathia has the look of a guy that is no longer an elite pitcher. That is based on only one bad season. That “bad” season saw him go 14-13 with a 4.76 ERA. Yet, we dig deeper and we see that his xFIP was a full run lower. In other words, he gave up a few more home runs than expected and stranded the lowest percentage of runners in his career. Add it all up and we have a guy that should produce a sub 4.00 ERA again.

That doesn’t make him an elite pitcher, but when you couple playing on a good team along with his durability (seven consecutive seasons with 200 or more innings) you get someone that probably should go between 21-40 in the starting pitching universe. So, if you roll the dice and get him around the 15th or 16th round you might get yourself another very good starting pitcher for your fantasy team.

Ubaldo Jimenez— Free Agent

This is another one of those rolling the dice kind of situations. Take away his 2012 season and he has been a very good pitcher. He has 3.0 or more WAR in every season (except 2012) since 2008. That doesn’t happen often with pitchers in the bottom tier of the fantasy game. If he lasts until close to the 20th round he will be quite a bargain. He hasn’t signed with anyone as of this writing, but with teams ready to report to Spring Training I would expect him to sign with someone soon.

Depending on where he signs, he could see an increase in wins and an improvement in the other categories. The key with Jimenez is always his control. Last season, he walked 3.94 hitters per nine innings and that was around average for his career. He would be an elite pitcher if he could just get down to three walks per nine innings. As it stands, he is a virtual lock to strike out more than 200 hitters and that deserves better than a 20th round selection.

TRI Overdrafts

Neftali Feliz— Texas Rangers

Feliz does have a couple of things going for him. First, he is pitching on a really good team that has a good offense, strong bullpen, and solid defense. He does have a ton of talent, but he has never completed a season as a starting pitcher. The Rangers are moving him to the rotation because of a slew of injuries. If the Rangers are trying to cover for injuries, I would think that they would go with someone that can go longer than seven starts without getting injured. Furthermore, considering that Joe Nathan left he would be a decent candidate to close for them.

Brandon Beachy— Atlanta Braves

He has one season with more than 100 innings and that happened back in 2011. I would think Beachy would be the perfect waiver wire candidate. He had a nice season back in 2011, but that was three years ago. Maybe he will come back healthy this year, but the odds are long on that. Yes, winning fantasy baseball is about taking chances, but there is taking chances and then there is the 100-1 odd.

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