2014 Fantasy Baseball: Total Run Index, Starting Pitchers 31-40
There are probably close to 100 starting pitchers that will be used by fantasy players this year and some will emerge as fantasy stars (at least for the 2014 season), but we will be stopping our focus on the top 40 guys. One thing to keep in mind about the index is that it is designed to pick out the best candidates over time.
That means that there are some guys that were among the top 40 in 2013 and some young players that could potentially get there, but the index has always been about the long haul. TRI is a tool that is designed to help on draft day. A smart fantasy player wins their league by taking advantage of the waiver wire just as much as they win on draft day.
31. Matt Cain— San Francisco Giants
3 Year: 14.7
5 Year: 18.9
Keep in mind that the index uses some complex weights to take out the effects of extreme ballpark environments. If you look at Cain’s numbers last season he certainly looks better than average. However, if you look season by season you see a definite downward trend, so I would wait awhile on him.
32. Hyun-Jin Ryu— Los Angeles Dodgers
3 Year: N/A
5 Year: N/A
Supposedly, the Dodgers are going all in again for Tanaka. That would give them the unquestioned best staff in the National League. Ryu was their international prize last year and he performed very well. He is not a dominant pitcher, but with a strong offense and team behind him he can put up some really good numbers.
33. Derek Holland— Texas Rangers
3 Year: 14.4
5 Year: 7.0
Yes, if you have been following the news you know that Derek Holland is out for half of the season with a knee injury. I still feel comfortable keeping him here based on the strength of his 2013 season. Cut that in half and he is still a top 40 starting pitcher. He may not be good enough to draft, but I would keep him on my watch list to pick up around the all-star break.
34. Hisashi Iwakuma— Seattle Mariners
3 Year: 13.2
5 Year: N/A
If you are tempted to draft him higher, keep a few things in mind. First, he is 32, so while he may be inexperienced at the big league level, there are some miles on that arm. He was 8-5 over the past few months in spite of some solid numbers. It remains to be seen whether he will enjoy any additional run support.
35. Mark Buerhle— Toronto Blue Jays
3 Year: 13.1
5 Year: 17.2
You could make an argument that Mark Buerhle has been the most consistent pitcher in baseball in this generation. He has 13 consecutive season with 200 or more innings. Walter Johnson and Cy Young would scoff at such praise, but in the era of middle relievers it is a quite a feat. He will reach 200 victories if he gets to 14 wins this season. He has been slipping a little each season, but anything is possible and he will give you decent numbers by sheer volume.
36. Stephen Strasburg— Washington Nationals
3 Year: 12.4
5 Year: N/A
In most respects, Strasburg is better than this and I’m sure he will be drafted much higher than this. Yet, since making his debut in 2010, he has not pitched more than 183 innings, won more than 15 games, or struck out more than 197 hitters. No one is denying his talent, but in a game of production it is fair to question him.
37. Edwin Jackson— Chicago Cubs
3 Year: 7.2
5 Year: 12.4
Jackson has pitched 161 innings or more every year since 2007, but he has pitched for seven different teams in that time. I might call him the anti-Stephen Strasburg. He is a guy that is considerably better than the overwhelming thoughts about him. A .327 BABIP last year hurt a lot in the grand scheme of things. Add durability to an ERA that hovers around the league average and you get a decent bottom the rotation starter.
38. Kyle Lohse— Milwaukee Brewers
3 Year: 12.4
5 Year: 3.4
Lohse could become one of the poster children used to change the free agency rules in the next CBA. The Cardinals tendered him the new arbitration offer and he declined. Lohse waited, waited, and waited until Spring Training to sign with the Brewers. Couple that with Ryan Braun’s mess and it’s easy to see why things went awry. Still, Lohse quietly put up a decent season and should see some peripheral improvement given the above.
39. Jake Peavy— Boston Red Sox
3 Year: 15.2
5 Year: 11.8
A wise man once said that youth is wasted on the young. I don’t know if we would say that about Peavy, but he definitely wasn’t lucky enough to benefit from his own brilliance. Now, he is on a really good team, but he doesn’t have the talent he once did. He still should be good enough to put up some good numbers in Boston, but if he were just five years younger.
40. Ian Kennedy— San Diego Padres
3 Year: 10.3
5 Year: 7.2
Kennedy is likely somewhere between the pitcher that sported a 7-10 record with a 4.91 ERA last season and the one that won more than 20 games in 2011. He had a 4.24 ERA after his trade to San Diego, so that might not be a bad target.