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2011 Fantasy Baseball, THE RUBBER Week 11: Top 50 Pitcher Rankings

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Sometimes a bad start makes me feel better about a starter going forward than a good start does. Which seems pretty counter-intuitive, right? But what happens during those bad starts is the Regression Monster (copyright: @sporer) comes along and sets a pitcher back to even, and back to what he really is.

Let me give you an example. Alexi Ogando currently has a 2.10 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, but those gaudily impressive numbers are aided by a substantial amount of luck. All things being equal, Alexi Ogando is really a pitcher capable of posting something like a 3.50 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.  Good numbers to be sure, numbers that would definitely make him a top 50 pitcher in my book.

However, to get to the point where Ogando is a 3.50 ERA pitcher, there is going to have to be a period of time where he is much worse than that. Sooner or later the Regression Monster is going to come along and chew up that ERA-FIP differential (2.10-3.57) as well as the 90 or so BABIP points between Ogando’s current BABIP and the mean. And if you think the Regression Monster is not having at least 10% of Ogando’s strand rate for dessert, think again, my friend.  Strand rate is the crème brulee of Ristorante de Sabermetrics.

So, after all that regression happens, whenever that ERA and FIP start to match up, then I will be a fan of Alexi Ogando. Because Ogando is a good pitcher, he just isn’t this good of a pitcher.

It just seems weird to say that I need to see him fail before I will believe he can succeed.

Housekeeping: No “good” and “bad” profiles this week as I am rushing this in a day or two early before a long vacation. No Rubber at all next week either. But I’ll be back in two weeks with a new Rubber and a string of position articles ranking hitters the rest of the way. 

The Top 50

1. Roy Halladay | Philadelphia Phillies | 100% owned | Last week:  1
2. 
Tim Lincecum | San Francisco Giants | 100% owned | Last week:  2
3. 
Cliff Lee | Philadelphia Phillies | 100% owned | Last week:  3
4. 
Jered Weaver | Los Angeles Angels | 100% owned | Last week:  5
5. 
Cole Hamels | Philadelphia Phillies | 100% owned | Last week:  6
6. 
Felix Hernandez | Seattle Mariners | 100% owned | Last week:  4
7. 
Dan Haren | Los Angeles Angels | 100% owned | Last week:  7
8. 
Justin Verlander | Detroit Tigers | 100% owned | Last week: 8
9. 
Clayton Kershaw | Los Angeles Dodgers | 100% owned | Last week:  9
10. 
David Price | Tampa Bay Rays | 100% owned | Last week:  12
11. 
CC Sabathia | New York Yankees | 100% owned | Last week:  10
12. 
Shaun Marcum | Milwaukee Brewers | 100% owned | Last week:  11
13. 
Zack Greinke | Milwaukee Brewers | 100% owned | Last week:  13
14. 
Jaime Garcia | St. Louis Cardinals | 100% owned | Last week:  14
15. 
Tommy Hanson | Atlanta Braves | 100% owned | Last week:  15
16. 
Matt Cain | San Francisco Giants | 100% owned | Last week:  16
17. 
Jon Lester | Boston Red Sox | 100% owned | Last week:  17

He was better last time out against a tough opposing lineup (8 IP, 1 ER, 2H, 1BB, 8K, W @ TOR), but his FIP still sits above 4.00 and his strand rate is still 80%. I’m encouraged, but still cautious.

18. Daniel Hudson | Arizona Diamondbacks | 99.9% owned | Last week:  18
19. 
James Shields | Tampa Bay Rays | 100% owned | Last week:  19
20.
 Ricky Nolasco | Florida Marlins | 100% owned | Last week:  20
21. 
Anibal Sanchez | Florida Marlins |100% owned |Last week: 23
22. 
Matt Garza | Chicago Cubs | 92.0% owned | Last week:  25
23. 
Michael Pineda | Seattle Mariners | 100% owned | Last week: 22
24. 
Chad Billingsley | Los Angeles Dodgers | 100% owned | Last week:  21
25. 
Yovani Gallardo | Milwaukee Brewers | 100% owned | Last week:  24
26. 
Roy Oswalt | Philadelphia Phillies | 100% owned | Last week:  26
27. 
Ricky Romero | Toronto Blue Jays | 100% owned | Last week:  30
28. 
Josh Beckett | Boston Red Sox | 100% owned| Last week:  27
29. 
C.J. Wilson | Texas Rangers | 100% owned | Last week:  29
30. 
Ubaldo Jimenez | Colorado Rockies | 100% owned | Last week:  28
31. 
Jordan Zimmerman | Washington Nationals | 91.6% owned | Last week: 41

I must admit, I got caught sleeping on Zimmerman.  And I’m not exactly sure how as he is a guy I happen to like quite a bit and own on several teams. But I’m making up for lost time and giving Zimm a nice (and deserved) dime-sized bump.

Since May 1: 8 GS, 51.2 IP, 2.26 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 8.19 K/9

Impressive.

32. Wandy Rodriguez | Houston Astros | 77.0% owned | Last week:  38
33. 
Josh Johnson | Florida Marlins | 100% owned | Last week:  31
34. 
Tim Hudson | Atlanta Braves | 100% owned | Last week:  32
35. 
Mat Latos | San Diego Padres | 100% owned | Last week:  35
36. 
Chris Carpenter | St. Louis Cardinals | 100% owned | Last week:  36
37. 
Hiroki Kuroda | Los Angeles Dodgers | 99.3% owned | Last week:  34
38. 
Ian Kennedy | Arizona Diamondbacks | 100% owned | Last week: 37
39. 
Trevor Cahill | Oakland Athletics | 100% owned | Last week:  33
40. 
Brandon Morrow | Toronto Blue Jays | 79.5% owned | Last week: 40

How in the world does a guy with a 5.63 ERA and 1.49 WHIP end up in the top 40? Well, a K/9 near 11 doesn’t hurt and some bad luck (.358 BABIP, 60.3% LOB%) has been a factor. For whatever reason, I’m still hesitant Morrow will turn it around, but for now I’m choosing to believe in the numbers.

41. Bud Norris |Houston Astros | 42.9% owned | Last week: 42
42. 
Max Scherzer | Detroit Tigers | 100% owned | Last week:  47
43. 
Jonathan Sanchez | San Francisco Giants | 100% owned | Last week:  39
44. 
Jhoulys Chacin | Colorado Rockies | 100% owned | Last week:  44
45. 
Jair Jurrjens | Atlanta Braves | 100% owned | Last week: 45
46. 
Gavin Floyd | Chicago White Sox | 55.3% owned | Last week: 49
47. 
Madison Bumgarner | San Francisco Giants | 84.8% owned | Last week: 50
48. 
Gio Gonzalez | Oakland Athletics | 100% owned | Last week:  46
49. 
Tim Stauffer | San Diego Padres | 20.1% | Last week: NR
50. 
Scott Baker | Minnesota Twins | 20.4% | Last week: NR

See those ownership percentages? Both guys are pitching well and are widely available.  They’re nice adds if you’re looking for help.

Out this week: Bartolo Colon, Kyle Lohse 

All ownership percentages from ESPN.comAll stats current through 06-12-11  

Written by Brett Talley exclusively for thefantasyfix.com. Brett is a law student in Dallas who a tourist in the old country for the week. Cheerio! You can follow him and/or ask him for fantasy advice on Twitter @therealTAL.

(March 1, 2011 – Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America)


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Tags: The Fantasy Fix,  2011 Fantasy Baseball, Fantasy Baseball Advice, 2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings, 2011 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings, Brett Talley, Pitching Profile, The Rubber
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