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Innings Per Start Analysis: Fool’s Gold

For my last few articles, I’ve been focusing on how some pitcher value changes based on the innings thrown per start. Today I’m going to examine the pitchers who go long into starts but could be landmines for their owners.

Just for reminder, I’m highlighting the pitchers who go longer into games because I expect the second Spring Training to be shorter than normal. Pitchers won’t be stretched out to start the season. Also, the games will be condensed with some starters in piggy-back situations as managers need to pull out all the stops to win games. While most of the pitchers who go long into games will be helpful, I found a few starters who I can’t recommend.

The following starters are in the top-300 in NFBC ADP and the stats are combined from the past three seasons.

Length of Starts
Name G GS IP IP/G Threw 90 Pitches 100 Pitches Reached 5 IP 5 IP/G 5 IP/GS 6 IP/GS Reached 6 IP ADP
Gerrit Cole 98 98 616 6.3 93 63 95 97% 97% 79% 77 6
Jacob deGrom 95 95 622 6.6 86 70 88 93% 93% 83% 79 7
Walker Buehler 62 53 329 5.3 41 16 48 77% 91% 60% 32 12
Max Scherzer 91 91 594 6.5 84 68 86 95% 95% 85% 77 16
Justin Verlander 101 101 643 6.4 95 72 96 95% 95% 81% 82 20
Jack Flaherty 67 66 369 5.5 41 23 53 79% 80% 48% 32 22
Shane Bieber 54 52 329 6.1 40 28 48 89% 92% 71% 37 26
Mike Clevinger 80 74 448 5.6 62 41 64 80% 86% 66% 49 27
Stephen Strasburg 83 83 514 6.2 75 52 75 90% 90% 76% 63 28
Chris Sale 84 84 520 6.2 73 54 73 87% 87% 70% 59 35
Clayton Kershaw 82 81 515 6.3 59 25 75 91% 93% 86% 70 37
Luis Castillo 78 78 450 5.8 54 35 68 87% 87% 56% 44 40
Blake Snell 78 78 417 5.3 50 34 60 77% 77% 50% 39 44
Patrick Corbin 99 98 592 6.0 81 41 88 89% 90% 70% 69 45
Chris Paddack 26 26 141 5.4 11 0 20 77% 77% 38% 10 49
Lucas Giolito 68 68 395 5.8 54 35 58 85% 85% 65% 44 50
Yu Darvish 70 70 405 5.8 49 24 57 81% 81% 59% 41 53
Charlie Morton 88 88 508 5.8 63 33 78 89% 89% 60% 53 54
Aaron Nola 94 94 583 6.2 78 47 87 93% 93% 71% 67 57
Zack Greinke 98 98 619 6.3 83 39 91 93% 93% 78% 76 61
Tyler Glasnow 72 36 234 3.3 13 4 23 32% 64% 36% 13 61
Jose Berrios 90 89 538 6.0 71 36 75 83% 84% 63% 56 75
Brandon Woodruff 49 34 207 4.2 24 6 24 49% 71% 44% 15 78
Trevor Bauer 94 92 565 6.0 82 75 78 83% 85% 68% 63 80
Sonny Gray 88 81 468 5.3 51 29 64 73% 79% 56% 45 95
Frankie Montas 52 27 193 3.7 16 4 23 44% 85% 67% 18 100
Corey Kluber 69 69 454 6.6 55 36 62 90% 90% 80% 55 101
Mike Soroka 34 34 200 5.9 16 5 28 82% 82% 65% 22 104
James Paxton 81 81 447 5.5 59 39 61 75% 75% 54% 44 119
Zack Wheeler 77 77 464 6.0 64 41 67 87% 87% 69% 53 120
Lance Lynn 97 95 551 5.7 80 58 83 86% 87% 58% 55 121
Dinelson Lamet 35 35 187 5.4 17 6 29 83% 83% 40% 14 122
Zac Gallen 15 15 80 5.3 12 5 13 87% 87% 33% 5 123
Julio Urias 45 13 107 2.4 3 0 6 13% 46% 15% 2 126
Madison Bumgarner 72 72 448 6.2 59 34 69 96% 96% 79% 57 130
Max Fried 56 39 225 4.0 16 4 31 55% 79% 38% 15 135
Eduardo Rodriguez 86 81 470 5.5 69 49 71 83% 88% 53% 43 137
Carlos Carrasco 87 74 472 5.4 55 33 63 72% 85% 66% 49 139
David Price 68 63 358 5.3 45 21 52 76% 83% 59% 37 139
Hyun-Jin Ryu 69 68 392 5.7 36 14 52 75% 76% 57% 39 146
Kyle Hendricks 87 87 516 5.9 56 22 75 86% 86% 57% 50 153
Robbie Ray 85 85 460 5.4 71 41 69 81% 81% 46% 39 158
Matthew Boyd 89 88 491 5.5 67 30 69 78% 78% 59% 52 158
Kenta Maeda 105 71 413 3.9 26 9 51 49% 72% 32% 23 162
Carlos Martinez 113 50 372 3.3 41 20 44 39% 88% 64% 32 167
Lance McCullers Jr. 47 44 247 5.3 34 10 32 68% 73% 50% 22 172
German Marquez 90 90 532 5.9 65 26 76 84% 84% 64% 58 176
Mike Minor 125 60 443 3.5 50 28 54 43% 90% 62% 37 177
Ian Kennedy 115 52 337 2.9 35 17 38 33% 73% 46% 24 182
Sean Manaea 61 61 349 5.7 34 13 52 85% 85% 57% 35 183
Jake Odorizzi 90 90 467 5.2 70 36 66 73% 73% 37% 33 185
Luis Severino 66 66 397 6.0 52 34 58 88% 88% 61% 40 194
Jose Urquidy 9 7 41 4.6 1 0 4 44% 57% 43% 3 195
Luke Weaver 55 47 261 4.7 30 10 33 60% 70% 38% 18 197
Andrew Heaney 53 53 297 5.6 35 14 43 81% 81% 51% 27 202
Mike Foltynewicz 81 80 454 5.6 57 36 64 79% 80% 51% 41 204
Marcus Stroman 84 84 488 5.8 64 29 66 79% 79% 57% 48 207
Masahiro Tanaka 89 88 516 5.8 47 23 71 80% 81% 63% 55 207
Dylan Bundy 89 89 503 5.7 70 30 73 82% 82% 54% 48 213
Joe Musgrove 89 65 395 4.4 28 9 51 57% 78% 55% 36 216
Joshua James 55 4 84 1.5 1 0 3 5% 75% 0% 0 221
Mitch Keller 11 11 48 4.4 8 0 6 55% 55% 9% 1 228
Adrian Houser 42 18 125 3.0 4 0 9 21% 50% 17% 3 229
Ryan Yarbrough 66 20 289 4.4 18 4 30 45% 80% 55% 16 234
Caleb Smith 53 46 249 4.7 27 17 34 64% 74% 39% 18 234
Anthony DeSclafani 52 52 282 5.4 19 5 39 75% 75% 38% 20 247
Joey Lucchesi 56 56 294 5.2 22 7 43 77% 77% 32% 18 248
Jon Gray 77 76 433 5.6 52 21 61 79% 80% 55% 42 248
Garrett Richards 25 25 113 4.5 8 4 14 56% 56% 20% 5 248
Chris Archer 84 84 469 5.6 67 40 70 83% 83% 58% 49 251
Aaron Civale 10 10 58 5.8 4 0 9 90% 90% 60% 6 252
Alex Wood 67 59 340 5.1 27 5 49 73% 83% 56% 33 252
Sandy Alcantara 46 38 240 5.2 32 10 34 74% 89% 58% 22 266
Michael Kopech 4 4 14 3.6 0 0 1 25% 25% 25% 1 270
Yonny Chirinos 44 25 223 5.1 12 5 30 68% 80% 44% 14 274
Rich Hill 63 62 327 5.2 33 7 49 78% 79% 45% 28 277
Dylan Cease 14 14 73 5.2 12 7 12 86% 86% 43% 6 278
Steven Matz 75 73 381 5.1 45 25 54 72% 74% 47% 34 283
Dallas Keuchel 76 76 463 6.1 62 33 70 92% 92% 70% 53 286
Miles Mikolas 64 64 385 6.0 44 13 58 91% 91% 66% 42 287
Dustin May 14 4 35 2.5 2 0 4 29% 100% 0% 0 295
Jordan Montgomery 37 36 187 5.0 17 5 25 68% 69% 39% 14 296
Cole Hamels 83 83 480 5.8 66 29 69 83% 83% 60% 50 297

Here are some pitchers whose innings per start won’t be enough to help their value.

Marcus Stroman and Masahiro Tanaka: I believe both pitchers are perfectly fine to roster, but Dallas Keuchel and Miles Mikolas are going about 100 picks later and have similar projections.

Veteran Starters Comparison
Name K/9 ERA WHIP ADP
Mikolas 7.2 4.12 1.24 287
Keuchel 7.2 4.30 1.37 286
Stroman 7.3 3.80 1.31 207
Tanaka 8.0 4.45 1.26 207
SOURCE: Depth Chart Projections

If an owner needs a steady boring vet, don’t pay up and grab the last available of these four.

Sandy Alcantara: The 24-year-old righty was 17th in innings pitched last season. Even with all those innings, he had barely any value. He won just six games. He did have 151 strikeouts which were good for 57th overall. He didn’t get hit around too bad keeping his ERA under 4.00. His projections have him taking a major step backward (4.60 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) and 190 innings of his projected ratios could be devastating. I’ll let someone else handle that time bomb.

Sean Manaea: I’m a little surprised to see Manaea so high. I’ll continue to doubt him until he finds some way to stay healthy. His five September starts provided some helium, but career stats (7.3 K/9, 1.20 WHIP, and 3.77 ERA) are in line with the four aging vets profiled earlier.

Carlos Martinez: Whenever Martinez has started over the past few seasons, he’s gone long into games. The problem is that he’s just started 50 games with more games as a reliever. I have no faith he can stay healthy through a shortened 2020 season and will head to the bullpen … again. Since his role will change, it’s tough for me to invest an 11th round pick on an unknown role. At that point in the draft, I need to know if I’m adding a starter or reliever.

Corey Kluber: I just think he may be done. His Spring Training velocities have him at or under his 2019 fastball speeds. I could not find any other information from Spring Training so I decided to compare his NFBC ADP to see his draft position jumped. Maybe others knew more than I did. In February’s online championships, he averaging pick 102. It jumped to 90 in March. Owners seem to believe in as Spring Training progressed. I’m not one of them but there will be a second chance to evaluate him to see who’s right.

David Price: Part of the allure around Price is that he goes long into games to accumulate bulk strikeouts. Since he’s now on the Dodgers, I’m not sure. The Dodgers have curtailed Kershaw’s innings so they’ll do the same with Price.


Innings Per Start Analysis: Late Bargains

On Monday, I started a dive into which pitchers owners might want to stay away from because the pitchers don’t go far into games, limiting their chances for that all-important Win. Today, I’m going to focus on those late picks who are talented and could immediately take on a full-inning workload.

Just for reminder, I’m targeting these pitchers who go longer into games because I expect the second Spring Training to be shorter than normal. Pitchers won’t be stretched out to start the season. Also, the games will be condensed with some starters in piggy-back situations as managers need to pull out all the stops to win games.
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Jeff Zimmerman Fantasy Baseball Chat

3:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Good afternoon everyone

3:02
Bob: You think f Mejia ever lives up to expectations? What does that look like, a 30 homer, .300 ba season? Thanks!

3:03
Jeff Zimmerman: I don’t think you’re even in the right ballpark.

3:05
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m think a career season of 20 HR and .275 AVG but most of the time he’s in the .250 AVG and 12 HR.

3:05
Kim Wexler’s T-shirt: Rank the Royals starters (Duffy, Junis, Keller, Montgomery).  Assuming a 90-100 game season, are any of the pitching prospect worth picking up in re-draft leagues?

3:05
Jeff Zimmerman: We are going for a high difficulty question to start with.

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Innings Per Start Analysis: Intro and Suspect Arms

I’m annoyed hearing and reading about how all pitchers will throw just as many innings as the aces in a shortened season. I could see the starts possibly being the same since the younger pitchers won’t wear down and need a phantom IL stint or start skipped. The deal is, if Justin Verlander and Julio Urias make the same number of starts, Verlander is going to throw a ton more innings, accumulating more Wins, and his elite rate stats will be better.

In 101 starts over the past three seasons, Verlander has thrown over 101 pitches 72 times and made it to 5 IP for to be eligible for a Win 95% of the time. Urias has never thrown over 100 pitches and in his starts and only reaches 5 IP in only 46% of them. The extra innings are going to be huge and help boost Verlander’s chance for a Win and boost the impact of his elite rate stats. I’m going to highlight the starters who can be counted on for a few more innings for an advantage in this shortened season.

I’ve backed off guessing what type of season is going to be attempted. Each week there seems to be a new plan that gets “leaked”. I don’t want my valuations to be influenced by some Florida-Arizona rankings but teams end up playing in their home parks. There is one known item, the season will be condensed and some pitchers won’t be on season-long innings limits. Also, a short second Spring Training may have some pitchers building up their arms into the season. For these reasons, I’m planning on targeting pitchers who have historically gone deep into games.
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ADP Draft: Rounds Nine to 12

Previously, I analyzed the first eight rounds and did an overall comparison at the various ADP’s. Today, the draft continues with various ADPs disagreeing even more.

As a reminder, the draft contains 14 teams with each website’s ADP collected by FantasyPros. No effort is made to balance each team in any way. Just the top player is picked but I had to ignore some picks. To get going, here are the results.
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Comparing Pitcher-Hitter Split For Various ADPs

After working my way through the first eight rounds of the website ADP draft,  some sites leaned heavy pitcher while others were drafting just hitters. Before continuing the draft, I wanted to determine the split difference for each website. The difference wasn’t as big as I thought considering the results seen to this point in the draft.

Just for reference, I used the ADP data collected at FantasyPros from ESPN, Yahoo, NFBC, CBS, FanTrax, and Real Time Sports (RTS). Next, I assumed people were drafting a 12-team league with 23 players (14 hitters, 9 pitchers) which works out to 276 players. Then, I gave each player an auction dollar amount based on their ADP. Finally, I divided them into two groups and added up their auction dollars. Here are the results
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ADP Draft: Rounds Five to Eight

After setting up the parameters in my last article and running through the first four rounds of the draft, it’s time for another four rounds of pitting the various ADP systems against each other.

I might as well dive in and here are the picks.
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ADP Draft: Intro and Rounds One to Four

For the next few weeks or until any real news starts becoming available, I’m going to run a 14-team snake draft using today’s Average Draft Position (ADP) at FantasyPros. The ADP is available from six websites and their average. Simply enough, I gave each ranking two mirrored picks in a 14-team draft. Whichever site picked first got the 14th pick. When it came to each pick, I just took the highest-ranked player without regard to team construction. And here is the draft order:

Before I begin the process, I’m not sure at all what I hope to find. Maybe a site that values pitching more. Should owners go with the average or just go with NFBC where owners have more skin in the game? Are the drafters on some sites just drunk? Here are the results of first four rounds.
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Mining the News (4/22/20)

Once Spring Training was shut down, MLB.com must have ordered their writer to publish articles on “Roster Battles” and “What We Learned” since each team got one. I ground through all 60 of them and here is what I learned.

American League

Astros

Bryan Abreu might be one of the team’s starters.

As camp progressed, rookie Bryan Abreu emerged as a legitimate candidate for the fifth spot as well.

I’m intrigued by the news. Abreu has always been a high-strikeout pitcher (11.9 K/9 in AAA, 13.5 K/9 in majors in 2019). His fastball sat at 95 mph last year. His slider and curve graded above average. His problem was fastball control and has always posted high walk rates. He’s starting to show some control. In the majors, he had a 3.1 BB/9. In spring training, it was 3.0 BB/9. While most prospect reports place him in the bullpen, I can see why the Astros have fallen for him.
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Jeff Zimmerman Fantasy Baseball Chat

3:00
Jeff Zimmerman: Hi everyone.

3:01
Joe: Assuming Carlos Rodon and Michael Fulmer are both healthy, which of the two would you prefer? Thanks!

3:01
Jeff Zimmerman: Simply, I think the Sox will Win more games.

3:01
AKA22: Do you think Josh James wins the 5th spot in the Astros rotation still? Does the shorter season make you like him any more (or less)?

3:02
Jeff Zimmerman: I’m not sure how to approach him without the schedule.

3:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Teams could need 6 starters.

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