Fantasy Pitchers Ranked Using Steamer Projections

A computer program and I are back for some more abuse. After lining up the Steamer hitter projections with the Standings Gain Points (SGP) for The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, the pitchers now take center stage. And boy can I see some conflicts to fill the comments.

The SGP formula is from the average of the 13, 15-team Roto leagues and will soon be available in The Process (looks like Monday at the latest).

For the pitchers, here are the top-35 as I wanted to include a few closers. The full list is available here and I have a few comments at the end.

Top-35 Ranked Pitchers
Rank Name Age GS G IP W SV WHIP ERA SO SGP
1 Chris Sale 30 32 32 202 17 0 0.97 2.75 275 32.6
2 Max Scherzer 34 32 32 208 15 0 1.03 3.12 272 29.8
3 Jacob deGrom 31 32 32 208 14 0 1.07 2.95 253 28.0
4 Justin Verlander 36 32 32 202 15 0 1.07 3.36 251 27.0
5 Corey Kluber 33 32 32 209 15 0 1.12 3.46 221 24.2
6 Gerrit Cole 28 32 32 196 14 0 1.13 3.47 235 24.2
7 Luis Severino 25 32 32 196 15 0 1.15 3.47 221 23.5
8 Blake Snell 26 32 32 189 13 0 1.19 3.23 232 23.3
9 Carlos Carrasco 32 32 32 197 14 0 1.13 3.40 215 23.2
10 James Paxton 30 31 31 185 13 0 1.13 3.25 214 23.0
11 Trevor Bauer 28 32 32 193 14 0 1.20 3.55 218 22.0
12 Clayton Kershaw 31 29 29 185 13 0 1.12 3.25 181 20.7
13 Aaron Nola 26 31 31 194 12 0 1.20 3.59 210 20.7
14 Robbie Ray 27 31 31 176 12 0 1.27 3.68 222 20.2
15 Patrick Corbin 29 32 32 195 13 0 1.22 3.58 199 19.9
16 Walker Buehler 24 28 28 163 12 0 1.18 3.29 186 19.7
17 Chris Archer 30 32 32 191 12 0 1.23 3.64 204 19.6
18 German Marquez 24 32 32 190 13 0 1.24 3.88 207 19.4
19 Stephen Strasburg 30 29 29 177 12 0 1.19 3.65 192 19.2
20 Noah Syndergaard 26 29 29 176 11 0 1.18 3.55 183 18.6
21 David Price 33 32 32 194 14 0 1.23 3.93 188 18.6
22 Zack Greinke 35 32 32 201 12 0 1.22 3.84 189 18.1
23 Mike Foltynewicz 27 32 32 192 12 0 1.28 4.00 202 18.1
24 J.A. Happ 36 32 32 184 12 0 1.23 3.83 188 18.0
25 Charlie Morton 35 29 29 165 11 0 1.24 3.51 184 17.9
26 Rich Hill 39 28 28 159 11 0 1.18 3.62 176 17.8
27 Edwin Diaz 25 0 65 65 4 34 1.02 2.63 94 17.8
28 Jack Flaherty 23 29 29 164 11 0 1.24 3.69 180 17.3
29 Madison Bumgarner 29 32 32 203 11 0 1.24 3.92 183 16.9
30 Masahiro Tanaka 30 29 29 175 12 0 1.20 3.94 170 16.9
31 Jameson Taillon 27 32 32 190 12 0 1.26 3.90 179 16.8
32 Kenley Jansen 31 0 65 65 4 38 1.06 3.34 78 16.7
33 Aroldis Chapman 31 0 65 65 4 31 1.12 2.77 97 16.7
34 Jose Quintana 30 32 32 186 13 0 1.29 3.89 176 16.7
35 Andrew Heaney 28 29 29 178 12 0 1.22 3.96 171 16.7
  • One of the biggest items to notice is the drop from the top-4 to the next tier Here is a visual of the top-135 pitchers (number drafted in a 15-team league).

Thoughts

● The top-4 are on the island by themselves. The drop from Chris Sale (#1) to Corey Kluber (#5) would be 8.3 spots on the standings if their projections stand. With the hitters, the drop from #1 Mike Trout to #5 J.D. Martinez was 4.6. If owners prioritize one the top pitchers, I don’t fault them.

After the first 35 or so pitchers, the curve turns into a straight line. The rank and SGP correlates almost perfectly with an r-squared of .99. I need to decide how I want to prioritize getting the top arms and then value pick from then on.

● The two pitchers who standout are Robbie Ray and Chris Archer. Both will get there strikeouts but the ERA’s under 3.75 are red flags. With Archer, I’m going to give him a 0.50 ERA boost because he just gets hit around with his two-pitch mix.

I gave a quick look at Ray’s stats and I’ll have to create a personal projection. He missed 2 months with an oblique injury which cost him some velocity. After skimming over his profile, I may move him up.

● For owners who like closers, Edwin Diaz at #27 isn’t bad even though I’d wait to pick my first one.

● I have a feeling German Marquez is going to be a divisive pitcher for those who think the 3.88 ERA can stick and those who don’t.

Rich Hill throwing 159 innings. Nice joke.

We hoped you liked reading Fantasy Pitchers Ranked Using Steamer Projections by Jeff Zimmerman!

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Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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