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.
- 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).
● 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.
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.