Justin Mason vs ADP: 5 SP Hates

I am almost all the way through my pitching projections and as I start to compare my projections versus ADP I am noticing guys that I think are nice values or guys that are extremely overrated early in draft season. Here are a few of the starting pitchers I have ranked well below where they are going versus other starters in terms of NFBC Draft Champions ADP.

Dylan Cease: My Rank 19, ADP: 6
I am not surprised to see Cease a lot lower in my ranks than in the ADP. He is coming off of a monster season, but there are clear red flags. First, for being an “elite” starter, he doesn’t have a great WHIP. I think this is one of the most overlooked categories in the game. Part of his issue with the WHIP is how much he walks guys and I worry about the fact he does not have great control and him relying so much on two pitches. He could easily repeat last season and I’ll look dumb, but if I am taking a pitcher as high as he is going, then I would prefer to not have the questions I did.

Spencer Strider: My Rank: 17, ADP: 8
This is another player that I could look really stupid by the end of 2023. Strider was one of the best pitchers in baseball if you look on a per inning basis. If he repeats with a higher inning total, he could easily be the #1 pitcher in fantasy. That being said, I struggle with his lack of track record and what his innings count will be. He threw 136.1 innings in 2022 if you include the playoffs and minors and while he could make a jump to 150 or 160 innings, but I have a hard time projecting that. I also worry about his true two-pitch mix. Guys like him can struggle when they don’t have the feel for a pitch and as hitters start to see him over time. He may move up in my projections over time, but even if he does, I can’t imagine he ends up on any of my teams this year.

Nick Lodolo: My Rank 69, ADP 38
This one hurts a little because I love Lodolo’s potential. He can strike out anyone and I the control and command are improving. However, I don’t love that he pitches in Cincinnati. It is a horrible park and the team is not going to be good at all. He is likely going to deliver a bad WHIP and wins will be hard to come by and while I love the upside, it is hard to take a guy that has potential to be just a two-category producer as a SP 3 or high end 4.

Dustin May: My Rank 93, ADP: 46
Who is Dustin May? That is the question I struggled with when doing his projections. I want to believe he is the dominant guy we saw in 2021 and that 2022 is largely a product of his health. That being said, I just can’t get past the injury issues. He only threw 51 innings between the Majors and minors and he didn’t even appear in the postseason. I can’t imagine he gets to 130+ innings which means his upside is limited even on a great Dodgers team.

Michael Kopech My Rank: 101, ADP: 69
I am surprised at this point that people are still drafting Kopech as highly as they are considering what we have seen from him. I think a lot of people are throwing out how he looked after hurting his knee in June, but I worry about his command and control and the huge dropoff in strikeout rate in 2022 which means he is a fifth starter with a bad WHIP. Finally, I worry he won’t be able to throw 140-150 innings. Maybe a return to health means he becomes the guy many believed (including me) he would eventually become, but I think there are too many people still drafting him based off of his name value from that prospect pedigree and not enough people looking at what has happened on the field. I could definitely find myself pushing him up my ranks in spring training if we see a completely healthy Kopech that looks great, but for right now, I can’t draft him at cost.

Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as other periodic articles. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, and the owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

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1 year ago

I think those who are drafting Kopech are doing it purely for the upside, even if they may likely know that he may not pan out. Not sure who else is going around him but if it’s guys like Noah Syndergaard or Alex Cobb then I can see some gambler’s logic.

Last edited 1 year ago by LightenUpFG