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Pitching Value Meter: The 'Wright Choice For the Top Spot

David Regan

David Regan

David Regan is a five-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner, and was named the 2010 Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year.

For the week 8/23 - 8/29

Always appreciate the comments on the rankings here and I'd expect some disagreement. I'd love to explain the rankings in more detail if you have specific questions, and if there's something in particular that you disagree with, feel free to comment with your reasoning.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

No-brainers

1. Adam Wainwright - @PIT, @WAS
2. Josh Johnson - @NYM, @ATL
3. Tommy Hanson - @COL, FLA
4. Jonathan Sanchez - CIN, ARI
5. Ubaldo Jimenez - LAD
6. Roy Halladay - HOU
7. Tim Hudson - FLA
8. Matt Cain - CIN, ARI
9. Stephen Strasburg - STL
10. R.A. Dickey - FLA, HOU
11. Ted Lilly - @MIL
12. Johan Santana - HOU
13. Chris Carpenter - @WAS
14. Mat Latos - PHI
15. Cole Hamels - HOU, @SD
16. Brett Myers - @PHI, @NYM
17. Clayton Kershaw - @COL
18. Roy Oswalt - @SD
19. Ricky Nolasco - @ATL
20. Ryan Dempster - @WAS
21. Yovani Gallardo - LAD
22. Tim Lincecum - ARI
23. Hiroki Kuroda - @MIL, @COL
24. Anibal Sanchez - @NYM
25. Jair Jurrjens - @COL
26. Randy Wolf - LAD
27. Madison Bumgarner - CIN
28. Johnny Cueto - CHC
29. Dan Hudson - @SF
30. Clayton Richard - ARI, PHI
31. Jamie Garcia - @WAS
32. Homer Bailey - @SF
33. Jonathon Niese HOU
34. Bronson Arroyo - CHC
35. Jorge De La Rosa - ATL
36. Chad Billingsley - @COL
37. Barry Zito - ARI
38. Derek Lowe - @COL, FLA
39. Edinson Volquez - @SF, CHC

Borderline depending on league format

40. Jon Garland - PHI
41. Travis Wood - @SF
42. Wade LeBlanc ARI (much better pitcher at home)
43. Bud Norris - @PHI, @NYM
44. Joe Blanton - HOU, @SD
45. John Lannan - CHC, STL
46. James McDonald - @MIL
47. Mike Pelfrey - FLA
48. Kyle Kendrick - HOU
49. Livan Hernandez - CHC, STL
50. Wandy Rodriguez - @PHI
51. Jhoulys Chacin - LAD
52. Carlos Zambrano - @WAS
53. Tom Gorzelanny - @CIN
54. Ross Ohlendorf - STL, @MIL
55. Joe Saunders - @SD
56. Jason Hammel - ATL, LAD
57. Jake Westbrook - @PIT
58. Ian Kennedy - @SD
59. Alejandro Sanabia - @NYM
60. Chris Narveson - PIT
61. Randy Wells - @CIN
62. Barry Enright - @SF
63. Kevin Correia - ARI
64. Zach Duke - @MIL

Extreme caution advised

65. Chris Volstad - @ATL
66. David Bush - LAD, PIT
67. J.A. Happ - @PHI
68. Rodrigo Lopez - @SD, @SF
69. Kyle Lohse - @PIT, @WAS
70. Manny Parra - PIT
71. Esmil Rogers - ATL
72. Carlos Monasterios - @MIL
73. Pat Misch - FLA
74. Jason Marquis - CHC
75. Scott Olsen - STL
76. Casey Coleman - @WAS, @CIN
77. Nelson Figueroa - @NYM
78. Jeffrey Karstens - STL
79. Paul Maholm - STL

Two-start starters:

Tim Hudson
Derek Lowe TENTATIVE assumes Mike Minor is skipped
Josh Johnson
R.A. Dickey
Joe Blanton
Cole Hamels
Livan Hernandez
John Lannan TENTATIVE the entire Washington rotation is in flux
Casey Coleman TENTATIVE he could easily get shelled and lose his spot
Edinson Volquez
Brett Myers
Bud Norris
David Bush
Ross Ohlendorf
Adam Wainwright
Kyle Lohse TENTATIVE Jamie Garcia is pitching Sunday (8/22), so Im guessing Lohse gets pushed to Monday to give him two starts for the week.
Rodrigo Lopez
Jason Hammel
Hiroki Kuroda
Clayton Richard
Matt Cain

Notes: Ted Lilly is making quite a case for a three-year deal this winter. Two-hit shutout on Thursday, 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA in four starts with the Dodgers...It sure appears Travis Wood is going to stick around this time. A 2.51 ERA in 57.1 innings says hes the better bet over Mike Leake going forward...Not that Im expecting much, but Chris Young (shoulder) could return from the DL in September...Just wondering whether Mat Latos or Tim Lincecum is the better bet the rest of the year. Latos has struck out at least a hitter per inning in each of his last seven starts but could bump up against his innings limit...With Vicente Padillas (neck) unexpected trip to the DL, Carlos Monasterios will fill in as the teams No. 5 starter. John Ely looms in Triple-A should Monasterios struggle...I really love what the Pirates are doing. Adding Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie, and $2.6 million international signee Luis Heredia is a huge infusion of young pitching talent...Right now Im forecasting the Braves skipping Mike Minor this week due to the Thursday off-day, though thats just my thinking...Jordan Zimmerman (Tommy John surgery) is just about ready to return, though he might have to wait until rosters expand on September 1. That could change if Jason Marquis gets shelled this week...Expect Randy Wolf to continue being the Wolf of 2009 going forward. He has a 2.67 ERA in four August starts...Jamie Garcia, at 10-6 with a 2.58 ERA, is my choice for NL ROY over Jason Heyward...Ive yet to stack-rank my starters this week as I write this, but Im not sure how I keep a two-start R.A. Dickey out of the top 10...The Astros have a lot of work to do to compete in the NL Central next year, but I kind of like their rotation once Jordan Lyles is promoted to take the place of Nelson Figueroa...Its not surprising to see Jonathan Sanchez atop the leaderboard in walks with 72, but its also equally unsurprising to see him put up n 8-2-1-1-2-7 line in Philadelphia; his stuff is that good. At 27, its unrealistic to expect him to be a control artist at this point in his career, but even a modest improvement in his command would make Sanchez a top-20 (better?) NL starter...Cliff Lee may have an otherworldly 147:10 K:BB, but Ricky Nolasco isnt so bad himself at 147:30. Hes far better than his 4.22 ERA indicates, though the long ball (1.3 HR/9) has been an occasional issue...In this writers opinion, the Braves have four of baseballs top 20 pitching prospects Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Arodys Vizcaino, and Randall Delgado. Should they need another arm this year in addition to Minor, the 19 year-old Teheran could be a surprise call-up...The 14 Pirates Bud Norris struck out in a recent start was an impressive number, but dont get too carried away. I like him long-term, but starts in Philadelphia and to a far lesser extent New York this week could easily bring Norris back down to Earth...Cuban defector Yunesky Maya is set to join the Nationals' big league rotation come September. We have no idea what to expect, but hes at least worth an NL-only flier.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

No-brainers

1. Cliff Lee MIN (this years Lincecum as an automatic #1 every week)
2. Brandon Morrow - NYY, DET
3. CC Sabathia - @CHW
4. Jered Weaver - BAL
5. Francisco Liriano - @TEX, @SEA
6. David Price - BOS
7. Felix Hernandez - @BOS
8. Jon Lester SEA (time for a not-hitter after what we saw on Friday)
9. Colby Lewis - MIN
10. Edwin Jackson - BAL
11. Zack Greinke - @CLE
12. Philip Hughes - @TOR
13. Clay Buchholz - @TB
14. Ervin Santana - TB, BAL
15. C.J. Wilson - MIN
16. Ricky Romero - DET
17. Dan Haren - TB
18. Shaun Marcum - DET
19. Justin Verlander - @TOR
20. Mark Buehrle - BAL
21. James Shields - @LAA, BOS (29 HR allowed already)
22. Brett Anderson - @TEX
23. Matt Garza - BOS
24. Carl Pavano - @TEX, @SEA
25. Trevor Cahill - @CLE
26. Daisuke Matsuzaka - @TB
27. Gavin Floyd - BAL, NYY
28. John Lackey - SEA, @TB
29. John Danks - NYY
30. Josh Beckett - SEA
31. Max Scherzer - @TOR
32. Scott Baker - @SEA

Borderline depending on league format

33. Brian Matusz - @CHW
34. Brett Cecil - NYY
35. Brian Duensing - @TEX
36. A.J. Burnett - @TOR
37. Bryan Bullington - @CLE
38. Dallas Braden - @TEX
39. Gio Gonzalez - @CLE, @TEX
40. Wade Davis - @LAA
41. Fausto Carmona - OAK, KC
42. Jason Vargas - MIN
43. Jeanmar Gomez - KC
44. Jeff Niemann - @LAA
45. Jeremy Guthrie - @CHW, @LAA
46. Javier Vazquez - @CHW
47. Josh Tomlin - KC
48. Kevin Slowey - @TEX
49. Rick Porcello - KC, @TOR
50. Tommy Hunter - OAK
51. Vincent Mazzaro - @CLE
52. Jake Arrieta - @CHW

Extreme caution advised

53. Jeremy Bonderman - KC, @TOR
54. Justin Masterson - OAK, KC
55. Armando Galarraga - KC
56. Bruce Chen - @DET, @CLE
57. Rich Harden - MIN, OAK
58. Dustin Moseley - @TOR, @CHW
59. Kevin Millwood - @LAA
60. Kyle Davies - @DET
61. Mitch Talbot - OAK
62. Scott Kazmir - TB, BAL
63. Rich Harden - @TB, @BAL
64. Bradley Bergesen - @LAA
65. Freddy Garcia - NYY
66. Luke French - MIN
67. Doug Fister - @BOS, MIN
68. Sean O'Sullivan - @DET
69. David Pauley - @BOS
70. Marc Rzepczynski - NYY, DET

Two-start starters:

Jeremy Guthrie
John Lackey
Dustin Moseley
James Shields
Brandon Morrow
Marc Rzepczynski
Gavin Floyd
Fausto Carmona
Jeremy Bonderman
Rick Porcello
Bruce Chen
Francisco Liriano
Carl Pavano
Scott Kazmir
Ervin Santana TENTATIVE assumes Trevor Bell is skipped
Gio Gonzalez
Doug Fister
Rich Harden TENTATIVE see Notes section
Colby Lewis

Notes: Sounds as if Andy Pettitte (groin) wont be back until September. That means at least two more starts for Dustin Moseley...Derek Holland was optioned to to Triple-A, and Rich Harden (shoulder) is tentatively scheduled to replace him in the Rangers' rotation next week. As a side note, should we just rename Harden, Rich Harden (shoulder) in the Rotowire database?...Having a hard time ranking Carl Pavano this week. 15 wins, but 25 hits in his last 10.1 innings and going into Texas this week make him a bit risky...Hopefully you valued Trevor Cahill more on his upside than his 2009 numbers in this years drafts. Cahill has a 2.54 ERA and 13 wins for fantasy owners, though a 5.2 K/9 keeps him from elite status...Eight shutout innings against Texas last time out should have Brian Matusz moving up my rankings. He has this sort of ability...Philip Hughes is making a run at 20 wins this year, and with a solid 3.90 ERA, the Yankees made the right choice sticking him back in the rotation...With 15 wins despite a 3.90 ERA, its not surprising that Hughes leads all AL starters in run support. At the same time, its equally unsurprising that Felix Hernandez (8-10, 2.62 ERA) sits at the opposite end of the Matt Cain spectrum...Marquee matchup this week in Boston on Wednesday as Hernandez opposes Jon Lester. Ill take the under, whatever the number is...Cliff Lees three walks to this point this month tie for the most hes had in any month this year. Lets just hand him the Cy Young Award now...Fausto Carmona has had a decent year, but a 4.8 K/9 and a shelling at the hands of the Royals last time out should leave one cautious this week...Brian Bannisters convenient DL stint will keep Bryan Bullington in the rotation for the foreseeable future. I greatly look forward to seeing how he follows up that gem against the Yankees. Fluke is one word that comes to mind, but lets keep open minds here...Brandon Morrow leads all AL starters with a 10.5 K/9. Jered Weaver is second at 10.0...An extra 1.4 mph on his fastball and a few more ground balls has David Price in line to finish as the AL Cy Young runner-up. If, in the future, he can drive down his 3.8 BB/9, Price could win multiple trophies...Brett Cecil is nursing a sore knee that was probably to blame for his 84-85 mph heat against the Angels on 8/14. He looked better against the Red Sox Friday, but using him against the Yankees this week is a bit risky...In case you forgot about him, Chris Tillman has a 4.08 ERA and 16:4 K:BB in 17.2 Triple-A innings this month. Well see him back in Baltimore next month. I dont know which group is more impressive, Kansas Citys trio of hitting prospects (Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers) or pitching prospects (Mike Montgomery, John Lamb, Danny Duffy). Not all of these guys are going to make it, but a Royals AL Central crown in 2013? Who knows?...Michael Pineda has a 5.02 ERA in three August starts for Triple-A Tacoma, but fear not, as his K:BB in those 14.1 innings is an impressive 20:4. Hes the best major league ready starting pitcher not currently in the big leagues.

MIXED LEAGUE TOP 100

1. Adam Wainwright - @PIT, @WAS
2. Josh Johnson - @NYM, @ATL
3. Cliff Lee MIN (this years Lincecum as an automatic #1 every week)
4. Tommy Hanson - @COL, FLA
5. Jonathan Sanchez - CIN, ARI
6. Ubaldo Jimenez - LAD
7. Roy Halladay - HOU
8. Brandon Morrow - NYY, DET
9. CC Sabathia - @CHW
10. Jered Weaver - BAL
11. Tim Hudson - FLA
12. Matt Cain - CIN, ARI
13. Francisco Liriano - @TEX, @SEA
14. David Price - BOS
15. Felix Hernandez - @BOS
16. Jon Lester SEA (time for a no-hitter after what we saw on Friday)
17. Colby Lewis - MIN
18. Stephen Strasburg - STL
19. R.A. Dickey - FLA, HOU
20. Ted Lilly - @MIL
21. Johan Santana - HOU
22. Chris Carpenter - @WAS
23. Mat Latos - PHI
24. Cole Hamels - HOU, @SD
25. Brett Myers - @PHI, @NYM
26. Clayton Kershaw - @COL
27. Roy Oswalt - @SD
28. Ricky Nolasco - @ATL
29. Edwin Jackson - BAL
30. Zack Greinke - @CLE
31. Philip Hughes - @TOR
32. Clay Buchholz - @TB
33. Ervin Santana - TB, BAL
34. C.J. Wilson - MIN
35. Ricky Romero - DET
36. Dan Haren - TB
37. Shaun Marcum - DET
38. Justin Verlander - @TOR
39. Ryan Dempster - @WAS
40. Yovani Gallardo - LAD
41. Tim Lincecum - ARI
42. Hiroki Kuroda - @MIL, @COL
43. Anibal Sanchez - @NYM
44. Mark Buehrle - BAL
45. James Shields - @LAA, BOS (29 HR allowed already)
46. Jair Jurrjens - @COL
47. Randy Wolf - LAD
48. Brett Anderson - @TEX
49. Madison Bumgarner - CIN
50. Johnny Cueto - CHC
51. Dan Hudson - @SF
52. Matt Garza - BOS
53. Carl Pavano - @TEX, @SEA
54. Clayton Richard - ARI, PHI
55. Trevor Cahill - @CLE
56. Daisuke Matsuzaka - @TB
57. Gavin Floyd - BAL, NYY
58. Jamie Garcia - @WAS
59. John Lackey - SEA, @TB
60. John Danks - NYY
61. Homer Bailey - @SF
62. Josh Beckett - SEA
63. Jonathon Niese HOU
64. Max Scherzer - @TOR
65. Bronson Arroyo - CHC
66. Jorge De La Rosa - ATL
67. Chad Billingsley - @COL
68. Barry Zito - ARI
69. Derek Lowe - @COL, FLA
70. Edinson Volquez - @SF, CHC
71. Scott Baker - @SEA
72. Jon Garland - PHI
73. Travis Wood - @SF
74. Wade LeBlanc ARI (much better pitcher at home)
75. Bud Norris - @PHI, @NYM
76. Brian Matusz - @CHW
77. Joe Blanton - HOU, @SD
78. Brett Cecil - NYY
79. Brian Duensing - @TEX
80. John Lannan - CHC, STL
81. A.J. Burnett - @TOR
82. James McDonald - @MIL
83. Mike Pelfrey - FLA
84. Bryan Bullington - @CLE
85. Livan Hernandez - CHC, STL
86. Dallas Braden - @TEX
87. Gio Gonzalez - @CLE, @TEX
88. Wade Davis - @LAA
89. Fausto Carmona - OAK, KC
90. Jason Vargas - MIN
91. Jeanmar Gomez - KC
92. Jeff Niemann - @LAA
93. Jeremy Guthrie - @CHW, @LAA
94. Kyle Kendrick - HOU
95. Livan Hernandez - CHC, STL
96. Wandy Rodriguez - @PHI
97. Jhoulys Chacin - LAD
98. Carlos Zambrano - @WAS
99. Tom Gorzelanny - @CIN
100. Ross Ohlendorf - STL, @MIL

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