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Pitching Value Meter: Ace of the League

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.


Quick hits for the week:

Here at RotoWire we recognize that we are not the only game in town. The record shows we're tops in the industry, but to say that you don't have options would be shortsighted on our part. Why do I say that? The comments section. I've not been good about circling back on your comments, and for that, I truly apologize and promise to do better. I will admit that this is a tough article to write. I often start it Friday morning and finish late at night between my day job, wife, kids, etc., and things certainly change. Pitchers get pushed back, hurt, called up, etc. You have questions on the rankings and rightfully so, as this is just one man's rankings, and I'm sure other RotoWire analysts would have differing options. If you have questions/comments, feel free to leave them in the comments section and I promise to answer every one. If you want to email me feel free to do that as well - vtadave@yahoo.com.

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For the week Aug. 8-14

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Start 'Em

1. Roy Halladay - @LAD, WAS
2. Cliff Lee - @LAD
3. Clayton Kershaw - HOU
4. Cole Hamels - WAS
5. Tim Lincecum - @FLA
6. Ryan Vogelsong - PIT, @FLA
7. Matt Cain - @FLA
8. Matt Garza - WAS, @ATL
9. Zack Greinke - PIT
10. Dan Hudson - HOU, NYM
11. Madison Bumgarner - PIT
12. Hiroki Kuroda - PHI, HOU
13. Vance Worley - @LAD
14. Tim Stauffer - @NYM, @CIN
15. Johnny Cueto - COL
16. Chris Carpenter - COL
17. Ian Kennedy - NYM
18. Jair Jurrjens - CHC
19. Tommy Hanson - CHC
20. Roy Oswalt - WAS
21. Shaun Marcum - @STL, PIT
22. Mat Latos - @CIN
23. Tim Hudson - @FLA
24. Yovani Gallardo - @STL
25. Javier Vazquez - SF
26. Jhoulys Chacin - @CIN
27. Wandy Rodriguez - @ARI, @LAD
28. Jaime Garcia - COL
29. Jordan Zimmermann - @CHC
30. Chad Billingsley - PHI
31. Mike Pelfrey - SD, @ARI
32. Jordan Lyles - @ARI, @LAD
33. Anibal Sanchez - ATL
34. Jonathon Niese - SD
35. Brandon Beachy - @FLA
36. Jeff Karstens - @SF
37. Ryan Dempster - WAS
38. Bud Norris - @LAD
39. Cory Luebke - @NYM
40. Mike Leake - COL
41. Brett Myers - @ARI
42. Ricky Nolasco - SF
43. Josh Collmenter - HOU
44. Randy Wolf - @STL
45. Edwin Jackson - MIL, COL
46. Joe Saunders - HOU
47. R.A. Dickey - SD

Borderline Depending on League Format

48. Dontrelle Willis - COL, SD
49. Homer Bailey - COL, SD
50. Chris Narveson - PIT
51. Chris Capuano - SD, @ARI
52. Juan Nicasio - @CIN (check status - hit by ball on Friday)
53. Carlos Zambrano - @ATL
54. Dillon Gee - @ARI
55. James McDonald - @SF
56. Aaron Harang - @NYM
57. Jason Marquis - HOU, NYM
58. Bronson Arroyo - SD
59. Ted Lilly - PHI
60. Jonathan Sanchez - PIT
61. Randy Wells - @ATL
62. Paul Maholm - @MIL
63. Jason Hammel - @CIN, @STL
64. Jake Westbrook - MIL
65. John Lannan - @PHI
66. Clay Hensley - ATL
67. Charlie Morton - @SF, @MIL
68. Nathan Eovaldi - HOU

Extreme Caution Advised

69. Ross Detwiler - @CHC
70. Livan Hernandez - @PHI
71. Kyle Lohse - MIL
72. Brad Hand - ATL, SF
73. Derek Lowe - @FLA, CHC
74. Chien-ming Wang - @PHI
75. Rodrigo Lopez - WAS
76. J.A. Happ - @ARI
77. Kevin Correia - @MIL
78. Esmil Rogers - @CIN, @STL
79. Aaron Cook - @STL
80. Anthony Bass / Undecided - @NYM, @CIN
81. Barry Zito - @CIN

Notes:
It's not often that a $15 million a year pitcher has to get the dreaded vote of confidence (Barry Zito the exception), but Derek Lowe received one this week. Lowe has a 7.52 ERA over his last five starts and is probably costing his team games considering the Braves have able-bodied replacements in Julio Teheran, Mike Minor and Randall Delgado. ... Madison Bumgarner rebounded nicely after I expressed some concern in this week's Mound Musings - eight two-run innings against the tough Phillies. ... Stephen Strasburg (elbow) gets his first rehab start Sunday. I wonder how many empty seats there will be in Hagerstown that day? ... Lost in the Aroldis Chapman hype is the performance by another Reds left-hander, Dontrelle Willis. Willis has a 17:11 K:BB in 29 innings, which isn't great, but four of his five starts have been of the quality start variety. Teams could do a lot, lot worse (see K.C.) with their No. 5 starter slot. ... I watched the game in which James McDonald allowed four runs (three via the HR), and for him, it's all about location . The fastball was in the 92-94 mph range, and the curveball looked good, but he left too many pitches up in the zone. I still like his long-term upside. ... The rich get richer, as Roy Oswalt makes his return Sunday, Aug. 7. Pretty amazing (funny in a way) to think he's their fifth-best starter. ... Anthony Bass could be a candidate to fill the San Diego No. 5 slot now that Dustin Moseley (shoulder) is out for the year. Nothing to see here. ... Non-pitching random stat: Emilio Bonafacio has a .365 OBP, which leads the team. ... Jordan Zimmermann has a 6.71 ERA since the break, but his 16:1 K:BB in 17.1 innings is a better indicator of how he'll do the rest of the way. Just expect his innings to be somewhat limited. ... Of the top six K:BB leaders in the game, three are Phillies. Add Hunter Pence and a great 1-2 punch in the back of the bullpen (if they are even needed), and this team looks unbeatable. ... Clayton Kershaw averages the same number of pitches per innings as Roy Halladay. The leap that Kershaw has taken this year? Enormous. If the Dodgers wanted to lock up Kershaw to a six-year deal after this year, they are looking at an outlay in the $90 million range, if not more. ... Among all current starting pitchers who qualify for the ERA title, Bronson Arroyo is rated the worst in terms of WAR at -0.6, where 2.0 or so is considered average. WAR is based on FIP from what I understand so it's really the lack of strikeouts that hurt Arroyo in that metric. That said, I'd easily take Arroyo over pitchers like J.A. Happ and Chris Volstad who come out looking slightly better in terms of WAR.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Start 'Em

1. Justin Verlander - @CLE
2. Jered Weaver - @TOR
3. Josh Beckett - @SEA
4. CC Sabathia - TB
5. James Shields - KC, @NYY
6. Justin Masterson - DET, MIN
7. Matt Harrison - SEA, @OAK
8. Jeremy Hellickson - KC, @NYY
9. C.J. Wilson - @OAK
10. Dan Haren - @NYY
11. Felix Hernandez - BOS
12. Jon Lester - @MIN
13. Derek Holland - SEA
14. David Price - @NYY
15. Ervin Santana - @TOR
16. Ubaldo Jimenez - DET
17. Max Scherzer - @BAL
18. Colby Lewis - @OAK
19. Jeff Niemann - KC
20. Ricky Romero - LAA
21. Alexi Ogando - SEA
22. Gio Gonzalez - @TOR
23. Brett Cecil - OAK, LAA
24. Brandon Morrow - OAK
25. John Danks - KC
26. Doug Fister - @CLE, @BAL
27. Josh Tomlin - MIN
28. Mark Buehrle - @BAL
29. Rich Harden - @TOR, TEX
30. Michael Pineda - @TEX
31. Gavin Floyd - @BAL, KC
32. Scott Baker - BOS, @CLE
33. Felipe Paulino - @TB
34. Erik Bedard - @MIN
35. Bartolo Colon - LAA
36. Rick Porcello - @BAL
37. Fausto Carmona - MIN
38. Brad Mills - OAK
39. Freddy Garcia - TB
40. Jake Peavy - @BAL

Borderline Depending on League Format

41. Philip Humber - @BAL, KC
42. Phil Hughes - LAA, TB
43. Brandon McCarthy - TEX
44. Wade Davis - KC
45. John Lackey - @SEA
46. Carlos Carrasco - DET
47. Tim Wakefield - @MIN, @SEA
48. Luke Hochevar - @TB, @CHW
49. Francisco Liriano - BOS
50. Charlie Furbush - @TEX, BOS
51. A.J. Burnett - LAA
52. Jeff Francis - @TB, @CHW
53. Alfredo Simon - DET
54. Danny Duffy - @TB
55. Jeremy Guthrie - CHW, DET

Extreme Caution Advised

56. Guillermo Moscoso - @TOR
57. Nick Blackburn - BOS
58. Brian Duensing - @CLE
59. Jason Vargas - @TEX
60. Tyler Chatwood - @NYY
61. Tommy Hunter - CHW
62. Blake Beavan - BOS
63. Brad Bergesen - CHW, DET
64. Jo-Jo Reyes - CHW
65. Jesse Litsch - LAA
66. Brad Penny - @CLE
67. Bruce Chen - @CHW
68. Carl Pavano - @CLE
69. Garrett Richards (maybe) - @NYY, @TOR
70. Trevor Cahill - TEX

Notes: I have no idea what's going on in Baltimore, where they can't seem to buy a successful young arm after so many showed so much promise. Jake Arrieta is done for the year with elbow surgery, Brian Matusz's velocity has disappeared, Chris Tillman has done nothing and Zach Britton is faltering (5.1 IP, 4 ER against the Royals?) after a promising start to his season. Time for some new coaching. ... Joel Pineiro has deservedly been shipped to the bullpen. As I type this, no replacement had been named, but look for 23-year-old Garrett Richards (2.56 ERA in is last 10 starts) to get the call from Double-A. ... Not quite sure how the Red Sox will slot their rotation this week, but outside of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Erik Bedard (maybe), relying on Boston starters this week is a risky proposition, though maybe you use John Lackey in Seattle. ... I have Jesse Litsch slotted in as the Jays' No. 5 starter this week, but it could also be Henderson Alvarez. Alvarez is just 21, but his 65:17 K:BB in 91 innings in Double-A is pretty good. He'd be worth an AL-only flier if called upon. ... The Victor Martinez trade has worked out quite well for the Indians. Justin Masterson is developing into an ace, posting a 34:4 K:BB in 34.2 innings since the break. He gives the Indians, along with Ubaldo Jimenez, a legitimate shot in the postseason if they get that far. ... Brandon Morrow leads all major league starters with a 10.7 K/9, and Mariners fans are left pondering a rotation with Morrow, Felix Hernandez and Michael Pineda, all of whom are 200-plus strikeouts guys in their primes. ... Jered Weaver has the lowest HR/Flyball rate in baseball at 3.6 percent. Considering he's a flyball guy, that should probably be a little troubling, but either way, Weaver is still obviously quite good. I'm also pretty sure that although Torii Hunter isn't robbing batters of as many homers as he used to, the Angels still have, along with Arizona, perhaps baseball's best defensive outfield. With Mike Trout on the way, that will continue next year. ... Speaking of Morrow, his 4.58 ERA versus an xFIP of 3.18 is the biggest gap in the game. It's an indicator that he's had some bad luck on balls in play, though with Brett Lawrie now manning third, the Jays are below average defensively at three infield positions. The outfield isn't much better. ... I don't profess to know exactly how these numbers are determined but I found it interesting to note that Justin Verlander's fastball is not only the fastest in the game (was Rubby De La Rosa before he got hurt), but it's also the highest rated in terms of effectiveness. Verlander combines that with a curve that is tops in the AL and fourth-best in the game. Want more? His changeup is also well above average, ranking 10th in the game, and he actually uses that pitch fairly often - about 17 percent of the time. Not a bad pitcher.

MIXED LEAGUE TOP 100

1. Roy Halladay - @LAD, WAS
2. Cliff Lee - @LAD
3. Clayton Kershaw - HOU
4. James Shields - KC, @NYY
5. Justin Verlander - @CLE
6. Cole Hamels - WAS
7. Jered Weaver - @TOR
8. Josh Beckett - @SEA
9. CC Sabathia - TB
10. Tim Lincecum - @FLA
11. Ryan Vogelsong - PIT, @FLA
12. Justin Masterson - DET, MIN
13. Matt Cain - @FLA
14. Matt Harrison - SEA, @OAK
15. Matt Garza - WAS, @ATL
16. Zack Greinke - PIT
17. Dan Hudson - HOU, NYM
18. Jeremy Hellickson - KC, @NYY
19. Madison Bumgarner - PIT
20. Hiroki Kuroda - PHI, HOU
21. Vance Worley - @LAD
22. Tim Stauffer - @NYM, @CIN
23. C.J. Wilson - @OAK
24. Johnny Cueto - COL
25. Chris Carpenter - COL
26. Dan Haren - @NYY
27. Ian Kennedy - NYM
28. Jair Jurrjens - CHC
29. Felix Hernandez - BOS
30. Jon Lester - @MIN
31. Derek Holland - SEA
32. Tommy Hanson - CHC
33. David Price - @NYY
34. Ervin Santana - @TOR
35. Ubaldo Jimenez - DET
36. Max Scherzer - @BAL
37. Colby Lewis - @OAK
38. Jeff Niemann - KC
39. Roy Oswalt - WAS
40. Ricky Romero - LAA
41. Shaun Marcum - @STL, PIT
42. Mat Latos - @CIN
43. Tim Hudson - @FLA
44. Alexi Ogando - SEA
45. Yovani Gallardo - @STL
46. Gio Gonzalez - @TOR
47. Brandon Morrow - OAK
48. John Danks - KC
49. Doug Fister - @CLE, @BAL
50. Josh Tomlin - MIN
51. Javier Vazquez - SF
52. Jhoulys Chacin - @CIN
53. Wandy Rodriguez - @ARI, @LAD
54. Jaime Garcia - COL
55. Jordan Zimmermann - @CHC
56. Brett Cecil - OAK, LAA
57. Chad Billingsley - PHI
58. Mike Pelfrey - SD, @ARI
59. Jordan Lyles - @ARI, @LAD
60. Anibal Sanchez - ATL
61. Mark Buehrle - @BAL
62. Jonathon Niese - SD
63. Brandon Beachy - @FLA
64. Rich Harden - @TOR, TEX
65. Michael Pineda - @TEX
66. Gavin Floyd - @BAL, KC
67. Jeff Karstens - @SF
68. Ryan Dempster - WAS
69. Bud Norris - @LAD
70. Scott Baker - BOS, @CLE
71. Felipe Paulino - @TB
72. Cory Luebke - @NYM
73. Erik Bedard - @MIN
74. Bartolo Colon - LAA
75. Rick Porcello - @BAL
76. Mike Leake - COL
77. Fausto Carmona - MIN
78. Brad Mills - OAK
79. Brett Myers - @ARI
80. Ricky Nolasco - SF
81. Freddy Garcia - TB
82. Josh Collmenter - HOU
83. Randy Wolf - @STL
84. Edwin Jackson - MIL, COL
85. Jake Peavy - @BAL
86. Joe Saunders - HOU
87. R.A. Dickey - SD
88. Dontrelle Willis - COL, SD
89. Philip Humber - @BAL, KC
90. Phil Hughes - LAA, TB
91. Homer Bailey - COL, SD
92. Chris Narveson - PIT
93. Chris Capuano - SD, @ARI
94. Juan Nicasio - @CIN (check status - hit by ball on Friday)
95. Carlos Zambrano - @ATL
96. Dillon Gee - @ARI
97. James McDonald - @SF
98. Aaron Harang - @NYM
99. Jason Marquis - HOU, NYM
100. Brandon McCarthy - TEX

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

Follow @vtadave on Twitter.