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Pitching Value Meter: No Love for Kershaw

Paul Sporer

Paul Sporer

Sporer covers pitching for RotoWire. He also writes for Baseball Prospectus and publishes an annual guide on starting pitcher. In his spare time, he roots for the Tigers.

As always, remember that rotations are subject to change so if you see something that isn't correct, assume that it was a change that has occurred since this article was posted. Feel free to bring it up in the comments, and I'll let you know where the new arm slots.

For the week April 29 - May 5

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Stephen Strasburg - @ATL, @PIT
2. Matt Harvey - @MIA, @ATL
3. Mat Latos - @STL, @CHC
4. Adam Wainwright - CIN, @MIL
5. Jeff Samardzija - SD, CIN
6. Clayton Kershaw - @SF
7. Matt Cain - @ARI, LAD (skills still intact; rash of HRs the main culprit)
8. Ian Kennedy - SF, @SD
9. Roy Halladay - @CLE, MIA
10. Gio Gonzalez - @ATL, @PIT
11. Cliff Lee - @CLE (first time facing club he grew up with, not drafted by though - that's Montreal)
12. Cole Hamels - MIA
13. Mike Minor - NYM (career-low 0.4 HR/9 rate fueling start; skills present from Day 1)
14. Madison Bumgarner - @ARI
15. Jordan Zimmermann - @ATL
16. A.J. Burnett - WAS
17. Wade Miley - @SD
18. Lance Lynn - CIN
19. Kyle Lohse - STL
20. Jaime Garcia - CIN, @MIL
21. Edwin Jackson - SD, CIN
22. Marco Estrada - PIT, STL
23. Homer Bailey - @STL
24. Kris Medlen - WAS
25. Patrick Corbin - @SD
26. Trevor Cahill - SF
27. Tim Lincecum - @ARI
28. Jon Niese - @ATL
29. Wandy Rodriguez - @MIL, WAS
30. Paul Maholm - WAS
31. Shelby Miller - @MIL
32. Tony Cingrani - @CHC
33. Hyun-Jin Ryu - COL
34. Ross Detwiler - @PIT
35. Kyle Kendrick - MIA
36. Josh Beckett - COL
37. Kevin Slowey - NYM, @PHI
38. Jose Fernandez - NYM, @PHI
39. Ted Lilly - COL, @SF
40. Yovani Gallardo - PIT, STL (this will likely be a wash as he rolls PIT and has nothing against STL)
41. Shaun Marcum - @ATL
42. Andrew Cashner - @CHC
43. Jorge De La Rosa - @LAD
44. Scott Feldman - SD
45. Dan Haren - @ATL
46. Tim Hudson - WAS, NYM
47. Travis Wood - SD
48. Dillon Gee - @MIA
49. Ricky Nolasco - @PHI
50. Ryan Vogelsong - LAD
51. Jonathan Pettibone - MIA
52. Mike Leake - @CHC
53. James McDonald - @MIL
54. Brandon McCarthy - SF
55. Carlos Villanueva - CIN

Notes: This may be the lowest Kershaw ever ranks, but with five aces have two starts he falls to six. Nevertheless, he is an unquestioned auto-start, so in the end it's moot as I can't imagine anyone would have to make a decision about benching him in favor of all five two-start pitchers. We have four former/recent aces just behind him, too. If they were pitching at their max level, we could've seen Kershaw at 10 in a one start against a favorable opponent in arguably baseball's best pitcher's park. Speaking of AT&T Park, he has a 0.66 ERA and 0.90 WHIP there in 54.7 innings.

Almost as incredible as Kershaw at No. 6 is Lee and Hamels Nos. 11 and 12, respectively, but we have so many good two-start guys in the NL this week that it played out that way. Last time Gio was a two-start and Lee a one-start, I had Lee ahead (and you might recall that he was better in his lone start than the combination of Gio's pair), but this time around Gio gets the NL's top two strikeout-prone teams, including a trip to the very favorable PNC Park, so he gets the edge just barely.

If Anibal Sanchez logged 17, how many Ks are Strasburg and Harvey going to drop on the Braves?

Kennedy gets what I call the "San-San Two Step" facing the Giants and Padres, which is arguably the best two-start week an NL West pitcher can have. The only thing that can make it better is if both are on the road as AT&T and Petco Parks are baseball's two best for pitchers, historically speaking.

Don't overrate Fernandez based on his long-term prospects. He's struggling to go five, which would put wins in doubt on any team, but of course he's on a terrible team, making things even more difficult. He has a 17-percent strikeout rate since his debut, so without a boatload of Ks or any real chance to win, he's not terribly valuable.

I played it cautiously with Gallardo as he does smoke the Pirates (2.59 ERA in 87 IP) while struggling mightily with the Cards (6.84 ERA in 79 IP). I can still understand starting him, but an implosion start can erase a gem in no time.

CAUTION

56. Julio Teheran - WAS, NYM (gem in Coors the start of something?)
57. Hiram Burgos - PIT
58. Barry Zito - LAD
59. Jason Marquis - ARI
60. Bronson Arroyo - @STL
61. Wily Peralta - STL
62. Clayton Richard -at CHC, ARI
63. Eric Stults - @CHC
64. Jeremy Hefner - @MIA
65. Edinson Volquez - @CHC
66. Alex Sanabia - @PHI
67. Wade LeBlanc - NYM
68. Stephen Fife - @SF
69. Tyler Chatwood - @LAD, TB
70. Jake Westbrook - @MIL (haven't bought him from minute one)
71. Jeff Locke - WAS
72. Jeff Francis - TB
73. Jonathan Sanchez - @MIL
74. Juan Nicasio - @LAD
75. Jon Garland - TB

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Justin Verlander - MIN, @HOU (how is it fair that MIN/HOU have to face both of these guys?)
2. Max Scherzer - MIN, @HOU (maybe they can file a grievance with the league?)
3. Yu Darvish - CWS, BOS
4. Jon Lester - @TOR, @TEX (ace version really appears to have returned)
5. Felix Hernandez - @TOR
6. Anibal Sanchez - MIN
7. R.A. Dickey - SEA
8. CC Sabathia - OAK
9. James Shields - TB (first outing against former club)
10. David Price - @COL
11. Alex Cobb - @KC, @COL
12. Matt Moore - @COL
13. Andy Pettitte - HOU, OAK
14. Doug Fister - @HOU
15. Hiroki Kuroda - HOU
16. Clay Buchholz - @TOR (he's been dominant thus far)
17. Hisashi Iwakuma - @TOR
18. Jake Peavy - @TEX
19. Chris Sale - @TEX (Sox co-aces would rate higher without bevy of HOU starts for solid arms)
20. Jason Hammel - @SEA, @LAA (slowly rounding into form, be patient)
21. Brandon Morrow - BOS, SEA (how maddening is he?)
22. Alexi Ogando - BOS
23. Derek Holland - BOS
24. Ryan Dempster - @TOR
25. Josh Johnson - BOS (if scratched for Laffey again, drop to 70s)
26. C.J. Wilson - @OAK
27. Wade Davis - CLE, CWS
28. Ervin Santana - TB (1 HR in 23 IP since allowing 3 in opener)
29. Wei-Yin Chen - @SEA
30. Jeremy Guthrie - CWS (has 0.50 ERA, 0.81 WHIP vs. CWS in 35.7 IP as a Royal; 4.44/1.24 vs. rest)
31. Jeremy Hellickson - @KC
32. J.A. Happ - SEA
33. Jose Quintana - @TEX, @KC (I'm still skeptical, but the added Ks temper the worry)
34. Justin Masterson - MIN (I'm still nervous start-to-start with him)
35. Jason Vargas - BAL
36. Zach McAllister - PHI
37. Tommy Milone - LAA
38. Gavin Floyd - @KC
39. Brandon Maurer - BAL (Impressive rebound from the disgusting two starts to open the season)
40. Nick Tepesch - CWS
41. Justin Grimm - CWS
42. Ivan Nova/David Phelps - HOU (Nova left latest start w/Phelps replacing him; stay tuned)
43. Rick Porcello - @HOU

Notes: With hindsight being 20/15, if I had known the state of AL pitching was going to be on such shaky ground after the stars, I'd have invested more heavily in the upper crust in my AL-only leagues. Thankfully, there were some studs I was very interested in even at full price (Darvish, Moore, Peavy) or else things could've gotten really awful. Enough about me and my teams, though.

Price and Moore going to Coors isn't fun, but they are the elite-level pitchers who must be used everywhere. However, just to allay your fears a bit more, consider the following: the Rockies are 9-3 at home, but nine of the 12 starters have escaped allowing three or fewer runs. The other three allowed four (McCarthy and Volquez) and five (Gee). Cobb's second start gives him a slight edge over Moore, but I'd still take one Price outing over two Cobb ones if that were somehow a decision I had to make.

CAUTION

44. Jarrod Parker - LAA (the stuff is still there so I'm not totally giving up yet, but be cautious)
45. Brett Anderson - LAA, @NYY (look beyond the name, he's been terrible, and how bad is the ankle?)
46. Roberto Hernandez - @KC
47. Felix Doubront - @TEX
48. Scott Kazmir - PHI
49. Lucas Harrell - @NYY, DET (I like him a bit overall, but not against this pair)
50. Bartolo Colon - @NYY
51. Phil Hughes - OAK
52. Chris Tillman - @LAA
53. A.J. Griffin - @NYY
54. Bud Norris - DET
55. Miguel Gonzalez - @LAA
56. Dylan Axelrod - @KC
57. Brad Peacock - DET
58. Joe Blanton - BAL
59. John Lackey - @TEX (likely returning from injury)
60. Luis Mendoza - TB, CWS
61. Garrett Richards - @OAK, BAL
62. Tommy Hanson - @OAK, BAL
63. Joe Saunders - BAL, @TOR
64. Kevin Correia - @CLE
65. Scott Diamond - @DET
66. Vance Worley - @DET
67. Corey Kluber - MIN
68. Mark Buehrle - BOS
69. Mike Pelfrey - @DET, @CLE
70. Erik Bedard - @NYY
71. BALTIMORE FIFTH SP - @SEA, @LAA (Josh Stinson sent down, no replacement named yet)
72. Pedro Hernandez - @CLE
73. Aaron Harang - BAL
74. Phil Humber - @NYY, DET (this could be comical)
75. Ubaldo Jimenez - @KC, MIN

MLB TOP 100

1. Justin Verlander - MIN, @HOU
2. Max Scherzer - MIN, @HOU
3. Stephen Strasburg - @ATL, @PIT
4. Matt Harvey - @MIA, @ATL
5. Yu Darvish - CWS, BOS
6. Mat Latos - @STL, @CHC
7. Adam Wainwright - CIN, @MIL
8. Jeff Samardzija - SD, CIN
9. Jon Lester - @TOR, @TEX
10. Clayton Kershaw - @SF
11. Matt Cain - @ARI, LAD
12. Ian Kennedy - SF, @SD
13. Roy Halladay - @CLE, MIA
14. Gio Gonzalez - @ATL, @PIT
15. Cliff Lee - @CLE
16. Cole Hamels - MIA
17. Felix Hernandez - @TOR
18. Anibal Sanchez - MIN
19. R.A. Dickey - SEA
20. CC Sabathia - OAK
21. James Shields - TB
22. David Price - @COL
23. Alex Cobb - @KC, @COL
24. Matt Moore - @COL
25. Andy Pettitte - HOU, OAK
26. Doug Fister - @HOU
27. Hiroki Kuroda - HOU
28. Mike Minor - NYM
29. Madison Bumgarner - @ARI
30. Clay Buchholz - @TOR
31. Jordan Zimmermann - @ATL
32. Hisashi Iwakuma - @TOR
33. Jake Peavy - @TEX
34. Chris Sale - @TEX
35. A.J. Burnett - WAS
36. Wade Miley - @SD
37. Lance Lynn - CIN
38. Kyle Lohse - STL
39. Jaime Garcia - CIN, @MIL
40. Edwin Jackson - SD, CIN
41. Jason Hammel - @SEA, @LAA
42. Brandon Morrow - BOS, SEA
43. Marco Estrada - PIT, STL
44. Homer Bailey - @STL
45. Kris Medlen - WAS
46. Patrick Corbin - @SD
47. Trevor Cahill - SF
48. Tim Lincecum - @ARI
49. Alexi Ogando - BOS
50. Derek Holland - BOS
51. Jon Niese - @ATL
52. Wandy Rodriguez - @MIL, WAS
53. Paul Maholm - WAS
54. Ryan Dempster - @TOR
55. Josh Johnson - BOS (if scratched for Laffey again, drop out of top 100 altogether, of course)
56. Shelby Miller - @MIL
57. Tony Cingrani - @CHC
58. Hyun-Jin Ryu - COL
59. Ross Detwiler - @PIT
60. Kyle Kendrick - MIA
61. Josh Beckett - COL
62. Kevin Slowey - NYM, @PHI
63. Jose Fernandez - NYM, @PHI
64. Ted Lilly - COL, @SF
65. C.J. Wilson - @OAK
66. Wade Davis - CLE, CWS
67. Ervin Santana - TB
68. Wei-Yin Chen - @SEA
69. Jeremy Guthrie - CWS
70. Jeremy Hellickson - @KC
71. Yovani Gallardo - PIT, STL
72. Shaun Marcum - @ATL
73. Andrew Cashner - @CHC
74. J.A. Happ - SEA
75. Jose Quintana - @TEX, @KC
76. Justin Masterson - MIN
77. Jorge De La Rosa - @LAD
78. Jason Vargas - BAL
79. Zach McAllister - PHI
80. Tommy Milone - LAA
81. Scott Feldman - SD
82. Dan Haren - @ATL
83. Tim Hudson - WAS, NYM
84. Gavin Floyd - @KC
85. Brandon Maurer - BAL
86. Nick Tepesch - CWS
87. Justin Grimm - CWS
88. Ivan Nova/David Phelps - HOU
89. Rick Porcello - @HOU
90. Travis Wood - SD
91. Dillon Gee - @MIA
92. Ricky Nolasco - @PHI
93. Ryan Vogelsong - LAD
94. Jonathan Pettibone - MIA
95. Mike Leake - @CHC
96. James McDonald - @MIL
97. Brandon McCarthy - SF
98. Carlos Villanueva - CIN
99. Jarrod Parker - LAA
100. Brett Anderson - LAA, @NYY

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