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Pitching Value Meter: Sonny Days in Oakland

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 was written and feel free to politely bring it up in the comments, and I'll let you know where the new arm slots.

For the week April 14-20

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Anibal Sanchez - CLE, LAA
2. Masahiro Tanaka - CHC, at TB
Note: Now just imagine if he can avoid that HR per game he's allowed so far
3. Chris Archer - at BAL, NYY
Note: 2.68 ERA since July 2013 is the fifth-best in AL, his 1.01 WHIP is second
4. Yordano Ventura - at HOU, MIN
Note: Dazzling debut shows upside, but there will be command issues in spurts
5. Yu Darvish - SEA
Note: Ho-hum, just 15 scoreless IP to kick off his season
6. Justin Verlander - LAA
7. Max Scherzer - LAA
8. Felix Hernandez - at TEX
Note: Almost underrated at this point; don't love a trip to Texas, but can't bench him
9. Alex Cobb - NYY
10. James Shields - MIN
11. Sonny Gray - HOU
Note: Spent most of last year as 2-pitch pitcher, but using changeup and cutter 20 percent of the time this year
12. David Price - at BAL
13. Chris Sale - BOS
14. Scott Kazmir - HOU
Note: Gutted out win in MIN; can justify my big ranking last week with a gem in SEA
15. Michael Pineda - CHC
Note: Might not even need the pineta ... er ... dirt against the Cubbies
16. Jon Lester - at CWS
17. Hiroki Kuroda - at TB
18. John Lackey - BAL
19. Jesse Chavez - at LAA, HOU
Note: Doesn't quite get elite boost in 2-start week, but this experiment has gone swimmingly
20. Justin Masterson - at DET
Note: Masterson, Weaver get a bit of a penalty heading into DET in 1-start weeks
21. Jered Weaver - at DET
22. R.A. Dickey - at MIN
Note: Hasn't shown consistency necessary to expect Cy Young version to ever return
23. Corey Kluber - TOR
Note: Much better second time around, but still bouts of inconsistency with command
24. Chris Tillman - TB
25. Tyler Skaggs - OAK
26. Dan Straily - at LAA
Note: All 4 ER have come via the homer
27. Scott Feldman - KC
Note: Has been downright Jarred Cosartian with 0.44 ERA, sub-1 K:BB ratio
28. Erasmo Ramirez - at TEX
29. CC Sabathia - at TB
Note: Hard not like the 21:3 K:BB in 19 IP, but it's been more control than command
30. Ivan Nova - at TB
31. C.J. Wilson - at DET
32. Danny Salazar - at DET
Note: Start in CWS showed upside and downside all in one; HR were my big concern entering season
33. Jason Vargas - MIN
34. Martin Perez - CWS
35. Clay Buchholz - at CWS
Note: Never been a fan, but it'll get better
36. Rick Porcello - CLE
Note: Just like Porcello to waste great opportunity in Petco by being extremely hittable against inept offense
37. Drew Smyly - CLE
Note: 5,000 off days for DET have delayed his first start, but looked great out of the pen
38. Hector Santiago - OAK, at DET
Note: Ks don't do me any good if they come with a bundle of hits and runs, Hector!
39. Colby Lewis - SEA, CWS
40. Jake Peavy - at CWS, BAL
41. Jake Odorizzi - at BAL, NYY
42. Brandon Morrow - at MIN, at CLE
Note: Sorry if a start vs. HOU doesn't fill me with confidence; still skeptical
43. Phil Hughes - TOR, at KC
Note: Still think we're going to see a much better version of Hughes this year
44. Robbie Ross - SEA, CWS
45. Zach McAllister - at DET, TOR
46. Jose Quintana - at TEX
Note: Handled Coors with aplomb so I'm still starting him in TEX, but still a bit nervous
47. Ricky Nolasco - at KC
48. Kyle Gibson - TOR
Note: Hopefully he cleans up the BB before someone makes him pay
49. Garrett Richards - OAK
50. Brett Oberholtzer - at OAK
Note: Finally draws a decent opponent/venue combo
51. Mark Buehrle - at CLE

CONSIDER


52. Dustin McGowan - at MIN
53. Drew Hutchison - at CLE
54. Bruce Chen - at HOU
Note: Wouldn't personally start either Royal, but if you ever will, it's here
55. Jeremy Guthrie - at HOU
56. Tommy Milone - at LAA
Note: Not an awful stream option in a pitcher-friendly venue
57. Tanner Scheppers - SEA
58. Chris Young - at MIA
Note: Similar to Royals, I'm not really a fan, but these are starts streaming was made for
59. Jarred Cosart - at OAK
Note: Still unimpressive components, but still intriguing talent
60. Cesar Ramos - NYY
Note: Making his fourth MLB start
61. Dallas Keuchel - KC

SIT


62. Wei-Yin Chen - TB, at BOS
63. Roenis Elias - at TEX, at MIA
Note: Jury is still out, and trip to MIA might only be cleanup job for one to TEX
64. Ubaldo Jimenez - at BOS
65. John Danks - BOS
66. Felipe Paulino - at TEX
67. Miguel Gonzalez - TB
68. Bud Norris - at BOS
69. Felix Doubront - BAL
70. Kevin Correia - at KC
71. Carlos Carrasco - TOR
72. Erik Johnson - BOS, at TEX
73. Mariners Fifth - at TEX, at MIA
Note: Zero interest if it's Blake Beavan, but that changes drastically if it's Taijuan Walker
74. Lucas Harrell - KC, at OAK
75. Mike Pelfrey - TOR

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Gerrit Cole - at CIN, at MIL
2. Jordan Zimmermann - at MIA, STL
Note: Can honestly say I didn't see his worst start ever coming against MIA
3. Stephen Strasburg - at MIA, STL
4. Ervin Santana - at PHI, at NYM
Note: How do you go 8 IP in season debut after a truncated spring? Do so in 88 pitches!
5. Cliff Lee - ATL, at COL
6. Homer Bailey - PIT, at CHC
Note: Two shellackings against powerful STL aren't enough to induce panic
7. Jose Fernandez - WAS
Note: Didn't see his worst start ever coming against the Phillies!
8. Andrew Cashner - COL
Note: An ace in the making? An ace in the making!
9. Adam Wainwright - at WAS
10. Zack Greinke - at SF
11. Julio Teheran - at PHI
Note: Want to see more Ks, but otherwise he's been excellent
12. Madison Bumgarner - LAD
13. Marco Estrada - STL, at PIT
Note: Will give up HR, just need solo shots and rarer than they were last year
14. Matt Garza - STL, at PIT
15. Lance Lynn - at MIL, at WAS
Note: Ugly 6.55 ERA, but comfort yourself with pair of wins he didn't deserve
16. Robbie Erlin - COL, SF
Note: Huge Erlin fan and excited to see him get a real shot
17. Zack Wheeler - at ARI, ATL
18. Eric Stults - COL, SF
Note: Great streaming option in Petco
19. Wandy Rodriguez - at CIN, MIL
20. Dan Haren - ARI
21. Matt Cain - at SD
Note: Let yourself panic if SD does to him what LAD did last Sunday
22. Michael Wacha - at WAS
Note: Earning his obscene draft price
23. Gio Gonzalez - STL
24. Jeff Samardzija - CIN
25. Johnny Cueto - PIT
Note: Finally combined big Ks with the heavy GB rate, now if he can just stay healthy!
26. Nathan Eovaldi - SEA
Note: Deserved a much better fate last Sunday, but Alexi Amarista just golfed a great pitch out
27. Francisco Liriano - at CIN
28. Hyun-Jin Ryu - at SF
Note: Still starting him against SF even after the 2 IP/6 ER disaster from Apr 4th
29. Yovani Gallardo - at PIT
30. Tony Cingrani - at CHC
Note: Each of the spectrum with his starts, but can't be upset with a 2.45 ERA after two starts against STL
31. Tim Hudson - at SD
32. Bartolo Colon - ATL
33. Alex Wood - at PHI
34. Jenrry Mejia - at ARI
Note: We've seen both ends of Mejia's value spectrum in two starts, but upside is high enough to see if he can rein in the control
35. Kyle Lohse - at PIT
36. Tyson Ross - SF
37. Dillon Gee - at ARI
Note: Another strong effort that went south after 75 pitches
38. Wade Miley - at LAD
39. Wily Peralta - STL
40. Jason Hammel - at NYY
Note: Surprising start early with component numbers to stay interested
41. Travis Wood - at NYY
Note: 17 K in 12.3 IP is intriguing, but is it legit or just easy oppoennts?
42. Jon Niese - ATL
43. Mike Leake - PIT
44. Tanner Roark - at MIA
45. Joe Kelly - at MIL
Note: I still want more missed bats, but it's hard to complain about 0.75 ERA
46. Charlie Morton - MIL
47. Taylor Jordan - STL

CONSIDER


48. Shelby Miller - at MIL, at WAS
Note: Don't blame you for sitting him for a spell as he irons out his problems
49. A.J. Burnett - ATL
Note: Haven't seen these control struggles since his early time in NYY
50. Aaron Harang - at NYM
51. Tim Lincecum - LAD, at SD
Note: Do you really want to have him disappoint you twice in a week?
52. Brett Anderson - at SD
53. Tom Koehler - WAS
Note: Sneaky little pick-up in deep or NL-only leagues
54. Henderson Alvarez - SEA
55. Josh Beckett - at SF, ARI
56. Jorge de la Rosa - at SD
57. Alfredo Simon - at CHC

SIT


58. Bronson Arroyo - NYM, at LAD
59. Edwin Jackson - CIN
60. Trevor Cahill - at LAD
61. Ian Kennedy - COL
62. Edinson Volquez - MIL
Note: Need more than one start to invest given his track record of inadequacy
63. Tyler Chatwood - PHI
Note: Like him long-term, but let him get a few starts off the DL before starting him
64. Brandon McCarthy - NYM
65. Carlos Villanueva - CIN
66. David Hale - at PHI, at NYM
67. Brad Hand - WAS, SEA
68. Jonathan Pettibone - ATL
69. Ryan Vogelsong - LAD
70. Randall Delgado - NYM
71. Juan Nicasio - at SD, PHI
72. Paul Maholm - ARI
73. Kyle Kendrick - at COL
74. Roberto Hernandez - ATL, at COL
75. Jordan Lyles - at SD, PHI

MLB TOP 100


1. Gerrit Cole - at CIN, at MIL
2. Jordan Zimmermann - at MIA, STL
3. Stephen Strasburg - at MIA, STL
4. Ervin Santana - at PHI, at NYM
5. Anibal Sanchez - CLE, LAA
6. Chris Archer - at BAL, NYY
7. Masahiro Tanaka - CHC, at TB
8. Cliff Lee - ATL, at COL
9. Homer Bailey - PIT, at CHC
10. Yordano Ventura - at HOU, MIN
11. Yu Darvish - SEA
12. Justin Verlander - LAA
13. Max Scherzer - LAA
14. Jose Fernandez - WAS
15. Felix Hernandez - at TEX
16. Alex Cobb - NYY
17. Andrew Cashner - COL
18. Adam Wainwright - at WAS
19. Zack Greinke - at SF
20. Madison Bumgarner - LAD
21. Julio Teheran - at PHI
22. James Shields - MIN
23. Sonny Gray - HOU
24. David Price - at BAL
25. Chris Sale - BOS
26. Marco Estrada - STL, at PIT
27. Matt Garza - STL, at PIT
28. Lance Lynn - at MIL, at WAS
29. Robbie Erlin - COL, SF
30. Zack Wheeler - at ARI, ATL
31. Eric Stults - COL, SF
32. Wandy Rodriguez - at CIN, MIL
33. Dan Haren - ARI
34. Matt Cain - at SD
35. Scott Kazmir - HOU
36. Michael Pineda - CHC
37. Jon Lester - at CWS
38. Hiroki Kuroda - at TB
39. John Lackey - BAL
40. Michael Wacha - at WAS
41. Gio Gonzalez - STL
42. Jeff Samardzija - CIN
43. Johnny Cueto - PIT
44. Jesse Chavez - at LAA, HOU
45. Nathan Eovaldi - SEA
46. Francisco Liriano - at CIN
47. Hyun-Jin Ryu - at SF
48. Yovani Gallardo - at PIT
49. Justin Masterson - at DET
50. Jered Weaver - at DET
51. Tony Cingrani - at CHC
52. Tim Hudson - at SD
53. Bartolo Colon - ATL
54. Alex Wood - at PHI
55. Jenrry Mejia - at ARI
56. Kyle Lohse - at PIT
57. Tyson Ross - SF
58. Dillon Gee - at ARI
59. Wade Miley - at LAD
60. Wily Peralta - STL
61. Jason Hammel - at NYY
62. Travis Wood - at NYY
63. Jon Niese - ATL
64. Mike Leake - PIT
65. R.A. Dickey - at MIN
66. Corey Kluber - TOR
67. Chris Tillman - TB
68. Tyler Skaggs - OAK
69. Dan Straily - at LAA
70. Scott Feldman - KC
71. Erasmo Ramirez - at TEX
72. CC Sabathia - at TB
73. Ivan Nova - at TB
74. C.J. Wilson - at DET
75. Danny Salazar - at DET
76. Jason Vargas - MIN
77. Martin Perez - CWS
78. Clay Buchholz - at CWS
79. Rick Porcello - CLE
80. Drew Smyly - CLE
81. Tanner Roark - at MIA
82. Joe Kelly - at MIL
83. Charlie Morton - MIL
84. Hector Santiago - OAK, at DET
85. Colby Lewis - SEA, CWS
86. Jake Peavy - at CWS, BAL
87. Jake Odorizzi - at BAL, NYY
88. Brandon Morrow - at MIN, at CLE
89. Phil Hughes - TOR, at KC
90. Robbie Ross - SEA, CWS
91. Zach McAllister - at DET, TOR
92. Taylor Jordan - STL
93. Jose Quintana - at TEX
94. Ricky Nolasco - at KC
95. Kyle Gibson - TOR
96. Garrett Richards - OAK
97. Brett Oberholtzer - at OAK
98. Mark Buehrle - at CLE
99. Shelby Miller - at MIL, at WAS
100. A.J. Burnett - ATL