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Pitching Value Meter: Discounted Darvish Paying Off

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 14-27

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Yu Darvish - at OAK, at SEA
Note: If you drafted in window where he was DL'd and there was panic about his neck, you got a helluva discount
2. Justin Verlander - CWS, at MIN
3. Felix Hernandez - HOU, TEX
4. Masahiro Tanaka - at BOS, LAA
Note: Exceeded my expectations early, particularly with the 33.7-percent K rate
5. James Shields - at CLE, at BAL
Note: Among the most underrated frontline arms in the game
6. Chris Sale - at DET, TB
7. Jon Lester - NYY, at TOR
Note: Quietly off to brilliant start, could this finally be the Cy-caliber season we've dreamt of?
8. Anibal Sanchez - CWS, at MIN
9. Max Scherzer - CWS
10. David Price - MIN
Note: See if 4.39 ERA can bring a discount via trade; he's fine
11. Sonny Gray - TEX
Note: Conversely, consider selling high on 1.80 ERA; he's good, but not this good
12. Chris Archer - at CWS
13. Scott Kazmir - at HOU
Note: Seems poised for a huge season if he can stay healthy, but it's a big "if"
14. Yordano Ventura - at BAL
15. Michael Pineda - at BOS
Note: Three straight 6-IP outings, including against these Red Sox on April 10
16. Hiroki Kuroda - LAA
Note: Hasn't taken off yet, but he'll be fine
17. Jesse Chavez - at HOU
Note: A revelation in the RP-to-SP transition carried by an impressive cutter
18. Dan Straily - TEX, at HOU
Note: If he was at TEX, he'd be a lot lower as the HR has sunk him thus far
19. R.A. Dickey - BAL, BOS
20. Clay Buchholz - BAL, at TOR
Note: Back-to-back QS hopefully puts Buchholz back on track
21. Jake Odorizzi - MIN, at CWS
22. Corey Kluber - KC
Note: Buying opportunity will soon pass, he's getting better each start
23. Chris Tillman - at TOR
24. Justin Masterson - KC
Note: Bizarre start to the season, but was excellent against TOR last time out
25. CC Sabathia - at BOS
26. Jered Weaver - at WAS
Note: HOU, NYM push him around, he stifles DET ... of course; you just have to leave him in, let it play out
27. Ivan Nova - LAA
28. C.J. Wilson - at NYY
29. Martin Perez - at OAK
Note: Young lefty is poised for growth; we're seeing some early on
30. John Lackey - NYY
31. Jose Quintana - at DET
32. Jason Vargas - at CLE
Note: Right matchups and venues have gotten Vargas off to a great start
33. Zach McAllister - KC, at SF
34. Danny Salazar - KC, at SF
Note: HR are his big problem, but KC doesn't hit those so I'm starting him
35. John Danks - at DET, TB
36. Garrett Richards - at WAS, at NYY
Note: Flame-throwing righty offers big K potential in a 2-start week
37. Tommy Milone - TEX, at HOU
Note: Matchups have to be right to start him, and these two work
38. Dallas Keuchel - at SEA, OAK
39. Scott Feldman - at SEA, OAK
Note: Skills say the ERA is headed upward, but he can be useful in a 2-start week
40. Rick Porcello - at MIN
41. Tyler Skaggs - at WAS
Note: One good start and it was at HOU so the excitement be a bit high
42. Drew Smyly - CWS
Note: Rough first start, but he's better than what we saw against LAA
43. Kyle Gibson - at TB
Note: Still need to see more Ks, but he's looked sharp early
44. Brett Oberholtzer - OAK
45. Hector Santiago - at NYY
46. Colby Lewis - at SEA
47. Erasmo Ramirez - HOU
Note: A "Sit" with basically any other matchup
48. Roenis Elias - TEX
Note: Way better than I expected, so let's give him a shot in a rematch vs. TEX
49. Mark Buehrle - BOS

SIT


50. Phil Hughes - DET
Note: Next step: lasting more than 5 IP
51. Ubaldo Jimenez - KC
Note: Ugh, guess if you have him you might have to start him, but I'm passing
52. Jake Peavy - at TOR
53. Dustin McGowan - BAL
Note: Don't know what to make of all three Jays just yet, but the matchups are fierce
54. Drew Hutchison - BAL
55. Brandon Morrow - BOS
56. Wei-Yin Chen - at BOS, KC
57. Ricky Nolasco - at TB
Note: Can't be this bad, right? He just can't be
58. Robbie Ross - at SEA
59. Jeremy Guthrie - at CLE, at BAL
60. Jarred Cosart - at SEA
Note: 2 good, 2 bad starts, but the 2 bad are so bad that they erase all the good
61. Chris Young - HOU
62. Erik Bedard - MIN
63. Miguel Gonzalez - at TOR
64. Bud Norris - at TOR
65. Felix Doubront - NYY
66. Brad Peacock - OAK
67. Cesar Ramos - at CWS
68. Bruce Chen - at CLE
69. Nick Martinez - at OAK
70. Mike Pelfrey - at TB, DET
71. Erik Johnson - TB
72. Kevin Correia - DET
73. Carlos Carrasco - at SF
74. Mariners Fifth - TEX
75. Felipe Paulino - at DET

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Jose Fernandez - at ATL, at NYM
Note: Unsurprisingly bounced back beautifully after that dud at PHI
2. Adam Wainwright - at NYM, PIT
3. Andrew Cashner - at MIL, at WAS
4. Johnny Cueto - at PIT, at ATL
Note: It's never been about skill with Cueto, but rather health; enjoy while he's upright
5. Julio Teheran - MIA, CIN
Note: Skills don't back the ERA yet, but the talent is obvious and plentiful
6. Cliff Lee - at LAD, at ARI
7. Hyun-Jin Ryu - PHI, COL
Note: Brilliant since the shellacking against SF, including a gem against them the next time
8. Francisco Liriano - CIN, at STL
9. Jordan Zimmermann - SD
Note: Each WAS stud has been trounced by MIA, but they should be able to handle SD
10. Stephen Strasburg - SD
11. Gerrit Cole - at STL
12. Ervin Santana - CIN
Note: Who needs a full spring training??
13. Zack Greinke - PHI
14. Michael Wacha - at NYM
15. Gio Gonzalez - LAA
16. Dan Haren - PHI
Note: Not quite as skilled as Cueto, but similar issue where it's more about health than anything else
17. Alex Wood - MIA
Note: Wasn't a believer, but I'm starting to come around
18. Marco Estrada - CHC
Note: Brewers can pitch!
19. Matt Garza - CHC
20. Zack Wheeler - MIA
21. Lance Lynn - at NYM
Note: Buy now while the ERA is still at 4.00; the skills portend much more
22. Homer Bailey - at ATL
Note: Speaking of buying, I'm still doing so with Bailey and the discount should be severe
23. A.J. Burnett - at LAD, at ARI
Note: Ironed out his mechanics a bit in his latest outing with positive results
24. Wily Peralta - SD, CHC
25. Jeff Samardzija - ARI
Note: Ks not plentiful yet, but everything else is great including four straight 7-IP outings
26. Tyson Ross - at MIL
27. Tony Cingrani - at PIT
28. Cole Hamels - at LAD
Note: Not a great first outing, likely to be held down IP-wise, so playing it safe with this ranking
29. Nathan Eovaldi - at ATL
30. Yovani Gallardo - SD
31. Kyle Lohse - SD
32. Jenrry Mejia - STL, MIA
Note: Hard to turn down K potential in a two-start week
33. Jason Hammel - ARI, at MIL
Note: Both of these Cubs have impressed early
34. Travis Wood - ARI, at MIL
35. Mike Leake - at PIT, at ATL
36. Dillon Gee - STL, MIA
Note: Perhaps NYM is learning of his deficiency after 75 pitches given when they removed him in ARI
37. Aaron Harang - MIA
Note: Feels dirty trusting him and yet he's earned it ... especially with this matchup
38. Wade Miley - at CHC
39. Madison Bumgarner - at COL
Note: A little nervous with the two Giants in Coors, especially after their efforts there last year
40. Matt Cain - at COL
41. Tom Koehler - at ATL, at NYM
Note: Quietly been fantastic to start the season
42. Robbie Erlin - at WAS
43. Shelby Miller - PIT
Note: Remedy for the broken curveball? Just don't use it! Can that work against a more mixed lineup than the righty-heavy Brewers?
44. Tim Hudson - CLE
45. Edinson Volquez - CIN, at STL
Note: Starting to believe ... Ray Searage is a wizard!
46. Alfredo Simon - at PIT
Note: Go check out his work, he's been great filling in for Mat Latos
47. Jon Niese - STL
48. Wandy Rodriguez - CIN
49. Bartolo Colon - STL
50. Tyler Chatwood - SF
Note: Has the groundball game to survive in Coors
51. Charlie Morton - CIN
52. Tyler Lyons - at NYM, PIT
Note: Joe Kelly's replacement gets a soft two-start landing
53. Tanner Roark - LAA, SD
Note: Ugly ERA, but he has out-pitched Jordan in the fight for the fifth spot
54. Tim Lincecum - CLE
Note: Kept switching him between start and sit ... I'm torn

SIT


55. Ian Kennedy - at MIL, at WAS
Note: Can he be trusted out of Petco? I'd rather find out on my reserve roster
56. Josh Beckett - COL
57. Taylor Jordan - LAA, SD
Note: Not making a great case to hold a spot when Fister returns
58. David Hale - CIN
59. Juan Nicasio - at LAD
60. Eric Stults - at WAS
Note: Can't be trusted out of Petco
61. Henderson Alvarez - at NYM
62. Carlos Villanueva - ARI
63. Edwin Jackson - at MIL
64. Mike Bolsinger - at CHC
65. Josh Collmenter - PHI
66. Franklin Morales - SF
67. Kyle Kendrick - at LAD
68. Jordan Lyles - at LAD
69. Roberto Hernandez - at ARI
70. Ryan Vogelsong - at COL, CLE
71. Paul Maholm - PHI, COL
72. Jorge De La Rosa - SF, at LAD
73. Brandon McCarthy - at CHC, PHI
74. Bronson Arroyo - at CHC, PHI
75. Kevin Slowey - Marlins don't need a fifth

MLB TOP 100


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