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Pitching Value Meter: No Ordinary Joe

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 28 - May 4

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Yu Darvish - OAK, at LAA
2. CC Sabathia - SEA, TB
Note: HRs are only real issue so far; SEA, TB rank 22nd, 23rd in HR rate vs. LHP
3. Justin Verlander - at KC
4. Masahiro Tanaka - TB
Note: Maybe the hype wasn't enough
5. Felix Hernandez - at NYY
6. Max Scherzer - at CWS
Note: Excellent first month as reigning Cy Young
7. Anibal Sanchez - at KC
8. David Price - at NYY
Note: If 4.04 ERA has in any way lowered his price, pounce immediately
9. James Shields - DET
10. Chris Tillman - PIT
Note: Start in TOR is exactly what he needed to avoid being upper-tier option
11. John Lackey - TB, OAK
Note: Big rebound from a pair of 6-ER duds
12. Sonny Gray - at TEX, at BOS
Note: Not an ideal slate, but you're not playing matchups with this guy
13. Jon Lester - OAK
14. Yordano Ventura - TOR
Note: Lofty upside already makes him matchup proof
15. C.J. Wilson - CLE
16. Martin Perez - OAK
Note: Getting down with gobs of weak contact; even a few more Ks would make him an elite option
17. Corey Kluber - at LAA
Note: Game in OAK is the only one that was truly awful; has a shiny 2.55 FIP
18. Scott Kazmir - at TEX
Note: Kaz, Archer jump down a level with tough road matchups
19. Chris Archer - at BOS
20. Tyler Skaggs - CLE, TEX
Note: Second-best start came against MLB's best team vs. LHP
21. Jose Quintana - DET, at CLE
22. Jake Peavy - TB
Note: Looks great so far: missing bats, went 6-plus IP in all but one start
23. Dustin McGowan - at KC, at PIT
24. Hiroki Kuroda - SEA
Note: Slow start or age starting to erode skills?
25. R.A. Dickey - at PIT
26. Jesse Chavez - at TEX
Note: Didn't expect it vs. HOU, but had to expect some regression at some point
27. Jered Weaver - CLE
28. Dan Straily - at BOS
29. Drew Smyly - at KC
Note: Survived 3-hit, 2-ER first inning vs. CWS to throw five shutout innings
30. Justin Masterson - at LAA, CWS
Note: A tough two-pack after a nice pair of rebound starts
31. Jason Vargas - TOR, DET
Note: Feeling lucky?
32. Clay Buchholz - OAK
Note: Just reiterating that despite my disdain for him, he's still better than this
33. Zach McAllister - CWS
34. John Danks - at CLE
Note: Uptick in BB mitigated by severe drop in HR that killed him last year
35. Garrett Richards - TEX
36. Dallas Keuchel - SEA
37. Rick Porcello - at CWS
38. David Phelps - SEA
Note: M's have been making everyone look brilliant
39. Vidal Nuno - TB
Note: Rays have been inept against southpaws this year
40. Drew Hutchison - at KC
41. Brandon Morrow - at PIT
42. Hector Santiago - TEX
43. Robbie Ross - OAK
44. Brandon Maurer - at HOU
Note: Trips to MIA, HOU among his first three starts in '14

SIT


45. Mark Buehrle - at KC
Note: Thisclose to sitting him last week ... he earned last "start" spot in AL
46. Kyle Gibson - BAL
Note: He's growing for sure, but not necessarily into an all-formats, any-matchup starter
47. Bud Norris - PIT
48. Brad Peacock - SEA
49. Roenis Elias - at NYY
Note: Helping SEA a lot more than he'd help any of our fantasy teams
50. Colby Lewis - at LAA
Note: Angels lead MLB in HRs; Lewis has a career 1.3 HR/9
51. Matt Harrison - at LAA
52. Danny Salazar - CWS
Note: Some won't have the luxury of sitting him due to format
53. Phil Hughes - BAL
54. Ubaldo Jimenez - at MIN
55. Wei-Yin Chen - at MIN
56. Ricky Nolasco - LAD
57. Chris Young - at NYY, at HOU
58. Andre Rienzo - TB, at CLE
59. Jarred Cosart - WAS
60. Miguel Gonzalez - at MIN
61. Mariners Fifth Starter - at HOU
62. Jake Odorizzi - at CWS, at NYY
63. Tommy Milone - at BOS
64. Felix Doubront - TB
65. Collin McHugh - SEA
Note: Not betting on another 12 Ks
66. Cesar Ramos - at BOS
67. Brett Oberholtzer - WAS
Note: Nats have baseball's best wOBA against lefties so far this season
68. Jeremy Guthrie - DET
69. Bruce Chen - TOR
70. Mike Pelfrey - LAD, BAL
71. Erik Johnson - DET
72. Kevin Correia - LAD
73. Carlos Carrasco - at LAA
74. Erik Bedard - at BOS, at NYY
75. White Sox Fifth Starter - skipped

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Jose Fernandez - ATL, LAD
Note: May well occupy this spot even when Kershaw is back and dominating
2. Zack Greinke - at MIN, at MIA
Note: 4.2-percent BB rate counters the way MIN's 12.9-percent BB rate used to attack RHP
3. Madison Bumgarner - SD, at ATL
Note: Gem in Coors helped lower ERA to his FIP; shaving 1.64 WHIP is next up
4. Michael Wacha - MIL, at CHC
5. Alex Wood - at MIA, SF
Note: Don't think this lasts, but he's pitching brilliantly, gets MIA again
6. Adam Wainwright - at CHC
Note: Next four studs get four of five worst teams in MLB
7. Jordan Zimmermann - at HOU
8. Hyun-Jin Ryu - at MIA
9. Andrew Cashner - ARI
10. Johnny Cueto - MIL
Note: Makes any team look like one of the five worst teams in MLB
11. Stephen Strasburg - at PHI
12. Tyson Ross - at SF, ARI
Note: A lot volatility, but the upside is massive
13. Tony Cingrani - CHC, MIL
Note: Scoffs at pitchers who need more than one pitch
14. Gio Gonzalez - at HOU
Note: Next six have no business being 14-19, but that is the depth of arms in the NL
15. Julio Teheran - SF
16. Cliff Lee - WAS
17. Gerrit Cole - TOR
Note: Hasn't had the fancy K totals yet, but he's still solid
18. Dan Haren - at MIN
19. Jeff Samardzija - at CIN
20. Homer Bailey - CHC
Note: Still buying overall, rematching the one team he schooled this year
21. Cole Hamels - NYM
Note: Looked excellent in his season debut in Chavez Ravine
22. Nathan Eovaldi - ATL
Note: 30:4 K:BB ratio is the story of his big April
23. Ervin Santana - SF
24. Kyle Lohse - at STL, at CIN
25. Francisco Liriano - TOR
26. Matt Cain - SD
27. Marco Estrada - at CIN
Note: HR-prone, allowed 5 in 25 IP at CIN, but paired with 2.52 ERA, 0.76 WHIP
28. Lance Lynn - MIL
29. A.J. Burnett - WAS
Note: Quietly fought through early season BB issues to post back-to-back gems vs. ATL, LAD
30. Wily Peralta - at CIN
31. Tim Hudson - SD
Note: Hasn't gotten much love for his tremendous start
32. Aaron Harang - at MIA
Note: Still feel dirty for recommending him, but if you've used him, you can't stop with this matchup
33. Wade Miley - COL, at SD
34. Yovani Gallardo - at STL, at CIN
35. Alfredo Simon - CHC, MIL
Note: Survived 3-BB, 1-H first inning in PIT for a strong 6.7-IP, 2-ER effort
36. Shelby Miller - MIL
Note: Ditched the curve at this point ... because it's useless in its current form
37. Jon Niese - at PHI, at COL
38. Franklin Morales - at ARI, NYM
39. Bartolo Colon - at PHI
Note: 4.50 ERA despite one of five starts a 9-ER massacre shows how good the other four were
40. Travis Wood - STL
41. Edinson Volquez - TOR
42. Matt Garza - at STL
43. Mike Minor - at MIA
Note: Quite a soft landing for his season debut, but how long can he go?
44. Robbie Erlin - at SF
Note: Just hates Washington - the site of his two worst starts
45. Tyler Lyons - at CHC
46. Jason Hammel - STL
47. Josh Beckett - at MIN
48. Eric Stults - at SF
49. Henderson Alvarez - ATL
Note: Starting to buy him more than ever before
50. Ian Kennedy - ARI
51. Juan Nicasio - NYM
52. Mike Leake - MIL
53. Zack Wheeler - at COL
Note: Hate sending anyone into Coors, but I can't see benching these three
54. Jenrry Mejia - at COL
55. Dillon Gee - at COL
56. Tom Koehler - LAD
Note: Tough matchup, but Koehler has earned some confidence with his Sept. and April work

SIT


57. Tim Lincecum - at ATL
58. Jordan Lyles - at ARI
Note: Handling himself home and away vs. tough and easy; time to buy?
59. Tanner Roark - at PHI
Note: Which of these fifth-starter candidates for WAS can pick on PHI best?
60. Taylor Jordan - at PHI
61. Tyler Chatwood - at ARI, NYM
62. Charlie Morton - at BAL
Note: Some intrigue with both of these Pirates, but not in BAL
63. Brandon Cumpton - at BAL
64. Jake Arrieta - STL
Note: Monitor his return from injury; there could be something here
65. Brandon McCarthy - at SD
66. Paul Maholm - at MIA
67. Jorge de la Rosa - NYM
68. Edwin Jackson - at CIN
69. Mike Bolsinger - COL
70. Josh Collmenter - COL
71. Kyle Kendrick - NYM
72. Roberto Hernandez - WAS
73. Carlos Villanueva - at CIN
74. Bronson Arroyo - at SD
75. Ryan Vogelsong - at ATL
76. Kevin Slowey - LAD

MLB TOP 100


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