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Pitching Value Meter: Kershaw Returns to Mound

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 May 5-11

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Max Scherzer - HOU, MIN
Note: This kind of slate for one of the game's best can carry a H2H team
2. Yordano Ventura - at SD, at SEA
Note: Both opponents in top 10 in Ks against RHP
3. Scott Kazmir - SEA, WAS
Note: Nats are strong vs. LHP, but Kaz has handled all comers brilliantly
4. Justin Verlander - MIN
5. Masahiro Tanaka - at MIL
Note: Even when he's not at his best, he still looks very good (i.e. Saturday vs. TB)
6. James Shields - at SD
7. Felix Hernandez - at OAK
8. Yu Darvish - BOS
Note: Nice two-start guys push Darvish lower than usual
9. David Price - BAL
10. Sonny Gray - WAS
11. Jon Lester - at TEX
Note: at TEX hasn't been terrifying date yet, and both Red Sox have looked great for the most part
12. John Lackey - at TEX
13. Jose Quintana - at CHC, ARI
Note: Navigated a hell of a schedule in April and came out of it all right
14. Chris Tillman - at TB, HOU
Note: I'm a fan of Tillman, but his being 14th shows thinness atop AL ranks
15. Chris Archer - BAL, CLE
Note: 3 gems, 3 duds; despite the risk I still love the upside
16. Jered Weaver - NYY, at TOR
17. Hisashi Iwakuma - KC
18. Jesse Chavez - SEA
Note: Did you hop off the bandwagon after some shakiness in HOU? Fears were assuaged in TEX
19. C.J. Wilson - NYY
20. Zach McAllister - MIN, at TB
21. Martin Perez - at COL, BOS
Note: Not panicking after first dud start, but knocked him down because of tough slate
22. Drew Hutchison - at PHI
23. Justin Masterson - MIN
Note: Up, down, up, down, up, down
24. Rick Porcello - HOU
25. Drew Smyly - HOU
26. Corey Kluber - at TB
Note: Maddeningly inconsistent thus far, but I'm sticking with him
27. CC Sabathia - at MIL
Note: When K:BB Misleads - The CC Sabathia Story
28. Danny Salazar - MIN
29. Garrett Richards - at TOR
Note: Allowed 8 H to OAK, then 8 H combined in four starts; betting against his 4.5 H/9 holding
30. Jake Peavy - CIN
31. Jason Vargas - at SEA
Note: Another nice venue/matchup for the veteran lefty; keep riding the wave for now
32. Hiroki Kuroda - at LAA
33. Dan Straily - SEA
34. Trevor Bauer or Josh Tomlin - MIN, at TB
Note: Still not sure who gets two-start week. If it's Tomlin, drop to a "Consider" behind Guthrie
35. Roenis Elias - at OAK, KC
Note: Done enough to show some confidence in him across a lot of formats
36. John Danks - CHC
37. Danny Duffy - at SEA
38. Tyler Skaggs - at TOR
Note: Want more Ks, but the improved control is a great step forward
39. Wei-Yin Chen -HOU
40. Miguel Gonzalez - HOU
41. R.A. Dickey - LAA
Note: Can't imagine the frustration of having him again this year
42. David Phelps - at LAA, at MIL
Note: Not sure he goes more than 5 IP in either, but has been much better after pair of horrid outings to start season

CONSIDER


43. Dallas Keuchel - at DET
Note: Skills are supporting his nice start, but trip to DET is probably best avoided
44. Robbie Ray - HOU, MIN
Note: Youngster getting the call for Sanchez and gets a very soft landing
45. Robbie Ross - at COL, BOS
Note: Be really cautious with this two-pack
46. J.A. Happ - at PHI, LAA
47. Tommy Milone - WAS
Note: On one hand, he's at home where he flourishes, but Nats are tops in wOBA against LHP
48. Jeremy Guthrie - at SD, at SEA
49. Colby Lewis - COL
Note: Ready to become viable asset as he rounds into form, but I'm avoiding COL if possible

SIT


50. Kyle Gibson - at CLE, at DET
51. Mark Buehrle - PHI
Note: Fanned 11 in season debut; has 12 in 31.3 IP since
52. Collin McHugh - at BAL
Note: Still skeptical, but definitely paying attention
53. Phil Hughes - at DET
Note: On the rise, IMO; I'm monitoring him closely
54. Ubaldo Jimenez - at TB
55. Clay Buchholz - at TEX
Note: B2B decent efforts aren't enough to get me to use him in TEX
56. Brandon Morrow - PHI
57. Erasmo Ramirez - at OAK
Note: Up for a doubleheader
58. Matt Harrison - COL
59. Ricky Nolasco - at CLE
60. Chris Young - at OAK, KC
61. Sam Deduno - at CLE, at DET
Note: Joining the rotation; intriguing talent, but only a deep-league option
62. Cesar Ramos - BAL
63. Hector Santiago - NYY
64. Bud Norris - at TB
65. Felix Doubront - CIN
66. Jake Odorizzi - CLE
67. Brett Oberholtzer - at DET, at BAL
68. Jarred Cosart - at DET, at BAL
69. Hector Noesi - at CHC, ARI
70. Scott Carroll - CHC
71. Vidal Nuno - at LAA
72. Brandon Maurer - KC
73. Andre Rienzo - ARI
74. Brad Peacock - at DET
75. Erik Bedard - CLE
76. Kevin Correia - at CLE


NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Zack Greinke - at WAS, SF
Note: Gets nod over Kershaw with brilliant start and Kershaw's injury-slowed start to season
2. Clayton Kershaw - at WAS, SF
Note: He's baaaaack!!!
3. Jordan Zimmermann - LAD, at OAK
4. Jose Fernandez - at SD
5. Adam Wainwright - at ATL
Note: Cubs' 6 ER off of him on May 2 was as many as he'd allowed through six starts
6. Nathan Eovaldi - NYM, at SD
Note: Aggressive ranking, but look at numbers he's put up, and is facing two inept offenses
7. Johnny Cueto - COL
Note: Not sure even the high-powered Rockies offense can tame him
8. Julio Teheran - CHC
Note: Still awaiting more consistent Ks, but everything else has been near perfect
9. Cliff Lee - at TOR
10. Stephen Strasburg - LAD
Note: If you can buy at even a sliver of a discount, do it
11. Matt Cain - at PIT, at LAD
12. Jon Niese - at MIA, PHI
Note: Quietly been great and deserves more attention
13. Homer Bailey - at BOS, COL
Note: Not a great slate to build off his good start against MIL, but I remain confident overall
14. Jeff Samardzija - CWS, at ATL
Note: 6th- and 8th-ranked teams in Ks vs. RHP should bring his lagging K rate up
15. Gio Gonzalez - at OAK
16. Ervin Santana - STL
17. Dan Haren - at WAS
Note: Interesting what health can do to hit and home-run rates
18. Andrew Cashner - KC
19. Madison Bumgarner - at LAD
Note: Hasn't allowed fewer than 6 H in a game, only went 4.3 IP the two times he "held" opponents to 6 H
20. A.J. Burnett - at TOR
21. Mike Minor - STL
Note: What rust?
22. Gerrit Cole - STL
Note: Hasn't been a star just yet, but the results have still been very useful
23. Michael Wacha - at PIT
24. Alex Wood - CHC
Note: Knew he'd regress some, just didn't expect so much in one outing ... in MIA, no less!
25. Marco Estrada - ARI
Note: Two MIL chic sleepers have exceeded expectations through first month
26. Wily Peralta - ARI
27. Zack Wheeler - at MIA
28. Lance Lynn - at PIT
29. Tyson Ross - MIA
Note: Inconsistency is frustrating, but the top shelf potential is too much to pass up
30. Cole Hamels - TOR
Note: Scratched from May 4 start due to flu; slated to face TOR on Tuesday
31. Matt Garza - ARI, NYY
32. Francisco Liriano - STL
33. Kyle Lohse - NYY
34. Jenrry Mejia - PHI
Note: Surprisingly large number of pitchers have had a start vs. MIA as their worst of the year
35. Jason Hammel - at ATL
36. Dillon Gee - PHI
Note: Held strong deep into his last two outings, normally a problem for him
37. Shelby Miller - at ATL, at PIT
Note: Not sold on the 3.15 ERA, he's only this high because of two starts; sell
38. Aaron Harang - STL, CHC
Note: Wouldn't insta-cut him after the MIA beating, especially with CHC later in the week
39. Henderson Alvarez - NYM, at SD
40. Robbie Erlin - KC, MIA
Note: Both SD lefties get two nice matchups in their spacious home ballpark
41. Eric Stults - KC, MIA
42. Doug Fister - LAD
Note: Not a great matchup off DL, but healthy Fister would rate much higher even in tough matchup, so starting him here
43. Josh Beckett - SF
44. Tanner Roark - at OAK
45. Ian Kennedy - MIA
Note: 5.00 ERA at home despite 1.17 WHIP, 9.0 K/9 and 4.5 K/BB
46. Travis Wood - at CWS
Note: Impressed with his start, but the White Sox aren't to be taken lightly so be careful
47. Jacob Turner - at SD
Note: Couldn't pick a better spot to return from the DL
48. Bartolo Colon - at MIA
Note: He hates rain ... it cost him an outing vs. PHI and instead put him at COL
49. Yovani Gallardo - NYY

CONSIDER


50. Wade Miley - at CWS
Note: Like the pitcher, hate the matchup
51. Alfredo Simon - COL
52. Tom Koehler - NYM
53. Edinson Volquez - STL
54. Mike Leake - at BOS
55. Jhoulys Chacin - at CIN
Note: Get an idea of how he looks on Sunday and decide from there
56. Charlie Morton - SF
Note: Maybe two-start week; see 74th spot in NL
57. Jordan Lyles - TEX, at CIN
Note: Command-and-control, pitch-to-contact strategy is working well, both home and away
58. Tim Lincecum - at PIT
59. Juan Nicasio - TEX, at CIN
Note: Rockies have some decent arms and run support will be there, if you're trolling for wins

SIT


60. Edwin Jackson - CWS, at ATL
61. Kyle Kendrick - TOR, at NYM
62. Roberto Hernandez - TOR, at NYM
63. Brandon Cumpton - SF
64. Jake Arrieta - at CWS
Note: Someone to monitor, but a dangerous spot early in his return
65. Franklin Morales - at TEX
66. Jorge de la Rosa - at TEX
67. Ryan Vogelsong - at LAD
68. Josh Collmenter - at MIL
69. Bronson Arroyo - at MIL
70. Brandon McCarthy - at CWS
71. Mike Bolsinger - at MIL, at CWS
Note: Extra start actually hurts him when compared to teammates
72. Paul Maholm - SF
73. Tyler Lyons
Note: Could be at ATL or skipped; stay tuned
74. Pirates Sixth Starter?
Note: Open spot Monday, though they could just take the currently slated rotation and move it up a day, giving Morton two starts; stay tuned
75. Reds Fifth Starter
Note: No need this week despite Cingrani's DL'ing

MLB TOP 100


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