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Pitching Value Meter: Making the Case for Cy Yu

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 26-June 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Yu Darvish - at MIN, at WAS
Note: These top two are the AL frontrunners for Cy Young, though Tanaka will have his say as well
2. Max Scherzer - at OAK, at SEA
3. Yordano Ventura - HOU, at TOR
Note: I don't like facing TOR at all right now, but you can't sit Ventura against anyone
4. Jon Lester - at ATL, TB
Note: Speaking of TOR, they mauled Lester's ERA, but he'd been brilliant to that point
5. Masahiro Tanaka - MIN
Note: Tanaka and Sale can do more in one start than many can do in two, especially those two-start guys facing fierce competition as Cobb and Gray are this week
6. Chris Sale - CLE
7. Alex Cobb - at TOR, at BOS
8. Sonny Gray - DET, LAA
9. Jose Quintana - CLE, SD
Note: Hasn't allowed more than 3 ER in any of his last six; ERA indicators point to a low-3.00s arm right now, I'm buying
10. Jered Weaver - at SEA, at OAK
Note: Rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated
11. Felix Hernandez - LAA
Note: The two Seattle studs find their rankings depressed by a load of two-start weeks and the fact that they're facing big time offenses; still auto-starts, of course
12. Hisashi Iwakuma - DET
13. Corey Kluber - COL
Note: 2.33 FIP is an AL-best; he has at least 8 Ks in each of his four May starts along with a 2.51 ERA in 28.7 IP
14. C.J. Wilson - at SEA
15. Anibal Sanchez - at OAK
16. James Shields - at TOR
Note: He's allowed 4 ER in 21 IP since that 7 ER dud against DET
17. David Price - at BOS
18. Phil Hughes - TEX, at NYY
Note: I hope doesn't drop into a fetal position and start convulsing upon returning to Yankee Stadium
19. Drew Smyly - at OAK, at SEA
20. Drew Hutchison - TB, KC
Note: Facing two bottom five teams in K% vs. RHP will test his 24% K rate
21. Scott Kazmir - DET
22. Jesse Chavez - DET
23. Justin Verlander - at SEA
Note: We can only blindly trust for so long
24. Garrett Richards - at OAK
Note: I'm not sure he's getting enough love for his great start to the season, he has two 5 ER outings and yet still sits at 2.90 ERA overall
25. Rick Porcello - at OAK
Note: Would love to see the 2013 Ks return, but everything else has been fantastic
26. John Lackey - ATL
27. Dallas Keuchel - BAL
28. Drew Pomeranz - LAA
Note: Sure, you would like more innings, but it's hard to complain about three straight 5 IP/0 ER efforts
29. Hiroki Kuroda - at STL
Note: He's rebounded nicely in May, though he's more of a high-3.00s ERA guy if the HR issues don't correct as opposed to the mid-3.00s guy we're used to seeing
30. Chris Tillman - at MIL, at HOU
Note: Big proving ground for him this week as neither offense is too scary, especially with the injuries in Milwaukee
31. Tyler Skaggs - at SEA, at OAK
Note: This is what it's like to watch a guy learn on the job; unfortunately that yields some inconsistency, but roto owners need to set it & forget it
32. Collin McHugh - at KC, BAL
Note: The Ks are starting to look believable with 7+ in four of his six starts
33. David Phelps - at STL, MIN
Note: He's been solid in the rotation with a 2.82 ERA
34. Mark Buehrle - TB, KC
35. Danny Duffy - HOU
36. R.A. Dickey - KC
Note: He has six straight quality starts helping pare down his ERA from 6.26 to 4.20
37. Ubaldo Jimenez - at HOU
Note: Still tough to fully trust start-to-start, but you can't sit him with this matchup
38. Trevor Bauer - COL
Note: The matchup is rough, but at least it's not in Coors
39. Nick Tepesch - at MIN, at WAS
40. Jarred Cosart - at KC, BAL
Note: How much risk can you stomach?
41. Josh Tomlin - at CWS, COL
42. Bud Norris - at MIL
Note: Quietly succeeding despite a total evaporation of his K rate
43. Miguel Gonzalez - at HOU

CONSIDER


44. Tommy Milone - DET, LAA
Note: Two tough opponents, but both at home where he excels
45. John Danks - SD
Note: Anyone facing the Padres deserves some consideration, even lower tier options
46. Andre Rienzo - SD
47. Chris Archer - at TOR
Note: I can't figure him lately, but I'm nervous with this matchup
48. Wei-Yin Chen - at MIL, at HOU
49. Erik Bedard - at TOR, at BOS
Note: He allowed 4 ER in each of his first two starts, but then just 3 ER in his last five combined
50. Colby Lewis - at WAS
51. Jake Odorizzi - at BOS
Note: The K surge has been impressive
52. Jake Peavy - ATL
Note: Who is the bigger mess - Peavy or the ATL offense? Let your answer dictate whether you roll with him
53. Ricky Nolasco - TEX

SIT


54. Jason Vargas - HOU, at TOR
Note: I think we all knew it wouldn't last, but three 5+ ER outings in his last five certainly sped up the regression
55. Roenis Elias - LAA, DET
56. Clay Buchholz - at ATL, TB
57. Chris Young - LAA, DET
58. Jeremy Guthrie - HOU, at TOR
59. Justin Masterson - at CWS
60. Scott Baker - at MIN
61. Kyle Gibson - TEX
62. Scott Feldman - BAL
63. Brad Peacock - at KC
64. Matt Shoemaker - at SEA
65. Brandon Maurer - LAA
66. Samuel Deduno - at NYY
67. J.A. Happ - KC
68. Chase Whitley - at STL, MIN
Note: The upside seems to be a five-and-dive as they've limited him to about 70-75 pitches
69. Vidal Nuno - MIN
70. T.J. House -at CWS
71. Liam Hendriks - TB
72. Nick Martinez - at MIN
73. Hector Noesi - CLE
74. Kevin Correia - TEX, at NYY
75. BOS Fifth Starter - TB
Note: Doubront DL'd, unsure of the replacement right now

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START


1. Johnny Cueto - at LAD, at ARI
Note: Even in his first real dud of the year, he still had a 6/0 K/BB ratio
2. Zack Greinke - CIN, PIT
Note: I kinda wish the Dodgers or Reds would flip their rotation a bit so Cueto and Greinke would square off
3. Jeff Samardzija - at SF, at MIL
Note: MLB-best ERA has made up for K decline and 0 wins through 10 starts
4. Hyun-Jin Ryu - CIN, PIT
5. Michael Wacha - NYY, SF
Note: A foul ball of the elbow while in the dugout cut his last outing short
6. Clayton Kershaw - CIN
Note: If you were worried after the meltdown in ARI that's your own fault
7. Adam Wainwright - SF
8. Stephen Strasburg - TEX
Note: He allowed 6 ER at MIA on 4/15; he's allowed 9 ER in the six starts since then
9. Julio Teheran - at MIA
10. Cole Hamels - COL, NYM
Note: The Mets generally own him so this isn't a great two-start slate
11. Kyle Lohse - BAL, CHC
Note: He's very quietly been excellent
12. Ervin Santana - BOS, at MIA
Note: Can't overreact to a pair of duds in a row as he's still having a great season
13. Lance Lynn - NYY, SF
14. Nathan Eovaldi - at WAS, ATL
Note: Deserves a better fate than his 4.98 road ERA as evidenced by his 3.80 FIP
15. Jon Niese - PIT, at PHI
16. Tim Hudson - CHC, at STL
17. Matt Cain - CHC, at STL
Note: Of course he gets rain delayed after three no-hit innings in Coors
18. Tyson Ross - at ARI, at CWS
Note: His sharp home/road splits make this a worrisome two-start week
19. Aaron Harang - BOS, at MIA
Note: His 2.31 FIP is a full run lower than 3.32 ERA; he's kinda legit
20. Brandon McCarthy - SD, CIN
Note: His last outing was his first in seven starts with fewer than 5 Ks, I'm buying the surge
21. Doug Fister - TEX
Note: Hope you tried to buy low after the shaky debut outing in OAK
22. Gerrit Cole - at LAD
23. Madison Bumgarner - at STL
Note: 2.88 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in May after a 3.74 ERA and 1.72 WHIP in April
24. Dan Haren - PIT
25. Mike Minor - at BOS
Note: His one bad outing vs. STL is artificially inflating his numbers
26. Ian Kennedy - at CWS
27. Wily Peralta - CHC
28. Jordan Zimmermann - MIA
Note: I'm not sure quite sure what his deal is lately, hopefully just a blip
29. Wade Miley - SD, CIN
Note: A gaudy 22.6% HR/FB rate at home in inflating his numbers; has a 3.98 xFIP at home nearly matching his 3.93 on the road
30. Tanner Roark - MIA, TEX
31. Alfredo Simon - at LAD, at ARI
32. Jason Hammel - at MIL
33. Gavin Floyd - at BOS
Note: Remember when they were scrambling for SPs? The emergence of Floyd pushed Alex Wood and his 3.29 ERA to the pen
34. Zack Wheeler - at PHI
35. Homer Bailey - at LAD
Note: Four QS in his last five, but just 1.8 K/BB in those outings
36. Travis Wood - at MIL
37. A.J. Burnett - NYM
38. Tony Cingrani - at ARI
Note: The D'Backs offense is coming on in May
39. Mike Leake - at ARI
40. Josh Beckett - PIT
41. Francisco Liriano - at LAD
Note: He's sputtered this year, but LAD struggles with southpaws
42. Bartolo Colon - PIT
Note: Three rough starts have ballooned his ERA; he's still quite useful
43. Brandon Cumpton - at NYM, at LAD
44. Edwin Jackson - at SF
45. Jaime Garcia - SF
Note: Keep an eye on his second start of the season on Saturday
46. Ryan Vogelsong - at STL
47. Charlie Morton - at NYM
48. Jordan Lyles - at PHI
Note: I definitely didn't expect anything from him this year, but he's been impressive

CONSIDER


49. Marco Estrada - BAL
Note: I'd be careful letting this HR machine face BAL
50. Matt Garza - BAL
51. Yovani Gallardo - CHC
Note: Stay tuned to our news section to make sure he's going to start this one
52. Jacob deGrom - PIT, at PHI
Note: Dillon Gee could be back for the second of these outings
53. Bronson Arroyo - CIN
54. Jorge De La Rosa - at PHI
Note: Far better ERA at home is misleading as skills have been equal or better on road
55. Jake Arrieta - at SF
56. Tim Lincecum - CHC
57. Chase Anderson - SD
Note: Yes, consider anyone against SD

SIT


58. Shelby Miller - NYY
Note: The Reds took a chunk out of his remarkably flimsy ERA on Friday and I expect more damage to come
59. Henderson Alvarez - at WAS
Note: Carrying a 4.88 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, and 1.9 K/BB ratio on the road
60. Rafael Montero - at PHI
61. Jacob Turner - ATL
62. Blake Treinen - MIA
63. Edinson Volquez - at NYM, at LAD
64. Tom Koehler - at WAS
65. Juan Nicasio - at CLE
66. Josh Collmenter - CIN
67. Franklin Morales - at CLE
68. Eric Stults - at ARI
69. Donn Roach - at CWS
70. Jhoulys Chacin - at PHI, at CLE
71. Kyle Kendrick - COL, NYM
72. Roberto Hernandez - COL
73. David Buchanan - NYM
Note: This the Cliff Lee replacement
74. SD Fifth Starter - at ARI
Note: Erlin DL'd, Stauffer will sub for him this weekend, but unsure about next week
75. MIA Fifth Starter - ATL
Note: Desclafani optioned, unsure of the replacement

MLB TOP 100


1. Yu Darvish - at MIN, at WAS
Note: These top two are the AL frontrunners for Cy Young, though Tanaka will have his say as well
2. Max Scherzer - at OAK, at SEA
3. Johnny Cueto - at LAD, at ARI
Note: Even in his first real dud of the year, he still had a 6/0 K/BB ratio
4. Zack Greinke - CIN, PIT
Note: I kinda wish the Dodgers or Reds would flip their rotation a bit so Cueto and Greinke would square off
5. Jeff Samardzija - at SF, at MIL
Note: MLB-best ERA has made up for K decline and 0 wins through 10 starts
6. Hyun-Jin Ryu - CIN, PIT
7. Michael Wacha - NYY, SF
Note: A foul ball of the elbow while in the dugout cut his last outing short
8. Yordano Ventura - HOU, at TOR
Note: I don't like facing TOR at all right now, but you can't sit Ventura against anyone
9. Jon Lester - at ATL, TB
Note: Speaking of TOR, they mauled Lester's ERA, but he'd been brilliant to that point
10. Clayton Kershaw - CIN
Note: If you were worried after the meltdown in ARI that's your own fault
11. Masahiro Tanaka - MIN
Note: Tanaka and Sale can do more in one start than many can do in two, especially those two-start guys facing fierce competition as Cobb and Gray are this week
12. Chris Sale - CLE
13. Adam Wainwright - SF
14. Alex Cobb - at TOR, at BOS
15. Sonny Gray - DET, LAA
16. Stephen Strasburg - TEX
Note: He allowed 6 ER at MIA on 4/15; he's allowed 9 ER in the six starts since then
17. Julio Teheran - at MIA
18. Cole Hamels - COL, NYM
Note: The Mets generally own him so this isn't a great two-start slate
19. Kyle Lohse - BAL, CHC
Note: He's very quietly been excellent
20. Ervin Santana - BOS, at MIA
Note: Can't overreact to a pair of duds in a row as he's still having a great season
21. Lance Lynn - NYY, SF
22. Nathan Eovaldi - at WAS, ATL
Note: Deserves a better fate than his 4.98 road ERA as evidenced by his 3.80 FIP
23. Jon Niese - PIT, at PHI
24. Tim Hudson - CHC, at STL
25. Jose Quintana - CLE, SD
Note: Hasn't allowed more than 3 ER in any of his last six; ERA indicators point to a low-3.00s arm right now, I'm buying
26. Jered Weaver - at SEA, at OAK
Note: Rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated
27. Matt Cain - CHC, at STL
Note: Of course he gets rain delayed after three no-hit innings in Coors
28. Tyson Ross - at ARI, at CWS
Note: His sharp home/road splits make this a worrisome two-start week
29. Aaron Harang - BOS, at MIA
Note: His 2.31 FIP is a full run lower than 3.32 ERA; he's kinda legit
30. Brandon McCarthy - SD, CIN
Note: His last outing was his first in seven starts with fewer than 5 Ks, I'm buying the surge
31. Felix Hernandez - LAA
Note: The two Seattle studs find their rankings depressed by a load of two-start weeks and the fact that they're facing big time offenses; still auto-starts, of course
32. Hisashi Iwakuma - DET
33. Corey Kluber - COL
Note: 2.33 FIP is an AL-best; he has at least 8 Ks in each of his four May starts along with a 2.51 ERA in 28.7 IP
34. C.J. Wilson - at SEA
35. Doug Fister - TEX
Note: Hope you tried to buy low after the shaky debut outing in OAK
36. Gerrit Cole - at LAD
37. Madison Bumgarner - at STL
Note: 2.88 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in May after a 3.74 ERA and 1.72 WHIP in April
38. Dan Haren - PIT
39. Anibal Sanchez - at OAK
40. James Shields - at TOR
Note: He's allowed 4 ER in 21 IP since that 7 ER dud against DET
41. David Price - at BOS
42. Phil Hughes - TEX, at NYY
Note: I hope doesn't drop into a fetal position and start convulsing upon returning to Yankee Stadium
43. Drew Smyly - at OAK, at SEA
44. Mike Minor - at BOS
Note: His one bad outing vs. STL is artificially inflating his numbers
45. Ian Kennedy - at CWS
46. Wily Peralta - CHC
47. Jordan Zimmermann - MIA
Note: I'm not sure quite sure what his deal is lately, hopefully just a blip
48. Drew Hutchison - TB, KC
Note: Facing two bottom five teams in K% vs. RHP will test his 24% K rate
49. Scott Kazmir - DET
50. Jesse Chavez - DET
51. Justin Verlander - at SEA
Note: We can only blindly trust for so long
52. Garrett Richards - at OAK
Note: I'm not sure he's getting enough love for his great start to the season, he has two 5 ER outings and yet still sits at 2.90 ERA overall
53. Rick Porcello - at OAK
Note: Would love to see the 2013 Ks return, but everything else has been fantastic
54. John Lackey - ATL
55. Wade Miley - SD, CIN
Note: A gaudy 22.6% HR/FB rate at home in inflating his numbers; has a 3.98 xFIP at home nearly matching his 3.93 on the road
56. Tanner Roark - MIA, TEX
57. Alfredo Simon - at LAD, at ARI
58. Jason Hammel - at MIL
59. Gavin Floyd - at BOS
Note: Remember when they were scrambling for SPs? The emergence of Floyd pushed Alex Wood and his 3.29 ERA to the pen
60. Dallas Keuchel - BAL
61. Drew Pomeranz - LAA
Note: Sure, you would like more innings, but it's hard to complain about three straight 5 IP/0 ER efforts
62. Hiroki Kuroda - at STL
Note: He's rebounded nicely in May, though he's more of a high-3.00s ERA guy if the HR issues don't correct as opposed to the mid-3.00s guy we're used to seeing
63. Chris Tillman - at MIL, at HOU
Note: Big proving ground for him this week as neither offense is too scary, especially with the injuries in Milwaukee
64. Tyler Skaggs - at SEA, at OAK
Note: This is what it's like to watch a guy learn on the job; unfortunately that yields some inconsistency, but roto owners need to set it & forget it
65. Collin McHugh - at KC, BAL
Note: The Ks are starting to look believable with 7+ in four of his six starts
66. David Phelps - at STL, MIN
Note: He's been solid in the rotation with a 2.82 ERA
67. Mark Buehrle - TB, KC
68. Zack Wheeler - at PHI
69. Homer Bailey - at LAD
Note: Four QS in his last five, but just 1.8 K/BB in those outings
70. Travis Wood - at MIL
71. A.J. Burnett - NYM
72. Tony Cingrani - at ARI
Note: The D'Backs offense is coming on in May
73. Mike Leake - at ARI
74. Josh Beckett - PIT
75. Francisco Liriano - at LAD
Note: He's sputtered this year, but LAD struggles with southpaws
76. Bartolo Colon - PIT
Note: Three rough starts have ballooned his ERA; he's still quite useful
77. Danny Duffy - HOU
78. R.A. Dickey - KC
Note: He has six straight quality starts helping pare down his ERA from 6.26 to 4.20
79. Ubaldo Jimenez - at HOU
Note: Still tough to fully trust start-to-start, but you can't sit him with this matchup
80. Brandon Cumpton - at NYM, at LAD
81. Edwin Jackson - at SF
82. Jaime Garcia - SF
Note: Keep an eye on his second start of the season on Saturday
83. Ryan Vogelsong - at STL
84. Charlie Morton - at NYM
85. Jordan Lyles - at PHI
Note: I definitely didn't expect anything from him this year, but he's been impressive
86. Trevor Bauer - COL
Note: The matchup is rough, but at least it's not in Coors
87. Nick Tepesch - at MIN, at WAS
88. Jarred Cosart - at KC, BAL
Note: How much risk can you stomach?
89. Josh Tomlin - at CWS, COL
90. Bud Norris - at MIL
Note: Quietly succeeding despite a total evaporation of his K rate
91. Miguel Gonzalez - at HOU
92. Marco Estrada - BAL
Note: I'd be careful letting this HR machine face BAL
93. Matt Garza - BAL
94. Yovani Gallardo - CHC
Note: Stay tuned to our news section to make sure he's going to start this one
95. Jacob deGrom - PIT, at PHI
Note: Dillon Gee could be back for the second of these outings
96. Tommy Milone - DET, LAA
Note: Two tough opponents, but both at home where he excels
97. John Danks - SD
Note: Anyone facing the Padres deserves some consideration, even lower tier options
98. Andre Rienzo - SD
99. Chris Archer - at TOR
Note: I can't figure him lately, but I'm nervous with this matchup
100. Wei-Yin Chen - at MIL, at HOU