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Pitching Value Meter: Red Scare

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 June 16-22

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Masahiro Tanaka - TOR, BAL
Note: Tanaka's ERA hasn't been above 3.00 since it was at 3.21 back on April 9
2. Max Scherzer - KC, at CLE
Note: The 25:5 K:BB ratio said his four-start rough patch wasn't much to worry about; his first career CG on Thursday confirmed it
3. Jon Lester - MIN, at OAK
4. Felix Hernandez - at SD
Note: Hernandez against the Padres can actually out-do some two-start guys, especially since these next three guys all have at least one tough outing
5. Dallas Keuchel - at WAS, at TB
Note: Time to believe if you're still holding out for some reason
6. Yordano Ventura - at DET, SEA
7. Phil Hughes - at BOS, CWS
Note: Hughes walked six in his first four outings; he's walked two in the nine since (both in the same game)
8. Yu Darvish - at OAK
9. Chris Sale - SF
Note: The DL stint seemed to be his spinach - 1.69 ERA, 0.53 WHIP, and 19.5 K:BB ratio in 32 IP since returning
10. Hisashi Iwakuma - at KC
11. David Price - HOU
Note: Turning up the command to match the control w/a 13.5 K:BB ratio and just 1 HR allowed in his last three starts (22.3 IP)
12. Anibal Sanchez - KC
13. Corey Kluber - DET
Note: 9 Ks in his last two combined after 9+ in five of his previous six outings
14. Scott Kazmir - BOS
Note: He's ascended to become OAK's ace
15. Drew Hutchison - at NYY
Note: Continues to just obliterate folks on the road - 1.79 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 4.9 K:BB ratio in nine road starts
16. Sonny Gray - TEX
17. James Shields - SEA
18. Alex Cobb - BAL
Note: Dominating HOU isn't the cakewalk it used to be so it was nice to see Cobb drop a 6.3 IP/1 ER gem with 11 Ks
19. John Lackey - MIN
Note: Five straight QS incl. the last three against CLE, DET, and CLE
20. Chris Archer - HOU
Note: Started to turn in mid-May despite BB issues, but has now quelled BBs en route to an 0.87 ERA in his last 5 starts
21. C.J. Wilson - at CLE
22. Hiroki Kuroda - BAL
23. Jesse Chavez - BOS
Note: Allowed more than 1 ER just once in 6 April starts and has allowed 2 ER in his 7 starts since then, but still no more than 4 ER in a single start
24. Jose Quintana - at MIN
Note: It seems the more I write about how steady he is, the worse his outings are w/back-to-back duds
25. Collin McHugh - at TB
Note: Walks have bitten him in his last two - 8 BB in 9.3 IP, but the Ks remain there with 6 in each of those starts
26. Marcus Stroman - at NYY, at CIN
Note: Posted a 2.50 ERA and 8.5 K:BB in his 3 starts (all QS)
27. Jered Weaver - at CLE, TEX
Note: That CLE matchup really mitigates the value of a two-start week as they're killing righties
28. Drew Pomeranz - TEX, BOS
29. John Danks - SF, at MIN
Note: 4 straight QS all 7+ IP; both of his opp are below league average in wOBA vs. LHP
30. Colby Lewis - at OAK, at LAA
Note: That .394 BABIP has to even out and when it does, so too will his astronomical ERA
31. Justin Verlander - KC, at CLE
Note: This feels wrong… because it might actually be too high 
32. Jason Vargas - at DET, SEA
33. Tommy Milone - TEX, BOS
Note: Milone maintaining his home/road splits - use him here
34. Roenis Elias - SD, at KC
35. Jake Odorizzi - BAL, HOU
Note: The 8.0 K:BB ratio and 1.06 WHIP over his last 4 starts suggest he's deserved much better than a 4.57 ERA in those 21.7 IP
36. Mark Buehrle - at NYY
Note: I think there's still at least a run to be added to that 2.28 and that'd still be a brilliant season
37. R.A Dickey - at CIN
38. Trevor Bauer - LAA
39. Drew Smyly - KC
40. Chase Whitley - TOR
Note: Wasn't really a prospect, but impeccable command can make up for modest stuff
41. Rick Porcello - at CLE
Note: I like both Porcello and Richards overall, but CLE is a rough matchup
42. Garrett Richards - at CLE
43. David Phelps - TOR
Note: He's been inconsistent as an SP, but the talent is there for sustainted success
44. Wei-Yin Chen - at TB, at NYY
Note: The HRs keep his ceiling in the high-3.00s to low-4.00s, but he's a useful deep league option with that 5.2 K:BB ratio
45. Danny Duffy - at DET
46. Brad Peacock - at TB
Note: He's got a 3.34 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 29 Ks in 29.7 IP over his last 5 starts
47. Matt Shoemaker - at CLE, TEX
48. Chris Tillman - at NYY

SIT


49. Jarred Cosart - at TB
50. Bud Norris - at NYY
Note: Can still look brilliant as he did vs. BOS his last time out, but that's the exception these days
51. Erik Bedard - BAL, HOU
Note: Just doesn't go deep enough for a 2-start week to be that special
52. Josh Tomlin - LAA, DET
Note: Too many HRs makes this slate difficult, but I love the 5.4 K:BB ratio through 46 IP
53. Ubaldo Jimenez - at TB
54. Justin Masterson - LAA
55. Scott Feldman - at WAS
56. J.A. Happ - at CIN
57. Ricky Nolasco - CWS
58. Hector Santiago - TEX
Note: This could be Skaggs if he's ready to return
59. Rubby de la Rosa - MIN, at OAK
Note: The second of these starts could go to Buchholz if he's ready or Workman if he somehow wins his suspension appeal
60. Felix Doubront - at OAK
61. Jake Peavy - at OAK
62. Kyle Gibson - at BOS
63. Kevin Correia - at BOS, CWS
Note: He'll probably work his way back to the low-to-mid 4.00s we've seen the last few years meaning he's got a run-plus to shave off
64. Chris Young - SD, at KC
65. Miguel Gonzalez - at TB
Note: This could be Gausman if Gonzo isn't ready
66. Zach McAllister - LAA
67. Nick Tepesch -at OAK
68. Nick Martinez - at LAA
69. Jeremy Guthrie - at DET
70. Erasmo Ramirez - at SD
71. Vidal Nuno - BAL
72. Samuel Deduno - CWS
73. Hector Noesi - at MIN
74. T.J. House -DET
75. Andre Rienzo - at MIN
76. Joe Saunders - at LAA

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Johnny Cueto - at PIT, TOR
Note: The Reds offense should be embarrassed that he's 6-5
2. Cole Hamels - at ATL, at STL
Note: Had a 7.02 ERA in his first 3 starts; then a 1.78 in his last 7
3. Julio Teheran - PHI, at WAS
Note: I fully expect a bounce back from Coors dud
4. Michael Wacha - NYM, PHI
Note: Just 1 K in last 2 starts, but KC and TB are the first- and fourth-toughest teams to fan
5. Hyun-Jin Ryu - COL, at SD
6. Clayton Kershaw - COL
7. Madison Bumgarner - at ARI
8. Stephen Strasburg - ATL
Note: 10 straight QS yielding a 2.04 ERA with 75 Ks in 66.3 IP
9. Doug Fister - ATL
10. Jordan Zimmermann - ATL
Note: 3 start run of excellence has dropped his ERA from 4.07 to 2.98; he's back
11. Zack Greinke - COL
12. Adam Wainwright - NYM, PHI
Note: We should know by the end of the weekend if the Monday start will happen
13. Jon Niese - at STL, at MIA
Note: I see him as a Zimmermann-lite (from the left side, of course)
14. Tyson Ross - at SEA, LAD
Note: 8 starts of 0-1 ER mitigates the inconsistency of the occasional 5 ER dud
15. Jason Hammel - at MIA, PIT
Note: The ERA is well-supported by his component numbers
16. Tanner Roark - HOU, ATL
17. Andrew Cashner - SEA
18. Josh Beckett - at SD
19. Gerrit Cole - at CHC
Note: Slated to return, but stay tuned to our news section to see how that Sunday side session goes as it will determine his status for next week
20. Gio Gonzalez - HOU
Note: Could wind up facing ATL instead which might actually be the easier of the two matchups
21. Homer Bailey - at PIT
Note: He was rolling toward his fifth straight QS before a rough seventh inning in Milwaukee
22. Mat Latos - TOR
Note: Monitor his return on Saturday to get an idea of how he looks, but I'm putting him in my lineup right away
23. Bartolo Colon - at STL
Note: Buying anywhere I can, especially if the 4.15 ERA offers a discount
24. Mike Minor - at WAS
Note: Has allowed 14 of his 23 ER in a pair of starts incl. one in Coors; I'm still buying
25. Jeff Samardzija - at MIA
26. Nathan Eovaldi - CHC
Note: Responding to his last 6 ER outing w/a 2.57 ERA in 4 starts; let's see how he responds to this one against PIT
27. Ian Kennedy - LAD
Note: The skills say he deserves better than his 3.63 ERA; I'm buying
28. Zack Wheeler - at MIA
29. Lance Lynn - NYM
Note: He's lulling us back into security, maybe this time he won't ruin it with a random 5 ER outing
30. Tim Hudson - at CWS
Note: The NL's Buehrle
31. Jake Arrieta - at MIA
Note: The skills are really supporting the surge of this former blue-chip prospect
32. Dan Haren - at SD
33. Ervin Santana - PHI, at WAS
Note: Not as good as his 0.86 ERA in the first 3 starts, but not as bad as the 5.30 over his last 9
34. Kyle Lohse - at ARI, at COL
Note: Lohse & Peralta heading to Coors bumps ‘em down
35. Wily Peralta - at ARI, at COL
36. Alfredo Simon - at PIT
Note: 3 QS to open June has earned him the spot over Cingrani with Latos returning
37. Aaron Harang - PHI
Note: 4 straight QS and 7 of 8
38. Gavin Floyd - at WAS
39. Matt Cain - at CWS
40. Henderson Alvarez - NYM
41. Ryan Vogelsong - at ARI
42. Jaime Garcia - PHI
Note: Didn't walk anyone through his first four, but HRs have kept the ERA inflated as a 0.95 WHIP portends better days
43. Travis Wood - PIT
44. Mike Leake - TOR
45. Chase Anderson - MIL
Note: Too many HR to fully trust the low-3.00s ERA
46. Wade Miley - MIL, SF
47. Charlie Morton - at CHC
Note: Gets his 4th start vs. CHC - 2.84 ERA in 19 IP so far
48. Matt Garza - at ARI
49. Yovani Gallardo - at ARI
50. A.J. Burnett - at STL
Note: Still too many BB to fully trust, but improved control would greatly turn his season
51. Edinson Volquez - CIN
Note: Turning a corner with a 2.48 ERA and 25 Ks in his last 29 IP?
52. Brandon Cumpton - CIN, at CHC
Note: 10 ER trip to LAD is skewing his numbers; 3.72 ERA in his other five starts
53. Jeff Locke - CIN
54. Tom Koehler - CHC, NYM
Note: Skills profile is unimpressive, but he's looked great in spurts and this is an excellent pair of matchups

SIT


55. Tyler Matzek - at LAD, MIL
Note: Very intrigued by the former blue-chipper, but I worry about the control even with a 0 BB debut
56. Brandon McCarthy - MIL, SF
Note: Strong ERA indicators can only do so much, at some point you have to stop allowing 5 ER all the time
57. Shelby Miller - PHI
Note: I have no idea how this wizard shutout TOR in the Rogers Centre, but I remain skeptical of the inconsistent youngster
58. Jacob deGrom - at STL, at MIA
59. Edwin Jackson - PIT
60. Tim Lincecum - at ARI
61. Bronson Arroyo - SF
Note: Consistently inconsistent with 1, 5, 1, 5, 4, 1 ER over his last 6 starts
62. Daisuke Matsuzaka - at MIA
Note: Still too many BB
63. Jorge de la Rosa - at LAD
64. Jacob Turner - CHC, NYM
65. Randy Wolf - NYM
66. Marco Estrada - at COL
Note: This could be reeeaaallllyyyy bad
67. Jesse Hahn - SEA
68. Jhoulys Chacin - at LAD
69. Kyle Kendrick - at ATL, at STL
70. Juan Nicasio - MIL
71. David Buchanan - at STL
72. Eric Stults - at SEA, LAD
73. Josh Collmenter - MIL
74. Christian Bergman - MIL
75. Roberto Hernandez - at ATL

MLB TOP 100

1. Johnny Cueto - at PIT, TOR
Note: The Reds offense should be embarrassed that he's 6-5
2. Cole Hamels - at ATL, at STL
Note: Had a 7.02 ERA in his first 3 starts; then a 1.78 in his last 7
3. Masahiro Tanaka - TOR, BAL
Note: Tanaka's ERA hasn't been above 3.00 since it was at 3.21 back on April 9th
4. Max Scherzer - KC, at CLE
Note: The 25:5 K:BB ratio said his four-start rough patch wasn't much to worry about; his first career CG on Thursday confirmed it
5. Julio Teheran - PHI, at WAS
Note: I fully expect a bounce back from Coors dud
6. Michael Wacha - NYM, PHI
Note: Just 1 K in last 2 starts, but KC and TB are the first- and fourth-toughest teams to fan
7. Hyun-Jin Ryu - COL, at SD
8. Jon Lester - MIN, at OAK
9. Felix Hernandez - at SD
Note: Hernandez against the Padres can actually out-do some two-start guys, especially since these next three guys all have at least one tough outing
10. Dallas Keuchel - at WAS, at TB
Note: Time to believe if you're still holding out for some reason
11. Yordano Ventura - at DET, SEA
12. Phil Hughes - at BOS, CWS
Note: Hughes walked six in his first four outings; he's walked two in the nine since (both in the same game)
13. Clayton Kershaw - COL
14. Madison Bumgarner - at ARI
15. Stephen Strasburg - ATL
Note: 10 straight QS yielding a 2.04 ERA with 75 Ks in 66.3 IP
16. Yu Darvish - at OAK
17. Chris Sale - SF
Note: The DL stint seemed to be his spinach - 1.69 ERA, 0.53 WHIP, and 19.5 K:BB ratio in 32 IP since returning
18. Hisashi Iwakuma - at KC
19. Doug Fister - ATL
20. Jordan Zimmermann - ATL
Note: 3 start run of excellence has dropped his ERA from 4.07 to 2.98; he's back
21. Zack Greinke - COL
22. Adam Wainwright - NYM, PHI
Note: We should know by the end of the weekend if the Monday start will happen
23. Jon Niese - at STL, at MIA
Note: I see him as a Zimmermann-lite (from the left side, of course)
24. Tyson Ross - at SEA, LAD
Note: 8 starts of 0-1 ER mitigates the inconsistency of the occasional 5 ER dud
25. Jason Hammel - at MIA, PIT
Note: The ERA is well-supported by his component numbers
26. Tanner Roark - HOU, ATL
27. David Price - HOU
Note: Turning up the command to match the control w/a 13.5 K:BB ratio and just 1 HR allowed in his last three starts (22.3 IP)
28. Anibal Sanchez - KC
29. Corey Kluber - DET
Note: 9 Ks in his last two combined after 9+ in five of his previous six outings
30. Scott Kazmir - BOS
Note: He's ascended to become OAK's ace
31. Drew Hutchison - at NYY
Note: Continues to just obliterate folks on the road - 1.79 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 4.9 K:BB ratio in nine road starts
32. Sonny Gray - TEX
33. James Shields - SEA
34. Alex Cobb - BAL
Note: Dominating HOU isn't the cakewalk it used to be so it was nice to see Cobb drop a 6.3 IP/1 ER gem with 11 Ks
35. Andrew Cashner - SEA
36. Josh Beckett - at SD
37. John Lackey - MIN
Note: Five straight QS incl. the last three against CLE, DET, and CLE
38. Chris Archer - HOU
Note: Started to turn in mid-May despite BB issues, but has now quelled BBs en route to an 0.87 ERA in his last 5 starts
39. C.J. Wilson - at CLE
40. Gerrit Cole - at CHC
Note: Slated to return, but stay tuned to our news section to see how that Sunday side session goes as it will determine his status for next week
41. Gio Gonzalez - HOU
Note: Could wind up facing ATL instead which might actually be the easier of the two matchups
42. Homer Bailey - at PIT
Note: He was rolling toward his fifth straight QS before a rough seventh inning in Milwaukee
43. Mat Latos - TOR
Note: Monitor his return on Saturday to get an idea of how he looks, but I'm putting him in my lineup right away
44. Bartolo Colon - at STL
Note: Buying anywhere I can, especially if the 4.15 ERA offers a discount
45. Mike Minor - at WAS
Note: Has allowed 14 of his 23 ER in a pair of starts incl. one in Coors; I'm still buying
46. Jeff Samardzija - at MIA
47. Nathan Eovaldi - CHC
Note: Responding to his last 6 ER outing w/a 2.57 ERA in 4 starts; let's see how he responds to this one against PIT
48. Ian Kennedy - LAD
Note: The skills say he deserves better than his 3.63 ERA; I'm buying
49. Zack Wheeler - at MIA
50. Lance Lynn - NYM
Note: He's lulling us back into security, maybe this time he won't ruin it with a random 5 ER outing
51. Tim Hudson - at CWS
Note: The NL's Buehrle
52. Jake Arrieta - at MIA
Note: The skills are really supporting the surge of this former blue-chip prospect
53. Dan Haren - at SD
54. Hiroki Kuroda - BAL
55. Jesse Chavez - BOS
Note: Allowed more than 1 ER just once in 6 April starts and has allowed 2 ER in his 7 starts since then, but still no more than 4 ER in a single start
56. Jose Quintana - at MIN
Note: It seems the more I write about how steady he is, the worse his outings are w/back-to-back duds
57. Collin McHugh - at TB
Note: Walks have bitten him in his last two - 8 BB in 9.3 IP, but the Ks remain there with 6 in each of those starts
58. Marcus Stroman - at NYY, at CIN
Note: Posted a 2.50 ERA and 8.5 K:BB in his 3 starts (all QS)
59. Jered Weaver - at CLE, TEX
Note: That CLE matchup really mitigates the value of a two-start week as they're killing righties
60. Ervin Santana - PHI, at WAS
Note: Not as good as his 0.86 ERA in the first 3 starts, but not as bad as the 5.30 over his last 9
61. Kyle Lohse - at ARI, at COL
Note: Lohse & Peralta heading to Coors bumps ‘em down
62. Wily Peralta - at ARI, at COL
63. Drew Pomeranz - TEX, BOS
64. John Danks - SF, at MIN
Note: 4 straight QS all 7+ IP; both of his opp are below league average in wOBA vs. LHP
65. Colby Lewis - at OAK, at LAA
Note: That .394 BABIP has to even out and when it does, so too will his astronomical ERA
66. Justin Verlander - KC, at CLE
Note: This feels wrong… because it might actually be too high 
67. Jason Vargas - at DET, SEA
68. Tommy Milone - TEX, BOS
Note: Milone maintaining his home/road splits - use him here
69. Roenis Elias - SD, at KC
70. Jake Odorizzi - BAL, HOU
Note: The 8.0 K:BB ratio and 1.06 WHIP over his last 4 starts suggest he's deserved much better than a 4.57 ERA in those 21.7 IP
71. Mark Buehrle - at NYY
Note: I think there's still at least a run to be added to that 2.28 and that'd still be a brilliant season
72. R.A Dickey - at CIN
73. Alfredo Simon - at PIT
Note: 3 QS to open June has earned him the spot over Cingrani with Latos returning
74. Aaron Harang - PHI
Note: 4 straight QS and 7 of 8
75. Gavin Floyd - at WAS
76. Matt Cain - at CWS
77. Henderson Alvarez - NYM
78. Ryan Vogelsong - at ARI
79. Jaime Garcia - PHI
Note: Didn't walk anyone through his first four, but HRs have kept the ERA inflated as a 0.95 WHIP portends better days
80. Trevor Bauer - LAA
81. Drew Smyly - KC
82. Chase Whitley - TOR
Note: Wasn't really a prospect, but impeccable command can make up for modest stuff
83. Travis Wood - PIT
84. Mike Leake - TOR
85. Chase Anderson - MIL
Note: Too many HR to fully trust the low-3.00s ERA
86. Wade Miley - MIL, SF
87. Charlie Morton - at CHC
Note: Gets his 4th start vs. CHC - 2.84 ERA in 19 IP so far
88. Matt Garza - at ARI
89. Yovani Gallardo - at ARI
90. A.J. Burnett - at STL
Note: Still too many BB to fully trust, but improved control would greatly turn his season
91. Edinson Volquez - CIN
Note: Turning a corner with a 2.48 ERA and 25 Ks in his last 29 IP?
92. Brandon Cumpton - CIN, at CHC
Note: 10 ER trip to LAD is skewing his numbers; 3.72 ERA in his other five starts
93. Jeff Locke - CIN
94. Rick Porcello - at CLE
Note: I like both Porcello and Richards overall, but CLE is a rough matchup
95. Garrett Richards - at CLE
96. David Phelps - TOR
Note: He's been inconsistent as an SP, but the talent is there for sustainted success
97. Wei-Yin Chen - at TB, at NYY
Note: The HRs keep his ceiling in the high-3.00s to low-4.00s, but he's a useful deep league option with that 5.2 K:BB ratio
98. Danny Duffy - at DET
99. Brad Peacock - at TB
Note: He's got a 3.34 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 29 Ks in 29.7 IP over his last 5 starts
100. Matt Shoemaker - at CLE, TEX