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Pitching Value Meter: Ray of Hope

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 30 - July 6

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. David Price - at NYY, at DET
Note: Price has a 54:5 K:BB ratio in June with five straight 10-plus K games
2. Anibal Sanchez - OAK, TB
3. Felix Hernandez - at CWS
Note: Not as many Ks as Price, but his 45/3 K:BB ratio in June might actually be better
4. Masahiro Tanaka - at MIN
5. Chris Sale - SEA
Note: Walked 7 in four April starts; has walked 4 in seven starts since then heading into TOR on Saturday
6. Max Scherzer - TB
7. Yu Darvish - at BAL
Note: Slogging through an uneven June with three 4 ER starts, but 0 ER in 17 IP in his other two
8. Corey Kluber - at LAD, KC
Note: June started off a little poorly, but a 1.28 ERA and 14/2 K:BB ratio in his last two suggests he is fine
9. Garrett Richards - at CWS, HOU
10. Scott Kazmir - at DET, TOR
Note: Tough slate and lowered K rate keeps him behind some of the elites even in a two-start week
11. Jon Lester - BAL
12. Collin McHugh - SEA, at LAA
Note: At least 6 Ks in seven of his last eight en route to a 2.89 ERA in 46.7 IP
13. Hisashi Iwakuma - at HOU
14. Phil Hughes - NYY
15. Sonny Gray - TOR
16. Yordano Ventura - at CLE
Note: Just 14 Ks in his last four, but it's hard to argue with the 2.67 ERA
17. Alex Cobb - at DET
18. C.J. Wilson - HOU
19. John Lackey - BAL
20. Chris Archer - at NYY, at DET
Note: Consistency isn't there for the 25-year old, but the ups are fantastic making the downs at least palatable
21. Rick Porcello - OAK, TB
Note: Speaking of inconsistent 25-year olds ... he's riding a 16-inning scoreless streak
22. Danny Duffy - at MIN, at CLE
23. Jered Weaver - at CWS, HOU
Note: I worry about that start in US Cellular with his 1.1 HR/9
24. Justin Verlander - OAK
Note: I'm pleased with the last two outings, but I know he's not in the clear just yet, especially with OAK on tap
25. Jesse Chavez - at DET
26. Drew Smyly - TB
27. Jake Odorizzi - at NYY
28. Marcus Stroman - at OAK
Note: Loved how he adjusted when facing a team twice in a row
29. Jose Quintana - SEA
Note: Back on track with a 1.93 ERA and 14 Ks in his last 14 IP
30. James Shields - at MIN
Note: He's allowed 7-plus H in seven of his last eight along with 10 HRs allowed
31. Taijuan Walker - at HOU, at CWS
Note: I'm putting him in my lineup immediately, but tempering expectations
32. Hiroki Kuroda - TB, at MIN
33. David Phelps - TB, at MIN
34. R.A. Dickey - at OAK
35. Dallas Keuchel - at LAA
Note: A bum wrist is bumping him from his Saturday start so I'm playing it conservatively right now
36. Roenis Elias - at CWS
37. Mark Buehrle - at OAK
Note: Allowed 2 HR in first 12 (2.10 ERA), but he's allowed 5 in his last four (3.81 ERA)
38. Jason Vargas - at MIN
39. Tyler Skaggs - HOU
Note: Slated to return next week, but stay tuned to our news section for confirmation before setting your lineups
40. Matt Shoemaker - at CWS

CONSIDER


41. Jarred Cosart - SEA, at LAA
Note: Love the elite GB rate, hate the uninspiring K & BB rates
42. Drew Hutchison - MIL, at OAK
Note: Can he figure out the home woes?
43. Wei-Yin Chen - TEX
Note: Nice June with a 2.61 ERA and 5.8 K:BB ratio in 31 IP
44. Brandon Workman - CHC
Note: Fighting for a permanent spot in the rotation
45. Chris Tillman - TEX
Note: Has a 1.61 ERA in his last four, but with a 7/8 K:BB ratio - that's not a typo
46. Brad Peacock - SEA
Note: 3 or fewer ER in each of his last six
47. Trevor Bauer - at LAD
Note: Still far from a complete product, though admittedly better than we've seen
48. Kyle Gibson - NYY
Note: Had a streak of 21 scoreless IP busted by a 2 IP/7 ER massacre in LAA
49. J.A. Happ - MIL
Note: Highly volatile with four 0-1 ER outings and four others where's allowed 21 of his 31 ER on the season
50. Chase Whitley - at MIN
Note: Getting thrashed in TOR doesn't send me running away from a guy
51. Clay Buchholz - CHC
Note: The matchup is the only reason I'm considering Buchholz here
52. Kevin Gausman - TEX, at BOS
Note: These teams aren't as scary as last year, but Gaus hasn't shown much, either

SIT


53. Ubaldo Jimenez - TEX, at BOS
54. Jake Peavy - CHC, BAL
55. Chris Young - at HOU
Note: Still fading him even in the face of a 2.89 June ERA
56. John Danks - LAA
Note: The Angels destroy lefties, be careful here
57. Brad Mills - at DET
58. Tommy Milone - TOR
Note: I know it's home, but I'm leery of TOR
59. Vidal Nuno - TB
60. Nick Tepesch - at BAL, at NYM
61. Scott Feldman - at LAA
62. Colby Lewis - at NYM
63. Ricky Nolasco - KC, NYY
64. Justin Masterson - at LAD
Note: The knee issue might be an answer to his horrid season
65. Yohan Pino - KC, NYY
66. Erik Bedard - at DET
67. Miguel Gonzalez - at BOS
68. Nick Martinez - at BAL
69. Josh Tomlin - KC
70. Jeremy Guthrie - at CLE
71. Kevin Correia - KC
72. T.J. House - KC
73. Hector Noesi - LAA, SEA
74. Scott Carroll - LAA
75. Joe Saunders - at BAL, at NYM

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Johnny Cueto - at SD
Note: His 8.3 IP/2 ER gem in San Fran raised his ERA
2. Clayton Kershaw - at COL
Note: I'm not even really scared about this matchup for him
3. Adam Wainwright - at SF
4. Cole Hamels - at MIA
Note: He's a single run away 10 straight QS with 7-plus IP, but COL got him for 4 ER on May 27th
5. Julio Teheran - NYM
Note: After just 26 Ks in 43 April IP, he's got 77 in 76 IP over his last 11
6. Madison Bumgarner - STL
7. Jordan Zimmermann - COL, CHC
Note: Vintage Zimm in June - 1.18 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and 7.2 K:BB ratio in 38 IP
8. Stephen Strasburg - COL
9. Zack Greinke - at COL
10. Jake Arrieta - at BOS, at WAS
Note: Has shown that his May flashes were legit with an incredible 1.14 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and 7.6 K:BB ratio in 31.7 June IP
11. Gio Gonzalez - CHC
12. Jeff Samardzija - at WAS
Note: Responded to the 3 IP/8 ER dud in MIL with a 2.52 ERA and 30 Ks in 25 IP as he raises his trade stock
13. Jason Hammel - at WAS
Note: Waiting for the shoe to drop on Hammel? It hasn't and the skills back his gaudy ERA
14. Tyson Ross - CIN
15. Mat Latos - at SD, MIL
Note: ERA and WHIP are there, the skills will come next
16. Josh Beckett - CLE, at COL
Note: I'd expect some backslide on that 2.11 ERA (perhaps starting w/these 2 matchups), but health has made him a viable arm once again
17. Jesse Hahn - CIN, SF
18. A.J. Burnett - at MIA, at PIT
Note: Sharpening up of late with a 2.59 ERA and 0.93 WHIP over his last four starts going at least 7 IP in each of them
19. Zack Wheeler - at ATL, TEX
20. Hyun-Jin Ryu - CLE
21. Lance Lynn - MIA
Note: He's allowed 0, 2, or 4 ER in each of his last 10 yielding a 2.52 ERA in 64.3 IP
22. Doug Fister - COL
23. Gerrit Cole - PHI
24. Alex Wood - NYM, ARI
Note: Solid return to the majors and rotation with seven scoreless in HOU
25. Tim Hudson - at SD
Note: I think he's a solid mid-3.00s ERA guy the rest of the way
26. Mike Leake - at SD
Note: June shows his volatility - 8.22 ERA in 15.3 IP in his first three, 1.13 ERA in 16 IP over last two
27. Bartolo Colon - TEX
Note: Both of these Mets are on fire and among the most underrated in the NL
28. Jon Niese - TEX
29. Kyle Lohse - at CIN
30. Yovani Gallardo - at CIN
31. Alfredo Simon - MIL
Note: Continues to dazzle with 12 QS in 15 outings and component numbers have pumped up in his last eight - 18% K rate, 3.5 K:BB ratio in 52 IP
32. Ian Kennedy - CIN
33. Ryan Vogelsong - STL
34. Tanner Roark - CHC
35. Homer Bailey - MIL
Note: .634 OPS against the first time through, .947 the second time
36. Henderson Alvarez - PHI, at STL
Note: Seven starts with a 0.78 ERA deserves attention even if he only fanned 29 in 46.3 IP (impressive 4.8 K:BB, though)
37. Charlie Morton - ARI
38. Ervin Santana - ARI
Note: 12 ER in four June starts, but 6 came in Coors; he can be trusted as a high-3.00s ERA with mid-3.00s upside
39. Mike Minor - NYM
Note: HR issues that plagued him early in his career have returned
40. Brandon Cumpton - PHI
41. Travis Wood - at BOS
42. Nathan Eovaldi - at STL
Note: He's fallen from that early season perch with inconsistency returning, but I still like him
43. Chase Anderson - at PIT
44. Matt Garza - at CIN
45. Tim Lincecum - STL, at SD
Note: Well, he gets another look at the Padres ... no-hitter No. 3???
46. Aaron Harang - ARI
Note: His component numbers collapsed in June - just a blip or sign of future trouble?
47. Andrew Heaney - at STL
Note: There'll be some inconsistency, but he can be an impact arm this year
48. Tom Koehler - PHI
49. Jacob deGrom - at ATL

CONSIDER


50. Wily Peralta - at TOR
Note: Handled himself in Coors, can he double-up escape TOR relatively unscathed?
51. Matt Cain - at SD
Note: He should be able to handle the Padres in Petco, but they ripped him at AT&T his last time out
52. Wade Miley - at PIT, at ATL
Note: Could have a nice week in a pair of HR-suppressing parks
53. Brandon McCarthy - at PIT
Note: OK, you handled SD, can you get a streak of strong starts going?
54. Marco Gonzales - at SF, MIA
Note: Looked brilliant through three in debut before a rough fourth ruined it
55. Jeff Locke - ARI
Note: He's looked great in five starts so far with muuuch better skills than last year's horrific 1.5 K:BB ratio
56. Carlos Martinez - at SF
Note: Still being stretched out, topped 80 pitches last time out
57. Vance Worley - ARI
Note: In Ray Searage I Trust

SIT


58. Odrisamer Despaigne - SF
Note: I want to see him face a team twice before trusting him
59. Kyle Kendrick - at MIA
60. Dan Haren - CLE, at COL
Note: I'm admittedly speculating, but I believe he's hurt
61. Edwin Jackson - at BOS
62. Shelby Miller - MIA
Note: Cracks are showing and I think we could see a cascade of rough starts
63. Marco Estrada - at TOR
Note: No way
64. David Buchanan - at PIT
65. Edinson Volquez - PHI
66. Jhoulys Chacin - LAD
67. Roberto Hernandez - at PIT
68. Daisuke Matsuzaka - at ATL
69. Jorge De La Rosa - LAD
70. Anthony Desclafani - PHI
71. Christian Friedrich - at WAS, LAD
72. Mike Bolsinger - at ATL
73. Tyler Matzek - at WAS
74. Josh Collmenter - at ATL
75. Yohan Flande - at WAS, LAD
76. Eric Stults - SF

MLB TOP 100

1. David Price - at NYY, at DET
Note: Price has a 54:5 K:BB ratio in June with five straight 10-plus K games
2. Anibal Sanchez - OAK, TB
3. Johnny Cueto - at SD
Note: His 8.3 IP/2 ER gem in San Fran raised his ERA
4. Felix Hernandez - at CWS
Note: Not as many Ks as Price, but his 45/3 K:BB ratio in June might actually be better
5. Clayton Kershaw - at COL
Note: I'm not even really scared about this matchup for him
6. Masahiro Tanaka - at MIN
7. Adam Wainwright - at SF
8. Chris Sale - SEA
Note: Walked 7 in four April starts; has walked 4 in seven starts since then heading into TOR on Saturday
9. Max Scherzer - TB
10. Cole Hamels - at MIA
Note: He's a single run away 10 straight QS with 7-plus IP, but COL got him for 4 ER on May 27th
11. Julio Teheran - NYM
Note: After just 26 Ks in 43 April IP, he's got 77 in 76 IP over his last 11
12. Yu Darvish - at BAL
Note: Slogging through an uneven June with three 4 ER starts, but 0 ER in 17 IP in his other two
13. Corey Kluber - at LAD, KC
Note: June started off a little poorly, but a 1.28 ERA and 14/2 K:BB ratio in his last two suggests he is fine
14. Garrett Richards - at CWS, HOU
15. Scott Kazmir - at DET, TOR
Note: Tough slate and lowered K rate keeps him behind some of the elites even in a two-start week
16. Madison Bumgarner - STL
17. Jordan Zimmermann - COL, CHC
Note: Vintage Zimm in June - 1.18 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and 7.2 K:BB ratio in 38 IP
18. Stephen Strasburg - COL
19. Zack Greinke - at COL
20. Jake Arrieta - at BOS, at WAS
Note: Has shown that his May flashes were legit with an incredible 1.14 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and 7.6 K:BB ratio in 31.7 June IP
21. Jon Lester - BAL
22. Collin McHugh - SEA, at LAA
Note: At least 6 Ks in seven of his last eight en route to a 2.89 ERA in 46.7 IP
23. Hisashi Iwakuma - at HOU
24. Gio Gonzalez - CHC
25. Jeff Samardzija - at WAS
Note: Responded to the 3 IP/8 ER dud in MIL with a 2.52 ERA and 30 Ks in 25 IP as he raises his trade stock
26. Jason Hammel - at WAS
Note: Waiting for the shoe to drop on Hammel? It hasn't and the skills back his gaudy ERA
27. Tyson Ross - CIN
28. Phil Hughes - NYY
29. Sonny Gray - TOR
30. Mat Latos - at SD, MIL
Note: ERA and WHIP are there, the skills will come next
31. Josh Beckett - CLE, at COL
Note: I'd expect some backslide on that 2.11 ERA (perhaps starting w/these 2 matchups), but health has made him a viable arm once again
32. Jesse Hahn - CIN, SF
33. A.J. Burnett - at MIA, at PIT
Note: Sharpening up of late with a 2.59 ERA and 0.93 WHIP over his last four starts going at least 7 IP in each of them
34. Zack Wheeler - at ATL, TEX
35. Hyun-Jin Ryu - CLE
36. Lance Lynn - MIA
Note: He's allowed 0, 2, or 4 ER in each of his last 10 yielding a 2.52 ERA in 64.3 IP
37. Doug Fister - COL
38. Gerrit Cole - PHI
39. Yordano Ventura - at CLE
Note: Just 14 Ks in his last four, but it's hard to argue with the 2.67 ERA
40. Alex Cobb - at DET
41. C.J. Wilson - HOU
42. John Lackey - BAL
43. Chris Archer - at NYY, at DET
Note: Consistency isn't there for the 25-year old, but the ups are fantastic making the downs at least palatable
44. Rick Porcello - OAK, TB
Note: Speaking of inconsistent 25-year olds ... he's riding a 16-inning scoreless streak
45. Alex Wood - NYM, ARI
Note: Solid return to the majors and rotation with seven scoreless in HOU
46. Danny Duffy - at MIN, at CLE
47. Jered Weaver - at CWS, HOU
Note: I worry about that start in US Cellular with his 1.1 HR/9
48. Justin Verlander - OAK
Note: I'm pleased with the last two outings, but I know he's not in the clear just yet, especially with OAK on tap
49. Tim Hudson - at SD
Note: I think he's a solid mid-3.00s ERA guy the rest of the way
50. Mike Leake - at SD
Note: June shows his volatility - 8.22 ERA in 15.3 IP in his first three, 1.13 ERA in 16 IP over last two
51. Bartolo Colon - TEX
Note: Both of these Mets are on fire and among the most underrated in the NL
52. Jon Niese - TEX
53. Kyle Lohse - at CIN
54. Yovani Gallardo - at CIN
55. Alfredo Simon - MIL
Note: He just continues to dazzle with 12 QS in 15 outings and his component numbers have pumped up in his last eight - 18% K rate, 3.5 K:BB ratio in 52 IP
56. Ian Kennedy - CIN
57. Ryan Vogelsong - STL
58. Tanner Roark - CHC
59. Jesse Chavez - at DET
60. Drew Smyly - TB
61. Jake Odorizzi - at NYY
62. Marcus Stroman - at OAK
Note: Loved how he adjusted when facing a team twice in a row
63. Jose Quintana - SEA
Note: Back on track with a 1.93 ERA and 14 Ks in his last 14 IP
64. Homer Bailey - MIL
Note: .634 OPS against the first time through, .947 the second time
65. Henderson Alvarez - PHI, at STL
Note: Seven starts with a 0.78 ERA deserves attention even if he only fanned 29 in 46.3 IP (impressive 4.8 K:BB, though)
66. Charlie Morton - ARI
67. Ervin Santana - ARI
Note: 12 ER in four June starts, but 6 came in Coors; he can be trusted as a high-3.00s ERA with mid-3.00s upside
68. James Shields - at MIN
Note: He's allowed 7-plus H in seven of his last eight along with 10 HRs allowed
69. Taijuan Walker - at HOU, at CWS
Note: I'm putting him in my lineup immediately, but tempering expectations
70. Hiroki Kuroda - TB, at MIN
71. David Phelps - TB, at MIN
72. R.A. Dickey - at OAK
73. Mike Minor - NYM
Note: HR issues that plagued him early in his career have returned
74. Brandon Cumpton - PHI
75. Travis Wood - at BOS
76. Nathan Eovaldi - at STL
Note: He's fallen from that early season perch with inconsistency returning, but I still like him
77. Chase Anderson - at PIT
78. Matt Garza - at CIN
79. Tim Lincecum - STL, at SD
Note: Well, he gets another look at the Padres ... no-hitter No. 3???
80. Dallas Keuchel - at LAA
Note: A bum wrist is bumping him from his Saturday start so I'm playing it conservatively right now
81. Roenis Elias - at CWS
82. Mark Buehrle - at OAK
Note: Allowed 2 HR in first 12 (2.10 ERA), but he's allowed 5 in his last four (3.81 ERA)
83. Jason Vargas - at MIN
84. Tyler Skaggs - HOU
Note: Slated to return next week, but stay tuned to our news section for confirmation before setting your lineups
85. Matt Shoemaker - at CWS
86. Aaron Harang - ARI
Note: His component numbers collapsed in June - just a blip or sign of future trouble?
87. Andrew Heaney - at STL
Note: There'll be some inconsistency, but he can be an impact arm this year
88. Tom Koehler - PHI
89. Jacob deGrom - at ATL
90. Jarred Cosart - SEA, at LAA
Note: Love the elite GB rate, hate the uninspiring K & BB rates
91. Drew Hutchison - MIL, at OAK
Note: Can he figure out the home woes?
92. Wily Peralta - at TOR
Note: Handled himself in Coors, can he double-up escape TOR relatively unscathed?
93. Matt Cain - at SD
Note: He should be able to handle the Padres in Petco, but they ripped him at AT&T his last time out
94. Wade Miley - at PIT, at ATL
Note: Could have a nice week in a pair of HR-suppressing parks
95. Brandon McCarthy - at PIT
Note: OK, you handled SD, can you get a streak of strong starts going?
96. Wei-Yin Chen - TEX
Note: Nice June with a 2.61 ERA and 5.8 K:BB ratio in 31 IP
97. Brandon Workman - CHC
Note: Fighting for a permanent spot in the rotation
98. Marco Gonzales - at SF, MIA
Note: Looked brilliant through three in debut before a rough fourth ruined it
99. Jeff Locke - ARI
Note: He's looked great in five starts so far with muuuch better skills than last year's horrific 1.5 K:BB ratio
100. Carlos Martinez - at SF
Note: Still being stretched out, topped 80 pitches last time out