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Pitching Value Meter: Kershaw's Brilliance Limited this Week

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 July 7-13

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Masahiro Tanaka - at CLE, at BAL
Note: What amazes me is how good he is when he clearly doesn't have his best stuff
2. Felix Hernandez - MIN
Note: His last nine - 1.30 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 77 Ks in last 69 IP
3. Chris Sale - at BOS
4. Yu Darvish - HOU
5. Jon Lester - CWS
Note: Since allowing 5 ER at DET - 1.21 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 3.3 K:BB ratio in 29.7 IP
6. David Price - TOR
7. Anibal Sanchez - at KC
8. Max Scherzer - LAD
Note: He has sufficiently rebounded from the 10 ER dud with a 1.71 ERA in his last four incl. 28 Ks in 21 IP
9. Sonny Gray - SF, at SEA
Note: Gray and Iwakuma haven't quite been studly enough to leapfrog the aces even with two starts
10. Hisashi Iwakuma - MIN, OAK
11. Corey Kluber - CWS
12. Garrett Richards - at TEX
Note: Make no mistake - he's the ace of this team right now
13. Scott Kazmir - at SF
14. Justin Verlander - LAD, at KC
Note: Three straight solid outings with a 3.32 ERA in 19 IP along with a 20/2 K:BB ratio
15. Jesse Chavez - SF, at SEA
16. Jeff Samardzija - at SEA
Note: I'm speculating on when the two new A's will debut with their new club, so stay tuned in case it changes
17. Jason Hammel - at SF
18. Jered Weaver - TOR, at TEX
Note: Not as worrisome of a slate with TOR happening at home and TEX not nearly as strong as recent years given their injuries
19. Jake Odorizzi - KC, TOR
Note: He's turned into a strikeout force, which I did not see coming
20. Phil Hughes - at SEA, at COL
Note: 35 percent of his ER have come in the last three outings; he's better than this 3.95 ERA
21. James Shields - at TB, DET
Note: He's allowed fewer than 4 ER just twice in his last eight yielding a 5.66 ERA
22. Jose Quintana - at BOS
Note: On fire of late with a 1.29 ERA and 21 Ks in his last three over 21 IP
23. Rick Porcello - at KC
Note: He has the rarely-seen 0 K, 0 BB shutout last time out
24. C.J. Wilson - at TEX
25. Chris Archer - TOR
Note: Opened May with 12 ER in three starts; he's allowed 10 ER (16 overall) in his nine starts since then
26. John Lackey - CWS
27. Collin McHugh - BOS
Note: The ERA is up a bit lately (4.45 in his last five), but the Ks remain dependable (35 in 28 IP over those last five)
28. Marcus Stroman - at LAA
Note: His 3.44 ERA is even a little misleading as it's been at 2.08 in his seven starts
29. Yordano Ventura - at TB
Note: Thoroughly pleased with the 2.52 ERA in his last six, but just 21 Ks in 39.3 IP is somewhat concerning
30. Alex Cobb - KC
31. Taijuan Walker - OAK
Note: Could be a huge factor in the second half
32. Hiroki Kuroda - at BAL
Note: Starting to turn his season around; I could see him chopping another 0.30-0.50 runs off of his ERA
33. Drew Hutchison - at TB
34. Drew Smyly - at KC
35. Danny Duffy - DET
Note: Supporting skills are improving with a 2.6 K:BB ratio in his last six (1.9 on the season)
36. R.A. Dickey - at LAA
37. Tyler Skaggs - TOR
Note: He's already handled the Jays in TOR earlier this year (8 IP/2 ER)
38. Mark Buehrle - at TB
Note: 2.79 ERA in June not well-supported as evidenced by his 4.61 FIP
39. Dallas Keuchel - at TEX
Note: He was awful in his return after a skipped start; I wonder if they will DL him
40. Jason Vargas - at TB, DET
Note: His 3.81 ERA since May 1st is about what you should expect the rest of the way
41. J.A. Happ - at LAA, at TB
42. John Danks - at BOS, at CLE
43. Kevin Gausman - NYY
Note: His first five starts encapsulate the volatility of youth - 5, 1, 1, 0, and 5 ER; the upside is there
44. Matt Shoemaker - TOR
45. Brad Peacock - at TEX
46. Roenis Elias - MIN
Note: He's settled into a solid-but-unspectacular asset; definitely has AL-only usage
47. Josh Tomlin - NYY
Note: Tomlin and Chen are too homer-happy which keeps them very volatile from start-to-start
48. Wei-Yin Chen - at WAS
49. David Phelps - at CLE
50. Trevor Bauer - NYY, CWS
Note: His improvements may have been preemptively overstated
51. Chris Young - MIN, OAK
Note: Skills on the rise, but I remain quite skeptical

SIT


52. Jarred Cosart - at TEX, BOS
Note: His weak supporting skills leave him susceptible to thrashings like his last time out vs. SEA
53. Clay Buchholz - CWS, at HOU
Note: Has been just OK in his two starts since returning
54. Brandon Workman - CWS, at HOU
Note: Could be fighting for his rotation spot
55. Nick Tepesch - LAA
Note: He's been alright lately, but I still worry in tough matchups
56. Kyle Gibson - at SEA
57. Scott Feldman - BOS
58. Colby Lewis - LAA
59. Ubaldo Jimenez - WAS
60. Jake Peavy - at HOU
61. Hector Santiago - at TEX
62. Chris Tillman - at WAS, NYY
Note: Some decent work of late with a 2.14 ERA in his last five, but horrendous component numbers suggesting it's mostly smoke and mirrors
63. Chase Whitley - at CLE
64. Miguel Gonzalez - WAS
65. Justin Masterson - NYY, CWS
66. Nick Martinez - HOU, LAA
67. Vidal Nuno - at CLE, at BAL
68. Jeremy Guthrie - DET
69. Yohan Pino - at SEA
70. Erik Bedard - KC
71. Hector Noesi - at CLE
72. T.J. House - NYY
73. Ricky Nolasco - at COL
74. Miles Mikolas - HOU, LAA
75. Scott Carroll - at BOS, at CLE
76. Kevin Correia - at SEA, at COL

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Clayton Kershaw - SD
Note: He's been unreal lately so yes, he holds the top spot even with one start compared to several studs with two-start weeks
2. Johnny Cueto - CHC, PIT
3. Julio Teheran - at NYM, at CHC
Note: He's maintained a K-per-inning rate since April making him an unquestioned ace
4. Adam Wainwright - PIT, at MIL
5. Cole Hamels - at MIL, WAS
Note: 7.02 ERA in first three starts, 2.10 ERA in his last 11; he's back
6. Madison Bumgarner - at OAK, ARI
7. Stephen Strasburg - BAL, at PHI
Note: Five of his 11 HRs have come in his last four, but 23 Ks and a 4.6 K:BB ratio in the 25 IP suggest that he's fine overall
8. Doug Fister - BAL, at PHI
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu - at DET, SD
Note: Overshadowed by his rotation mates, but he's been fantastic this year
10. Zack Greinke - at DET
11. Jake Arrieta - ATL
Note: The one Cubs stud that they are likely to keep
12. Gio Gonzalez - at BAL
Note: Shaky in his return from the DL, but then 13 scoreless with 12 Ks in his last two
13. Mat Latos - PIT
Note: Back-to-back 7 IP/1 ER gems after his 5.7 IP/5 ER disaster vs. TOR
14. Jesse Hahn - at LAD
Note: He has 7-plus Ks in each of his last four
15. Jordan Zimmermann - at PHI
16. Lance Lynn - PIT
17. Homer Bailey - CHC
Note: Is the shutout a harbinger? Is he finally set to get on a roll??
18. Gerrit Cole - at STL
19. Tyson Ross - at COL, at LAD
Note: Two very tough outings mitigate some of the upside of a 2-start week for Ross and Kennedy
20. Ian Kennedy - at COL, at LAD
21. Nathan Eovaldi - at ARI, at NYM
22. Mike Leake - CHC, PIT
Note: Ah, baseball ... Leake had been pitching quite well of late, so of course he gives up 11 hits to SD in Petco
23. Vance Worley -at STL, at CIN
Note: He's been great in four starts for PIT; In Ray Searage I Trust
24. Charlie Morton - at STL, at CIN
25. Wily Peralta - PHI, STL
26. Carlos Martinez - PIT, at MIL
Note: He's been capped at 5 IP, but his 2.45 ERA and 18 Ks in 18 IP as a starter has impressed
27. A.J. Burnett - WAS
Note: Strong in his last five - 2.89 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 2.8 K:BB ratio and the Ks are on the rise with 18 in his last two
28. Yovani Gallardo - STL
29. Kyle Lohse - PHI
30. Bartolo Colon - ATL
31. Josh Beckett - SD
Note: Beckett and Simon are toting relieveresque LOB rates that are very likely to decrease soner than later, but both get great matchups this week
32. Alfredo Simon - CHC
33. Tim Hudson - OAK
34. Jon Niese - ATL
35. Alex Wood - at CHC
Note: Strong return to rotation should continue with a third straight favorable matchup
36. Zack Wheeler - MIA
Note: Up, down, up, down ... talent is there, consistency is next (hopefully)
37. Tim Lincecum - ARI
Note: 2.31 ERA in his last five includes current streak of 17 scoreless and a sharp 1.8 BB/9 in 35 IP
38. Dan Haren - SD
39. Tanner Roark - at BAL
40. Ervin Santana - at NYM
41. Jeff Locke - at CIN
Note: The new control-oriented Locke is more believable than last year's version who was living on a wire before a late-season collapse
42. Matt Garza - PHI
43. Henderson Alvarez - at NYM
44. Ryan Vogelsong - at OAK, ARI
45. Mike Minor - at NYM, at CHC
Note: His slider against lefties has been a disaster, driving a lot of his poor performance
46. Marco Estrada - PHI, STL
47. Tom Koehler - at ARI, at NYM
Note: 4.08 ERA in last six has masked the skills improvements - 37 Ks, 3.4 K:BB ratio in 35 IP
48. Matt Cain - OAK
49. Brandon McCarthy - MIA
50. Wade Miley - at SF
Note: Deserves a better fate than his 4.21 ERA over the last eight with 57 Ks and a 4.4 K:BB ratio in 51.3 IP
51. Edinson Volquez - at STL
Note: He's allowed 9 ER in his last four, but 8 ER came in one outing vs. CIN; how high is your risk tolerance?
52. Aaron Harang - at NYM
Note: He's not the ace we saw in April, but he's not the 5.40 ERA guy from last year, either; expect something in the 3.80-4.20 ERA range the rest of the way
53. Andrew Heaney - at ARI
54. Jacob deGrom - ATL, MIA

SIT


55. Chase Anderson - MIA, at SF
Note: Homers are starting to catch up to him
56. Edwin Jackson - at CIN, ATL
Note: Should be better ... he really should, but he's just not
57. Kyle Kendrick - at MIL, WAS
58. Travis Wood - at CIN, ATL
59. Franklin Morales - SD
60. Marco Gonzales - at MIL
Note: Only two starts, but doesn't quite appear as ready as I originally thought
61. Shelby Miller - PIT
62. Odrisamer Despaigne - at LAD
63. David Buchanan - at MIL
64. Carlos Villanueva - at CIN
Note: Villanueva will be taking one of the Samardzija/Hammel spots
65. Dan Straily - at CIN
Note: Just guessing that they will call him up, no official announcement yet
66. Josh Collmenter - MIA
67. Jair Jurrjens - SD
68. Roberto Hernandez - at MIL
69. Jorge de la - MIN
70. Yohan Flande - MIN
71. Mike Bolsinger - at SF
72. Eric Stults - at COL
73. Tyler Matzek - SD, MIN
74. Daisuke Matsuzaka - ATL, MIA

MLB TOP 100


1. Clayton Kershaw - SD
Note: He's been unreal lately so yes, he holds the top spot even with one start compared to several studs with two-start weeks
2. Masahiro Tanaka - at CLE, at BAL
Note: What amazes me is how good he is when he clearly doesn't have his best stuff
3. Felix Hernandez - MIN
Note: His last nine - 1.30 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 77 Ks in last 69 IP
4. Johnny Cueto - CHC, PIT
5. Julio Teheran - at NYM, at CHC
Note: He's maintained a K-per-inning rate since April making him an unquestioned ace
6. Adam Wainwright - PIT, at MIL
7. Cole Hamels - at MIL, WAS
Note: 7.02 ERA in first three starts, 2.10 ERA in his last 11; he's back
8. Madison Bumgarner - at OAK, ARI
9. Stephen Strasburg - BAL, at PHI
Note: Five of his 11 HRs have come in his last four, but 23 Ks and a 4.6 K:BB ratio in the 25 IP suggest that he's fine overall
10. Chris Sale - at BOS
11. Yu Darvish - HOU
12. Jon Lester - CWS
Note: Since allowing 5 ER at DET - 1.21 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 3.3 K:BB ratio in 29.7 IP
13. David Price - TOR
14. Doug Fister - BAL, at PHI
15. Hyun-Jin Ryu - at DET, SD
Note: Overshadowed by his rotation mates, but he's been fantastic this year
16. Anibal Sanchez - at KC
17. Max Scherzer - LAD
Note: He has sufficiently rebounded from the 10 ER dud with a 1.71 ERA in his last four incl. 28 Ks in 21 IP
18. Zack Greinke - at DET
19. Jake Arrieta - ATL
Note: The one Cubs stud that they are likely to keep
20. Sonny Gray - SF, at SEA
Note: Gray and Iwakuma haven't quite been studly enough to leapfrog the aces even with two starts
21. Hisashi Iwakuma - MIN, OAK
22. Corey Kluber - CWS
23. Garrett Richards - at TEX
Note: Make no mistake - he's the ace of this team right now
24. Scott Kazmir - at SF
25. Gio Gonzalez - at BAL
Note: Shaky in his return from the DL, but then 13 scoreless with 12 Ks in his last two
26. Mat Latos - PIT
Note: Back-to-back 7 IP/1 ER gems after his 5.7 IP/5 ER disaster vs. TOR
27. Jesse Hahn - at LAD
Note: He has 7-plus Ks in each of his last four
28. Jordan Zimmermann - at PHI
29. Lance Lynn - PIT
30. Homer Bailey - CHC
Note: Is the shutout a harbinger? Is he finally set to get on a roll??
31. Gerrit Cole - at STL
32. Justin Verlander - LAD, at KC
Note: Three straight solid outings with a 3.32 ERA in 19 IP along with a 20/2 K:BB ratio
33. Jesse Chavez - SF, at SEA
34. Tyson Ross - at COL, at LAD
Note: Two very tough outings mitigate some of the upside of a 2-start week for Ross and Kennedy
35. Ian Kennedy - at COL, at LAD
36. Jeff Samardzija - at SEA
Note: I'm speculating on when the two new A's will debut with their new club, so stay tuned in case it changes
37. Jason Hammel - at SF
38. Jered Weaver - TOR, at TEX
Note: Not as worrisome of a slate with TOR happening at home and TEX not nearly as strong as recent years given their injuries
39. Jake Odorizzi - KC, TOR
Note: He's turned into a strikeout force, which I did not see coming
40. Phil Hughes - at SEA, at COL
Note: 35 percent of his ER have come in the last three outings; he's better than this 3.95 ERA
41. Nathan Eovaldi - at ARI, at NYM
42. Mike Leake - CHC, PIT
Note: Ah, baseball ... Leake had been pitching quite well of late, so of course he gives up 11 hits to SD in Petco
43. Vance Worley -at STL, at CIN
Note: He's been great in four starts for PIT; In Ray Searage I Trust
44. Charlie Morton - at STL, at CIN
45. Wily Peralta - PHI, STL
46. Carlos Martinez - PIT, at MIL
Note: He's been capped at 5 IP, but his 2.45 ERA and 18 Ks in 18 IP as a starter has impressed
47. James Shields - at TB, DET
Note: He's allowed fewer than 4 ER just twice in his last eight yielding a 5.66 ERA
48. Jose Quintana - at BOS
Note: On fire of late with a 1.29 ERA and 21 Ks in his last three over 21 IP
49. Rick Porcello - at KC
Note: He has the rarely-seen 0 K, 0 BB shutout last time out
50. C.J. Wilson - at TEX
51. Chris Archer - TOR
Note: Opened May with 12 ER in three starts; he's allowed 10 ER (16 overall) in his nine starts since then
52. John Lackey - CWS
53. A.J. Burnett - WAS
Note: Strong in his last five - 2.89 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 2.8 K:BB ratio and the Ks are on the rise with 18 in his last two
54. Yovani Gallardo - STL
55. Kyle Lohse - PHI
56. Bartolo Colon - ATL
57. Josh Beckett - SD
Note: Beckett and Simon are toting relieveresque LOB rates that are very likely to decrease soner than later, but both get great matchups this week
58. Alfredo Simon - CHC
59. Tim Hudson - OAK
60. Jon Niese - ATL
61. Alex Wood - at CHC
Note: Strong return to rotation should continue with a third straight favorable matchup
62. Collin McHugh - BOS
Note: The ERA is up a bit lately (4.45 in his last five), but the Ks remain dependable (35 in 28 IP over those last five)
63. Marcus Stroman - at LAA
Note: His 3.44 ERA is even a little misleading as it's been at 2.08 in his seven starts
64. Yordano Ventura - at TB
Note: Thoroughly pleased with the 2.52 ERA in his last six, but just 21 Ks in 39.3 IP is somewhat concerning
65. Alex Cobb - KC
66. Taijuan Walker - OAK
Note: Could be a huge factor in the second half
67. Zack Wheeler - MIA
Note: Up, down, up, down ... talent is there, consistency is next (hopefully)
68. Tim Lincecum - ARI
Note: 2.31 ERA in his last five includes current streak of 17 scoreless and a sharp 1.8 BB/9 in 35 IP
69. Dan Haren - SD
70. Tanner Roark - at BAL
71. Ervin Santana - at NYM
72. Jeff Locke - at CIN
Note: The new control-oriented Locke is more believable than last year's version who was living on a wire before a late-season collapse
73. Matt Garza - PHI
74. Hiroki Kuroda - at BAL
Note: Starting to turn his season around; I could see him chopping another 0.30-0.50 runs off of his ERA
75. Drew Hutchison - at TB
76. Drew Smyly - at KC
77. Danny Duffy - DET
Note: Supporting skills are improving with a 2.6 K:BB ratio in his last six (1.9 on the season)
78. R.A. Dickey - at LAA
79. Tyler Skaggs - TOR
Note: He's already handled the Jays in TOR earlier this year (8 IP/2 ER)
80. Mark Buehrle - at TB
Note: 2.79 ERA in June not well-supported as evidenced by his 4.61 FIP
81. Dallas Keuchel - at TEX
Note: He was awful in his return after a skipped start; I wonder if they will DL him
82. Jason Vargas - at TB, DET
Note: His 3.81 ERA since May 1st is about what you should expect the rest of the way
83. J.A. Happ - at LAA, at TB
84. John Danks - at BOS, at CLE
85. Henderson Alvarez - at NYM
86. Ryan Vogelsong - at OAK, ARI
87. Mike Minor - at NYM, at CHC
Note: His slider against lefties has been a disaster, driving a lot of his poor performance
88. Marco Estrada - PHI, STL
89. Tom Koehler - at ARI, at NYM
Note: 4.08 ERA in last six has masked the skills improvements - 37 Ks, 3.4 K:BB ratio in 35 IP
90. Matt Cain - OAK
91. Brandon McCarthy - MIA
92. Wade Miley - at SF
Note: Deserves a better fate than his 4.21 ERA over the last eight with 57 Ks and a 4.4 K:BB ratio in 51.3 IP
93. Edinson Volquez - at STL
Note: He's allowed 9 ER in his last four, but 8 ER came in one outing vs. CIN; how high is your risk tolerance?
94. Aaron Harang - at NYM
Note: He's not the ace we saw in April, but he's not the 5.40 ERA guy from last year, either; expect something in the 3.80-4.20 ERA range the rest of the way
95. Andrew Heaney - at ARI
96. Jacob deGrom - ATL, MIA
97. Kevin Gausman - NYY
Note: His first five starts encapsulate the volatility of youth - 5, 1, 1, 0, and 5 ER; the upside is there
98. Matt Shoemaker - TOR
99. Brad Peacock - at TEX
100. Roenis Elias - MIN
Note: He's settled into a solid-but-unspectacular asset; definitely has AL-only usage