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Pitching Value Meter: Smooth Saling

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 21-27

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Chris Sale - KC, at MIN
Note: He has a career 2.44 ERA in 140 IP vs. these two teams
2. Scott Kazmir - HOU, at TEX
Note: Only blemish early was lowered Ks, but has a 9.8 K/9 in last 9
3. Felix Hernandez - BAL
4. Yu Darvish - at NYY
5. David Price - BOS
6. Jon Lester - at TB
Note: The team's down season has overshadowed Lester's excellence: 2.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
7. Max Scherzer - at LAA
8. Corey Kluber - at KC
Note: He has a 2.50 ERA in 100.7 IP since May 1 after 4.14 ERA in Apr
9. Hisashi Iwakuma - NYM
10. Anibal Sanchez - at ARI
11. Jeff Samardzija - HOU
Note: Where are the Ks? Wasn't just SPs batting in NL, either, as he only fanned 8 pitchers
12. Jesse Chavez - HOU
13. Sonny Gray - at TEX
Note: Has responded to bumpy June (5.40 ERA) with an 0.83 ERA in 3 Jul starts going at least 7 IP in each
14. Jose Quintana - KC
15. Jered Weaver - BAL
Note: Dominates at home - 2.70 ERA in 76.7 IP
16. Garrett Richards - DET
17. Phil Hughes - CWS
Note: He's one of my "second-half" breakouts (.430 BABIP in last 5, but 30/3 K:BB ratio)
18. Chris Archer - BOS
Note: He's not a finished product, but I think he is very clearly improving when you watch him work
19. Jake Odorizzi - BOS
20. Marcus Stroman - BOS
Note: He's one of my "second-half" breakouts (could be a K-per-IP guy)
21. Alex Cobb - at STL
Note: The ERA and FIP now match, but I still think he's got the talent for much more than a 4.07 ERA
22. James Shields - at CWS
23. Yordano Ventura - CLE
Note: CLE handles righties, but Ventura has dominated them twice as he excels vs. lefties
24. John Lackey - at TOR, at TB
Note: TB's surge has made this a pretty tough slate, even with TOR hobbled
25. Justin Verlander - at ARI, at LAA
Note: He came out of 2013's lull and he didn't look as good as he does now; I still have faith
26. Rick Porcello - at ARI, at LAA
27. Collin McHugh - at OAK, MIA
28. Jason Hammel - at TEX
Note: Big rest between starts given the trade and All-Star break
29. John Danks - at MIN
Note: Just one dud in his last 10 yielding a 2.69 ERA in 67 IP
30. Tyler Skaggs - DET
31. Drew Smyly - at LAA
32. Dallas Keuchel - MIA
Note: ASB gave him 10 days off between starts to heal wrist; if it looks good Saturday and vs. MIA, he'll move back up
33. Danny Duffy - CLE
34. David Phelps - TEX
Note: He has a 3.65 ERA and 33 Ks in last 37 IP spanning six starts
35. Hiroki Kuroda - TOR
36. Mark Buehrle - at NYY
37. Trevor Bauer - at MIN
38. R.A. Dickey - BOS
Note: He has fantasy usefulness, but that Cy Young level isn't coming back
39. Matt Shoemaker - BAL, DET
Note: He has a 3.47 ERA in 14 games (8 starts) outside of that 4 IP/8 ER shellacking vs. KC
40. Chris Tillman - at LAA
Note: Carrying a 2.50 ERA in his last 8, though just 25 Ks in the 54 IP
41. Rubby De La Rosa - at TOR
42. Kevin Gausman - at SEA
Note: He's coming along ...

CONSIDER


43. Drew Hutchison - BOS, at NYY
Note: Still a lot of inconsistency from Hutch
44. Roenis Elias - NYM, BAL
45. J.A. Happ - BOS, at NYY
46. Hector Santiago - BAL, DET
Note: He has a useful 3.68 ERA and 33 K in 29.3 IP (5 GS/2 relief app.) since June 10th recall
47. Danny Salazar - at MIN
Note: Has a 2.32 ERA and 39 Ks in last 31 IP, but also 17 BB (4.9 BB/9) at Triple-A
48. Brad Peacock - at OAK
49. Wei-Yin Chen - at SEA
Note: He's solid, but unspectacular
50. Kyle Gibson - CLE
Note: He's been excellent or terrible in his last 8: 0, 0, 0, 7, 2, 5, 0, and 6
51. Brandon McCarthy - TEX
52. Shane Greene - TEX, TOR
Note: Chase Whitley 2.0? He's showing early K potential ... very early
53. Jarred Cosart - MIA
Note: It's a good matchup at least

SIT


54. Justin Masterson - at KC
Note: Let's see something first
55. Chris Young - BAL
Note: This can't last ... right?
56. Scott Feldman - at OAK
57. Bud Norris - at LAA, at SEA
58. Jake Peavy - at TOR, at TB
59. Bruce Chen - at CWS, CLE
60. Miguel Gonzalez - at LAA, at SEA
61. Chase Whitley - TEX, TOR
62. Clay Buchholz - at TOR
63. Colby Lewis - at NYY
Note: He's better than this, but maybe just a 4.50 ERA-type and not the 3.50 type he used to be
64. Nick Tepesch - OAK
65. Nick Martinez - at NYY, OAK
66. Josh Tomlin - at KC
67. Zach McAllister - at KC
68. Kevin Correia - CWS
69. Hector Noesi -at MIN
70. Scott Carroll - KC, at MIN
71. Jeremy Guthrie - at CWS, CLE
72. Yohan Pino - CLE, CWS
73. T.J. House - at MIN
74. Miles Mikolas - at NYY, OAK
75. Kris Johnson - CLE, CWS
76. Taijuan Walker replacement - NYM, BAL
Note: It doesn't look like he's coming back from the minors just yet as they want him to get more work in Triple-A

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Adam Wainwright - TB, at CHC
Note: He's Kershaw with fewer Ks
2. Julio Teheran - MIA, SD
Note: With the MIA offense waning, this is a fantastic two-start slate
3. Clayton Kershaw - at SF
4. Johnny Cueto - WAS
Note: He's allowed more than 3 ER twice this year
5. Cole Hamels - SF
6. Zack Greinke - at SF
Note: Overshadowed by Kershaw, but he's a legitimate fantasy ace
7. Madison Bumgarner - at PHI
8. Jake Arrieta - STL Note Just filthy numbers and STL isn't an offense to avoid these days
9. Gio Gonzalez - at CIN
10. Stephen Strasburg - at COL
Note: His elevated hit rate is a slight concern headed to Coors
11. Hyun-Jin Ryu - at PIT, at SF
Note: 33 percent of his ER have come in two awful starts
12. Doug Fister - at COL, at CIN
13. Mat Latos - at MIL, WAS
Note: I think his Ks will return to go with these sparkling ratios
14. Homer Bailey - at MIL, WAS
Note: He has a 3.26 ERA and 59 Ks in his last 66.7 IP (10 starts)
15. Cliff Lee - SF, ARI
Note: I generally use my studs immediately upon their return from the DL
16. Jacob deGrom - at SEA, at MIL
17. Zack Wheeler - at MIL
Note: He's one of my "second-half" breakouts (3.07 ERA, 59 Ks in last 58.7 IP)
18. Jesse Hahn - at ATL
19. Tyson Ross - at CHC
20. Lance Lynn - TB
Note: He'll have the occasional dud, but long-term he's consistently strong
21. Ervin Santana - MIA
22. Matt Garza - NYM
23. Yovani Gallardo - NYM
Note: STL popped him per usual, but he still has a 3.05 ERA in his last 7
24. Kyle Lohse - CIN
25. Alex Wood - SD
26. Ian Kennedy - at CHC
Note: Could be traded at any moment (3.06 ERA in 64.7 road IP; 4.18 in 64.7 home IP)
27. Jordan Zimmermann - at COL
Note: See Strasburg note
28. Wily Peralta - CIN, NYM
29. Mike Minor - MIA, SD
30. Jon Niese - at SEA, at MIL
Note: He's been great this year
31. Matt Cain - at PHI, LAD
Note: Has allowed 4 ER in last 3; allowed 4-plus ER in previous 3
32. Wade Miley - at PHI
Note: 21-percent HR/FB is driving his 5.64 home ERA; he's got a 2.85 on the road
33. Bartolo Colon - at SEA
34. Josh Beckett - at PIT
35. Tanner Roark - at CIN
Note: Since PHI dumped 7 ER on him - 2.45 ERA in 77 IP w/3.6 K:BB ratio
36. Carlos Martinez - at CHC
37. Alfredo Simon - WAS
38. A.J. Burnett - SF
Note: Just when you start trusting him again ...
39. Jimmy Nelson - CIN, NYM
Note: He can be a "second-half" K producer: 9.2 K/9 at Triple-A, 11 in 10 MLB IP
40. Mike Leake - at MIL
41. Aaron Harang - MIA
Note: Has slowly faded, but he's back to normal levels which means he's a matchup guy
42. Tim Hudson - at PHI
43. Henderson Alvarez - at ATL
Note: 6 ER last time out; 7 ER in previous 9 starts
44. Nathan Eovaldi - at ATL
Note: Owning ATL this year: 1.29 ERA in 21 IP

CONSIDER


45. Dan Haren - at PIT
Note: HR surge (18 in last 13 GS) has me nervous about injury
46. Travis Wood - SD
Note: Has a 5.79 ERA in last 13, but it is SD
47. Joe Kelly - at CHC
48. Dillon Gee - at MIL
Note: Solid in DL return, but skills don't support 2.56 ERA
49. Vance Worley - LAD
50. Charlie Morton - at COL
Note: His profile can succeed in Coors: 55-percent GB rate, 19.9-percent K rate
51. Jeff Locke - at COL
Note: Kind of a Morton Jr. with 52-percent GB rate and 16-percent K rate
52. Tom Koehler - at ATL, at HOU
53. Francisco Liriano - LAD
Note: He's a surge candidate if he can trim that walk rate

SIT


54. Edinson Volquez - LAD, at COL
Note: 2.79 ERA in his last 10, but this is a tough slate
55. Chase Anderson - DET
Note: He's been solid, but HR rate is dangerous against a team like DET
56. Kyle Hendricks - SD, STL
57. Vidal Nuno - DET, at PHI
58. Jorge De La Rosa - WAS
59. Eddie Butler - WAS
60. Jacob Turner - at ATL, at HOU
61. Franklin Morales - WAS, PIT
62. Trevor Cahill - DET
63. Brad Hand - at HOU
64. Eric Stults - at CHC, at ATL
65. Edwin Jackson - SD
66. Tyler Matzek - PIT
67. Josh Collmenter - at PHI
68. Brett Anderson - PIT
69. Kyle Kendrick - ARI
70. Roberto Hernandez - SF, ARI
71. Cubs Fifth Starter - STL

MLB TOP 100

1. Adam Wainwright - TB, at CHC
Note: He's Kershaw with fewer Ks
2. Julio Teheran - MIA, SD
Note: With the MIA offense waning, this is a fantastic two-start slate
3. Chris Sale - KC, at MIN
Note: He has a career 2.44 ERA in 140 IP vs. these two teams
4. Scott Kazmir - HOU, at TEX
Note: Only blemish early was lowered Ks, but has a 9.8 K/9 in last 9
5. Clayton Kershaw - at SF
6. Johnny Cueto - WAS
Note: He's allowed more than 3 ER twice this year
7. Felix Hernandez - BAL
8. Yu Darvish - at NYY
9. Cole Hamels - SF
10. Zack Greinke - at SF
Note: Overshadowed by Kershaw, but he's a legitimate fantasy ace
11. David Price - BOS
12. Jon Lester - at TB
Note: The team's down season has overshadowed Lester's excellence: 2.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
13. Max Scherzer - at LAA
14. Corey Kluber - at KC
Note: He has a 2.50 ERA in 100.7 IP since May 1 after 4.14 ERA in Apr
15. Hisashi Iwakuma - NYM
16. Madison Bumgarner - at PHI
17. Jake Arrieta - STL Note Just filthy numbers and STL isn't an offense to avoid these days
18. Anibal Sanchez - at ARI
19. Gio Gonzalez - at CIN
20. Stephen Strasburg - at COL
Note: His elevated hit rate is a slight concern headed to Coors
21. Hyun-Jin Ryu - at PIT, at SF
Note: 33 percent of his ER have come in two awful starts
22. Doug Fister - at COL, at CIN
23. Mat Latos - at MIL, WAS
Note: I think his Ks will return to go with these sparkling ratios
24. Homer Bailey - at MIL, WAS
Note: He has a 3.26 ERA and 59 Ks in his last 66.7 IP (10 starts)
25. Cliff Lee - SF, ARI
Note: I generally use my studs immediately upon their return from the DL
26. Jacob deGrom - at SEA, at MIL
27. Zack Wheeler - at MIL
Note: He's one of my "second-half" breakouts (3.07 ERA, 59 Ks in last 58.7 IP)
28. Jeff Samardzija - HOU
Note: Where are the Ks? Wasn't just SPs batting in NL, either, as he only fanned 8 pitchers
29. Jesse Chavez - HOU
30. Sonny Gray - at TEX
Note: Has responded to bumpy June (5.40 ERA) with an 0.83 ERA in 3 Jul starts going at least 7 IP in each
31. Jose Quintana - KC
32. Jered Weaver - BAL
Note: Dominates at home - 2.70 ERA in 76.7 IP
33. Garrett Richards - DET
34. Jesse Hahn - at ATL
35. Tyson Ross - at CHC
36. Lance Lynn - TB
Note: He'll have the occasional dud, but long-term he's consistently strong
37. Ervin Santana - MIA
38. Matt Garza - NYM
39. Yovani Gallardo - NYM
Note: STL popped him per usual, but he still has a 3.05 ERA in his last 7
40. Kyle Lohse - CIN
41. Phil Hughes - CWS
Note: He's one of my "second-half" breakouts (.430 BABIP in last 5, but 30/3 K:BB ratio)
42. Chris Archer - BOS
Note: He's not a finished product, but I think he is very clearly improving when you watch him work
43. Jake Odorizzi - BOS
44. Marcus Stroman - BOS
Note: He's one of my "second-half" breakouts (could be a K-per-IP guy)
45. Alex Cobb - at STL
Note: The ERA and FIP now match, but I still think he's got the talent for much more than a 4.07 ERA
46. Alex Wood - SD
47. Ian Kennedy - at CHC
Note: Could be traded at any moment (3.06 ERA in 64.7 road IP; 4.18 in 64.7 home IP)
48. Jordan Zimmermann - at COL
Note: See Strasburg note
49. James Shields - at CWS
50. Yordano Ventura - CLE
Note: CLE handles righties, but Ventura has dominated them twice as he excels vs. lefties
51. John Lackey - at TOR, at TB
Note: TB's surge has made this a pretty tough slate, even with TOR hobbled
52. Justin Verlander - at ARI, at LAA
Note: He came out of 2013's lull and he didn't look as good as he does now; I still have faith
53. Rick Porcello - at ARI, at LAA
54. Collin McHugh - at OAK, MIA
55. Wily Peralta - CIN, NYM
56. Mike Minor - MIA, SD
57. Jon Niese - at SEA, at MIL
Note: He's been great this year
58. Matt Cain - at PHI, LAD
Note: Has allowed 4 ER in last 3; allowed 4-plus ER in previous 3
59. Wade Miley - at PHI
Note: 21-percent HR/FB is driving his 5.64 home ERA; he's got a 2.85 on the road
60. Bartolo Colon - at SEA
61. Josh Beckett - at PIT
62. Tanner Roark - at CIN
Note: Since PHI dumped 7 ER on him - 2.45 ERA in 77 IP w/3.6 K:BB ratio
63. Carlos Martinez - at CHC
64. Jason Hammel - at TEX
Note: Big rest between starts given the trade and All-Star break
65. John Danks - at MIN
Note: Just one dud in his last 10 yielding a 2.69 ERA in 67 IP
66. Tyler Skaggs - DET
67. Drew Smyly - at LAA
68. Dallas Keuchel - MIA
Note: ASB gave him 10 days off between starts to heal wrist; if it looks good Saturday and vs. MIA, he'll move back up
69. Danny Duffy - CLE
70. David Phelps - TEX
Note: He has a 3.65 ERA and 33 Ks in last 37 IP spanning six starts
71. Hiroki Kuroda - TOR
72. Mark Buehrle - at NYY
73. Trevor Bauer - at MIN
74. Alfredo Simon - WAS
75. A.J. Burnett - SF
Note: Just when you start trusting him again ...
76. Jimmy Nelson - CIN, NYM
Note: He can be a "second-half" K producer: 9.2 K/9 at Triple-A, 11 in 10 MLB IP
77. Mike Leake - at MIL
78. R.A. Dickey - BOS
Note: He has fantasy usefulness, but that Cy Young level isn't coming back
79. Matt Shoemaker - BAL, DET
Note: He has a 3.47 ERA in 14 games (8 starts) outside of that 4 IP/8 ER shellacking vs. KC
80. Aaron Harang - MIA
Note: Has slowly faded, but he's back to normal levels which means he's a matchup guy
81. Tim Hudson - at PHI
82. Henderson Alvarez - at ATL
Note: 6 ER last time out; 7 ER in previous 9 starts
83. Nathan Eovaldi - at ATL
Note: Owning ATL this year: 1.29 ERA in 21 IP
84. Chris Tillman - at LAA
Note: Carrying a 2.50 ERA in his last 8, though just 25 Ks in the 54 IP
85. Rubby De La Rosa - at TOR
86. Kevin Gausman - at SEA
Note: He's coming along ...
87. Dan Haren - at PIT
Note: HR surge (18 in last 13 GS) has me nervous about injury
88. Drew Hutchison - BOS, at NYY
Note: Still a lot of inconsistency from Hutch
89. Roenis Elias - NYM, BAL
90. Travis Wood - SD
Note: Has a 5.79 ERA in last 13, but it is SD
91. Joe Kelly - at CHC
92. J.A. Happ - BOS, at NYY
93. Hector Santiago - BAL, DET
Note: He has a useful 3.68 ERA and 33 K in 29.3 IP (5 GS/2 relief app.) since June 10th recall
94. Dillon Gee - at MIL
Note: Solid in DL return, but skills don't support 2.56 ERA
95. Vance Worley - LAD
96. Charlie Morton - at COL
Note: His profile can succeed in Coors: 55-percent GB rate, 19.9-percent K rate
97. Jeff Locke - at COL
Note: Kind of a Morton Jr. with 52-percent GB rate and 16-percent K rate
98. Tom Koehler - at ATL, at HOU
99. Danny Salazar - at MIN
Note: Has a 2.32 ERA and 39 Ks in last 31 IP, but also 17 BB (4.9 BB/9) at Triple-A
100. Brad Peacock - at OAK