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Pitching Value Meter: No Taming this Tiger

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 Aug. 18-24

AMERICAN LEAGUE

START

1. Max Scherzer - at TB, at MIN
Note: 1.70 ERA in his last five starts (37 IP) with 46 Ks and a 6.6 K:BB ratio
2. Felix Hernandez - at BOS
3. Corey Kluber - at MIN
Note: 1.31 ERA in his last eight starts (62 IP) with 70 Ks including five 10-K games
4. David Price - at TB
5. Chris Sale - at NYY
6. Jon Lester - LAA
Note: About the only thing in KC's way of late (2-0, 12 K, 4.0 K:BB ratio with OAK)
7. Hisashi Iwakuma - at PHI
8. Garrett Richards - at BOS
Note: Has allowed 3 ER in three starts since back-to-back 4 ER outings
9. Jose Quintana - BAL, at NYY
Note: 2.11 ERA in his last 10 starts (64 IP) despite back-to-back 4 ER outings
10. Sonny Gray - LAA
11. Alex Cobb - DET
Note: Shaved nearly a run off of his ERA in his last five starts (4.08 to 3.19)
12. Scott Kazmir - NYM
13. Yordano Ventura - at TEX
14. Chris Archer - DET, at TOR
Note: Two tough outings keeps this 2-start week down a little as he's still susceptible to that random dud
15. James Shields - at COL
Note: Moved down with a trip to Coors, but not someone I'd sit in any format
16. Phil Hughes - CLE
17. Dallas Keuchel - at NYY
Note: Wrist issue behind him now with a 2.50 ERA in his last five starts
18. Jeff Samardzija - NYM
Note: Yet to allow more than 4 ER in a start with OAK
19. Marcus Stroman - at MIL
20. Collin McHugh - at CLE
Note: CLE can be tough on RHP, but McHugh doesn't have a discernible platoon split to be concerned with
21. Brandon McCarthy - HOU
22. Matt Shoemaker - at BOS
Note: Subbed in brilliantly during the 19 IP affair - 3 perfect IP w/4 Ks and the win
23. Drew Smyly - at TOR
24. Michael Pineda - HOU
Note: Looked strong in his 67-pitch return; could be another low-pitch outing, but I'm still starting him
25. Shane Greene - CWS
26. Jake Odorizzi - DET
27. James Paxton - at PHI
Note: Just 4 ER allowed in 16.7 IP since returning from the DL (2.16 ERA)
28. Chris Capuano - HOU, CWS
Note: A year removed from 198.3 IP of 3.72 with a 3.0 K:BB ratio; this NYY run is believable
29. Roenis Elias - at PHI, at BOS
Note: 3.73 ERA in 10 road starts this year plus two of the easiest offenses in the league
30. Jason Vargas - at MIN, at TEX
31. Jered Weaver - at BOS, at OAK
Note: His 4.80 road ERA is 1.91 runs higher than his home mark
32. Rick Porcello - at TB
33. Danny Duffy - at COL
34. Chris Tillman - at CWS
Note: Improving component numbers is breeding trust - 31 Ks, 6.2 K:BB, and 0.9 HR/9 rate in his last six starts (38.3 IP)
35. Jeremy Hellickson - at TOR
36. Wei-Yin Chen - at CWS
Note: 2.86 ERA in his last seven starts (44 IP) with 37 Ks and a 4.6 K:BB
37. Hiroki Kuroda - CWS
38. Drew Hutchison - TB
39. Chris Young - at BOS
40. Brett Oberholtzer - at NYY, at CLE
Note: Since returning from the DL - 3.02 ERA in 53.7 IP albeit with just 26 Ks
41. Kevin Gausman - at CHC
Note: We could finally see that breakout strikeout game from him (season-high of 7)
42. J.A. Happ - at MIL
43. Jason Hammel - LAA
44. Hector Santiago - at OAK
Note: Hasn't allowed more than 3 ER in any of his last seven outings (five starts) yielding a 1.95 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 2.0 K:BB ratio in 32.3 IP
45. Mark Buehrle - TB
46. Ubaldo Jimenez - at CHC
Note: This is a spot start against a club that is toting a 25 percent K rate as a team since the break (highest in MLB)
47. R.A. Dickey - at MIL
48. Bud Norris - at CWS ,at CHC
Note: Useful 3.10 ERA in his last five starts, but has failed to finish six in three of the five
49. Trevor Bauer - at MIN, HOU
Note: Last four are a perfect microcosm of his risk - 4.3 IP/5 ER, 7.3 IP/3 ER, 3.3 IP/5 ER, and 8 IP/2 ER ... feeling lucky?
50. Kyle Gibson - CLE, DET
Note: Similarly volatile - 7, 2, 5, 0, 6, 0, 3, 5, and 1 ER over his last nine (5.12 ERA)

SIT


51. Danny Salazar - HOU
Note: Was his trip to CIN a hiccup or a return of early season struggles?
52. Joe Kelly - SEA
Note: Continues to put up results despite unimpressive component numbers; correction definitely coming on 0.9 K:BB ratio
53. Rubby De La Rosa - LAA
54. Scott Feldman - at NYY
55. C.J. Wilson - at BOS, at OAK
Note: Looked better his last time out, not trusting him with a pair of roadies, though
56. Brandon Workman - LAA, SEA
57. John Danks - at NYY
58. Jeremy Guthrie - at TEX
Note: Too inconsistent to trust, even against a weakened TEX club
59. Robbie Ray - at MIN
Note: Wasn't bad in his return to MLB last week, but not ready for fantasy primetime
60. Brad Peacock - at CLE
61. Colby Lewis - KC
62. Nick Tepesch - KC
63. Carlos Carrasco - HOU
64. Tommy Milone - DET
65. Nick Martinez - KC
66. Robbie Ross Jr. - at MIA
67. Josh Tomlin - at MIN
68. Allen Webster - LAA, SEA
69. Hector Noesi - BAL
70. Scott Carroll - BAL
71. Clay Buchholz - LAA
72. Trevor May - KC, DET
Note: The big leagues are hard!
73. Miles Mikolas - at MIA, KC
74. Ricky Nolasco - CLE
75. Justin Verlander Replacement - at MIN
Note: There will also be a call-up for the doubleheader in MIN on Saturday. Neither player is likely to be someone worth chasing down, the Tigers just aren't that deep.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

START

1. Johnny Cueto - at STL, ATL
Note: Coors Shmoors
2. Clayton Kershaw - NYM
3. Jordan Zimmermann - ARI, SF
4. Stephen Strasburg - ARI, SF
Note: How do you net a 2.77 ERA in four starts with a 5 IP/7 ER in the mix? Give up 1 ER in the other three combined
5. Cole Hamels - SEA
Note: 1.87 ERA in his last 19 starts going fewer than 6 IP just once and fewer than 7 IP just twice
6. Adam Wainwright - at PHI
7. Julio Teheran - at CIN
8. Zack Greinke - SD
9. Madison Bumgarner - at CHC
10. Jake Arrieta - BAL
Note: Gets to show his old franchise what they're missing
11. Lance Lynn - CIN
12. Ian Kennedy - at LAD, at ARI
Note: Has fanned fewer than five just once in his last 11 (72 Ks in 65.7 IP)
13. Mat Latos - ATL
Note: Ks are coming along - 4.8 K/9 in first five starts; 6.6 K/9 in last six
14. Tyson Ross - at LAD
15. Doug Fister - SF
16. John Lackey - CIN
Note: Two 7 IP/2 ER outings in his three starts w/STL, but 5 IP/9 ER is spoiling the bunch
17. Zack Wheeler - at OAK
18. Tanner Roark - ARI
19. Alex Wood - at PIT
Note: Grinding out a win v. OAK despite just 1 K with three walks and a homer allowed
20. Gio Gonzalez - ARI
21. Ervin Santana - at PIT, at CIN
22. Wily Peralta - PIT
23. Yovani Gallardo - PIT
24. Kyle Hendricks - at NYM, BAL
Note: I love Ks as much as the next guy, but a lack of them doesn't automatically mean a pitcher isn't good or is just getting lucky
25. Bartolo Colon - CHC, at LAD
26. Chase Anderson - at WAS, SD
Note: 8 HR in first eight starts; 4 HR in his last seven
27. Ryan Vogelsong - at CHC, at WAS
28. Mike Fiers - TOR, PIT
29. Nathan Eovaldi - TEX
30. Gerrit Cole - at MIL
Note: Threw 92 pit in final rehab start (7 IP/0 ER), but still playing it cautiously
31. Tim Hudson - at WAS
32. Jon Niese - at LAD
33. Vance Worley - ATL
Note: Survived against DET, also caught them at a great time
34. Jake Peavy - at CHC
35. Jesse Hahn - at ARI
Note: 2.73 ERA in his last five starts, but with just a 1.3 K:BB ratio; fatigue setting in as he moves toward his finish line?
36. Edinson Volquez - at MIL
37. Francisco Liriano - ATL
38. Jimmy Nelson - TOR
Note: Be careful with TOR as they start getting their pieces back
39. Wade Miley - at WAS
40. Aaron Harang - at PIT, at CIN
41. Dillon Gee - at OAK, at LAD
42. Tsuyoshi Wada - SF, BAL
Note: Another Cub who gets to show BAL what they're missing (originally signed by in winter of 2011)
43. Mike Leake - at STL, ATL
Note: K surge has featured nine games of 6+ Ks; had seven in all of 2013
44. A.J. Burnett - SEA
45. David Buchanan - STL
Note: Hasn't allowed more than 3 ER in any of his last eight starts (3.56 ERA)
46. Trevor Cahill - at WAS
Note: Since return to the rotation - 3.53 ERA in six starts with a 3.3 K:BB ratio
47. Jeff Locke - at MIL
48. Kevin Correia - SD, NYM
Note: 3.52 ERA in his last 12 starts and gets two of the weaker offenses in the league
49. Josh Collmenter - SD
50. Alfredo Simon - at STL
Note: Three shaky outings in a row; he's outright benched with another disaster
51. Odrisamer Despaigne - at ARI
Note: 5 Ks in first three starts combined has masked improvement (7.6 K/9, 2.2 K:BB in last six)
52. Jarred Cosart - TEX
53. Charlie Morton - ATL
Note: 6.00 ERA in his last seven starts, but show plenty in previous 18 starts; plus ATL is a team to stream against these days
54. Roberto Hernandez - SD
Note: 1.99 ERA in his last six starts; ride the hot streak v. SD

SIT


55. Dan Haren - NYM
Note: Has just two 0 HR games in his last 17 starts (NYM near lg avg in HRs v. RHP)
56. Shelby Miller - at PHI
Note: Schedule keeps smiling on him (CHC, SD, BOS, MIA, SD), but I'm still skeptical
57. Mike Minor - at CIN
Note: His 6 games with 2+ HRs allowed is tied for third-most in baseball ... and he missed a month (Estrada leads MLB w/8)
58. Tim Lincecum - at WAS
59. Justin Masterson - CIN, at PHI
Note: Nice work at MIA last time out, but still need to see more
60. Jordan Lyles - MIA
61. Tom Koehler - at COL
Note: This is the kind of guy you auto-reserve in Coors, just doesn't have the pedigree to take such a risk
62. Vidal Nuno - at WAS, SD
63. Tyler Matzek - KC
64. Henderson Alvarez - at COL
65. Dylan Axelrod - ATL
66. Travis Wood - SF
67. Jorge De La Rosa - KC
68. Franklin Morales - MIA
69. Brad Hand/Penny - at COL
Note: One of the Brads will be done with Alvarez back, but you don't want either
70. Eric Stults - at LAD
71. Edwin Jackson - SF
72. Kyle Kendrick - STL
73. Yohan Flande - MIA
74. Jerome Williams - SEA, STL
NYM and MIL going with four; PIT going with six - hence 74 names instead of the normal 75


MLB TOP 100

1. Max Scherzer - at TB, at MIN
Note: 1.70 ERA in his last five starts (37 IP) with 46 Ks and a 6.6 K:BB ratio
2. Johnny Cueto - at STL, ATL
Note: Coors Shmoors
3. Clayton Kershaw - NYM
4. Jordan Zimmermann - ARI, SF
5. Stephen Strasburg - ARI, SF
Note: How do you net a 2.77 ERA in four starts with a 5 IP/7 ER in the mix? Give up 1 ER in the other three combined
6. Cole Hamels - SEA
Note: 1.87 ERA in his last 19 starts going fewer than 6 IP just once and fewer than 7 IP just twice
7. Felix Hernandez - at BOS
8. Corey Kluber - at MIN
Note: 1.31 ERA in his last eight starts (62 IP) with 70 Ks including five 10-K games
9. Adam Wainwright - at PHI
10. David Price - at TB
11. Chris Sale - at NYY
12. Julio Teheran - at CIN
13. Zack Greinke - SD
14. Jon Lester - LAA
Note: About the only thing in KC's way of late (2-0, 12 K, 4.0 K:BB ratio with OAK)
15. Hisashi Iwakuma - at PHI
16. Madison Bumgarner - at CHC
17. Garrett Richards - at BOS
Note: Has allowed 3 ER in three starts since back-to-back 4 ER outings
18. Jose Quintana - BAL, at NYY
Note: 2.11 ERA in his last 10 starts (64 IP) despite back-to-back 4 ER outings
19. Sonny Gray - LAA
20. Jake Arrieta - BAL
Note: Gets to show his old franchise what they're missing
21. Lance Lynn - CIN
22. Ian Kennedy - at LAD, at ARI
Note: Has fanned fewer than five just once in his last 11 (72 Ks in 65.7 IP)
23. Mat Latos - ATL
Note: Ks are coming along - 4.8 K/9 in first five starts; 6.6 K/9 in last six
24. Tyson Ross - at LAD
25. Alex Cobb - DET
Note: Shaved nearly a run off of his ERA in his last five starts (4.08 to 3.19)
26. Scott Kazmir - NYM
27. Doug Fister - SF
28. John Lackey - CIN
Note: Two 7 IP/2 ER outings in his three starts w/STL, but 5 IP/9 ER is spoiling the bunch
29. Yordano Ventura - at TEX
30. Chris Archer - DET, at TOR
Note: Two tough outings keeps this 2-start week down a little as he's still susceptible to that random dud
31. James Shields - at COL
Note: Moved down with a trip to Coors, but not someone I'd sit in any format
32. Zack Wheeler - at OAK
33. Tanner Roark - ARI
34. Alex Wood - at PIT
Note: Grinding out a win v. OAK despite just 1 K with three walks and a homer allowed
35. Gio Gonzalez - ARI
36. Phil Hughes - CLE
37. Dallas Keuchel - at NYY
Note: Wrist issue behind him now with a 2.50 ERA in his last five starts
38. Jeff Samardzija - NYM
Note: Yet to allow more than 4 ER in a start with OAK
39. Marcus Stroman - at MIL
40. Collin McHugh - at CLE
Note: CLE can be tough on RHP, but McHugh doesn't have a discernible platoon split to be concerned with
41. Brandon McCarthy - HOU
42. Matt Shoemaker - at BOS
Note: Subbed in brilliantly during the 19 IP affair - 3 perfect IP w/4 Ks and the win
43. Drew Smyly - at TOR
44. Michael Pineda - HOU
Note: Looked strong in his 67-pitch return; could be another low-pitch outing, but I'm still starting him
45. Shane Greene - CWS
46. Jake Odorizzi - DET
47. James Paxton - at PHI
Note: Just 4 ER allowed in 16.7 IP since returning from the DL (2.16 ERA)
48. Ervin Santana - at PIT, at CIN
49. Wily Peralta - PIT
50. Yovani Gallardo - PIT
51. Kyle Hendricks - at NYM, BAL
Note: I love Ks as much as the next guy, but a lack of them doesn't automatically mean a pitcher isn't good or is just getting lucky
52. Bartolo Colon - CHC, at LAD
53. Chase Anderson - at WAS, SD
Note: 8 HR in first eight starts; 4 HR in his last seven
54. Ryan Vogelsong - at CHC, at WAS
55. Mike Fiers - TOR, PIT
56. Chris Capuano - HOU, CWS
Note: A year removed from 198.3 IP of 3.72 with a 3.0 K:BB ratio; this NYY run is believable
57. Roenis Elias - at PHI, at BOS
Note: 3.73 ERA in 10 road starts this year plus two of the easiest offenses in the league
58. Jason Vargas - at MIN, at TEX
59. Jered Weaver - at BOS, at OAK
Note: His 4.80 road ERA is 1.91 runs higher than his home mark
60. Nathan Eovaldi - TEX
61. Gerrit Cole - at MIL
Note: Threw 92 pit in final rehab start (7 IP/0 ER), but still playing it cautiously
62. Tim Hudson - at WAS
63. Rick Porcello - at TB
64. Danny Duffy - at COL
65. Chris Tillman - at CWS
Note: Improving component numbers is breeding trust - 31 Ks, 6.2 K:BB, and 0.9 HR/9 rate in his last six starts (38.3 IP)
66. Jon Niese - at LAD
67. Vance Worley - ATL
Note: Survived against DET, also caught them at a great time
68. Jake Peavy - at CHC
69. Jesse Hahn - at ARI
Note: 2.73 ERA in his last five starts, but with just a 1.3 K:BB ratio; fatigue setting in as he moves toward his finish line?
70. Edinson Volquez - at MIL
71. Francisco Liriano - ATL
72. Jimmy Nelson - TOR
Note: Be careful with TOR as they start getting their pieces back
73. Wade Miley - at WAS
74. Aaron Harang - at PIT, at CIN
75. Dillon Gee - at OAK, at LAD
76. Tsuyoshi Wada - SF, BAL
Note: Another Cub who gets to show BAL what they're missing (originally signed by in winter of 2011)
77. Mike Leake - at STL, ATL
Note: K surge has featured nine games of 6+ Ks; had seven in all of 2013
78. Jeremy Hellickson - at TOR
79. Wei-Yin Chen - at CWS
Note: 2.86 ERA in his last seven starts (44 IP) with 37 Ks and a 4.6 K:BB
80. Hiroki Kuroda - CWS
81. Drew Hutchison - TB
82. Chris Young - at BOS
83. Brett Oberholtzer - at NYY, at CLE
Note: Since returning from the DL - 3.02 ERA in 53.7 IP albeit with just 26 Ks
84. A.J. Burnett - SEA
85. David Buchanan - STL
Note: Hasn't allowed more than 3 ER in any of his last eight starts (3.56 ERA)
86. Trevor Cahill - at WAS
Note: Since return to the rotation - 3.53 ERA in six starts with a 3.3 K:BB ratio
87. Jeff Locke - at MIL
88. Kevin Correia - SD, NYM
Note: 3.52 ERA in his last 12 starts and gets two of the weaker offenses in the league
89. Josh Collmenter - SD
90. Alfredo Simon - at STL
Note: Three shaky outings in a row; he's outright benched with another disaster
91. Odrisamer Despaigne - at ARI
Note: 5 Ks in first three starts combined has masked improvement (7.6 K/9, 2.2 K:BB in last six)
92. Jarred Cosart - TEX
93. Charlie Morton - ATL
Note: 6.00 ERA in his last seven starts, but show plenty in previous 18 starts; plus ATL is a team to stream against these days
94. Kevin Gausman - at CHC
Note: We could finally see that breakout strikeout game from him (season-high of 7)
95. J.A. Happ - at MIL
96. Jason Hammel - LAA
97. Hector Santiago - at OAK
Note: Hasn't allowed more than 3 ER in any of his last seven outings (five starts) yielding a 1.95 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 2.0 K:BB ratio in 32.3 IP
98. Mark Buehrle - TB
99. Ubaldo Jimenez - at CHC
Note: This is a spot start against a club that is toting a 25 percent K rate as a team since the break (highest in MLB)
100. R.A. Dickey - at MIL