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Erik Bedard Is Back

I've talked about this before, but in general I find pitchers to be a lot more predictable than hitters. I know that goes against the common wisdom, but there's a reason for it. Hitters do tend to follow slightly more predictable career paths. We probably can do a better idea projecting what will happen over the next few years for any group of hitters than pitchers because of the likelihood that many pitchers will be impacted by changes in health, arm strength, and mechanics. On the other hand, when one of those things happens, it's generally pretty easy to see in the statistics of the pitcher. When a previously dominating pitcher goes two months with a strikeout rate under 6, we KNOW something is wrong. When a top hitter goes two months with a .190 batting average, we have no idea whether there's a problem, or he's just had some bad luck. In the future, we may gain additional insight from Pitch/fx, but that's just going to widen the gap even more, making diagnosing pitchers struggles even easier.

Before the season, I was down on Erik Bedard, both because of his Spring statistics and some things I had heard. After his second start, I suggested I might have been wrong.  Through three starts, he's got 23 strikeouts and only 3 walks in 19.1 innings. He appears to be completely healthy, and I think he's an excellent trade target. His value may have gone up since opening day, but probably not far enough to prevent him from being cheaper than he should in most leagues.  That's the beauty of analyzing pitchers - there are stats that act as terrific leading indicators of effectiveness.

Alex runs three websites, including Draftbug ( which offers daily fantasy baseball contests including free contests with real cash prizes every day.