Tipping pitches: Effective fantasy hurlers not made by names alone
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There is no better way to get rid of stereotypes, pre-established thoughts and beliefs about pitchers than to get rid of the pitchers. Well, the pitchers' names that is.
Stripping out the names and looking solely at the numbers reveals quite a bit, both about
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Names and hype skew things. Here are a few statistics listed, names withheld, and some notes about what the comparisons say about value.
Numbers listed in order: Strikeout to walk ratio (K/BB), strikeouts per nine innings (K/9), home runs allowed per nine innings (HR/9), walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP) and FIP.
Pitcher 1 -- 3.62, 9.41, 0.25, 1.27, 2.28
These are the only pitchers with a FIP below 3.00 and a K/9 above 8.50. Pitchers two, three and four stand out the most because of the low WHIPs. So those are traditional stars, like
Pitcher 1 is
Pitcher 5 is
The 25-year-old is better than last season in almost every aspect and his .296 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) doesn't look like a fluke at all. It will be interesting to see if Romero can maintain his high K/9 since he had a 7.13 K/9 in 178 innings last season.
Pitcher 1 -- 2.80, 8.96, 0.77, 1.29, 3.54
Morrow has gone under the radar because of his 5.48 ERA, but his 1.80 difference between ERA and FIP is the second biggest in baseball. Morrow's 4.92 BB/9 is the one downside.
His contact% (percentage of pitches batters make contact with) is 73.7, much closer to his 2008 total of 72.7, rather than last year's 77.8. Not coincidentally, his 10.41 K/9 is almost exactly the same as his 2008 figure (10.44) and well up from last season (8.14).
The walks may hamper Morrow all season long, but he has flashed the ability to be dominant a few times already this season.
Pitcher 1 -- 2.38, 6.55, 0.69, 1.15, 3.56
It's hard to look at these numbers and think Pitcher 1 has been much better than Pitcher 2. That's shocking considering Pitcher 2 (
In fact, if not for the BABIP difference (Wells: plus .041 career, Santana: minus .018) the two would probably be a lot closer in WHIP.
There are two lessons here: Wells can help fantasy teams, and Santana might be done as a fantasy ace.
Wells gets almost no respect despite the fact that he's just 27 and had a 3.88 FIP (3.05 ERA) in 165.1 innings in 2009. This year his FIP, K/9 and BB/9 skills all look better. His ERA will drop closer to his FIP as the season wears on.
Santana has his lowest K/9 since '01. Sure, his 2.76 ERA looks good, but that's deceiving. Luck has kept fly balls in the park and his 5.5 HR/FB is well under his career 9.3 rate. Look for that ERA to shoot up if Santana can't improve his pitching.
* Statistics are current through June 8.
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