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A. L. East

Time to Panic yet? The Mad Professor’s Reflections on Three Ailing Aces from the East.

ArrietaWe briefly interrupt this AL/NL East column to offer praise to Jake Arrieta.  “We’re not worthy!”  Wow.  Now, for our regularly scheduled program…



As of 2archer3 April, owners of three of the stud SP in the AL and NL David Price
East have been in constant touch with their people as they try to figure out what’s up with David Price, Chris Archer and Matt Harvey.  The table below shows the wreckage in the wake of starts made by these guys.  It is not pretty.Matt Harvey


Through 23 April, 2016, their numbers look like this (source: Elias Sports Bureau via ESPN):


Archer 19.2 30 18 16 6 11 29 29 29 393 98 0-4 7.32
Harvey 17.1 20 12 11 1 7 9 31 28 264 75 0-3 5.71
Price 21.2 24 17 17 3 6 32 19 37 401 97 2-0 7.06

I suppose there are glimpses of hope amidst the flotsam.  Price is walking no one. He and Archer boast solid K:BB ratios.   Alas, Harvey is striking no one out.  What gives?  It’s not that these guys are slow starters.  By way of reference, their April 2015 performances looked like this:

Archer 32.1 18 5 3 2 6 37 46 30 477 121 3-2 0.83
Harvey 26.2 22 9 9 3 3 31 31 39 377 107 4-0 3.04
Price 31 29 15 12 1 10 29 38 54 509 132 2-1 3.48

No real troubles last year. So what’s up? Even if these guys throw 10 shutout innings before 1 May, their ERAs will still be pretty mediocre.  Archer and Price would not get below 5.  Fantasy owners are not pleased.

To put April, 2016, in perspective, let’s see how bad things got last year.   The following table shows each pitcher’s worst month in 2015:

Archer Sep 26 28 20 19 4 19 26 34 45 514 124 0-3 6.58
Harvey Sep 23.1 27 13 13 1 4 28 34 35 349 101 2-0 5.01
Price Apr 31 29 15 12 1 10 29 38 54 509 132 2-1 3.48


The good news is that if last year is any sort of indicator, Price will settle down.  His worst month in 2015, 2014 and 2013 was April.  So maybe, with a bit of age, he has become a slow starter.

Unfortunately, Archer and Harvey have picked up where they left off.  Is this indicative of a nagging, lingering injury? Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs thinks it’s a problem of Archer’s delivery.  He hopes he’s right and that with some drills and reps, Archer can fix his mechanics.  Archer owners, get back to your



Analysis of Matt Harvey reminds the reader that he had a great season last year after bouncing back from Tommy John surgery.  Fangraphs is not worried about him and Razzball says it’s a matter of mechanics.

Mechanics… “Sorry officer, my speeding was a matter of mechanics.”  Really.


ESPN says that Archer’s had bad luck with a fatal .436 BABIP.  Both Harvey and Archer have seen their velocities drop.  “Sorry officers, when I get my mechanics fixed, my velocity won’t be a problem…”

Taking Sanchez to "Church" in Week 15

There is not much solace for fantasy owners right now in any of this.  With stud SP who are going through rocky periods, we find ourselves torn between several baseball mantras:

“Once you display a skill, you own it.”

“Prior performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.”

“The Fantasy Gods hate me.”

What are you going to do?  In more than a few drafts, Archer and Price were #1 SP.  You can’t sell them low or bench these guys.  You invested too much in them.  Every pundit I’ve crossed says to relax, it’s a long season.  I’m willing to believe that with Price.  Archer has me worried.  If this is a mechanical problem, he needs a mechanic in a hurry.  This pattern smacks of a potential DL spot.

With Harvey, it’s hard to draw any conclusions.   Sure, this is second year after TJS. But, he’s now going on 40 IP of mediocre-disastrous performance.  I would not be surprised if Harvey draws a DL stint too.  The Mets have enough SP depth that they could afford to let Harvey rest and regain his form.  This is not good news for fantasy owners.

Some other oddities as I bring this column to a close

Philadelphia and Boston pitching staffs lead their respective leagues in strikeouts while sporting sub-.500 records (23 April).

Rick Porcello has continued the solid form with which he finished 2015 for Boston.  In 19 IP thus far, he sports a 24:3 K:BB ratio.  His ERA is still over 4.  This is good news for the Sox.  Last week I noted that Toronto seemed to have the advantage because Aaron Sanchez looked like he was establishing himself as a solid #2 behind Marcus Stroman.  Eduardo Rodriguez has legitimate #2 stuff as well.  If Boston brings him back carefully, the Bosox could boast a solid 1-2-3 punch in their rotation.

Stanton, GOne guy we have not talked about is Giancarlo Stanton.  Where did he go? He had lost some of his shine according to ADP this Spring.  Still, no one expected such a slow start. In 49 AB, he has 3 HR, 20K and a .224 BA.  He’s always been injury prone and has had more than 500 AB only once.  Maybe it’s just a question of getting back into full season mode?  Since the terrible beaning he took, he’s had just 330 AB.  He is not the hitter the Bryce Harper, Mike Trout or Paul Goldschmidt is.   But, he has shown that he can put 35 HR on the board for you in a hurry.  Patience…

More to come next week.  Best wishes!



(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show: Join Corey D Roberts on Sunday April 24th, 2016 from 7-9pm EST for this week’s episode of the Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show. We are a live call in radio show so we encourage callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. Every week we will do a quick recap of Fr-Sat games, and a forecast of Monday through Thursday’s games.

Our guests this week are Ron Shandler, Joe Iannone, and Andy Macuga. Ron is a legend and pioneer in the fantasy baseball world. He has been part of fantasy baseball world since 1986, and is a member of the FSTA Hall of Fame. He is currently a writer with ESPN, and runs ronshandler.com. Joe is a veteran writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com as well as a tenured fantasy baseball expert. Andy is the head baseball coach at Borrego Springs H.S. in Southern California, and a veteran owner in MLFS leagues.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”


(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly: Join Lou Landers and Kyle Amore live on Thursday April 28th, 2016 from 8-10pm EST for episode #11 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Weekly. We will discuss player positions and help prepare you for the coming draft season. This will run every Thursday as a live broadcast that will take live callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. Our Thursday night show will do some weekly recaps, player updates, and preview the coming week end games.

Our guests this week are Corey D Roberts and Hernan Batista. Corey is the owner of majorleaguefantasysports.com, and the host of the Sunday Night show from 7-9pm EST. Hernan is long time fantasy baseball verteran and frequent guest on our shows.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

Unrepentant Red Sox fan and all things Boston. Deflategate was a joke. Boston Latin School is awesome. Harvard and Johns Hopkins alma maters... Besides that... Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law at Washington and Lee University. Wrote for Ron Shandler's Shandler Park for two summers and have been on board with MLFS since 2011. Been at Washington and Lee since 1990 with a brief hiatus (2010-2013) in the Middle East. Currently developing that last word in Fantasy Baseball analysis. Married to Flor, Dad to William and Alex, and adopted daughter Reem. Soon to be father and law to Meaghann. Alpha male to the world's super-pup, Humphrey. Life is not bad.

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