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“The Mad Professor” The Middle Children of the Second 25 SP

Ahh…the second 25 SP.  The middle children of our pitching staff.  With luck, everyone in a 12-team league picked up a #1 and #2 SP from the top 25 and don’t need to look here. We aren’t bargain hunting yet.  But, we aren’t ready to spend top dollar anymore either.

janbradyThese are the Jan Brady’s of your pitching staff. Marcia, Marcia, freaking Marcia.  Everyone loves the #1 and the baby.  We look fornumber2page power and performance above and sweetness and surprised below.  In the middle?  Let’s just say that here is where we find the inspiration for referring to Dr. Evil’s sidekick as #2.

Actually, on more serious note, in addition to visiting Cuba, I also had the chance to make a pilgrimage to Birmingham, Alabama in January.  This is Field of Dreams stuff, made more poignant by the fact that I was there on MLK weekend.  So, it was intense.  You may not know this, but Birmingham is a vital stop on any cross country baseball trip in your VW bus.  You may not run into Shoeless Joe Jackson or rickettshomeplateMoonlight Graham,  but you will see the ghost of Willie Mays.  Birmingham is the home of America’s oldest professional ballpark.  No, not Fenway.  Rickwood Field—home of the Birmingham Barons and the Birmingham Black Barons of the old Negro League.  Birmingham also boasts the Negro Southern League Museum.  It’s not as big as the mothership in Kansas City.  But, it has some pretty cool memorabilia including a hologram of Satchel Paige pitching. Awesome stuff.

 

OK…

The Second 25 (DeLeon Traded to Tampa) 

table02_page_1Seriously, the Jan Brady metaphor is pretty apt here.  Here you find mainly single digit average dollar values with the exception of Rich Hill ($10.30), Cole Hamels ($12.05) and Kenta Maeda ($10.10).  After these three, you are in single-digits.  You can still find 200 strikeout potential here in folks like Hill (225), Salazar (217), McCullers (225), DeLeon (215), Pineda (209) and Urias (207).  But still: proceed with caution here.

UriasUrias and DeLeon (DeLeon traded to Tampa) are rising young stars on the Dodgers.  But, between them, they did not pitch 100 innings last year. Along with Rich Hill who had 129K in 110 IP last year, these three form an intriguing SP core for the Dodgers.  But, how much do you want to spend on 3 guys who barely offered 200 IP last year?  They have the skill set and high upside.  But don’t overbid.

Michael Pineda can dominate or pitch batting practice to the opposition.  He is Excedrin headache #7, 13, 42…you get the idea.  He lead the league with a 10.6 K/9 rate while boasting an ulcer-inducing 4.82 ERA.  He is part of a New York Yankees pitching staff that has the potential to be disastrous in 2017.

Matt HarveyMatt Harvey has the skills (see 2015).  But he went down with TJS and then thoracic outlet syndrome.  Will he bounce back?  He’s only 28.  But still.  If you don’t like Harvey’s arm troubles, you can look at younger teammate Steven Matz.   The Mets are cursed with tremendous, injury-prone young talent.  If these guys heal, look out. They could be steals.  See how they endure during Spring Training.  But you will bid with fear and trepidation.

caveatemptorSean Manaea was solid in the second half of 2016.  Kenta Maeda fell apart in the second half.  McCullers had a great rookie season, then experience arm troubles in 2016…  Notice a theme? Everyone in the second 25 has a story. They aren’t bargain basement sleepers, nor are they duds.  But virtually everyone here bears a “caveat emptor” (Let the buyer beware) sign.

So, where to look and where to avoid?  In this bunch, you find some real variations in the crowdsourcing.  Alex Wood appears in only one of the four top 100 rankings.  Michael Pineda and Tanner Roark appear in only three.

Low dollar values fall into the negatives (Aaron Sanchez) and as high as $17 (Hill) or $18 (Hamels).  But, the spreads in dollar values now push $10.  Virtually all of these guys are high risk, middling reward.

Sanchez A

There are a couple of exceptions. John Lackey’s value ranges between $7 and $9.  Marcus Stroman’s range is $6-$7.  So, while these guys won’t be your #1s, the crowd suggests that you can count on them to deliver the value you pay for.  They won’t be steals, but they won’t give you headaches.  If you can count on 175K +/-, that’s a solid return on $7 or $8 spent on your #3 SP.  But, Lackey’s 38 and Sanchez is 24.  Nuf sed.

 

If I had to pick from this litter, Sanchez would be my guy.  Besides that, Nola and Teheran offer good value pitching for really rough teams.  You can’t count on them for wins.  Teheran is only 26 but offers consistent value. Nola is only 24 and showed signs of dominance last year before injuring his elbow. Keep an eye on him in Spring training. He joins Vince Velasquez as part of a young Philadelphia pitching corps that could produce solid returns.

In all seriousness, this is more or less the no man’s land of the SP pool.  You don’t want to drop $8-10 on someone who could be a total bust (and could have been replaced by a $1 flyer at the end of the draft).  Every dollar spent here could be added to a bid for an important bat.

The experts are scattered all over the map with regard to ranking and value. They agree that these guys are not top-25.  But, none would argue over whether or not any of these guys could be dropped into the second 50.  There is simply not as much to say about the second 25.  In general, if they fall to cheaper prices, they are worth snapping up.  But there are better bargains in the second 50, and we discuss those next time.

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Major League Fantasy Football 2017 League Openings

(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday February 12th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #75 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. This is our first show of the 2017 season. We will discuss the important player movement and how it affects their value for the 2017 season.

Our guests this week are the “Legend” Lenny Melnick and Joe Iannone. Be sure to visit Lenny’s website lennymelnickfantasysports.com, and listen to his Sirius satellite show on the fantasy sports station from 7-10am every Sunday morning with host Craig Mish. Joe is a writer with MLFS and you can check his articles every Sunday morning throughout the season.

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”

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(Click the RED link below to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday February 26th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #76 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host.

Our guest’s this week will be Andrea Lamont, and Hernan Batista. Hernan is a frequent guest on our shows, and an experienced MLFB league member. Andrea is a former member of the website rotoxperts, an experienced female fantasy baseball connoisseur, and is married to the Legend Lenny Melnick. Amongst other things she does baby sit Lenny and change his diapers. Lets say she is the brains of the operation. Andrea will join us from 8-9pm EST.

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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  1. Pingback: Fantasy Baseball: Ranking the Top 100 SP for 2017 « Mark Rush

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