CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe
<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Value Picks: First, Th... (09/20)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Value Picks: First, Th... (09/20)
Next Column >>
Value Picks: Outfielde... (09/21)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Resident Fantasy Geniu... (09/20)

September 20, 2012

Value Picks

Starting Pitching for 9/20/12

by Paul Sporer

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.

a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

The season is almost over, you guys! Is everyone as upset by that as me? There is some good news, though. First, we still have the playoffs immediately after the regular season, and they should excellent again this year. Second, we still have a couple weeks left in the regular season, and if you are in the thick of a fantasy pennant chase, these will be extremely fun, tension-filled weeks and give you a chance to over-manage the hell out of your squad. Lastly, even when the games on the field end, the hot stove burns hot enough to make baseball a year-round sport.

Let’s see what the wire is offering us in terms of Value Picks on the mound.

An ugly six start run from July 31 to August 26 left Homer Bailey (Yahoo! 35%, ESPN 48%, CBS 76%) with a 4.24 ERA which still would have been a career-best had the season ended, but it severely dented the chances of his first sub-4.00 ERA season. He has rallied with a September surge, however, that has him on track to put a nice bow on his breakthrough season. He has a 1.29 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 26 strikeouts, and six walks in 29 innings across four starts pushing, his season ERA down to 3.82.

All told, Bailey is poised to set career highs all over the board. Note that he did get fat on weaker competition in September, however, facing the Astros twice plus the Cubs and Pirates once apiece. Don’t fret, though; he has the offensively-challenged Dodgers and then the Pirates again to close the season.

Travis Wood (Yahoo! 12%, ESPN 13%, CBS 29%)
could be a strong mid-rotation pitcher if he could curb his home run issues—difficult to do as an extreme fly ball pitcher. Even with his hideous 1.5 HR/9 rate, though, he is a solid back-end option with a 4.25 ERA in 140 innings of work. He has outings of five, four, and three home runs as well as a pair of two-homer outings, so they tend to come in bunches when Wood is on the mound. It shouldn’t be a surprise that when he finally strings together 30 homerless innings, he is able to post a 1.80 ERA. That is the current streak he is riding, dating back to the third inning of his August 28 outing and stretching through four September starts.

Though his sample is small, Jacob Turner (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 1%, CBS 8%) has had home run issues that would make Wood laugh (would make Wood?). He has a 2.0 HR/9 in his 36 1/3 innings of work, though it’s down from 2.9 in 12 1/3 innings with Detroit (stop laughing… Wood) to 1.5 in 24 with Miami. More importantly, his peripherals are exponentially better in Miami (from 1.0 to 5.7 K/BB), which is why he has been able to enjoy some success despite the continued gopheritis.

Turner is definitely in a growth phase, and this is a perfect setting: a non-contending team late in the season. This experience will bode well for him come 2013 and beyond. I think we are getting a glimpse of the guy that Turner can be as he totes a 6.4 K/9 and 1.1 BB/9 with Miami. He won’t be able to maintain a 3.75 ERA with a 1.5 HR/9, but I suspect he will work on that problem area and figure out how to work in zone without getting destroyed. I’m bullish on Turner not only for the remainder of the season but going into next year as well. If you can make offseason trades in your league, he is a worthy target for NL-only teams.

Some of the best late-season guys are the second-level prospects on also-ran clubs. The games still matter to those players, especially because the rosters are usually littered with youngsters looking to make an impression that will aid them in landing a 2013 spot in March. One such arm is Erasmo Ramirez (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 2%, CBS 5%) in Seattle. Oddly enough, he earned one of those 25 coveted spots back in April and did great work out of the bullpen through early May.

He came up again in June for a four-start stint and held his own but then went back down until September. He is hoping this audition can show the Mariners enough to win that spot next spring and hold it all year. In 16 innings spanning two starts and a relief appearance, he has a 2.25 ERA and 0.69 WHIP with 14 strikeouts and just one walk. Maybe if the M’s had kept Ramirez up in a hybrid role all year and started Hisashi Iwakuma from day one, they would be better than their 70-78 record.

NL-only VP
Shutting down Mark Rogers due to injury concerns was a wise move by the Milwaukee Brewers, especially since they probably thought that they were all but out of it. All of a sudden, though, they are in the thick of the race, and thankfully Wily Peralta(Yahoo! 5%, ESPN 6%, CBS 10%) has been there to pick up the slack left by the shelved Rogers, who was pitching pretty well. In three starts this month, he has a 1.80 ERA and 1.00 WHIP across 20 innings, going six or more each time out. He only has 12 strikeouts (5.4 K/9), but a hefty 55 percent groundball rate allows him plenty of leeway when his defense turns the rollers into outs. A top prospect in a thin system, Peralta might have been overlooked by some because of the lack of depth, but Kevin Goldstein had him 92nd overall on his top 101 this preseason.

AL-only VP
This is my 22nd edition of Value Picks here at BP, and Jake Arrieta (Yahoo! 2%, ESPN 1%, CBS 8%) last appeared in the fifth edition. Back then he had an ugly 4.87 ERA, but his component skills portended future success and indicated he was pitching his best ball as a major leaguer. Since then, he has a 7.21 ERA in 48 2/3 innings of work, yet he continues to miss bats at an impressive clip with 49 strikeouts (9.1 K/9). He also has just 17 walks (3.1 BB/9), good for a 2.9 K/BB rate.

He even stemmed the tide on his horrendous home run rate (1.3 thru May 23 when he first appeared), carving it down to 0.9 since late May. He has just been far too hittable (10 H/9), so he needs to work on his command within the zone. He is only working long relief right now, but he gets a couple innings per stint and has a 3.24 ERA in 8 1/3 September innings. The O’s are handling him well by allowing him to work in short stints and improve his command.

He could give you some key clean innings down the stretch, but I mostly wanted to bring him up to mention how much 2012 has actually been a growth season despite what the surface numbers might suggest. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop up on sleeper lists next spring (mainly because I am sure to put him on one, but I am also referring to those not commissioned by me).

Paul Sporer is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Paul's other articles. You can contact Paul by clicking here

Related Content:  Work

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Value Picks: First, Th... (09/20)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Value Picks: First, Th... (09/20)
Next Column >>
Value Picks: Outfielde... (09/21)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Resident Fantasy Geniu... (09/20)

Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: Should You (Try and) Trade...
Fantasy Article Deep League Report: Week 4
What You Need to Know: Losing the Crown
Premium Article The Call-Up: Nick Pivetta
Short Relief: Two Science Fiction Short Stor...
Premium Article The Call-Up: Cody Bellinger
Premium Article Deep, But Playable: Winning the Battle of At...

Premium Article Painting the Black: Attention Hollywood: The...
Premium Article Prospect Profile: Alen Hanson and Gregory Po...
Fantasy Article Resident Fantasy Genius: One-Category Savior...
Fantasy Article Value Picks: First, Third, and DH for 9/20/1...
Premium Article Collateral Damage Daily: Thursday, September...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Thursday, September...
What You Need to Know: Thursday, September 2...

2012-10-02 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting Pitching Review
2012-09-22 - BP Fantasy Podcast: Episode 20: Where Are We...
2012-09-21 - Weekly Planner: Week 26
2012-09-20 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting Pitching for 9/20/12
2012-09-15 - BP Fantasy Podcast: Episode 19: An Eight Bal...
2012-09-14 - Fantasy Article Weekly Planner: Week 25
2012-09-13 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting Pitching for 9/13/12

2012-09-25 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: First, Third, and DH Review
2012-09-24 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: Second, Short, and Catcher Revi...
2012-09-21 - Value Picks: Outfielders for 9/21/12
2012-09-20 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: Starting Pitching for 9/20/12
2012-09-20 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: First, Third, and DH for 9/20/1...
2012-09-19 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: Relievers for 9/19/12
2012-09-17 - Fantasy Article Value Picks: Second, Short, and Catcher for ...