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March 28, 2014

Raising Aces

Out on a Limb: 2014 Pitcher Predictions

by Doug Thorburn


Along with the rest of the BP staff, I’ve submitted my pre-season predictions for division standings and end-of-season award winners. I tend to stay in the neighborhood of likely outcomes for these picks, resulting in easy answers such as “Mike Trout for AL MVP” or “Tigers win the AL Central,” but I’m more intrigued by the long-shot stories that emerge once the season starts.

With those surprises in mind, I’m going out on a limb to pick the players whose paths will diverge from expectations in the upcoming season. Since this is Raising Aces, we'll focus on scenarios involving big-league pitchers, starting with more plausible predictions before getting a bit bolder.

Low-Hanging Fruit

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10 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Nojsztat

Thanks for the analysis as always. I sure hope you're right, since it's in line with a lot of the transactions I've made (like trading for Kennedy) and didn't make (like passing on a trade for Cingrani) in my dynasty league.

Mar 28, 2014 08:39 AM
rating: 1
 
newsense

Doug, have you seen any video from this spring that would indicate whether Strasburg has improved his mechanics?

Mar 28, 2014 12:10 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Doug Thorburn
BP staff

The games that I have seen have been better than his worst of '13 but worse than his best of '10, in terms of balance and posture. It's still spring, though, and balance and posture tend to take some time before reaching peak form. I'm encouraged so far, but he still has a little ways to go.

Mar 28, 2014 13:11 PM
 
BloodStripes

Always brilliant stuff Doug. Like your thoughts on Skaggs. He is really starting to get some love again with his increased velocity this spring and it would be great to see him reach his potential. The Angels need something good to happen with their pitching. I will be watching with intrigue.

Mar 28, 2014 16:16 PM
rating: 0
 
Cronfordox

I have the opportunity to drop Alex Wood and pick up Tyler Skaggs as a free agent in a shallow mixed roto league. Would your observations above warrant that this be done urgently, or is this more of a "wait and see" situation?

Mar 28, 2014 18:55 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Doug Thorburn
BP staff

I would give it a "wait and see," especially in a shallow mixed league. It's a long season, and some of these predictions could take some time to materialize. Even with his new-found velocity and improved delivery, I expect Skaggs to take some time to adjust to his new timing pattern, so his fantasy numbers may not be shiny right away. Wood has defied expectation in the past, and he could even start the season on a tear, but I expect the wheels to fall off the wagon at some point.

Mar 29, 2014 11:26 AM
 
Cronfordox

thanks so much for your reply and i'll keep my eyes peeled and my ear to the ground waiting for more ambulances to be called in hotlanta!!

Mar 29, 2014 22:33 PM
rating: 0
 
chapmantime

Eovaldi and Cingrani are two guys of great interest to me, so glad to see you covering them, Doug. Completely agree that Cingrani regresses unless the development of the secs offsets the FB usage. I do have to remind that there were teams that saw him multiple times, like the Brewers, and if anything he was tougher on them after initial exposure due to better FB command to his glove side and the improvement of his breaking ball. So while I expect regression, I'm not sure how dramatic it will be.

Mar 29, 2014 14:19 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Doug Thorburn
BP staff

Fair points, chapmantime, and I dig the extra notes. The key will be how he adjusts as batters get multiple looks, and I think that he will be fine as long as expectations are in line - it's the "expectations" part that could be out of whack.

Mar 30, 2014 17:56 PM
 
chapmantime

I think there could definitely be some disappointed fantasy owners if he's expected to replicate last year's success an pitch like a 2/3. I hope they're reading you...

Mar 31, 2014 09:03 AM
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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Notes from the Field: ... (03/28)
<< Previous Column
Raising Aces: Bush Lea... (03/21)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: The Aces... (04/04)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Prospectus Preview: AL... (03/28)

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