I have spent the 2008 fantasy baseball season trying to avoid cavalierly throwing around the term "Sell High" about a players performance because it is usually just an euphemism for "sucker another owner into taking this ticking time bomb." However, there is one statistics in the early season that I feel perfectly comfortable applying the "sell high" label to - Wins.
Even the best pitchers win only 50% of their starts. Over a full 34-start season, that equates to 17 Wins. When I see a pitcher win six or seven games in his 1st seven starts of the season, I am comfortable saying this pitcher is a "sell high" pitcher. This does not mean I believe that pitcher's ratios will fall apart. it just means I do not believe the pitcher will maintain a 25+ Win pace.
Can Ervin Santana provide an additional 140-160 innings of good ratios from May 7th through September 28th? Yes. Can he win more than 10 more games over the final 4.5 months? Probably not. That means the team buying Santana had better be doing it for the ratios and Ks and not necessarily to make up a lot of grouind in Wins. 10 Wins over 4.5 months is a mere one Win every other week.!
To help identify some starting pitchers who may be on the road to disappointing Wins over the rest of the season and those who may surprise, I have used Baseball Prospectus' Luck stat combined with the pitchers actual Wins and their "expected wins". Judge for yourself if I am way off base and/or if BP's stats are, too.
Defintions from Baseball Prospectus:
1. LUCK: Luck, as measured by the number of extra wins, and short losses the pitcher actually got, versus his expected record. LUCK = (W-E(W))+(E(L)-L)
2. E(W): Expected win record for the pitcher, based on how often pitchers with the same innings pitched and runs allowed earned a win or loss historically (this differs from how it was computed, which was a more complicated, theoretical calculation).