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Fantasy Baseball: Pitching Sleepers For 2011

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 14:  Starting pitcher Jason Hammel #46 of the Colorado Rockies delivers against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 14 2010 in Denver Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER - SEPTEMBER 14: Starting pitcher Jason Hammel #46 of the Colorado Rockies delivers against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 14 2010 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Here is a chart, via Fangaphs, that lists some starting pitchers who underperformed their FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, and xFIP, which attempts to normalize home runs in FIP. xFIP can be used to predict a pitcher's future performance.

Name Team K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 AVG WHIP BABIP LOB% ERA FIP E-F  xFIP
Change page: < 1 2 3 >  |  Displaying page 1 of 3, items 1 to 35 of 92.
Jason Hammel Rockies 7.14 2.38 3.00 0.91 .286 1.40 .337 68.6 % 4.81 3.70 1.11 3.81
Francisco Liriano Twins 9.44 2.72 3.47 0.42 .254 1.26 .340 73.1 % 3.62 2.66 0.96 3.06
James Shields Rays 8.28 2.26 3.67 1.50 .300 1.46 .354 68.4 % 5.18 4.24 0.94 3.72
Paul Maholm Pirates 4.95 3.01 1.65 0.73 .304 1.56 .336 64.8 % 5.10 4.18 0.92 4.56
Kyle Davies Royals 6.17 3.92 1.58 0.98 .285 1.56 .322 66.9 % 5.34 4.46 0.88 4.93
Zack Greinke Royals 7.40 2.25 3.29 0.74 .261 1.25 .314 65.3 % 4.17 3.34 0.83 3.76
Yovani Gallardo Brewers 9.73 3.65 2.67 0.58 .254 1.37 .340 69.8 % 3.84 3.02 0.82 3.42
Chris Narveson Brewers 7.35 3.17 2.32 1.13 .267 1.38 .310 67.8 % 4.99 4.22 0.77 4.33
Justin Masterson Indians 7.00 3.65 1.92 0.70 .280 1.50 .332 66.6 % 4.70 3.93 0.77 3.98
Jeremy Bonderman Tigers 5.89 3.16 1.87 1.32 .279 1.44 .304 64.9 % 5.53 4.90 0.63 4.74
Gavin Floyd White Sox 7.25 2.79 2.60 0.67 .274 1.37 .329 70.3 % 4.08 3.46 0.62 3.83
Edwin Jackson - - - 7.78 3.35 2.32 0.90 .266 1.39 .320 69.6 % 4.47 3.86 0.61 3.85
Rick Porcello Tigers 4.65 2.10 2.21 1.00 .291 1.39 .312 65.9 % 4.92 4.31 0.61 4.40
Cliff Lee - - - 7.84 0.76 10.28 0.68 .246 1.00 .302 67.9 % 3.18 2.58 0.59 3.23
John Lackey Red Sox 6.53 3.01 2.17 0.75 .278 1.42 .323 69.3 % 4.40 3.85 0.55 4.32
Scott Baker Twins 7.82 2.27 3.44 1.22 .279 1.34 .329 73.0 % 4.49 3.96 0.53 4.02
Chad Billingsley Dodgers 8.03 3.24 2.48 0.38 .246 1.28 .313 71.0 % 3.57 3.07 0.50 3.81
Joe Blanton Phillies 6.87 2.20 3.12 1.38 .294 1.42 .331 69.1 % 4.82 4.34 0.48 4.06
Doug Fister Mariners 4.89 1.68 2.91 0.68 .279 1.28 .309 67.7 % 4.11 3.65 0.46 4.27
A.J. Burnett Yankees 6.99 3.76 1.86 1.21 .279 1.51 .319 68.8 % 5.26 4.83 0.43 4.6

One guy that I will stay away from no matter what the list tells me is Paul Maholm. I just don't trust him, and I am beginning to wonder if the Pirates feel the same way about him.

I drafted Jason Hammel in my big money, non keeper league, and he pitched pretty well after his DL stint back in May.

As a Dodgers fan, I hope Chad Billingsley has turned the corner as a pitcher. I think 2011 will be a very important year for him, and he could have a breakout-type season after the solid second half he had. Billz had a second half ERA of 3.00 with a WHIP of 1.17, but had only 5 wins to show for it.

Its amazing to think that Cliff Lee and Francisco Liriano could pitch better in 2011 than they did in 2010. Lee is probably a top 5-6 starting pitcher in 2011 fantasy drafts. Liriano is a future ace, if he is not one already. His LOB% of 73% and BABIP of .340 should come down a bit in 2011, resulting in a lower ERA and WHIP.

Not all of these pitchers will be sleepers, but guys like Hammel, Chris Narveson and Joe Blanton could surprise in 2011. Every year, there are several starting pitchers who experience a breakout season, and 2011 will be no different.