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Fantasy Baseball: xFIP, Livan Hernandez and Randy Wells

Over on the right hand side of the page is a featured posts section. Right now you will see one of the articles there is titled "Corrected xFIP tables." The entry is from the offseason, where Ray went through the leaderboard of E-X, ERA-xFIP. 

I stumbled upon this article and was quite amused at reading one of the comments. 

I understand you’re basing the sleepers on the difference b/w ERA and xFIP, but maybe there should also be a max. xFIP, b/c Livan Hernandez (and probably even Pelfrey) shouldn’t be anywhere near a fantasy roster in 2010!

I love Brett Anderson as a sleeper. Also, Hiroki Kuroda (3.66 xFIP) seems to get no love at all.


Talk about a turnaround. I've said earlier that I would now rather have Mike Pelfrey than Ricky Nolasco (also on the same list). And for a minute lets forget all the peripherals and just realize what Livan Hernandez has done for all of his owners. Pretty funny if you ask me. Just shows what happens when you go from very unlucky to the most lucky. 

Hopefully this commenter won't mind me calling him out. Keep in mind he (so far) was correct on Kuroda and would have been barring injury on Anderson.

Long story short I decided to take a quick look at the current leaders in this category. One of the top names jumped out at me: Randy Wells.

I was pretty high on Wells in the preseason, and held him for a long time in my 12-team mixed league before finally dropping him for Anibal Sanchez

But Wells fits the profile as someone that could rapidly improve in the second half. Despite a 3.64 xFIP, his ERA is 5.15. He has an unnaturally high BABIP, which is in line with the fact that he's giving up more line drives than usual. 

Even better, his swinging strikes % is up to 10.8% this year, right in line with his increase in strikeout rate. I'm guessing Wells from this point on is an above-replacement level pitcher in 12-team leagues.