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Starting Pitchers Midseason Buy/Sell Guide

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Your dear friend at Faketeams knows what you want, and he’s giving it to you for free and allow you to save your pitching staff.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

So just as was written this offseason, the only thing a pitcher can really control is his strike out rate (velocity and movement), walk rate (control), and ground ball rate (combination of both).

Certain pitchers get by mastering one of the above stats, others evenly spread the wealth to all three.  But in fantasy, we want the guys who are going to do all three for cheap, or at the very least, for less that what they are currently valued at.

Presently there are 98 pitchers who have qualified for the ERA title, Those 98 arms were taken, (sorry Pat Venditte) and the top 30 performers of each category were highlighted.  The rational was the top third would be a group that has given a strong performance in each statistic.  After finding the men who were in the top 30 of each, the players who were overlapping were grouped.

Overlap shows us players who not only have multifaceted skill sets, but they also are reducing their risk of blow ups by having fallback options if something is lacking going into a start.  The players with all three stats in the top 30 were shown in one group, two stats in another, and so on and so forth.  Leaving us with 4 groups as seen below.  The groups were ordered by their ERA - FIP meaning, the guy at the top of each list is most likely to improve his fantasy production going forward, the bottom player on each list is the least likely to continue his current performance,

The cutoff for each group was the following

Strikeout rate greater than or equal to 8.4 k/9

Walk rate less than or equal to 2.08 bb/9

Groundball rate greater than or equal to 48.6%

All stats as of July 3rd, courtesy of Fangraphs.

The Aces

Name

K/9

BB/9

GB%

HR/FB

ERA

FIP

E-F

Chris Archer

10.98

2.06

49.00%

11.50%

2.31

2.46

-0.15

Jake Arrieta

9.34

1.95

50.90%

10.80%

2.80

2.73

0.07

Clay Buchholz

8.55

2.05

50.30%

6.00%

3.48

2.66

0.82

Michael Pineda

9.23

1.17

50.00%

10.70%

4.08

2.72

1.36

Michael Pineda is the king of buy lows right now.  He's doing everything he can to be an ace, but is having that be masked by an unsightly 4.25 ERA.  I am a Yankee fan, and I know that he is awesome, if you are from some other section of the world that doesn't see him regularly, I would recommend paying up for him before it's too late.

The Stat Boosters

Name

K/9

BB/9

GB%

HR/FB

ERA

FIP

E-F

Carlos Martinez

9.64

3.76

55.40%

14.80%

2.80

3.51

-0.71

Jacob deGrom

8.69

1.7

43.00%

8.00%

2.30

2.76

-0.46

Gerrit Cole

9.5

2.2

52.00%

8.10%

2.20

2.64

-0.44

Johnny Cueto

8.6

1.72

42.40%

10.80%

2.84

3.26

-0.42

Felix Hernandez

8.71

2.7

57.50%

15.20%

3.05

3.42

-0.37

Matt Harvey

8.7

1.54

42.60%

11.70%

2.99

3.33

-0.34

Max Scherzer

10.54

1.06

34.70%

5.10%

1.82

1.94

-0.12

Francisco Liriano

9.94

2.99

53.90%

13.20%

2.99

3.07

-0.08

Madison Bumgarner

9.14

1.66

40.60%

10.40%

2.99

3.04

-0.05

Jason Hammel

9.31

1.6

38.30%

9.40%

2.92

2.90

0.02

Clayton Kershaw

11.78

2.1

50.80%

17.20%

3.20

2.59

0.61

Kyle Hendricks

7.33

1.7

48.60%

10.60%

4.15

3.54

0.61

Tyson Ross

9.83

4.69

62.10%

6.40%

3.63

3.00

0.63

Chris Sale

12.28

1.92

42.40%

9.00%

2.87

2.09

0.78

Carlos Carrasco

10.17

1.94

48.40%

11.10%

3.88

2.77

1.11

Corey Kluber

10.69

1.82

46.30%

9.60%

3.64

2.45

1.19

This list is comprised of studs, preseason "sleepers", and Kyle Hendricks.  Carrasco was my 2015 must buy, and Kluber the same in 2014.  Acquiring a guy from the top of this list will very likely leave you smiling down the stretch run, these players will be very good rotation pieces, but for the most part, they have such great name value that they aren't coming at any sort of a discount.  If Kyle Hendricks is available in your league, the obvious suggestion is to give him an add to see how he does going forward.

The Wildcards

Name

K/9

BB/9

GB%

HR/FB

ERA

FIP

E-F

Hector Santiago

8.4

3.15

28.80%

9.50%

2.58

4.22

-1.64

Wei-Yin Chen

7.39

2.08

39.90%

13.20%

2.84

4.28

-1.44

Zack Greinke

7.81

1.66

47.80%

7.10%

1.58

2.83

-1.25

Kyle Gibson

5.81

2.95

54.20%

13.00%

3.04

4.19

-1.15

Shelby Miller

7.04

2.81

51.00%

5.60%

2.20

3.18

-0.98

Yovani Gallardo

6.35

2.74

52.40%

7.70%

2.56

3.48

-0.92

Dallas Keuchel

7.38

2.24

64.50%

13.50%

2.03

2.92

-0.89

Dan Haren

6.45

1.64

31.90%

10.50%

3.45

4.29

-0.84

Scott Kazmir

8.42

3.02

46.00%

8.00%

2.56

3.24

-0.68

Sonny Gray

8.11

2.17

54.20%

5.30%

2.09

2.67

-0.58

A.J. Burnett

7.69

2.31

54.70%

4.20%

2.05

2.57

-0.52

Brett Anderson

6.47

2.44

68.40%

13.00%

3.00

3.47

-0.47

Mark Buehrle

4.82

1.69

48.00%

10.90%

3.64

4.07

-0.43

Jon Niese

6.3

3.1

53.40%

14.30%

3.90

4.30

-0.40

Chase Anderson

5.44

2.08

44.50%

9.60%

3.66

4.05

-0.39

Mike Pelfrey

4.33

2.99

55.20%

7.00%

3.81

4.10

-0.29

Garrett Richards

7.09

3.44

54.50%

8.80%

3.54

3.81

-0.27

Phil Hughes

5.47

0.85

34.60%

13.20%

4.27

4.53

-0.26

David Price

8.18

1.72

36.90%

6.70%

2.62

2.87

-0.25

Cole Hamels

9.56

2.96

48.60%

12.90%

3.22

3.43

-0.21

Jesse Hahn

5.96

2.33

52.60%

7.10%

3.35

3.46

-0.11

Mike Leake

5.81

2.41

52.20%

18.40%

4.38

4.47

-0.09

Lance Lynn

9.39

2.95

42.50%

6.00%

2.74

2.78

-0.04

Ubaldo Jimenez

9.17

2.78

46.50%

10.10%

3.09

3.12

-0.03

Jered Weaver

4.56

1.49

36.20%

10.90%

4.75

4.78

-0.03

Trevor Bauer

8.9

4.15

36.20%

8.90%

3.96

3.99

-0.03

Tim Hudson

4.78

2.14

58.10%

18.80%

4.68

4.59

0.09

James Shields

10.61

3.02

43.40%

18.30%

4.14

4.02

0.12

Jordan Zimmermann

6.23

1.72

40.60%

4.30%

3.16

3.01

0.15

Jimmy Nelson

7.29

3.27

49.50%

12.80%

4.48

4.26

0.22

Danny Salazar

10.65

2.53

45.20%

14.80%

3.80

3.53

0.27

Matt Shoemaker

7.58

2.03

39.10%

14.50%

4.91

4.61

0.30

Jon Lester

8.69

2.62

47.10%

12.20%

3.74

3.44

0.30

Colby Lewis

6.64

1.79

36.40%

7.50%

4.13

3.75

0.38

Taijuan Walker

8.87

2.56

39.50%

12.10%

4.34

3.95

0.39

Mike Fiers

9.62

3.41

38.50%

10.00%

4.14

3.68

0.46

Rubby de la Rosa

8.32

2.3

49.70%

18.40%

4.60

4.11

0.49

Chris Heston

7.37

2.4

55.90%

9.50%

3.78

3.29

0.49

Jeff Locke

6.94

3.58

51.90%

10.40%

4.55

3.94

0.61

Nathan Eovaldi

6.47

2.57

49.30%

10.00%

4.52

3.76

0.76

Bartolo Colon

7.18

1

41.00%

11.20%

4.55

3.69

0.86

Jeff Samardzija

7.29

1.66

39.60%

9.50%

4.56

3.65

0.91

CC Sabathia

7.86

1.71

43.60%

18.10%

5.59

4.57

1.02

Trevor May

7.95

2.02

39.70%

7.10%

4.37

3.20

1.17

Gio Gonzalez

7.93

3.64

57.90%

6.40%

4.41

3.16

1.25

Kyle Lohse

6.43

2.02

36.50%

15.10%

6.24

4.94

1.30

At this point, we've reached the one trick ponies referenced in the beginning of the article.  There are some studs in here, fading stars, and legit scrubs.  The value buys aren't really in this end of the list.  Also, if a player has a ERA-FIP that is below -1 on this list, they are very much a sell high.

The Belly Itchers

Name

K/9

BB/9

GB%

HR/FB

ERA

FIP

E-F

Nick Martinez

5.29

3.15

43.30%

9.30%

3.43

4.67

-1.24

Miguel Gonzalez

7

2.95

39.60%

16.70%

4.04

5.06

-1.02

Tom Koehler

6.49

3.14

45.90%

12.80%

3.66

4.54

-0.88

Adam Warren

5.91

2.85

44.90%

8.90%

3.48

4.08

-0.60

Ryan Vogelsong

6.59

3.77

43.30%

12.00%

4.19

4.76

-0.57

Nate Karns

8.31

3.56

44.70%

10.30%

3.26

3.78

-0.52

Michael Wacha

7.06

2.1

46.60%

7.10%

2.77

3.14

-0.37

R.A. Dickey

5.56

3.53

42.80%

12.90%

4.85

5.11

-0.26

Edinson Volquez

6.87

3.1

47.00%

7.40%

3.48

3.70

-0.22

Kyle Kendrick

4.48

2.71

38.50%

17.60%

6.07

6.28

-0.21

John Lackey

6.68

2.26

44.60%

7.00%

3.30

3.44

-0.14

Anthony DeSclafani

6.42

3.49

44.00%

5.90%

3.68

3.70

-0.02

Alex Wood

6.73

2.5

47.70%

5.70%

3.17

3.18

-0.01

Aaron Harang

6.2

2.29

35.70%

8.10%

4.08

4.08

0.00

C.J. Wilson

7.83

2.81

43.20%

9.80%

3.78

3.76

0.02

Alfredo Simon

6.9

2.96

42.60%

9.20%

3.94

3.85

0.09

Jesse Chavez

7.76

2.32

40.90%

5.40%

3.02

2.89

0.13

Andrew Cashner

8.34

2.72

47.90%

13.80%

4.22

3.99

0.23

Julio Teheran

7.04

3.14

40.00%

14.40%

4.94

4.68

0.26

Anibal Sanchez

8.14

2.49

41.10%

15.90%

4.63

4.36

0.27

J.A. Happ

7.04

2.31

40.50%

8.40%

3.89

3.54

0.35

Jose Quintana

7.61

2.36

44.40%

8.10%

3.81

3.38

0.43

Wade Miley

6.25

3.53

48.40%

8.10%

4.53

4.10

0.43

Collin McHugh

7.44

2.12

45.10%

11.70%

4.51

4.01

0.50

John Danks

6.16

2.46

36.90%

12.70%

5.38

4.88

0.50

Matt Garza

6.18

3

45.30%

16.00%

5.55

4.97

0.58

Jeremy Guthrie

4.7

2.51

36.00%

11.10%

5.68

4.92

0.76

Chris Tillman

6.35

4.08

39.20%

9.90%

5.67

4.75

0.92

Jeremy Hellickson

7.54

2.48

42.20%

12.00%

5.06

4.13

0.93

Drew Hutchison

8.25

2.65

40.40%

10.80%

4.99

3.77

1.22

Rick Porcello

7.13

2.09

43.00%

14.80%

6.08

4.62

1.46

These players are not what championships are made of.  You do not want a single player on this list, and whatever name value you can salvage, or whatever stats you can spin to help you get rid of them.  Lie, cheat, and steal to get these guys off your team because their magic has ran out, and you don't want to be stuck holding these grenades when their time runs out.

So the hope is this list helps you out as the deadline approaches.  An old Faketeams writer (Bret Sayre, now of Baseball Prospectus) used to do something very similar to this, which I think he has abandoned now that he's moved onto BP.  So readers, (and Bret if you still read us), I'd love to hear what you think about rehashing the old list you used to make, and the addition of ERA-FIP to order each core group.