Masterson and Commander

Justin Masterson was traded to the Cleveland Indians last year in the V-Mart trade. Many people thought the Red Sox were lucky that they didn't have to throw in Clay Buchholz in the deal. However, you may not have realized this but last year, in 16 games started, he had a FIP of 4.04 (4.05 xFIP) with a 8.28 K/9. Sure he also had a 4.52 ERA with a 4.18 BB/9 and a 1.45 WHIP, but Masterson's ability to strike out a ton of guys with a somewhat low FIP and xFIP along with his underlining numbers this year means that you should pick up Masterson now- because he's probably better than your last pitcher.

Masterson is currently only owned in 9% of Yahoo! leagues. Right now, he has a 5.68 ERA with a 1.95 WHIP. Not stud numbers by any stretch of the imagination. But I expect those numbers to drop and drop drastically.

Masterson currently owns a 3.97 FIP and a whopping low 3.32 xFIP, tied for tenth best in the major leagues. Unfortunately, FIP does not account for defense (considering it stands for Fielding Independent Pitching) and in the real world, we play with defense. However, the Indians infield is pretty darn good at that right now. 2b Luis Valbuena has a 16.4 UZR/150, 1B Matt LaPorta has a 13.4 UZR/150, and SS Asdrubal Cabrera has a 3.7 UZR/150. They team also has Shin-Soo Choo, Grady Sizemore, and Michael Brantly in the OF- all with positive defense (Choo being spectacular at it). The combination of a damn good defense with a low FIP and xFIP tells me Masterson's ERA is gonna drop. Masterson currently owns the 10th best ERA/FIP split.

The other major factor I like about Masterson is his 11.37 K/9. This is currently the second best among starters. Masterson has always been a strikeout guy in the minors and has shown the ability to strike out guys in the majors as well. While I don't reasonably expect Masterson to keep up this incredibly high K/9 rate, I do expect his to strike out a crap load of guys nonetheless.

The one downfall to Masterson is that he also walks a lot of guys as well. This is also something he's shown to do in the past and will happen a lot in the future, so also a expect a high WHIP in return.

But a low ERA, high K's, at least 10 wins (as bad the Indians were last year they still were able to score runs and were in the top half in the league in runs scored) with a high WHIP is something that makes Masterson extremely valuable to your team.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Justin Masterson sucks. Fuck him. I love his peripherals but he sucks.


David "MVP" Eckstein said...

Masterson's problem: 4.93 xFIP career vs Lefties, 3.32 xFIP vs righties

Lefties kills masterson. They hit well above .300 against him career. He needs to be better against lefties or teams will load their line ups with them, a la Oakland this weekend