DME's Top 50 Second Half Starters For Fantasy

During the All-Star game last night, I compiled a list of my top 50 fantasy starters for the rest of the season. I considered the total value contributed across Ws, Ks, ERA and WHIP in creating this list. Hence, a guy with low Ws/Ks upside (ie, Brett Anderson) sinks low on this list, even if they are a very good pitcher in real life. This list does not per se reflect the best real-life pitchers in baseball.

And now, on to the show:

01. Tim Lincecum (increased SwStr%, but decreased K/9? I smell a turn around)
02. Roy Halladay
03. Felix Hernandez
04. Josh Johnson
05. Adam Wainwright
06. Francisco Liriano
07. Jon Lester
08. Dan Haren
09. Chris Carpenter (if healthy in the second half)
10. Cliff Lee
11. Ubaldo Jimenez
12. C.C. Sabathia (c'mon, he's a second half stud)
13. Justin Verlander
14. David Price
15. Jered Weaver
16. Max Scherzer
17. Roy Oswalt (especially if traded away from HOU)
18. Zack Greinke
19. Ryan Dempster
20. Yovani Gallardo (if healthy in the second half)
21. Ricky Nolasco
22. Matt Cain
23. Cole Hamels
24. Phil Hughes
25. Stephen Strasburg (he is only this low because he's on a strict innings limit. If you pair Strausburg and Zimmerman, they are collectively a top 15 SP over the 90-100 they'll combine for)
26. Clayton Kershaw
27. Mat Latos
28. Colby Lewis
29. Tommy Hanson
30. Gavin Floyd
31. Ricky Romero
32. Matt Garza
33. Shaun Marcum (if healthy in the second half)
34. Hiroki Kuroda (if healthy in the second half)
35. Javier Vazquez
36. Clay Buchholz (if healthy in the second half)
37. Kris Medlen
38. Scott Baker
39. Jonathan Sanchez
40. Chad Billingsley
41. Wandy Rodriguez (look at his last 6 outings)
42. Johan Santana (he's far from the Santana of old)
43. Johnny Cueto
44. Jorge De La Rosa
45. John Danks
46. Erik Bedard (if healthy during the second half)
47. Carl Pavano
48. Marc Rzepczynski
49. Edinson Volquez (if able to locate his pitches during the second half)
50. Josh Beckett (not assuming that he's 100% healthy for second half)

On the bubble: James Shields, Brett Anderson, Kevin Slowey, Tom Gorzelanny, Tim Hudson, Madison Bumgarner, Ian Kennedy, Jordan Zimmerman, Brett Myers, Clayton Richards


Frank Kim said...

Interesting how high you rank Scherzer. I love him too eventhough I just traded him for Werth.

No Morrow, Hammel or Niese though?

Cubsfan4evr said...

C.C. Sabathia has been good lately and will continue. He is as steady as they are year after year.

I think Jered Weaver will be better than you have him ranked by a few spots. He will be better than Price, Verlander, Haren, Liriano, and maybe even Ubaldo Jimenez. I think Ubaldo Jimenez will be good the 2nd half, but I have him pegged closer to the 20-25 range.

David "MVP" Eckstein said...


Morrow is also borderline, but his high BB/9 and WHIP and somewhat marginal ROS Ws potential limit his overall value. I peg him as a 4.00 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 6-7 W, plenty of Ks guy. He could hurt you in more categories than he helps, but he's a good pick for a 2011 break out.

Re: Hamels, I will be releasing an article on THT sometime in the next week which explains the relation between changes in SwStr% and changes in K/9. Hamels has the luckiest increase in K/9 this season of any starter and is most likely to see his K/9 decline in the second half.

Niese is also a nice thought, but I couldn't justify putting him above any of the top 50 players listed.

Frank Kim said...

Morrow's BB/9 has been much improved for the past two months. I think his upside for the 2nd half is very high, higher than Marc Rzepczynski even if Marc doesn't get put in the bullpen.

Frank Kim said...

What's you opinion about Hammel? He has been the 2nd hottest starter in the NL after Josh Johnson.

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

Not a big Hamels fan. 3.72 xFIP is nice, but bolstered by a 7.17 K/9 which I expect regression from. I peg Hamels as useful, but in the 4-4.25 ERA range. Per my research which will be released soon, a 1% change in SwStr% should have a corollary 0.839% increase in K/9. Hamels SwStr% is down 32.6%, but his K/9 is up 5.4%. Per his SwStr% change, his K/9 should be closer to 5 than 7.

Again, I've noted Morrow's improve control relentlessly on THT (Morrows been in 2, maybe 3 of my 8 AL WW articles), but I still have my questions. Certainly, Morrow has the potential and a lot of upside, but that value potential is offset by inherent risk. I value pitchers based on the upside-downside differential and for morrow, that value proposition is not as high to me given his past. Could morrow be top 50 and better the the repo man? Yes. Will he? Time will only tell, but theres a high chance the answer is no

Sexy Rexy said...

You know how I feel about this list, mainly because I helped you write it (thanks for the credit btw), but I still need to speak my peace about my boy Tim Hudson.

Hudson has been the 15th best pitcher this year FIFTEEN, with only 61 strikeouts. His biggest flaw by far is his K/9 and in a leagues like ours, with inning limits, his K/9 is a major drawback. But you go past 20 on this list and everyone has there flaws in at least ONE category. Hell at #20 you have a WHIP hurter in Gallardo and my boy De La Rosa at #44 is a flat out WHIP killer PLUS he actually needs to prove to pitch a touch better than he did last year. Hell you have Mark Rzene qkjwchjecvhwdvcwghdcvwd who hasn't even done anything in the majors yet! You have Javier Vazquez who hasn't proven he can pitch in the AL for his entire career and this year is a perfect example of it. Yet a guy who has done this before and has performed at a high level this year gets bumped from your list.

I don't care what Fangraphs says on Hudson because he's a huge groundballer I feel his peripherals get clouded. He can pitch late into inning which will get him wins ( on the year so far; plus a good bullpen and a good offense) and his worm burning tendencies will keep his ERA and WHIP low. I think he won't be as dominant as he's been so far, but still good enough to AT LEAST be ranked 40-50. How you can justify Pavano (who has a similar skill set) over Hudson is beyond me.

Also, your love of Dan Haren and Ricky Nolasco has clouded your rational judgement, your hate of Ubaldo is just ridiculous, and we were right to leave off Hamels because he sucks.

Sexy Rexy said...

I was looking through our board bets are this weird one came up

22) Who will be a better fantasy player (as judged by the Yahoo! player rater) in the 2nd half (post All-Star break) of the 2010 season: Josh Johnson or Stephen Strasburg?
Sexy Rexy: Johnson
DME: Strasburg

hmmmm, this doesn't reflect in your ranking?

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

Strasburg will be better per inning, but his IP limit is much lower than I anticipated. Hence, the rankings difference. If they pitched the same # of innings, i'd take Strasburg.

Also, you're love of Hudson clouds your judgment. Pavanos got better skills IMO because his K/9 is 50x better even at 6.3. Tim Hudson is just Joel Pinero with a lower ERA

Sexy Rexy said...

yes Hudson is Joel Pineiro with a better ERA. A much better ERA. And WHIP. Who actually gets wins. Which is my argument.

Anonymous said...

No Ted Lilly? Surely he has some serious rebound potential and talent for the 2nd half.

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

I pondered Ted Lilly, but the injury concerns, decreased velocity and K/9 numbers, paired with the beginning of summer heat at Wrigley (FB pitcher). Give me too much concern. I'm a true blue Cubs fan, so trust me, I really wish I could have objectively put him on this list. However, I would not trade you any of the top 50 names listed for Ted Lilly right now. Maybe for some of the names in the 51-60 "on the bubble" range, but def. not the top 50