2011 Fantasy Baseball: Value Strikeout Options

Mar 20, 2011

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Everybody wants King Felix and Tim Lincecum, but there are some value picks that will help you dominate the strikeout category. All average draft positions are from Mock Draft Central.
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Jonathan Sanchez, San Francisco Giants:  Sanchez was 13th in the majors last year with 205 strikeouts. While he hasn’t had trouble punching at least a guy out per inning his entire career, he does tend to issue a fair amount of free passes. Keep that in mind, but you aren’t going to get an elite strikeout guy at a value without having some risk. Still, his 164 ADP makes him worth the gamble.
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James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays:  While Sanchez took a step in the right direction last year, Big Game James took two in the wrong direction.With an ERA and WHIP north of 5.00 and 1.45 respectively, I can understand if the thought of Shields on your team making you squeamish. His BABIP last year was .341, meaning a rebound should be in order.
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Edwin Jackson, Chicago White Sox:  The dude is filthy. He struck out 181 last year. His WHIP isn’t pretty (1.39 last year, 1.49 career), but he was much improved in the second half posting a 1.34 WHIP compared to 1.44 before the break. The main source of the improvement was cutting his free passes in half, despite pitching just 24-2/3 fewer innings.
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Brett Myers, Houston Astros:  Myers K/9 ratio (7.24) isn’t as good as the other guys, but he proved to be a workhorse piling up 223-2/3 innings pitched. He’s a durable pitcher, and that should help his counting numbers. If he can post similar peripheral numbers, his ADP of 163 will make him a steal.
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Gio Gonzalez, Oakland A’s:  Gio’s K/9 decreased last year to 7.67 after sporting a 9.7 ratio in his first two seasons. Of course his ERA and WHIP went down significantly, which was more than a good trade-off. His ADP of 171 make him a nice choice to round out your rotation.
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Javier Vazquez, Florida Marlins:  He can’t pitch in the Bronx. That seems to be the case after posting the worst season of the past eleven years. The second worst also coming with the Yankees in 2004. He’ll turn 35 this summer so there is a chance that he won’t return to form with the Marlins, but with an ADP of 183 he seems to be worth the risk.
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Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox:  It’s hard to imagine a Red Sox pitcher, specifically Beckett to be a value pick, but his 174 ADP makes him one. Last year was horrible for Beckett. Between his back injury and general ineffectiveness, it was truly a lost season. When healthy he’s still a high-end strikeout pitcher. With the improvements Boston made on offense, he’s easily worth the gamble.
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Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins:  Nolasco has the goods. He has 528 strikeouts in 555 innings over the past three years (8.6 K/9). His WHIP has been 1.28 or lower during that stretch while averaging 14 wins. He’s a nice option with an ADP of 166.
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Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals:  Zimmerman is coming off 2009 Tommy John surgery. He recorded 27 Ks in 31 innings last year and seems to be back to the guy who struck out 92 in 91-1/3 innings prior to his injury. The Nationals will likely shut him down early, but he should be a nice value strikeout guy (ADP 181) while he’s going.
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