Fantasy Baseball – Back to Earth Pitchers
Here’s a look at some Pitchers who will have a hard time matching their 2008 production.
Cliff Lee – I’m sorry, but you don’t go 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP without expecting somewhat of a letdown the following year. Even without that remarkable year though his winning percentage was a solid .600 so I don’t expect a major fall in his win total and winning percentage. I could see an 18-10 for him. I think his ERA and WHIP increase slightly to somewhere around his 2005 numbers (3.79 and 1.22). Opposing batters his .275 on him after the break. Even though he managed a 2.83 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in those games, that number is a little alarming. Historically, when his BAA is .268 or higher he has struggled.
Ryan Dempster – Ryan was awesome last year going 17-6 with 187 Ks, a 2.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and a .227 BAA in his first stint as a regular starter since 2003. He’ll be solid this year, as I mentioned in my debate with the Rotoprofessor, but he will take a small step back. I’m putting him on a 17-10, 170 K, 3.30 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, .245 BAA year.
Edinson Vólquez - Vólquez was one of the biggest surprises last year going 17-6 with 206 Ks, a 3.21 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP, and a .232 BAA. Amazing when you consider he’s in a Hitter’s Park. His splits were alarming:
Pre-All-Star Game: 12-3, 2.29 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, .212 BAA
Post-All-Star Game: 5-3, 4.60 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, .260 BAA
Francisco Rodríguez – K-Rod set a record with 62 Saves last year. His previous career high was 47. The ERA and WHIP won’t likely change much, but he’ll save around 15-20 fewer games.
Joakim Soria - The ERA and WHIP will remain outstanding, but I’m not sure he’ll get enough Save opportunities to match the 42 he registered last year. Somewhere around 35 seems like a more reasonable number.
Kerry Wood - I hate to pick on this guy, but I’m not sure the move to the American League will be a smooth one for the oft-injured Closer. Kerry’s ERA, WHIP, and BAA jumped from 3.02, 1.01, and .201 pre-All-Star break to 3.74, 1.25, and .250 in the games after the break. IF he can stay healthy I put him on 28 Save, 3.50 ERA season.
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