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2014 Predictions

Projected Standings and Playoff Predictions

AL West | AL Central | AL East
NL West | NL Central | NL East


Below you’ll find our Daily SP Rankings for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I can’t guarantee that matchups won’t change as pitchers are swapped in and out, but those changes should be very minimal. As always, here are a few things I glean from the rankings:

  • Saturday has a few non-aces rating pretty highly thanks to a few great matchups.
  • Sunday has a limited slate, but only three of the 17 confirmed pitchers are average or better.
  • Monday gives us more unappealing streaming options, so don’t expect to find a good spot starter to begin next week’s H2H matchups.

For Friday’s rankings, click here. For an explanation of how these rankings were calculated, click here.

These rankings account for atmospheric conditions with data provided by BaseballVMI.com.

VMI-200x200While Park Factors account for the yearly average air density at a ballpark, they don’t account for game-by-game changes, which BaseballVMI.com tracks. With this data, our rankings are now more accurate than ever! If you’re interested in exploring what BaseballVMI.com can do for your fantasy roster, check out their fantasy package.

How to Read These Rankings

  • Rating: 100 is average and higher is better
  • IP/K/ERA/WHIP: Projected stats for the game in question
  • W%/L%: Likelihood of the SP picking up a Win or Loss
  • PTS: Projected points total in daily DraftStreet leagues (where we play)

Click the tabs at the bottom to cycle through the days.

Trouble viewing the embedded table? Click here to visit the Google Spreadsheet!

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Salazar's command hasn't been there in the early going (Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Salazar’s command hasn’t been there in the early going (Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images)

For the first three innings Danny Salazar was efficient, threw a lot of strikes, and missed a lot of bats. However, near the end of the fourth inning he lost command of his fastball. The command issues got even worse in the fifth inning as he started the inning by walking Alex Avila and Alex Gonzalez on 10 pitches1.

After the first two walks he fell behind in counts and eventually the hitters started to barrel him up. Salazar’s raw stuff is so good that he has one of the highest fantasy ceilings, but if his command doesn’t improve he is going to be maddening to own. Next week he’s a two start pitcher with two extremely favorable matchups: home against the Royals then at the Giants. If I owned him in a deep league I would roll the dice and start him, but if I was in a 10-team mixed I would probably keep him on my bench (unless you’re in H2H and you’ve either won or lost ERA by the time the Giants start comes around).

Despite a very good statistical start to the season, I’m not buying Kyle Gibson. He doesn’t miss a lot of bats and walks too many guys (eight walks in 11 innings). He generates a ton of ground balls (56%) and since he doesn’t strike anyone out he is going to be reliant on his defense to make outs, which means he’ll be more BABIP-dependent from start-to-start. Gibson is only a spot starter in leagues as shallow as a 12-team mixed.

Blue Jays Notes

R.A. Dickey gave up five earned runs, walked five and allowed seven hits in 4.1 innings against the Twins. On the surface the five walks would indicate he didn’t have good command of his knuckleball, but for the most part he did. That changed in the fifth inning. After striking out the first batter he proceeded to give up five hits in a row. In 23 innings this year he’s allowed 23 hits and 15 walks and has looked bad in three of his four starts. The teams that have hit him hard are teams that are patient and take a lot of pitches. When he’s in two strike counts batters are not chasing the knuckle ball on the outer half of the strike zone.

By all accounts Dickey is healthy and the velocity on his knuckleball is normal so maybe his performance will improve, but next week he faces both the Orioles and Red Sox at home. In the preseason I was a big believer in Dickey as I projected him to have a 3.50 ERA with 220-plus innings. While it’s only been four starts, I don’t recommend starting him.

Casey Janssen started the season on the DL with lower back problems. He has been rehabbing, but he will be shut down for the next few days with lower-back soreness. Anyone who has lower back pain knows you can only manage back pain and that it will never fully go away. Sergrio Santos’ fantasy owners should continue to hold on to him even after Janssen comes back because I wouldn’t be surprised if Janssen makes another trip to the DL.

Trevor Bauer Update

Yesterday Trevor Bauer, in Triple-A, threw six scoreless innings while striking out nine and allowing only six base runners (one walk). Bauer is going to be in the majors sooner rather than later. First of all, he’s throwing strikes consistently and is not walking batters. In his only major league start the biggest change I noticed was his delivery was more repeatable and more balanced, which allowed him to throw strikes consistently while still missing bats. Pitching mechanics guru Doug Thorburn recently went into greater detail about the positive changes in Bauer’s mechanics, which leads me to believe the numbers he’s putting up in the minors and the results in the majors are both repeatable.

Bauer is currently in the minors, but his only roadblock to joining the rotation is Carlos Carrasco, who is not good. Since 2013 Carrasco has a 6.95 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. If the Indians have any playoff aspirations Bauer is going to have to be in their rotation. If you can afford to use a roster spot on him you should pick him up because the tremendous upside he showed as the third overall pick in 2011 draft is still there. [1] Why any pitcher would not attack minor league hitters such as Avila and Gonzalez makes no sense to me.

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We’re getting right into the madness today so strap yourselves in! Oh, and read Foul Paul! every Friday and follow me @alcohpaulism.

First we’re going to start with some baseball tweets that I came across this week.

Baseball Tweets 

Stanton

fernandez

cubsColabelloa'slee

alexei17 Signs That Your Fantasy Season Is Doomed

In times of desperation, we all do crazy things. When the Titanic was sinking, those weird musicians started playing music instead of doing anything constructive. If I was one of those musicians you bet your ass I’d be running for a life raft throwing women and children into the ocean. A violin is weapon when you need it to be, folks.

Despite how many families I might have ruined along the way, guess what, I’d be alive. Don’t play the violin, do something about your impending failure. Here are some ways to tell if you’ve panicked and have started playing music while the ship slowly sinks around you.

  1. If you added Andre Ethier.
  2. If you ever said, “as long as Bartolo Colon stikes out 14 guys tonight, I should win the week.”
  3. If you have literally prayed for rain so that your opponents players get rained out.
  4. If Dee Gordon is leading your team in homers. With 1.
  5. If you have contemplated buying a Brain Dozier jersey after his awesome start.
  6. If you’ve started reading fantasy football articles.
  7. If you’re reading Foul Paul! looking for actual advice.
  8. If you check TMZ to make sure Yasiel Puig is going to make it to the game on time. Or at all. Or without being arrested on the way to the stadium. Or deported.
  9. If you thought about naming your future daughter after your best player, “Jacoby.”
  10. If you had anything at all invested in R.A. Dickey.
  11. If the rationale on keeping a certain player is “he can’t be any worse, right?”
  12. If you watch Fever Pitch to feel better about your fantasy baseball addiction.
  13. If you got way too excited over Victor Martinez’s surprise start at catcher.
  14. If, God forbid, you decided to add Adeiny Hechavarria.
  15. If Khris Davis is the best Chris Davis you own.
  16. If you decided to drink a Mountain Dew. Ever. My stomach huuuuuuurts.
  17. If you have an ounce of faith in Matt Lindstrom.

Be sure to read next weeks Foul Paul! or else we will all wonder why the Minnesota Twins decided not to put a roof on their stadium. 

Bonus Tweet!

baseballproftweet

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