Monday, March 11, 2013

MAKING THE PITCH: Boston Red Sox

Jon Lester's 2013 projections suggest that he's no longer an elite starting pitcher.
(photo courtesy of Mike McCann's Field of Fotos)


Felipe M

We take a look at the projected starting rotations and closer situations of every MLB team.  Of course, this will come from a fantasy perspective.  All cited stats are based on 2013 projections. 


For our review of the Baltimore Orioles, click here

Let's take a look at the Boston Red Sox.

PROBABLE STARTING ROTATION


  1. Jon Lester
    • Good: K/9 OF 8.12 makes him an intriguing option to be a potential #1 or #2 starter on your rotation.  1.01 HR/9 shows he can limit the long ball.
    • Bad: WHIP of 1.34 is affected by a high 8.87 H/9.  BB/9 of 3.20 is similar to Chris Tillman's. In terms of having a similar walk rate and K/9, Lester is close to emulating Bud Norris.
  2. Ryan Dempster 
    • Good: 8.39 K/9 is still good, no matter how old a pitcher might be.  1.04 HR/9 is still a pretty good indicator--along with a 3-year average Groundout/Flyball ratio of 1.2-- that he might still be good enough to keep the ball low in the strike zone.
    • Bad: WHIP of 1.31 makes him less desirable.  3.25 BB/9 is manageable, but H/9 has to be lower.  Currently, he's projected to be over 8.5 in that category.
  3. Clay Buchholz
    • Good: 6.46 K/9 still makes him a somewhat serviceable pitcher.  HR/9 of 1.01, just like the previous two pitchers mentioned, show that he has the skill set to keep the ball low in the strike zone.
    • Bad: Unfortunately, he might be locating the ball too low in the zone.  1.96 K/BB is close unusable in fantasy baseball.  1.35 WHIP makes him irrelevant.
  4. Felix Doubront
    • Good: 8.16 K/9 makes Doubront a sleeper for 2013.  
    • Bad: 3.68 BB/9 raises his WHIP to 1.36.  Just like Buchholz, Doubront is teetering on the brink of irrelevance in fantasy circles.
CLOSERS
  1. Joel Hanrahan
    • Good: Hanrahan is expected to have a K/9 of 10.57.  Adequate K/BB of 2.96, H/9 of 7.0, and WHIP of 1.17 are similar to fellow closer, Chris Perez. HR/9 is a minute .71.
    • Bad: 3.57 BB/9 is a tad high.  Other closers with similar BB/9: Chris Perez, Steve Cishek, and Greg Holland.
FANTASY ADVICE

The common theme with all the starting pitchers is that they are projected to have high WHIPs and BB/9 of 3.20+.  But what makes them intriguing options is that they can rack up the K's--even Buchholz. If you draft smart and not depend on the big names that these pitchers carry, they can prove to be very useful on your staff.  This cannot be reiterated enough: DON'T DRAFT THE NAME; draft the numbers.

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