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This past week in baseball generated a lot of turbulence in the starting pitcher market.

It is understood that everything in the month of April will be over analyzed and severely scrutinized.

But every year, hysteria and fear forges on when costly commodities under-perform early on, despite their proven track record.

Clayton Kershaw is the most bankable pitcher in Fantasy Baseball and even at his premium price, he consistently returns a profit.

Our focus for this task is to evaluate the confidence game with starting pitchers who’ve proved positive to start the season.

The Confidence Game

Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Detroit Tigers

• 19.1 IP
• 0.00 ERA
• 2.43 FIP
• .268 BABIP
• 19.5 K%
• 11.7 K-BB%
• 67.5 FPK%
• 8.0 SWK%

The Tigers were aggressive this off-season and landed Jordan Zimmermann in free agency. This signing was paramount for a team with playoff aspirations. The former National League stalwart has succeeded early on in his new environment but how confident are you in his continued prosperity as he navigates through the American League landscape?

Prior to the start of the season I viewed Zimmermann as a No. 3 starter and nothing has changed. He does offer No. 2 upside but his lack of strikeouts, pitching his home games at a ballpark that suppresses strikeouts, no longer facing the opposing pitcher and a swing strike percentage consistently around eight-percent (2014 was the outlier) hinders that.

Mat Latos, SP, Chicago White Sox

 

• 18.1 IP
• 0.47 ERA
• 2.94 FIP
• 1.18 BABIP
• 16.2 K%
• 8.8 K-BB%
• 58.8 FPK%
• 5.6 SWK%

The White Sox gave Mat Latos a $3 million guaranteed contract that was viewed with skepticism. Is Latos back? Not so fast, on the surface things appear fine but upon further inspection the skills do not support the surface stats. The three indicators that forecast peril are an unsustainable LOB%, ridiculously low BABIP and lack of swings and misses. If this was a stock, I’d cash it in or avoid investing in it altogether.

Ian Kennedy, SP, Kansas City Royals

• 20.0 IP
• 1.35 ERA
• 2.50 FIP
• .255 BABIP
• 28.0 K%
• 21.3 K-BB%
• 58.7 FPK%
• 12.9 SWK%

There was much bewilderment and curiosity when Kansas City signed Kennedy for $70 million this winter, but the early season returns have been fantastic. Kennedy has been inconsistent over his career to say the least, so the jury is still out but the evidence supports and provides for much confidence going forward. Why I’m excited with Ian going forward? Well, he has an elite K% and a very strong K-BB% and SWK%. Unfortunately, he won’t sustain his lofty LOB% or low HR/FB, especially for a fly ball pitcher and a below average BABIP, but the bones look real good here.

Drew Pomeranz, SP, San Diego Padres

 

• 17.2 IP
• 2.04 ERA
• 2.48 FIP
• .270 BABIP
• 34.7 K%
• 22.2 K-BB%
• 55.6 FPK%
• 17.4 SWK%

Pomeranz is making an early season statement, albeit in a small sample, but if real or somewhat sustainable, then Pomeranz (based on price) may be the most profitable pitcher of 2016. Any time a starting pitcher posts a 34.7 K% and 17.4 SWK% over 17.2 IP, excitement is an understatement. The former fifth overall draft pick in the 2010 June Amateur draft has the pedigree, but is it finally being realized? Drew’s preseason status was sketchy because there was speculation he’d be in the bullpen, then he was given another shot in the rotation during Spring Training and is now turning heads every fifth day in San Diego.

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