Sunday, March 18, 2012

Starting Rotations AL East

The AL East, probably the toughest division in baseball to pitch in every year.  Many pitchers avoid going to this division as they did years ago in Colorado before the humidifiers. The failures in this division far outnumber the successes throughout the last decade. With artificial turfs in two stadiums, short porches in another two and the green monster in Fenway. Where can a pitcher catch a break?  The average runs per game in the AL East parks is nearly .5 runs greater than the AL average overall. That there says it all.
1. RHP Tommy Hunter
2. RHP Jason Hammel
3. LHP Wei-Yin Chen
4. RHP Jake Arrieta
5. LHP Dana Eveland

Both Hammel (Colorado) and Eveland (Albuquerque of the PCL) have pitched in unfriendly pitcher environments in the past and have done better than league average. Will that translate into success in this division? Probably not for fantasy purposes. No one in this rotation is worth owning unless you are in a very deep AL only league. I just completed a 16 team pert draft last night and only Wei-Yin Chen was drafted.
1. LHP Jon Lester
2. RHP Josh Beckett
3. RHP Clay Buchholz
4. RHP Daniel Bard
5. RHP Alfredo Aceves

Though Bard and Aceves are being converted from the bullpen to the starting rotation I am not sure both will land a starting gig. Aceves will probably be the one out. If that happens the Red Sox have both RHP Vicente Padilla and RHP Aaron Cook to fill in at the 5th rotation spot. Do not be surprised if Oswalt finds himself pitching in Boston come mid-April if the Red Sox come out of the gate slow. I have such a hard time endorsing anyone who has to play the Yankees, Rays, and Blue Jays 18x a year. If I had to draft a pitcher at their current ADP from the Red Sox it would be Bard. He has dual eligibility and will get the other team’s 4th or 5th starter for the months of April and May.
1. LHP CC Sabathia
2. RHP Michael Pineda
3. RHP Hiroki Kuroda
4. RHP Ivan Nova
5. RHP Phil Hughes

When you look at the Yankees rotation 2-5 does anyone look like a #2 starter for a big league club, not to mention your fantasy team. Outside of Sabathia I wouldn’t draft anyone. Pineda is not a #2 and finished the year 1-4 with a 5.14 ERA.  Kuroda is a below career .500 pitcher. Hughes has not been the same since his injury.
1. RHP James Shields
2. LHP David Price
3. RHP Jeremy Hellickson
4. RHP Wade Davis
5. LHP Matt Moore

Outside of the Phillies this may be the best rotation in baseball. Real or fantasy wise. I like everyone, especially Moore in the 5th spot. He is clearly better than any 5th spot starter in all of baseball and that should help him gain a few more wins. Big game James will not duplicate the innings or CG that he did last year but will still be solid. Just  look for some regression in all fantasy counting stats across the board. Like the other rotations in this division in pains me to draft anyone who pitches on these teams. I just see much better value and weaker competition elsewhere.
1. LHP Ricky Romero
2. RHP Brandon Morrow
3. LHP Brett Cecil
4. RHP Henderson Alvarez
5. RHP Dustin McGowan

I may be sounding like a broken record but I just cannot justify drafting from these teams in this division. I could see having them on my bench and streaming them in on 2 start weeks or when they are facing the Royals, Indians, and Twins. I do think Morrow is solid late rounds pick to add to your K category. He should be the last SP off the board with 200 K potential.

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