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  1. Matt Moore over CJ Wilson? Doesn’t ERA, FIP, xFIP, or SIERA count for anything?

    Comment by RMD — June 7, 2012 @ 8:27 am

  2. how is Sale and Morrow in the 3rd tier?

    Comment by Ray — June 7, 2012 @ 8:57 am

  3. Im playing ottoneu this year, so I know my league isn’t necessarily like everyone else’s, but what league are you in where Chris sale belongs in the same tier as Colby Lewis? I own them both, and sale has something like double the points. In fact, sale also has more points than cc sabathia, who I also own. I think sale in the third tier is way way off at this point

    Comment by Eminor3rd — June 7, 2012 @ 9:04 am

  4. Any thoughts on where Oswalt would slot in?

    Comment by Adrock — June 7, 2012 @ 9:06 am

  5. Sale’s also just coming off of two incredible games in a row. If he can keep this pace up I think he starts leapfrogging guys, but let’s not get too hasty.

    And that’s not even taking the elbow issues and potential for the Sox to limit his innings into account.

    Comment by Ben — June 7, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  6. Why the mixture of different DIPS stats? I know xFIP normalized HR/9, but doesn’t SIERA as well? And SIERA takes into account extra factors like batted ball% and K% to make it more accurate, so why measure guys by FIP and xFIP anymore?

    More importantly, if you like one metric, shouldn’t you stick with it when comparing different players? Strikes me as cherry-picking stats if you just throw out the most impressive number regardless of the metric you’re using to compare to other players.

    Comment by Ben — June 7, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  7. Where would Hughes rank? He has to be above Nova, right?

    Comment by William — June 7, 2012 @ 9:46 am

  8. Where’s Phil Hughes on this list? Would you rather have recently demoted Daniel Bard, or the likes of Rick Porcello over him?

    Comment by ryan — June 7, 2012 @ 9:49 am

  9. Good question with a simple answer- our Splits page does not show SIERA, only FIP and xFIP for some reason. So for the full season, I use SIERA, which I prefer, but if looking at monthly splits, I have no choice but to use xFIP.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  10. On Chris Sale, although he has moved up within that third tier, he has actually remained in the same tier since my pre-season ranks. As surprising as it may be, I kind of expected this and projected this from him (check my bold predictions article). I am as big a fan of his as any- I own him in all my leagues. But he has been lucky of course, plus a possible innings cap and the elbow issue means that it’s very difficult to jump to the second tier.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  11. Absolutely, but I think Moore’s deeper metrics like F-Strike% and SwStk% suggest better BB/9 and K/9 rates moving forward and eventually leading to better expected ERA metrics than Wilson. Besides that, he’ll have more strikeouts.

    Still, you have to understand that when a pitcher is only 3 players apart, there is really very little difference between the two!

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 10:07 am

  12. I’d say the Seeing is Believing tier. I’m not a big fan given his new home ball park and declining skills. I actually wouldn’t be shocked if he was near replacement level in 12 team mixed leagues.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  13. Dang, don’t know how I missed Hughes! Probably because when I was checking out all the AL starters to see who I needed to add, I just assumed he was in my rankings and didn’t bother to check.

    I’d slot him somewhere in the middle of the Livin’ On the Edge tier. He has a pretty good SIERA, well below his ERA, but I think his skills will decline significantly. Below average SwStk% and Contact% suggests a drop in strikeout rate and his walk rate is likely to rise. As an extreme fly ball pitcher, he’ll have a tough time getting his ERA below 4.00 even if his HR/FB ratio falls.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 10:13 am

  14. I don’t see how you can put Ervin Santana in that grouping. He has been plain awful this year by nearly any metric you want. I picked him up after someone (foolishly, I thought) dropped him. Needless to say he promptly destroyed my WHIP and ERA.

    Comment by Ira — June 7, 2012 @ 10:15 am

  15. As an owner of Sale and Scherzer I can only snort at the idea of them being in the same tier.

    Comment by MikeInNJ — June 7, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  16. We have to go deeper.

    Comment by William — June 7, 2012 @ 10:50 am

  17. Who would you rather own in a 4×4 AL-only: Paulino, Floyd or Smyly?

    Comment by Michael — June 7, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  18. Same thing with Holland. I don’t know what people like so much about him either. He has a 5+ ERA this year, and a career 4.79/1.40.

    Comment by trailofhoney — June 7, 2012 @ 11:00 am

  19. Agreed re: Santana. He sucks. It’s like he’s completely lost all his command and control and has no idea where any of his pitches are going. He constantly falls behind batters, and when finally forced to throw a strike, he throws a meatball or hanging breaking ball over the plate that hitters promptly crush.

    Maybe it’s just a mechanical issue that the Angels can iron out relatively easily (but why wouldn’t they have done it already if that was the case?) but including him in a tier with Jake Peavy and Jeremy Hellickson is ludicrous.

    NOBODY in their right mind would trade Peavy or Hellickson straight up for Santana.

    And this isn’t even a case where if Santana gets right, he has a tremendous ceiling, where he K’s 10 guys per nine, and doesn’t walk anyone. He will never be that guy. At his best, he’s still a #3ish starter.

    The Santana ranking is baffling.

    Comment by HRB — June 7, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  20. People look at Holland and see upside. They see a guy who they believe is on the verge of a breakout, and if he breaks out, he’s a borderline fantasy #1. When he’s “on” he’s a great strikeout pitcher who doesn’t walk anyone. When he’s “off” he kinda stinks.

    But that’s the attraction with Holland.

    (Note: I am not saying the attraction is justified.)

    Comment by HRB — June 7, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  21. To me, tiers are pretty arbritrary and pretty meaningless. I think most assume them to mean all players in a tier have about the same value, but players are ranked within the tier for a reason. It’s the order in which I value them the rest of the year. There are still 4 pitchers between Sale and Scherzer. And besides, Scherzer is a fantastic buy low guy. Check out his SIERA.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  22. Floyd. Without strikeouts it’s clearly not Paulino and Smyly is a rookie, so who knows how long his good skills will last.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 11:40 am

  23. I feel like Verlander should be the only one in the top tier. I’d put a healthy Weaver there too but that’s it. Is Fher ever going to be the same pitcher again? All of last year and the first third of this year has shown him to be a 3.4ish ERA and 1.2+ WHIP pitcher who will be hard pressed to ever win 15 games with that lineup.

    Comment by John — June 7, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  24. Santana’s F-Strike% and Zone% both better than league average and pretty close to his career averages. No reason his walk rate should be so high. His season has mostly been bad luck from a 23% HR/FB ratio. I wouldn’t trade Peavy or Hellickson for Santana either, that’s why they are ranked above Ervin!

    Holland is pitching exactly the same as last year. SIERA the last three years have been nearly identical, around 3.90.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 11:44 am

  25. If you think Verlander has a true talent .255 BABIP skill, then yes, he’s in a tier of his own. I don’t think he does though and therefore believe his ERA should be closer to 3.00 the rest of the year, which puts him a lot closer to the rest.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  26. Ricky Romero at the bottom of tier 4 between the excrable Gavin Floyd and Ervin Santana? What universe are you living in? I don’t own Romero (and until recently I did own Santana) but that’s pretty insulting.

    Comment by bat guano — June 7, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  27. Was leaving Millwood off intentional? He’s certainly no world killer, but in my 30-team contract-based league, he’s serving the back end of my rotation quite well. Then again, he’s 125 years old, so I could see leaving him off ROS.

    Comment by Tex — June 7, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  28. Yes, intentional. I could have thrown him into the last tier, but didn’t see the point. SIERA over 4.00, nothing special in strikeouts, bad offensive support.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  29. Romero and Santana’s SIERA are nearly identical, while Floyd is sporting a mid-3.00 SIERA and makes for a nice buy low, if he’s even still on a team in your league!

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  30. That may be, but our league doesn’t award points for SIERA (perhaps there are some SIERA based leagues out there, but I don’t know of any), and I would think good vs. bad performance in the normal fantasy categories would count for something in doing these tiers.

    Comment by bat guano — June 7, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  31. Thanks for some awesome (and very reasonable) rankings here. The guy who did the NL rankings yesterday was 100% out of his mind.

    Comment by Armpit Arnie — June 7, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  32. So I guess Mr. Podhorzer would trade Ricky Romero for Ervin Santana. Any takers? Should we call the Angels?

    Comment by bat guano — June 7, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  33. I’m not sure that comparing these rankings to yesterday’s NL rankings should be the standard (those were indeed laughable), and at least Mr. Podhorzer is trying to defend his rankings in the comments, but there are a few glaring problems here (see discussion above of E. Santana, Scherzer, Floyd, etc.). Colby Lewis is a problem too. Seems like maybe HR rate problems are unduly minimized.

    Comment by bat guano — June 7, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

  34. Mike, I thought you said previously we shouldn’t take a spot or two within tiers very seriously, it was mostly about the tiers…so I assumed you thought Peavy, Santana, Hellickson were roughly equal.

    Comment by Bob — June 7, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  35. Must’ve been a different author.

    Comment by Bob — June 7, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  36. yes, kudos to Pods for having reasonable rankings and being willing to hang out in the comments and discuss his decisions with rational posters. Dan Wade should hang his head in shame.

    Comment by batpig — June 7, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

  37. I’m going to have to take issue with Santana too. All of the metrics are troubling:

    - K-rate has dropped to 6.42 K/9, his lowest rate since 2006
    - SwStr% has dropped to a well below average 7.5%, his worst since 2007
    - Yes, his F-Strike% is fine and HR/FB% will regress, but his FIP/xFIP/SIERRA metrics are horrible and he’s actually benefited from BABIP luck (.260)

    Here’s the thing — even when he’s good Santana isn’t really helping your ratios (4.28 career ERA, 1.31 career WHIP) and he’s got a pretty mediocre K-rate. Where is the upside here? At least with GFloyd you can point to his SIERRA and expect improvement… Santana should be at the bottom of the next tier down.

    Comment by batpig — June 7, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  38. SIERA is a better predictor of future ERA than ERA itself, so that’s why looking at SIERA is useful even if your league doesn’t use that as a category.

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  39. Thanks…pitching is tough. There is most disagreement between fantasy owners here, so it’s impossible to make everyone happy. But I’m always willing to explain my rationale here in the comments!

    Comment by Mike Podhorzer — June 7, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

  40. to be a dick, it’s worth pointing out that the people who thought that morrow had difficulty pitching with runners on haven’t had their hypothesis disproven. the absurd babip is like taking a gun to a knife fight. it’s going to have the last word.

    having said that, what do you make of the k-rate going forward? it seems like he’s generating more groundballs by “pitching to contact” or rather inducing more weak contact, which is what that phrase is supposed to describe, i think?

    Comment by ccoop — June 7, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

  41. I think you are underrating Brandon McCarthy. Perhaps because he doesnt’ strike out a lot of hitters? That’s the only reason I can think of that would have Hammel, Floyd and Santana ahead of him at this point. Still…

    Comment by Nittanychris — June 8, 2012 @ 9:07 am

  42. Woud you trade Lincecum for Moore? A month ago I would not have given up Lincecum for Moore, but today I am very close. What do you think?

    Comment by JKB — June 8, 2012 @ 9:35 am

  43. Once again, Mike, nice song selections for tiers. I particularly like the My Chemical Romance “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” tier. If Patrick keeps ribbing you for your lack of a love life, at least you know your music. He probably has neither. Oh, and I like the actual tiers as well. If it proves anything, don’t fall in love with players you know don’t belong in the upper tiers, just use them and then get out (channeling some Rick James “Fire and Desire” there).

    Comment by KJ — June 9, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

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