Chris Sale struck out 14 Houston Astros yesterday and took the loss. He gave up just two runs in eight innings and, because it’s worth repeating, he struck out 14 batters. And he took the loss. Ugh.
So is this a lesson that we should throw up our hands at pitcher wins? Well, yeah, that’s been the case for some time. But they matter in fantasy, particularly in daily leagues – in DraftStreet, a win is worth 1.5 points and a loss is worth -0.75. Sale was a huge point getter last night, but he could have got an additional 2.25 if the Sox could, you know, hit.
So what’s a daily leaguer to do? You could avoid pitchers on bad teams altogether, skipping White Sox pitchers, Angels pitchers, Astros pitchers? No. You just can’t limit your player pool like that. And a guy like Sale was still worth a heck of a lot.
Sale is a good example that you can’t budget for wins (if you’re in a double-up style format, where you’re aiming for XX number of points and not just trying to aim for the “most”). But wins and losses are pretty variable – even Joe Blanton’s got one!
The moral of the story is that it’s tough to predict wins and losses, so it doesn’t make sense to budget for them or to chase or avoid match-ups just based on the W.
The Daily Five
Wade Miley -$9,435
I’m not a big Miley fan in general, but there are very few bargain pitchers on the bump today, and Miley comes cheap. He also comes in San Diego, a park that is friendly to pitchers, and with cold temperatures, which help supress runs. Miley’s FIP and xFIP are 4.25 and 4.04, respectively, so there’s hope that he’s not as bad as his 4.89 ERA, too. The HR/FB rate has been unfriendly but he does a great job keeping the ball out of the air – the low fly ball rate and the date in Petco should be enough together to extinguish any homer potential and keep his ratios in check.
Addison Reed – $2,881
I usually don’t recommend a reliever here but hey, most daily formats require them, so why not take a stab today. Reed hasn’t pitched since the 11th after pitching four straight days, so he’s getting into the territory where he might get an inning regardless of the game situation, just to get him work. Add in the strikeout-friendly Astros match-up and Reed is as good a bet as any reliever to swoop in and deliver at least a strikeout or two today.
Tyler Colvin – $9,400
Love me some Tyler Colvin. The lefty faces Jonathan Pettibone, who surrenders a league-average amount of fly balls, a bad strategy at Coors Field with 80-degree heat. Isolated showers are expected but the risk of a cancellation is pretty low. Instead, it will be Colvin bringing the thunder (see what I did there?).
Chris Davis – $9,144
I know it’s a good chunk of the budget and he strikes out a fair amount, raising the bar for a break-even performance, but Davis is only fifth in first baseman pricing and he’s, well, the best. He also faces John Lackey, who is the John Lackey-est, and the game is expected to be very warm with a wind blowing to right, helping the lefty slugger.
Daniel Nava – $9,400
Nava has the same set-up as Davis in environmental terms and also draws Sweaty Freddy Garcia. Nava has been pounding righties all year long and will hit from the left side, further improving his environmental set-up. It’s a good chunk of change to invest in one game between these two guys but there’s a zero percent chance of rain, limiting your downside risk. There’s also a zero percent chance a Lackey-Garcia match-up ends up being a pitcher’s duel.
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