Keaton It Real: The Buyers Guide To SP
Ok, it’s not too early to be thinking about whether to phone it in for the year or go for the title. In this series, I’m going to go position by position and highlight a few names I would target if I am going all in for a title this year, and a few names to target for a rebuild. Starting with my favorite position on the diamond, here are the SP.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: I will not be doing RP because they suck. Thank you for understanding.
If you’re competing:
Rick Porcello, BOS, Age: 30
Porcello got off to a very rocky start this year but has been a lot better as of late. His major asset is that he keeps the walks to a minimum. While those guys tend not to be the sexiest dudes on the board, depending on the league settings they can be huge assets. Over the last month, Porcello has posted an ERA of 3.65, a WHIP of 1.16 and a K:BB ratio of 31:6 over 37 innings pitched. Also, it’s important to note he’s been a significantly better second-half pitcher over the course of his career, so jump on him before his line looks better and he’s harder to get.
Madison Bumgarner, SF, Age: 29
Coming off back-to-back injury-shortened seasons, many folks were a bit down on Bumgarner coming into this year, mostly because the strikeouts were very down. This season they’ve taken an uptick again and while it’s not the Bumgarner of old he’s still pretty darn effective. Along with the uptick in Ks he’s got the walks back under control (under 2.00). With the promise of a new destination, this is another guy to jump on now before the MLB trade deadline.
If you’re rebuilding:
Michael Kopech, CWS, Age: 23
Kopech performed well enough in his first cup of coffee in a couple of rain-shortened outings. The ERA didn’t look great, but a high strikeout rate and low walk rate looked very good. He’s young enough that the Tommy John shouldn’t be a huge scare and he’s talented enough not to lose much shine on his fantasy value. Since he’s out for an extended period of time his owner might not want to wait, so you could able to catch a discount. If not, still a real solid chance he’ll be worth the investment.
Matthew Liberatore, TB, Age: 19
Tampa has a long track record of being very successful with developing pitchers and Liberatore is a very good pitching prospect. Put them together, and looks like we a shot at a very very good major league pitcher. Of course, all of the usual warnings about pitching prospects apply blah blah blah, but life’s more fun when you live on the edge. Liberatore already has a filthy curveball that grades out plus now and plus-plus future, with above average command. With the top of the pitching prospect heap rather heavy, Liberatore can sneak under the radar and now is the time to pounce if you’re rebuilding your squad.
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