The Dynasty Guru’s Top 200 Dynasty Starting Pitchers, Nos. 21-40

It’s the time of the year where we offer congratulations to those of you brave dynasty league owners that survived the offseason. The greatness that 2016 will surely offer is upon us and that means we’ll be spending the next six weeks moving our way through the positional landscape, offering thoughts on the respective values of roughly 700 players throughout the process.

We sincerely hope that you enjoy the countless hours of hard work that went into these rankings and continue to support The Dynasty Guru by showing your appreciation through this link or via the splendid ‘donate’ button located on the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated.

Players are ranked where they played 20 or more games at during the 2015 season at their highest position on the defensive spectrum, e.g. Chris Davis played 30 games in the outfield, meaning he’s an outfielder for our purposes. We can’t assume that a player will have eligibility at a position in the future (so no Hanley Ramirez at 1b for these rankings) or that a player will lose eligibility at a position in the future. This should clear things up for all non-Javier Baez/Jurickson Profar players, and we’ll do our best to explain where those players are ranked when the time comes. All DH types, such as Evan Gattis and David Ortiz, appear on the 1B rankings, as we will not be doing a UTIL rankings list.

We start our next grouping of starting pitchers off with a hurler who continues to rise up the rankings after being left for dead as recently as 2013:

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Grading the Unexpected Aces: Archer, Keuchel, Hammel, Miller and Pineda

We are getting close to the halfway point of the baseball season and there are several pitchers having great years despite low pre-season rankings. All of the pitchers below are currently ranked in the top 25 starting pitchers in baseball in 5×5 leagues. Are they flukes or can we expect them to continue pitching at an elite level?

Chris Archer, Rays — 7-4 Record, 1.84 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 108 Strikeouts in 83 innings.

What is not to like about Chris Archer? He was never expected to be this good, but his performance is totally real. He has an ultra-elite 11.71 K/9 strikeout rate, a very good 2.17 BB/9 walk rate, a top 10 fastball velocity and a devastating slider.  He has been a bit fortunate with Continue reading

The Dynasty Guru’s Top 200 Dynasty Starting Pitchers, Nos. 41-75

Congratulations on surviving another off-season. Now that the new year is upon us, it’s time to spend the next month  traveling across the positional landscape, labeling players with numbers that correspond to their value. It’s the very definition of freedom. A ton of hard work was put into these rankings, and will continue to be put in as we bring you just an ungodly amount of information over the next month. We hope you enjoy the product we’ve created, and if you’d like to show appreciation for that work you can do so through this link, or via the donate button on in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

We’ll continue the list with an underrated hurler who won’t stop putting up numbers despite a hideous delivery:

41) Alex Wood, Atlanta Braves (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 83)

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TDGX Misses: Cliff Lee, Shelby Miller, Everth Cabrera, Billy Butler, & Andre Ethier

As the fantasy season winds down so too does the inaugural season of our Dynasty Guru Experts League. We’ve written pretty extensively about the comings and goings on in the league on these pages. It has certainly been a fun exercise for us as managers to be able to so openly discuss strategy among competitors, and hopefully it’s been an illuminating source of public disclosure for you as readers. So as a final act of transparency for the season I used this space last week to talk about some of the players I nailed correctly, and now I get the pleasure of going through all of my numerous failures. Realistically I could just run through my top seven picks, because I managed to whiff to varying degrees on all of them. My first two picks, Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria, both produced substantially below draft value returns, and perhaps most troublingly for a dynasty format both look like shaky propositions going forward. But here now is a cautionary tale of my five worst misses.

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Ben’s 2014 All-Disappointment Team

It’s Monday morning, and the entire world is grumpy. I am part of the world, and so also grumpy.

Rather than write a positive, insightful or analytical column, I’m going to vent. Many of my teams are somewhere between fourth and seventh place in my respective leagues, and this was not a year in which I was planning to rebuild. This is a fact that makes me angry.

So here you go: a complete lineup of suck that has drained the life from many of my redraft and dynasty league teams alike. Thanks for nothing, professional athletes who have failed to live up to my lofty, unreasonable standards.

C: Carlos Santana, CLE
1B: Eric Hosmer. KC
2B: Jedd Gyorko, SD
3B: Brett Lawrie, TOR
SS: J.J. Hardy, BAL Continue reading

Time to Worry About These Struggling Aces? Verlander, Price, Cole, Zimmerman and Miller

This week I will take a look at some really good starting pitchers who have not met our expectations. All of these guys were highly ranked and drafted early and their owners were depending on them to perform much better than they have thus far. We have now played more than 1/3 of the season, so if these guys are going to bounce back it is now or never. Let’s figure out which of these guys you should try to dump and which of them you should trade for while their owners in your league are panicking over their nasty stats.

Justin Verlander — Yahoo preseason rank #10, current rank #263 among SP
6-5 Record, 61 Ks in 86 innings, 4.19 ERA, 1.47 WHIP Continue reading

#TDGX Status Check: Time to Make the Donuts

Last week I put together a snapshot of where my team stands in TDGX at the two-month point, and this week we’ll turn the page from past performance to future performance. Since that post my team has gained some tenuous ground from 127.0 points and a seventh place standing to 136.5 points and 6th place. I took steps forward in Runs (+3), WHIP (+3), strikeouts (+2), and runs (+1.5) to make up the ground, and currently sit 4th in total offense and 9th in total pitching, about 40 points behind the league leader (give or take). It’s a solid position, but if I’m going to make a run this year I’ve got some work to do to make up some ground over the next couple months heading to the trade deadline.

Over the course of my analysis last week I identified top-end starting pitching and the tandem of batting average and homeruns as my most pressing holes in need of addressing at this point, and that’s where we’ll pick up this week. The hour is nigh for aggressive action if you’re looking to compete this season. Time to rise and shine and figure out what comes next.

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#TDGX Status Check: Building the Foundation for a Deep League Run

We’re almost exactly two months into the baseball season, and I’ve always liked to use the start of June as the jumping off point to make my first real soul-searching conclusions about the squad(s) I’m fielding. We’ve reached a stage of the season where a decent number of stats have gained a semblance of statistical significance, and we can start to separate some early season performance from the security blanket of small sample size. So with the spirit of self-evaluation in the thick air, let’s take a look under the hood of my TDGX squad. In Part I this week I’ll check in on how the team has performed to date, and then in Part II next week I’ll plot and scheme on what I should be looking to accomplish over the next phase of the season.

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TDGX Player Notes: Shelby Miller, Ryan Howard, & Andre Ethier

One of the reasons I was so excited about Bret’s idea to create TDGX this year is that I knew the massively deep league structure would provide me with an almost endless supply of players to write about from the vantage point of someone with a vested interest in their performance. So every couple of weeks I plan to use this space to check in on a handful of players on my TDGX team in order to take a deeper look at their current performance trends. Hopefully this’ll be a helpful exercise for both owners of these players as well as managers who might (or might not yet) be considering acquiring or trading them.

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TDGX Motto: “Relax. It’s a Long Season.”

Disaster struck my squad in Week One. I sat in 17th place out of 20 in the TDGX league, with some significant warning lights flashing already. My first round draft pick, Ryan Braun, can’t feel the thumb on his throwing hand. More importantly for our purposes, that thumb happens to be kind of important for swinging the bat, something Braun did not do well at all out of the gate. My elite speed guys didn’t steal a single base. One of my primary AVG/Runs guys, Omar Infante, took a fastball to the face and went down like Eddie Richardson taking a left hook from Mike Tyson. On the pitching side, my #1 starter gave up 8 runs in his debut start. My ostensible #6 starter, a late-game pick I was extremely proud of, mind you, lost out on a rotation spot to Lucas Harrell. Lucas Harrell. A guy who had a 5.86 ERA and 89:88 strikeout-to-walk ratio in over 150 innings last season. And there still exists no plausible scenario in which anybody on my roster will log even one save this season. Clearly it was time to sell, sell, SELL!

Or not. Deep breath, kids. It’s the second week of the season. A couple solid days in a row already boosted me back up to 11th as of this writing, and the larger takeaway is that it is way, way too early to consider drastic measures of any kind. Even if your team hasn’t gotten off to the banner start you envisioned when you cackled maniacally to yourself in the dark after your draft ended, it’s important to not overreact to small sample sizes. Still, it’s never too early to start evaluating your team’s performance, so that when the time comes you’ll be in the best position possible to make the most appropriate moves. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the early storylines with my team in the context of early season strategy.

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