The ability to find undervalued players, coupled with the ability to avoid overvalued players could possibly be the biggest key to winning your fantasy baseball leagues. Of course, injuries also play a huge part, but to get off to a great start in your draft and gain that edge, understanding player’s value is key. Today we speak on some overvalued starting pitchers.
I don’t think there is any position that has a swing in value from year to year than starting pitcher. Injury is the biggest factor that plagues starting pitcher, but they are also the most susceptible to a drop off than any other place. Take 2013 as a great example. On the positive side there was Francisco Liriano. Injuries certainly were a factor in his fall from fantasy grace, but then just when everyone wrote him off, he finds a career resurgence in Pittsburgh.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a guy like C.C. Sabathia. He was enjoying a long, successful career, and while age certainly played a part, he fell off the map in a real hurry. To find a guy like Liriano that was on his way back up in 2013, and to stay away from the 2013 version of Sabathia is how to give yourself a chance to win.
It is nearly impossible to predict injuries, so your job is more trying to find guys who are being drafted sooner than they should be for other reasons. It could be because there is a young gun that everyone wants to have on their team, or sometimes a pitcher had a career year and people raise their value too high based on that great season.
Below are three pitchers that I feel are being overvalued this draft season. While I use the rationale above for two, the third is a guy returning from major injury who I am not anticipating coming back as strong as others think. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @fightingchance.
Overvalued Starting Pitchers
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs
Listen, obviously Jake Arrieta is good. He had one of the best seasons for a starting pitcher in a while. He is on a great offensive team, he pitches in the National League, and has been near a strikeout an inning pitcher throughout his career. He had a very unspectacular start to his career, and has turned it around the past two seasons and became the NL Cy Young Winner last season.
All of this success has propelled him to being drafted in the second round. Clearly his last two seasons were good, but are we totally convinced that he is going to be this amazing pitcher that is going to be a perennial 20 game winner and strikeout 250 batters? Personally, I am not sure. I think there is a strong chance that he has some regression in 2016, and even if it isn’t dramatic that will make him fall down the starting pitching rankings.
After Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer, the next ten to twelve pitchers are very close together as far as value is concerned. Personally, I would pass on Arrieta in the second round and wait until the third or perhaps fourth round and get a starter who is likely to have very similar statistics at the end of 2016.
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