In order to start off this week’s edition of the 2017 Rest-Of-The-Season Rankings, I want to clear up the title of this article. It is never good to have an unclear title.
No, the title is not referring to starting pitchers revamping themselves in the actually MLB. As I am sure all of you (not all?) realized, I missed last week’s article. To make up for that, I started my project of fully tearing down and starting over again with these rankings, starting with the starting pitchers.
So while I did base the rest of the positions off of the previous version of these rankings (with changes to reflect the last two weeks, obviously, just no revamp), I will end up revamping the entirety of these rankings within the coming weeks to get these to where I want them to be.
For this week though, we focused on starting pitchers. Before I reveal the rankings, let’s go over the stock changes over the past two weeks in my rankings, but as you might have guessed, only go over the starting pitchers.
2017 Rest-Of-The-Season Rankings
Note: the following two sections do not include every single player with large jumps and falls in the rankings. Since I totally revamped the rankings, there were a lot of big changes, so I couldn’t document all of them. I tried to include the most notable ones below.
All of the players in this Stock Up section have a similarity. They all are pitchers who haven’t been elite in the past but are performing that way this season. In past editions, we have failed to represent their successes this season because we expected them to bottom out. That never happened.
Alex Wood, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The first, and most extreme of these players, is Alex Wood. Clayton Kershaw may be the man for the Dodgers, but Alex Wood sure has done his best impression this season. His ridiculous 11-1 record and 2.17 ERA have had a large contribution towards the Dodgers’ MLB best rotation. Wood is only 26, and actually, has a 3.17 ERA, so this season may not even be a fluke. That is a scary thought considering the Dodgers’ success this year when Wood is on the top of his game.
Ivan Nova, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Ivan Nova had been a solid innings eater for the Yankees for a long time. He enjoyed great success after a midseason move that found him on the Pirates, and he finished out the season strong. That success has carried over into this season, as he carries a 10-6 record with a 3.27 ERA. Although he doesn’t provide many strikeouts (73 on the season), he has been a great contributor in the wins, ERA and WHIP categories so far this year and shows no signs of slowing down.
Jimmy Nelson, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
Jimmy Nelson has been a big part of the Brewers’ surprise success this season. His 8-5 record, 3.43 ERA, 1.2 WHIP and 132 strikeouts also have made him a big part of Fantasy teams this year in all categories. There isn’t anything else to say other than he should be a solid rock in anyone’s rotation down the stretch.
Gio Gonzalez, SP, Washington Nationals
The most accomplished player on this list, Gio Gonzalez is enjoying the success that he hasn’t seen since the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He has a solid 8-5 record, but his 2.83 ERA would be a career best, and his 119 strikeouts and 1.2 WHIP aren’t shabby either.
Similar to the players in the Stock Up section, all of the Stock Down players have a glaring similarity. All of the following pitchers have a track history of success but haven’t played like their usual selves this season. We failed to represent these players correctly in these rankings because we expected a turnaround. After all, these are Rest-Of-The-Season Rankings, not Knee-Jerk Reaction Rankings.
Masahiro Tanaka, SP, New York Yankees
With that said, the first player that meets that criteria is Masahiro Tanaka. Despite the Yankees’ success, Tanaka hasn’t been able to take advantage of that and apply it to his own numbers. His 7-9 record is below what is expected but isn’t terrible, but his 5.37 ERA is almost two points among his previous career high. A 1.3 WHIP isn’t awful, and neither are his 118 strikeouts, but his numbers definitely don’t support the price that his owners paid for him this season. Luckily, as with all of the players on the Stock Down list, it isn’t a totally lost cause, and there is definitely a chance that they could improve down the rest of the way. We just haven’t seen it yet, so that results in a drop
A 1.3 WHIP isn’t awful, and neither are his 118 strikeouts, but his numbers definitely don’t support the price that his owners paid for him this season. Luckily, as with all of the players on the Stock Down list, it isn’t a totally lost cause, and there is definitely a chance that they could improve down the rest of the way. We just haven’t seen it yet, so that results in a drop in the rankings.
Kyle Hendricks, SP, Chicago Cubs
Hendicks has followed up a Greg Maddux-esque, Cy-Young winning breakout year (don’t forget the ring, either) with health issues and only a 4.09 ERA when healthy. I believe that the Cubs will get hot late and Hendricks could very well be one of the beneficiaries of that, but at this point, I need to see it first.
Johnny Cueto, SP, San Francisco Giants
Johnny Cueto has definitely been one of the biggest pitching busts this season. He has followed a great year last year in which he sported a 2.79 ERA, an 18-5 record, and an All-Star Game start with a 6-7 record and a 4.59 ERA. His 103 strikeouts have been decent, but his 1.4 WHIP isn’t great and to top it all off, he now finds himself on the disabled list. I think when he comes back, the Giants could go on a little run with everyone finally healthy, and that could help spark Cueto, but like Hendricks, we will have to see it first.
Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander is another one of the biggest pitching busts this year. He has followed an amazing season last year that reminded us of his old MVP-winning 2011 self with a 5-7 record, a close to career-high 4.54 ERA, and close to a 1.5 WHIP. The strikeouts will always be there (111 on the year so far), but the rest has definitely been rough. Luckily, there is a possibility of Verlander getting traded, and that may be what he needs to get back on track. Even if he doesn’t end up on the move, he is so talented that he could just figure it out
Luckily, there is a possibility of Verlander getting traded, and that may be what he needs to get back on track. Even if he doesn’t end up on the move, he is so talented that he could just figure it out anyway.
2017 Rest-Of-The-Season Rankings
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