Big Board’s Most Undervalued 2016: Pitchers

It’s day three of the Most Undervalued series! I’ve put together a list of the most undervalued players equal to the Big Board in each of of the major sites. I’ve washed-up my weightier to stave top-end players that are tough to specifically target in drafts, so these should all be guys that you could reasonably plan to draft. Also, I’m not going to be recommending guys like Iglesias that everyone often agrees is a “sleeper”. Don’t go crazy drafting these guys way older than their ADP, but a good tideway would be to split the difference between their Big Board rank and their ADP, and aim to typhoon them virtually there. That said, let’s get on with it! The pitchers:

  Team ESPN   Team CBS   Team Yahoo
SP1 Masahiro Tanaka   Chris Sale   Jeff Samardzija
SP2 Lance McCullers   Wei-yin Chen   Patrick Corbin
SP3 Jake Odorizzi   Drew Smyly   Rubby de la Rosa
RP1 Jason Grilli   Cody Allen   Will Smith
RP2 Sean Doolittle   A.J. Ramos   Danny Farquhar



SP – Masahiro Tanaka, 100th BB, 141st ADP

182 12 167 3.35 1.13 0

Ever since the ‘partial UCL tear’ label got tying to Tanaka, he’s wilt radioactive in fantasy. Nobody wants to trade for him, nobody wants to typhoon him. But really, the partial UCL tear is by all finance a worldwide injury in baseball, the real difference is that in this case, we know well-nigh it. And therein lies your endangerment to profit. His 2.96 xFIP over the past two years qualifies him for a spot in the top-10 starters in baseball, tied with Dallas Keuchel, and yet every other guy in the top-10 is stuff drafted 70 picks earlier. Performance is not a concern, only playing time, and Tanaka is well worth the risk if you manage to get a top-10 guy this late in the draft. His heavily regressed 1.13 WHIP projection ways there is still upside whilom this projection (his WHIP was unelevated 1 last year), which could requite some wiggle room in specimen the 180 innings is a bit optimistic.

SP – Lance McCullers, 159th BB, 220th ADP

175 11 177 3.50 1.25 0

I am completely unfazed by McCullers’ spring training shoulder woes. In fact, he was unchangingly going to be facing an innings limit this year, so plane though he’ll get a later start to the season, I still have him pegged for 175 innings. McCullers and his batman shoes surprised us last year at age 21 with a 3.2 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and over a strikeout per inning. Plane though he doesn’t seem to know where his changeup is going at times, he’s going to offer a pile of strikeouts with potential for peerage upside this season. His already-too-low ADP is only falling now that he’s DL-bound. I know you don’t care, but he became the weightier pitcher in baseball for many years running in my most recent iteration of “Out of the Park Baseball”.

SP – Jake Odorizzi, 178th BB, 221st ADP

178 11 161 3.65 1.22 0

Famed for stealing Alex Cobb’s tomfool pitch-name, Odorizzi and “The Thing” tapped out last year to the tune of a 3.35 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He posted a slightly depressed .271 BABIP, but for a guy that gets 40% fly balls with a 10% IFFB (4% popup rate) and Kevin Kiermaier overdue him, that doesn’t necessarily indicate ‘luck’. I’m optimistic he could repeat the same thing this year. The upside is ultimately capped considering of the way the Rays use their pitcher (he averaged 6 IP/GS last year), so the 180IP is a full-season projection.

RP – Jason Grilli, 201st BB, ADP>260

65 3 75 2.90 1.13 23

If you’re lucky unbearable to have your typhoon soon, grab Grilli surpassing people realize he’s the Braves closer. Most of the site rankings have not unprotected on, and so we see Grilli not plane stuff drafted in standard ESPN leagues so far. He won’t be a big producer of saves on this terrible Braves team, but that terrible-ness moreover ways they’ll be motivated to alimony their other relievers unseemly and let Grilli (or Jim Johnson) rack up saves for as long as they’re worldly-wise to. For what it’s worth (not a lot, since everything is small sample size with relievers), he was damn good last year, with a 25% K-BB% that harkened when to the Pirates version of Grilli that was so good from 2011-2013.

RP – Sean Doolittle, 151st BB, 177th ADP

65 3 70 2.92 1.13 32

Until we get a reason to not believe in Doolittle, I’m going to alimony loving him. When he was last completely healthy in 2014, he was hands a top-5 reliever in baseball, with a 34% K-BB% and 10% popup rate. His sexy sexy fastball has driven his success so far, and this spring he’s been described as “ripe with giddiness” talking well-nigh the split-change he’s been working on. Doolittle with increasingly weapons sounds downright scary. I’m ownership the projection and viewing him as a unconfined option to go without if you’d rather spend your mid-round picks on hitters/starters instead of the top tier of relievers.


Team CBS

SP – Chris Sale, 7th BB, 16th ADP

227 16 277 2.79 1.02 0

Pitcher ADPs are weird on CBS. Their points league typhoon room displays players based on projected points, and so the top is dominated by pitchers. Less savvy owners see that and decide to typhoon pitchers way too early. All that to say – it’s nonflexible to find undervalued pitchers at CBS, so forgive a strange selection here – Chris Sale! The projections love him this year regardless of format… the 277 K’s is Kershaw-ian. And with an ADP of 16th, you could hands own him with a late first or early second round pick in CBS. If it comes lanugo to picking a hitter you don’t 100% love or Sale, you might have to go Sale.

SP – Wei-yin Chen, 145th BB, 183rd ADP

174 11 143 3.40 1.18 0

Chen made one of the weightier possible park moves this offseason, packing his tons up from Balitmore and heading to Miami. So, while it might seem weird to project a career-best WHIP for a 30 year old, that is, in fact where we’re at now. Over the past couple of years Chen has been one of the increasingly resulting mid-to-low end starters in fantasy, with the main thing holding him when stuff a meh K-rate and bad (Baltimore-related) HR rate. If you find yourself in the middle of your typhoon needing some reliable innings and decently good rate stats, squint no further.

SP – Drew Smyly, 128th BB, 154th ADP

165 10 159 3.32 1.19 0

Much like Tanaka, Smyly’s shoulder injury from last year was never unquestionably fixed, just rest rehabbed, leaving us with a similar sense of ticking time bomb. But, if he can requite us plane a partial season this year (have him lanugo for 165 IP which would probably midpoint one DL stint), I like Smyly’s chances to protract what looked like a breakout last year. He’s not had an ERA whilom 3.24 or WHIP whilom 1.17 since his rookie year, and last year posted a K/9 whilom 10. As a flyball guy, homers can be his downfall at times, but like Odorizzi I like his chances to post a low BABIP. Try not to end up with a team that has both Smyly and Tanaka, or any of the other injury-risk guys, but for his price he is well worth a gamble if the rest of your pitching staff looks solid.

RP – Cody Allen, 100th BB, 129th ADP

70 4 87 2.77 1.11 36

Cody Allen had a strangely ineffective start to 2015, giving up 10 R in 7 IP in April, but still managed to finish with a 2.99 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Really though, he was good all year from a DIPS standpoint, posting the weightier FIP amongst qualified relievers at 1.82. Squint for him to protract his peerage K-BB skills, and rack up a huge value of saves overdue one of the weightier starting pitching staffs in baseball.

RP – AJ Ramos, 154th BB, 172nd ADP

65 3 78 2.90 1.17 32

I really was excited to have Carter Capps A.J. Ramos on my teams in 2016 pursuit his breakout 2015. The Marlins stuff terrible won’t help his specimen for saves, but it seems at this point he has the closer role locked lanugo without anyone to rencontre him in the near future. Ramos did go through a wobbly chair period or two last year, when his tenancy escaped him, but the fact that he worked through it and regained sophistication is a positive to me. His impressive 3-4 pitch armory makes up for a meh fastball, and he was downright dominant for most of last season. Buy with conviction as long as his ADP stays depressed (I imagine it will trend upward with Capps gone).


Team Yahoo

SP – Jeff Samardzija, 110th BB, 153rd ADP

188 12 157 3.42 1.17 0

Samardzija was bad last year… really bad. Maybe the worst starter in fantasy baseball. Now that he’s out of the clutches of Don Cooper, who told him to throw his bad cutter way too much, and working in the pitcher-friendly AT T Park in SF, everything’s looking up for this former ace-in-the-making. Plus, it’s an plane year, so everything is sure to go right for the Giants this year. Much like Jonny Cueto, I’m putting some faith in the Giants front office here – they wouldn’t have signed him for that contract if they didn’t believe he’ll be good again. (Late addition: Eno Sarris over at FG has been raising watchtower wedding on Samardzija, as his velo is lanugo in ST and he’s been getting blasted. I often wouldn’t worry well-nigh that sort of thing, but Eno is a pitching guru and a bay zone guy as well… it may be worth lamister the risk from Samardzy and looking elsewhere)

SP – Patrick Corbin, 109th BB, 180th ADP

180 11 158 3.30 1.18 0

Shh… don’t tell your leaguemates (or mine), but Corbin is really good. He tapped out in 2013 to near-ace-levels, and his arm promptly fell apart. Then in his return from TJ last year he *still* looked really good, compiling a 17% K-BB% in 85 IP. The projections don’t know well-nigh his injury, and they’re increasingly or less projecting him to do the same as he did last year, but there is upside here. Guys usually struggle with tenancy returning from TJ, and we saw none of that from Corbin – that could midpoint that he’s plane largest than what we saw last year, but at the very least it is encouraging from a health standpoint. I have him lanugo for 180IP but could see him going closer to 200 given that he’s washed-up it before.

SP – Rubby de la Rosa, 227th BB, ADP>300

170 10 156 3.90 1.29 0

Rubby might be my favorite $1/final round pitcher this year. Sure, he got pounded by lefties, but he dominated righties to the tune of a .266 wOBA unliable (vs .404 for lefties). If he can develop a pitch to neutralize lefties largest (or just learn to wade them in the zone), a breakout could be brewing. Cross your fingers and take him late, if he looks rough early in the season this may wilt a watch-list sort of guy, but it’s weightier to use your seat spots/low-end SP slots on upside anyway.

RP – Will Smith, 187th BB, 240th ADP

65 3 83 2.97 1.15 23

The closer wrestle in Milwaukee is nonflexible to peg, but Jeffress has made it a bit easier for us by stuff injured early in spring training. Smith is a lefty, which is usually not unconfined for his chances to close, but weirdly unbearable he has been a reverse-platoon split guy. Pumping mid-90’s velo with an peerage K-rate, he’ll help your rate stats plane if he doesn’t get the closer role. As-is, it seems like nobody is drafting him confidently as a closer, and Milwaukee says they won’t name one surpassing opening day… all that adds up to Smith coming super unseemly in drafts.

RP – Danny Farquhar, 237th BB, ADP>300

65 3 55 3.75 1.25 32

With the Boxberger injury, fantasy owners are scrambling to find the Rays closer – squint no further, as I think Farquhar is our guy. Threats to his job teem in the forms of Colome, Cedeno, Webb, and Geltz, but Danny boy has the Closer Experience from his team with the Mariners when in 2013. He was bad last year, mostly due to problems with the longball, so the projections don’t think he’s likely to requite you much help in the rate stats. But as long as he’s giving you saves, he’s worth having in your lineup in 5×5, and it seems you might be worldly-wise to get him for next-to-nothing in drafts until people realize he’s the closer.

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