Ace Analysis: The Review

AceAnalysis Logo1This week’s Ace Analysis is going to take a bit of a different approach. I will look back on all the pitchers that I have analyzed so far this season and grade each recommendation in terms of accuracy.

Sometimes it is necessary to reflect on the past before moving forward. As we approach the halfway point of our fantasy baseball season, I thought now was a great chance to do that.
Stats are current as of 6/15

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
Ace Analysis 1: Posted 3/22

Projections:

  • IP: 200
  • ERA: 3.30
  • WHIP: 1.15
  • K/9: 8.50

I encouraged owners to treat King Felix like a mid range SP2 and not to draft him before the end of round 4 at the earliest. I also reminded owners that Felix’s high inning count could be taking its toll and that Felix was more of an injury risk this year, despite having the reputation of an innings eating horse.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 63
  • ERA: 2.86
  • WHIP: 1.22
  • K/9: 7.57

Grade B+: The actual ratio numbers are not an exact match to what I projected, but they are right in the ballpark in terms of value. Felix has also spent the last 3 weeks on the DL with a calf injury. I cautioned owners about the likelihood of injury also.

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

Projections:

  • IP: 190
  • ERA: 3.00
  • WHIP: 1.09
  • K/9: 10.50

Strasburg’s preseason ADP had him drafted in the 4th round on average. I encouraged owners to take a chance despite the obvious injury risk, citing his immense upside and a lower than normal price tag.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 86
  • ERA: 3.03
  • WHIP: 1.07
  • K/9: 11.51

Grade A+: So, I was a little conservative on the K/9. How much closer could I possibly get on the ERA and WHIP projections? Also, Strasburg is 10-0 and returning heavy profits to those who took a chance on him this March.

Lance McCullers, Houston Astros
Ace Analysis 2: Posted 3/28

Projections:

  • IP: 160
  • ERA: 3.60
  • WHIP: 1.30
  • Wins: 10
  • Ks: 150

I told owners that I believed McCullers was being significantly overdrafted with an ADP between 125 and 140. I suggested waiting until closer to 180, because McCullers had a downside that most analysts were not factoring in.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 33.2
  • ERA: 4.54
  • WHIP: 1.69
  • Wins: 3
  • Ks: 44

Grade A-: So the Ks have been great, but the ERA and WHIP have hurt owners thus far. There is still a long way to go, but so far so good. I actually took a fair amount of heat on this pick and was lower on McCullers than pretty much everybody.

Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox

Projections:

  • IP: 175
  • ERA: 3.75
  • WHIP: 1.35
  • Wins: 10
  • Ks: 165

During draft season, I told owners not to select Rodon where his ADP had him going. I predicted that his control was not good enough to allow him to post ace like numbers. Many analysts were touting his upside while I encouraged owners not to buy in.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 69.1
  • ERA: 4.26
  • WHIP: 1.50
  • Wins: 2
  • Ks: 66

Grade A-: As expected, Rodon has been pretty up and down and has been a WHIP whale thanks to the high BB rate. He has actually been worse than forecasted, so all the ace analysis readers who heeded my warnings are surely glad they did.



Adam Conley, Miami Marlins
Ace Analysis 3: posted 4/11

Projections:

  • IP: 175
  • ERA: 3.85
  • WHIP: 1.30
  • Wins: 10
  • Ks: 160

I encouraged owners to pick up Conley as a back of the rotation arm, suggesting that he could post relatively average ERA/WHIP numbers with an above average K rate.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 69.2
  • ERA: 4.12
  • WHIP: 1.44
  • Wins: 3
  • Ks: 67

Grade C+: My projections were not too far off, but missing to the bad side is a little bit more harmful than missing to the good side with a free agent addition. Conley is only owned in 21% of Y! leagues at the moment, which is not great for a recommended pick up.

Vincent Velasquez, Philadelphia Phillies

Projections:

  • IP: 135
  • ERA: 3.85
  • WHIP: 1.25
  • Wins: 6
  • Ks: 140

At the time of the article, Velasquez was owned in 20% of leagues. I recommended him as a must add, but also suggested that owners sell high after a few starts if he hit the ground running.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 61.2
  • ERA: 3.65
  • WHIP: 1.26
  • Wins: 5
  • Ks: 73

Grade A+: Not only were my projections almost spot on, in terms of what he has produced so far, but Velasquez was even better in his first few starts. If owners had, in fact sold high in late April or early May, they would have made a hefty profit.

Drew Pomeranz, San Diego Padres
Ace Analysis 4: posted 4/18

Rest of Season Projections: After he made 2 starts (11 innings)

  • IP: 150
  • GS: 25
  • ERA: 3.80
  • WHIP: 1.25
  • Wins: 8
  • Ks: 140

I endorsed Pomeranz as a pick up, but with relative caution. I predicted he would be a low end mixed league fantasy option.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 75
  • ERA: 2.88
  • WHIP: 1.17
  • Wins: 5
  • Ks: 89

Grade B- : I did encourage owners to grab Pomeranz, but perhaps not as enthusiastically as I should have. He has exceeded all expectations because his K rate has been fantastic. Pomeranz has pitched like a fantasy ace, so hopefully you were able to roster him.

Mat Latos, Chicago White Sox

Projections:

  • IP: 150
  • ERA: 4.00
  • WHIP: 1.28
  • Wins: 9
  • Ks: 115

I called Latos a spot starter after conducting my analysis of him. I said he was worth an add, but only for owners with an extra roster spot.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 60.1
  • ERA: 4.62
  • WHIP: 1.46
  • Wins: 6
  • Ks: 32

Grade C: Latos was good for awhile, but man the wheels fell off quickly. The Ks never materialized and Latos does not resemble a major league starter, let alone a fantasy option.



Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Ace Analysis 5: posted 4/25

Rest of Season Projections:

  • IP: 140
  • ERA: 3.50
  • WHIP: 1.25
  • Ks: 150
  • Wins: 9

Archer was sporting a 7.32 ERA and a 2.08 WHIP at the time of the article. I said he was virtually untradeable at the time of this article because of his high ceiling and an extreme amount of risk given his start and injury concerns. I encouraged owners to consider dealing him for a 6th/7th round value in return.

Actual Results (since 4/20):

  • IP: 60.1
  • ERA: 3.73
  • WHIP: 1.23
  • Ks: 67
  • Wins: 4

Grade B+: My projections were pretty darn accurate, but I can’t give myself the A because I did not take a firm enough stance. Still, the risk factors here made it pretty difficult to assess fair value for Archer. He has not been a world beater, but he has been solid enough to be an SP3.

Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals

Rest of Season Projections:

  • IP: 175
  • ERA: 4.00
  • WHIP: 1.30
  • Ks: 115
  • Wins: 10

I predicted that Wainwright would improve, but that his skills had regressed to the point that he was no longer a great fantasy option. I suggested owners try to sell his name value for a top 150 overall value.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 68.1
  • ERA: 3.95
  • WHIP: 1.17
  • Ks: 54
  • Wins: 5

Grade B: Wainwright has beaten my projections by a bit, but not by enough to hurt owners who sold him for a top 150 value, provided they got the right player.

Matt Harvey, New York Mets
Ace Analysis 6: Posted on 5/2

Rest of Season Projections:

  • IP: 200
  • ERA: 3.10
  • WHIP: 1.15
  • Ks: 190
  • Wins: 14

I encouraged Harvey owners to hold on and others to target him in buy low offers. My conclusion was that the struggles were related to a fixable mechanical flaw and poor batted ball luck.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 45
  • ERA: 4.60
  • WHIP: 1.29
  • Ks: 40
  • Wins: 2

Grade C-: The only reason I am not going lower is because Harvey has shown some real signs of turning things around lately with 3 straight fantastic starts. Still, his struggles lasted through the entire month of May and there was never a chance he would hit my innings projection.

Luis Severino, New York Yankees

Rest of Season Projections:

  • IP: 160
  • ERA: 4.00
  • WHIP: 1.30
  • Ks: 130
  • Wins: 10

I encouraged standard league owners to move on from Severino and called him a replacement level pitcher. I also advised deep leaguers to hold because better times were likely ahead.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 15.1
  • ERA: 8.22
  • WHIP: 1.57
  • Ks: 15
  • Wins: 0

Grade B+: The advice to drop Severino was right on, even though nobody could have hit the projections. Severino got injured in his third start after this post and has not made an MLB start since. He will likely make his way back to the Yankees rotation at some point and has pitched pretty well in AAA. Deep leaguers still have a sliver of hope.



David Price, Boston Red Sox
Ace Analysis 7: Posted 5/9

Rest of Season Projections:

  • IP: 175
  • ERA: 3.50
  • WHIP: 1.18
  • Ks: 180
  • Wins: 12

I encouraged owners to buy low for the right price, but also cautioned that Price’s days as an elite fantasy pitcher appeared to be in the past. I suggested that both his ceiling and floor were a bit lower than his owners would like to admit and I called Price a solid SP2.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 50.1
  • ERA: 2.68
  • WHIP: .93
  • Ks:50
  • Wins:3

Grade B-: Price has pitched like, well, David Price over the past month. He has blown away my projections. Hopefully readers were able to acquire him on the cheap and enjoy the results. I also hope my analysis did not cause anyone to sell lower than they should have.

Steven Wright, Boston Red Sox

Projections:

  • IP: 120
  • ERA: 4.00
  • WHIP: 1.30
  • Ks: 100
  • Wins: 7

I called for Wright to be owned in more leagues due his upside, while simultaneously saying that his great start was not likely to last. I encouraged owners not to overpay for his services.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 57
  • ERA: 2.53
  • WHIP: 1.11
  • Ks: 43
  • Wins: 6

Grade B-: Wright has continued to perform much better than expected. His Ks are down since my post, but everything else has been terrific. I would still caution owners not to overpay to acquire him because his ERA predictors simply can’t explain what Wright is doing, but then again knuckleballers don’t always follow the rules.

Dallas Keuchel: Houston Astros
Ace Analysis 8: Posted on 5/16

Projections:

  • IP: 160
  • ERA: 3.50
  • WHIP: 1.20
  • Ks: 140

Keuchel was almost certainly overrated based on his unsustainable play last year. I said that Keuchel should be valued as an SP 4 and was likely to start posting usable numbers if he could get his K/BB ratio back under control.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 37.2
  • ERA: 5.50
  • WHIP: 1.22
  • Ks: 39

Grade B: Keuchel has been much better lately, but the ERA and wins simply have not been there. If he continues to pitch like he has over the past month, those numbers will start to normalize also. By the way, his K/BB ratio since my post is 5.67 and I feel a lot more comfortable starting him now than I did at that time.

Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies

Projections:

  • IP: 130
  • ERA: 4.00
  • WHIP: 1.25
  • Ks: 150
  • Wins: 7

I encouraged owners to grab Gray for his strikeout potential, but to only use him in the road starts.

Actual Results:

  • IP: 30.2
  • ERA: 4.70
  • WHIP: 1.17
  • Ks: 32
  • Wins: 3

Grade B-: Overall, Gray has been fantastic since my post, aside from 1 epic shelling at the hands of the Cardinals. The problem is, he gave up 9 runs in just over 3 innings in that one, and it happened to be a road start. If you listened to my advice about benching him at home, you would have used him here and missed on two quality outings at home. Still, Gray has pitched pretty well.

* * * * * *

It is too early to grade Ace Analysis 9 and 10, but let me just say that I really hope you listened to me about grabbing Matt Shoemaker.

Overall Results

My average GPA on all of these picks comes out to a 3.04 on a 4 point scale. I really have not had any epic failures here. Perhaps my worst call of the season was telling owners to buy low on Harvey, and that still has time to turn around.

Overall, it has been a pretty solid year for analyzing aces, although I hope to get a few more A’s before football season starts.

 

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Tommy Landseadel
Tommy is also known as tlance on the CBS and Sports Hoopla message boards. He has been playing fantasy baseball for 16 years in many different format types and looks forward to helping you with your fantasy baseball questions! You can now follow me on Twitter @tlandseadel
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