Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Valuations to Date: N.L. Pitchers

Last week I took at peek at what American League pitchers have earned to date. Today, I'll take a gander at what their National League counterparts are doing. Earnings are as of May 28, 2012

Top 10 N.L. Pitchers
1) Gio Gonzalez $40
2) Cole Hamels $39
6) Lance Lynn $34
7) Matt Cain $34
10) R.A. Dickey $29

Hamels and Cain are the only repeaters from last year's list. As typically seems to be the case, the National League has more arms that come out of nowhere than the American League does in the Top 10. Half of this list cost $5 or less in the expert auctions. Chapman is the lone reliever to make the list (Kenley Jansen is 12th overall) and his earnings are mostly powered by his ridiculous ERA/WHIP and not by his saves to date.

Top 10 N.L. Relievers
1) Chapman $33
2) Kenley Jansen $25
5) Jason Motte $21
8) Brad Lincoln $18
10) Brett Myers $18

For all of the talk of how unreliable relievers are, six of the 10 closers here were closers on Opening Day, and the Javy Guerra/Jansen swap is one of the least surprising closer swaps in recent memory. Deep league players knowingly nod at middle relief studs Stammen and Lincoln; you need guys like them to win in N.L.-only...even if it isn't clear in April who these guys will be.

Top 10 Profits
1) Lynn +32
2) Capuano +32
3) McDonald +30
4) Chapman +28
5) G. Gonzalez +25
6) Dickey +25
7) Casilla +23
8) Wade Miley +21
10) Kyle Lohse +19

The first six pitchers on this list also appeared in the Top 10 earners. The lack of studs here makes this a super cheap group; only Gio cost more than $5, while six of the 10 and every pitcher from Casilla on down cost $3 or less. You have to take some gambles in your end game, and while this list won't look the same at the end of the season, right now some of these cheap plays have paid off quite handsomely.

Top 10 Losses
1) Tim Lincecum -34
6) Josh Johnson -19
7) Heath Bell -19
9) Drew Storen -17
10) Mike Minor -16

Not to beat a dead horse, but for all the talk of what a terrible investment closers are, only three make it on this list. Lincecum is the pitcher everyone is probably trying to desperately overcome, and while repeating, "he'll bounce back" is a comforting mantra, what's done is done in terms of the damage to your squad. With the exception of Lincecum, the danger zone here is the usual $15-18 range: a place where you're less likely to stumble into an ace and far more likely to stumble into a big bust that will wreck your season.

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