Fantasy Baseball Round Table: Rank these SP, 1B

by Todd Zola, on May 21, 2014 @ 13:02:37 PDT


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Surprising performances are hard to gauge. Should I sell high? What can I get? In an effort to estimate the present market value of a couple of players exceeding expectations, the following question was posed:

Of the following starting pitchers, which do you prefer MORE THAN Dallas Keuchel?

Cole Hamels
Phil Hughes
Lance Lynn
Matt Cain
Drew Smyly

Of the following first baseman, which do you prefer MORE THAN Mark Teixeira?

Mike Napoli
Anthony Rizzo
Albert Pujols
Ryan Howard
Matt Adams

Perry Van Hook

The only pitcher I'd prefer over Keuchel is Cole Hamels. As for hitters, give me Pujols and Rizzo.

Tim Heaney

Keuchel beats out Smyly thanks to his increased efficiency. 

Lynn and Hughes are for real, at least more so than people think. It makes ranking them and Keuchel tricky. Hughes' indicators look positive, and he's in an environment that tempers homers. But he's been relying on his four-seamer a lot, and that has bitten him in the past. I simply don't trust many Twins pitchers, even though he's showing more K's than the average Minnesota hurler. 

It's funny; much of Lynn's indicators are similar to those last year, and he's never going to be an ERA king, which hinders his upside. But my goodness, he's turning into a safe option.

Though he doesn't boast much velocity, Keuchel's indicators back him up, especially grounders, FIP and swinging strikes induced. But that elevated LOB% is his target area for danger.

I'll rank them:


The Lynn edge is razor-thin, but he has the track record.

As for the other question, I prefer Pujols and Rizzo to Teixeira. 

Napoli is on the same level, but Teixeira's healthy wrist will push him ahead of Napoli. It's close, but it's going to take Boston's lineup to recover in order for Napoli's supporting stats to match Teixeira's.

Adams has sacrificed pop for overall growth at the plate, which hinders his upside for this year without a huge thump turnaround. Howard has had a similar recovery to Teixeira's but has a less fortuitous offensive situation.

What does Lord Zola think?

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About Todd Zola,

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at and, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums. Fantasy Baseball

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