Fantasy Baseball 2015 Pitchers to Avoid | 4 MLB Pitchers Not to Draft in Your 2015 Fantasy Baseball Re-Draft League. Make Moxyball your one stop shop for Rankings, Tips, Advice and Strategy to help you win your Fantasy Baseball league in 2015.
Don’t get me wrong.
I am not saying that the pitchers I include in this article are bad. Far from it. I would take them on any of my teams at the right point in a draft, or in the right deal in a heartbeat.
However, fantasy baseball is all about finding value. Whether it be in off-season negotiations with other owners for your keeper league, in deciding who you should keep in your keeper league, or at the draft table in 2015 – it is all about finding value to set yourself up with the best chance of taking home a title.
Today, I am going to tackle the task of identifying some big-name pitchers that are likely to be overvalued by many heading into 2015. They likely got a little ‘lucky’ in 2014, and as a result – to the casual observer will likely go for a premium in 2015 drafts. You are likely to find the names of these pitchers on a few lists later on as we draw closer to the season…but I wanted to highlight them for you today. Whether you play in an active keeper league where trades occur all off-season, or if you just want to file the names away for your draft day, hopefully I can make you think a little more about some of these household names as we enter the fantasy baseball off-season.
1. Johnny Cueto
Cueto will likely be one of the first 5 pitchers off the board next year – but it won’t be done by me. With a FIP and xFIP both more than 0.95 greater than his ERA of 2.25, I am passing on Cueto for 2014. It didn’t stop me from using him to win the RotoEdge Writers league in 2014 – but I won’t be going all in on Cueto next year, assuming he is one of the top 5 pitchers off the board. He has always been a pitcher that has outpitched his FIP and xFIP by a fair margin – but this year he did so at an entirely new level, much like when Ben Affleck surprises you with a good flick. Toss in the fact he won 20 ballgames this year – and Cueto just screams regression to me, and he should to pretty much anyone else that is playing fantasy baseball too.
2. Cole Hamels
Hamels missed the start of the 2014 campaign and proceeded to post an ERA of 2.46 while striking out 8.71/9 over 204.2 innings. Add in the fact that he was unfortunate in only winning 9 ballgames and you may think he is someone who screams buy for 2015. I disagree. While I do expect him to win a few more games next year, I do expect him to regress as far as his ratios go. His FIP and xFIP both are north of 3, and while I do expect him to be a very solid pitcher next year – I just see many fantasy owners expecting him to post a similar line as he did this year – but in doing so, I expect they will feel that he will do so over a full season. His ERA will likely rise next year (I’d peg him to be in the low 3’s) – though his counting stats should be up a little. All in all, a very solid pitcher – but if you are buying him – don’t expect another 2.46 ERA.
Teheran has an electric arm. And when I ask most people how many strikeouts Teheran gets – they say all so often, “About one an inning.” Yet across his entire career, he has averaged 7.72. Toss in the fact that he is coming off a year where hitters had a BABIP of .267 off him, a flyball % of 65.2% and had a FIP of 3.49 and an xFIP of 3.72, and I’m sorry – I just don’t see him as anyone that I want to be an anchor on my staff. I’ll take him as a backup singer – but he isn’t leading my band onto the stage to sing even a single solo. Could he take another step? Sure…I just don’t see it as anything that is inevitable.
4. Jered Weaver
Sure, he is a bulldog that goes out there and eats up innings. And while it isn’t a secret that his velocity has been dropping like a stone, he still does have good numbers on the surface. Afterall, he won 18 ballgames! And he had an ERA of 3.59! He has been a pitcher that has severely outperformed his FIP and xFIP for each of the last 4 years, so perhaps there is a trend here. Or perhaps he is due for some regression to the mean. But something I do want to point out is that his ERA has steadily rose each of the past two seasons. He is becoming very hittable as time passes and just seems to be trending in the wrong direction. He is still someone who I would take on my team at the right price, however – in my opinion, gone are the days where you want him anywhere near the front end of your staff.
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