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Greinke or Lee?

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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby Ender » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:42 am

The command was there 170 K and 34 BB is a 5 to 1 margin, that's huge. He did it over 223 innings, it's no fluke


This is your problem right here, 223 IP does not say this isn't a fluke at all. Pitchers have isolated seasons with great command all the time and then regress back towards normal. Look at say Chris Capuano in 2006 for an example. Lee will BB more this year than last year, his HR/FB was insanely lucky and won't stay at 5.1% and his LOB% wont' stay at 78%. This is a pitcher who is going to see his ERA up near 4 this year, not at ace like levels.
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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby rookies and cream » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:55 am

Ender wrote:
The command was there 170 K and 34 BB is a 5 to 1 margin, that's huge. He did it over 223 innings, it's no fluke


This is your problem right here, 223 IP does not say this isn't a fluke at all. Pitchers have isolated seasons with great command all the time and then regress back towards normal. Look at say Chris Capuano in 2006 for an example. Lee will BB more this year than last year, his HR/FB was insanely lucky and won't stay at 5.1% and his LOB% wont' stay at 78%. This is a pitcher who is going to see his ERA up near 4 this year, not at ace like levels.


If the phrases "will" and "is going to" were changed to "may", "probably" or "is likely to", I'd have no problem with this post. What I've learned is that you have to keep an open mind when playing fantasy baseball. Otherwise, you'd lose out on players like Lee and others that break out.
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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby Ender » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:07 am

rookies and cream wrote:
If the phrases "will" and "is going to" were changed to "may", "probably" or "is likely to", I'd have no problem with this post. What I've learned is that you have to keep an open mind when playing fantasy baseball. Otherwise, you'd lose out on players like Lee and others that break out.


Fair enough change it to should and most likely if you want since he could just get lucky again, I'm not going to sit here and hedge my opinions by putting a bunch of maybes and coulds in them, I'll state them as I see them and if you want to soften the language up you can do it yourself. Obviously nobody can see the future and any opinion is just a guess, that is inferred by the very nature of this forum.

He had an unsustainable HR/FB and LOB% last year. No pitcher in baseball sustains numbers like he has so the odds are they regress. So even the way he pitched last year he was probably more of a 3.50-4.00 ERA talent pitcher(xFIP of 3.69). Add in that it isn't likely that his BB/9 stays that low and well that is why people are drafting Greinke over him.
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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby Mookie4ever » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:42 am

Ender wrote:
The command was there 170 K and 34 BB is a 5 to 1 margin, that's huge. He did it over 223 innings, it's no fluke


This is your problem right here, 223 IP does not say this isn't a fluke at all. Pitchers have isolated seasons with great command all the time and then regress back towards normal. Look at say Chris Capuano in 2006 for an example. Lee will BB more this year than last year, his HR/FB was insanely lucky and won't stay at 5.1% and his LOB% wont' stay at 78%. This is a pitcher who is going to see his ERA up near 4 this year, not at ace like levels.


How can you say that his GB rate was lucky? :-b

I can understand saying that Dice K was a fluke - he was insanely lucky to have a 2.90 ERA with 5 walks a game, only a 1.64 K/BB and a 2.67 BABIP.

None of the same fluke indicators appear with Lee - his BABP was .305. You cannot throw 3,300 pitches and say that a 46% GB rate is a fluke.

Look at Capuano's numbers. 2006 was the same as all of the other years. His GB% for 2004-2007 were 38, 38, 40 and 43%. And his fly ball rate never changed more than 2% year to year. 2006 he just stopped walking people with no explanation other than better control.

Lee is different. Not only did he have better control but reports show increased velocity and he became a different pitcher. His groundball rate increased from 35% to 46% and his flyball rate decreased from 50% 8-o to 35%. As a consequence his HR rate fell from 1.75/9 to 0.48/9 and as a further consequence his LOB% rose from 62.5% to 78.3%. And you can't say that he was getting lucky because when hitters were making contact they were getting hits at a .305 average. The HR/FB rate was pretty low but not super crazy low and not something that will change a season. Lee was keeping the ball down with better control and greater velocity.

When so many people slag a good player like this without reason then all signs point to buy low.
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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby Ender » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:36 am

How can you say that his GB rate was lucky?


I didn't say that...

I said his HR/FB was lucky. Park factors aside most pitchers sit at around 10% HR/FB. they can raise or lower their HR/9 by changing their GB or FB tendencies but the HR/FB still sits around 10% with extreme flyball guys being a little less than 10% and extreme groundball guys tending to be a little higher than 10%. Cliff Lee had a 5.1% last year, so he allowed roughly half the HRs you would have expected in a give season even with the improved GB%.

As for Capuano I was talking about the BB rate not the GB%. He sat right around 3.7 BB/9 and then in 06 suddenly had 1.91 BB/9 and then the next year regressed back to 3.24 BB/9. You see this all the time with pitchers. Brandon Webb's 2006 same thing though not as extreme. Carlos silva 2005. Dan Haren in 2006 (though he regained that BB rate with his move to the NL last year).

It is much more likely that Lee's control will regress somewhat towards his career norm than he'll repeat the lowest BB/9 in baseball given his history. So 223 innings does not prove it 'is not a fluke'.
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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby Yoda » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:51 am

Yeah I'm not completely sold that his control all of a sudden got that good. I'm betting either he walks more guys or gets hit more this year.
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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby rookies and cream » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:55 am

Yoda wrote:Yeah I'm not completely sold that his control all of a sudden got that good. I'm betting either he walks more guys or gets hit more this year.


I would lean more towards the latter, which was actually the case this spring. I think his improved control is for real.
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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby Mookie4ever » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:04 am

Ender wrote:
How can you say that his GB rate was lucky?


I didn't say that...

I said his HR/FB was lucky. Park factors aside most pitchers sit at around 10% HR/FB. they can raise or lower their HR/9 by changing their GB or FB tendencies but the HR/FB still sits around 10% with extreme flyball guys being a little less than 10% and extreme groundball guys tending to be a little higher than 10%. Cliff Lee had a 5.1% last year, so he allowed roughly half the HRs you would have expected in a give season even with the improved GB%.

As for Capuano I was talking about the BB rate not the GB%. He sat right around 3.7 BB/9 and then in 06 suddenly had 1.91 BB/9 and then the next year regressed back to 3.24 BB/9. You see this all the time with pitchers. Brandon Webb's 2006 same thing though not as extreme. Carlos silva 2005. Dan Haren in 2006 (though he regained that BB rate with his move to the NL last year).

It is much more likely that Lee's control will regress somewhat towards his career norm than he'll repeat the lowest BB/9 in baseball given his history. So 223 innings does not prove it 'is not a fluke'.



Understood and I mostly agree.

My question is why you think that he will regress so much that he will have "an ERA around 4 this year and not at ace like levels"?

Lee is not some stiff who has had one lucky year. In 2005 he was 18-5 with great peripherals and was 4th in Cy Young voting. He then had a trip to the DL and was sent to the minor mostly for disciplinary reasons and had a terrible year. Why aren't we considering this a recovery for him and the bad year the deviation from the norm rather than the other way around? Everyone is so quick to agree that Greinke has overcome his demons and has shown that he is the real deal and ready to continue his improvement but not Lee.

Even if you double Lee's HR/FB rate it is about the same as Grienke's. You say that his LOB% will not stay at 78% (I don't know why you say this) and yet you say nothing about Grienke's 75%.

Yes, Lee overacheived last year and it may even be a career year but he has been sucessful in the majors in the past and then had a rough patch but for a guy with a career 76-39 record he is getting no respect here. And for a guy with troubles and a career 34-45 record Grienke is being given a lot of credit. Lee will come down but even 75% of last year's 22-3 2.54 1.11 abd 170 Ks makes him an ace. That would put him at 16-5 about a 3 ERA and a 1.25 Whip and still about 170 K. Greinke has never done that even in his career year last year. To take Greinke over Lee you have to be sure that Grienke has a career year and Lee regresses by more than 25%.


edit: disclaimer: I did take Beltre in about 4 leagues in 2005 so I have been known to be disasterously wrong before :-b
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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby Ender » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:31 am

When I look at a pitcher I mostly throw out ERA for a given season, it is so erratic over one season that it is almost meaningless. Cliff Lee displayed the skillset of a 3.50-3.75 ERA pitcher last year. His xFIP was 3.69, his xERA was 3.57. If he pitches exactly like last year for the next 10 years his ERA will generally be around 3.50-3.75 over that time span. So for me if he regresses by 25% he is at a 4.00 ERA talent already. I think his ERA will be south of 4 but north of 3.50. I have him down for 3.75 on my projections (I only project era to the nearest 0.25, so a pitcher is 3.25, 3.50, 3.75, 4.00 etc).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 3.75 ERA on an AL team, that is a very good player. The biggest difference between Lee and Grienke for me is the strike outs. Grienke struck out more guys in fewer innings. Lee probably has him by a little bit in WHIP, I think their ERA is a wash. But I tend to draft for strikeouts first since all the other SP stats are so random.
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Re: Greinke or Lee?

Postby AussieDodger » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:36 am

Ender wrote:When I look at a pitcher I mostly throw out ERA for a given season, it is so erratic over one season that it is almost meaningless. Cliff Lee displayed the skillset of a 3.50-3.75 ERA pitcher last year. His xFIP was 3.69, his xERA was 3.57. If he pitches exactly like last year for the next 10 years his ERA will generally be around 3.50-3.75 over that time span. So for me if he regresses by 25% he is at a 4.00 ERA talent already. I think his ERA will be south of 4 but north of 3.50. I have him down for 3.75 on my projections (I only project era to the nearest 0.25, so a pitcher is 3.25, 3.50, 3.75, 4.00 etc).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 3.75 ERA on an AL team, that is a very good player. The biggest difference between Lee and Grienke for me is the strike outs. Grienke struck out more guys in fewer innings. Lee probably has him by a little bit in WHIP, I think their ERA is a wash. But I tend to draft for strikeouts first since all the other SP stats are so random.


Ya.

Lee = high 6s/9
Greinke 8ish/9

I like more then 7 k/9 out of my SPs, so Lee FTL unfortunately. !+)
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