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"Buy low" pitchers

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"Buy low" pitchers

Postby biju » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:05 pm

This is the followup to my other post regarding "sell high" pitchers. This is purely numbers based for Hit Rate %, HR/Game, K/INN, and K/BB and looking at past performance, groundball vs. flyball pitching, and returning to the mean of average hit rate (30%).

Based on stats for Saturday morning (yeah, some of these have already changed):

1. Jon Garland - (2-1, 9.18, 1.92) - He's had a whopping 45% of balls in play go for hits, the highest of any starting pitcher. This is highly contributing to his monstrous WHIP and elevated ERA. He's also letting .5 more HR/Game than usual. One thing to keep in mind here though is he's a finesse pitcher and will never have a high strikeout total. His K/BB is good but not great.

2. Scott Kazmir - (2-1, 4.07, 1.52) - His high Hit Rate (38%) should regress to the mean and lower his WHIP. He's almost a full point high on his avg. HR/Game so expect this to plummet once he goes up against weaker teams. Most of his ER were from his first game and the Hit Rate looks heavy due to one game in Toronto (who happens to be the best hitting squad so far in the season [based on another study I did]).

3. Kelvim Escobar - (2-1, 3.71, 1.47) - It's hard for me to imagine, but the numbers suggest Escobar has been unlucky. His 37% Hit Rate should return to normal levels and his WHIP will decline. His K rate is right in line with career levels as is HR/Game. I suspect his ERA will actually *lower* down into the low 3s if this unlucky streak ends. This is certainly a guy to target.

4. Shawn Chacon - (1-1, 8.03, 1.95) - Let's get one thing straight here: I'm not necessarily advocating to pick these guys up, but more that they'll do much, much better than the current numbers indicate. Such is the case for Chacon. I really can't advise actively acquiring this guy unless it's a super deep league, but his 42% hit rate is too high and HR rate is more than a full point above his career numbers. On the down side he's striking out way more people than numbers would indicate so don't expect that to keep up. (FYI - I just looked at his box score from today after writing this so don't think I cheated. :-D )

5. Ted Lilly - (1-1, 3.77, 1.95) - His ERA is actually too low for his career numbers and excessive WHIP so my assumption is they're getting a ton of unearned runs against him. Hit Rate at 40% will bring the WHIP back down to his career level of ~1.4--still not good but better than it is now. His K rate is slightly elevated too, but not enough to think there will be a reasonable slide.

6. Cory Lidle - (1-2, 5.00, 1.44) - Hit rate at 42% is one of the highest in the majors so expect that to come down. His K/INN is high for him however so be careful with him. I would only suggest trading for him if the price is pretty low and then only spot start him. He's better than his current numbers though.

7. Matt Clement - (1-1, 7.00, 1.78) - At 40% hit rate you must believe his WHIP and ERA have been heavily affected. K/INN is right in line with career numbers although the number of walks is borderline. If the walks stop he could be a real bargain as he's bound to get a ton of run support.

8. Andy Pettitte - (1-3, 5.25, 1.75) - His hit rate is 40% and will regress. His HR/Game is 1 full HR higher than career average so expect this to drop as well even though he's in Houston. If you can get him cheap he'll pay off well as Ks keep coming in good amounts and if walks fall off a little he'll be a bargain.

9. Bartolo Colon - (0-2, 7.07, 1.93) - Again hit rate of 40% and his WHIP is affected. His 1.93 HR/Game is much higher than career numbers suggest, although he does give them up when injured. Be careful here since he's already made a trip to the DL this year, but that might be exactly the reason why you can get him cheap.

10. Randy Johnson - (2-2, 4.63, 1.15) - Yep, he's on a bad run of luck right now. Not exactly overwhelmingly bad (34%) but bad enough that it's effecting him. His K/INN is a little low and HR/Game a little higher than career numbers suggesting, but then again it could be age getting to him finally.

Quick list of pitcher with 40% hit rate or higher:

Garland, Jon
Vargas, Claudio
Batista, Miguel
Chacon, Shawn
Snell, Ian
Lidle, Cory
McClung, Seth
Lilly, Ted
Clement, Matt
Pettitte, Andy
Harang, Aaron
Day, Zach
Lohse, Kyle
Colon, Bartolo
Millwood, Kevin

The guys on this list I didn't mention were because some other indicators didn't fall in line with the specific numbers I was looking for. There are some cases where I think there is upside but I'm staying away from them anyway because of lousy career numbers. Also, I may have overlooked something as I'm using a number of different resources and it would be easy to miss something. I'll be pouring over the numbers more tonight and will update the thread if I find something else.

-M
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Re: "Buy low" pitchers

Postby mweir145 » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:09 pm

biju wrote:2. Scott Kazmir - (2-1, 4.07, 1.52) - His high Hit Rate (38%) should regress to the mean and lower his WHIP. He's almost a full point high on his avg. HR/Game so expect this to plummet once he goes up against weaker teams. Most of his ER were from his first game and the Hit Rate looks heavy due to one game in Toronto (who happens to be the best hitting squad so far in the season [based on another study I did]).

Can we see this study?

BTW, thanks for another great post. It's looking good for me as I have Kazmir, Pettitte, and Chacon.
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Postby ChoneJohn » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:13 pm

yeah, this is great stuff! thanks a ton!
Go Tigers!
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Postby TonyCee » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:18 pm

Awesome Stuff, THANKS!!! :-)
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Postby PlayingWithFire » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:20 pm

What's Brett Tomko's hit rate. He doesn't have a BB problem this year, but he's getting knocked around.
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Re: "Buy low" pitchers

Postby biju » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:20 pm

mweir145 wrote:
biju wrote:2. Scott Kazmir - (2-1, 4.07, 1.52) - His high Hit Rate (38%) should regress to the mean and lower his WHIP. He's almost a full point high on his avg. HR/Game so expect this to plummet once he goes up against weaker teams. Most of his ER were from his first game and the Hit Rate looks heavy due to one game in Toronto (who happens to be the best hitting squad so far in the season [based on another study I did]).

Can we see this study?

BTW, thanks for another great post. It's looking good for me as I have Kazmir, Pettitte, and Chacon.


Actually the data is likely a bit stale since I did it at the end of last week. I'll see if I can't re-dig up the numbers but it should be noted that hitters are less subject to the same type of treatment from what I've read. Hit Rate is really something that is totally out of the pitchers control so coupling that along with K/BB and HR/Game (and I add in the K/INN just to distinguish similar numbers--I'd rather have high K guys as you all would too) give a great tool to figure who's getting luck or unlucky.

As for my pitchers I'm really all right in line with reality with the exception of Escobar. I hope I didn't jinx him by saying he'll get better. :-D
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Postby biju » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:25 pm

PlayingWithFire wrote:What's Brett Tomko's hit rate. He doesn't have a BB problem this year, but he's getting knocked around.


Tomko is another good buy low guy actually. His Hit Rate is 39% and he's giving up 2 more HR/Game than he usually does. Given that he's usually a 40%-50% groundball pitcher I would assume he's just not hitting his spots well and the ones he leaves up high are going out of the park.

He just fell off making this list due to his low career K/INN and I was focused more on power pitching.
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Postby facts » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:45 pm

This analysis is great and all but can you explain how you do the analysis and where you get the stats? The statistical side of baseball is quite deep and enlightening, keep up the great posts!
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Postby Surfs up » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:59 pm

What site did you copy this from?
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Postby mweir145 » Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:04 pm

Surfs up wrote:What site did you copy this from?

I'm fairly certain he wrote the thing himself.
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