It’s that time of year again! The 2014 Starting Pitcher Guide is approaching the finish line and will soon be available for your eyes and brain to consume. The guide is going into its seventh season, evolving from a massive message board post into the book-length PDF you’ve come to love.
If you bought the 2013 guide, you learned:
- …that you should take a flier on Julio Teheran late in your leagues. (Remember, he was coming off of a 5.08 ERA in Triple-A in 2012)
- …that Jose Fernandez was worth a flier in even non-keeper NL leagues. (Of course I said that because I thought he could spend the last two months in the big leagues, not have a Cy Young-worthy season, so I’ll go easy on the backpatting)
- …that there was another level to Homer Bailey. (A career-best ERA in a career-high innings with a career-best WHIP and career-high strikeout rate)
- …that Mike Leake could have plenty of value, especially if you used him on the road. (Aroldis Chapman was still being considered for the fifth starter’s role, if only loosely. Meanwhile, Leake took the job and started 31 games with a 2.81 ERA in 16 road starts)
- …that you shouldn’t buy Mike Fiers’ excellent 2012 work. (He flamed out with a 7.25 ERA in 22.3 IP)
- …that Wily Peralta is capable of some nice stretches and has keeper league value based on 2014 intrigue. (He closed the season with a 3.05 ERA in his final 17 starts with 20% K rate)
- …that you should stay the course on A.J. Burnett while others jumped off. (He improved his ERA by 0.21 and led the NL with 9.8 K/9)
- …that buying Trevor Rosenthal even without a starter’s or closer’s role was the right thing to do. (He only netted three saves, but his 108 Ks in 75.3 IP with excellent ratios had big value in all applicable formats)
- …that you could put some trust in Wade Miley. (His ERA rose 0.22 to 3.55 while his skills eroded a bit, but he was a nice value in all but the shallowest of leagues and even in those he had a 2.93 ERA in the second half making him a worthwhile stream option)
- …that Andrew Cashner was worth investing in regardless of role. (He was starting by April 20th, so it didn’t require much patience to start paying off)
- …that Chris Tillman displayed the secondary stuff good enough to have confidence in him even as his fastball lagged a bit behind. (He had an All-Star season including an excellent second half)
- …that doubling down on Jon Lester was a good idea. (He had a 3.75 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and 177 Ks [plus 15 wins] in 213.3 IP)
- …that it was time to invest in John Lackey again! (He had his best season since 2007 with the best control of his career)
- …that “the emaciated offense might push his [Hiroki Kuroda] win total back down to the 11-13 range of his LA days, but he is still a worthy target.” (His season was nearly a carbon copy of 2010 in LA, complete with an 11-13 record)
- …that “there is definitely something here” with regards to Ivan Nova. (He stifled his homers en route to a 3.10 ERA, stifled only by injury that limited him to 139.3 IP)
- …that it was time to buy in on Alex Cobb. (He was excellent in 143.3 IP with only a batted ball to the head slowing him down)
- …that Chris Archer was someone to get on board with immediately! (He was third in the AL ROY with 128.7 excellent IP from June through September)
- …that remaining all in on Max Scherzer was the only way to go. (He won the AL Cy Young)
- …that “this [Anibal Sanchez] is a strong profile for the middle of your rotation and it also offers some potential upside.” (He finished 4th in the AL Cy Young)
- …that Ervin Santana’s huge home run rates always regressed the following year, cutting his ERA sharply in the process. (His 1.97 HR/9 dropped to 1.11 bringing his ERA from 5.16 to 3.24 at the same time)
- …that A.J. Griffin had 2013 value, preferably at home. (Despite far too many HRs allowed, he had a 3.83 ERA in 200 IP including a 3.54 at home)
- …that Hisashi Iwakuma was someone to definitely buy. (He finished third in the AL Cy Young)
- …that Yu Darvish had Cy Young-potential. (OK, so the SPG is hardly the only publication that felt that way)
That was hardly all of it and I won’t pretend that they were all hits, but if you read the 2013 SPG and applied the guiding principles, you no doubt found some gems in your drafts and auctions. The 2014 SP Guide is ready to improve upon that with the best offering yet.
This year’s guide features over 365 in-depth pitcher profiles. The groups are broken down into “the rotation” – the five guys likely starting the season in the rotation, “up next” – those who could be called upon to fill in when necessary, and “the prospects” – the best arms the system has to offer and also who you should be stocking your dynasty and keeper league teams with this year.
Those expected to be in the rotation and the top prospects get the most consideration as they are the game changers that will help you win your fantasy league. Or if you don’t play, then you will simply become more knowledgeable about the pitchers you’re watching on a nightly basis.
Doug Thorburn is back with his mechanical report cards. This year he’s going deeper, delivering several cards per team instead of a select handful as in 2013. We will both be including bullpen coverage. This will be purely fantasy-oriented, outlining the hierarchy of each bullpen with some potential guys who could emerge for sneaky saves.
Plus there will be more graphics, GIFs, charts, and pictures than ever to help you digest the knowledge even better. I’m a visual person myself. I want to see the pitcher freeze a batter with his 12-to-6 curve or horribly miss his spot and allow a 450-foot homer.
The guide’s release date is the earliest ever, coming out over a month earlier than the 2013 iteration.
The guide will be released on February
There are a couple different options available to you this year:
- Order the Starting Pitcher Guide for $18
- Order the Starting Pitcher Guide & a year subscription to Paint The Black for $30 (normally $42)
If you signed up for PTB at launch with the promise of a discount code for the SPG, you will be emailed details on how to get that pricing. If you won a free copy from the TINSTAAPP podcast contest, you will have the guide sent upon release.