Fantasy Baseball 2012: The Trade-Value Conundrums of Chris Sale and R.A. Dickey
The seasonal numbers for Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey (9-1, 2.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 78/19 K-BB ratio) and White Sox southpaw Chris Sale (8- 2, 2.05 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 76/18 K-BB) look superb to date, worthy of All-Star berths for both hurlers next month.
But that's not precisely why we're targeting either one for a Conundrum piece.
In the last 30 days (spanning five starts and 36.2 innings), Dickey has a 4-0 mark, 0.98 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and a Cliff Lee-esque strikeout-to-walk ratio (46/4). In that span, Dickey ranks fourth in wins, second in ERA, first in K/BB ratio, eighth in opponents' batting average (.194) and second in WHIP, among starting pitchers.
Since May 13 (also totaling five starts and 36.2 innings), Sale has a 5-0 mark, 0.98 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and 43/7 K/BB ratio. In that span, Sale ranks first in wins, third in ERA, fourth in K/BB ratio, first in opponents' batting average (.150) and first in WHIP, among starting pitchers.
Simply put, we may not see simultaneous domination like this from any pitching duo all season, and as a result, fantasy owners are left to wonder where Dickey and Sale stand among the best arms in baseball—from this point forward.
Are their trade values the same, or does one hold a distinct edge down the stretch?
Here's a balanced, three-tiered breakdown of plausible trade scenarios involving Dickey (three straight scoreless outings, seven straight victories) and Sale (30 strikeouts in his last three outings). As a supplement, here are AccuScore's projections for both pitchers from June 13-Sept. 30:
- Sale: 8.1 wins, 102.5 strikeouts, 2.60 ERA, 1.06 WHIP
- Dickey: 9.3 wins, 98.3 strikeouts, 2.89 ERA, 1.13 WHIP
Sale for Mark Teixeira, Michael Bourn, Carlos Beltran or Martin Prado
Dickey for Hunter Pence, B.J. Upton, Brandon Phillips or Joe Mauer
Sale/Adrian Beltre for Felix Hernandez/Pablo Sandoval
Sale/Melky Cabrera for Justin Verlander/Ben Zobrist
Dickey/J.J. Hardy for Clay Buchholz/Starlin Castro
Dickey/Dustin Pedroia for Matt Cain/Derek Jeter
Sale/Hanley Ramirez for Chris Perez/Ricky Romero/Troy Tulowitzki
Sale/Jacoby Ellsbury for Max Scherzer/Eric Hosmer/David Ortiz
Dickey/Jay Bruce for David Price/Mike Moustakas/Jemile Weeks
Dickey/Curtis Granderson for Zack Greinke/Ian Kinsler/Asdrubal Cabrera
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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