Fantasy Baseball: Breakdown of AccuScore's Rest-of-Season Strikeout Projections
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AccuScore, a company that specializes in thorough game simulations, has made a few on-the-fly revisions to its seasonal projections.
These 43 starting pitchers, based on AccuScore projections (not mine), will register at least 84 strikeouts from this point forward (July 5-Sept. 30):
1. Yu Darvish, Rangers—111
2. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers—109
3. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals—108
4. Gio Gonzalez, Nationals—106
5. Tim Lincecum, Giants—105
6. Justin Verlander, Tigers—104
7. Cole Hamels, Phillies—103
8. Felix Hernandez, Mariners—101
9. Cliff Lee, Phillies—101
10. Jonathan Sanchez, Royals—100
11. CC Sabathia, Yankees—100
12. Zack Greinke, Brewers—99
13. Mat Latos, Reds—98
14. Marco Estrada, Brewers—98
15. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers—96
- There's nothing pretty about Jonathan Sanchez's seasonal numbers (1-4, 6.80 ERA, 1.99 WHIP), including strikeouts. Of his last 10 starts, he's racked up five or more strikeouts only once, an unremarkable feat for a pitcher with a respectable track record in K's. Needless to say, I'm not loving Sanchez's chances of hitting triple digits from this point forward—heck, 70 might be an ambitious figure.
- Of the top five pitchers in AccuScore's countdown, two assets (Yu Darvish, Stephen Strasburg) are getting (or may be forced into) extended rest during the latter half of the season in hopes of preserving them for the playoffs. Obviously, Strasburg (9-3, 2.81 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 122/27 K-BB) and Darvish (10-5, 3.59 ERA, 117/53 K-BB) need innings to maximize their strikeout counts, and if they should endure a two-to-three-week period of inactivity, the odds of triple-digit strikeouts from July 5-Sept. 30 would vanquish.
- From May 15-June 27, Tim Lincecum tallied 58 strikeouts over nine starts, roughly 6.5 per outing. And with a projected 15 starts for the remainder of the regular season, that figures out to 97.5 strikeouts. But in this instance, I'll buy him for more than 100...but less than the prescribed 105.
- I love Marco Estrada's absurd strikeout-to-walk ratio (34/4) in his last six starts, but I have trouble buying the 98 tally. It seems a tad high for a talented but enigmatic starter. But then again, how cool would it be if three Brewers pitchers—Estrada, Zack Greinke, Yovani Gallardo—flirted with 100 punch-outs from this point forward?
16. David Price, Rays—95
17. Jon Lester, Red Sox—95
18. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals—95
19. Matt Cain, Giants—95
20. James Shields, Rays—95
21. Lance Lynn, Cardinals—94
22. Jered Weaver, Angels—94
23. Francisco Liriano, Twins—92
24. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs—92
25. Felix Doubront, Red Sox—92
26. Max Scherzer, Tigers—92
27. Roy Halladay, Phillies—92
28. Bud Norris, Astros—91
29. Anibal Sanchez, Marlins—90
30. Matt Garza, Cubs—89
31. Madison Bumgarner, Giants—89
32. Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks—89
33. Erik Bedard, Pirates—88
34. Dan Haren, Diamondbacks—88
35. Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians—87
36. R.A. Dickey, Mets—86
37. Vance Worley, Phillies—86
38. Colby Lewis, Rangers—86
39. Tommy Hanson, Braves—85
40. Josh Beckett, Red Sox—85
41. Chris Capuano, Dodgers—84
42. Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees—84
43. Josh Johnson, Marlins—84
- Two absent names immediately stand out from this list: C.J. Wilson (9-4, 2.33 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) and Chris Sale (10-2, 2.19 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 98/25 K-BB). Wilson currently has 84 strikeouts—the precise figure that's needed to qualify for AccuScore's top 43. He also has a 1.89 ERA in his last five starts (three victories), but only a pedestrian 20/14 K-BB ratio.
- On the flip side, Sale has done more than enough to warrant a spot on this list. In his last nine starts (seven victories), Sale has 65 strikeouts for a stealth average of 7.2 per outing. Verdict: Barring injury, Sale is a viable candidate for 95 K's from this point forward.
- I'll be Las Vegas-bound in six days (SI.com golf guru Jeff Ritter's bachelor party), but if I were there right now, I'd bet the "over" on Max Scherzer collecting more than 92 strikeouts from today's date. Conversely, I'd take the "under" on Boston's Felix Doubront and 92 strikeouts.
- Noticeably absent from this list: Jake Peavy, Matt Moore, Ryan Dempster, A.J. Burnett, Ryan Vogelsong, Johnny Cueto.
- Madison Bumgarner ranks eighth among MLB strikeout pitchers in the last 30 days, with 41. Extrapolated over the next three months, he's a shoo-in for AccuScore's 89 threshold; he's also a strong bet to eclipse teammates Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum from this point forward.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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