HEAD-TO-HEAD: Consistency Series Part III—2014 LIMA rebooted pitching targets

Introduction

In 2013, we "supercharged" LIMA rebooted to target pitchers who performed more consistently. In the conclusion of our Head to Head consistency series, we provide you with a draft template containing 2014 targets.

The LIMA Plan Rebooted

The LIMA Plan works exceptionally well in head-to-head fantasy baseball. Generally speaking, the plan—as modified for the head-to-head format —works as follows:

  • Target homogeneous hitters early in your draft. Even amidst an early run of high-end starting pitchers such as Kershaw, Darvish, and Scherzer, stay strong. You will have excellent pitching options in the middle rounds. Hitters are generally more reliable and consistent, giving you a leg up on your head-to-head competition.
  • Heighten your starting pitcher spider-sense in the middle rounds. You need to carefully monitor which starting pitchers are being drafted, and how many viable LIMA-QC options are left. After you have at least six homogeneous hitters (eight is preferable), shift your focus to the pitching market.
  • Once you have locked up multiple LIMA-QC starters, work on filling out your remaining positional player roster spots with consistent players and drafting closers and highly-skilled set-up men who can insulate your ratio categories. Based on Part I and Part II of our series, you know where to find consistent draft values in 2014.

The Most Consistent 2014 LIMA Options

When Ray Murphy "rebooted" the LIMA Plan, he found that the following metrics were our new targets:

    Ctl < = 2.8
    Cmd > = 2.5
    Dom > = 7.0

Below are starting pitchers who meet the aforementioned filters, organized by their Quality-Consistency (QC) scores:

PITCHER           Dom    Ctl    Cmd     QC     ADP
=============     ===    ===    ===    ===   ======
Kershaw,Clayton   8.8    2.0    4.5    164     6.29
Scherzer,Max      10.1   2.4    4.3    164    28.74
Lee,Cliff         9.0    1.3    6.9    154    44.45
Paxton,James      7.9    2.6    3.0    150   317
Sale,Chris        9.5    1.9    4.9    142    49.57
Wainwright,Adam   8.2    1.3    6.3    140    33.76
Hamels,Cole       8.3    2.0    4.0    140    62.33
Bumgarner,M.      8.9    2.8    3.2    138    47
Minor,Mike        8.0    2.0    3.9    138   102.6
Price,David       7.3    1.3    5.6    128    53.64
Cole,Gerrit       7.7    2.1    3.6    126    93.71
Corbin,Patrick    7.7    2.3    3.3    120   169.19
Gray,Sonny        9.4    2.8    3.4    120   156
Sanchez,Anibal    10.0   2.7    3.7    116    76.76
Hernandez,Felix   9.5    2.0    4.7    108    43.05
Latos,Mat         8.0    2.5    3.2    108   102.5
Shields,James     7.7    2.7    2.9    106    98.38
Iwakuma,Hisashi   7.6    1.7    4.4    104    89.31
Strasburg,Stephen 9.4    2.8    3.4    102    34
Griffin,A.J.      7.7    2.4    3.2    100   229.24
Peavy,Jake        7.5    2.2    3.4    96    272
Bailey,Homer      8.6    2.3    3.7    96    110.76
Lackey,John       7.7    1.9    4.0    92    281.74
Ryu,Hyun-Jin      7.2    2.3    3.1    92    152.98
Medlen,Kris       7.2    2.1    3.3    90    118.64
Lester, John      7.5    2.8    2.6    86    173
Greinke,Zack      7.5    2.3    3.2    84     60.52
Mejia,Jenrry      8.9    1.3    6.8    80    409
Teheran,Julio     8.2    2.2    3.8    80    127.24
Estrada,Marco     8.3    2.0    4.1    68    222.9
Torres,Carlos     7.8    1.8    4.4    68    659
Walker,Taijuan    7.2    2.4    3.0    66    220.69
Sabathia,CC       7.5    2.8    2.7    64    212
Cobb,Alex         8.4    2.8    3.0    62    117
Quintana,Jose     7.4    2.5    2.9    62    295.26
Dickey, R.A.      7.1    2.8    2.5    59    220
Petit,Yusmeiro    8.8    2.1    4.3    58    421
Holland,Derek     8.0    2.7    3.0    56    271.43
Cain,Matt         7.7    2.7    2.9    54    103.86
Garcia,Jaime      7.0    2.4    2.9    44    385.57
Nolasco,Ricky     7.4    2.1    3.6    36    314.98
Garza,Matt        7.9    2.4    3.2    32    258.74
Porcello,Rick     7.2    2.1    3.4    28    305.45
Kazmir,Scott      9.2    2.7    3.4    20    276.19
Cueto,Johnny      7.6    2.7    2.8    20    189.1
Kluber,Corey      8.3    2.0    4.1    16    276.93
Slowey,Kevin      7.4    1.8    4.2     2    691
Haren,Dan         8.0    1.6    4.9     0    268.69
Milone,Tommy      7.3    2.2    3.2     0    457
Lyons,Tyler       7.3    2.7    2.7     0    685
Harang,Aaron      7.1    2.5    2.8   -16    651.3
Wacha,Michael     9.0    2.6    3.4   -22    87.5
Hellickson,Jeremy 7.0    2.6    2.7   -34    401.98
Archer,Chris      7.1    2.7    2.7   -54    228.67
Salazar,Danny     11.2   2.6    4.3   -60    138.57
Redmond,Todd      8.9    2.7    3.3   -72    647.65
Blanton,Joe       7.3    2.3    3.2   -80    661.62
Tepesch,Nicholas  7.4    2.6    2.8   -82    657.04
Maurer,Brandon    7.0    2.7    2.6   -86    638.85
Gausman,Kevin     9.3    2.5    3.8   -120   333.31
Hughes,Phil       7.5    2.6    2.9   -132   410.1           

Echoing last year's sentiment, the beauty of this list is that it allows you to determine which LIMA-caliber starting pitchers were most consistent in 2013. In 2013, there were 21 pitchers with QC scores over 100. Over half of those are currently being drafted in the sixth round or later. Let's mine the ADP data to determine our most consistent LIMA head-to-head targets.

The Early Round LIMA Options (Rounds 7-10): Last year we highlighted Mike Minor (LHP, ATL) as a mid-round target. He delivered in 2013 (QC of 138), and he is poised to do so again. He is worth a ninth round pick. Other early round targets are Matt Latos (RHP, CIN) and James Shields (RHP, KC) in the ninth round.  If you like the upside of Gerrit Cole (RHP, PIT), he offers an elite consistency score (126) in round eight. Anibal Sanchez (RHP, DET) also makes a return appearance on this list; however, unlike last year when he was undervalued as a seventeenth round pick, he is now being taken in round seven.

The Mid-Round LIMA Options (Rounds 11-17): This is where you win your drafts. If you drafted a homogenous core, and you nail your starting pitching selections in the middle rounds, you should be in for an excellent 2014 season. Two uber-elite QC pitchers (both have QCs of 120) are available in rounds 13 and 15, Sonny Gray (RHP, OAK) and Patrick Corbin (LHP, ARI). Try to land at least one, if not both. Between those rounds, Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP, LA) is being undervalued based on a 2013 performance where he went half a season with a 0% DISaster score. If you are targeting a pitcher earlier, such as in the late tenth or early eleventh rounds, Homer Bailey (RHP, CIN) and Julio Teheran (RHP, ATL) offer QC scores of 90, 96, and 80 respectively. If you can land Jon Lester (LHP, BOS) (QC of 86) as a fourth—or preferably fifth—starter in round fifteen, he should deliver another solid (if unspectacular) year. While Danny Salazar (RHP, CLE) is also available during these rounds (ADP in the twelfth), his QC score of -60 suggests that he is as yet too inconsistent to be your staff co-ace. 

The End Round LIMA Options (Rounds 18+): AJ Griffin (RHP, OAK), with an elite QC score of 100, is not being drafted until round 20. As the Forecaster notes, he has 3.50 ERA, 180 K upside. In round nineteen, there is the perpetually undervalued Marco Estrada (RHP, MIL) who had an 89%/0% DOM/DIS split in the second half of 2013. His QC score of 68 should easily improve. Also going in round nineteen is super-prospect Taijuan Walker (RHP, SEA). While he may not be as consistent as some of the other options on this list, he has the upside to justify the gamble this late in your draft. Do note, however, that Walker is currently dealing with shoulder soreness and likely will not be ready to join the rotation until mid-April at the earliest. Walker's teammate, James Paxton (LHP, SEA), was incredibly consistent in his 2013 debut (small sample QC of 150). Given his command history, you should not expect a repeat, but in round twenty-seven, he's a worthy end-game target. And if you are looking for a late-round DL-stash, you can thank Derek Holland's (LHP, TEX) dog for knocking his ADP into the 25th round.

Conclusion

Do not panic if there is a run on starting pitching early. However, you must continuously monitor your list of LIMA-QC targets to ensure that it is not being depleted too quickly. Strike hard in the middle rounds after you have your core of homogenous hitters in place.

We hope our 2014 Consistency Series has provided you with the tools to build consistency into your head-to-head roster on draft day. Good luck!


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.