Sports

Where to find starting pitching bargains

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Attention, Roto Rage shoppers!

To make up for a miserable 2020, we have decided to slash prices on starting pitchers at all our locations. Keep an eye out for some all-time low prices, as you don’t want to miss out on these incredible deals.

If you look down Aisle 59 of our San Diego store, there is a special on Joe Musgrove, a pitcher whose name has often been preceded by descriptors like “potential breakout candidate” or “injury-prone.”

For his mostly underwhelming career, Musgrove is 29-38 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Despite making just eight starts, last year was the one time in his career he had an ERA under 4.00. So, why is this guy, who has started more than 19 games in a season once in the first five years of his career, being touted as one of the best deals? Let’s look at his numbers from last year for some insight.

Musgrove’s ugly 1-5 record is deceiving, as he allowed more than three runs in just two of his eight starts. Over his final five starts, he went 1-2 with a 2.16 ERA, 38 strikeouts and a .198 opponent average.

Among pitchers who threw a minimum of 30 innings, Musgrove ranked sixth in strikeouts per nine (12.48) and 16th in swinging strike rate (14.4 percent) — which ranked higher than Yu Darvish, Jack Flaherty, Aaron Nola, Brandon Woodruff and NL Cy Young winner, Trevor Bauer. He also held opponents to a .223 average.

Joe Musgrove with the Pirates
Getty Images

Musgrove maintained a 3.86 ERA, the lowest mark of his career, and his FIP (3.42) and xFIP (3.16) indicate things would have gotten even better had the season been more than just 60 games. From 2017-20, his FIP was consistently about 40 points (or more) lower than his ERA, meaning he was unlucky.

Another reason Musgrove should be on your shopping list: He’s joining Darvish, Blake Snell, Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack (another solid deal) in our new flagship San Diego store. He’s moving from our Pittsburgh store, which burned down in 2020. San Diego is up-and-coming (especially with that top-five offense), a perfect place for Musgrove to thrive.

With an average draft position of 139.07, according to Fantasy Alarm, Musgrove is a reasonably priced target who should benefit from the change of scenery and have the breakout campaign we’ve been expecting for quite some time.

The discounts don’t stop there, folks.

If you look down Aisle 46 of our Washington store, we have a sale on former top-20 pitchers. Patrick Corbin’s (126.86) value took a hit after going 2-7 with a 4.66 ERA in 2020, but this is a guy who went 25-14 with 484 strikeouts (10.8 per nine) over 66 starts from 2018-19. This is one of the best deals you’ll find.

In our Bronx store, we have three refurbished items at all-time low prices. Two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (175.38), who has pitched just 36 ²/₃ innings over the past two seasons, Jameson Taillon (205.63) and Jordan Montgomery (239.44) are all repackaged and as good as new … we think. (Disclaimer: Roto Rage offers no guarantee these items make it through 2021 without glitches.)

In our Cincinnati store, there’s a special on Cincinnati’s Tyler Mahle (189.43), who ranked 16th in strikeouts per nine (11.33), 13th in opponent average (.193) and 19th in swinging strike rate (13.8 percent) among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched.

In our Toronto branch, we can guarantee Nate Pearson (228.95) will be in stock and cheap, but there may be some damaged parts. Pearson struggles with his control (6.5 walks per nine last season), but has the ability to work through malfunctions with a strong arm that maintained a 2.19 ERA over three seasons in our outlet stores (aka, the minors) while striking out 10.7 per nine.

New to our Texas store, after spending some time in Chicago last year, Dane Dunning (266.47) is an inexpensive option for all you bargain hunters. Dunning may not be as flashiest item on the shelf, but he will rely on his slider (.135 opponent average, 17 strikeouts, one walk) and sinker (.173, 10 strikeouts) to get the job done.

If you’re looking for the newest models in stock, we have two extremely cheap items available in our Detroit store that you might like. Tarik Skubal (287.12), who struck out 27.6 percent of the batters he faced and has a fastball with a max velocity of 98 mph, and Casey Mize (315.16) are worthy of consideration.

Finally, if you find yourself in Philadelphia with a few extra bucks in your pocket, Spencer Howard (330.76) is a great model for the future. He should be kept in the box for a little while, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking advantage of this markdown.

Happy shopping, Roto Ragers.

Starting Pitchers Rankings

  1. Jacob deGrom, NYM
  2. Gerrit Cole, NYY
  3. Shane Bieber, Cle
  4. Trevor Bauer, LAD
  5. Lucas Giolito, CWS
  6. Walker Buehler, LAD
  7. Yu Darvish, SD
  8. Aaron Nola, Phi
  9. Max Scherzer, Was
  10. Luis Castillo, Cin
  11. Brandon Woodruff, Mil
  12. Clayton Kershaw, LAD
  13. Tyler Glasnow, TB
  14. Jack Flaherty, StL
  15. Blake Snell, SD
  16. Corbin Burnes, Mil
  17. Kenta Maeda, Min
  18. Lance Lynn, CWS
  19. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tor
  20. Zach Wheeler, Phi
  21. Carlos Carrasco, NYM
  22. Jose Berrios, Min
  23. Zac Gallen, Ari
  24. Stephen Strasburg, Was
  25. Max Fried, Atl
  26. Kyle Hendricks, ChC
  27. Sonny Gray, Cin
  28. Jesus Luzardo, Oak
  29. Chris Paddack. SD
  30. Zach Plesac, Cle
  31. Lance McCullers Jr., Hou
  32. Joe Musgrove, SD
  33. Charlie Morton, Atl
  34. Zack Greinke, Hou
  35. Julio Urias, LAD
  36. Dylan Bundy, LAA
  37. Pablo Lopez, Mia
  38. Ian Anderson, Atl
  39. Dinelson Lamet, SD
  40. Patrick Corbin, Was
  41. Sandy Alcantara, Mia
  42. Sixto Sanchez, Mia
  43. Tyler Mahle, Cin
  44. Framber Valdez, Hou
  45. Frankie Montas, Oak
  46. Kevin Gausman, SF
  47. Marcus Stroman, NYM
  48. Andrew Heaney, LAA
  49. Jose Urquidy, Hou
  50. Corey Kluber, NYY
  51. German Marquez, Col
  52. Marco Gonzales, Sea
  53. Mike Soroka, Atl
  54. Chris Bassitt, Oak
  55. Nathan Eovaldi, Bos
  56. Triston McKenzie, Cle
  57. Zach Eflin, Phi
  58. Dallas Keuchel, CWS
  59. David Price, LAD
  60. Jameson Taillon, NYY
  61. Eduardo Rodriguez, Bos
  62. Sean Manaea, Oak
  63. Aaron Civale, Cle
  64. Dustin May, LAD
  65. Michael Pineda, Min
  66. Elieser Hernandez, Mia
  67. John Means, Bal
  68. Noah Syndergaard, NYM
  69. Shohei Ohtani, LAA
  70. James Paxton, Sea
  71. Cristian Javier, Hou
  72. Chris Sale, Bos
  73. Nate Pearson, Tor
  74. Taijuan Walker, NYM
  75. Ryan Yarbrough, TB
  76. Jordan Montgomery, NYY
  77. Josh Lindblom, Mil
  78. Mike Minor, KC
  79. Drew Smyly, Atl
  80. Tony Gonsolin, LAD
  81. Brady Singer, KC
  82. Kwang-Hyun Kim, StL
  83. Dane Dunning, Tex
  84. Michael Kopech, CWS
  85. Jake Odorizzi, Hou
  86. Zach Davies, ChC
  87. Spencer Turnbull, Det
  88. Matthew Boyd, Det
  89. Griffin Canning, LAA
  90. Mitch Keller, Pit
  91. Justus Sheffield, Sea
  92. Yuesi Kikuchi, Sea
  93. MacKenzie Gore, SD
  94. J.A. Happ, Min
  95. Miles Mikolas, StL
  96. Luis Severino, NYY
  97. Caleb Smith, Ari
  98. Tarik Skubal, Det
  99. Chris Archer, TB
  100. Michael Lorenzen, Cin
  101. Luke Weaver, Ari
  102. Spencer Howard, Phi
  103. Brad Keller, KC
  104. Casey Mize, Det
  105. Garrett Richards, Bos
  106. Rich Hill, TB
  107. Robbie Ray, Tor
  108. David Peterson, NYM
  109. Madison Bumgarner, Ari
  110. Jose Quintana, LAA
  111. Anthony DeSclafani, SF
  112. Adbert Alzolay, ChC
  113. Randy Dobnak, Min
  114. Brent Suter, Mil
  115. JT Brubaker, Pit
  116. Carlos Martinez, StL
  117. Deivi Garcia, NYY
  118. Tanner Houck, Bos
  119. Tejay Antone, Cin
  120. Steven Matz, Tor
  121. Nick Pivetta, Bos
  122. Keegan Akin, Bal
  123. Merrill Kelly, Ari
  124. Alec Mills, ChC
  125. Cal Quantrill, Cle
  126. Kyle Wright, Atl
  127. Trevor Rogers, Mia
  128. Carlos Rodon, CWS
  129. Mike Foltynewicz, Tex
  130. Joey Lucchesi, NYM
  131. Dean Kremer, Bal
  132. Kris Bubic, KC
  133. Josh Fleming, TB
  134. A.J. Puk, Oak
  135. Kohei Arihara, Tex

Team Name of the Week

Merrifield of Dreams

Submitted by Anthony Del Vecchio

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