Over the next couple of weeks at Harper Wallbanger, I'm sorting through the Big Board for 12-team 5x5 leagues to find the must-draft and must-avoid players at each position. Welcome to the final stretch, it's starting pitchers!
More and more, the debate about SP value is all about innings. The high-velocity, high-breaking-ball usage, along with the 10-day DL and extensive bullpen use means that SPs are throwing less innings than ever, with only 15 guys clearing 200IP last year. Whoever your SP1 is, you should probably hope to get at least 180-190IP out of that guy! That, combined with elite performance, is what sets the top 10 or so SP apart from the rest. As always, there is a tier of overvalued mid-range guys that follows that. I love these guys too, but there is a real trick to drafting them. How sure are you that you'll see the breakout season (Castillo, Ohtani, McCullers)? Or get the innings you need (Paxton, Wood, Hill)? Or see regression in the right direction (Darvish, Tanaka, Archer)? There is risk associated with all of these guys, so you have to pick your spots wisely. What follows is my list of guys where the value seems to outweigh that risk!