2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings – Pitchers – Week 17

Week 17 fantasy baseball rankings for pitchers are listed below. Looking at the top 10, we can see a great example of  the effect of skill versus luck. Chris Sale, our number 1 pitcher this week and Jeff Samardzija, our number 7 pitcher, clearly show us how luck can truly affect a solid set of skills.

Now, please note that as we provide you with this analogy below, we are in no way claiming that these two pitchers are equal in overall skills. We’re simply using the fantasy baseball performances of these pitchers to show how actual numbers do not necessarily reflect the skills of the pitcher.

The first and foremost point I’d like to make here in this comparison is the fact that based on our standard scoring system, Samardzija ranks only 26 fantasy baseball points behind Sale. When you look below at their overall performance numbers used in most 5 x 5 scoring, this most likely surprise you.

Sale 21 148.1 13 4 211 2.37 0.88 296.2
Samardzija 21 135.1 5 11 146 4.85 1.18 270.2

You can see overall that Samardzija, by the performance numbers is well behind Sale. However, as we break down the skills we can see that Samardzija is not really pitching that bad. His numbers are the result of some unfavorable luck in several areas. Look below.

Sale 12.8 1.64 7.81 8%
Samardzija 9.71 1.13 8.59 17%

Raw skills shows that although Sale is much more of a power pitcher when it comes to strikeout ability, Samardzija has much better control control. In the end, this helps to even out the over K/BB rate showing Samardzija with the edge. However, Sale’s ability to keep in the park by a 1 to 2 ration truly helps his ERA numbers. This is shown clearly by the table below.

Sale 2.37 2.65
Samardzija 4.85 3.14

Looking at the above table, we can see that Sale’s ERA is fully backed by his xFIP. Samardzija, on the other hand shows the result of the extra long balls compared to what his xFIP says with regard to overall pitching skills.

Sale 0.287 78%
Samardzija 0.329 66%

The above table, to me, clearly shows that Samardzija is suffering from some bad luck whereas Sale isn’t. While Sale’s numbers are truly inline with league averages, Samardzija is clearly not. 66% strand rate with an elevated BABIP usually doesn’t bode well for a pitchers’ performance numbers.

Below is the full list of pitchers for our week 17 fantasy baseball rankings and as always your comments are welcome and sharing is encouraged. Until, next week, good luck with all your fantasy baseball teams.

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Doug Lukas

A passionate fantasy baseball enthusiast with a love for statistics and data analysis.
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