Archive for Ask the Professor

Ask the Professor: James Shields vs. Javier Vazquez

Steve sent in the following question:
I have to choose between the two in a 14 team H2H league and I’m trying to weigh my options. I know Vasquez had a subpar year in 2008, but the consistency is tough to overlook. He consistently throws over 200 innings, has around 200 strikeouts and his K/BB ratio is usually better than 3:1. What intrigues me about him is his move from the AL to the NL and pitching in Atlanta. Can his numbers improve in that league, pitching in that ballpark? As for Shields, he’s been tough the past couple years, posting similar numbers, but I’m worried about him being able to handle the workload, especially pitching deep into the playoffs and having to face the Yankees and Red Sox 36 times this year. Any thoughts?

I understand the allure of Javier Vazquez returning to the NL and pitching for the Braves, but don’t get caught up in all the hype.  He was last in the NL in 2005 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he posted an ERA of 4.43.  Of course, his other numbers were very good (1.25 WHIP, 192 K), but when comparing him against Shields every little bit counts.

Shields, pitching in possibly the best division in baseball the past two seasons, has been tremendous.  He’s put up WHIP’s of 1.11 and 1.15, as he hardly walks anyone as evidenced by his 1.67 BB/9 last season.  That’s a huge advantage, as he should easily outperform Vazquez in the WHIP department (Vazquez WHIP last season was 1.32).  I know Vazquez has shown the potential to post a miniscule WHIP before, but Shields gets the advantage with that type of control. Read more

Ask the Professor: Butler or Sandoval?

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Christian asked the following:
I play in a 5×5 roto keeper league and can’t decide between keeping Billy Butler of Pablo Sandoval. Who would you keep? Butler comes with such pedigree and everything I read says he should be hitting machine at any moment. Plus hitting is all he has had to concentrate on this off season as opposed to last season where he had to try and learn first base. However, there is no denying Pablo can hit. He hit last year and continues to hit in the winter league play. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Billy Butler or Pablo Sandoval…  Pablo Sandoval or Billy Butler…

Man, that’s a problem I wish I had myself.  For those who have been reading the site, you know how big of a fan I am of Sandoval, and that’s why this answer may be a bit surprising.  I’d go with Billy Butler.  That is, of course, assuming they are both simply eligible at 1B.  If Sandoval is eligible at C, or will be eligible with 5 games (since I think he’ll get there by early May), then it’s him without a doubt.  Assuming that it’s at least 10 in season, however, it’s going to take him far longer to become eligible at the position (especially with Bengie Molina manning the position and the clean-up slot), it’s a hole different story. Read more