Pitching coach Rich Dubee pinned the Phillies Phab Phour starting rotation to the bulletin board in Clearwater yesterday. No surprise, but Roy Halladay will be the opening day starter on April 1 when the Phillies host the Astros. Halladay will be followed by Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton.
Fantasy baseball logic is normally that wins are the most inconsistent and elusive when choosing pitchers. A pitcher is not in control of how many runs that his team gets for him. Therefore, a savvy fantasy baseball manager should concentrate on choosing starters with solid WHIP rankings and power pitchers that can rack up strikeouts, because if they can’t hit it, they can’t hurt you.
So, when analyzing the Phillies starting rotation, does that mean that you should look at the matchups, especially early in the season? Obviously, the front four are all very good and Joe Blanton just may be the best # 5 starter in the business. Therefore, when it comes to wins, perhaps Cole Hamels is the one that will earn the most W’s on the season.
Here’s what Ron Shandler of Baseball Forecaster thinks:
- Roy Halladay 19/1.07/2.87/195
- Cliff Lee 14/1.16/3.36/180
- Roy Oswalt 15/1.16/3.17/176
- Cole Hamels 14/1.18/3.47/201
- Joe Blanton 10/1.36/4.30/139
According to Shandler’s projections, Hamels is going to pick up more K’s than Lee, Oswalt, and even Halladay. And, Hamels’ WHIP is in line with Lee’s and Oswalt’s. Pitching against the #4 starter of the other team should be an advantage in the wins column for Hamels, at least early in the season before the rotations of the opponents start getting all messed up.
We’re not saying that any of the Phillies starting pitchers is as good as Halladay. Roy is in a class by himself, only to be challenged in fantasy baseball circles by Felix Hernandez of the Mariners. It is our belief, however, that Hamels will be the Phab Phour pitcher that will bring you the most value in your 2011 fantasy baseball draft, especially in an auction format.