Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Cool WHIP: Fantasy Baseball Pitchers to Help Your Team’s WHIP

As we enter the final 2 months of the 2011 baseball season, fantasy baseball owners will no doubt be taking a closer look at their teams in trying to identify shortcomings and solidify themselves in certain categories. In looking at your pitching roster, you may be one of the many fantasy owners who could use a boost in the WHIP category (who couldn’t?). If your team is running behind in this category or consistently losing thins category (in head-to-head leagues), it’s worth considering a few pitchers who can offer some help in controlling your WHIP ratio.

Cory Luebke (SD)
For some reason, Luebke is available in the majority of fantasy baseball leagues. Perhaps it is due to the fact that he pitches for a poor Padres team (and doesn’t deliver high win totals) but the fact of the matter is that Luebke will go a long way toward helping your team’s WHIP (0.96 so far in 2011). Consider also the fact that he is striking out more than a batter per inning (9.3 K/9 after putting up a mark of 9.2 K/9 in 2010) and the bottom line is that if Luebke is available in your league, go get him.

Josh Tomlin (CLE)
Don’t let the 4+ ERA or low strikeout rate (4.8 K/9) dissuade you. Tomlin is delivering in the WHIP category and that is what matters here. His .249 BABIP is certain to normalize but that may not occur until next season. In the meantime, ride the BABIP train to a lower WHIP for your fantasy team.

Doug Fister (DET) –
Fister’s low WHIP in 2011 (1.17 between SEA and DET) is not a result of a low BABIP like Tomlin. Instead, Fister has been able to keep his WHIP ratio down due to a low hit rate (8.6 h/9, down from 9.8 H/9 in 2010). The move from the Mariners to the Tigers will only help his ability to put up wins as well.

Blake Beavan (SEA)
Beavan has made an impact in the majors right away with 6 straight quality starts. He has delivered a low WHIP due mainly to the fact that he has surrendered so few walks (1.3 BB/9). With Fister moved to Detroit and Michael Pineda facing a potential innings cap, Beavan is a nice source of help for your WHIP into the stretch drive.

Jeff Karstens (PIT)
Despite getting shelled recently by San Diego (of all teams), Karstens remains a good source of help for your WHIP category. He hasn’t walked many in 2011 (1.7 BB/9). The only red flag is a BABIP of .258 in 2011 which is 53 points lower than his mark of last year. Much like with Tomlin, you can ride out the BABIP while it lasts and enjoy the benefit to your WHIP.

Much like Beavan and Karstens, McCarthy’s low WHIP in 2011 is due directly to his reluctance to walk batters. By throwing strikes and taking advantage of the defense behind him, McCarthy has been able to provide a decent WHIP ratio. His BABIP is a little high (.310) for such a low WHIP (1.17) but it is his extremely low walk rate of 1.3 BB/9 which has led to his success. As long as he continues to limit the walks, he will continue to deliver the WHIP.

If you need some help in cracking the WHIP for your fantasy baseball team, consider some of these pitchers as they may just help you achieve lower ratio which in turn may help your push to the playoffs. Good luck!

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* Josh Tomlin photo by Keith Allison on Flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
* Jeff Karstens photo by dbking on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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