taobball

Justin Verlander 2017 Outlook

127 posts in this topic

On May 3rd, 2016, Justin Verlander had the following statline in the 2016 season:

 

6.49 ERA

1.44 WHIP

8.57 K/9

 

After a hot stretch in May, many "savvy" fantasy owners sold off the hot hand, believing it to be an outlier for the aging Verlander. 

 

Verlander said otherwise:

And within those next few starts, Verlander started proving something WAS different: He had four weapons in his quiver again to make hitters whiff.

 

Here were his numbers over the next 4 Starts:

4 Starts

30.1 IP (7.1+ IP per start)

37 K (9+ K per start, 10.98 K/9) to 9 BB (2.67 BB/9; 4:1+ K/BB)

16 H + 9 BB (0.824 WHIP)

4 ER (1.19 ERA) (2 of 4 ER inherited)

FB Velo: 93-94 AV, 96-97 touch

48 FB Whiffs (18.7%) 

13 CH Whiffs (23.2%) 

16 SL Whiffs (21.1%)

 

He never slowed down, posting 1.69, 2.43, and 1.93 ERAs in each of the last three individual months of the season. 

He finished as the 11th best PLAYER in ESPN's Player Rater for 5x5 Roto Leagues. 

His seasonal numbers completely erased any idea of a poor April, posting a 3.04 ERA (2nd In AL), and an AL leading 1.00 WHIP and 254 Strikeouts (10.04 K/9) 

And if you look at his numbers since his May 3rd Start and Tweet, they're even more impressive: a 2.42 ERA, a 0.922 WHIP and a 10.31 K/9.

 

And while Justin Verlander turns 34 Years Old before the next baseball season, this pitcher who is easily considered one of his best of his era is coming off a season where he posted his career best Swinging Strike percentage, drawing 12.0% Whiffs over the course of the season.

 

How confident are people this season in the 34 Year Old? Does he have another one in the arm? And if so, are we expecting the utter dominance of last year? Will he be a staff Ace in ADP or a Low-End SP1 closer to the Jon Lester-esque range. Is there any chance that he could see a year of the same quality of last year, or even one of the same quality but without a bad April? One things for sure: He won't be had for the same unbelievable values some owners got last year (CSB/not so humble brag; turning Jung-Ho Kang into JV in my first ever $$ league in early May). 

 

/discuss

 

 

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His stuff is back and healthy. Put me down for another similar great season

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The biggest question mark for me is not if he still has what it takes to be a solid SP next season, but who he pitches for next season?

 

The Tigers are having a fire sale and were I take him will depend on were that sale puts him. 

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17 minutes ago, thatguy725 said:

The biggest question mark for me is not if he still has what it takes to be a solid SP next season, but who he pitches for next season?

 

The Tigers are having a fire sale and were I take him will depend on were that sale puts him. 

 

I may end up being higher than most on him this year, but as good of a park as Comerica is, if he's in the National League... look out. 

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His era of 3.04 outperformed his FIP of 3.48 and xFIP of 3.78. His LOB% was also at 79.9% which is barely under the highest of his career. With that said there was a big spike in K/9 to 10.04 which is encouraging, however his strikeout rates weren't even that high during his prime, generally settling in around 9 K/9. I don't expect to have a similar season to 2016, and some regression is coming I think. I think he's going to be overdrafted compared to where I would be willing to take him. I agree with the above poster that he'd make a sweet SP3 but I wouldn't want him as my number 2. If he gets traded to the NL though I'd be super pumped and I'd be more willing to spend on him.

Edited by ktierne3

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1 hour ago, ktierne3 said:

His era of 3.04 outperformed his FIP of 3.48 and xFIP of 3.78. His LOB% was also at 79.9% which is barely under the highest of his career. With that said there was a big spike in K/9 to 10.04 which is encouraging, however his strikeout rates weren't even that high during his prime, generally settling in around 9 K/9. I don't expect to have a similar season to 2016, and some regression is coming I think. I think he's going to be overdrafted compared to where I would be willing to take him. I agree with the above poster that he'd make a sweet SP3 but I wouldn't want him as my number 2. If he gets traded to the NL though I'd be super pumped and I'd be more willing to spend on him.

 

From my seeing of early drafts I don't think he's going anywhere near a 3. 

 

I get the FIP and xFIP. At the same time, and I made this argument last year around May-June as well, you're dealing with a pitcher working predominately in 93-96 MPH, who has a plus change, a plus slider, and a plus curve. If we wanna argue the latter points I suppose we can do that but from what I've seen he has three plus off-speed offerings. So you take age out and now you're looking at arguably 4 Plus Offerings and then people are saying they don't feel comfortable with him as an SP2? 

 

Idk, hard to say. Obviously any year could be a year where he doesn't stay healthy or falls off the table, but I'd argue that, without an injury, he's going to be an Ace again this year. 

 

EDIT: And I'll put it this way, I'm not sure where he'd rank among ALL SPs, but if I'm looking in the AL:

Kluber, Sale, probably Price, maybe Carrasco, but that's it for me. The only two I think are clear are Kluber and Sale. I could easily put him as SP3 in AL Only. 

Edited by taobball

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Unfortunately probably gonna be drafted higher than I'd like to take him. Getting an ace in the 16th round was pretty great last year lol. 

 

He was outplaying his peripherals, but really not by much - 0.60 at the most? 3.04 ERA with a FIP/FIPx of 3.48/3.78.... that's somewhat normal. I'd be concerned if it was a larger gap. An ERA below 3.40 is still decent for fantasy. 

 

I don't think he'll toss up a 10+ K/9 again. I bet he could do 9+ though. Anything above 8.5 is doable if you're in a K/9 league like myself. Keep in mind this isn't a Keuchel situation where he's piping 89 mph fastballs. His velocity is back up to 95+ when he needs it to be. 

 

Honestly I think he'd be a great SP3. Probably even worth grabbing as a later SP2 depending on how quick pitchers are going. 

 

It's worth a reminder that this isn't some fluke. The command and numbers starting showing back up in the latter half of 2015, and continued into last season. Idk if you can bet on a 3.04 ERA like this past season, but it's clear he's figured out how to pitch again. 

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21 hours ago, street sharks said:

Unfortunately probably gonna be drafted higher than I'd like to take him. Getting an ace in the 16th round was pretty great last year lol. 

 

He was outplaying his peripherals, but really not by much - 0.60 at the most? 3.04 ERA with a FIP/FIPx of 3.48/3.78.... that's somewhat normal. I'd be concerned if it was a larger gap. An ERA below 3.40 is still decent for fantasy. 

 

I don't think he'll toss up a 10+ K/9 again. I bet he could do 9+ though. Anything above 8.5 is doable if you're in a K/9 league like myself. Keep in mind this isn't a Keuchel situation where he's piping 89 mph fastballs. His velocity is back up to 95+ when he needs it to be. 

 

Honestly I think he'd be a great SP3. Probably even worth grabbing as a later SP2 depending on how quick pitchers are going. 

 

It's worth a reminder that this isn't some fluke. The command and numbers starting showing back up in the latter half of 2015, and continued into last season. Idk if you can bet on a 3.04 ERA like this past season, but it's clear he's figured out how to pitch again. 

 

SP3 for sure. Maybe SP2 in a 14+ team league.

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1 hour ago, Fuzzy_Slippers said:

 

SP3 for sure. Maybe SP2 in a 14+ team league.

 

I mean I don't see why it's outlandish to call him an SP1 in 14 team leagues. I think he'll probably crack my top 15. 

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If Verlander is traded it will be to an NL team.  He's a 10/5 guy so has control of where he goes and he's smart enough to want to get out of the AL.  So he'll be with the Tigers or a contender in the NL, probably Dodgers or Washington to reunite with his buddy Scherzer. 

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45 minutes ago, Baseball Jonze said:

If Verlander is traded it will be to an NL team.  He's a 10/5 guy so has control of where he goes and he's smart enough to want to get out of the AL.  So he'll be with the Tigers or a contender in the NL, probably Dodgers or Washington to reunite with his buddy Scherzer. 

 

If Justin Verlander is truly smart, he'll go where Kate Upton wants to go. 

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1 hour ago, Baseball Jonze said:

If Verlander is traded it will be to an NL team.  He's a 10/5 guy so has control of where he goes and he's smart enough to want to get out of the AL.  So he'll be with the Tigers or a contender in the NL, probably Dodgers or Washington to reunite with his buddy Scherzer. 

Do pitchers really care that much about AL vs NL? Obviously it helps their numbers (and fantasy value), but I think the difference between pitching in the AL vs the NL is well known so it doesn't really impact their earnings that much

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1 minute ago, mysonx3 said:

Do pitchers really care that much about AL vs NL? Obviously it helps their numbers (and fantasy value), but I think the difference between pitching in the AL vs the NL is well known so it doesn't really impact their earnings that much

 

I don't think in Justin Verlander's case his earnings are the big concern. He's still got 3/84 left on his Detroit mega-deal, and if he can finish in the top 5 in Cy voting in 2019, it'll kick it to 4/106 with another year in 2020. Either way though, I doubt Verlander is projecting another major contract for a season where spring training will begin soon after his 37th Birthday. 3 Years is a long time. 

 

It would simply be racking up numbers and getting to have fun dominating pitchers. I've always imagined that has to be almost fun for AL pitchers, specifically power arms, coming over to the NL for the first time. I get to face that guy? Yeah. Awesome. 

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7 minutes ago, taobball said:

 

I don't think in Justin Verlander's case his earnings are the big concern. He's still got 3/84 left on his Detroit mega-deal, and if he can finish in the top 5 in Cy voting in 2019, it'll kick it to 4/106 with another year in 2020. Either way though, I doubt Verlander is projecting another major contract for a season where spring training will begin soon after his 37th Birthday. 3 Years is a long time. 

 

It would simply be racking up numbers and getting to have fun dominating pitchers. I've always imagined that has to be almost fun for AL pitchers, specifically power arms, coming over to the NL for the first time. I get to face that guy? Yeah. Awesome. 

Good point. Would be fun. Except when they get a hit off of you. That would suck.

Anyway, I don't think Verlander would veto solely based on AL vs NL - he'd likely base it on contending, and/or where he wants to live

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Just now, mysonx3 said:

Good point. Would be fun. Except when they get a hit off of you. That would suck.

Anyway, I don't think Verlander would veto solely based on AL vs NL - he'd likely base it on contending, and/or where he wants to live

 

I agree. The Kate Upton thing was kinda a joke, but I think it's kinda true too-- Verlander's at a point where I truly believe he's going to base his decision largely on where he wants to live, and I think that takes precedent over NL v AL as well. 

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10 minutes ago, mysonx3 said:

Do pitchers really care that much about AL vs NL? Obviously it helps their numbers (and fantasy value), but I think the difference between pitching in the AL vs the NL is well known so it doesn't really impact their earnings that much

 

Verlander made his money.  Now it's about getting a World Series ring and padding his stats for the HOF.  Detroit is in full tear down, they're not going to win anything in the next five years.  NL would be better for his personal numbers facing the opposing pitcher 2-3 times rather than a $20M DH bat in the AL.  Detroit hasn't had a player go into the HOF since Al Kaline who last played in 1974 - getting exposure in a major market outside Detroit would be beneficial as well.   

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47 minutes ago, Baseball Jonze said:

 

Verlander made his money.  Now it's about getting a World Series ring and padding his stats for the HOF.  Detroit is in full tear down, they're not going to win anything in the next five years.  NL would be better for his personal numbers facing the opposing pitcher 2-3 times rather than a $20M DH bat in the AL.  Detroit hasn't had a player go into the HOF since Al Kaline who last played in 1974 - getting exposure in a major market outside Detroit would be beneficial as well.   

 

I meant to post this earlier but as a Cubs fan, if you follow Joe Maddon's madness, Verlander is for sure is a stage 5 baseball player:
 

http://www.baseballbytheyard.com/joe-maddens-stages-of-a-ball-player/

 

 

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Seems like the voters still overvalue wins, Verlander would have easily had my vote.

 

The worst part is Verlander had 6 more first place votes than Porcello but 2 people somehow left Verlander off their ballot which pretty much made the difference.  

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1 hour ago, urban2014 said:

Don't really care the man is a classless individual, so is his fiancé 

What makes you say Verlander is a classless individual?

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2 hours ago, urban2014 said:

Don't really care the man is a classless individual, so is his fiancé 

No, you

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4 hours ago, pittsports87 said:

Seems like the voters still overvalue wins, Verlander would have easily had my vote.

The worst part is Verlander had 6 more first place votes than Porcello but 2 people somehow left Verlander off their ballot which pretty much made the difference.  

I think a good case can be made for all three finalist who were all clustered together.  But honestly I would have ranked Verlander third in that close grouping.  I'd be hard pressed to choose between Kluber and Porcello even being a Boston fan.  But I had both Porcello and Kluber slightly over Verlander.  So it was really close and no reason to think any of the three were undeserving.

I actually would have liked for Zach Britton to have won more than any of these three talented guys because what Britton did was so unique.  The last time anyone in the AL did something similar and never blew a save all year long they got the Cy Young (Dennis Eckersley).

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7 minutes ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

I think a good case can be made for all three finalist who were all clustered together.  But honestly I would have ranked Verlander third in that close grouping.  I'd be hard pressed to choose between Kluber and Porcello even being a Boston fan.  But I had both Porcello and Kluber slightly over Verlander.  So it was really close and no reason to think any of the three were undeserving.

I actually would have liked for Zach Britton to have won more than any of these three talented guys because what Britton did was so unique.  The last time anyone in the AL did something similar and never blew a save all year long they got the Cy Young (Dennis Eckersley).

But two voters left Verlander out of their top five altogether, not just put the other two ahead of him. They put FIVE guys ahead of him. That makes zero sense

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2 minutes ago, mysonx3 said:

But two voters left Verlander out of their top five altogether, not just put the other two ahead of him. They put FIVE guys ahead of him. That makes zero sense

Who were the 5 guys?  Kluber and Porcello obviously.  But who were the other three?  Because I could see Britton and JA Happ and Chris Sale getting votes instead of Verlander.  Except for the innings limitation, Aaron Sanchez as well.  There were a half dozen guys plus that all put up good enough stats this season you could make legit arguments for and I was actually surprised JA Happ and especially Britton weren't finalists over Verlander.

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