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Justin Verlander. Clayton Kershaw. Stephen Strasburg. Craig Kimbrel. These are the elite pitchers heading into the 2013 fantasy baseball season if you listen to the scuttlebutt around the water cooler. We all know that. But are there instances where lesser known names, the A.J. Burnett's of the world, are also worth taking note of on draft day? Remember, while we all need production on the field, if you can consistently find value at any spot, pitching is no different than hitting, you can come out well ahead in the fantasy game. You can let someone take Justin Verlander in the first round and if he returns first round value fantastic. But what if you grab Homer Bailey and Alexei Ogando in the 15th and 16th rounds and they return 8th and 9th round value – which move would be the better fantasy play based on a return on investment perspective? In this article we'll hit on some numbers that just might change your perception about hurlers for the coming campaign.
Don’t be fooled by the calm right now. Sure, most of the dust has settled from the non-waiver trade deadline, but we’re still in for a whole mess of player movement as there’s almost a full month still to go where teams can put a guy through waivers and, if unclaimed, are free to trade him wherever they like. If they do get claimed then the two teams can hash out a deal or the original team just pulls the guy back. Either way, as we’ve already seen Joe Blanton pass through unclaimed and land with the Dodgers and reports of Cliff Lee getting claimed by some mystery team, you have to stay prepared for more movement. If you’ve got a high-priced (in real life) player who’s rumored to be on the move, you’ve got to be prepared if he lands in a new situation.
Smoke and mirrors? Sleight of hand? How in the world does 49-year old Jamie Moyer, proud owner of a 78 mph fastball, hurl seven innings of two-run ball (both unearned) against a Major League ballclub? OK, in fairness it was the Padres, but still, the game was played at hitter-friendly Coors Field where even the weakest of hitters have been known to hit the long ball. Was there a wind blowing in from centerfield that we weren’t aware of? Were the balls saturated in a lead-based ointment and then left in the humidor for extra time? Or was it just that the pitcher whose name is always attached to the phrase “crafty veteran” had one of those days where even his junkiest junk was finding a way to elude hitters of all kind? Whatever the case may be, it’s time to tip your cap to Moyer who earned his first win of the 2012 season, his 25th as a professional baseball player, and became the oldest pitcher to ever win a major league contest.