Monday, January 25, 2016

Opening Day Matchups - American League

American League
Mike S @ Brad P
Curt Schilling (9-16, 4.34) vs Harvey Haddix (17-5, 3.82)
Mike pased on pictures until round 10, but still ended up with a solid option.  Schilling hasn't recorded and ERA in the 3's since ATB 14, but generally you know what you are going to get - a solid outing and a chance at W.  Division rival Brad waited even longer to draft a starter (though he did land two relievers earlier in the draft) and this series of season long match up may decide the division.  Haddix's numbers in the 355 resims weren't as good as Schillings, but his ATB performance has been the better over the past 4 years.

Tony P @ Gary G
Bill Bernhard (19-11, 3.08) vs. Walter Johnson (16-10, 3.00)
One of two top quality matchups in the American League, this game between division rivals Tony and Gary feature two top-10 starters.  Bernhard was drafted in the 4th this year, the latest the right handers has been picked in 5 years, which is surprising coming off an arguably career best season.  The Big Train is a first round pick 8 of the past 10 years, including this one.  In the past two seasons he's recorded 36 win and hurled 574 innings.

Allen C @ Joe T
Sandy Koufax (9-11, 4.17) vs Kevin Appier (15-8, 4.24)
Appier is a nice find for Joe when considering the round selected - and is another owner waiting until after the 10th to draft their first starting pitcher.  Appier's stock has been rising lately and was recently undrafted in ATB 15, was selected in the 23rd, then the 13th, and now the 11th.  Two years ago the righty went 13-9 with a 2.12 ERA for Joe, almost assuredly factoring into the decision to make him the ace of the staff.   Koufax may be the most underrated pitcher in ATB, even though he is routinely drafted in the 3rd and 4th rounds.  Long time ATB owners despise the lefty as he's never approached his real life greatness.  In fact, a quick scan of the all time manager list shows he's never been drafted by any of 8 owners with the longest ATB tenure.  There is good reason - Koufax average and ERA well into the 5's through ATB 13.  Since then, and since a year change to 1965, he's averaged a 3.88 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.  Stat of the day - Koufax is just one of 7 starters to record a WHIP of 1.21 or better in three of the past four seasons. He joins Pedro Martinez, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Bill Bernhard, Garland Braxton, and Johnny Podres.  I would be remis if I didn't mention he's recently had the luxury of playing in extreme pitchers parks.

David I @ John J
Roger Clemens (DNP) vs Pedro Martinez (21-6, 1.57)
David went with Clemens circa 1997 which gives the famous righty to a career stat line of 11-12, 3.83 ERA, 1.45 WHIP.  This year choice has had it's ups and downs with five seasons resulting in ERA's in around 4 and four seasons a more respectable 3.50.  Martinez needs no introduction, he is unarguably the best starting pitcher in the game and coming off his career best season.

Greg M @ Lou P
Tex Hughson (14-12, 4.16) vs Jake Arrieta (New)
Hughson has recorded double digit wins in 7 of his last 8 seasons.  He may still be riding a high from his first three years in the league when he averaged a 2.92 ERA and 1.17 WHP.  Since then it's been 4.19 and 1.29.  Jake Arrieta was a gamble for Lou as he's never been drafted.  In hindsight, a 3rd round pick was a stretch.

Justin B (6-8, 2.93) @ Jason B (18-11, 4.08)
Rick Reuschel vs Nip Winters
Drafted in the 9th round, Reuschel is relatively new to ATB with his rookie campaign coming in season 16.  His draft slot has gone from 21 to 13 to 9, and while he still has a lot to prove, his resim numbers do back up this draft slot  As Justin's ace, he'll have to face Winters who is a legitimate star, despite the down season last year.

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