Pitchers Who Will Have the Most Losses in 2014
I looked at stats like losses, WAR, ground ball/fly ball ratio, ERA - and combined that with my opinion of how I think the team that the player is on will do - to determine the starting pitchers I think will lead the league in losses for the 2014 fantasy baseball season.
10) A.J. Burnett, PHI
After a long drawn out process, Burnett decided to sign with the Phils after a strong couple of seasons with the Pirates. I don’t see how going back to the NL East is going to do him any favors. The Braves have owned Burnett the last couple of years and the Nationals are a hard team to have in your division. He is going to give up his fair share of homers in his new home park as well. He has had 7 total seasons with double digit losses - including the last 4 in a row, and 5 of the last 6 years. The Phillies offense has been an enigma the last couple of seasons and I think that continues. Every year it seems like one pitcher in the Phillies rotation has an abnormal amount of losses. Last year it was Cole Hamels who had 14, and this year I think it is going to fall on Burnett. I predict him at 13 losses.
9) Kevin Correia, MIN
His first season as a Twin yielded a 9-13 record with a 4.18 ERA. Correia also holds a career 4.49 ERA, and the Twins are going to be working hard not to be last in a horrible division. With 5 consecutive seasons of double digit losses, this season will not be any better for Correia. Look for him to have a similar season again with 13 losses. The Twins seriously need a change, someone tell their GM that I am available. We can make a sequel to Little Big League out of it.
8) Joe Blanton, LAA
With an ERA of 6.04 and a WAR of -2.0, Blanton cracks my list for leading the league in losses this upcoming year. The Halos had all kinds of injuries and problems last year and Blanton takes a lot of the blame for the rough season. He managed a 2-14 record in 20 starts. He has had a rough spring and its unknown whether he will even be in the rotation or the bullpen, but regardless he had double digit losses the last 2 years in a row. There is no reason to think otherwise for 2014. He might get the chance to start the whole year, but I am still going to say he gets 13 losses in the course of the season.
7) Dan Haren, LAD
Haren is going to his 3rd team in 3 years and is slotted to be the Dodgers' 4th starter. His ERA has been over a 4.00 in that time span, and he has double digits losses the last 4 years in a row. Haren has gotten progressively worse the last 2 seasons even though he had a good offense in Washington last year. We may be seeing the end of a very interesting career for Danny Haren. His new team has a good offense, but every good team usually has one pitcher that racks up losses, and Haren is that guy for the Dodgers. I am going to say he gets 14 losses.
6) R.A. Dickey, TOR
The move to the AL East did not help out Dickey last year. The former Cy Young winner posted an ERA of 4.21 and racked up 13 losses. The knuckleballer is facing some tough lineups in that division and his offense isn’t very consistent, living and dying on the long ball. Jose Reyes is back this year and that might help the team score more runs, but that doesn’t help the fact that Dickey’s beloved knuckleball looked a bit flat playing in that Toronto dome. That pitch is a lot better outside when the wind can make it dance (shout out to my buddy Tommy for pointing that out). And considering the parks he happens to mostly be pitching in are hitter paradises, and the other is a dome too, I look for Dickey to have another lack luster season. He has job security and is going to get 30 plus starts, so I am predicting him to have 14 losses.
5) Ubaldo Jimenez, BAL
Don’t get me wrong, Jimenez has great stuff. But we all know he is wild and now he is going back to a park that gives up bombs as consistently as the sun comes up. Ubaldo has a career ERA of 3.92, and he likes to give up HRs. Sounds like a good recipe for some losses! In 2012 he managed to lose 17 games for the Indians. I like the Orioles as much as the next guy, but I feel like in the AL East , in those stadiums, Jimenez is going to have a rough season as he gets used to his surroundings. He strikes out a ton of batters, but he is taking on the pressure of being an “Ace” for the O’s. Everything considered, I say he is going to have 14 losses.
4) Ryan Vogelsong, SF
He only started 19 games last year, but he recorded an ERA of 5.73 and a WAR of -2.0 playing in a pitcher's ballpark. The Giants do not have the best offense around, so when Volgelsong gets blown up the score is going to end that way - with him being on the hook for the loss. Vogelsong has also gotten torn up this spring - and after getting his optioned declined and brought back on the team’s terms, I think he will have another frustrating season. I predict he will end up with 15 losses this year.
3) Mike Pelfrey, MIN
There is nothing really exciting in Minnesota other than Joe Mauer moving to first base and possibly hitting .350. Let’s face the facts - they are a pretty bad MLB team, and Pelfrey won’t do a lot to help. He had 5.19 ERA and a WAR of -0.3 in 29 games last year, and he got the hook for 13 losses. The Twins didn’t really get anyone to help, so it looks like it will be another hard season for them. Pelfrey has had double digit losses 4 times in his career, and he is poised for number 5. I am gonna give him 15 losses. Maybe the Twins should give Billy Heywood a call to turn it around.
2) Scott Feldman, HOU
The Astros are in rebuilding mode. They brought in Feldman to be their number one pitcher and opening day starter. Ouch. Scotty has a career ERA of 4.62 and now he has to deal with the pressures of being an "Ace". He is in a tough and competitive AL West, and with all of these factors added up I say that Feldman is in line for a rough season. Since he will get plenty of starts, I am going to say he loses 16 games this year and Nolan Ryan starts to wonder why he left the Rangers.
And the winner for most losses in 2014 fantasy baseball is….
1) Edwin Jackson, CHC
Sorry Cubs fans, I know this is not what you want to hear. But until your prospects can prove they are as legit as advertised, you're stuck with one of the worst teams in MLB. Jackson didn’t help much last year racking up 18 losses for the season. In 2013, he posted a WAR of -1.3 and an ERA of 4.98. Any pitcher that gives up almost 5 runs a game is going accumulate a lot of losses. The offseason came and passed without the Cubs spending any money, so there is no reason to think that Jackson will have a better year. And that’s why I think he is going to lead the league in losses again this year. I am going to go out with a bold prediction that Jackson becomes the first pitcher since Mike Maroth (in 2003 for the Tigers) to lose 20 games in a season.