Updated points-league rankings: Lester, Gray among strong trade targets

Reynaldo Lopez of the Chicago White Sox threw what he called one of the best games of his career on Sunday, striking out 14 Detroit hitters in just six innings, en route to a 4-1 victory.

Lopez has turned things around rather nicely since a very poor start to the 2019 season, which saw his ERA rise to 16.62 after his first three starts, during which time he combined to cost his fantasy managers 28 points. Still, after Sunday’s strong showing, which accounts for 97 percent of Lopez’s overall points for the season in ESPN standard leagues, the Chicago hurler ranks just 124th overall among starting pitchers.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Lopez ranks 126th among all starting pitchers (minimum three starts) in a statistic called average game score (GmScA). Game Score is a Bill James creation that, essentially, evaluates the relative strength of any individual start. It awards points for outs recorded and strikeouts, while deducting points for hits, runs and walks allowed. As such, while it’s not a one-to-one match with most points league scoring systems, it’s a fairly close mirror.2

As such, finding pitchers who rank in the top 40 of GmScA who rank significantly worse on overall fantasy points scoring lists (likely due to nothing more than having made fewer overall starts thus far in 2019) might be where you can find some really good trade targets. A few examples at present include Jordan Lyles (22nd in GmScA, 55th in SP points), Jon Lester (32nd, 89th), Sonny Gray (33rd, 65th), CC Sabathia (35th, 105th) and Matt Strahm (39th, 84th).

Similarly, if there’s a highly-ranked pitcher in scoring who simply doesn’t rank in GmScA, it could well be that a few really good performances are propping up an otherwise average season. See: Jake Arrieta (28th in SP points, 47th in GmScA), Jack Flaherty (31st, 59th) and Luke Weaver (37th, 65th).cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

While no single statistic is truly perfect for determining future success, I have found that GmScA is indeed quite useful as a “reality check” when looking at starting pitchers and trying to figure out if their points league performance is more fluke than reality. This is especially true because a pitcher can have one really great start and catapult up the list of overall points leaders days before his peers have a chance to take the mound again. In GmScA, one good day isn’t going have nearly the overall impact on the standings, and that’s the whole point of using it as a resource.