Beef: The Series- Lee vs. Dickey

Brutus was an obvious inspiration behind Starbonell's wardrobe


Million Dollar Sleeper: The state of the fantasy baseball world is in a state of chaos. False prophets who preach the religion of Sabermetrics are running amok. We must lift the veil of fog and use numbers for the power of good. This is why I've invited myself onto Barber Shop Talk. It seems everywhere I look I see trendy FIPsters and members of the SIERA club. But the worst of these sabre toothed vampires are the Groundballers. These advocates of gopher genocide claim Flyballers are inferior, but they speaketh with forked tongue! Groundball pitchers record fewer strikeouts and give up more base hits. Let us not pretend that base hits do not equate to runs allowed. The lower number of fly balls are often counterbalanced with inflated HR/FB percentages. Worshippers of Westbrook….


Stabonell: HIT THE MUSIC!


::The entire 12-plus minutes of Beastie Boys’ B-Boy Bouillabaisse plays… uninterrupted::


Now what I’d like for you to do, MDS, is to stop flapping your trap. 


::pause for cheers from the crowd, followed by chants of “Star-bo-nell! Star-bo-nell!”::


You think that just because you have some sort of new-fangled projection system for predicting player value that you can just run out here and start flapping your gums? You got a lot of nerve standing in my ring, and as the resident baby-face of Sons of Roto, it’s time I put a stop to your heel shenanigans. 


You keep trying to use fancy words like “SIERA” and “FIP” to try to outsmart these good people, but we aren’t having it.


::pause for raucous reaction from crowd, followed by several arm and calf flexes to the delight of the crowd::


You really think Cliff Lee has more fantasy value than R.A. Dickey? Well prepare to take a trip to Starbone-hell!


The battle takes place after the jump:


Starbonell: It seems to me that you like to play it safe. Training wheels, pot holders, condoms… we get it, you don’t like to take chances (especially on 38-year-old knuckleballers). Yet if you look at the 2012 season, there’s no argument over who the better pitcher was:


Dickey: 232 IP, 2.67 ERA, 8.86 K/9, 11.7 SwStr%, 2.09 BB/9

Lee: 211 IP, 3.13 ERA, 8.83 K/9, 8.7 SwStr%, 1.19 BB/9


While the K/9s are very close (I’ll concede Lee’s ability to coax a good number of called third strikes), it’s not question who was more dominant. Dickey’s SwStr% was three percent higher than Lee’s. That more than makes up for Lee’s tidy walk rate. 


As for Dickey’s age… ay, Lee ain’t no teen porn star himself. He’s 34 years old and his breaking stuff is not as crisp as it was even a year ago. He’s also giving up more HRs (26 last year), which is not a good sign for a pitcher playing a hitter haven.


I’ll admit that Dickey’s move to the AL East and those HR happy parks is disturbing, but look at the lineups. The Yankees will probably hit 100 fewer bombs, the Rays lineup is a joke (they are starting Kelly Johnson, Jose Molina, and James Loney), and the Orioles and Red Sox offenses don’t exactly look like offensive juggernauts. Point is, the AL East ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, so I don’t expect the overrated “NL to AL” move to be a big deal.


So how did you like that thrashing Sleeper? Want for me to rap you about the skull some more?


MDS: When your toughest divisional opponent was Washington, the move to the AL East is a big deal. Dickey has received no free pass just because Russell Martin went to Pittsburgh. First off, James Loney can hit better than an NL pitcher. Secondly, Toronto's ballpark favors batters: both lefties (100 vs 93) and righties (118 vs 93) have an easier time going yard than they did at Citi Field. But that is the least of my Dickey worries.


How long can you ignore the elephant Starbonell? You're buying the career year from a 38-year old man. Point taken: Cliff Lee is no teen porn star, but if he was, R.A. Dickey would be the creepy old guy watching him. He probably has loose skin waving in the air when he pitches. What is the explanation for the sharp increase in K/9? His knuckler was one mph faster (77.1 mph). That does not explain a jump of 3.00 in K/9. The guy throws an 83-mph Fastball. Jamie Moyer called: he's wondering if your team has open tryouts.


This is a shit storm of regression colliding with tougher competition. Dickey blows. And he's going to have to blow hard if he wants his knuckler to dance indoors. Cliff Lee is proven. And he gets to stay in the NL East and pitch to the Marlins. What now!

So there you have it. What say you Sons of Roto readers? Got your own two cents to sprinkle onto this beef? Hit the comments and let us know what's up.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.