Wednesday, December 17, 2008

AL to NL Pitchers

In a recent column at Roto Authority, Tim Dierkes provides a list of the pitchers that we already know will be switching from the American League to the National League this year. This is one of my favorite angles when looking for undervalued players in drafts. Not only do pitchers' stats improve in the NL because they get to face pitchers batting for themselves, but the overall level of competition in the NL has been weaker for at least the last four or five years. I already talked about Javier Vazquez here. Unfortunately, the list is pretty weak so far. There's Greg Smith, who I may write about in a future post, and there are a bunch of relievers. Unfortunately, the impact of league changes on relievers is generally much less...probably because good relievers don't get to face pitchers much anyway. Late in the game, the opposing pitcher is often a relievers, and is rarely going to be left in to bat for himself. Anyway, it's definitely a good idea to keep an eye out for pitchers who are traded from the AL to the NL between now and opening day, or those who sign in the NL as free agents. If the much rumored Greinke trade went through, that would be great news. Like Vazquez he'd be going from a hitter's park in the AL to a pitcher's park in the NL. That kind of change can make the difference between a pretty good fantasy pitcher and a star.

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