Trolling the Wire Pickup
Jeff Francis, SP, Colorado Rockies –Back in 2007 Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jeff Francis put together his best season yet going 215 innings and striking out 6.9 batters per nine while walking just 2.6 good for a 2.7 K/BB ratio. He compiled a 17-9 record with a 4.22 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. The WHIP as a little high and the ERA was hardly ace-worthy, but in Colorado it was pretty impressive for a starter to put up back-to-back seasons with an ERA below 4.25.
And he was consistent whether home or away so he wasn’t just padding his stats on the road. But then the injuries set in. His 2008 was an injury-marred disaster that resulted in just 144 innings and saw his ERA rocket to 5.01 and the WHIP follow suit at 1.48. Shoulder surgery took him out for the entire 2009 season leaving him off the radar entirely for 2010.
He didn’t get going until May 16th, but he’s been pretty solid this year in eight starts with a 3.53 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 3.0 K/BB ratio in 51 innings. He is today’s Trolling the Wire pickup. His strikeouts are a bit low at 4.8, but I think he will still wind up with about 6 by season’s end. If he can keep his control at 1.6 walks per nine, then 6 strikeouts will be great. His xFIP is 3.91 so his luck pretty much in line with the stats he has been posting. His home run rate is sitting at 0.4 HR/9 so that will likely move up a bit as he has a career mark just over 1, but his LOB% is a little light too so if he gets closer to his 71% career mark there too, it will help balance out the HR correction.
Francis is owned in 40% of CBS leagues, 12% of Y! leagues and 8% of ESPN leagues, so he is available in the majority of leagues. The strikeout rate likely has owners shying away, but I think he’s worth the pickup.
Articles of the Day
I didn’t feature one on the show, but plenty of good stuff here:
Top 10 Week – General Manager Candidates – by Will Carroll
The 2010 Amateur Draft: Bulk Investments – Marc Hulet
Keith Hernandez Wants to Contract Four Teams, But Hates Replay – Michael McCarthy
Stephen Strasburg is NOT an All-Star – by Joe Lemire
Interleague Records Through 2010, Eat it National League! (italicized part mine) – by Beyond the Boxscore
Jered Weaver Revisited Yet Again – by Dave Cameron
The Branyan Deal – by Jack Moore
Tampa Fans Who Voted in this Poll are Stupid Idiots (my headline) – by Joe Henderson
Who Am I? – by Ray Flowers
Can Brennan Boesch Keep Hitting Like Pujols? – by Jon Williams
Bet of the Day
A tough loss as Strasburg looked Strasburgian for the first 6 innings, but the Braves got to him in the 7th handing him his second loss in a row. But like I said, I’m always taking a guy like him as an underdog. There’s just too much talent not to make that value bet.
Today, I’m going to take Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers against the hapless Houston Astros. Brett Myers is a decent pitcher so it’s not a slamdunk, especially since I’m going with the run line to avoid the lofty moneyline, but I’ll take my chances on the Brewers staying hot at home of late.
Brewers RL -110
Record: 4-6, -$224