Friday, February 14, 2014


                                                        Matt Moore

Time for us to check in on another fantasy baseball daft bust to avoid for 2014 as camps are underway.  Today we delve into the always volatile starting pitching fraternity which is filled with potential trouble.  However there are some guys you want to avoid more than others as I am about to discuss with today's subject who is none other than Tampa Bay Rays fireballer Matt Moore.  Once a highly sought after sleeper just two seasons ago, Moore has turned himself into a solid starter but one who also arrives with peril to his name for the 2014 season.  Let's dig in and find out why you should take a pass.

As always let's digest Moore's 2013 season stats so we have a launching point for the rest of the article. 

17-4 3.29 ERA 1.30 WHIP 143 K in 150.1 IP

Upon a quick glance at those numbers, the win total stands out big time as 17 wins in only 150.1 innings is big time.  However we all know wins are a fickle stat that a pitcher often has no control over.  Thus in looking deeper at that total, one would find that Moore had some of the most run support in the game last season.  Remember that Cliff Lee of all people won only 6 games in 2012 despite big time rate and advanced stats so wins is a stat you can't ever depend on or grade a player on.  So let's toss that out.  Moving right along from there, the 3.29 ERA was certainly very nice and through 2.5 seasons in the majors Moore has a career 3.55 mark.  Blessed with a 98-mph fastball and very good secondary stuff, Moore is very tough to hit which shows in him giving up only 286 hits in 337 career innings.  However the 1.30 WHIP Moore carried around last season doesn't reflect how stingy he is with the hits and there is where the trouble comes into play.  Moore has some of the worst control in the game as he issued a crazy 76 walks in those 150.1 innings.  Not good at all and Moore's lack of control will cost him wins going forward as he won't be able to pitch deep into games.  Yes the 17 wins last season seemed to refute that but Moore got lucky there with all of his run support.  And Moore will continue to be a WHIP liability as long as he continues to walk as many guys as he does. 

Now let's get to some more bad news and that comes in the form of Moore's advanced stats which don't shine brightly.  Moore got quite lucky with his 3.29 ERA last season as he got more than a little bit of BABIP luck.  His adjusted ERA was over 4.00 which is a major red flag this season.  When Moore's BABIP number normalizes this season, the ERA could become quite shaky and rise to the upper 3.00 range.  Thus those who pay for Moore's stats last season will be very let down by what the see overall with his numbers. 

Yes Moore has some very impressive strikeout stuff with 333 K's in 337 career innings but he won't be able to reach the hallowed 200 K mark with his poor pitch efficiency.  I also didn't mention that More had elbow trouble last season that landed him on the DL and has been a problem in the past as well.  Thus there is more danger when it comes to the overall Moore fantasy baseball stock.  Overall Matt Moore is a guy you really want to avoid in 2014 unless the price comes down to around an SP 4. If you draft Moore higher than that, you will likely be disappointed by what he supplies you.

2014 PROJECTION:  14-8 3.75 ERA 1.29 WHIP 178 K

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