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Key Stats: Ryan Dempster was fantastic in every single month and in virtually every place he pitched last year. The worst ERA he had in any month was 4.55 which is still respectable. There was a lot said about how great Dempster was in Wrigley (14 wins) so the Cubs should pitch him in Game One of the playoffs, but he actually had a better WHIP on the road.

Skeptics Say: The 2006 and 2007 ERA for Dempster was 4.80 and 4.72 respectively. His role changed last year, but it is possible to see 2008 as a fluke. He is also coming off of a season in which he was playing for (and got) a big contract.

Peer Comparison: Ted Lilly has been terrific since he came to the Cubs. Carlos Zambrano has been to 3 All Star games and threw a no hitter last year. Rich Harden had the best numbers of any pitcher per start in fantasy baseball last year. Dempster is ranked ahead of all of them. He had the most innings and an encouraging second half ERA to go with the innings.

Lilly IP: 204.2, 2nd Half ERA: 3.32
Zambrano IP: 188.2, 2nd Half ERA: 5.80
Harden IP: 148, 2nd Half ERA: 1.92
Dempster IP: 206.2, 2nd Half ERA: 2.52

Team Outlook: The Cubs have traded Mark DeRosa, but will use the money they were paying him to upgrade the rest of the team. If they add Jake Peavy to the four names listed above they will have the best rotation in baseball and save the arms in the bullpen. This will better preserve leads that Dempster leaves with. The Cubs are also said to be in on talks with Milton Bradley which will improve on Kosuke Fukodome’s production.

What They’re Saying: MLB.com: #32 Starting Pitcher; CBS Sportsline: #21 Starting Pitcher and #80 Overall; Fox Sports: #34 Starting Pitcher; ESPN: #46 Starting Pitcher; Yahoo: #34 Starting Pitcher and #149 Overall

Projection: Troy Patterson of Roto Savants pointed out that Dempster had the best K:BB ratio of his career last season. Perhaps Dempster was able to get into a better rhythm last season, or we should recognize that 2009 will not be 2008.
15 wins 3.25 ERA 1.28 WHIP 190K in 211 innings

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3 Responses to No. 91 Ryan Dempster SP Chicago Cubs

  1. Dave says:

    Man oh man, Demspter over Shields? Dempster over Greinke? I like Dempster too but I just don’t see his season as uber-repeatable, or at least something I’d want to bank on. Call me crazy but I think he’s a little overvalued.

  2. Dave says:

    OK, that said I am looking at his K/9 from last year and am pretty surprised. His FIP compares favorably or even with Greinke or Shields. I’d still probably take these guys first but on further reflection it’s not as far fetched as I first thought.

  3. Schruender says:

    If you told me a year ago that Ryan Dempster would be a top 100 player, I would have said yeah and Prince Fielder is thin. That is why ranking Dempster ahead of the two guys you mention, particulary Shields, was so difficult. After all, it’s Ryan Dumpster.

    As you said though looking at the numbers from last season, he was the best pitcher of these three guys. He had more wins, Ks, and a better ERA. Shields and Greinke have had longer runs of consistency, but that’s only because Dempster wasn’t as effective as a relief pitcher. If Dempster got worse as the season wore on that would raise a red flag for me, but he actually got better. I believe a full season is enough of a sample size to confirm that Dempster is better than those two guys. It is weird though.

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