Roto Challenge: Michael Pineda, SP, NYY

PBR - The Review will publicly manage a club this season in CDM's Diamond Roto Challenge.

For those unfamiliar with CDM's Roto Challenge, participants compile a roster of 28 players and a taxi squad of 12 players. All players are given a salary and participants must build a club within the confines of $30,000,000. There is no draft, participants simply select the players they want.

I will be building the Review's roster over the next few weeks and plan to blog about each selection. Salaries can be found here. My selections will be based on projected statistics, relative value compared to other positional players, and sabermetric analysis.

Selection: Michael Pineda
SP, NYY, $890,000

Pineda performed magnificently during the first half of the 2011 season but sputtered down the stretch. He finished with a 3.74 ERA to go along with an impressive 1.10 WHIP. He throws a 95-mph fastball and is projected to increase his DOM (SO per 9) from 9.10 to 9.40 ... for perspective, a DOM over 6 is considered excellent.

Pineda's Fantasy Performance Indicator (FPI) is projected at 1.80 for 2012, making him an excellent value at $890,000. In comparison, Dan Hudson (projected FPI 1.50) and Ryan Dempster (projected FPI 1.06) are the other two SP's priced at $890,000.

FPI is calculated by using linear weights. Every inning pitched is valued at 4.5, hits at -2.5, home runs at -6, wins at 3, losses at -3 and walks at 1. After adding the weights the formula is (IP-H-HR+W-L-BB)/actual IP). Pitchers with FPI's of 1.60 to 1.80 are considered fantasy stars, 1.80 to 2.00 super stars and above 2.00 fantasy studs.

Playing in Seattle, Pineda remains a relative unknown. To succeed in a contest like this you have to seek under-valued talent and I think we have that here. The starting lineup consists of six SP's, so the money saved on a bargain like Pineda can go toward an ace such as Roy Halladay or Justin Verlander, each costing around $1,600,000.

This post was created before Pineda was dealt to the Yankees. I believe the move will help improve his win total, but also push his ERA up a bit as Yankee Stadium is more hitter friendly than Safeco Field.

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