Oftentimes in the middle of your draft, you’ll find yourself deciding between a couple players at the same position. With Player Showdowns, we take two players who are closely ranked by Average Draft Position (ADP) and/or Rotoworld’s 2012 season projections and have writers take a side and debate who should be selected first. Whose side will you be on?
We’ll offer up one Showdown per position (catcher, first base, second base, shortstop, third base, outfield, starter and reliever) here, and you can get dozens more by purchasing the 2012 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.
Additional Starter Showdowns you can find in the 2012 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide include Tim Lincecum vs. Felix Hernandez, CC Sabathia vs. Jered Weaver, Adam Wainwright vs. Matt Cain, Matt Moore vs. Jeremy Hellickson, Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Neftali Feliz and Chris Sale vs. Daniel Bard.
Justin Verlander vs. Roy Halladay
I’m fully aware that making any sort of argument against the most consistently terrific pitcher in the game probably isn’t too wise, but I’ll do my best. Verlander’s 2011 campaign was a historic one, as he won the Triple Crown in the AL with 24 wins, a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. Yes, his ERA was nearly a full run lower than his previous career best, so we can probably expect it to go up in 2012, but do you want to bet against a sub-3.00 mark? The owner of more electric stuff, Verlander gave up 34 fewer hits than Halladay last year despite throwing 17 1/3 more innings. That helped lead to a 0.92 WHIP, a mark that Halladay hasn’t come close to in the last six years. Because of that filthy stuff, Verlander also holds a notable edge in strikeouts, having averaged 246 over the last three years to Halladay’s 216 mark over that time. And, while predicting wins is dangerous, my guess is an aging Phillies lineup that will be without Ryan Howard for a significant period of time will cost Doc a few Ws here and there. It’s by a razor-thin margin, but I’m siding with the AL MVP here. – Ryan Boyer (@RyanPBoyer)
Verlander deserves (and pretty much received) every accolade in baseball last year after going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 250/57 K/BB ratio in 251 innings for the American League Central champion Tigers. But can he do it again? His .236 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) suggests that he might have been the recipient of good luck, and his career means (3.54 ERA, 8.3 K/9) indicate that he’s headed toward a slight regression. I much prefer Halladay, who pitches in the far-less-powerful National League and has turned in ERAs under 3.00 every year since 2007. He also had a .298 BABIP last season, 62 points higher than Verlander’s. They both belong among the elite rung of fantasy starters on draft cheat sheets this spring, and anyone would be happy to land either. But Halladay is the steadier force -- the better sure thing. – Drew Silva (@drewsilv)
CarGo vs. Ellsbury
A-Rod vs. Zimmerman
Ramirez vs. Reyes
Pedroia vs. Kinsler
Cabrera vs. Pujols
Posey vs. Santana