James Shields is one of the best pitchers in the AL. Over the last three calendar years, only nine American League starters have better FIP than Shields: Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee, John Lackey, Javier Vazquez, Justin Verlander, and A.J. Burnett. Good company, right? Consistency in the light of change is impressive. Shields has altered his pitch distribution while still putting up similar numbers. He's just about everything you could ever want in a starting pitcher.
ZiPS doesn't know about Scott Kazmir's injury or trip to Rick Peterson. You can probably adjust that projection upwards as you see fit, though his homer and strand rates are likely to bounce back as the season progresses.
Matt Garza had a rough June, ZiPS doesn't care.
We talked about David Price's walk rate regressing due to the amount of strikes he throws, ZiPS agrees he'll walk less, and has him pegged for a conservative 7 K/9.
Niemann, well, you know.
The good news is that the average FIP of those five in the first half was 4.41. The projected second half FIP is 4.08. For reference, the 2008 rotation had a FIP of 4.24.