Matt’s Starting Pitcher Ranks

Almost done! Sorry this is getting out so late in the draft season. Hopefully a lot of you will still find this info somewhat useful.

Complete ranks are found here

On to the cliff notes version of the spreadsheet…

Justin Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball. Still, I don’t plan on taking him, or anyone in the top 10 (with the exception of one person) or so in drafts only because the price tag is too steep at that point. 

Zack Greinke is my pick for the NL Cy Young this year. I have him ranked way ahead of all the other sites out there and he is the one guy in my top 10 I plan on actually getting for my teams. I think he is very affordable in drafts and auctions for what I’m thinking he will return this year.

People have this conception about Jered Weaver that he is lucky. He isn’t. He’s just good. People need to accept that and move on. Fly ball pitchers are always going to have below avg BABIP’s.

There is a general thought that Yovani Gallardo didn’t meet expectations last year, which is shocking to me. He threw over 200 innings, posts 9 K/9 and has a 3.52 ERA backed up by a 3.59 FIP. I’ll take that kind of production all day.

Adam Wainwright is going to be fine. I’m banking on him being just as good as he was before the surgery. Spring numbers generally don’t mean anything, but when a player is coming back from injury, we tend to pay more attention. Not to the results, but to the way he feels, and the way his pitches look. So far everything looks good. 

I’m drinking Madison Bumgarner flavored Kool-Aid this year. I hope to own a few shares. Look for him to build on last years win total.

Stephen Strasburg would probably be ranked in my top 5 if he wasn’t on an innings cap this season. I’m avoiding him entirely in Head to Head leagues, unless it’s a keeper league. In which case I’m lucky to own him in one.

Josh Johnson and Tommy Hanson are both excellent pitchers, but their injuries scare me and I’m not drafting either of them. If I was kidnapped and tied up and had my eyes taped open and a computer with a fantasy baseball draft was placed in front of me and I wouldn’t be let go unless I picked one, I would take Johnson. Even though Hanson had a “mild” concussion this spring, a concussion is a concussion and we don’t know enough about them yet to see what kind of short or long term effect it can have. I only know it was ruined Justin Morneau’s career so far.

Yes, Mat Latos moved from Petco, the best pitchers park, to Great American Ballpark, which is a band box. He’ll still be fine, and if mock auctions are anything to be relied upon (they aren’t really) he can be very affordable. Pick him up with confidence.

Brandon Beachy is awesome. No innings limit this year that I have seen and he has the potential to go over 10 K/9. Last year he was 10.74 K/9. Usually that is an inflated number due to a high BABIP, but Beachy’s wasn’t far off the league average. The strikeouts are for real.

Yu Darvish is going to be the talk of the town. His first go around the league he is going to impress. I wouldn’t be surprised though to see him tail off some after the All Star break, though not to the point I would drop him outright.

Cory Luebke isn’t a sleeper anymore because everyone and their mother knows who he is and how well he pitched last year despite the low win totals. Just because he is a trendy pick doesn’t mean he isn’t a good pick.

Anibal Sanchez is going to have a better season than last year. It’s crazy that he got only 8 wins despite upping his K/9 by 2 to 9.26, lowed his BB/9 by about half a walk, and his FIP, xFIP and SIERA were all lower than his ERA. If he can post those same numbers again, I can’t see him getting less than 14 wins.

Ubaldo Jimenez has upped the velocity from last season. “Yeah, but he’s in Cleveland” Yeah, well Felix Hernandez is in Seattle but you still draft him. Don’t mistake that for me saying Jimenez is as good as King Felix. He isn’t. But just because a guy may not rack up a ton of wins doesn’t mean he can’t be valuable. After a miserbale year last year, he;s worth watching this spring and then spending a late round pick to see if he can return to form won’t cost much.

Of Chris Sale, Daniel Bard and Neftali Feliz, all relievers getting stretched out this spring to become starters, I like Sale the best. That may have more to do with Bobby Valentine not yet having committed to Bard making the rotation than my thoughts of Sale being better than Bard.

Jonathon Niese is definitely worth a pick this year in mixed leagues. New nose and all. Razzball had a great write up as to why here.

Ryan Dempster isn’t getting any respect this year. Sure he walks a lot of guys, but he whiffs a ton too. Pair him with Henderson Alvarez to keep your WHIP in check.