Sunday, December 29, 2013


We continue along with our first look at the 2014 fantasy baseball starting pitching rankings by moving past the top 20 and seeing who made the cut from 21-40. 

21. Anibal Sanchez:  I bet you didn't know this guy led the American League in ERA with a 2.57 mark.  Once an injury-marred mess with the Marlins, Sanchez has graduated into a solid low end SP 1.  The injury worry is always there and you would rather he be in the National League but the numbers speak volumes.
22. Shelby Miller:  Lost in the Jose Fernandez-Matt Harvey hype was the terrific rookie season put up by this power dynamo.  Anyone who throws up a 3.06 ERA as a rookie has our attention and the Cardinals' excellent development of starters lessens worry of a sophomore slump.
23. Gerrit Cole:  I will do everything I can to make sure Cole is on every one of my teams.  Ask anyone and they will tell you Cole has dominance written all over him with his 100-mph fastball and terrific secondary stuff.  Comparisons to Justin Verlander are all I need to hear.
24. Michael Wacha:  The theme in the rankings here are guys who are the top young pitchers in the game who all point to future ace-status.  Wacha was a monster in the heat of a playoff run and than into the postseason.  Top notch stuff here as well like his rotation mate Miller and Cole. 
25.  Mike Minor:  This was one sleeper who came through big for me last season.  Minor had all the signs going into 2013 that he would be upper level such as a tiny walk rate, low hit rate, and solid strikeout stuff.  Just a home run tendency is all that levels him on occasion.
26. Alex Cobb:  Cobb was on his way towards becoming an ace-like pitcher last season until he took a comebacker off his head that gave him a concussion.  The strikeout rate was better than I thought it would and like in St. Louis, Tampa Bay pitchers come out firing on all cylinders. Great potential value here as Cobb's missed games last season will keep his price lower.
27. Tony Cingrani:  Like with Cole, I am going all-in on this lefty too.  Cingrani has big time strikeout stuff like the rest of his young brethren and all that is keeping his ranking from getting out of control is the fact Dusty Baker stubbornly kept him in the minors longer than he needed to be.
28. Hisashi Iwakuma:  I have spoken more than a few times about how Iwakuma's 3.16 ERA last season was helped quite a bit by a lucky BABIP and strand rate.  Up the ERA to around 3.40 and the rest is repeatable. 
29. Francisco Liriano:  Following in A.J. Burnett's footsteps, Liriano turned into an ace after coming over from the American League.  With the Pirates picking up his option, Liriano is set to reprise his 2013 run.  With the fantasy baseball community always leery of his inconsistency, Liriano should be nicely priced.
30. A.J. Burnett:  Still not signed but expect Burnett back with the Pirates soon enough.  Unbelievably had his best K rate ever at 36 last season so there is no way Burnett is retiring.
31. Julio Teheran:  Like with Homer Bailey, it took some time for Teheran to find his way at the MLB level.  His explosive stuff showed up in force however for the Atlanta Braves and more of the same is on tap for 2014.
32. Chris Tillman:  Came back from fantasy baseball purgatory by throwing up a 3.42 second-half ERA last season and won 16 overall.  We hate the AL East but Tillman was a buzzy prospect when he was coming up the farm ladder so the pedigree was always there.
33. Matt Moore:  The ride can be wild at times as Moore seems to get into one giant funk a season but overall this strikeout machine has more upside to tap into.
34. Jered Weaver:  Weaver pitched well when he came off the DL last season but you must keep in mind this is a vastly different pitcher than his 220-K days a few years earlier.  The fastball has lost ticks that show no signs of coming back so Weaver now gets by on deception and movement.  No longer an ace and is actually more of an SP 3 now.
35. Zack Wheeler:  Love the potential here as Wheeler has the 98-mph fastball and rocket stuff to pile up the K's.  Reminds me of Moore though in that Wheeler has control issues which need to be ironed out.
36. Johnny Cueto:  Can't seem to stay healthy the last two seasons but the story is the same here,  Cueto has a decent enough K rate and terrific ratios when on the mound.  Price getting very affordable.
37. Kris Medlen:  Medlen came back down to earth last season as his K rate sank and his WHIP shot way up given the rigors of having to pitch a whole season.  Price Medlen on what he did last season and not in 2013 and you will be fine.
38. Chris Archer:  Yet another Tampa Bay starter who come up firing missiles.  Archer only has to smooth out a very high home run rate to make a Cobb-like 2013 run. 
39. Jeff Samardzjia:  Was a popular sleeper in 2013 who was solid the first half but than crashed and burned in the second half.  Strikeouts are always above-average but Samardzjia's mechanics were an absolute mess at times last season.
40. Yovani Gallardo:  Been telling you for years to avoid this overrated mess and Gallardo outdid himself in 2013 by losing a bunch of K's and continuing with his high-WHIP and ugly control ways.

There you have it.  As always let us hear your thoughts.


  1. Zach: Ryu is in the next grouping. I like him and he had a very nice rookie season but his upside is not as a staff ace. Think solid SP 2 at his optimum. Doesn't have the K rate to being anything more.