Monday, December 30, 2013


Moving right along with our first look at the 2014 fantasy baseball starting pitching rankings, we move a bit deeper as we see who makes up the list from 41-60. 

41. Clay Buchholz:  In 16 starts Buchholz was unhittable in posting a 1.72 ERA while showing an uptick in his K rate.  However Buchholz is developing the label of bring injury-prone and he did benefit from a lucky BABIP last season while the K rate was in outlier territory.  Lots of regression could be on the way this season.
42. Sonny Gray:  This might seem high but this is a hedge bet on my part in projecting Gray to continue the eye-opening run of starts he made the second half of last season.  Gray was a former first round pick so he had the pedigree to back up the results when he struck out more than a hitter per inning. 
43. Hyun-Jin Ryu:  Ryu was a terrific value play in his first MLB season after coming over with little fanfare from Japan.  Good control pitcher with solid enough K rate to stay a SP 3.
44. Matt Garza:  Love the arm but not the health.  Garza needs to stay in the NL to keep his optimum value as he has struck out a batter per inning there.
45. Justin Masterson:  It has taken me awhile to come around on this guy but there is no question Masterson tuned it up last season in vastly increasing his K rare to strike out 195 in 193 innings.  Love that ratio.
46. Lance Lynn:  Two seasons in a row now Lynn has been a first half stud and a second half dud.  The new Dan Haren of the late year fade.
47. Tajuan Walker:  This kid is going to be something else.  Universally considered to be the top pitching prospect in the minors, Walker will begin 2014 in the rotation where he will show us what all the fuss is about. 
48. Patrick Corbin:  Had a lot of BABIP help early on but Corbin fought off the regression by increasing his K rate as the season went on. 
49. Derek Holland:  Has to deal with his awful home ballpark but Holland continues his upward trajectory as he moves into the region of SP 3's.
50. Tim Lincecum:  Among the toughest pitchers to grade out.  Was the worst pitcher in baseball when you factor in expectations in 2012 and started off 2013 on that same path before putting finishing strong.  The strikeout ratio is around 1 per inning which is a drop from his CY Young days but still very good.  As long as you project him as an SP 3 than you will be all right.
51. Ubaldo Jimenez:  Turned his career around after it looked like his arm had lost its power.  Upped the K rate to his old levels in 2013 and the 3.30 ERA was nice.
52. Jake Peavy:  Remains in the AL with the Red Sox so once again Peavy's home ballpark is an issue since he gives up home runs.  Health never optimal either.
53. C.J. Wilson:  Wilson is underrated as he never misses a start and strikes out a nice load of batters.  However a rough walk rate shoots up the WHIP some seasons. 
54. Hiroki Kuroda:  Use him until August and than sell high or bench him as Kuroda clearly tired after a tremendous first four months last season.
55. Doug Fister:  Making his move to the National League into a major pitcher's park boost the already solid Fister.  Just don't expect much more than 150 K's.
56. Jon Lester:  Nice comeback season by Lester who was never as bad as his 2012 numbers.  However the K rate from his 2010 days is never coming back. 
57. C.C. Sabbathia:  Could rebound like Lester did as Sabbathia can't possibly pitch any worse than he did last season.  However his arm is not what it used to be given all the innings he has pitched.
58. R.A. Dickey:  It was obvious that the numbers were going to go up significantly for Dickey in going from New York Mets land to Toronto and their home run ballpark.  SP 3 or 4 is where Dickey should be where he stays at.
59. Jonathan Niese:  Classic SP 4 as Niese has decent ratios but not a great K rate.
60. Marco Estrada:  So much potential here as Estrada strikes out a batter per inning with a great walk rate and nice hit rate.  However Estrada has to keep the baseball in the ballpark to realize his potential this season.

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

Be sure to check back for more of the starting pitching rankings as we move forward through the week.  Let us hear your thoughts.

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