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Fantasy Baseball: 2011 Rankings- SPs 

Tier 1

Roy Halladay – 33

Year

IP

W

K

ERA

WHIP

2008

246

20

206

2.78

1.05

2009

239

17

208

2.79

1.13

2010

250

21

219

2.44

1.04

Projected

246

25

218

2.32

1.05

What can you say?  Roy Halladay had a Perfect Game, a Playoff no-hitter in the playoffs in his 1st stab at it, and he wrapped up the NL Cy Young.  If he needed any more motivation to be the best pitcher in baseball, Phillies signed an extra ace in Cliff Lee, and he’ll fight to be the best pitcher on his staff, which in turn makes him the best in the NL, again.

Tim Lincecum – 26

2008

227

18

265

2.62

1.17

2009

225

15

261

2.48

1.05

2010

212

16

231

3.43

1.28

Projected

220

16

250

2.88

1.16

Don’t forget about the Freak.  Yes, he was overshadowed by Roy & Ubaldo last year, but in September in the heat of the playoff race on their way to be World Series Champions, Timmy was 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA and a WHIP of 0.93.  Timmy has the ring, they don’t.

Felix Hernandez – 24

2008

200

9

175

3.45

1.39

2009

238

19

217

2.49

1.14

2010

249

13

232

2.27

1.06

Projected

240

15

220

2.35

1.08

You can make many arguments for King Felix to be the top SP, and many have him as a solid #2 SP, but you have to win to be a SP.  The Mariners are a baaaad team, and they are without Aardsma to begin the season , which doesn’t help Felix’s win numbers any.

Cliff Lee – 32

2008

223

22

170

2.54

1.11

2009

231

14

181

3.22

1.24

2010

212

12

185

3.18

1.00

Projected

232

21

205

2.65

1.08

Phillies’ 2nd SP in the Top 4.  There is no true comparison between Miami Heat and the Philadelphia Phillies, but they are now currently the team I love to hate.  This ranking of 4 includes that hate, and do not be surprised if even surpasses his ace, Roy Halladay considering he’s facing your 2nd starters.

Adam Wainwright – 29

2008

132

11

91

3.2

1.18

2009

233

19

212

2.63

1.21

2010

230

20

213

2.42

1.05

Projected

224

19

198

2.62

1.15

Adam Wainwright earned his spot into the top 5 with a strong 20 win season last year, and pitching at Busch Stadium certainly gives him a strong advantage.  All signs point to another strong season for him, but call it a hunch that there will be a small dropoff (ie Sabathia last year). Tommy John Surgery, out for 2011.  Maybe a bigger dropoff than I imagined….

Tier 2

Jon Lester – 27

2008

210

16

152

3.21

1.27

2009

203

15

225

3.41

1.23

2010

208

19

225

3.25

1.2

Projected

202

17

223

3.27

1.18

Jon Lester is about to enter his prime, and is posed for a dominant season.  He secured 19 wins in season where the Red Sox were decimated by injury.  What will he do with a healthy squad with adds of Carl Crawford & Adrian Gonzalez?

Josh Johnson – 27

2008

87.1

7

77

3.61

1.35

2009

209

15

191

3.23

1.16

2010

183

11

186

2.3

1.11

Projected

209

17

201

2.25

1.09

Josh Johnson was shut down at the beginning of September, but before that he was on a Cy Young pace.  The Marlins love Josh Johnson basically making him untouchable last year, he’s clearly the ace that they want to build around, and is arguably the best young power pitcher in the NL.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 27

2008

198

12

172

3.99

1.43

2009

218

15

198

3.47

1.23

2010

221

19

214

2.88

1.15

Projected

215

18

208

3.2

1.24

Have you noticed a trend?  The last three pitchers are all 27 Opening Day next season.  Pitchers tend to blossom in their late 20’s, and I don’t see marked improvement in Ubaldo after last season’s jump.  His ERA eclipsed 2.00 for the first time in July, and climbed to almost 3 at season’s end.  Was the first half an anomaly?  Time will tell…

CC Sabathia – 30

2008

202

17

183

3.47

1.28

2009

229

19

242

2.16

1.07

2010

237

21

197

3.18

1.19

Projected

230

20

221

2.88

1.17

CC Sabathia had an off year last year, but he’s still a strong power pitcher, and he’ll bounce back.  He’s on a strong team, and with Andy Pettite retiring, they’ll rely on CC more than ever.  King Felix took his Cy Young last year, and that sure is extra motivation as well to bounce back as well.

Cole Hamels – 27

2008

227

14

196

3.09

1.08

2009

193

10

168

4.32

1.29

2010

208

12

211

3.06

1.18

Projected

215

17

212

2.88

1.15

Cole Hamels was the ace 2 years ago, and now he may be the 4th starter.  4th Starter.  This means he’ll be squaring off against Jair Jurggens, Chris Volstad, Jonathan Niese, and Jordan Zimmerman in his inter-division matchups.  However, this is a close situation to monitor who grabs the 3rd/4th rotation spot between Oswalt/Hamels.  Did I mention this a contract year for Hamels?

Tier 3

Zack Greinke – 27

2008

202

13

183

3.47

1.28

2009

229

16

242

2.16

1.07

2010

220

10

181

4.17

1.25

Projected

231

18

212

3.23

1.11

Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia both showed what AL Cy Young winners do when they go from AL to the NL.  Forget the drop-off last year.  Zack Greinke will love being on a good team and be motivated to lead a rotation of four strong pitchers.  Even better news, Gallardo may be the Opening day starter, leaving Greinke to face your 2nd starters.

Clayton Kershaw – 23

2008

107

5

100

4.26

1.5

2009

171

8

185

2.79

1.23

2010

204

13

212

2.91

1.18

Projected

211

16

221

3.16

1.21

Last year, Clayton Kershaw solidified his position as the “King Felix” of the NL.  Dodgers are going through some hard times with their ownership struggles, but Kershaw is certainly a bright spot to build around.

Justin Verlander – 28

2008

201

11

163

4.84

1.4

2009

240

19

269

3.45

1.18

2010

224

18

219

3.37

1.16

Projected

232

17

224

3.42

1.19

Justin Verlander is your typical Top 15 guy, who always disappoints.  Why does he continue to be ranked higher?  Because, like always, this could be his year for complete domination.

Tommy Hanson – 24

2008

0

0

0

0

0

2009

127

11

116

2.89

1.18

2010

202

10

173

3.33

1.17

Projected

210

15

189

2.78

1.16

Tommy Hanson went through his “Sophomore Slump” last year, but this year he’ll soar past Kershaw just to prove me wrong.

Jered Weaver – 28

2008

176

11

152

4.33

1.28

2009

211

16

174

3.75

1.24

2010

224

13

233

3.01

1.07

Projected

220

18

224

2.88

1.17

Jered Weaver continues to impress, and he quietly had a strong season last year.  Don’t let him fall too far in the drafts, he also has the extra motivation to keep fellow ace Dan Haren behind him.

Tier 4

Matt Cain – 26

2008

217

8

186

3.76

1.36

2009

217

14

171

2.89

1.18

2010

223

13

177

3.14

1.08

Projected

220

15

179

3.23

1.15

Was it luck or skill that Giants won the World Series last year?  Take a look around the league on how many teams are constructing a “big four”.  Matt Cain leads the Giants in the #2 slot behind Lincecum, and he won’t wow you with numbers, but you know what you’re getting with him.

Francisco Liriano – 27

2008

76

6

67

3.91

1.39

2009

136

5

122

5.8

1.55

2010

191

14

201

3.62

1.26

Projected

221

18

220

3.65

1.22

I have a hard time not ranking Liriano higher. This guy has strong upside, but injury troubles have him plagued him throughout his entire career.  He finished strong last year, and his nasty slider showed signs of life last year.  Watch out for this guy, if he stays healthy.

Yovani Gallardo – 25

2008

24

0

20

1.88

1.25

2009

185

13

204

3.73

1.31

2010

185

14

200

3.84

1.37

Projected

192

17

210

3.69

1.29

Yovani leads the Brew Crew along with fellow Ace in Greinke.  The future is bright in Milwaukee, who are happily flying under the radar behind the Cubs/Cardinals.  Yovani is a key to their success if they are to surprise the NL Central.

Matt Garza – 26

2008

172

11

141

3.45

1.18

2009

200

8

162

4.37

1.19

2010

204

15

150

3.91

1.25

Projected

212

18

174

3.54

1.17

Considering the teaser above, Matt Garza is probably ranked pretty low, but my opinion on him is that he’ll have great games and some blowup games in the Windy City if the wind is blowing out considering he’s more of a fly ball pitcher than a ground ball pitcher.

David Price – 25

2008

14

0

12

0.93

1.93

2009

128

10

102

4.42

1.35

2010

208

19

188

2.72

1.19

Projected

205

16

185

3.13

1.23

Why is David Price so low?  Tampa Bay is changing their philosophy to beating people with their bat by letting Garza/Soriano go, and re-tooling with veterans Manny & Damon.  This makes me think that David Price will have a slightly off year, his second full year slump.

Tier 5

Chris Carpenter – 36

2008

24

0

20

1.76

1.25

2009

185

17

204

3.73

1.31

2010

235

16

179

3.22

1.18

Projected

215

15

181

3.34

1.27

Why is Chris Carpenter so low?  He’s not getting any younger, and this just might be the year that he doesn’t carve up as many batsmen.

Mat Latos – 23

2008

0

0

0

0

0

2009

50

4

39

1.3

4.62

2010

184

14

189

2.92

1.08

Projected

190

17

205

3.17

1.18

He was INCREDIBLE last season.  There may be a second year slump coming, and that’s really the only reason he’s this low.  The only question is how bad can a slump really be at Petco?

Dan Haren – 30

2008

216

16

206

3.33

1.13

2009

229

14

223

3.14

1.00

2010

235

12

216

3.91

1.27

Projected

225

15

221

3.57

1.21

The move from AZ to LAA also hurt him last year.  Haren will still get you a lot of K’s, but don’t expect him to be the dominant pitcher he was earlier in his career.

Phil Hughes – 24

2008

34

0

23

6.62

1.71

2009

86

8

96

3.03

1.12

2010

176

18

146

4.19

1.25

Projected

187

17

160

3.87

1.24

It’s put up time or shut up time for Phil Hughes and the Yanks.  With AJ Burnett losing his touch, and Andy Pettite retiring, Yanks have to hope their young gun puts up better than a 4 ERA.

Roy Oswalt – 33

2008

208

17

165

3.54

1.18

2009

181

8

138

4.12

1.24

2010

211

13

193

2.76

1.03

Projected

208

15

185

3.05

1.14

To round out the Top 25, it’s only fitting that it’s the last of the Four Aces from the Phillies… or R2C2 … or Phantastic Phour, etc.  Oswalt is more of a fly ball pitcher, hence why he’s lower, but most likely he’ll adjust to Citizen’s Bank.  Reminder: monitor who becomes the 3rd/4th starter between him & Hamels.  This ranking assumes he’s the 3rd.

Tier 6

Max Scherzer – 26                  *2.47 ERA after All-Star Break

Shaun Marcum – 29                *AL to NL pitcher, 3-1 in Interleague play (last 3 yrs)

Wandy Rodriguez – 32           *2.11 ERA after All-Star Break, bad team, few Ws

Ted Lily – 35                          *WHIP of .99 with Dodgers, ERA a little high – 3.52

Clay Buchholz – 26                *Can he repeat his 2.33 ERA season?

Tier 7

Jonathan Sanchez -28             *Post break 101 K’s tied w/ King Felix, Ubaldo,  & Lester

Brett Anderson – 23               *If healthy, he can wow you as the best pitcher on this staff

Trevor Cahill – 23                   *The other half of solid pair of Aces on the Athletics

Chad Billingsley – 26             *a 3.00 ERA after Break, if he only could be consistent

Colby Lewis – 31                    *Lee-less, Colby will be looked at to lead the staff

Tier 8

John Danks – 26                     *One of many solid, but not fantastic White Sox starters

Tim Hudson – 35                    *Tim Hudson is aging, but Turner Field is still friendly

Brandon Morrow – 26                        *He tossed a 1 hit, 17K CG against the Rays… the Rays!

Daniel Hudson – 24                *Here’s your sleeper, grab him before everyone else does

Josh Beckett – 31                    *He’s gotta bounce back – doesn’t he?

Tier 9

John Lackey – 32                    *See Josh Beckett

Jaime Garcia – 24                    *Can’t go wrong with Dave Duncan projects, great 2010

Brandon Webb – 31                *Sinker ball pitcher, just may be effective in Arlington

R.A. Dickey – 36                    *The obligatory knuckleballer on the list

Hiroki Kuroda – 36                 *Great 2010, but age may catch up with him this year

Tier 10

Scott Baker – 29                     *4.49 ERA, but 3.82 after the break

Brett Myers – 31                     *Did he just need a new place? Shined in Houston

Jeremy Hellickson – 23           *Hyped to be the next great arm coming out of TB minors

Brian Matusz – 24                   *A year under Showalter? Yes, please!

Rip Van Winkles (Sleepers…)

Edwin Jackson – 27                 *Contract Year, No Hitter last year

Ian Kennedy – 26                    *1.55 ERA in September of last year

Gio Gonzalez – 25                  *Gotta love Lefties with nasty stuff

Bud Norris – 26                      *3-1 vs. STL, 6-9 vs. Everyone Else, might be worth a flyer

Chris Young (NYM) – 31       *Ex-Padre travels east to Metco Park aka Citi Field

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