Continuing my Midseason Fantasy Baseball Rankings, today I discuss the top starting pitcher rankings, with Tigers ace Justin Verlander just nudging Phillies ace Roy Halladay for the top spot. There are three Phillies, two Angels in the Top 12 rankings, and three starters from each of the NL East and NL West and AL East divisions.
Note: the stats included below are through Saturday 8/13/11
MIdseason Starting Pitcher Rankings:
1. Justin Verlander, DET-As I have been preaching in the daily Roundups, I think Verlander is the leader in the AL Cy Young award race and he is pulling away. He is 17-5 with a 2.35 ERA, 2.74 FIP and 2.97 xFIP, a 0.87 WHIP, a K/BB of 4.78 and a BAA of just .197.
2. Roy Halladay, PHI-Halladay is the leader in the NL Cy Young race, but I think he will have some competition from Dodgers young ace Clayton Kershaw this year. Halladay is 15-4 with a 2.51 ERA, 2.23 FIP, 2.62 xFIP, with a 1.05 WHIP, 7.41 K/BB, and a BAA of .240. He is on pace for another 20 win season, and the Phillies are set to make another World Series run.
More Midseason Starting Pitcher Rankings after the jump:
3. Jered Weaver, LAA-Weaver is 14-6 with a 2.13 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 3.61 xFIP, a 0.97 WHIP, a K/BB of 3.97 and a BAA of .205. Weaver got knocked around in his last start, but is still one of the best pitchers in baseball.
4. Clayton Kershaw, LAD-I probably hype Kershaw more than most, only because he came up with a control problem as he walked too many batters in his first few years. This season, he has corrected the walks issue, and has become an ace. He is 14-5 with a 2.72 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 2.78 xFIP, with a WHIP of 1.03, a K/BB of 4.08 and a BAA of .208. He will challenge Halladay for the NL Cy Young award at the young age of 23.
5. CC Sabathia, NYY- Sabathia is a candidate for the AL Cy Young award this season, as he is 16-7 with a 2.93 ERA, 2.86 FIP and 3.06 xFIP, with a 1.14 WHIP, a K/BB of 3.80 and a BAA of .237. Sabathia will need to overcome the 5 home runs he gave up in his last outing to pass Verlander in the CY race.
6. Cole Hamels, PHI-Hamels is dealing with a dead arm right now, and got hit around in his Friday start, but is still having a terrific season. He is 13-7 with a 2.62 ERA, 2.64 FIP, and 2.93 xFIP, with a WHIP of 0.99, K/BB of 4.43 and BAA of .212.
7. Cliff Lee, PHI-Lee is the 3rd Phillies
starter ace on this Top 12 rankings list. No wonder the Phillies have the best record in baseball. Lee is 12-7 with a 2.83 ERA, 2.65 FIP and 2.66 xFIP, with a WHIP of 1.09, a K/BB of 5.21, and a BAA of .234.
8. Tim Lincecum, SFG-Lincecum is having another solid season for the Giants, as he is 11-9 with a 2.58 ERA, a 2.81 xFIP, a 3.07 xFIP, with a 1.15 WHIP, a K/BB of 2.78, and a BAA of just .208. His K/BB rate has dropped from 3.84 two years ago to 2.78 this season, as his K/9 have dropped from 10.42 to 9.60 and his BB/9 having jumped from 2.72 to 3.46.
9. Ian Kennedy, ARI-Kennedy has followed up his 2010 performance by going 15-3 with a 3.12 ERA, 3.57 FIP and a 3.61 xFIP, with a WHIP of 1.11, a K/BB of 3.16 and a BAA of .224. The Yankees could use him at this point, but I wonder how he would fare with his fly ball tendencies.
10. James Shields, TB-Shields has been a big surprise this season, as he has put all of his talent together on the mound this season. In prior seasons, he had solid peripheral stats, but they did not show up in his Win, ERA and WHIP stats. This season, he is 11-9 with a 2.80 ERA, 3.34 FIP, and 3.17 xFIP, with a WHIP of 1.06, a K/BB of 3.48 and a BAA of .217.
11. Dan Haren, LAA-Haren hasn't received the press that teammate Jered Weaver has this season, but he is one of the top starters in the AL and in all of MLB. He is 12-6 with 2.91 ERA, 2.77 FIP, and 3.24 xFIP, with a 0.98 WHIP, a K/BB of 5.50 and a BAA of .220. One concern is the drop in his K rate from 8.27 to 7.30 this season, but he has also dropped his HR/9 from over 1.00 to just 0.61.
12. Josh Beckett, BOS-Beckett rounds out the Top 12 Starting Pitcher rankings, and I thought he was done after the season he had in 2010. Shame on me for putting him out to pasture so soon. Beckett is 9-5 with a 2.40 ERA, a 3.39 FIP and 3.56 xFIP, with a WHIP of 0.97, K/BB of 3.33 and a BAA of .195.