Fantasy Baseball 2013 Head-to-Head Points League Rankings: Starters (26-50)

G. Newman Lowrance

Alex Kantecki ranks his next 25 starters (No. 26-50) for 2013 head-to-head points leagues.

On Tuesday, I published my top-25 starters in head-to-head points leagues. Today, I give you my next 25. (On Friday, I will publish my top-20 relievers.)

Ranking the 25 starters below was one of my favorite groups to rank in this series. There are a lot of arms capable of becoming top-25 starters (Brandon Morrow, Jon Niese, Homer Bailey), arms capable of rediscovering top-25 status (Ian Kennedy, C.J. Wilson, Jon Lester, Tim Lincecum), and an intriguing group of rookies and second-year starters (Jeff Samardzija, Matt Harvey, Jarrod Parker) capable of making the jump.

In this group, I valued upside more than history of endurance (innings pitched), and that's why you'll see guys like Jake Peavy, Brett Anderson and Morrow ranked so high.

As a reminder, scoring for pitchers in points leagues breaks down like this: one point for each recorded out and strikeout, minus-one point for every walk and hit, minus-two points for every earned run, five points for a win or save, and five points for a loss.

Here are my next 25 starters for 2013 head-to-head points leagues:

Rank

Player

Team

2012 Points

26

Jake Peavy

White Sox

442

27

Brett Anderson

Athletics

84

28

Yovani Gallardo

Brewers

419

29

Hiroki Kuroda

Yankees

433

30

Ian Kennedy

Diamondbacks

370

31

Brandon Morrow

Blue Jays

276

32

Jon Niese

Mets

379

33

Jeff Samardzija

Cubs

323

34

C.J. Wilson

Angels

351

35

Matt Garza

Cubs

185

36

Matt Harvey

Mets

134

37

Dan Haren

Nationals

269

38

Jarrod Parker

Athletics

340

39

Jon Lester

Red Sox

253

40

Homer Bailey

Reds

379

41

Matt Harrison

Rangers

383

42

A.J. Burnett

Pirates

408

43

Anibal Sanchez

Tigers

318

44

Lance Lynn

Cardinals

383

45

Doug Fister

Tigers

305

46

Tim Lincecum

Giants

236

47

Mike Minor

Braves

317

48

Jeremy Hellickson

Rays

306

49

Marco Estrada

Brewers

278

50

Tim Hudson

Braves

324

Edit: I didn't rank Aroldis Chapman (and I probably should have), but he'd slot in after Gallardo at No. 29.

Peavy made it to 200 innings for the first time since 2007 and posted his best ERA (3.37) since 2008. Look for another eight Ks per nine...Anderson came back from Tommy John and looked like his old self, holding batters to a .225-average. The only concern is how many innings he will give you in 2013...Gallardo struck out 9 batters per nine in 2012, and he made 33 starts for the second straight season. His BB/9 went up from 2.56 to 3.57, and that's not good when you play half of your games in a home run park...Kuroda has had an ERA under 3.39 since 2010. His GB% from 43.2% to 52.3% last year, but his HR/FB rate also increased...Kennedy probably won't have another 2011 (21 wins; 2.88 ERA), but he's made 32 or more starts in three straight years with at least 187 Ks over the last two...Morrow could approach 200 Ks over a full year, but he's only made 30 starts once...Niese has been a bit unlucky in the ERA department, but that wasn't the case in 2012 (3.40 ERA; 3.64 xFIP). He's good for 170 Ks...Samardzija was the Cubs most valuable pitcher in 2012, striking out 9.27 per nine with a 3.81 ERA. I can see him breaking the top 25 in 2013...Wilson pitched 200 innings for the third straight season in 2012, but his K/9 went down from 8.30 to 7.70, and his BB/9 went up from 2.98 to 4.05. He needs rediscover his control to justify this ranking...Garza missed most of 2012 and pitched in only 103.2 innings. He's usually a reliable guy, so I'd expect another typical Garza season in 2013...Harvey struck out 10.62 per nine in his rookie year, but he also walked 3.94. The strikeouts should be there...Haren almost became a Cub if not for a murky medical. The switch to the NL should help him all around...Parker was overshadowed by an elite rookie class in 2012, but he held his own with a 13-8 record and a 3.47 ERA. Workload might become an issue, as he pitched 200-plus innings last year...Lester had one of his worst years in 2012, going 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA. I've never been a big Lester fan and I don't expect a huge bounce back...Bailey had his best year in 2012, going 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA. His strikeouts and walks stayed intact, but his ground ball rate improved...Harrison just signed a five-year, $55 million extension to stay in Texas. He has a 3.34 ERA in 399 innings over the last two years...Burnett found a new home in Pittsburgh. He had an elite ground ball rate of 56.9% in 2012, and he's pitched in 186 innings or more in five straight seasons. I think you can trust him again...Sanchez signed a five-year, $80 million contract to stay in Detroit. He keeps the ball on the ground and provides solid Ks (7.59 career K/9)... Lynn won 18 games and struck out 9.20 per nine (12th most among qualifying starters). You can't expect 18 wins again, but the strikeouts are real...Johnson moves to the AL East, and I think he's in for a rough year...Fister is underrated from a fantasy perspective. He won't hurt you in any way... Lincecum is a wild card. Statistically he was one of the worst starters in 2012. He'll give you big strikeout numbers, but his control is a big problem...Minor had a K/9 of 7.28 and a BB/9 of 2.81 in 2012, but often struggled going deep into games. In the second half, he went 6-4 with a 2.16 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP in 87.1 innings. He makes for an interesting sleeper...Hellickson continues to progress as a starter. I think he eventually has the chance to become what Jordan Zimmermann is now...Estrada struck out 9.38 per nine in 2012, so if you're filling out the middle end of your rotation, he's a good arm to target...Hudson has won 16 or more games over the last three years, and he should be good for 15 more.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @akantecki.

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