Early Look at the Top 50 fantasy starting pitchers for 2014

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Ray takes a his first stab at ranking the Top 50 starting pitchers for 2014, with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw leading the way. Where does Jose Fernandez rank in his Top 50? Read on.

Last Friday, I published my early take on the Top 25 hitters for 2014 for fantasy purposes and today, I am doing the same with my Top 50 starting pitchers. At the top of the rankings is the best pitcher in the game, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. A little know fact, I once owned Kershaw in a keeper league and traded him for Kyle Blanks. I have no idea what got into me when making that deal, but it ranks right up there as one of the worst trades I have ever made.

I think everyone knows how much I like Yu Darvish, so I won't belabor the point, but he could approach 300 strikeouts one of these years.

I am giving Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg a pass this season, as the team was all out of sorts all season, not scoring runs, injuries, and all the rest. Strasburg's strikeout rate is down this season, but his ground ball rate is up. He can challenge for the National League Cy Young award in the very near future.

Zack Greinke is having a terrific season on the mound for the Dodgers this season, but has seen his strikeout and ground ball rates dip this season, but he has 14 wins with a month left in the season. And he missed a month of starts to boot. If there wasn't a guy named Kershaw on his team, he would be in the NL Cy Young award talk.

I might be high on Jose Fernandez here, but I have watched him pitch several times, and he holds his velocity deep into games, and is a lot of fun to watch on the mound. He is already an ace in my eyes.

A few more guys I am high on are Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Homer Bailey.

Moore just needs to clean up his command to become an ace. He's won 15 of his 22 starts, and you won't see that happen too often. While in the minors, Moore showed that he could improve his walk rate and he has yet to duplicate that in the majors. When he does, he will be a top 5-10 starter in the game.

Bailey is the cusp of becoming an ace as well, as his strikeout rate and ground ball rate are up, his walk rate and ERA are down, and he is learning to keep the ball in the park this season. He could push Mat Latos as the Reds best starter in 2014.

Minor is the Braves best starter right now, but I would like to see a few more strikeouts from him in 2014.

C.C. Sabathia and Matt Cain both took a steep fall in my rankings, and they will have to prove that they are still aces in 2014, as they may both be feeling the effects of all the innings they have thrown in their careers.

Another guy taking a hit in the rankings is Tigers "ace" Justin Verlander. I may drop him further during the offseason when I take a closer look at his 2013 season.

Two Rockies made my Top 50 Starting Pitcher Rankings! Shocking right? I am a big fan of Jhoulys Chacin, and I wouldn't sleep on him in drafts next year.

Here are my Top 50 Fantasy Starting Pitchers for 2014:

1

Clayton Kershaw

2

Yu Darvish

3

Felix Hernandez

4

Adam Wainwright

5

Stephen Strasburg

6

Cliff Lee

7

Max Scherzer

8

Zack Greinke

9

Jose Fernandez

10

David Price

11

Cole Hamels

12

Justin Verlander

13

Madison Bumgarner

14

Chris Sale

15

Jordan Zimmermann

16

Mat Latos

17

Matt Moore

18

Mike Minor

19

Homer Bailey

20

Anibal Sanchez

21

A.J. Burnett

22

Hiroki Kuroda

23

Patrick Corbin

24

Hisashi Iwakuma

25

Jered Weaver

26

CC Sabathia

27

Matt Cain

28

Shelby Miller

29

James Shields

30

Jake Peavy

31

Francisco Liriano

32

Ervin Santana

33

Jhoulys Chacin

34

Jon Lester

35

C.J. Wilson

36

Gio Gonzalez

37

Hyun-Jin Ryu

38

Justin Masterson

39

Ricky Nolasco

40

John Lackey

41

Jeff Samardzija

42

Derek Holland

43

Zack Wheeler

44

Kris Medlen

45

Jarrod Parker

46

Roy Halladay

47

Jorge De La Rosa

48

Julio Teheran

49

Lance Lynn

50

Matt Garza

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