Consensus Position Rankings/Projections: Top 75 Starting Pitchers for 2014, Part 2

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's Starting Pitcher Week at Fake Teams, where we publish part 2 of our consensus Top 75 fantasy starting pitcher rankings for 2014. Check out where the Fake Teams writers rank Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Wacha,Tony Cingrani and others.

We published part 1 of our consensus starting pitcher rankings on Monday morning, and now we bring you part 2 of our rankings for 2014. We used a points system for each of the 75 starting pitchers ranked by each of the Fake Teams writers who participated in the consensus rankings series.

Below you will find links to all of our position rankings and projections that we have published to date:

Catcher: Part 1| Part 2

First Base: Part 1| Part 2

Second Base: Part 1| Part 2

Shortstop: Part 1| Part 2

Third Base: Part 1| Part 2

Outfielders: Part 1| Part 2| Part 3

Starting Pitchers: Part 1

We feel that providing you with our consensus position rankings, you get an average ranking from the Fake Teams writers, rather than just my updated rankings throughout the offseason. You will see some players ranked higher by one Fake Teams writer than the others, so this helps the reader see both sides of the argument for/against a certain player who might be getting too much love this offseason.

The starting pitcher rankings will be split into three parts, rankings, player profiles and projections for starting pitchers ranked 1 - 25 in part 1, and rankings, player profiles and projections for starting pitchers ranked 26 - 50 in part 2 to be published on Wednesday morning, and starting pitchers ranked 51-75 on Friday morning. I probably won't write about each of the starting pitchers ranked, but will provide comments on players that I like/dislike for 2014. Consensus rankings should bring about discussion amongst you, our readers, and the Fake Teams writers who participated in this series.

In addition to the rankings, we are now offering your 2014 projections for each player ranked, courtesy of Dan Schwartz from Fake Teams and Rotobanter. He has spent all offseason on his projections, and to learn more about how he calculates his projections, you can read his explanations here: Part 1| Part 2| Part 3. Part 1 details his projection approach, Part 2 details how he calculates his hitter projections and part 3 details how he calculates his pitcher projections.

And all of this is consolidated, with player photos, into statistical tables thanks to the work of Jason Hunt.

2014 Starting Pitcher Rankings

Now let's take a look at part 2 of our Top 75 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2014:

Rank Player Team Ranking Points Ray Matt Brian Alex Daniel Joe Jason Zack
26 Julio Teheran ATL 387 28 16 39 32 22 29 33 38
27 Doug Fister WAS 384 30 46 29 27 29 32 21 26
28 Matt Moore TBR 372 32 24 37 28 25 38 37 31
29 Kris Medlen ATL 369 30 28 27 26 32 34 36 42
30 Masahiro Tanaka NYY 360 21 15 34 30 40 22 24
31 Francisco Liriano PIT 355 25 34 19 31 44 58 30 28
32 Shelby Miller STL 350 35 40 33 43 26 36 32 29
33 Jon Lester BOS 327 33 36 31 33 42 46 31 45
34 Hyun-jin Ryu LAD 311 48 32 34 31 23 23 44
35 Justin Masterson CLE 304 47 52 26 37 54 28 26 50
36 Jered Weaver LAA 303 31 37 45 47 33 42 45 41
37 Jeff Samardzija CHC 293 42 59 25 29 70 52 27 27
38 Andrew Cashner SDP 284 26 44 40 36 34 44 69 47
39 Patrick Corbin ARI 282 42 38 40 28 35 39 42
40 C.J. Wilson LAA 267 34 47 47 49 30 62 54 34
41 Clay Buchholz BOS 266 43 38 36 38 27 41 57
42 Michael Wacha STL 259 44 30 56 46 55 17 48 69
43 Sonny Gray OAK 258 37 33 39 53 20 44 62
44 Hiroki Kuroda NYY 255 60 58 46 35 37 51 34 48
45 Johnny Cueto CIN 231 38 41 35 52 47 60 66 54
46 CC Sabathia NYY 231 36 42 48 44 71 52 22
47 A.J. Burnett PHI 222 39 39 44 48 51 25
48 Tony Cingrani CIN 208 50 32 59 43 31 49 74
49 Danny Salazar CLE 206 45 35 57 67 21 64 51
50 Matt Garza MIL 206 63 55 41 41 73 68 42 35

Player Profiles

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# 26 Julio Teheran (ATL)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
14 0 3.2 1.174 170
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
185.2 1.1 8.4 5.81% 21.96%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 194 3.58 1.21 174
Auction Value: $ 12.23

Teheran quieted his critics last season after a rocky showing in AAA in 2012, winning 14 of his 30 starts, with a 3.20 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 3.76 xFIP, 1.17 WHIP and a 22.0% strikeout rate. He benefitted from an extremely high strand rate of 80.9%, so one should expect his ERA to jump a little this season, unless he can raise his strikeout and ground ball rates. He limits the free pass, as his 2.18 walks per nine indicates, but needs to lower the home runs per nine below 1.00 to continue to be a top 30 starter for fantasy purposes.

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# 27 Doug Fister (WAS)

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
14 0 3.67 1.308 159
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
208.2 0.6 9.9 4.99% 18.05%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
14 208 3.61 1.24 158
Auction Value: $ 11.43

In the most lopsided trade of the offseason, the Nationals somehow landed Fister for a few prospects. Fister won 14 of his 32 starts in 2013, with a 3.69 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 3.42 xFIP, a 1.31 WHIP and a strikeout rate of just 18.1%. He doesn't strikeout as many batters as some of the pitchers he is ranked with, but he does limit the walks to under 2.00 walks per nine, and has a near-elite ground ball rate.

He was more hittable last season, as batters hit .279 against him, and maybe that is why the Tigers gave him away so cheaply. Fister allowed right handed hitters to hit .301-.349-.390 last season, so something doesn't make sense here, as he is a right-handed pitcher so he should have fared better against them.

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# 28 Matt Moore (TBR)

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
17 0 3.29 1.297 143
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
150.1 0.8 7.1 11.84% 22.27%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
14 160 3.59 1.29 154
Auction Value: $ 9.51

I have been quoted in the past saying Moore is the next Clayton Kershaw, but I am backing away from that a bit this season. Moore, once again, struggled with his control last season, walking 4.5 batters every nine innings. He won 17 of his 27 starts, with a 3.29 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 4.32 xFIP, a 1.30 WHIP and a 22.3% strikeout rate in 150.1 innings of work. While he has trouble with the free pass, one thing he does do well is strike out hitters and limit the batting average of balls in play to just .259 last season. His 78.6% strand rate is not repeatable, so he will have to show some improvement in the walk rate to keep the ERA in the low 3.00s again in 2014. To do so, he should probably work on throwing more than 51% first pitch strikes to get ahead of batters more.

20140224_mse_sv7_854.0

# 29 Kris Medlen (ATL)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
15 0 3.11 1.223 157
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
197 0.8 8.9 5.73% 19.15%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
13 202 3.65 1.21 163
Auction Value: $ 11.76

Medlen quietly had another excellent season on the bump, winning 15 of his 31 starts, with a 3.11 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 3.55 xFIP, a 1.22 WHIP and a 19.2% strikeout rate in a career high 197 innings. Medlen strikes out just over seven batters per nine, while walking a little over two batters per nine, and keeps the ball on the ground at a 45% clip. Unlike Moore above, he throws first pitch strikes to 65% of the batters he faces, and is successful as a result.

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# 30 Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS (JAPAN)
W SV ERA WHIP K
24 0 1.27 0.943 183
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 3.79 1.19 160
Auction Value: $ 12.18

I have not been shy about how much I like Tanaka this offseason, especially after reading this piece from Jeff Sullivan from FanGraphs. In that piece, he compared Tanaka to Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda:

But all Hiroki Kuroda has done since arriving in the majors is post an 85 ERA- that ranks him with guys like Jon Lester and Tim Hudson. Tanaka has Kuroda's splitter, and he has Kuroda's location, so there are reasons to expect him to have something like Kuroda's success. It just so happens that Hiroki Kuroda is one of baseball's very most underrated starting pitchers. Masahiro Tanaka probably isn't going to fly under the same radar.

That is correct, he won't fly under the radar on draft day either. Tanaka was recently priced at $19 in the LABR AL only auction on Saturday night, so the experts are confident in his ability to pitch in the big leagues this season, as only eight other starters went for higher bids. His $19 bid was more than what Alex Cobb, Sonny Gray and Matt Moore went for.

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# 31 Francisco Liriano (PIT)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
16 0 3.02 1.224 163
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
161 0.5 7.5 9.46% 24.47%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
11 154 3.66 1.29 150
Auction Value: $ 7.11

Liriano had a huge bounce back season pitching in pitcher-friendly PNC Park under the tutelage of pitching coach Ray Searage. Searage was behind A.J. Burnett's turnaround as well. How did he do it? Well, he reduced his walk rate from five walks per nine to 3.5 walks per nine, and improved his ground ball rate back over 50%. All that while striking out a batter per inning. Liriano won 16 of his 26 starts with a 3.02 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 3.12 xFIP, a 1.22 WHIP and a 24.5% strikeout rate.

The question for fantasy owners will be whether he can repeat that performance in 2014. He was auctioned at $10 in the LABR NL only draft on Sunday night, which is a little lower than I expected after his 2013 performance, so Derek Carty got a steal in my opinion.

20140224_mje_su8_913.0

# 32 Shelby Miller (STL)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
15 0 3.06 1.206 169
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
173.1 1 7.9 7.89% 23.41%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
14 172 3.69 1.25 165
Auction Value: $ 10.8

Miller had a terrific rookie season for the Cardinals, winning 15 of his 31 starts, with a 3.06 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 3.73 xFIP, a 1.21 WHIP and a 23.4% strikeout rate in 173.1 innings. Like most young pitchers, Miller had his ups and downs last season despite the excellent season stats. Looking at his monthly splits, his ERA in his four good months ranged from 1.99 to 2.76. His ERA in his two bad months were 4.31 and 4.55, which isn't terrible.

Miller was pretty dominant at home last season, striking out 90 and walking 23 in 92.2 innings with a sparkling 1.75 ERA. He struggled on the road though, putting up a 4.57 ERA in 80.2 innings. He was bid up to $13 in the LABR NL only auction draft over the weekend.

20140223_mse_mb2_2417.0

# 33 Jon Lester (BOS)

Photo Credit: David Manning - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
15 0 3.75 1.294 177
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
213.1 0.8 8.8 7.42% 19.60%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
14 211 3.97 1.30 175
Auction Value: $ 7.83

Lester had a terrific playoff and World Series in 2013, winning four of his five decisions, after an excellent regular season, where he won 15 games with a 3.75 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 3.90 xFIP, a 1.29 WHIP and a 19.6% strikeout rate.

Lester doesn't offer owners lots of strikeouts, but he limits the walks to under three per nine, and keeps the ball on the ground at a 46% rate. Over the last few seasons, we have seen his strikeout rate and ground ball rate drop, so there is some risk of a 4+ ERA in 2014.

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# 34 Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD)

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
14 0 3 1.203 154
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
192 0.7 8.5 6.26% 19.67%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
13 195 3.40 1.20 154
Auction Value: $ 13.37

Not many of us expected this kind of performance from Ryu last season, but he was one of the more consistent starters in the game. Ryu won 14 of his 30 starts, with a 3.00 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 3.46 xFIP, a 1.20 WHIP and a 19.7% strikeout rate in 192 innings of work. He's not overpowering, but strikes out seven batters per nine, walks just 2.30 per nine, and a solid 50.6% ground ball rate.

Ryu reported to camp in much better shape than he did in 2013, so I wonder if there is room for improvement from his 2013 performance. That may be asking a lot, though.

20140224_mse_ib2_1082.0

# 35 Justin Masterson (CLE)

Photo Credit: Lance Iversen - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
14 0 3.45 1.202 195
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
193 0.6 7.3 9.46% 24.28%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
13 196 3.55 1.25 177
Auction Value: $ 11.84

Masterson enjoyed the best season of his career in 2013, winning 14 games with a 3.45 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 3.33 xFIP, a 1.20 WHIP and a 24.3% strikeout rate in 193 innings of work. He saw his strikeout per nine jump from around 7.00 K/9 to just over 9.00 K/9, along with a slight drop in walk rate and bumped his ground ball rate to an elite 58% rate.

The Indians have some special pitching coach in Mickey Calloway, so I a going to bet that Masterson has reached a new level and can repeat his 2013 breakout season.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 36 Jered Weaver (LAA) 14 3.85 1.22 135 8.93
# 37 Jeff Samardzija (CHC) 11 3.88 1.31 189 7.17

20140221_mje_aa9_1187.0

# 38 Andrew Cashner (SDP)

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
10 0 3.09 1.131 128
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
175 0.6 7.8 6.65% 18.10%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
10 185 3.36 1.24 153
Auction Value: $ 10.2

Cashner was healthy all season, and was able to pitch the most innings of his career. He won 10 games with a 3.09 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 3.62 xFIP, a 1.13 WHIP but with a low 18.1% strikeout rate for the big right hander. He was dominant over the last two months of the season, striking out 45 batters in 59 innings, with an ERA of 2.25 in 40 innings in August and a 0.76 ERA in 23.2 innings in September.

Cashner is getting plenty of love this offseason, as he was auctioned off at $13 in the LABR NL only draft on Sunday night, and is highly ranked in most pitcher rankings elsewhere on the net.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 39 Patrick Corbin (ARI) 13 3.73 1.22 177 11.76
# 40 C.J. Wilson (LAA) 13 3.93 1.34 173 5.91

Jasper Scherer wrote about Wilson on Monday, opining that Wilson is underrated in fantasy drafts this season.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 41 Clay Buchholz (BOS) 10 4.08 1.29 109 2.07

20140224_mje_su8_895.0

# 42 Michael Wacha (STL)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
4 0 2.78 1.098 65
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
64.2 0.7 7.2 7.31% 25.00%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
13 197 3.40 1.17 174
Auction Value: $ 15.45

There might not be another starter getting as much hype as Wacha this offseason, especially after the way he pitched in the playoffs, shutting out the Dodgers twice in the NLCS. In his 15 appearances last season, nine of them starts, Wacha went 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 3.36 xFIP, a 1.10 WHIP and a 25% strikeout rate in 64.2 innings of work.

After his performance in the NLCS, I recall some fantasy writers saying he was a top 25 starter this season. Well, he is a top 25 starter according to his NFBC average draft position, as he is currently the 17th starter off draft boards, ahead of pitchers like Matt Cain, Homer Bailey, Mat Latos and James Shields. This is surprising to me since Wacha has made just nine career starts, and much of this love is based on a few dominant performances in the NLCS.

I like Wacha, but want to see more than nine starts to rank him a top 20 starter.

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# 43 Sonny Gray (OAK)

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
5 0 2.67 1.109 67
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
64 0.6 7.2 7.66% 25.67%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 190 3.40 1.18 173
Auction Value: $ 14.03

I had Gray ranked much higher in my early offseason rankings, but felt a lower ranking made more sense since, like Michael Wacha, he has made just ten starts in the big leagues. Like Wacha, he was dominant in those ten starts, going 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 2.92 xFIP, 1.11 WHIP and a 25.7% strikeout rate in 64 innings. He struck out over nine batters per nine, walked less than three per nine, and kept the ball on the ground at a near 53% clip, so there is a chance he can repeat his 2013 performance in 2014. He could be the ace of the Oakland staff by midseason.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 44 Hiroki Kuroda (NYY) 12 3.94 1.24 148 7.34
# 45 Johnny Cueto (CIN) 11 3.75 1.20 124 7.27
# 46 CC Sabathia (NYY) 13 4.22 1.33 156 3.62

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# 47 A.J. Burnett (PHI)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
10 0 3.3 1.215 209
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
191 0.5 7.8 8.36% 26.09%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 175 3.74 1.26 156
Auction Value: $ 8.33

Burnett moves from the pitchers paradise that is PNC Park to CBP in 2014, and that move diminishes his value a bit, but not as much as you think. Last season, Burnett went 10-11 with a 3.30 ERA, 2.80 FIP, 2.92 xFIP, a 1.21 WHIP and a 26.1% strikeout rate in 191 innings. Burnett struck out almost ten batters per nine, while walking three batters per nine, and kept the ball on the ground at an elite 56% rate last season. The problem with the move for Burnett is that he has an old infield behind him in Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, but Rollins and Utley were once considered very good to excellent defensive infielders, so the downgrade isn't that much. The Pirates used a lot of defensive shifts in their infield last season, and it remains to be seen whether the Phillies will follow suit.

Burnett will continue to strike out hitters and induce ground ball outs, but I have some concern that we could see in increase in home runs allowed with the move to the new ball park.

20140220_mje_aa9_369.0

# 48 Tony Cingrani (CIN)

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
7 0 2.92 1.099 120
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
104.2 1.2 6.2 10.24% 28.57%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 149 3.44 1.19 164
Auction Value: $ 12.14

Joe Pytleski will profile Cingrani on Thursday.

With that said, Cingrani was solid in his major league debut season in 2013, going 7-4 with a 2.92 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 3.49 xFIP, 1.10 WHIP and an excellent 28.6% strikeout rate in 104.2 innings. He needs to work on reducing his walk rate, and was a little homer prone last season, giving up 14 home runs in 104.2 innings.

I have not read anything to support this claim, but looking at his total inning pitched between the big leagues and AAA last season, he could be shut down after 160-180 innings this season. He will be a 200+ strikeout pitcher once he can get a year of experience under his belt.

20140224_mse_ib2_1117.0

# 49 Danny Salazar (CLE)

Photo Credit: Lance Iversen - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
2 0 3.12 1.135 65
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
52 1.2 7.6 7.11% 30.81%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 166 3.38 1.18 181
Auction Value: $ 13.98

Salazar is one of the few young starters who are getting plenty of preseason hype this offseason, along with Michael Wacha, Gerrit Cole, Tony Congrani and Sonny Gray. Salazar was pretty nasty in his ten starts last season, going just 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 2.75 xFIP, 1.13 WHIP and a 30% strikeout rate in 52 innings. Salazar struck out struck out more than 11 batters per nine, walked less than three per nine, and induced ground balls at a 34% rate in his ten starts. His 14/6% swinging strike rate ranked #1 among starting pitchers with over 40 innings pitched last season, well ahead of Francisco Liriano and Yu Darvish. If he can maintain that swinging strike percentage, he could once battle for the strikeout title in the next year or two.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 50 Matt Garza (MIL) 11 3.93 1.24 142 6.28

Fantasy Rundown

If you are looking for more position rankings, or plain old fantasy baseball goodness, make sure you check out Fantasy Rundown, your one place to get all things fantasy.

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