Consensus Position Rankings/Projections: Top 75 Starting Pitchers for 2014, Part 3

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It's Starting Pitcher Week at Fake Teams, where we publish part 3 of our consensus Top 75 fantasy starting pitcher rankings for 2014. Check out where the Fake Teams writers rank

We published part 1 of our consensus starting pitcher rankings on Monday morning, and part 2 on Wednesday morning. Today we bring you part 3 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| Part 2

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 3 of our Top 75 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2014:

Rank Player Team Ranking Points Ray Matt Brian Alex Daniel Joe Jason Zack
51 Corey Kluber CLE 202 52 50 49 65 39 56 33
52 R.A. Dickey TOR 200 48 43 45 38 73 60 39
53 Tim Lincecum SFG 175 55 61 58 62 46 53 71 43
54 Ubaldo Jimenez BAL 161 53 43 57 75 59 46 52
55 Chris Archer TBR 159 49 49 66 56 63 71 50 61
56 Lance Lynn STL 158 54 65 42 37 40 72
57 Yovani Gallardo MIL 150 56 56 50 61 61 53 59
58 Zack Wheeler NYM 145 51 45 67 48 74 61 55
59 Dan Haren LAD 134 71 60 69 63 66 47 68 46
60 Jarrod Parker OAK 133 61 66 54 67 65 35 65
61 Jake Peavy BOS 127 57 64 50 64 66 58 60
62 Ervin Santana FA 125 61 51 39 67 57 68
63 John Lackey BOS 125 59 51 58 45 75 75 58
64 Chris Tillman BAL 123 72 64 55 41 64 49
65 Marco Estrada MIL 118 62 55 66 74 56 62 53
66 A.J. Griffin OAK 109 57 54 52 40
67 Rick Porcello DET 102 58 70 54 64 49 71
68 Bartolo Colon NYM 99 64 69 58 45 55
69 Dan Straily OAK 98 67 60 56 43 66
70 Josh Johnson SDP 90 51 75 49 47
71 Ian Kennedy SDP 84 75 68 73 50 40
72 Ivan Nova NYY 78 70 72 72 57 41
73 Tyson Ross SDP 73 46 60 55
74 Taijuan Walker SEA 70 69 31 69 73
75 Ricky Nolasco MIN 65 63 51 70 63

Also receiving votes: Alex Wood (62), Martin Perez (60), Drew Smyly (60), Jose Quintana (50), Tim Hudson (48), Derek Holland (48), Scott Kazmir (44), Dillon Gee (39), Wade Miley (38), Edwin Jackson (33), Matt Harrison (30), Travis Wood (28), Jonathon Niese (24), Brandon Beachy (21), Brandon Morrow (19), Danny Duffy (16), Nate Eovaldi (15), Miguel Gonzalez (13), Wandy Rodriguez (11), Jhoulys Chacin (10), Yordano Ventura (10), Kyle Lohse (9), James Paxton (9), Jeremy Hellickson (8), Kevin Gausman (8), Jason Vargas (7), Mark Buehrle (6), Trevor Cahill (6), Erik Johnson (6), Hector Santiago (5), Alexi Ogando (5), Jarred Cosart (4), Archie Bradley (3)

Player Profiles

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# 51 Corey Kluber (CLE)

Photo Credit: Lance Iversen - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
11 0 3.85 1.262 136
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
147.1 0.9 9.3 5.43% 22.37%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
13 174 3.70 1.26 167
Auction Value: $ 9.79

Zack Smith profiled Kluber earlier in the week, and he is a pitcher I think should be targeted in the mid-rounds of mixed league drafts this season. Under the tutelage of pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who could be one of the best in the business, Kluber had a breakout year in 2013. He strikes out more than eight batters per nine, limits the walks and keeps the ball on the ground, the perfect recipe for Kluber to take another step up in 2014.

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# 52 R.A. Dickey (TOR)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
14 0 4.21 1.237 177
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
224.2 1.4 8.3 7.53% 18.77%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
13 215 4.37 1.27 167
Auction Value: $ 4.59

Dickey endured a rough start to the 2013 season, pitching to a 4.69 ERA in the first half, but turned things around in the second half, lowering his ERA to 3.56. His strikeout rate dropped from just under nine strikeouts per nine to just over seven strikeouts per nine, but we warned you that would happen. The move out of Citi Field to the Rogers Centre didn't help his home run rate, as he gave up 35 home runs in 224.2 innings. If he can limit the long ball in 2014, we could see another sub-4.00 ERA from Dickey, but don't expect another spike in the strikeout rate.

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# 53 Tim Lincecum (SFG)

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
10 0 4.37 1.315 193
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
197.2 1 8.4 9.04% 22.95%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 197 3.99 1.30 185
Auction Value: $ 7.08

Lincecum apparently started throwing in the offseason for the first time ever, so he is one to keep your eye on in spring training to see if there is an uptick in his fastball velocity, which has dropped into the low 90 mph range. He still strikes out more than eight batters per nine, but he gets hurt by the walk and the long ball, as his HR/FB% has been above league average in each of the last two seasons. If you need a strikeout pitcher late in drafts, he is your guy, but don't expect a sub-4.00 ERA to come along with it.

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# 54 Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL)

Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
13 0 3.3 1.33 194
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
182.2 0.8 8 10.30% 24.97%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 182 3.88 1.32 171
Auction Value: $ 6.55

We all know the deal with Ubaldo Jimenez. He had a great stretch against a lot of bad teams late in the season, and ended the season with ace like stats, winning 13 games with a 3.30 ERA, 3.43 FIP, 3.62 xFIP, a 1.33 WHIP and a 25% strikeout rate in 182 innings. The question is how will he perform now that he is moving from the pitcher-friendly Progressive Field to the home run-friendly Camden Yards. If he can keep the strikeout rate above nine, and can see an uptick in the ground ball rate, he could continue to dominate hitters like he did last season. He moves from one excellent pitching coach in Mickey Callaway in Cleveland to another in Dave Wallace in Baltimore. Add in the fact that he has one of the best infields in baseball behind him, and he could come close to repeating his 2013 performance.

For more on Jimenez, check out this profile written by Daniel Kelley on Wednesday.

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# 55 Chris Archer (TBR)

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
9 0 3.22 1.127 101
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
128.2 1 7.5 7.24% 19.24%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 187 4.05 1.30 153
Auction Value: $ 5.12

Archer had a solid 2013 season, winning nine of his 23 starts, with a 3.22 ERA, 4.07 FIP, a 3.91 xFIP, 1.13 WHIP and a19.2% strikeout rate in 128.2 innings. Archer struck out just over seven batters per nine, but limited the walks to 2.66 BB/9 and owned a ground ball rate of 47% last season. If he can improve the strikeout rate, we could see another sub-3.50 ERA in 2014.

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# 56 Lance Lynn (STL)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
15 0 3.97 1.314 198
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
201.2 0.6 8.4 8.88% 23.13%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 195 3.57 1.28 184
Auction Value: $ 10.53

Lynn had a solid 2013 season, winning 15 of his 33 starts, with a 3.97 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 3.66 xFIP, 1.31 WHIP and a 23.1% strikeout rate in 201.2 innings. Lynn is prone to the blow up from time to time, but offers plenty of strikeouts and a sub-4.00 ERA, but that comes with lots of base runners. If your pitching staff needs wins and strikeouts and can deal with a sub-par ERA and WHIP, Lynn is not a bad option later in drafts. He pitched better than his ERA indicates, so there might be a breakout season in Lynn's tank.

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# 57 Yovani Gallardo (MIL)

Photo Credit: Lance Iversen - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
12 0 4.18 1.362 144
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
180.2 0.9 9 8.54% 18.63%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 195 3.91 1.33 177
Auction Value: $ 6.29

Gallardo is a lot like Lynn, as he usually strikes out plenty of batters, until last season. Gallardo saw his strikeout rate drop from 9.00 K/9 to 7.17 K/9 last season, but there was growth elsewhere. He lowered his walk rate slightly, lowered his home runs allowed and increased his ground ball rate, so we could see 12-14 wins with a sub-4.00 ERA from him in 2014.

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# 58 Zack Wheeler (NYM)

Photo Credit: Brad Barr - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
7 0 3.42 1.36 84
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
100 0.9 8.1 10.67% 19.49%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
10 167 3.82 1.27 148
Auction Value: $ 5.73

So a story in the New York Post yesterday quoted a scout saying that he would prefer the Mets top three arms, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard over Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg.

Mighty high statement to make, but Wheeler has a bright future ahead of him. Last season he went 7-5 in his 17 starts with a3.42 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 4.21 xFIP, 1.36 WHIP and a 19.5% strikeout rate in 100 innings. He struck out 7.56 batters per nine but couldn't limit the free pass as he walked over four batters per nine. He did keep the ball on the ground at a solid 43.2% rare, so if he can raise his strikeout rate a bit and gain some control, we could see a sub-4.00 ERA from Wheeler in 2014. He won't go all Matt Harvey on us, but he should be a decent late round starting pitcher option.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 59 Dan Haren (LAD) 11 3.90 1.18 150 8.82

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# 60 Jarrod Parker (OAK)

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
12 0 3.97 1.223 134
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
197 1.1 8.1 7.70% 16.38%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 181 3.90 1.25 131
Auction Value: $ 6.35

Maybe it is because I traded Parker last year in my AL only keeper league, but I am just not that high on him, even though he pitches in a very pitcher-friendly stadium. I ranked him as my 66th ranked starter in our rankings, but am pretty sure I had him ranked higher heading into last season. Last season, he won 12 of his 32 starts with a 3.97 ERA, 4.40 FIP, 4.41 xFIP , 1.22 WHIP, and a 16.25 strikeout rate in 197 innings. He barely strikes out over six batters per nine, and walked under three batters per nine, with a 41% ground ball rate, but I expected more from the once highly-touted prospect. He doesn't appear to be big strikeout pitcher, and I could see him being an option on the waiver wire this year rather than drafted on draft day.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 61 Jake Peavy (BOS) 12 4.11 1.23 138 6.09

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# 62 Ervin Santana (FA)

Photo Credit: Jake Roth - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
9 0 3.24 1.142 161
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
211 1.1 8.1 5.94% 18.74%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
11 203 3.90 1.27 155
Auction Value: $ 6.36

Santana is still a free agent at the moment, and judging by the teams that have shown interest in him, he would probably drop out of our top 75 rankings if he signed with any of them except for the Mariners. Seattle is his best destination for fantasy purposes, as he is a fly ball, homer-prone pitcher, and Safeco would be a better fit than Baltimore, Colorado or Texas.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 63 John Lackey (BOS) 12 4.02 1.27 129 4.81

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# 64 Chris Tillman (BAL)

Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
16 0 3.71 1.221 179
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
206.1 1.4 8 8.05% 21.18%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 195 3.95 1.25 163
Auction Value: $ 7.98

Tillman had a breakout season in 2013, winning 16 of his 33 starts with a 3.71 ERA, 4.42 FIP, 3.88 xFIP, 1.22 WHIP and 21.2% strikeout rate in a career high 206.1 innings. Tillman is the reason why I think Ubaldo Jimenez can do well pitching in Camden Yards in 2014, as he strikes out more batters and induces ground balls at a higher rate.

Tillman will have to reduce his 1.44 HR/9 rate to get his ERA in the 3.30-.3.50 range, but he did improve his strikeouts per nine and kept his walk rate down under 3.00 BB/9 last season, so we could see more growth from Tillman this season.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 65 Marco Estrada (MIL) 10 3.72 1.19 144 8.23
# 66 A.J. Griffin (OAK) 12 3.72 1.17 142 10.23

20140223_ads_sv7_419.0

# 67 Rick Porcello (DET)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
13 0 4.32 1.282 142
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
177 0.9 9.4 5.71% 19.29%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
13 186 3.87 1.27 152
Auction Value: $ 7.75

If you are looking for a late round starting pitcher to target, look no further than Rick Porcello (or Ian Kennedy or Tyson Ross) to fill out your rotation needs. Porcello showed lots of across the board growth in 2013, winning 13 of his 29 starts, with a 4.32 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 3.19 xFIP, 1.28 WHIP and a 19.3% strikeout rate. His advanced pitching stats indicate he pitched better than his ERA, so there is room for improvement in 2014.

For an idea as to his growth, let's take a look at some peripheral stats:

ERA: moved from 4.59 to 4.32

FIP: moved from 3.91 to 3.53

xFIP: improved from 3.89 to 3.19

K/9: improved from 5.46 to 7.22

GB%: improved from 53.2% to 55.3%

WHIP: improved from 1.53 to 1.28

K%: improved from 13.7% to 19.35

So his K%, WHIP and xFIP showed the most growth in 2013, and if xFIP is a predictor of future ERAs, he could really surprise in 2014.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 68 Bartolo Colon (NYM) 13 3.68 1.20 116 9.02
# 69 Dan Straily (OAK) 12 3.74 1.23 158 9.41

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# 70 Josh Johnson (SDP)

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
2 0 6.2 1.66 83
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
81.1 1.7 11.6 7.81% 21.61%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
8 130 3.37 1.24 120
Auction Value: $ 5.8

Of all the Padres starters in the bottom third of our Top 75 Rankings, Johnson is the starter that I would stay away from due to his history of shoulder issues. But, if he can stay healthy, he could be an excellent late round gamble as your 5th-6th starter, as he still strikes out more than a batter per inning, limits the walks, and induces ground balls at a 45-50% rate.

20140221_mje_aa9_1317.0

# 71 Ian Kennedy (SDP)

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
7 0 4.91 1.395 163
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
181.1 1.3 8.9 9.19% 20.53%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
13 188 3.94 1.29 168
Auction Value: $ 7.52

Kennedy gives up a lot of home runs, as his HR/9, 1.21 HR/9 in 2012 and 1.34 HR/9 in 2013, indicate, but that should change now that he is pitching in Petco Park for at least half of his starts in 2014. He has given up 55 home runs over the last two seasons, covering roughly 390 innings, but that number should fall this season. He strikes out eight batters per nine, but will have to reduce his walks per nine back under three (as he did in 2011 and 2012) to see his ERA drop back into the 3.50-.400 range.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 72 Ivan Nova (NYY) 12 3.66 1.29 179 9.49

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# 73 Tyson Ross (SDP)

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
3 0 3.17 1.152 119
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
125 0.6 7.2 8.73% 23.61%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
9 155 3.59 1.21 149
Auction Value: $ 8.09

Ross was used out the bullpen and rotation last season, and was pretty dominant when placed in the starting rotation in the second half. In his 16 starts, he went just 3-5, but with an excellent 3.06 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and a 97-33 strikeout to walk rate in 94 innings. He pretty much stopped throwing his two seam fastball, relying on his fastball and slider to raise his strikeout rate from 13.5% in 20122 to 23.6% last season. Not only did he improve his K/9 from 5.65 K/9 to 8.57 K/9, but he reduced his walk rate from 4.54 BB/9 to 3.17 BB/9, and improved his ground ball rate to just under 55%. He was one of the best starters in the second half last season, and I see him building on that in 2014.

Name W ERA WHIP K Auc $
# 74 Taijuan Walker (SEA) 10 3.72 1.28 146 6.12

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# 75 Ricky Nolasco (MIN)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2013 FANTASY STATISTICS
W SV ERA WHIP K
13 0 3.7 1.209 165
2013 SECONDARY STATISTICS
IP HR/9 H/9 BB% K%
199.1 0.8 8.8 5.52% 19.78%
2014 ROTOBANTER PROJECTIONS
W IP ERA WHIP K
12 188 4.03 1.31 141
Auction Value: $ 4.2

Nolasco had a bit of a bounce back season, winning 13 of his 33 starts in Miami and Los Angeles, and saw his strikeouts per nine jump above 7.9 K/9 for the first time since 2010. He's a control pitcher who induces ground balls at a 40-45% rate. I can see him putting up an ERA in the 3.50-.3.75 range with 10-11 wins and a 1.25 WHIP in 2014.

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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