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Fantasy Baseball: Jason's Top 25 Starting Pitchers

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We are continuing on with our writer rankings here at FakeTeams, and with the starting pitchers.

  1. Tim Lincecum (Giants)
  2. Roy Halladay (Phillies)
  3. Felix Hernandez (Mariners)
  4. C.C. Sabathia (Yankees)
  5. Zack Greinke (Royals)
  6. Dan Haren (Diamondbacks)
  7. Adam Wainwright (Cardinals)
  8. Justin Verlander (Tigers)
  9. Jon Lester (Red Sox)
  10. Chris Carpenter (Cardinals)
  11. Josh Johnson (Marlins)
  12. Johan Santana (Mets)
  13. Yovani Gallardo (Brewers)
  14. Matt Cain (Giants)
  15. Wandy Rodriguez (Astros)
  16. Javier Vazquez (Yankees)
  17. Josh Beckett (Red Sox)
  18. Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies)
  19. Tommy Hanson (Braves)
  20. Cliff Lee (Mariners)
  21. Ricky Nolasco (Marlins)
  22. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
  23. John Lackey (Red Sox)
  24. Cole Hamels (Phillies)
  25. Scott Baker (Twins)

My thoughts:

  • I'm not a believer in either Chris Carpenter or Johan Santana. I think that they'll probably pitch well, but for where I would have to get them in drafts, they won't end up on any of my teams. For both, there's more risk than I'd care to have with an ace starting pitcher.
  • Javier Vazquez seems to me like he'll pitch better this time around in New York. Nothing in particular points me to that conclusion, just a gut feeling really.
  • Cliff Lee's injury drops him in my rankings. If he had been 100% healthy, I could have seen him right around the 10-15 range. But the fact that he's going to be pitching in Seattle and the excellent defense that has been assembled behind him could potentially make him a bit of a sleeper if you're drafting before the weekend.
  • I've written before about how I think Cole Hamels will rebound this season, and I think he will return to his 2008 form.
  • Don't let Ricky Nolasco's ERA from 2009 fool you, his other stats all point to a pitcher who was unlucky and should have had a better season than he did.

Notes on players who aren't in my top 25:

  • Brett Anderson is someone I will be targeting in my drafts. He has ace upside in my opinion, and this season I think he can really vault into the top tier of starting pitchers.
  • Jake Peavy is someone who may be forgotten on draft day, but he's looked good this spring and pitched well at the end of last season. He could very easily be back to the level when he was winning the Cy Young award.
  • Brandon Webb is someone who will not be on my team. The fact that he still isn't really recovered from the injury he sustained last year really worries me.
  • High upside plays: Erik Bedard, RIch Harden (yes I know they both are every year), Colby Lewis, Mat Latos, Justin Duchscherer, and Brian Matusz