Yesterday, I posted Part 1 of my updated starting pitcher rankings, and today we have Part 2. I am moving Zack Greinke down a few spots my Top 24 Starting Pitchers for 2011 due to his injury and the uncertaintly for when he returns. I am also removing Red Sox hurler Clay Buchholz from the Top 24, as I just think he is a major regression candidate this year. But Angels starter Dan Haren was the big winner as he moved into the #13 spot after I took a closer look at his stats after being dealt to the Angels last year.
Here is Part 2 of my updated 2011 starting pitcher rankings:
13. Dan Haren, LAA-Haren had his worst year since 2006 but still makes the top 24 for me. He was hurt by a horrific Arizona bullpen early in 2010, and moved to a more pitcher-friendly park in Anaheim, so he won't be hurt as much by the HR in 2011. He gave up 25 of his 31 HRs while pitching for the DBacks, and only 6 in the two months with the Angels. Haren's ERA after joining the Angels was 2.87, and his WHIP was 1.16. His K/9 dropped but his HR/9 was cut in half after moving to Anaheim, or wherever that other Los Angeles team plays.
14. Cole Hamels, PHI-are Hamels and Kershaw two of the unluckiest pitchers when looking at wins? Their peripheral stats say they should be winning more games. Hamels had a very nice K/BB rate of 3.46 last year and it was his lowest in 4 years. He had an extreme strand rate of 82% last year which will temper some ERA projections in 2011. Earlier this spring, I read many articles praising how well Hamels looked this spring, but he has been getting roughed up of late. No worries, it's only spring training.
15. Chad Billingsley, LAD-I have Billz ranked higher than most, but he is another Dodgers starter who grew up in 2010. His K rate has dropped the last few years, but so has his BB rate, and his ground ball rate increased to 50%. ZiPS projects 16 wins and a low 3 ERA this year, and Ron Shandler thinks he has Cy Young award upside.
16. Tommy Hanson, ATL-I am not sure how I missed Hanson in my previous rankings, but he is worthy of being included in the Top 24 in 2011. He will have an improved lineup providing run support, and an excellent, albeit young, bullpen. Hanson won only 10 games last year, but had an excellent 3.33 ERA and 1.17 WHIP to go along with a K/BB over 3.00. I can see 15 wins in 2011 with a low 3s ERA.
More after the jump:
17. Yovani Gallardo, MIL-Gallardo is another who appeared to grow up in 2010. He maintained his high K rate and lowered his BB rate by almost a walk per game. Some think he can break out in 2011 and I wouldn't put it past him. He won't have the pressure of being the ace in Milwaukee with the additions of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum this offseason, and that could suit him well.
18. Matt Cain, SFG-There has been much debate in fantasy circles on whether Cain can continue to put up ace type stats when the peripheral stats don't back it up. His xFIP has been at least a run higher than his ERA the last two years, and he continues to strand runners at a very high rate. Cain won't strike out alot of hitters, but he also won't give up a ton of baserunners as he did in the past. Some pitchers can get by without a high amount of Ks, and Cain is one of them.
19. Francisco Liriano, MIN-Liriano returned from TJS and posted a mid-3s ERA last year. With a huge jump in his GB rate-to 54%, and a K rate that approaches 10, he could improve upon his 2010 stats in 2011.
20. Max Scherzer, DET-Scherzer was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Tigers last offseason and Kevin Towers is still shaking his head as to why. Scherzer gave up 2 runs or less in 14 of his last 19 starts in '10, and is fast becoming the second ace in Detroit. But, I wouldn't expect him to continue pitching THAT well in 2011. If he can bring his K rate up a bit, I think he could win 13-14 games with a low 3s ERA.
21. Mat Latos,SD-Latos had a huge increase in innings pitched last year, and those who stay away from pitchers who could suffer from the Verducci affect will stay far way from him on draft day. Others think the Verducci affect is nonsense, and I am one Latos owner who is in that camp. He was in the NL Cy Young talk at the end of August, but fell apart in September. He held opponents to 2 runs or less in 22 of his 31 starts last year, and looks to benefit from that wonderful pitchers park in San Diego again in 2011.
22.David Price, TB-Price had a breakout season in 2010, and I am sure some will ask why he is rated so low in the top 24. He increased his K rate and lowered his walk rate last year, but I just don't see him pitching THAT well in 2011.
23. Zack Greinke, MIL-Greinke will start the season on the DL, and we just heard over the weekend that he will not be ready by April 16th, so there is some concern his injury is worse than we have been lead to believe. Greinke had a down year in 2010, and I am wondering if his Cy Young award season was his peak. His move to the National League will definitely help him and I really like the Brewers in the NL Central in 2011. I think an ERA in the mid-3's is what we can expect from him this year.
24. Roy Oswalt, PHI-who saw Oswalt's 2010 season coming? I didn't. Oswalt was tremendous in 2010, posting a sub-3 ERA and a low 1.00 WHIP. He'll be the best 3rd or 4th starter in Philly, but I don't see another sub-3 ERA this year.
Here are the rest of my updated 2011 position rankings: