Following Wednesday's NL starting pitcher rankings, it's now time to check out the Junior Circuit's starters.
Something to remember, as you peruse these rankings. Starting pitchers contribute to a maximum of four out of five categories, unlike the very best of their hitter brethren. This is why less of your budget goes to pitchers at auction, and also why you'll see very few five-star caliber pitchers -- if any -- on the list. A starter needs to be absolutely ridiculous to have five-star value, and while there are a few of those arms every year, they also rarely repeat.
If you missed a position, or the explanation for the tiered ranking system, you can check out the first base, second base, third base,shortstop, catcher, left field, center field, right field, and NL starting pitcher rankings.
There's no real "first" ranking here, as I would take any of these guys in a heartbeat. Felix Hernandez is probably better than his 2011, but the Mariners can't score, so it helps to keep him from being any kind of absolute #1. CC Sabathia deserves bonus points for extra Ws as a Yankees pitcher, but since he also has to face the tough AL East all the time, he tends to have a hard time maintaining superior fantasy value to these other arms.
David Price is excellent, and could easily be a four-star guy. But, like with Sabathia, I worry about the AL East. Same with Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, James Shields... pretty much anyone in that division. I don't expect 2010 again out of Ubaldo Jimenez, but an improvement on 2011, another year removed from the effects of Colorado, isn't asking much. Yu Darvish is something of an enigma, but I'm willing to spend the $15 or so to test him out, as he's more likely to be worth that (or more) than he is to totally fall apart, at least while he remains unfamiliar to his opponents.
|Two-Star ($9 & under)|
Putting these arms here makes it seem like I don't like these guys, but I do! It's just that there are so many pitchers to choose from who can do about the same amount in terms of value, so this supply-and-demand thing gets all out of whack and drives their value down.
- Feliz, Sale, and Bard should all be successful starters. Possibly with innings limitations, but successful nonetheless. If you'd like a full appraisal of the three, I've got you covered.
- I love that Pineda and Kuroda will get more wins in 2012. I hate that it requires them to pitch in the AL East and Yankee Stadium to do so.
- I don't trust Jake Peavy to stay healthy, so I'm already teetering on this ranking. Ask me tomorrow, and I could have him at the bottom of two-star.