2014 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings
Here’s the first look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends’ Starting Pitcher Rankings.
Pitchers, perhaps even more than hitters, can be a bit of a gamble due to potential arm injuries and innings caps. Do your research so you’re not going blind into the MLB Futures betting.
1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw is 51-23 over the past three years with a 2.21 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. He has averaged 236.3 strikeouts per season over that stretch. He’s the best pitcher in the game. Period.
2. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
Yu Darvish went 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and a league-leading 277 strikeouts. He’s the real deal.
3. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
King Felix went 12-10 with a 3.04 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 216 strikeouts. Over the past five seasons he’s 71-50 with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP while averaging 222 strikeouts. The Mariners’ offense should be more potent with Robinson Cano, which could lead to a few more victories for Hernandez.
4. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright went 19-9 with a 2.94 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and 219 strikeouts. Yep, he’s all the way back after his Tommy John surgery.
5. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
Stephen Strasburg went 8-9 with a 3.00 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 191 strikeouts in 183 innings. He’s still a bit of an injury risk, but he certainly has the goods if he can stay healthy.
6. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
After going 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP and 217 strikeouts, which was easily his worst performance since 2008, Justin Verlander could actually come at a discount this year. Look for Detroit’s true ace to reclaim his title.
7. Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers
Max Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and 240 strikeouts. Look for a regression because he set the bar so high, but he should still be one of the game’s top pitchers.
8. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner has gone 42-33 over the past three years with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP and 193.7 strikeouts per season. I expect him to take the next step this year in the elite class.
9. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies
Cliff Lee is just 37-25 over the past three years with Philadelphia, but he has a 2.80 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 222.3 strikeouts per year.
10. Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins
Jose Fernandez went 12-6 as a rookie with a 2.19 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP and 187 strikeouts in 172.2 innings. He has worked hard on conditioning to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump.
11. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels had a rough season going 8-14, but still managed to post a 3.60 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 202 strikeouts. Over the past four seasons he’s 51-40 with a 3.13 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 205.8 strikeouts per season.
12. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
Chris Sale is 28-22 over the past two seasons with a 3.06 ERA and 1.10 WHIP and 418 strikeouts in 406.1 innings.
13. David Price, Tampa Bay Ray
David Price went 10-8 with a 3.33 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 151 strikeouts in 186.2 innings. Over the past four years he’s 61-32 with a 3.02 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 190.5 strikeouts per season.
14. Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
Zack Greinke went 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 148 strikeouts in 177.2 innings. Over the past three years he’s 46-15 with a 3.32 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 183 strikeouts per season.
15. Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals
Gio Gonzalez shook off the Biogenesis allegation, avoided suspension, and posted a 11-8 record with a 3.36 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and 192 strikeouts in 195.2 innings. Over the past three years he’s 48-28 with a 3.12 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 198.7 strikeouts per season.
16. Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals
Jordan Zimmermann has averaged just 146 strikeouts over the past three seasons, but he’s 39-28 with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
17. Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers
Anibal Sanchez went 14-8 with a 2.57 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in 182 innings. He has also had the stuff, but this is the first time he put it all together. He’s a bit of a regression risk based on how much better he did than his career averages (3.55 ERA, 1.31 WHIP).
18. Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants
A down year (8-10, 4.00 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 158 strikeouts) for Cain is still a solid season, aside from the win total. Cain has a lifetime ERA of 3.35 and WHIP of 1.17. He should rebound.
19. James Shields, Kansas City Royals
James Shields went 13-9 with a 3.15 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and 196 strikeouts. Over the past three years he’s 44-31 with a 3.15 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 214.7 strikeouts per season.
20. Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds
Homer Bailey went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and 199 strikeouts. He went 6-4 in his final 13 starts with a 3.02 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and 78 strikeouts in 86.1 innings.
Also check out:
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball First Base Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Second Base Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Shortstop Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Catcher Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Outfielder Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball AL-Only Starting Pitcher Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball NL-Only Starting Pitcher Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Baseball Designated Hitter Rankings