Clayton Kershaw
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings.
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1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
3. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
4. Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs
5. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
6. David Price, Boston Red Sox
7. Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks
8. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
9. Matt Harvey, New York Mets
10. Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins
11. Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates
12. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
13. Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
14. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
15. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
16. Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
17. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
18. Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs
19. Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants
20. Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
21. Sonny Gray, Oakland A’s
22. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
23. Jordan Zimmermann, Detroit Tigers
24. Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers
25. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
26. Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians
27. Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels
28. Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres
29. Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals
30. Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates
31. Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays
32. Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
33. Lance McCullers , Houston Astros
34. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
35. Michael Pineda, New York Yankees
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Mike Trout
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball outfielder rankings.
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1. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
2. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
3. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
4. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
5. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
6. Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
7. A.J. Pollock, Arizona Diamondbacks
8. Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates
9. J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers
10. Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
11. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
12. Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
13. George Springer, Houston Astros
14. Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets
15. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
16. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
17. Justin Upton, Detroit Tigers
18. Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
19. Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals
20. Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers
21. Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs (more valuable as a catcher)
22. Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
23. Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs
24. Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres
25. Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees
26. Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants
27. Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds
28. Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians
29. Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates
30. Adam Eaton, Chicago White Sox
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Buster Posey
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball catcher rankings.
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1. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
2. Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
3. Brian McCann, New York Yankees
4. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
5. Russell Martin, Toronto Blue Jays
6. Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
7. Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets
8. Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles
9. Stephen Vogt, Oakland A’s
10. Derek Norris, San Diego Padres
11. Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds
12. Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Welington Castillo, Arizona Diamondbacks
14. Yan Gomes, Cleveland Indians
15. Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals
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Carlos Correa
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball shortstop rankings.
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1. Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
2. Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto Blue Jays
3. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
4. Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
6. Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays
7. Ian Desmond, Free Agent
8. Jung-Ho Kang, Pittsburgh Pirates
9. Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals
10. Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants
11. Starlin Castro, New York Yankees
12. Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
13. Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers
14. Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs
15. Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals
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Josh Donaldson
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball third baseman rankings.
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1. Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
2. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
3. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
4. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
5. Todd Frazier, Chicago White Sox
6. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
7. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
8. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
9. Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
10. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
11. Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
12. Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies
13. David Wright, New York Mets
14. Matt Duffy, San Francisco Giants
15. Jung-Ho Kang, Pittsburgh Pirates
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Jose Altuve
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball second baseman rankings.
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1. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
2. Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins
3. Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
4. Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
5. Ian Kinsler, Detroit Tigers
6. Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
7. Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers
8. Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
9. DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies
10. Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs
11. Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals
12. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
13. Neil Walker, New York Mets
14. Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
15. Logan Forsythe, Tampa Bay Rays
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Paul Goldschmidt
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball first baseman rankings.
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1. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
3. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
4. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
5. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
6. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
7. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
8. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
9. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
10. Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
11. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
12. Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
13. Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers
14. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
15. Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
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Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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Here’s a look at the 2011 closer rankings.
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1.  Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants:  Wilson led the Majors in saves (48) last year while posting a 1.81 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 93 Ks. He also has the market cornered on cool beards and scary eyes.
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2.  Heath Bell, San Diego Padres:  His stats read almost identical to Wilson’s. It’s really a preference thing here. I like Wilson because his starting pitching staff is better. Plus, without Adrian Gonzalez, the Padres could struggle to give him leads to protect.
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3.  Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs:  With 38 saves, a ridiculous 138 Ks, a 2.55 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, and a microscopic .147 BAA, Marmol is a very valuable closer.
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4.  Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers:  Broxton slipped big time last year picking up only 22 saves with a 4.04 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP, and a .270 BAA. His lone bright spot was the 73 Ks in 62-2/3 innings. He was electric in 2009 with 36 saves, a 2.61 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, a .165 BAA, and 114 Ks in 76 innings, which leads me to believe he can be a top tier closer again.
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5.  Francisco Rodriguez, New York Mets:  I’m more worried about him mentally than physically. Despite his bizarre season he had 25 saves with a 2.20 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, a .213 BAA, and 67 Ks in 57-1/3 innings. If he can control his emotions, he’s a fine closing option once again.
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6.  Francisco Cordero, Cincinnati Reds:  He’ll give you a bunch of saves (39 & 40 in the past two years), but don’t expect a high strikeout total or low WHIP.
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7.  Huston Street, Colorado Rockies:  He can deliver when he’s healthy. He has 55 saves in the past two years for Colorado with a 3.30 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and 115 Ks in 109 innings.
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8.  John Axford, Milwaukee Brewers:  Axford shared closer duties with Trevor Hoffman last year and still managed 24 saves, a 2.48 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and 76 Ks in 58 innings. As the Rotoprofessor points out, he does have control issues, but there is enough upside to justify his ranking.
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9.  J.J. Putz, Arizona Diamondbacks:  Drafting Putz will take a little leap of faith considering he has been on three teams and compiled just 20 saves over the past three seasons, though he totaled 76 saves in 2006 & 2007 for the Mariners. You can count on a bunch of strikeouts and a potentially low WHIP.
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10.  Drew Storen, Washington Nationals:  Storen was groomed for this role and now it’s his time to deliver. He struggled after June, but has enough upside to gamble on in N.L. Only Leagues.
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Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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Here’s a look at the 2011 A.L. Only closer rankings.
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1.  Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals:  In the last three years Soria has 115 saves, a 1.84 ERA, and a 1.01 WHIP. He also has 210 Ks in 186 innings. Will there be enough leads to protect? That’s the big question.Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers:  His stuff is filthy. He has a 0.82 WHIP and a .160 BAA in 100-1/3 innings. The Rangers are toying with the idea of using him as a starter, which would obviously change his value. That said, he’s desirable either way. If you are in a league that uses SP and RP and he’s a starter, you basically get an extra starter in your weekly lineup. If he hangs onto the closer gig, he’s the best in the American League.
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2.  Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers:  It’s not that I think he’s any less filthy, but it’s looking like he may give starting a go. He’s still valuable, but you would obviously lose the main category you draft a closer for.
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3.  Jonathan Papelbon, Boston Red Sox:  Papelbon wasn’t nearly as nasty last year posting a 3.90 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, and a .226 BAA. He still managed 37 saves last year. He’s averaged 37.6 saves over the past five years with 77.6 Ks, a 2.18 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP.
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4.  Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees:  It’s not that I think Mo is slipping, but the addition of Rafael Soriano suggests that he will have a lighter load this year. Let’s face it, the Yankees season doesn’t start until the playoffs begin.  If a game was on the line, Mo would be my guy. For a fantasy team, he’s just top five in A.L. Only leagues for me.
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5.  Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins:  We know what he was before Tommy John surgery, but how will he respond at 36? The closer gig isn’t a guarantee right away either. There are questions, but he has the goods if he’s healthy.
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6.  Jose Valverde, Detroit Tigers:  His save total (26) wasn’t great and his ERA (3.00) wasn’t spectacular, but he had a solid 1.16 WHIP and an excellent .184 BAA. He also had 63 Ks in 63 innings. He’s a solid A.L. Only closer.
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7.  Andrew Bailey, Oakland Athletics:  Bailey is going to see Dr. James Andrews, which is usually not a good sign. He’s too big of a risk to be a #1 fantasy closer.
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8.  Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians:  Perez posted a 1.71 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and 61 strikeout in 63 innings last year. Even if he regresses, he should be one of the top strikeout closers in the American League.
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9.  Kevin Gregg, Baltimore Orioles:  Mike Gonzalez is there if Gregg messes up, but he should be a good source for saves and strikeouts. He nailed down 37 wins last year for the Blue Jays.
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10.  Frank Francisco, Toronto Blue Jays:  There are so many question marks on the remaining closers, that it gets pretty dicey after the seventh or eighth closer has come off the board. Francisco picks up a ton of strikeouts and has shown he can post a low WHIP. He’s never topped 25 saves, but that could change this year.
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Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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Here’s an early look at the N.L. Only 2011 Starting Pitcher rankings.
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1.  Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies:  Halladay led the Majors in wins (21), ranked third in WHIP (1.04), fourth in ERA (2.44), and tied for fifth in strikeouts (219). He’s the complete package.
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2.  Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants:  Lincecum was 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 231 Ks. That was during an off year. He was untouchable in the playoffs.
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3.  Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies:  Lee shouldn’t have a problem increasing his win total, especially since he won’t be facing as many aces. He should post a microscopic WHIP and a low ERA as usual. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters, but he more than makes up for it elsewhere.
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4.  Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado Rockies:  Jimenez was downright nasty in the first half. While the second half wasn’t nearly as dominating, it’c hard to complain about a 19-8, 2.88 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 214 strikeout season. He has filthy stuff and is a tireless worker.
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5.  Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers:  Kershaw was brilliant last year going 13-10 with a 2.91 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP, and 212 Ks. I believe this year he’ll add more wins to the outstanding peripheral numbers.
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6.  Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins:  Johnson posted the second lowest ERA (2.30) in the league last year while sporting an 11-6 record, 1.11 WHIP, and 186 strikeouts in 183-2/3 innings.
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7.  Zack Greinke, Milwaukee Brewers:  I think a change of scenery will do Greinke good as he’ll finally have some run support. He stayed in a small market, which is probably good for his psyche. I don’t think he’ll bounce back to his Cy Young numbers, but he could certainly be a top ten fantasy pitcher.
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8.  Mat Latos, San Diego Padres:  Latos went 14-10 last year with a 2.92 ERA (13th in the league), a 1.08 WHIP (tied for seventh) and 189 Ks (19th).
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9.  Roy Oswalt, Philadelphia Phillies:  It’s almost embarrassing how stacked the Phillies rotation is. Oswalt was 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with the Phillies. He finished 13-13 with a 2.76 ERA (eighth in the league), 1.03 WHIP (second), and 193 Ks (18th). Like Lee, he won’t be facing many aces this year for the Phillies.
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10.  Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies:  The gluttony continues. Hamels bounced back in a big way last year going 12-11 with a 3.06 ERA (17th in the league), 1.18 WHIP (tied for 21st), and 211 Ks (11th). With the studs ahead of him in the rotation, he should have plenty of favorable matchups.
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11.  Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers:  Gallardo was 14-7 with a 3.84 ERA, a 1.37 WHIP, and 200 Ks in 185 innings. He and Greinke form a solid 1-2 punch. Health always seems to be a concern, but his stuff is electric.
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12.  Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals:  He’ll turn 36 early in the year, but after going 16-9 with a 3.22 ERA (23rd), a 1.18 WHIP (tied for 21st) and 179 K (28th) season it’s hard not to imagine Carpenter as a solid number one N.L. Only fantasy pitcher. He’s a bit of a risk given his age, but you know what you’re getting when he’s on.
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13.  Tommy Hanson, Atlanta Braves:  Hanson had an odd year sporting a solid 3.33 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP with 173 Ks, but finished 10-11. In 55 starts he has a 3.16 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. The wins will come.
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14.  Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants:  Cain went 13-11 with a 3.14 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 177 Ks. In 170 starts he has a 3.45 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He still unlucky posting a 57-62 career mark despite those solid numbers.
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15.  Matt Garza, Chicago Cubs:  Garza escapes from the brutal AL East and lands in the National League. The past three years he’s been very consistent posting ERAs between 3.70 and 3.95 and WHIPs between 1.24 and 1.26. His strikeouts were down to 150 last year, but he won a career high 15 games.
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16. Chad Billingsley, Los Angeles Dodgers:  His WHIP (lifetime 1.35) keeps him from being an elite N.L. Only option, but he gives you double-digit wins, a mid-3.00 ERA, and 170+ strikeouts.
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17.  Wandy Rodriguez, Houston Astros:  After a terrible start, Wandy rebounded going 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA in the second half.
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18.  Brett Myers, Houston Astros:  Myers went 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP, and 180 strikeouts. He was 8-2 with a 2.81 ERA in the second half.
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19. Daniel Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks:  Hudson was brilliant coming over in a trade to the D-backs going 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP.
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20.  Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants:  Bumgarner went 7-6 with a 3.00 ERA during the regular season. He upped his game in the playoffs going 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA.
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