Fantasy Baseball: 2011 A.L. Only Top 20 Starting Pitcher Rankings

Mar 11, 2011

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Here’s a look at the 2011 A.L. Only Starting Pitcher rankings.
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1.  Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners:  He was a beast last year, leading the league in ERA (2.27) while ranking second in Ks (232) and fifth in WHIP (1.06). His only downside was the lack of wins (13), a problem that could easily resurface in 2011. It’s not a worrisome enough of a problem to keep him out of the top three. Keep in mind that he won 19 games in 2009.
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2.  Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox:  Lester continued to perform at a high level setting a career high in wins (19) and WHIP (1.20) while matching his career high with 225 Ks. His solid 3.25 ERA rounded out his dominance, which should continue with an even better offense backing him.
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3  C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees:  The wins will be there as he’s averaged 20 the past two years for New York. He has had identical 197 K seasons as well, which is not elite, but solid. Low 3.00 ERA and a sub-1.20 WHIP round out his excellence. He’s a true workhorse, having pitched at least 230 innings the past four seasons.
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4.  Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers:  Verlander followed up his 19-9, 3.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 269 K season with a 18-9, 3.37, 1.16, 219 one. Aside from a blip in 2008, he’s been one of the best in the game since 2006.
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5.  Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:  It’s possible the best three pitchers in the American League last year (King Felix – 13, Lee – 12, and Weaver – 13) combined for just 38 wins. Weaver led the majors in strikeouts (233), posted the sixth best WHIP (1.07), and the 16th best ERA (3.01). Having Seattle and Oakland in his division helps.
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6.  Clay Buccholz, Boston Red Sox:  Buccholz went 17-7 last year with a 2.33 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He only had 120 Ks in 173-2/3 innings. If he can improve that total, he also top five A.L. Only potential.
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7.  Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins:  Liriano successfully bounced back last year posting a 14-10 record with a 3.62 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, and 201 Ks in 191-2/3 innings. He was 8-3 with a 3.31 ERA, and a 1.24 WHIP in the second half. If he’s traded to the Yankees, his value should only increase.
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8.  Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels:  Haren’s overall numbers were somewhat disappointing (12-12, 3.91 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 216 Ks), but he was rock solid after joining the Angeles going 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 75 Ks in 94 innings. He’s topped 200 strikeouts the past three seasons and he has a 3.55 ERA and 1.17 WHIP since 2005.
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9.  David Price, Tampa Bay Rays:  Price went 19-9 (tied for 4th most wins) with a 2.72 ERA (7th), 1.19 WHIP (tied for 25th), and 188 Ks (20th). He was 10-2 with a 2.12 ERA against the AL East last year. I think he has a hard time coming close to those numbers, which takes a hit on his overall production.
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10.  Brett Anderson, Oakland Athletics:  He’ll have to stay healthy, but when he is, he can be downright nasty. He finished 7-6 with a 2.80 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP and 75 Ks in 112-1/3 innings. He was 4-1 with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in September and October.
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11. Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers:  Scherzer’s 2.47 ERA and 1.14 WHIP after the All-Star Break give him considerable promise. With 184 strikeout in 195-2/3 innings, he’s a strong bet to record 200+ strikeouts in 2011.
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12. Colby Lewis, Texas Rangers:  He went 12-13, but his 3.72 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 196 strikeouts make him a great option.
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13.  Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays:  Hellickson was outstanding in his cup of coffee going 4-0 with a 3.47 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts in 36-1/3 innings.
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14.  John Danks, Chicago White Sox:  Not a sexy pick, but Danks has three straight seasons with 12+ wins, a sub-4.00 ERA, and a sub-1.30 WHIP.
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15.  Brandon Morrow, Toronto Blue Jays:  Morrow struck out 178 batters in 146-1/3 innings. He was 5-1 with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP after the All-Star Break.
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16.  Trevor Cahill, Oakland A’s:  While I don’t believe he’s an 18-game pitcher with a sub-3.00 ERA this year, he’s a nice second starting pitcher for A.L. Only leagues.
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17.  Gavin Floyd, Chicago White Sox:  Floyd (shoulder) was shut down early, but dominated in June (2.58 ERA) and July (0.80 ERA). He posted a 3.84 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 2008 and a 4.06 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 2009 so a bounceback season would not be unlikely.
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18.  Phil Hughes, New York Yankees:  Hughes delivered on his promise last year posting 18 wins, and a solid 1.25 WHIP. With more seasoning, I expect him to look more like the first-half pitcher than the second-half one.
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19.  James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays:  Shields was terrible last year, with his ERA and WHIP climbing for the second straight season. He is  a bit of a risk, but a 12+ win, sub-4.00 ERA, and sub-1.25 WHIP is not out of the question.
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20.  Edwin Jackson, Chicago White Sox:  His no-hitter with eight walks is an indication of the stuff he has. It can be electric and wild at the same time. If he can harness his stuff, look for his value to surge in 2011.
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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Kenny G
    March 27th, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Good article. Although I think Ricky Romero could have been given some love here.

  2. LestersLegends
    March 27th, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    You’re right. He’s solid. I guess I was scared off by the prospect of facing the AL East powers plus pitching in Toronto where the HRs have been flying out of.

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