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

Mar 12, 2011

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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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