Time for my second look at my starting pitcher rankings.
1. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
I can’t think of one reason to move him out of the top spot.
2. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
He got his contract secured, which eliminates a potential distraction. He’s my choice for the AL Cy Young.
3. Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals
I don’t expect him to be as good as last year, but he should remain a dominant force.
4. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees
The pressure is gone after winning a title. C.C. should challenge for the lead in wins with stellar peripherals.
5. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
Halladay could lead the NL in wins and challenge Lincecum for the Cy Young.
6. Dan Haren, Arizona Cardinals
Haren is the place to go for a miniscule WHIP.
7. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
Led the majors in strikeouts last year.
8. Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
Lester has been a force the past two years, and at 26 is only getting better.
9. Johan Santana, New York Mets
Johan is coming off an elbow injury and playing for the Mets. I don’t know which one scares me more. In all seriousness, I expect Johan to have another outstanding season.
10. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
Can he match his 2009 numbers? No. Can he come close? Yes.
11. Cliff Lee, Seattle Mariners
The best #2 pitcher in baseball. Lee has found a great groove.
12. Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox
Though he lost his job as Boston ace to Lester, he still is a fantasy ace.
13. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
Easily could be a top ten pitcher. He knows how to win and has a crazy low ERA. I’m just not sure I’m buying the strikeouts.
14. Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers
Gallardo could be a sleeper Cy Young candidate if the Brewers don’t hold him back.
15. Josh Johnson, Florida Marlins
He’s healthy and destroying batters. Johnson is an amazing SP2.
16. Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado Rockies
Ubaldo has put the Colorado worries to bed.
17. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
I really like Kershaw to take the next step this year.
18. Tommy Hanson, Atlanta Braves
Hanson is perhaps a year away from a major breakout, but should be a quality #2 this year as well.
19. Jake Peavy, Chicago White Sox
He was better suited for PETCO, but is still a solid option with the White Sox.
20. Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants
Cain will give you a nice ERA, WHIP, a strikeout total. His shortcoming always seems to be wins.
21. Chad Billingsley, Los Angeles Dodgers
I expect Billingsley to rebound this year and produce more like 2008.
22. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
Halladay should take the heat off of Hamels. Expect Hamels to be motivated this year.
23. Javier Vazquez, New York Yankees
So the first time around didn’t go so well. He’s a more mature pitcher now.
24. James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays
I actually like to acquire pitching earlier and have Shields as a #3 pitcher, but if I must I’ll take him as a #2.
25. Ricky Nolasco, Florida Marlins
Ricky was not good last year, but is loaded with talent. I think he bounces back big time.
26. Scott Baker, Minnesota Twins
Baker is quietly one of the better starters in the league. His strong second half (and 2008) are the proof.
27. Matt Garza, Tampa Bay Rays
Very emotional pitcher. When things are going good, they’re great. When they’re not, look out. I expect him to be much-improved this year.
28. A.J. Burnett, New York Yankees
As long as he’s healthy he’ll deliver wins and strikeouts. The ERA and WHIP leave plenty to be desired.
29. Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox
Buchholz has been the subject of rumors seemingly forever, yet he remains on the Red Sox. This year you’ll see why.
30. John Lackey, Boston Red Sox
He’ll have to figure out how to pitch in Fenway. Of course it helps not having to face Boston’s lineup.
31. Wandy Rodgriguez, Houston Astros
Hard to say if his strikeout total was a fluke, but he’s posted back-to-back sub-3.60 ERAs.
32. Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Jered is talented young pitcher. If he could figure out how to improve on the road, he’d be a solid #2 fantasy starter.
33. Brandon Webb, Arizona Diamondbacks
You’ll have to watch how he pitches this spring before deciding if you want him as a #3 pitcher.
34. Jair Jurrjens, Atlanta Braves
If shoulder problems continue to pop up, stay away. Otherwise enjoy the value that his injury scare gave you.
35. Roy Oswalt, Houston Astros
Pitching in the World Baseball Classic didn’t do Oswalt any favors. Expect him to bounce back this year.
36. David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
He didn’t exactly take his medicine with a smile last year. No need to worry about a repeat as I expect him to earn a spot in the rotation.
37. Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs
I expect the Cubbies, and Big Z, to be vastly improved in 2010.
38. Jorge de la Rosa, Colorado Rockies
I’m a little worried that he’ll have a hard time matching his 2009 numbers, but Jorge should have good win and strikeout totals.
39. Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox
Perhaps the least sexy pitcher out there. He probably has a hard time striking you out, but he’ll be rock solid with his wins, ERA, and WHIP.
40. John Danks, Chicago White Sox
Danks has turned in solid ERAs the past two seasons. Look for the win total to increase in ’10.