Clayton Kershaw
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball NL Only 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. Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks
6. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
7. Matt Harvey, New York Mets
8. Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins
9. Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates
10. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
11. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
12. Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs
13. Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants
14. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
15. Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres
16. Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals
17. Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates
18. Jeff Samardzija, San Francisco Giants
19. James Shields, San Diego Padres
20. Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals
21. Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
22. Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds
23. Shelby Miller, Arizona Diamondbacks
24. Steven Matz, New York Mets
25. Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals
26. Scott Kazmir, Los Angeles Dodgers
27. John Lackey, Chicago Cubs
28. Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks
29. Jaime Garcia, St. Louis Cardinals
30. Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers
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Also check out:

Chris Sale
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball AL Only starting pitcher rankings.
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1. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
2. David Price, Boston Red Sox
3. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
4. Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
5. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
6. Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
7. Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
8. Sonny Gray, Oakland A’s
9. Jordan Zimmermann, Detroit Tigers
10. Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers
11. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
12. Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians
13. Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels
14. Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays
15. Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
16. Lance McCullers , Houston Astros
17. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
18. Michael Pineda, New York Yankees
19. Jose Quintana, Chicago White Sox
20. Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners
21. Collin McHugh, Houston Astros
22. Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners
23. Luis Severino, New York Yankees
24. Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox
25. Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals
26. Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays
27. Drew Smyly, Tampa Bay Rays
28. Marco Estrada, Toronto Blue Jays
29. Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers
30. Mike Fiers, Houston Astros
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Also check out:

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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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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Also check out:

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 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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Also check out:

 

Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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Here’s an updated and expanded look at the 2011 Starting Pitcher rankings.
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1.  Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies:  Led the Majors in wins (21), ranked 3rd in WHIP (1.04), 4th in ERA (2.44), and tied for 5th 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.  Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners:  He was a beast last year, leading the league in ERA (2.27) while ranking 2nd in Ks (232) and 5th 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.
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4.  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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5.  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. continue reading »

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.

Click to see the rest of the 2010 fantasy baseball rankings.

Here’s an early look at Starting Pitcher Rankings.


1.  Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
The most dominant pitcher in baseball.

2.  Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals
He’s basically 1-A. Imagine what he and Lincecum would do with more run support.

3.  C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees
Proved his worth in New York, and should challenge for most wins in 2010.

4.  Johan Santana, New York Mets
He usually starts off a little slow, but nobody pitches like he does down the stretch.

5.  Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
Hopefully his new contract won’t go to his head.

6.  Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
He wish to play for a contender was granted. His win total should increase. Not having to face designated hitters will likely offset any bump from pitching at Citizens Bank Park.

7.  Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks
His WHIP has been 1.130 and 1.003 in his two years in Arizona. Simply amazing.

8.  Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
Verlander bounced back in 2009 and established himself as one of the game’s best pitchers.

9.  Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
Lester replaced Josh Beckett as the ace of the staff.

10.  Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
I don’t think he can live up to the standard he set last year, but he should still be a top ten pitcher.
continue reading »


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