Fantasy Baseball Draft 2014: Top 10 Starting Pitchers (SP)
Taking a Look at the Top 10 Starting Pitchers in the 2014 Fantasy Draft
February 26, 2014
Over the past week or two, we’ve been visiting each position ahead of the 2014 fantasy draft and coming up with a list of the top 10 names in each slot. Today we’re moving on to starting pitchers, and as usual there’s a bevy of talent to be had. Here’s our take on the first 10 SP names you should be considering at the top-shelf level on draft day.
1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers: Regardless of where you look, Kershaw seems to be the consensus No. 1 pick at SP. Fresh off his shiny new contract, he’ll be gunning for a 20-win season, complete with a sub-2.50 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP. 240 strikeouts isn’t out of the question, either.
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2. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers: Here’s where the opinions start to differ, but Darvish seems to be up here on a lot of boards. He’ll rack up the strikeouts (270 or so sounds reasonable) and will probably win around 15 games. His ERA could be a little lower, but if he can keep it in the 2.90 neighborhood he should be okay here.
3. Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals: The Cards’ opening day starter will be Wainwright, and you should be proud to get him on your squad. He’ll flirt with 20 wins with a sub-3.00 ERA, and should post enough Ks to warrant a top pick. There’s not much to complain about here.
4. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners: King Felix had his ups and downs in 2013, but should improve significantly in the upcoming campaign. With the extra run support he’s got a crack at winning 15 games and should come in with an ERA in the 2.90 area. Hernandez could be a sneaky pickup if your league-mates are judging by last year’s stats.
5. Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers: We’ve seen Scherzer ranked higher than this, but never outside of the top five. If you really want him, you may have to reach in the No. 3 area or so, as he’s got a good chance at delivering 18 wins with a 3.00 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Regardless of where you nab him, Scherzer seems like a pretty reliable pickup.
6. Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins: Hopes are high for Fernandez this season, as he showed flashes of his potential in 2013. The Marlins are still a bad team, but should win a fair share of games with this youngster on the mound. We’re thinking 15-18 wins and a 2.80 ERA or so.
7. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals: It’s strange seeing Strasburg ranked this low, but in all honesty we’re on the optimistic side. He just wasn’t himself in 2013, and is a prime candidate for a bounce-back campaign. If he can maintain form, expect him to finish in the neighborhood of 17 wins, 210 strikeouts and a 1.10 WHIP.
8. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies: If you want to draft Lee a little higher than this, go right ahead; He’s worth it. The ERA and WHIP numbers should come along nicely (we’d think 2.90 and 1.00, respectively), and you should see a healthy amount of strikeouts to his credit as well (210-ish). Whether or not he makes it to 15 wins is debatable, however.
9. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers: When he’s not hanging out with Kate Upton, Verlander plays baseball, and will make a fine addition to your starting rotation. The expectation is that he’ll rebound from a sketchy 2013, so he’s definitely a pickup for optimists. If all goes well, think 18 wins, a 1.20 WHIP and a sub-3.00 ERA.
10. David Price, Tampa Bay Rays: We’ve seen Price ranked all over the place this off-season, but No. 10 seems to be about average. He missed a little time last year, but still got to 10 wins (10-8). The ERA and strikeouts won’t carry your team, but he should contribute well in WHIP and overall record.
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