Fantasy Baseball Draft 2015: Top 10 Starting Pitchers (SP)
Taking a Look at the Top 10 Starting Pitchers in the 2015 Fantasy Draft
March 16, 2015
For the past week or so, we’ve been celebrating the return of the fantasy baseball draft season with our looks at the top 10 players at each position. Today it’s time for starting pitchers, and as usual there’s a lot of talent to be had at the top of the rankings. Let’s take a closer look at each guy and see what we can be expecting from him this summer.
1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers: Thanks to a mammoth season in 2014, Kershaw is far and away the No. 1 pick among starting pitchers. What will he do for an encore? Well, if he can get to around 230 innings or so we could see another 20 wins with a sub-2.00 ERA and 250 strikeouts. Not too bad.
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2. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners: Ol’ King Felix slots in at No. 2 this year and is quite a step down from Kershaw. You can expect around 15 wins with an ERA in the 2.30 range, though, and the 240 strikeouts will certainly settle in just fine on any fantasy rotation.
3. David Price, Detroit Tigers: Lots of people have high hopes for Price this year, and it remains to be seen if he’ll get there or not. If all goes well, he’ll have 15-20 wins and an ERA around 2.80 or so. He’s also a solid source of strikeouts and should top 250 this season once again.
4. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals: Former Tiger Max Scherzer joins a formidable Nats rotation that should do some damage in fantasy rosters. He could very well have another 18-win year and should get his ERA down below 3.00. We also see a bit of an up-tick in strikeouts; expect around 270 or so.
5. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox: Some people have Sale ranked a little higher than this, but with the injury issues right now we think he’s probably safe right here. If he can get over those foot troubles, we could see 15-20 wins with a 2.20 ERA and 250 strikeouts or so. He’s a risk-reward proposition any higher than this.
6. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians: Kluber is probably a good value right here, as he’s got all the capability in the world to hit 15-17 wins on a 2.60 ERA or so. With a little luck he could hit that 250 strikeout threshold again, too, and you won’t get that out of a whole lot of pitchers further down.
7. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals: Now we move on to Strasburg, who is coming off an up-and-down season in Washington. With a little of the pressure removed we see good things for him in 2015. He could get 17-18 wins with a sub-3.00 ERA and 240 strikeouts pretty easily.
8. Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds: Cueto offers another nice value down here, as he’s coming off a 20-win season. We don’t think he’ll hit that number this year, but 17-18 is definitely within reach. He should have an ERA around 2.70 and will strike out 215-230 batters as well.
9. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants: Bumgarner put up 18 wins last year, and most experts believe he’ll snag around that many this summer. We expect his ERA and strikeout totals to be a shade better over 2014, which makes him a pretty good pickup at the No. 9 slot.
10: Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers: Greinke isn’t quite the fantasy dynamo he was a couple of seasons back, but he’s certainly good enough to get into the top 10 among starting pitchers. We see 15 wins at least, and with a little luck he could come in with a sub-3.00 ERA and 200-plus strikeout number this season.
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