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2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

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2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby Curtis Pride » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:32 pm

The top 20 starters are typically pretty straight forward. Established, don't have a lot of questions or debate about them. Maybe the question is whether Sabathia is #1 or Lincecum. Or if Oswalt is ranked #11 or #19. They also don't win leagues for you. They can LOSE a league for you, if they get hurt and you wasted a top draft pick on you, but rarely are they huge difference makers because everyone knows what they are going to produce.

It's the middle guys that really win leagues. In a 12 team league, it's the #2-#4 starters that will determine who has a great staff, and whose is laughable.

So here are my (current) ranked 21-40 starting pitchers.

21 Nolasco,Ricky - Last year was no fluke. If you look at his minor league stats and peripherals, it's for real. He's got a pretty poor team which should hurt his win totals, but then I thought the same thing about Lincecum last year.

22 Sheets,Ben - Yeah, everyone's worried about him as an injury concern, but he did pitch almost 200 innings last year. His Ks (and velocity) were a bit down, which is certainly a concern. As is the fact that he isn't signed yet so we don't know if he's going to a winner (I think he will after years of frustration in Milwaukee). Fact is, Sheets is still one of the best pitchers in baseball when he's healthy. He gets dinged for being injury prone and the drop in Ks last year. But he's still a solid #2 SP.

23 Lester,Jon - Everyone has Lester has a breakout, and I agree. His second half he really showed a lot of refinement - improving both his K/9 and BB/9. He also had a sub 3 ERA and a 1.2 whip in the AL East. I would not be at all surprised if Lester turns out to be the Red Sox best pitcher next year (like he was last year). The offense is still great, he's still only 25, and it looks like he could make a huge leap.

24 Myers,Brett - He'll be cheap going into this year since his awful '08 start deflated his season numbers and I think you could probably wait on him a little later than picking him this year, but I'm doing this based on projection as opposed to trying to time when they'll get drafted. He was one of the best SPs in the second half after he came back from his demotion. He's always been a bit homer prone, but in his hot stretch last year, he was able to avoid it. The nit against him was that he was. really only good for about 6-8 weeks and was awful the rest of the year. However, the bulk of his career makes me think the greatness was the real deal, and I thin he makes the leap into a top 10-20 starter this year.

25 Cain,Matt - Worst luck ever. He's got 15 wins over his last 66 starts. Lincecum had 18 last year. The fact he didn't get any wins will make him sliip 2-3 rounds in every draft. But wins are arbitrary for the most part. Sure, the Giants have a putrid offense, so wins are going to be touch to come by, but runs can come in bunches. The only thing that's holding Cain back is his control. He's got great stuff he just can't throw it over the plate. He rarely gives up homers, so that helps keep his ERA down. He was always the big sexy "ohhh, he could break out this year", but now that he's been in the league for a while (though he's still only 25), the sheen has worn off and he's no longer a shiny new toy, so I think he'll be under drafted.

26 Liriano,Francisco - Big unknown second year off surgery. His stats weren't great last year as his walks and Ks were worse than prior years. His peripherals in September were more in line, which is a great sign, but he also was a big homer-prone (though it's a small sample size). He's got some concerns, as does everyone in the 20-40 range that has upside. The other concerns is that the reason he got hurt in the first place was his violent delivery and his nasty slider's pressure on his elbow. If he goes back to the way things were, his stats may be great, but he may have another blow-out. He just seems like a headache this year.

27 Bedard,Erik - Coming off injury, and on a putrid team, but he's got massive upside. He had a shot at 300ks two years ago, and the AL West is going to be pretty weak. If he can stay healthy, there's no reason to think he'll be a boon to your Ks and ratios. He'll also probably be a bit cheaper than this going into the draft due to injury concerns

28 Volquez,Edinson - monster K numbers, but he does walk too many people (nearly 100 last year) and he also got consistently worse every month. Bad ballpark and an even worse offense than last year when the Reds were 12th in the NL. He's a solid starter and given his age, it's likely he refines his approach and cuts down on the BBs, but I think he'll be a bit overrated going into this year.

29 Chamberlain,Joba - If he were absolutely going to be a starter, I'd have him moved up a bit. If he hadn't been hurt each of the last couple years, I'd have him moved up a bit. If both of these occurred, he'd absolutely be a top 20 starter. He has massive massive upside. But I'd be concerned if he was my #2 starter given his health risks and uncertainty about his job. It's highly likely that he begins the season as a starter, but given the issues he's had as a starter, it's highly possible they move him back to bullpen (where the Yankees are actually very thin) and go with Hughes and Kennedy as their #s4 and 5 (plus, Pettite could still sign)

30 Verlander,Justin - No idea what happened to him last year. His Ks dropped a bit, and his walks too a big leap, but his BABIP and HR/FB were pretty consistent with the previous year. I have nothing tangible to point to, but I say it was a fluke (similar to Aaron Harang). He's a really good SP, though his team isn't as good as it was a couple years ago when he put up those big Win numbers.

31 Weaver,Jered - I see a breakout for Weaver. Though admittedly, he does have stupid hair. He wasn't great last year, but his peripherals were better than his numbers. Plus, he's still pretty young, his K rate took a big leap last year, and he put up some amazing stats in the minors.

32 Dempster,Ryan - Sure, there's a regression coming, we get it. It's guys like this that make people think the "contract year phenomenon" is a real thing. He was great last year, and he was always a good pitcher, but he just walked too many people. I think I'm probably more negative on him than most other people, so I probably won't be drafting him because he'll be gone by the time I'm willing to. He still scares me.

33 Wainwright,Adam - Wainwright is like Derek Lowe and Chien-Ming Wang. He keeps his ratios low by being a groundball pitcher, but doesn't get many Ks. He keeps his team in games, and gets some wins, but doesn't have the monster k numbers that fantasy players crave. He doesn't have much upside, but he's valuable. Probably a little more valuable than Lowe given his age, and more valuable than Wang who doesn't strike ANYONE out.

34 Harang,Aaron - Big fluke last year. Had historically been one of the most reliable consistent SPs in baseball. Tons of Ks, good ratios. Expect a bounceback season.

35 Matsuzaka,Daisuke - Just don't draft him, seriously. He's torture to own. He refuses to throw strikes and the only reason he had suck good numbers last year was because an unsustainable 80%+ strand rate. He's not going to have a sub 3 ERA so long as he walks a guy every other inning. People are going to be drafting him way too early. One caveat. He had a BB/9 over 5 last year. But it was only 3.5 the year before that. And it was 1.6 (!) his last year in Japan, so if he ever decides to throw a damn strike, he'll be unstoppable. He gets so much movement, that people don't make contact. But owning him last year was just too tense of a situation, I can't recommend it again. For those who think I'm foolish to rank him this low, make his ERA 4 (which is what it should have been given his peripherals), which would have probably make him about 15-10 instead of 18-3 and you'll see why I've knocked him down so much.

36 Vazquez,Javier - He's the exception that proves sabermetrics. His ERA always underperforms his peripherals. He does everything you want, but somehow he always ends up with a 4.50 ERA. Moving to the NL again should help him, however. But he is getting up there in age.

37 Johnson,Josh - Monster breakout coming. Although, not really a breakout. He's 24 and has a career 3.54 ERA in 45 starts with a K/9 over 8, so it's not really a breakout. He just doesn't get much credit for it since he had surgery right in the middle. I think he'll end the year as a top 25 starter

38 Gallardo,Yovani - Injury concern, but I lolve him. Groundball pitcher (few homers) who strikes out a lot of people and doesn't walk many is a great combination. I could see myself moving him up this list closer to the start of the season

39 Wang,Chien-Ming - So totally not a sexy pick. But the Yankees will win lots of games, and he's good for the ratios. Also, it's a small bit of help, but his K rates have increased each of his three seasons. I could see him striking out 125 next year in a full season

40 Lowe,Derek - He has always been a guy you can draft late and get help with the ratios, but he's 36, and it's possible that he's not going to be pitching in Dodgers Stadium anymore.

Don't have David Price included because I don't know what his role will be.

Just missing: Garza, Scherzer, Greinke, RJ, Cueto, Jonathan Sanchez, Lilly (probably in that order)
Last edited by Curtis Pride on Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby J35J » Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:59 pm

Starting Pitching is very wide open this year it seems. At least it feels that way. One in particular is that you don't have Greinke in the top 40 but I've got him in the top 15. Here's my top 50
1 Tim Lincecum
2 Johan Santana
3 CC Sabathia
4 Cole Hamels
5 Dan Haren
6 Jake Peavy
7 Brandon Webb
8 Roy Halladay
9 Chad Billingsley
10 Roy Oswalt
11 James Shields
12 Felix Hernandez
13 Ervin Santana
14 Zack Greinke
15 John Lackey
16 Rich Harden
17 Ben Sheets
18 Josh Beckett
19 Scott Kazmir
20 Matt Cain
21 Jon Lester
22 Javier Vazquez
23 Adam Wainwright
24 Cliff Lee
25 Yovani Gallardo
26 Daisuke Matsuzaka
27 Carlos Zambrano
28 Matt Garza
29 Ricky Nolasco
30 Erik Bedard
31 John Smoltz
32 Joba Chamberlain
33 A.J. Burnett
34 Justin Verlander
35 Aaron Harang
36 David Price
37 Francisco Liriano
38 Edinson Volquez
39 Scott Baker
40 Gil Meche
41 John Danks
42 Kevin Slowey
43 Max Scherzer
44 Chris Young
45 Ted Lilly
46 Brett Myers
47 Ryan Dempster
48 Hiroki Kuroda
49 Chris Carpenter
50 Justin Duchscherer
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Re: 2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby Curtis Pride » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:08 pm

In terms of Greinke, I think we are both wrong. He certainly isn't a top 15 starter in KC, but looking closer at his stats, he's surely top 40 material. He should probably be around 30.
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Re: 2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby The Artful Dodger » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:26 pm

I'm lazy to pull out my own SP rankings, but I do recall Sheets and Greinke being good enough in my mind to be top 20 starters.

Like Jason said, starting pitching is going to be wide open. There are potential bargains in Verlander and Harang if they right the ship and a few pitchers that will fly under a good deal of managers' radar to emerge as solid #2-3 fantasy starters. That said, I think as usual, there will be some differing thoughts as to even how the top 20 will pan out in some people's minds, let alone a top 40 or 50.
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Re: 2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby J35J » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:42 pm

Curtis Pride wrote:In terms of Greinke, I think we are both wrong. He certainly isn't a top 15 starter in KC, but looking closer at his stats, he's surely top 40 material. He should probably be around 30.


I won't argue if you have him around 30, as I see the 15-30 guys all very similar. He certainly could put up a line that is top 15 worthy though.
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Re: 2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby Neato Torpedo » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:26 pm

My top 50:
1 Tim Lincecum
2 Johan Santana
3 CC Sabathia
4 Cole Hamels
5 Jake Peavy
6 Brandon Webb
7 Roy Halladay
8 Dan Haren
9 Scott Kazmir
10 Chad Billingsley
11 Felix Hernandez
12 Ervin Santana
13 John Lackey
14 Josh Beckett
15 Roy Oswalt
16 Rich Harden
17 Francisco Liriano
18 Ben Sheets
19 Carlos Zambrano
20 James Shields
21 Erik Bedard
22 Javier Vazquez
23 Zack Greinke (Basically Jon Lester but with less wins and more experience)
24 Daisuke Matsuzaka
25 Yovani Gallardo
26 Jon Lester
27 David Price
28 Cliff Lee
29 Adam Wainwright
30 Ricky Nolasco
31 Aaron Harang
32 Joba Chamberlain
33 Matt Cain
34 Brandon Morrow (this ranking is dependent on him being a starter. He was shoved into that role late in '08 and with better preparation should do much better)
35 Josh Johnson
36 Edinson Volquez (I see him as a less talented Morrow)
37 A.J. Burnett
38 Derek Lowe
39 Max Scherzer
40 Chris Young
41 Joe Saunders
42 Matt Garza
43 Chris Carpenter
44 Scott Baker
45 John Danks
46 Ryan Dempster
47 Johnny Cueto
48 Ted Lilly
49 Justin Verlander
50 Oliver Perez
Last edited by Neato Torpedo on Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby J35J » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:42 pm

Tim Hudson is completely out for '09, no?
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Re: 2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby Neato Torpedo » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:48 pm

Whoops. !+) *fixes*
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Re: 2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby fast dogs » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:56 pm

yea Hudson is rehab most if not all of the year.
nice list & comments CP. The list for acceptable SP is really long & debateable. I could see bumping up good closers earlier than usual this year just because the choices for SP are so plentiful
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Re: 2nd Tier Starters (21-40); The ones who really matter

Postby NorthSider2 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:11 pm

I'm reading some of your ranks and Cliff Lee in the 20s? I thought he pitched phenomenal last season to be named top 12? 22 wins is very impressive. I know he season's before that were shaky but he had some good stuff.

I don't know those are just my thoughts
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