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MLB 2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Starting Pitching

Other Positions: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP

Last year was indisputably the year of the pitcher, and the fantasy world mirrored that. I have never seen so many dominant performances out of starters. If you managed to draft a staff along the lines of Roy Halladay, Jon Lester, Adam Wainwright and David Price it was game over. If this year is anything near a repeat of 2010, all 25 of these guys could have sub-3.00 ERAs.

  1. Roy Halladay, Phillies-The undisputed #1 starter this year. Unless you get penalized for having dwarf nicknames.
  2. Felix Hernandez, Mariners- So good that he will hereby be known as Emperor Felix.
  3. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals- He gets to work with the world's best pitching coach in baseball and has the world's best hitter on his team.
  4. CC Sabathia, Yankees- Has shown that he is worth just about every penny New York spent on him. A perennial 20 win lock.
  5. Jon Lester, Red Sox- Sometimes with guys like Lester, I wonder what kind of insane numbers he could put up as a Padre. No AL East, no Fenway Park.
  6. Tim Lincecum, Giants- 1.) You get a tremendous pitcher. 2.) You have the right to yell, "TIMMAY" whenever he gets a strikeout.
  7. Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies-The drop-off was imminent, but his stats show that his success (even at Coors) was justified.
  8. Cliff Lee- Odds are he ends up on a very powerful offensive team. If he ends up in pinstripes he becomes Cy Young worthy.
  9. Francisco Liriano, Twins- All of the statistics say last year was a bit unlucky for Francisco. That's a scary sentence right there.
  10. Josh Johnson, Marlins- I know wins are hard to predict, but no matter how dominant he is for the Marlins 15 wins is probably his cap.
  11. David Price, Rays- The drastic innings increase and loss of Crawford are bad signs. But Price is a bad, bad man.
  12. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers- He keeps getting better and better and better.
  13. Justin Verlander, Tigers- A strikeout dynamo. His ERA leaves things to be desired, but with Detroit bolstering their lineup wins will probably be abundant.
  14. Cole Hamels, Phillies- Finally starting to recover after all of those innings in 2008.
  15. Jered Weaver, Angels- Same story as Verlander, just more strikeouts and less wins.
  16. Roy Oswalt, Phillies- This guy is a #1 starter who gets to face #3 type guys.
  17. Tommy Hanson, Braves- The talent is there, he just needs to fully unleash it.
  18. Zack Greinke, Royals- If he moves to a contender, he shoots up a few spots. The talent is there, I just think being a Royal has grown sour on him.
  19. Mat Latos, Padres- I got to watch this guy a few times this year at Petco. He's special.
  20. Clay Buchholz, Red Sox- If you get a #1 like Verlander, Buchholz is a perfect compliment. Not a ton of Ks, but the rest of his numbers are out of this world.
  21. Matt Cain, Giants- A very powerful pitcher who deserved much better than 13 wins.
  22. Chris Carpenter, Cardinals- Not a very sexy pick, but if you need a guy to eat up innings with a low ERA, he's your man.
  23. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers- Imagine what his record would look like if guys like Braun and Fielder played like it was 2009.
  24. Max Scherzer, Tigers- Elite strikeout production. Another good tiger to pair with a guy like Carpenter.
  25. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers- A sleeper pick of mine. Look at his last two starts of 2010: 14.1 innings, 8 hits, 2 walks, 3 earned runs, and 22 Ks. That makes my mouth water.

We're almost done. Tomorrow, we will close with the guys who close games, relief pitchers. How fitting.

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