NL King (no, I'm not The Fantasy Man) here again! 2013 NL Only Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitchers Rankings. This is part 2 of 3 which will consist of Middle-Tier starters, and Back-End Starters.
The middle tier in my opinion consists of solid contributors, second and third type starters with upside potential. The back-end group consists of the league average types in ERA and WHIP (ratio) which can contribute in W's and K's. These are more your"serviceable" starters.
Middle Tier Starters:
Jeff Samardzija - CHI - Made big strides last year, but beware Cubs are awful and still needs to make progress on his BB rate.
Ryan Vogelsong - SF - Been real solid for last two years and pitches in a great pitchers ballpark.
Homer Bailey - CIN - The former top 10 MLB prospect made big strides last season. Now he just needs to show improvement. Pitches in a hitters park in Great Amercan Ballpark but if he can keep down the gopher ball, he'll provide value.
Jonathan Niese - NYM - Has improved every year and put up solid to good numbers accross the board. He is on a bad offensive team and fences being moved again but should still provide better than average numbers.
Mike Minor - ATL - Really improved over the second half and love the chance for him to break out this season. Hope that league mates remember more the first half than the second ;)
Tim Hudson - ATL - Still strong in the percentage categories and wins but his K's are low and he's an injury risk.
Josh Beckett - LAD - You'd think a move to the NL on team that should compete for a championship he'd easily be an "ace potential" candidate from part 1. His attitude in Boston last 3 years was awful. Is that as simple as flipping a switch? That's why I have to down grade him to this group. However, the value potential here could be insane. If you buy this guy cheap, this is the type of pick that delivers fantasy baseball championships..... but obviously he'll have to pan out. There's risk here if you over-draft. Get him at a value and you should profit.
Matt Garza - CHI - Garza is a borderline ace starter when everything is pointing in the right direction. However, he's coming off a major injury, he's on an awful team, and he's trade bait. That's a lot of questions to digest so you need a big discount on draft day.
Dan Haren - WAS - Numbers can improve coming back to the NL and pitching for the Nationals BUT will his back and his body hold up?
Trevor Cahill - ARI - Not great but gives you solid value across the board.
Wandy Rodriguez - PIT - Same as Cahill.
Wade Miley - ARI - Talk about a guy coming out of nowhere. Last year was an after thought going into the season. Did not make his first start until late April. Has the talent to produce again but I'm afraid to pay on draft day based on his stats from last year on a season that came out of nowhere.
Jamie Garcia - STL - If he is healthy given how the Cardinals bring players along, his talent, and the fact Garcia is only 26, I like this player. If he goes cheap on draft day then POUNCE!
James McDonald - PIT - Was great the first 4 months and beyond awful the last two. Was that growing pains? Inconsistency? Or, did the league figure him out? Questions, questions, questions! Don't spend a lot of money on players with questions like this.
More Questions of the Middle Tier:
The Lincecum Factor - SF - I have no clue where to put Tim Lincecum or how to advise you. I know his numbers were trending downward the last few years but a 5.18 ERA and a nearly a 1.50 Ratio? I don't know what to tell you other than he'll be a free agent after next season and he's still in the prime of his career. You need a strong discount on draft day but could be a very good gamble.
The Chapman Factor - CIN - Aroldis Chapman was a ridiculous closer in 2012 but how will he perform as a starter? He'll be on an innings limit and it seems to me he's best suited as a stud closer. Has huge talent but question is...... starter or a reliever? If you feel he is the latter, don't overpay for the hype!
The Ryu Factor - LAD - We know the Dodgers paid a lot of money for him and he is in the mix for the rotation. Word is his talent is that of a number 3 starter although I expect growing pains his rookie season.
Matt Harvey - NYM - Yes, I know he pitched great in August and September but remember it was just 59 innings and the league will adjust to him. I believe Harvey will be a good pitcher but on a bad team and you CANNOT pay based his small sample last season. The hype is legit, but don't overpay for it!
Chad Billingsley - LAD - The talent is there but even when healthy, he's so inconsistent it will drive you crazy. Bills should be a middle tier starter at worst, in his sleep, but he isn't, due to his incredible lack of consistency and belief in his talent.
Lance Lynn - STL - In a battle for a rotation spot this spring which he should win. Was great in the first half last season and then lost his rotation spot come August. I would call him an excellent back end starter.
Ross Detwiler - WAS - Had a real nice season for Nats, like to see more K's though.
Rickey Nolasco - MIA - Has ability but his whole career has been killed by the big inning and consistency and the Marlins are a horror show. He will be traded come July as he is a free agent after the season.
Brandon McCarthy - ARI - Like Shaun Marcum below, without the trade potential. But this guy can't stay healthy.
Shawn Marcum - NY - If healthy could be a steal come draft day although the Mets will trade him come July if healthy.
Edison Volquez - SD - If he could ever get his walks down he could potentially turn the corner.
Paul Malholm - ATL - I know he's been solid last 2 years but I am a skeptic considering what he was before that. Although pitching for the Braves helps his stock.
Chris Capuano - LAD - Had a real solid season last year but what are the Dodgers going to do with all those starters? Also, Capuano is another guy who surprised last season and has had a ton of injury risk.
AJ Burnett - PIT - Was unbelieveable in the first half and then came back to earth in the second. Still had a real good year but AJ is just so inconsistent I don't see him doing two years in a row.
Clayton Richard - SD - Bounced back to have a real solid year but he is a low K guy.
Bronson Arroyo - CIN - One year he is real solid like last year and one year he is bad like in 2011.
Johan Santana - NYM - Hard to believe Johan is on the back end list. Follow his spring to see how he is doing health wise but even if he is doing well no more than a late draft flyer.
Marco Estrada - MIL - This 30 year old came out of nowhere to have a real good 2/3 of a season. Buyer beware on players who come out of nowhere.
Michael Fiers - MIL - Carbon copy of Estrada just a bit younger.
Wily Peralta - MIL - Pitched well for the Brewers down the stretch but again a small sample and was terrible in AAA last year although is considered a real good prospect.
Jacob Turner - MIA - That team is a mess, has talent but as a rookie on a bad team there will growing pains.
Kyle Kenderick - PHI - Could be a good back end guy but low K's and has been inconsistent in his career as a starter.
Eric Stults - SD - Was great for the amount of innings he pitched but was a small sample.
Edwin Jackson - CHI - Over-rated, has been an ratio killer many seasons and now on an awful team.
Aaron Harang - LAD - I am not a huge fan as his K's have gone down and he'll hurt your ratio. Again, who will be odd man out in Dodger rotation?
Barry Zito - SF - I know he won 15 games last year but overrated in fanatsy, low K's and bad ERA and Ratio.
Drew Pomeranz - COL - Has talent but Coors is not easy to pitch in. Stay away.
Henderson Alvarez - MIA - Young pitcher to go through growing pains on an awful team.
Francisco Liriano - PIT - Hasn't been good for a while and have to worry about his health.
Jake Westbrook - STL - Stay away, ratio killer.
Dillon Gee - NYM - Coming off major injury, bad team, low K guy and slightly negative ERA and Ratio pitcher.
Keep Eyes On:
- Ted Lilly's health
- Shelby Miller (STL) and Tyler Skaggs (ARI) - Have big potential and will probably start the season in the minors. Great reserve or "grab and stash" picks.
- Is Mike Leake the odd man out of the rotation in Cincinnati?
- Are Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin and Jorge De La Rosa healthy? If so, even in Colorado, they have shown they can be very solid pitchers. Great sleepers.
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NL King - C.Lizza