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Fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings for week 21

Fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings for week 21

by Matt Commins | Posted on Saturday, August 24th, 2013
| 960 baseball fanatics read this article

 

The matchups and statistical data were pulled Saturday morning. Please be aware the matchups are subject to change.

Top starters

Rank

Name

Team

Opp.

ERA

K%

BB%

1

Cliff Lee

PHI

@NYM, @CHC

3.16

23.2%

4.0%

2

Zack Greinke

LAD

CHC, SD

2.91

18.9%

6.8%

3

Hisashi Iwakuma

SEA

TEX, @HOU

2.98

21.3%

4.7%

4

Clayton Kershaw

LAD

CHC

1.72

25.0%

5.7%

5

Chris Sale

CWS

HOU

3.08

25.9%

5.3%

6

Matt Harvey

NYM

PHI

2.25

28.4%

4.7%

7

Yu Darvish

TEX

MIN

2.68

33.2%

8.5%

8

Max Scherzer

DET

OAK

2.82

28.1%

5.8%

9

Hiroki Kuroda

NYY

@TOR

2.71

17.9%

4.5%

10

Adam Wainwright

STL

CIN

2.58

23.5%

3.2%

11

Stephen Strasburg

WSH

MIA

3.00

26.0%

7.5%

12

Jose Fernandez

MIA

@ATL

2.41

27.0%

8.8%

13

Julio Teheran

ATL

MIA

2.96

21.2%

5.5%

14

Mike Minor

ATL

MIA

3.06

22.9%

5.7%

15

Cole Hamels

PHI

@NYM

3.62

21.4%

5.7%

16

David Price

TB

LAA

3.29

20.3%

3.6%

17

Felix Hernandez

SEA

TEX

2.63

26.2%

5.3%

Additional Information: Surprisingly, the Oakland Athletics have the 13th-lowest strikeout rate in baseball; they had the 28th highest last year. I expect Max Scherzer to have a great game, but not the 7.4 strikeouts he’s been averaging this year. Since June, Cliff Lee has a 3.90 ERA, 1.13 WHIP with a 26 percent strikeout rate and only a 3.9 percent walk rate. Other than his ERA, all his other numbers have been extremely good, and it appears his ERA is a function of bad luck as evidenced with a .315 BABIP and 16.9 percent HR/FB rate.

Backend starters

Rank

Name

Team

Opp.

ERA

K%

BB%

18

Anibal Sanchez

DET

OAK, CLE

2.45

26.7%

7.2%

19

C.J. Wilson

LAA

@TB, @MIL

3.30

21.0%

8.8%

20

Justin Verlander

DET

OAK, CLE

3.68

22.3%

8.3%

21

Zack Wheeler

NYM

PHI, @WSH

3.49

20.6%

10.6%

22

Gio Gonzalez

WSH

MIA

3.66

23.7%

9.7%

23

Shelby Miller

STL

@PIT

2.98

26.5%

7.5%

24

Jered Weaver

LAA

@MIL

3.62

19.3%

6.1%

25

Matt Garza

TEX

MIN

3.59

21.1%

6.0%

26

A.J. Burnett

PIT

STL

3.09

26.0%

8.6%

27

Francisco Liriano

PIT

STL

2.53

25.5%

9.5%

28

Jeff Samardzija

CHC

PHI

4.12

23.4%

8.8%

29

Derek Holland

TEX

@SEA

2.95

22.5%

7.2%

30

Mat Latos

CIN

@STL

2.93

23.4%

6.9%

31

Patrick Corbin

ARI

SF

2.46

21.8%

6.1%

32

Alex Cobb

TB

@OAK

2.85

22.4%

7.5%

33

Ervin Santana

KC

@TOR

3.13

19.2%

5.9%

34

Doug Fister

DET

OAK

3.54

17.7%

4.7%

35

Jordan Zimmermann

WSH

NYM

3.37

18.2%

5.0%

36

Homer Bailey

CIN

@STL

3.71

23.9%

5.6%

37

Jarrod Parker

OAK

@DET

3.71

17.2%

8.0%

38

Ricky Nolasco

LAD

CHC

3.42

19.0%

5.7%

Additional Information: At the beginning of the year, I never would’ve thought I would seriously consider ranking Zack Wheeler over Justin Verlander in a two-start week, but I stared at my computer screen for 10 minutes before I eventually went with Verlander. The big question: Is Verlander a top 10 fantasy starting pitcher next year? Probably not. Speaking of Wheeler, I’m streaming almost every pitcher who’s facing teams in the NL East not named the Atlanta Braves, which explains the Jeff Samardzija ranking as well. In his last 10 starts, longtime favorite of mine, Jordan Zimmerman has a 5.53 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 18.4 percent strikeout rate and 7.4 percent walk rate. Though 7.4 percent may not seem a lot, since 2011 he has a 5.0 percent walk rate. I would’ve ranked Zimmerman lower, but a start against the Mets is too good to pass up.

Spot starters

Rank

Name

Team

Opp.

ERA

K%

BB%

39

Alex Wood

ATL

CLE, MIA

2.50

26.6%

7.0%

40

Danny Salazar

CLE

@ATL, @DET

3.52

32.2%

7.8%

41

James Shields

KC

@MIN, @TOR

3.22

19.2%

7.4%

42

Gerrit Cole

PIT

MIL, STL

3.81

18.1%

5.4%

43

Kyle Lohse

MIL

@PIT, LAA

3.22

16.3%

5.0%

44

Nathan Eovaldi

MIA

@WSH, @ATL

3.82

16.4%

9.7%

45

Jose Quintana

CWS

HOU

3.67

19.8%

6.8%

46

Scott Feldman

BAL

@NYY

3.94

17.4%

6.7%

47

Chris Archer

TB

LAA

2.93

17.1%

8.3%

48

Sonny Gray

OAK

TB

1.44

28.4%

7.4%

49

Erasmo Ramirez

SEA

@HOU

5.95

19.1%

6.4%

50

Dillon Gee

NYM

@WSH

3.60

17.5%

6.0%

51

Andrew Cashner

SD

@LAD

3.74

16.3%

7.4%

52

Jake Peavy

BOS

CWS

4.25

21.6%

5.0%

53

Travis Wood

CHC

@LAD

3.22

17.3%

8.1%

54

Hyun-Jin Ryu

LAD

SD

2.95

19.8%

7.1%

55

Joe Kelly

STL

CIN

3.01

16.2%

8.7%

56

Justin Masterson

CLE

@ATL

3.51

24.0%

9.2%

57

Rick Porcello

DET

CLE

4.52

18.3%

5.3%

58

Kris Medlen

ATL

CLE

3.74

17.9%

5.9%

59

Todd Redmond

TOR

KC

4.43

24.9%

7.5%

60

Ethan Martin

PHI

@NYM

5.22

23.2%

10.5%

61

Lance Lynn

STL

@PIT

3.97

22.5%

9.0%

62

John Lackey

BOS

BAL

3.17

21.4%

5.3%

63

Madison Bumgarner

SF

@COL

2.84

23.8%

7.9%

64

Dan Haren

WSH

NYM

4.64

20.8%

4.1%

Additional Information: I’ve said this in previous rankings, but it’s worth mentioning again: If you’re looking for wins, then Scott Feldman, Rick Porcello and Jake Peavy are excellent candidates for fantasy owners because they pitch for high-powered offenses that are likely to earn wins, even though they go six innings and allow three runs. Like last year, Lance Lynn was extremely dominant to begin the season, but has hit the wall. In his first eight starts, he had a 2.88 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with a 26.5 percent strikeout rate and 10.3 percent walk rate. However, in his 18 starts, he has 4.46 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 20.8 percent strikeout rate ad 8.4 percent walk rate. These numbers indicate he’s become more hittable, which he has. If you’re looking for a pitcher to not affect your ratios, then Lynn is not a good start.

Proceed with caution

Rank

Name

Team

Opp.

ERA

K%

BB%

65

Jon Niese

NYM

PHI, @WSH

4.03

16.7%

8.8%

66

Wade Miley

ARI

SD

3.60

17.6%

8.0%

67

Eric Stults

SD

@LAD

3.70

15.0%

5.1%

68

Randall Delgado

ARI

SF

3.82

17.2%

5.0%

69

Ivan Nova

NYY

BAL

3.17

22.3%

6.8%

70

Ubaldo Jimenez

CLE

@ATL

3.95

22.6%

12.4%

71

Felix Doubront

BOS

BAL

3.79

20.2%

9.6%

72

R.A. Dickey

TOR

NYY

4.49

18.3%

7.9%

73

Bruce Chen

KC

@MIN

2.88

16.7%

7.7%

74

Paul Maholm

ATL

CLE

4.51

15.9%

7.2%

75

Brandon McCarthy

ARI

SD, SF

5.44

14.4%

4.7%

76

Jarred Cosart

HOU

@CWS, SEA

1.60

11.9%

11.9%

77

CC Sabathia

NYY

BAL

4.83

19.7%

6.6%

78

Ryan Dempster

BOS

BAL, CWS

4.77

20.5%

10.0%

79

Jon Lester

BOS

CWS

4.09

19.2%

7.5%

80

Wei-Yin Chen

BAL

@BOS, @NYY

3.19

15.6%

6.4%

81

Jacob Turner

MIA

@ATL

3.02

15.3%

10.5%

82

Tony Cingrani

CIN

@COL

2.76

28.6%

10.0%

83

Jake Arrieta

CHC

@LAD, PHI

5.75

20.7%

14.5%

84

Jeff Locke

PIT

MIL

3.01

17.4%

11.8%

85

Chris Tillman

BAL

@BOS

3.79

19.7%

8.7%

Additional Information: Jon Niese has a 2.62 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in his last nine starts. Now, the WHIP indicates he’s been lucky with his ERA, but with two starts against the NL East, his run of good luck will continue. Despite the discrepancy in home-road splits for Eric Stults, I still love his matchup in Dodger Stadium, one of the five best pitchers parks in the majors. On Tuesday, Tony Cingrani left his start after only 3.2 innings with a lower back strain. He says he’ll be ready for his next start, but even if he does pitch, you should leave him on your bench. If you don’t believe me, ask how Francisco Liriano’s owners felt about his start in Colorado two weeks ago. Brandon McCarthy has not looked good in his first four starts back from the DL, but if you’re willing to the roll the dice, he could provide two quality starts against two bad teams; this is a total gut call on my part. R.A. Dickey in his last six starts has been very solid with a 3.67 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 21 percent strikeout rate and 6.3 walk rate.  Combine that with a start against the below-average Yankees lineup, you could do a lot worse this far into the list.

Avoid

Rank

Name

Team

Opp.

ERA

K%

BB%

86

Chris Capuano

LAD

SD

4.70

16.8%

5.3%

87

Martin Perez

TEX

@SEA

3.62

15.8%

6.9%

88

Trevor Cahill

ARI

SD

4.55

17.0%

9.4%

89

Edwin Jackson

CHC

@LAD

5.00

17.7%

7.8%

90

Henderson Alvarez

MIA

@WSH

3.86

13.2%

6.6%

91

Roberto Hernandez

TB

LAA, @OAK

4.97

16.9%

5.1%

92

Andre Rienzo

CWS

HOU, @BOS

3.56

16.0%

10.7%

93

Jason Vargas

LAA

@MIL

3.92

15.6%

7.8%

94

Samuel Deduno

MIN

KC

3.69

14.1%

9.0%

95

Aaron Harang

SEA

@HOU

5.49

16.1%

5.2%

96

Andrew Albers

MIN

KC

3.00

9.8%

2.7%

97

Andy Pettitte

NYY

@TOR

4.26

15.8%

6.2%

98

Yovani Gallardo

MIL

@PIT

4.61

17.7%

8.9%

99

Tom Gorzelanny

MIL

@PIT

3.60

23.6%

9.1%

100

Mike Leake

CIN

@STL, @COL

3.12

14.6%

5.9%

101

Travis Blackley

TEX

@SEA, MIN

4.85

18.6%

12.6%

Additional Information: When I’m choosing between pitchers this low on the list, I look for a reasonable strikeout rate, a low walk rate and an above-average matchup. This is why Chris Capuano leads this tier of pitchers. Since July, in eight starts, Edwin Jackson has a 3.40 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 14.1 percent strikeout rate and 7.3 percent walk rate. The walk and strikeout rates indicate Jackson hasn’t been as dominant, which is why he’s this far down. But at the end of the day, he’s pitching in Dodger Stadium and has the ability to miss a ton of bats when everything is working.

Post By Matt Commins (51 Posts)

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