We all know that American League pitchers offer a little bit more risk than their National League counterparts. There is more than enough talent that resides in the AL, however, and they deserve credit for their abilities. Let’s take a look at how things currently look:
- Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
- CC Sabathia – New York Yankees
- Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
- David Price – Tampa Bay Rays
- Jon Lester – Boston Red Sox
- Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels
- Dan Haren – Los Angeles Angels
- Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers
- C.J. Wilson – Los Angeles Angels
- James Shields – Tampa Bay Rays
- Josh Beckett – Boston Red Sox
- Matt Moore – Tampa Bay Rays
- Max Scherzer – Detroit Tigers
- Colby Lewis – Texas Rangers
- Ubaldo Jimenez – Cleveland Indians
- Brandon Morrow – Toronto Blue Jays
- Justin Masterson – Cleveland Indians
- Hiroki Kuroda – New York Yankees
- Jeremy Hellickson – Tampa Bay Rays
- Ervin Santana – Los Angeles Angels
- Ricky Romero – Toronto Blue Jays
- Derek Holland – Texas Rangers
- Doug Fister – Detroit Tigers
- Francisco Liriano – Minnesota Twins
- Michael Pineda – New York Yankees
- I know Jeremy Hellickson may look low, especially when you take into account his 2011 statistics (2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP over 189.0 IP). However, does anyone really expect him to be able to replicate a .223 BABIP or 82.0% strand rate? Sure, he may improve his strikeout rate (5.57 K/9 in ’11), but it’s far from enough. Pitching in the AL East, I would definitely proceed with caution. For more of my thoughts on Hellickson, click here.
- Speaking of players who are a threat regress, Ricky Romero is another AL East pitcher who enjoyed tremendous luck in 2011 (.242 BABIP, 79.2% strand rate). He should be a good pitcher, but I definitely wouldn’t consider him a great one and overvalue him based on last year’s numbers. For more on him, click here.
- Colby Lewis was not quite what fantasy owners had hoped for in 2011, with a 4.40 ERA. A lot of the issues had to do with a decline in his strikeout rate (7.59 K/9 after and 8.78 mark in ’10), as well as getting beat by the long ball (1.57 HR/9). However, with a 1.21 WHIP, there was still plenty to like. If he can correct the two issues (and I would expect him to), he suddenly becomes a great option once again.
- We all know the risks Francisco Liriano brings with him, but can how can we overlook his Spring Training success? He is as high risk/high reward as it gets, despite showing like he has recaptured his old form. Still, it’s a gamble I want to take.
- While Michael Pineda will open the season on the DL, there is too much upside to completely knock him off the Top 25 rankings. The Yankees will use this time to try to correct the issues he was having and get him back to the pitcher he showed he was in 2011.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: