2014 Rest of Season Rankings: Top 50 Starting Pitchers

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know who the best starting pitchers have been, thus far, but does that necessarily mean that they are going to continue to be the best options moving forward?  Time will tell, but don’t be surprised if there are some surprises throughout these rankings.

Please keep in mind that all the statistics given are through the All-Star Break and the numbers in parenthesis were their preseason rankings.  With that in mind, let’s get to our rankings for the remainder of 2014:

 

  1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers (1)
  2. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners (12)
  3. Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals (2)
  4. Yu Darvish – Tampa Bay Rays (3)
  5. David Price – Tampa Bay Rays (14)
  6. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox (6)
  7. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals (4)
  8. Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants (9)
  9. Jeff Samardzija – Oakland A’s (27)
  10. Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers (17)
  11. Max Scherzer – Detroit Tigers (7)
  12. Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies (39)
  13. Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds (51)
  14. Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies (8)
  15. Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners (41)
  16. Jordan Zimmermann – Washington Nationals (13)
  17. Homer Bailey – Cincinnati Reds (16)
  18. Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals (10)
  19. Alex Cobb – Tampa Bay Rays (22)
  20. Jon Lester – Boston Red Sox (57)
  21. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians (65)
  22. Sonny Gray – Oakland A’s (38)
  23. Julio Teheran – Atlanta Braves (37)
  24. Garrett Richards – Los Angeles Angels (93)
  25. Anibal Sanchez – Detroit Tigers (18)
  26. Mat Latos – Cincinnati Reds (23)
  27. James Shields – Kansas City Royals (15)
  28. Mike Minor – Atlanta Braves (83)
  29. Hyun-Jin Ryu – Los Angeles Dodgers (48)
  30. Alex Wood – Atlanta Braves (32)
  31. Tyson Ross – San Diego Padres (67)
  32. Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates (20)
  33. Matt Cain – San Francisco Giants (19)
  34. Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers (11)
  35. Doug Fister – Washington Nationals (40)
  36. Ervin Santana – Atlanta Braves (50)
  37. John Lackey – Boston Red Sox (79)
  38. Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays (105)
  39. Scott Kazmir – Oakland A’s (NR)
  40. Tim Hudson – San Francisco Giants (71)
  41. Jose Quintana – Chicago White Sox (49)
  42. Zack Wheeler – New York Mets (77)
  43. C.J. Wilson – Los Angeles Angels (61)
  44. Wily Peralta – Milwaukee Brewers (60)
  45. Tyler Skaggs – Los Angeles Angels (97)
  46. Yordano Ventura – Kansas City Royals (68)
  47. Jered Weaver – Los Angeles Angels (31)
  48. Francisco Liriano – Pittsburgh Pirates (33)
  49. Lance Lynn – St. Louis Cardinals (58)
  50. Rick Porcello – Detroit Tigers (44)

 

Thoughts:

  • Stephen Strasburg was a “disappointment” in the first half, with a 3.46 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.  Of course, he also owned an inflated .347 BABIP while showing elite control (1.87 BB/9) and big-time strikeout stuff (10.73 K/9).  There is no reason to think that he won’t be a Top 5 option moving forward.
  • While Adam Wainwright has been fantastic, as usual, there are underlying reasons to think that he’s not going to be as good in the second half.  His line drive rate (22.8%) is up, yet he’s benefiting from a .250 BABIP.  He also doesn’t offer the same type of strikeout rate as some of the top options.  He’s going to be great, just don’t be surprised if he’s not as great moving forward.
  • Cliff Lee has missed a lot of time, but he’s set to return to the mound and we all know the type of stuff he has.  As long as he’s healthy it’s impossible not to view him among the better options in the league.
  • Despite the unbelievable success Johnny Cueto enjoyed in the first half, does anyone truly believe that he’s going to be able to carry it into the second half?  He’s benefited from a .221 BABIP, a number that should easily regress back to the mean.  That alone makes him a risky proposition compared to some of the other top starters in the league.
  • One of the most popular topics here on Rotoprofessor this season has been Homer Bailey, and that’s not about to stop now.  While the numbers haven’t been there overall, the underlying metrics continue to indicate significantly betters results are in his future.  Don’t give up on him now.
  • I’m a big fan of Doug Fister, but unless he starts generating more strikeouts his value is going to be minimal.  You would think he’d get the number up, especially with the move to the NL, but until he at least shows signs of an improvement we need to keep his ranking a bit suppressed.
  • Mat Latos has missed a significant amount of time and is still trying to settle in.  While the numbers aren’t great, thus far, we all know the type of stuff and potential he has.  Don’t shy away from him, as long as he’s healthy.
  • If healthy Andrew Cashner belongs in the Top 50.  The problem is he’s not healthy and, while the injury doesn’t appear serious, we don’t know when he’s going to return to the mound.  Until we get a better idea of his timetable he’s going to be held off the list.

Make sure to check out all of our Rest of Season Rankings:

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25 comments

  1. NM says:

    Surprised not to see Henderson Alvarez.

  2. BB says:

    I feel like there should be like 2 inches of white space between Kershaw and everyone else.

    I’m considering making an offer of Bumgarner and Hamels for Kershaw, on the theory that Kershaw + streamers will give me as good or better production in every category than I would expect from Bumgarner and Hamels. (Kershaw’s insanely low ratios should balance the streamers and let me at least break even there, while Kershaw’s awesomeness plus all the extra two-start weeks from the streamers should mean I get a substantial upgrade in Ks and Ws.) I might even toss in Wacha to make that deal happen. He is gumming up my DL slot anyway and who knows if he’ll do anything fantasy-relevant ROS.

    • Marky Mark says:

      Speaking as guy that’s had Kershaw on my roster since he was called up back in ’08, I wouldn’t do that deal.

      I don’t exactly know what it would take to get me to trade him away, but I do know I’ve never been remotely tempted by any offer I’ve received in that time. If you can get Kershaw on your roster, especially in a keeper, I highly recommend it.

  3. Draftee says:

    Jake Arrieta is not a top 50 starter? I beg to differ.

  4. jt says:

    What does Garrett Richards have to do to get some respect?

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    JT – Richards is #24. I can’t say that’s “disrespected” in my opinion

    Draftee – Arrieta was an extremely difficult cut to make, as he was right there on the border. I am a big fan and, in retrospect, maybe he should’ve been there. If he keeps this up, he definitely will be at the next update.

  6. Bryan says:

    If these are trading rankings, I’m surprised Cain and CJ Wilson are this high up. Are you expecting a turnaround?

  7. bbboston says:

    Rotoprofessor:

    Surprised to see Skaggs on this list. I know you like his metrics, but what has he done? Guys like Bucholz, etc seem more deserving. Thoughts?

  8. Rotoprofessor says:

    Bryan – Not necessarily “trade” rankings, but how I think people will perform moving forward. These were also done before Cain’s DL stint, so now he certainly drops (possibly off the rankings consistently) as the metrics indicated a chance for a turn around.

    bbboston – Obviously towards the bottom of the rankings and within any tier there is going to be at least a little bit of personal preference at play. Personally I prefer Skaggs to Buchholz, but if you still believe in Buchholz’ bounce back potential there’s definitely an argument to be made there.

  9. Wondering why and disturbed by Cain and Cole’s high rankings (injuries aside) and no recognition of Arrieta. Have you watched his starts? If not, your missing out on a top starter.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      As I said above, Arrieta was a tough cut and, in retrospect, he should’ve been on this list. He certainly will be included when we update them in a few weeks.

  10. mohammad mallick says:

    what about ian kennedy moving forward? should i keep him for the rest of the season? and does danny duffy keep it up?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Re: Kennedy – He should continue to be a viable option, as long as he stays in SD. If he’s dealt we’ll have to reevaluate.

      Re: Duffy – He could, but it would look better if he started increasing his strikeout rate.

  11. Dan says:

    120.2 innings, 90 K’s, 9-6 record, 2.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP. Arguably Top 25 starter so far. Tanner Roark. Just throwin’ him out there for consideration.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Lack of strikeout upside hurts him a but, as does the potential regression in his strand rate (about 77%)

  12. whirl says:

    Mike Minor at 28th? Wow. What do you see in him that his arm doesn’t? He’s given up 14 runs in his last 3 games/16 innings and with his ERA over 6.00 for his last 10 games, I have a really hard time putting faith in the guy.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      There’s a lot of bad luck in his numbers and he has strong Ks and control. At the same time, it is getting harder and harder to hold out hope with each passing start.

  13. Andrew h says:

    Hey roto I was offered either anibal Sanchez or James shields for mark trumbo in my keeper league. I’m out this year and am playing for the future. All players I can keep for two more years. I can keep seven and the only other pitcher I’m keeping is gio. Do u think either of these pitchers are more valuable than trumbo. Thx

  14. Andrew h says:

    I can also get garret Richards for three years in exchange

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I’m probably in the minority, but I actually like all of the pitchers over Trumbo. Of course, it depends on your strategy at this point (especially with all the injuries to pitchers) and if you want to keep any pitchers or just draft them.

      • Andrew h says:

        So out of the three which one should I take

        • Andrew h says:

          Who’s will be better over the next couple years?

        • Rotoprofessor says:

          Richards has the highest upside, but is the riskiest of the three so it depends on your tolerance. He could be a Top 20 SP for the next three seasons, though.

          for the next few years, I’d prob. go Richards, Sanchez, Shields but it’s highly debatable

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