Way Too Early Top 10 Starting Pitchers for 2015 Fantasy Baseball
Thursday marks the first day without baseball for the rest of winter – sure, the Arizona Fall League counts, but those Fantasy drafts are weird. So I thought we’d take an early look at what the top 10 starting pitchers will be drafted in next spring’s 2015 Fantasy drafts.
But first, let’s take a look back at the top 10 starting pitchers from 2014 in Head-to-Head leagues. In other words, what 10 starting pitchers scored the most Head-to-Head points in 2014. That means they were good – and they stayed healthy all year.
- Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati
- Felix Hernandez, Seattle
- Clayton Kershaw, L.A. Dodgers
- Corey Kluber, Cleveland
- Adam Wainwright, St. Louis
- David Price, Detroit
- Max Scherzer, Detroit
- Jon Lester, Oakland
- Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco
- Stephen Strasburg
Some interesting players slipped into that top 10, no? Lester and Price on two teams. Kluber after a surprisingly amazing season.
Top 10 Starting Pitchers for 2015 Fantasy Baseball
While the above list is for Head-to-Head play, I’m actually going to rank for Rotisserie leagues. They’re split about half-and-half as far as which formats are played more across the Fantasy landscape. On ESPN, H2H rules, but with CBS, it’s still Rotisserie.
1. Clayton Kershaw, L.A. Dodgers: He was the best over the three years before this season, and when you throw in 2014, I bet he had the best numbers of any pitcher since 2011.
2. Felix Hernandez, Seattle: He’ll be 29 next season, even though it seems like he’s been pitching for a couple decades in Seattle. Only Kershaw and Johnny Cueto have a better ERA over the past three seasons.
3. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox: One of the best K/9 guys out there, and he’ll likely be entering 2015 with a better White Sox team than we expected last season.
4. Stephen Strasburg, Washington: He finally reached the 200-inning mark, and while the dreams of a 300-strikeout season are fading, let’s not forget he’s still just 26 years old. His control is – under control, and the Nationals should be one of the best teams again next season.
5. David Price, Detroit: Playing for a big contract, Price will likely be the Tigers’ ace heading into the season, and he shouldn’t have a possible trade looming all season like he has the past two years.
6. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco: Is this an overreaction to his postseason play? Possibly. But let’s remember that he’ll still be just 25 years old when the 2015 season begins. He rarely misses a start (31-33 each of the past four seasons), strikes out a batter per inning, and pitches for one of the best teams and best pitcher’s parks in baseball.
7. Max Scherzer, Detroit: They call him, the “Heterochromia Iridium Beast”! OK, they don’t really, but 55 wins in the past three seasons makes him one of my faves for ‘15. A few others get the nod over Scherzer only because we don’t know where he’ll pitch next season.
8. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis: He’ll be three years removed from his Tommy John surgery, and he has 39 wins over the past two seasons. But he’s also going to turn 34 years old next summer, and he has over 1,500 innings on that arm – rebuilt or not. With all that said, the fact there are nine pitchers a little better than him makes me say, once again, to wait on starting pitchers in 2015 Fantasy Baseball drafts.
9. Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati: Cueto notched 20 wins, 242 strikeouts and sub-1.000 WHIP in 2014. He was pretty consistent all season, giving up more than three earned runs in just four different starts, and he’s going to still be just 29 years old in 2015. I’m aiming for an 18-win season with 220 innings/strikeouts.
10. Corey Kluber, Cleveland: From about 150 innings pitched in 2013 to 235 innings in 2014 – that’s a nice sized jump. It doesn’t mean he can’t keep up that pace, but it definitely makes me want the other guys above him more.
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