Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitchers 2012
No time to waste. Let’s jump into the top 10:
10. David Price – Tampa Bay Rays
ESPN has an interesting note about Price. In 2010 he was 19-6 and in 2011 he was 12-13 although he pitched better than his previous season.
That’s a really weird stat but it isn’t one that scares me away from Price. If he continues to get better, like he has the last two seasons, he will have nearly 220 Ks and an ERA under 3.5. If you’re lucky enough to get a pitcher with those numbers, the wins will only be a bonus.
9. Dan Haren – Los Angeles Angels
Haren breaks into the top 10 because I believe he’ll avoid his annual post All Star break collapse.
The addition of Albert Pujols should boost his wins because of some additional run support. His outstanding control and high strikeout ability will keep his Ks up and his WHIP down. He has to play against the Texas offense more than I like but that is a small price for Haren’s ability.
8. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
King Felix is lower than usual on my list. I don’t worry about his ability but I worry about his wins.
I know that I just wrote about Price having great numbers and assuming wins will follow but I don’t have that same feeling about Hernandez.
The difference is that Price is a very good pitcher on a good team. Felix is a great pitcher on a team that finished dead last in batting average and runs scored.
7. Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants
When I wrote about Matt Cain I mentioned the Giants poor hitting. In 2011, they finished 29th in runs scored and 28th in team batting average.
Lincecum gets the Felix-treatment here. The two-time Cy Young winner has been outstanding in the past but doesn’t pile up wins like he should. I also never had a lot of faith in his ability long-term.
I believe he can still be statistically great this season but I anticipate some regression in his game coming very soon. I hope, for the sake of fantasy owners, it isn’t this season.
6. Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels in a contract year is music to my fantasy ears. The Phillies lefty should be out to prove he deserves Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay money before he competes for free agency supremacy with Matt Cain and Zack Greinke.
Phillies fans love Hamels for his playoff performance in 2008 but he seems to become the forgotten man in a rotation that features two Cy Young winners.
I don’t believe that Hamels will want to be the forgotten man in free agency during the offseason so expect him to up his game this season.