Initial 2014 fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings part three

This the last section of a three part pitching series. When writing the player capsules I realized I was way too pessimistic on guys and overly optimistic on guys, which is why these are initial rankings (duh).

Previous rankings: Catchers, First Base, Second Base, Third Base, Shortstop Outfield part one and part two, Pitchers part one, part two, and part three.

68. Taijuan Walker - has the raw stuff to be a top 20 fantasy pitcher; will most likely being the year in triple-a to work commanding the curveball and changeup; if he begins the year in the Mariners rotation he’s a top 30-40 pitcher.

69. Brandon Beachy – command is normally the last thing a pitcher regains after a TJ surgery; 2014 will be a transitional year, but if he slips enough in drafts he could be a tremendous value.

70. Kyle Lohse – extremely good real life pitcher, but with only a 15.5% strikeout rate, he’ll put your pitching staff at a disadvantage in terms of strikeouts unless you have a top 5 strikeout pitcher.

71. Jake Peavy – strikeout rate dropped seven percentage points (16.9%) after being acquired by the Red Sox.

72. Tony Cingrani – relies too heavily on the fastball to maintain 2013s numbers.

73. Bartolo Colon – would be ranked in the 40-50 range if he resigns with the A’s; unlikely he’ll have a 6% HR/FB rate and / or 80% LOB rate again.

74. Ubaldo Jimenez – in his last 22 starts, he had a 2.40 ERA, 1.32 WHIP with a 25.2% strikeout rate and 9.7% walk rate; if you’re a believer then he’s a top 30 pitcher, but the walk rate scares me.

75. Brett Anderson – the odds of Anderson making 27+ starts is less than 10%, but if he does, he’s a borderline top 20 fantasy pitcher; there’s some chatter that he may be traded to the Blue Jays, which, if happens lowers his value.

76. Travis Wood – doubt he can maintain a 77.4% LOB rate, 6.9% HR/FB rate while walking 8% of batters.

77. Hyun-Jin Ryu – will be overrated in drafts, but he doesn’t have the stuff to repeat 2013s performance.

78. Tanner Roark – pitched well enough to earn a spot in the Nationals rotation; in 14 starts he had a 1.51 ERA with a 0.91 WHIP; stats inflated by the quality of the competition with half of those starts coming against the Marlins, Mets, Cubs and Giants.

79. Yovani Gallardo – probably have Gallardo too low because he was a proven pitcher before 2013 and it looks as though he suffered from bad luck in 2013.

80. Jon Lester – like Gallardo, I probably have Lester to low on the list; fastball increased to levels back in 2010; his fly ball rate increased a little more than six percentage points and his HR/FB rate was only 8.3%; if the HR/FB rate increases to 10-11%, his career norm, you’re looking at an average pitcher.

81. Chris Tillman – every time I see him pitch I don’t understand why he’s so effective; he’s a fly ball pitcher who gave up 33 home runs, third most in the majors; if his 80.5% LOB rate regresses to his normal levels he could end up with an ERA in the 4′s.

82. Felix Doubront – if he only he could reduce the walks he could more useful than a streaming option.

83. Wade Miley – very consistent pitcher with little upside; great streaming option because he plays in the NL West.

84. Bronson Arroyo – solid fantasy pitcher who won’t destroy your teams ratios; should be drafted in shallow leagues because pitchers like Arroyo can be found on the waiver wire.

85. Dan Straily – can be brilliant and awful inning to inning; the minor league leader in strikeouts two years ago is nothing more than a number 3/4 real life pitcher; hard to trust Straily even as a streaming option because he’s inconsistent.

86. Marco Estrada – after the all-star break (in nine starts) he had a 2.15 ERA and 0.75 WHIP with a 26.3% strikeout rate and 5.2% walk rate; strikeout rate increased six percentage points after the all-star break as well as threw more strikes; breakout candidate.

87. Edwin Jackson – performed better than his 4.98 ERA would indicate; stuff is still in tact; suffered from a 63.3% LOB rate and .322 BABIP.

88. CC Sabathia – in his last 20 starts he had a 5.43 ERA, 1.43 WHIP; his name value will likely result in him going way earlier than he should; should be ranked lower, but his upside is immense.

89. Ian Kennedy – will most likely never repeat his 2011 seasons where he posted 21 wins and a 2.88 ERA; extreme fly ball pitcher who should benefit from pitching in Petco; in six games at Petco he had a 2.55 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.

90. Paul Maholm – regressed after a solid 2012 season; reserving judgement until he signs with a team.

91. Ryan Dempster – can miss bats, but in Fenway Park, can blow up at any moment.

92. Nathan Eovaldi – looks as though he may not have a huge platoon split against left handed hitters; even so, his 3.39 ERA is lower than what his WHIP (1.32) should generate.

93. Alexi Ogando – unlikely to begin the year in the Rangers rotation, but if he does, hes a top 40 fantasy pitcher.

94. Erasmo Ramirez – love of mine in the preseason; strike throwing machine with solid stuff;

95. James Paxton – unless the changeup, his third pitch, develops, he’s more likely a reliever.

96. Joe Kelly – can definitely light up a radar gun, but the only problem is he doesn’t miss bats with it (14.8% strikeout rate); will most likely start the year in the rotation, but will most likely end the year with an ERA in the 4′s.

97. Wei-Yin Chen – his best fantasy asset will be the potential for wins.

98. Jason Vargas – extreme fly ball pitcher; value depends on the team he signs with this offseason.

99. Josh Johnson – when picking this low, you’re should draft for upside and his upside may be the highest of any pitcher.

100. Tim Lincecumreceived a two year deal with the Giants so he will get to pitch once again in favorable pitching matchups the majority of the year (in terms of ballpark factors); the last two years he has been below average, but his ERA has been substantially higher than his FIP and xFIP so there is room for optimism (the Giants are paying him as if there is a higher chance he turns it around); two straight years with 190+ strikeouts, which makes him a good addition if you draft low strikeout rate guys like Jordan Zimmerman and / or Jarrord Parker.

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