For a look at my strategy on starting pitchers and/or my top 30 ranked pitchers, you can start with this link before getting into the second half of the rankings found here.
31. Jeff Samardzija: In the second half he lowered is BB/9 by 1 and ERA by 2.13. The results were over a strikeout an inning and an ERA below 3.00. If he can repeat that, then he’ll challenge the top 10, but wins may still be hard to come by.
32. Josh Johnson: He was durable (around 30 starts) and produced good strikeout numbers in every season except 2011. I expect several less strikeouts and a slightly higher ERA as a result of moving to the AL, but he’s a reliable option.
33. Jon Niese: At a minimum, last season’s numbers look repeatable with his good strikeout and walk rates.
34. Jon Lester: Looking into the numbers, it seems like Lester was the most unlucky pitcher in 2012; his HR/FB was well above his career norm. The biggest concern was the decline in strikeout rate.
35. Anibal Sanchez: His walks have been trending down for the last few years, which makes his 2012 success sustainable.
36. A.J. Burnett: Moving back to the NL agreed with Burnett and should work out well again, as long as he doesn’t lose command of the strike zone.
37. Hiroki Kuroda: There’s not much room for improvement, but he was consistently solid even after his move to Yankee Stadium.
38. Ryan Vogelsong: He appeared out of nowhere in 2011, and provides good rotation depth with low risk.
39. Homer Bailey: His first half numbers weren’t bad, but his second half numbers (8 K/9 and 2 BB/9) show a breakout may be coming.
40. Lance Lynn: Based on his strikeout and walk rates last season and in the minors, it’s more likely his 2013 is worse than 2012.
41. Matt Harvey: He still has to improve his walk rate, but there are a lot of strikeouts to be had by grabbing Harvey.
42. Mike Minor: He has all the makings of and up-and-coming elite pitcher. Assuming he responds well from his highest innings pitched total, this may be the last time he is in the middle of the pack.
43. Jeremy Hellickson: Another case of big second half improvement, and he has the minor league track record to back it up.
44. Wade Miley: Miley had a career best walk rate, which may open him up to some regression in 2013, but he should still be able to finish with an ERA below 4.00.
45. C.J. Wilson: Based on his history, it’s reasonable to expect Wilson to split the difference between his 2011 and 2012 numbers.
46. Marco Estrada: Based on his walk and strikeout rates, there is a lot of potential for him to continue the success he had. If he does it again this season, then he won’t be under the radar for the next years draft.
47. Roy Halladay: His walks were slightly up, paired with his strikeouts slightly down, and it was a bad combination for his overall stats. Most disconcerting is the lack of any positive news that would suggest a rebound in 2013, but at a certain point he’s worth a shot.
48. Tim Hudson: While he is the opening day starter for the Braves, he’s a back end of the rotation pitcher in fantasy, due to his low strikeout rate.
49. Jaime Garcia: He got unlucky last year, but his underlying numbers looked very similar to 2011, and that stat line looks very likely for the upcoming season.
50. Derek Holland: He has the misfortune of pitching in Arlington, but he has the potential to increase his strikeouts and keep his ERA around 4.00.
51. Josh Beckett: Given the investment you’ll need to make, he’s worth the risk. I think he can rebound similar to the way AJ Burnett did last season, after moving to the NL.
52. Tommy Milone: His minor league numbers show a good chance for him to increase his strikeouts, while still being able to maintain his low walk rates. The only point of concern is that his ERA was two runs higher on the road.
53. Edwin Jackson: The Cubs may not provide many wins, but E-Jax should be able to get you some strikeouts at the back end of a fantasy rotation.
54. Jarrod Parker: His 2012 stats were solid and his walk rate should come down, so he’s a worthwhile pickup with the chance to improve.
55. Tim Lincecum: In 2012 he only had one month with an ERA below 4.00, but he did still have 190 strikeouts. He may be a Hail Mary that works out for you, but if you draft him, don’t be afraid to bail early if things look bad again.
56. Wandy Rodriguez: He should be good for about 200 innings, 160 Ks, and an ERA around 3.75.
57. Trevor Cahill: He hasn’t yet come close to matching his minor league strikeout rates, but he should continue to turn in productive seasons in the NL.
58. Brett Anderson: Players typically respond well once they rehab from Tommy John. His control seems intact, and he has a good home ballpark working for him.
59. Phil Hughes: Oddly, his ERA was a full run worse on the road than it was at Yankee Stadium, which must be partially attributed to bad luck. He should be able to get his ERA down to 4.00 or below with a decent amount of strikeouts.
60. Alex Cobb: Cobb significantly increased his strikeouts and lowered his ERA in the second half of 2012. You’ll need to monitor his splits, however, because his home ERA was 3.24 and his road ERA was 4.92.
Others to Watch (In No Particular Order)
- Dan Straily
- Shelby Miller
- Gerrit Cole
- Tyler Skaggs
- Erasmo Ramirez
- Trevor Bauer
- Brandon Beachy
- Andrew Cashner