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Fantasy Baseball: Avoidable Draft-Day Pitchers

Diamondbacks pitcher Joe Saunders should not be a draft-day consideration for fantasy owners who covet strikeouts, ERA or WHIP.
Diamondbacks pitcher Joe Saunders should not be a draft-day consideration for fantasy owners who covet strikeouts, ERA or WHIP.Denis Poroy/Getty Images
Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterMarch 7, 2012

Preparing a mixed-league cheat sheet can be a daunting task for the everyday Joe or Jane, especially when arbitrarily forecasting which pitchers are on the cusp of a breakout...or on the road to an unsettling decline. But there's an easy way to proffer first cuts with starting pitchers, based on below-average Strikeout/Walk ratios. Simply eliminate the established veterans with 2011 K/BB ratios of less than 2-to-1, like these, ahem, bums:

Starting Pitchers
Chad Billingsley, Dodgers - 152/84 K-BB rate
Jhoulys Chacin, Rockies - 150/87 K-BB rate (the most attractive asset on this list)
Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks - 147/82 K-BB rate (with Oakland)
James McDonald, Pirates - 142/78
Derek Lowe, Indians - 137/70 (with Atlanta)
J.A. Happ, Astros - 134/83
Jeremy Guthrie, Rockies - 130/66 (with Baltimore)
Chris Narveson, Brewers - 126/65
Dillon Gee, Mets - 114/71
Francisco Liriano, Twins - 112/75
Charlie Morton, Pirates - 110/70
Roberto Hernandez (aka Fausto Carmona), Indians - 109/60
Livan Hernandez, Astros - 102/67 (with Washington)
Joe Saunders, Diamondbacks - 108/67
John Lannan, Nationals - 106/76
Wade Davis, Rays - 105/63 (needs a signature season)
Mike Pelfrey, Mets - 105/65 (needs 12-15 wins to tip the scales)
Edinson Volquez, Padres - 104/65 (with Cincinnati)
Jake Westbrook, Cardinals - 104/73
Jonathan Sanchez, Royals - 102/66 (with San Francisco)
Carlos Zambrano, Marlins - 101/56 (with Chicago)

Note: Rays phenom Jeremy Hellickson posted an unseemly 117/72 K-BB ratio in his first full season in the bigs. But with a 421/86 ratio in his final three years in the minors, we're supremely confident Hellickson will rebound in the 3.5/1 range.

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