Pitching will get you to the playoffs in the Major Leagues and the same can be said about fantasy baseball. If you have a great pitcher, like the New York Yankees' Michael Pineda, your chances of making the playoffs is great.
However, Pineda isn’t the only pitcher who you have to draft this year. These other pitchers will carry you to fantasy baseball supremacy.
Michael Pineda, New York Yankees
Pineda had a strong rookie year with the last-place Seattle Mariners, posting nine wins, an ERA of 3.74 and 173 strikeouts. During the offseason he was traded to the defending American League East Division champion New York Yankees, where his numbers should thrive in his second year.
According to Yahoo! Sports' fantasy write-up about Pineda, he could be a steal in the middle of your draft:
Michael Pineda has a shot to put up some great numbers for the New York Yankees in 2012 and his fantasy baseball value just went through the roof. Pitching for the Seattle Mariners, there was a ceiling for the number of wins he could put up with the worst offense in baseball standing behind him. Now he goes to a team that has some of the best weapons the game has to offer and his run support could actually double in 2012.
If he can duplicate his numbers from the first half of last year, Pineda could become a steal in most fantasy baseball draft formats.
Pineda should see his ERA come down, while his wins and strikeouts increase as he moves into the No. 3 spot in the Yankees' rotation.
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies
Lee is a part of the two-headed monster in Philadelphia with Roy Halladay. If you cannot draft Halladay, then picking Lee shortly there after will be just as good.
According to Thomas George's Fantasy Baseball Breakdown, he projects that Lee will have another season of 15 wins, an ERA around 2.75 and 200-plus strikeouts:
Season Prognosis: Cliff Lee is a #1 pitcher on just about any other team but will settle for #2 behind Roy Halladay. Lee enters his second full season with the Phillies looking to duplicate his numbers from last year. Lee should be good for 220 innings, 200+ K's, 18-20 W's and a sub 3.00 ERA
Lee is a great draft choice who will be a solid start every time he takes the mound.
Ian Kennedy, Arizona Diamondbacks
Kennedy exploded onto the baseball scene last year with a career season of 21 wins, an ERA of 2.88 and 198 strikeouts. He has had a strong spring training so far according to CBS Sports, with a 7-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio.
Their fantasy profile on the pitcher goes onto say:
He had a career campaign a year ago by going 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 33 starts so keep an eye on his progress going forward. The 27-year-old could just be scratching the surface of his potential so target Kennedy in the early rounds of mixed leagues on Draft Day.
You have to watch Kennedy on your draft day as someone may take the Diamondbacks pitcher early because of his success last year. But, if he’s still around in rounds four to six, you have to select him.
These three pitchers could all be on your team this year. If you can grab all of them you will be in the playoffs come September.