Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2012: Top 10 Two-Start Pitchers (April 9-15)

Jay Clemons@ATL_JayClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterApril 9, 2012

Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2012: Top 10 Two-Start Pitchers (April 9-15)

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    The following slideshow is a Top 10 ranking of the two-start pitchers for the week of April 9-15.

    The listing does not necessarily account for season-long prospects, nor does it suggest that a pitcher is primed for a dominant campaign. It's merely an educated guess of which starters will shine the brightest over the next seven days.

    For a full listing of two-start pitchers, click here.

    Enjoy the show!

10: Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Moore, the consensus top pitching prospect in baseball, opens his first full season in the bigs with road clashes against the powerful Tigers and Red Sox.

    That aside, Moore has a world of potential every time he takes the mound.

    In 10 spring innings, he posted a 1.00 WHIP and held opponents to a .147 batting average.

9: Luis Mendoza, Kansas City Royals

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    Sure, Mendoza has been unremarkable in five seasons with the Royals, but his spring numbers were too amazing to ignore: 4-0, 21/5 K-BB, 0.47 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

    For the purposes of this countdown, it also helps that Mendoza will face two erratic offenses this week, the A's and Indians.

8: Neftali Feliz, Texas Rangers

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    Feliz, one of two big-name Rangers set to enjoy his starting debut this week, should fare well in his transformation from bullpen ace to front-line factor.

    Thinking conservatively, I envision Feliz combining for 13 innings, 14 strikeouts and a 3.72 ERA against the Mariners and Twins.

7: Shaun Marcum, Milwaukee Brewers

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    This is easily the most nerve-wracking pick of the countdown, given Marcum's shoulder woes and shaky spring (6.14 ERA, 1.36 WHIP).

    However, as a top-40 pitching asset when healthy, Marcum gets the benefit of the doubt against the Cubs and Braves this week.

    Targets: One win, 15 strikeouts and 3.85 ERA.

6: Anibal Sanchez, Miami Marlins

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    Sanchez earns this ranking on his own merit—and that Philly doesn't have Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in the lineup for the time being.

    Later in the week—the Astros' lineup seemingly has more pop than last season, but Sanchez still has the capacity to dominate Houston in his inaugural start in Miami's new stadium.

    Targets: One win, 15 strikeouts and 3.64 ERA.

5: Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

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    This ranking may be a tad ambitious, since it's hard to predict how new White Sox manager Robin Ventura will treat Sale (2.58 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 111 strikeouts in 94.1 MLB innings) in his first 4-5 starts.

    Will Ventura err on the side of caution while Sale makes the conversion from bullpen stalwart to rotation lynchpin?

    Or will he let the kid morph into a future fantasy ace, no strings attached?

    Targets: One win, 16 strikeouts and 3.73 ERA against the Indians and Tigers.

4: C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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    With the Rangers last year, Wilson actually had more success against the Yankees (10/3 K-BB, 2.25 ERA) than Twins (6.65 ERA), but I'm more concerned with Wilson's state of mind this week than his opponents.

    The real question may be: Can Wilson avoid being too ramped up for his first starts with a new club—while subconsciously trying to justify a hefty offseason contract?

3: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

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    If Darvish was pitching in spacious Safeco Field on Monday instead of his new home park, he may have garnered the No. 2 spot here.

    But expectations are still high for this Japanese dynamo to notch 18 total strikeouts and maybe two wins against the Mariners and Twins.

2: Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Hamels struggled a bit against the Mets last season, but that's hardly a concern for a top-10 fantasy ace who had a 2.93 ERA and 22/4 K-BB ratio during spring training.

    Hamels also catches the sluggish Marlins at the right time.

    Targets: Two wins, 19 strikeouts and 2.85 ERA.

1: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Hamels would have been a great choice for the top spot as well.

    But Kershaw earns the slight nod based on his two complete games, 3-0 record, 15/5 K-BB ratio and 1.78 ERA against the Padres last season.

    It also helps that he's my No. 1-ranked pitcher in fantasy right now.

    Targets: Two wins, 21 strikeouts and 2.65 ERA.