2013 MLB Preview: Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IFebruary 19, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 24:  Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers looks on against the San Francisco Giants during Game One of the Major League Baseball World Series at AT&T Park on October 24, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Here are the 2013 Lester’s Legends fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings.

1. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Verlander wasn't quite as dominant as he was in 2011, but it's hard to be upset about a 17-8, 2.64 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 239-strikeout season.

2. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Kershaw also took a slight step back, but like Verlander it was because he set the bar so high. Kershaw was 14-9 with a 2.53 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and 229 strikeouts.

3. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

Strasburg was forced to shut down last year, but he still managed to go 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 197 strikeouts. The sky is the limit.

4. David Price, Tampa Bay Rays

Price went 20-5 with a 2.56 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 205 strikeouts.

5. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

The lefty turned in another strong performance going 17-6 with a 3.05 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and 216 strikeouts. His ERA has been below 3.40 in five of the past six seasons.

6. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

King Felix got paid, but I don't expect him to rest on his laurels. He had a 3.06 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP and 223 strikeouts. He's been brilliant over the past three seasons, but only has 40 wins to show for it.

7. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies

Lee was a hard-luck case last year, winning just six games despite a 3.16 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 207 strikeouts. Luck should be more on his side.

8. Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants

Speaking of hard luck, Cain was the poster boy prior to last year. Cain has a 3.27 lifetime ERA, but reached 15 wins for the first time. Cain went 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and 193 strikeouts.

9. Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels

Weaver was 20-5 with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He only recorded 142 strikeouts, but had averaged 215.5 the previous two seasons.

10. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals

Wainwright was a solid 7-5 with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in the second half last year. He recorded 184 strikeouts on the year. He's two year removed from his Tommy John surgery. It should be all systems go.

11. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies

Halladay was off his game (11-8, 4.49 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) and will turn 36 this year. He's a slight risk given those factors, but his ERA was south of 2.80 in his previous four years.

12. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

Bumgarner was 16-11 with a 3.37 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 191 strikeouts. His season basically mirrored his 2011 campaign. Look for another step forward for the youngster.

13. Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers

Greinke went 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and 200 strikeouts. Dodger Stadium should serve him well.

14. Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds

Cueto was 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 170 strikeouts. He's been great the past couple of years. He just doesn't deliver the strikeouts to be a top-tier guy.

15. Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals

Gonzalez was an impressive 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 207 strikeouts last year. He has a cloud of PED suspicion, which makes me a little nervous. Still he should remain at least a No. 2 fantasy starter.

16. R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays

Dickey was amazing last year for the Mets, going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 230 strikeouts. I'm a little afraid of what the move to Toronto will do to his numbers.

17. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

Darvish went 16-9 and recorded 221 strikeouts, but his 3.90 ERA and 1.28 WHIP weren't elite. He started and ended the season on fire. In his second season in the majors, Darvish should have more consistency.

18. Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves

Medlen was nearly untouchable last year, going 10-1 with a 1.50 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 138 innings.

19. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

Sale was 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP and 192 strikeouts. He had a 2.30 ERA at home last year. I'm afraid he'll regress there, but he should still be a quality No. 2 fantasy starter.

20. CC Sabathia, New York Yankees

The Yankees don't appear to be quite the powerhouse that they've been in the past as age seems to be catching up with them. Sabathia is trying to come back from an elbow injury, but he's a workhorse.

As you prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts, check out:

2013 Fantasy Baseball First Base Rankings
2013 Fantasy Baseball Second Base Rankings
2013 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings
2013 Fantasy Baseball Shortstop Rankings
2013 Fantasy Baseball Outfielder Rankings


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