2013 MLB Preview: Fantasy Baseball AL-Only Starting Pitcher Rankings

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IMarch 19, 2013

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

Here’s the 2013 LestersLegends Starting Pitcher Rankings for AL-Only Leagues.

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. David Price, Tampa Bay Rays

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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, though.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers

Scherzer went 16-7 with a 3.74 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP and 231 strikeouts. He could easily finish among the top 15-20 fantasy pitchers.

10. Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays

Moore took a little time to adjust to big-league bats, but judging by his second half, which saw him post a 3.01 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP, he should be in good shape in his second season.

11. James Shields, Kansas City Royals

Shields went 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 223 strikeouts. Moving to Kansas City could hinder his win total, but he should continue to produce in the other categories.

12. Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox have been in a bad place the past two years, and Lester has struggled with it. Particularly last year, when he went 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. However, he should return to form this season.

13. Brandon Morrow, Toronto Blue Jays

Morrow sported a 2.96 ERA and 1.11 WHIP last year, but was only able to throw 124.2 innings thanks to an oblique injury. Morrow is an injury risk, but he is a quality option when healthy.

14. Josh Johnson, Toronto Blue Jays

Johnson has the ability, but he is oft-injured. Plus, his move to Toronto isn’t good for his value. He’s a high-risk option that doesn’t quite have the reward we’re used to.

15. Jake Peavy, Chicago White Sox

Peavy went 11-12 last year, but managed a 3.37 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 194 strikeouts. He has been able to stay healthy for over a year, but that risk is always there.

16. C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels

Wilson was a solid 13-10 last year with a 3.83 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and 173 strikeouts. A rough August featuring a 7.99 ERA threw his numbers out of whack, but he should be better in 2013.

17. Doug Fister, Detroit Tigers

Fister was 10-10, but managed a solid 3.45 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He’s not going to rack up the strikeouts, but he’s solid in the other three starting pitcher 5×5 categories.

18. Hiroki Kuroda, New York Yankees

Kuroda went 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 167 strikeouts. He’s been extremely consistent throughout his big-league career. The only knock is his age (38), but he hasn’t shown signs of a decline.

19. Jarrod Parker, Oakland A’s

Parker went 13-8 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. He was 6-5 at home with a 2.61 ERA.

20. Brett Anderson, Oakland A’s

Anderson has the goods, 2.57 ERA and 1.03 in six starts last year, but his health is always an issue. The reward potential is there if you can stomach the risk.

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