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

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IMarch 20, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 23:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch on February 23, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Here are the 2013 LestersLegends starting pitcher rankings for NL-only leagues.

1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Kershaw was 14-9 with a 2.53 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and 229 strikeouts. He’s one of the most dominating pitchers in all of baseball.

2. 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's the limit.

3. 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.

4. 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 this year.

5. 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 this past season. Cain went 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP and 193 strikeouts.

6. 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. Now that he’s two years removed from his Tommy John surgery, it should be all systems go.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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. 1 NL-only fantasy starter.

12. 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.

13. Mat Latos, Cincinnati Reds

Latos went 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP and 185 strikeouts. He was 7-2 with a 2.84 ERA after the All-Star break.

14. Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers

His WHIP (1.29 lifetime) keeps him out of the elite company, but he’s near the top of the next tier. Gallardo went 16-9 with a 3.66 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP and 204 strikeouts. It was his fourth straight year with 200 strikeouts. Plus, his ERA has always been below 3.90.

15. Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals

Zimmerman went 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 153 strikeouts. He’s a second NL-only fantasy starter.

16. Ian Kennedy, Arizona Diamondbacks

Kennedy took a major step back last year, but still posted a solid 15-12 record with 187 strikeouts, a 4.02 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

17. Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves

Minor figured things out after the All-Star break, posting a 2.16 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP.

18. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants

The wheels fell off for Lincecum, who went 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. He got his form back during the postseason, posting a 2.55 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 17.2 innings pitched. He’s a slight risk, but there is a strong chance that last year was a fluke.

19. Daren Haren, Washington Nationals

Haren struggled last year going 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. He’s much better than that and should bounce back in Washington

20. Matt Garza, Chicago Cubs

He’ll likely miss the first month of the season, but could be a nice boost when he returns. Garza should give you a solid amount of strikeouts to go with a decent ERA and WHIP. His win total will struggle being on the Cubs, but if he’s traded things could improve.

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


    MLB Power Rankings After 1st Month

    MLB logo

    MLB Power Rankings After 1st Month

    Joel Reuter
    via Bleacher Report

    Farquhar 'Progressing Well' After Brain Surgery

    MLB logo

    Farquhar 'Progressing Well' After Brain Surgery

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    FA Outcast Proving How Wrong Teams Were

    MLB logo

    FA Outcast Proving How Wrong Teams Were

    Jacob Shafer
    via Bleacher Report

    Rose's Wife Claims He Has 'Significant' Debt

    MLB logo

    Rose's Wife Claims He Has 'Significant' Debt

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report