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In the seventh installment of an eight-part series, we will look at the 2010 TSN Fantasy Rankings for starting pitchers.
The top-10 has pretty much all the names you would expect, but that doesn't mean you have to spend all your money, or top draft picks on pitching. There are always a few surprises which become fantasy bargains. Justin Verlander was more of an afterthought last year. Javier Vazquez and Jair Jurrjens were solid performers who were no where to be found on Draft Day 2009.
1) Tim Lincecum, SF (ADP 13.8) - He has lowered his ERA and WHIP in each of the past two seasons. If they get any lower, you'll need a magnifying glass. Eight times he pitched into the seventh inning-or-better, gave up two runs-or-less and didn't get a win (six no decisions, two losses). If he was on a team that scored a lot of runs, he'd easily win 20 games.
2) Roy Halladay, PHI (ADP 19.8) - Halladay is "Lincecum" on a great scoring teams, so 20 wins are likely. He'll get you 50 strikeouts less than Lincecum, so that's the reason he's only No.2.
3) CC Sabathia, NYY (ADP 44.3) - If only Sabathia could get off to a fast start. He was 1-2 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP at the end of April 2009 after going 2-4 in April 2008 with an ERA of 7.88 and a WHIP of 1.78. Alas, he is struggling again in this exhibition season too. I guess that means you will have to be satisfied with another 19-win, 197-strikeout season.
4) Felix Hernandez, SEA (ADP 31.9) - He'll turn just 24-years-old during the first week of the season, although it seems like his been around for a long time. He had a great season last year with career-bests in wins (19), strikeouts (217), ERA (2.49) and WHIP (1.13). He hasn't reached his peak yet.
5) Zack Greinke, KC (ADP 30.6) Like Lincecum, Greinke could sue for "lack of support." Despite winning 16 games, he also collected six no decisions and three losses while giving up two-or-fewer runs over six-or-more innings of work. He was the AL Cy Young Award winner with an ERA of 2.16 and a WHIP of 1.07. You just wish he played on a better ball club.
6) Justin Verlander, DET (ADP 54.9) - He's pitched well in three of the last four seasons, yet he's not getting the respect he should get. He led the American League with 269 strikeouts, in innings pitched (240.0) and tied with Sabathia and Hernandez for most wins with 19. He pitches in a more pitcher- friendly park than Halladay and Sabathia. It must be a residual effect from his 11-17 2008 season that has him being selected in the fifth round.
7) Johan Santana, NYM (ADP 51.2) - Injuries cut short his 2009 season but he still earned 13 wins for an inept New York Mets team (72-90, just 671 runs scored). He should return to his normal pitching numbers in 2010, but unfortunately he's still on the Mets. That means a lot of well-pitched games with not much to show for it except a great ERA and WHIP.
8) Cliff Lee, SEA (ADP 58.1) - Lee goes from a hitter-friendly park (Philadelphia) to a pitcher-friendly park (Seattle). Despite a great playoff run (4-0 with an ERA of 2.81 and a WHIP of 1.00), Lee was just 14-13 during the 2009 regular season after a "monster" 22-3 season the year before in Cleveland. He'll be back facing the DH this season.
9) Dan Haren, AZ (ADP 53.1) - Haren lowered his WHIP to a stunning 1.00 last season to go along with a solid 3.14 ERA and 223 strikeouts. It's just the 14-10 record that worries fantasy owners. He sometimes loses interest in the second half of the season.
10) Yovani Gallardo, MIL (ADP 70.6) - Gallardo is often overlooked, but struck out 204 batters in just 185.2 innings. His ERA and WHIP suffer from the hitter's ballpark he pitches in, but if he can get them under control, he'll be a top-10 pitcher in 2010.
Just Missed - Josh Johnson, FLA (ADP 66.7); Chris Carpenter, STL (ADP 50.2); Adam Wainwright, STL (ADP 57.6); Jon Lester (ADP 63.5), BOS; Matt Cain, SF (ADP 89.2).
Late Round Bargain - Aroldis Chapman, CIN (ADP 214.4).
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