A list of the top starting pitchers to draft for 2014 fantasy baseball.
1. Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers
Kershaw took home his second NL Cy Young award in three years, recording the lowest ERA (1.82) since Bob Gibson's 1.12 mark in the low-offense 1968 season. Kershaw also led the league in strikeouts (232) and WHIP (0.92) while tossing a career-high 236 innings. Basically he's the best pitcher in "real life" and in fantasy. Amazingly, he'll pitch all of 2014 as a 26-year-old, and the 2.0 BB/9 that Kershaw carried last season was actually the best result he's ever returned in that department.
2. Yu Darvish Texas Rangers
Darvish enjoyed a Cy Young-caliber season in just his second year in the majors, leading the AL in strikeouts with 277 in 209.2 innings pitched. He also cut back a tick on his walks allowed, but he had some truly terrible luck to only end up with 13 victories on the year. Darvish pushed his swinging-strike rate up to 12.6% (from 11.8% in his first big league season), as he continues to keep hitters off balance with an arsenal of nasty offerings. He also erased concerns about having to pitch half of his games in Arlington, posting a better ERA at home (2.69) than on the road (3.05) as well as a better home-run rate in his home starts (0.9 HR/9 vs. 1.3 HR/9). In most situations, Darvish will be one of the first five starting pitchers off the board in 2014.
3. Cliff Lee Philadelphia Phillies
Lee was drafted to be a fantasy ace last season and he delivered on expectations. His ERA, WHIP, strikeout rate and walk rate were excellent and his 6.94 K/BB ratio was the best in baseball. The only concern from last season was the loss of one mile per hour off of his fastball. It didn't hurt his numbers, obviously, but it may serve as an early warning of further skills loss to come. Lee will turn 36 this season and he will eventually start showing more signs of inevitable decline. That said, there are not any other red flags in his profile, so he should continue to provide plenty of value as a near-elite starter, and one that will come at a lower price than the elite options currently in their respective primes.
Imagine how confident you'll feel going into your draft with exclusive starting pitcher rankings from the premier fantasy baseball source on the web. Once you sign up, you'll not only get access to these rankings, you'll completely unlock every page on RotoWire.com.
P.S. Here at RotoWire.com, we've been giving out high-quality fantasy baseball advice for over a decade and we've won nearly three times as many industry awards as our next closest competitor. Try us out this season and we'll help you look like a genius.
2014 Fantasy Rankings
Who are the top players you should be considering in your fantasy baseball drafts this year? Find out by browsing our overall rankings for 2013.
Find out where Carlos Santana, Buster Posey, Matt Wieters, Wilin Rosario and other catchers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Paul Goldschmidt and other first basemen are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Robinson Cano, Jason Kipnis, Chase Utley, Jose Altuve and other second basemen are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jean Segura and other shortstops are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Evan Longoria, David Wright, Pablo Sandoval, Brett Lawrie and other third basemen are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Ryan Braun, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista and other outfielders are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and other starting pitchers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Aroldis Chapman, Greg Holland, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen and other relievers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.