Top 100 Starting Pitchers for 2014 Fantasy Baseball

Written by Mick Wayne

Today, we move onto the Top 100 Starting Pitchers. Here are the Top 20 Starting Pitchers, the Top 40 Starting Pitchers, and the Top 60 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball in 2014. If it’s offense you’re looking for, hitter rankings and projections can be found here; Top Catchers for 2014 Fantasy BaseballTop 1st Basemen for 2014 Fantasy Baseball,Top 2nd Basemen for 2014 Fantasy BaseballTop 3rd Basemen for 2014 Fantasy Baseball,Top Shortstops for 2014 Fantasy Baseball,  Top 20 Outfielders for 2014 Fantasy Baseball,Top 40 Outfields for 2014 Fantasy BaseballTop 60 Outfielders for 2014 Fantasy Baseball,Top 100 Outfielders for 2014 Fantasy Baseball, and Top Designated Hitters for 2014 Fantasy Baseball.

The order of arms from 61-100+ isn’t really important for two reasons; Either you play in a ten team league and you’re going to stop taking arms in the Top 60 Starting Pitchers or you’re just trying to round out the back end of your rotation with options that tie in best in conjunction with your top of the rotation choices you made in the earlier rounds. From here forward, forget about the order and pay attention to the groupings to get what your rotation needs to round it into form.

Here are the Top 100 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball in 2014… 

One quick note about predicting wins. I don’t like to predict wins. Instead, I prefer to just give a win potential rating. Here’s how the win potential breaks down:

++ Wins Potential: These guys have a chance to win 16+ games. In 2012, there was 21 pitchers to finish with 16+ wins. 2013 only provided 10 such pitchers.

+ Wins Potential: These guys have a chance to win 13 to 15 games. There were 17 pitchers who finished with 13 to 15 wins in 2012. 2013 provided 29 such pitchers.

= Wins Potential: These guys have a chance to win 8 to 12 games. After the top 40 to 50 starting pitchers, most other starting pitchers who project to have season-long rotation jobs will fall into this range.

- Wins Potential: These guys will likely finish with 0 to 7 wins. Most of the guys who fall in this category are either major injury concerns or “Super Two” (June) call ups at best.

John Lackey – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.21 Whip, 155 Ks, = Wins Potential in 190 IP

Ervin Santana – 2014 Projections: 3.65 ERA, 1.22 Whip, 155 Ks, = Wins Potential in 210 IP ***Update: Santana has ditched his agent and still looking for a team to sign with. 

Jarrod Parker – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.23 Whip, 145 Ks, = Wins Potential in 200 IP

Ricky Nolasco – 2014 Projections: 3.80 ERA, 1.23 Whip, 160 Ks, = Wins Potential in 200 IP

Any of the four pitchers above could be swapped into the Top 60 Starting Pitchers. John Lackey had a comeback season nobody could have expected last year. Ervin Santana’s landing spot is still unknown and could have a big impact on his projections. Jarrod Parker seemed to take a step in the wrong direction last year but still has the goods to bounce back. Ricky Nolasco landed in a good pitcher’s park, but the Twins won’t give him a lot of opportunity to collect wins. None of these guys will kill you anywhere, but their ceiling is fairly limited.

…………………….

Chris Tillman – 2014 Projections: 3.85 ERA, 1.24 Whip, 170 Ks, = Wins Potential in 205 IP

Corey Kluber – 2014 Projections: 3.85 ERA, 1.28 Whip, 165 Ks, = Wins Potential in 185 IP

Scott Kazmir – 2014 Projections: 3.70 ERA, 1.28 Whip, 165 Ks, = Wins Potential in 175 IP

Josh Johnson – 2014 Projections: 3.70 ERA, 1.29 Whip, 160 Ks, = Wins Potential in 175 IP

Jose Quintana – 2014 Projections: 3.70 ERA, 1.28 Whip, 160Ks, = Wins Potential in 200 IP

Yovani Gallardo – 2014 Projections: 3.90 ERA, 1.33 Whip, 160 Ks, = Wins Potential in 190 IP

The group above will give you a slight K-boost at the back end of your rotation and each of these pitchers has a chance to be something more than I’ve projected them for here. Chris Tillman needs to avoid the long ball and Corey Kluber needs to prove that 2013 wasn’t a fluke. Scott Kazmir and Josh Johnson each move to great pitcher’s parks for 2014. Jose Quintana pitched well for an awful White Sox team last year and looks to keep it going with a better team around him now. I have nothing nice to say about Yovani Gallardo and mama said if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I hate Gallardo; Sorry, mama.

…………………….

Clay Buchholz – 2014 Projections: 3.65 ERA, 1.27 Whip, 140 Ks, = Wins Potential in 175 IP

Rick Porcello – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.29 Whip, 140 Ks, + Wins Potential in 185 IP

Ivan Nova – 2014 Projections: 3.70 ERA, 1.30 Whip, 150 Ks, = Wins Potential in 185 IP

Wade Miley – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.28 Whip, 145 Ks, = Wins Potential in 200 IP

Charlie Morton – 2014 Projections: 3.70 ERA, 1.28 Whip, 140 Ks, = Wins Potential in 185 IP

Jonathan Niese – 2014 Projections: 3.70 ERA, 1.26 Whip, 135 Ks, = Wins Potential in 180 IP ***Update: Niese is dealing with soreness in his shoulder. An MRI was done and no structural damage was found. Niese may not be quite ready for the start of the regular season. 

Dillon Gee – 2014 Projections: 3.85 ERA, 1.27 Whip, 140 Ks, = Wins Potential in 195 IP

Tyson Ross – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.30 Whip, 140 Ks, = Wins Potential in 170 IP

Chris Archer – 2014 Projections: 3.80 ERA, 1.30 Whip, 145 Ks, = Wins Potential in 185 IP

Dan Straily – 2014 Projections: 3.90 ERA, 1.27 Whip, 150 Ks, = Wins Potential in 190 IP

Wandy Rodriguez – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.26 Whip, 140 Ks, = Wins Potential in 175 IP

Jeremy Hellickson - 2014 Projections: 3.95 ERA, 1.24 Whip, 135 Ks, = Wins Potential in 185 IP

This group is a bit like the previous one, but with slightly less K-potential. There’s upside in a few arms from this group as well. Clay Buchholz needs to switch to an oil-free brand of sunblock to disguise it a little better in 2014. Rick Porcello’s left side of the infield gets a major face-lift for 2014 which should help him more than any single pitcher on the Tigers’ staff. Ivan Nova returned from injury mid-season last year and found another gear. If he can keep that going for a whole season, there’s sleeper potential in him. Nova represents the end of Tier 5 from the Top 60 Starting Pitchers post. Maybe the biggest surprise name in the group is Charlie Morton. I guess he falls in line with my Pirate-love for 2014. I see Morton as someone who is now safely removed from his Tommy John surgery and ready to take a step forward.

…………………….

Travis Wood – 2014 Projections: 3.85 ERA, 1.19 Whip, 140 Ks, = Wins Potential in 200 IP

Kyle Lohse – 2014 Projections: 3.45 ERA, 1.18 Whip, 125 Ks, = Wins Potential in 195 IP

Bartolo Colon – 2014 Projections: 3.50 ERA, 1.20 Whip, 115 Ks, = Wins Potential in 190 IP

Bronson Arroyo – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.19 Whip, 125 Ks, = Wins Potential in 200 IP

Tim Hudson – 2014 Projections: 3.80 ERA, 1.20 Whip, 125 Ks, = Wins Potential in 180 IP

Alexi Ogando – 2014 Projections: 3.85 ERA, 1.20 Whip, 115 Ks, = Wins Potential in 160 IP

Jake Peavy – 2014 Projections: 4.05 ERA, 1.18 Whip, 115 Ks, = Wins Potential in 160 IP

Five of these guys aren’t exactly young whipper snappers anymore but they’re all still Whipper Snappers for our purposes. What the prior couple groups may have lacked in Whip help, this group will provide it. The assistance in the Whip column will come at the expense of Ks though.

…………………….

Archie Bradley – 2014 Projections: 3.50 ERA, 1.28 Whip, 100 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Jameson Taillon – 2014 Projections: 3.50 ERA, 1.28 Whip, 100 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Noah Syndergaard – 2014 Projections: 3.60, 1.27 Whip, 95 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Kevin Gausman – 2014 Projections: 4.00 ERA, 1.31 Whip, 140 Ks, = Wins Potential in 160 IP

Yordano Ventura – 2014 Projections: 3.80 ERA, 1.33 Whip, 95 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Eddie Butler – 2014 Projections: 3.80 ERA, 1.27 Whip, 85 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Andrew Heaney - 2014 Projections: 3.70 ERA, 1.27 Whip, 80 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Alex Wood – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.32 Whip, 145 Ks, = Wins Potential in 160 IP

Jonathan Gray – Syndergaard would be a good comparison, but a June call-up is less likely for Gray.  

Robbie Erlin – The Padres have enough starting pitching to fill out two rotations. Might require an injury or two to get a crack at starter’s innings.

Marcus Stroman – 2014 Projections: 4.00 ERA, 1.33 Whip, 80 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Tyler Thornburg – 2014 Projections: 4.00 ERA, 1.33 Whip, 80 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Danny Duffy – 2014 Projections: 4.30 ERA, 1.37 Whip, 95 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Jenry Mejia – 2014 Projections: 3.85 ERA, 1.31 Whip, 90 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Erik Johnson – 2014 Projections: 4.000 ERA, 1.34 Whip, 115 Ks, – Wins Potential in 160 IP

This is the “when opportunity knocks” group. Archie Bradley, Jameson Taillon, Noah Syndergaard, Yordano Ventura, Eddie Butler, and Andrew Heaney seem destined for a June call-up. If the Marlins have shown us anything with Jose Fernandez, any of these guys could crack the rotation from day one and shock the world with their talent level. Jonathan Gray might need a little extra seasoning before he’s ready, but he certainly has the ace gene as well. Robbie Erlin pitches in a rotation with brittle arms belonging to Andrew Cashner and Josh Johnson and could get a crack at the rotation eventually. Marcus Stroman and Tyler Thornburg would have to be considered secondary talents to that of the first four or five names in this group, but also seem destined to see a decent amount of innings at some point this coming season. Alex Wood, Jenry Mejia, and Erik Johnson seem most likely to get the innings from the time Spring Training ends.

…………………….

Cory Luebke – See Erlin above. Luebke may be used more out of relief early on.  Luebke is out for all of 2014 after needing a second Tommy John surgery. 

Colby Lewis – 2014 Projections: 4.00 ERA, 1.19 Whip, 85 Ks, – Wins Potential in 110 IP

Brandon McCarthy – 2014 Projections: 3.90 ERA, 1.28 Whip, 80 Ks, – Wins Potential in 130 IP

Chad Billingsley – Billingsley is buried behind both Josh Beckett and his own recovery from arm surgery.

Brandon Morrow – 2014 Projections: 4.30 ERA, 1.33 Whip, 140 Ks, = Wins Potential in 170 IP

Michael Pineda – 2014 Projections: 4.10 ERA, 1.32 Whip, 140 Ks, = Wins Potential in 170 IP

Josh Beckett – 2014 Projections: 3.90 ERA, 1.27 Whip, 120 Ks, = Wins Potential in 160 IP

Dylan Bundy – No projection here. Anything you get is a bonus. 

Matt Harvey – This is entirely a dynasty pick.

Derek Holland – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.29 Whip, 85 Ks, – Wins Potential in 90 IP

This is basically the M.A.S.H. Unit of MLB starting pitchers. Guys like Josh Beckett, Brandon Morrow, Michael Pineda and Colby Lewis have a chance to break camp with a starting job. Cory Luebke and Chad Billingsley won’t likely see starter’s innings until later in the season when injury or ineffectiveness of another guy in their respective team’s rotation occurs. Finally, Dylan Bundy and Matt Harvey are simply guys to keep in mind for Dynasty formats or the deepest of yearly leagues that would allow you to stash them for 2014. Bundy might actually give you a solid month of production or so and depending on how the season plays out for the Orioles I could even see him finishing up in the closers role as kind of a sneaky late season sleeper for saves.

…………………….

Jhoulys Chacin – 2014 Projections: 3.20 ERA, 1.23 Whip, 65 Ks in 90 Road IP ***Update: Chacin is dealing with some shoulder soreness. No structural damage was found though. This may set him back slightly for the start of the regular season. 

Brett Anderson – 2014 Projections: 3.50 ERA, 1.21 Whip, 60 Ks in 80 Road IP

Martin Perez – 2014 Projections: 3.75 ERA, 1.31 Whip, 70 Ks in 95 Road IP

Erasmo Ramirez – 2014 Projections: 4.00 ERA, 1.30 Whip, 90 Ks in 125 IP between Home and non-Texas AL West Road starts

Eric Stults – 3.40 ERA, 1.16 Whip, 90 Ks in 125 IP between Home and non-Colorado/Arizona road starts

James Paxton - 2014 Projections: 4.00 ERA, 1.34 Whip, 90 Ks in 125 IP between Home and non-Texas AL West Road starts

These are merely match-up options. This group is as much about when not to throw a guy as it is about when to throw them. You obviously don’t throw Brett Anderson or Jhoulys Chacin in Coors. You know this. Martin Perez shouldn’t start in his home launching pad either. Eric Stults, Erasmo Ramirez, and James Paxton on the other hand are good guys to start at home. What all of the starting pitchers in this group have in common is that they frequently throw in pitcher friendly visiting ballparks within their own divisions. None of these pitcher’s full season stat projections matter too much if you use them the right way.

…………………….

Other Starting Pitchers to consider: Wily Peralta and Nate Eovaldi each possess the fastball velocity that suggests they could take a step forward with increased control and further development of their secondary pitches. Mike Leake has the possibility of giving you a sneaky Tim Hudson type of year. The home park isn’t favorable for Leake though. Henderson Alvarez is another name with the chance of putting up a Tim Hudson type of year. Unlike Leake, Alvarez does play in a decent pitcher’s park, but his team’s offense is hopped up on Pepto Bismol and never gets the runs. Jorge De La Rosa always seems to defy logic in how he handles his home park. With De La Rosa, the WHIP is never pretty though. Joe Kelly could crack the Cardinals rotation or at least find innings throughout the year and give you a performance comparable to what we might expect from Tyson Ross. Another Cardinal to consider is Jaime Garcia (Update: Garcia has been dealing with shoulder soreness that has set him back in Cardinals’ camp. He isn’t likely to be ready for the start of the regular season, giving Joe Kelly a nice early season vote of approval). Garcia is coming back off injury but he also could snag a rotation spot out of spring and pick up where he left off prior to the arm issues. Jason Vargas fell off quite a bit in Anaheim last year. He gets another opportunity to reclaim his prior success in a decent pitcher’s park with Kansas City. Perhaps the best K-option not mentioned yet is Ian Kennedy. Kennedy is another pitcher who should get a boost playing a full season in a great pitcher’s park in San Diego. Kennedy’s ex-teammate, Trevor Cahill always has the possibility of getting back on track and putting up a decent season. A deep sleeper I like is Garrett Richards. Richards had an impressive second half in 2013 and it will be interesting to see if he can carry that over to the start of the 2014 season. Wei-Yin Chen might be the most reliable of all the arms not mentioned to this point. Chen’s teammate, Miguel Gonzalez is another pitcher to consider when he is going well. Matt Harrison is coming back off injury and could battle Colby Lewis among others for the rights to fill in for the injured Derek Holland at the start of 2014. Hector Santiago is a guy I like more than most in this wrap up of the Top 100+ Starting Pitchers for 2014. He was impressive at times last year throwing for the White Sox and gets a home stadium boost moving to Anaheim. Another SP getting a park boost is Phil Hughes as he moves to Minnesota. Some other K-options to consider are Edwin Jackson and Bud Norris. You’ll likely have to deal with considerable ERA and WHIP issues from both of them though. There’s always the possibility Ryan Dempster is usable for stretches of the season. The fifth spot in the Nationals’ rotation is up for grabs and any of Tanner Roark, Ross Detwiler, or Taylor Jordan could become a nice sleeper for some quality innings. Of course there’s always Ray Searage’s annual project to consider and this year Edinson Volquez is the name to keep in mind. If you’re looking for an old reliable guy to entrust when things are going well, Mark Buehrle can become an option. Finally, in unceremonious fashion I’ll finish up with Felix Doubront. Doubront has the stuff, but hasn’t been able to control it in the zone quite yet and will need someone to falter or succumb to injury in Boston for him to get a rotation shot. 

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