Fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings

Fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

The ranks below consider a 5x5 scoring system (wins, strikeouts, ERA, WHIP and saves) for the remainder of the season.

1. Justin Verlander, Tigers
2. Matt Cain, Giants
3. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
4. Jered Weaver, Angels
5. Cole Hamels, Phillies
6. R.A. Dickey, Mets
NOTE: This run really started at end of 2011.
7. Gio Gonzalez, Nationals
8. Johnny Cueto, Reds
9. James McDonald, Pirates
NOTE: Improved slider, improved control.
10. Zack Greinke, Brewers
11. Felix Hernandez, Mariners
12. Madison Bumgarner, Giants
13. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
NOTE: He's Top 5 without a workload cap.
14. David Price, Rays
15. CC Sabathia, Yankees
16. Chris Sale, White Sox
17. C.J. Wilson, Angels
18. Cliff Lee, Phillies
NOTE: Largely unlucky, but he's made some of the bad luck, too.
19. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
NOTE: All signs point to strong second half.
20. Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
21. Ryan Vogelsong, Giants
NOTE: He's outperformed his peripherals for a year and a half.
22. A.J. Burnett, Pirates
23. Yu Darvish, Rangers
24. Tommy Hanson, Braves
25. Jake Peavy, White Sox
26. Josh Johnson, Marlins
27. Mat Latos, Reds
NOTE: Increased reliance on slider is bringing results.
28. Johan Santana, Mets
29. Matt Garza, Cubs
30. James Shields, Rays
NOTE: Sometimes plus control works against you.
31. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
32. Jon Lester, Red Sox
33. Chris Capuano, Dodgers
34. Matt Harrison, Rangers
35. Colby Lewis, Rangers
36. Edwin Jackson, Nationals
NOTE: A heck of a support arm for the Nats.
37. Jason Hammel, Orioles
NOTE: Escaping Coors has done wonders.
38. Max Scherzer, Tigers
39. Ryan Dempster, Cubs
NOTE: Excellent chance he's moved to a contender.
40. Jeremy Hellickson, Rays
NOTE: Change-up master might make career of being underrated.
41. Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks
42. Lance Lynn, Cardinals
43. Kyle Lohse, Cardinals
44. Josh Beckett, Red Sox
45. Anibal Sanchez, Marlins
46. Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees
47. Ivan Nova, Yankees
NOTE: Don't let ERA fool you, he's improved significantly.
48. Jarrod Parker, Athletics
49. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs
NOTE: Some disaster starts, but KBB rate is in a good place.
50. Dan Haren, Angels
NOTE: At least it's a back injury, nothing arm related.
51. Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays
52. Wade Miley, Diamondbacks
NOTE: This deep into the run, it's okay to trust him.
53. Shaun Marcum, Brewers
54. Jonathon Niese, Mets
55. Brandon McCarthy, Athletics
NOTE: Legit skills, but trouble staying healthy.
56. Gavin Floyd, White Sox
57. Tim Hudson, Braves
58. Wandy Rodrguez, Astros
59. Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks
NOTE: Hard to trust in that ballpark.
60. Justin Masterson, Indians
61. Phil Hughes, Yankees
NOTE: A shame he's tied to Yankee Stadium.
62. Tommy Milone, Athletics
63. Michael Fiers, Brewers
64. Ricky Nolasco, Marlins
65. Roy Halladay, Phillies
NOTE: Don't expect a second-half miracle.
66. Matt Moore, Rays
67. Ricky Romero, Blue Jays
68. Vance Worley, Phillies
69. Doug Fister, Tigers
70. Bud Norris, Astros
71. Jose Quintana, White Sox
NOTE: So far, so good for strike-throwing ace.
72. Jair Jurrjens, Braves
73. Mike Leake, Reds
NOTE: Pitches to contact but he's making strides, too.
74. Mark Buehrle, Marlins
75. Derek Holland, Rangers
NOTE: He's been overbid for two years.
76. Edinson Volquez, Padres
77. Francisco Liriano, Twins
78. Clayton Richard, Padres
79. Bartolo Colon, Athletics
80. Franklin Morales, Red Sox
81. Trevor Bauer, Diamondbacks
NOTE: Discount the good start - it was the Dodgers.
82. Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians
83. Scott Diamond, Twins
84. Joe Blanton, Phillies
NOTE: Despite tidy KBB rate, ERA is a mess.
85. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
86. Felix Doubront, Red Sox
87. Homer Bailey, Reds
88. Joe Saunders, Diamondbacks
89. Tim Lincecum, Giants
NOTE: Don't pay for an ERA below 4 in second half.
90. Clay Buchholz, Red Sox
91. Jason Vargas, Mariners
92. Carlos Zambrano, Marlins
93. Travis Wood, Cubs
94. Dillon Gee, Mets
95. Roy Oswalt, Rangers
96. Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
97. Erik Bedard, Pirates
NOTE: One Pittsburgh story that hasn't worked out.
98. Andrew Cashner, Padres
NOTE: They won't take any chances with his health.
99. Travis Blackley, Athletics
100. Nathan Eovaldi, Dodgers
101. Ross Detwiler, Nationals
102. Barry Zito, Giants
103. Bronson Arroyo, Reds
NOTE: Junk-master is fun to watch, anyway.
104. Henderson alvarez, Blue Jays
105. Chris Tillman, Orioles
106. Ervin Santana, Angels
107. Jake Westbrook, Cardinals
108. Aaron Harang, Dodgers
109. Derek Lowe, Indians
NOTE: Can't trust someone with those KBB numbers.
110. Luke Hochevar, Royals
NOTE: Looks good under the hood, but not in stats that roto leagues count.
111. J.A. Happ, Astros
112. Alex Cobb, Rays
113. Brad Lincoln, Pirates
114. Kevin Millwood, Mariners
115. Jason Marquis, Padres
NOTE: Petco will hide some mistakes.
116. Andy Pettitte, Yankees
117. John Danks, White Sox
118. Drew Smyly, Tigers
119. Rick Porcello, Tigers
120. Bruce Chen, Royals
NOTE: Maybe could be a No. 5 for a contender.
121. Josh Collmenter, Diamondbacks
122. Chris Young, Mets
123. Lucas Harrell, Astros
124. Danny Hultzen, Mariners
125. Paul Maholm, Cubs
126. Mike Minor, Braves
127. Philip Humber, White Sox
128. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox
NOTE: At this point, a sunk cost.

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with foot problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”

Why Brett Anderson called Cubs fans ‘f------ idiots’ and loves the idea of pitching at Wrigley Field

Why Brett Anderson called Cubs fans ‘f------ idiots’ and loves the idea of pitching at Wrigley Field

MESA, Ariz. – On an October night where you could literally feel Wrigley Field shaking, Brett Anderson fired off a message on his personal Twitter account: "Real classy cubs fans throwing beer in the Dodgers family section. Stay classy f------ idiots."
 
The Cubs had just clinched their first National League pennant since the year World War II ended, beating Clayton Kershaw and playing as close to a perfect game as they had all season. Anderson kept up the entertaining commentary during the World Series, previewing Game 7 – "We can all agree that we're happy it's not Joe West behind the plate tomorrow" – and tweaking his future manager: "Aroldis (Chapman) might puke on the mound from exhaustion." 
 
In another generation, a veteran pitcher might walk into a new clubhouse and wonder about any awkwardness with a hitter he once drilled with a fastball or some bad blood from a bench-clearing brawl. But overall today's players share the same agents, work out together in the same warm-weather offseason spots and understand the transient nature of this business. When pregame batting practice is filled with fist bumps, bro hugs and small talk between opponents, it becomes trying to remember what you said on social media. 
 
"I'm kind of a sarcastic ass on Twitter," Anderson said Monday. "I kind of sit back and observe. I'm not a huge talker in person. But I can kind of show some of my personality and candor on some of those things.
 
"You look at stuff (when) you get to a new team. I'm like: ‘Wow, man, did I say anything about anybody that's going to piss them off?' But I think the only thing I said about the players is that Kyle (Hendricks) looks like he could have some Oreos and milk after pitching in the World Series. 
 
"But that's kind of the guy he is. Just the calmness that he shows is something that we can all try to strive for."
 
Anderson essentially broke the news of his signing – or at least tipped off the media to look for confirmations – with a "Wheels up to Chicago" tweet in late January. The Cubs guaranteed $3.5 million for the chance to compete against Mike Montgomery and see which lefty can grab the fifth-starter job. Anderson could max out with $6.5 million more in incentives if he makes 29 starts this season. 
 
After undergoing surgery to repair a bulging disc in his lower back last March, Anderson made three starts and didn't earn a spot on the NLCS roster.  
 
"I obviously wasn't in the stands," Anderson said. "Supposedly from what I was told – it could be a different story – but there was just some beers thrown on where the families were. I'm going to stick to my family and my side.  
 
"I wasn't calling out the whole stadium. (It wasn't): ‘Screw you, Cubs fans.' It was just the specific (incident) – whoever threw the beers on the family section. Everybody has their fans that are kind of rowdy and unruly.

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"That just happened to be a situation. But you like those people on your side. I played in Oakland, and they had some of the rowdiest fans. In the playoffs, it seemed like ‘The Black Hole' for the Raiders games.
 
"You have your bad seeds in every fan base. When people are rowdy and cheering on their team and have one too many beers, the next thing you know, you're throwing them.
 
"Just visiting (Wrigley), it's a fun crowd, because it's such an intimate setting and you feel like they're right on top of you and it's so loud." 
 
Imagine the matchup nightmare the Dodgers could've been if their pitching staff hadn't been so top-heavy and manager Dave Roberts could've confidently gone to someone other than Kershaw, Rich Hill or closer Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers had made Anderson the qualifying offer after a solid 2015 season – 10-9, 3.69 ERA, 180-plus innings, a 66.7 groundball percentage – and he grabbed the $15.8 million guarantee. 
 
Anderson turned around and did the knock-on-wood motion at his locker, saying he felt good after completing a bullpen session with catcher Willson Contreras at the Sloan Park complex. Anderson is a Tommy John survivor who's also gone on the disabled list for a stress fracture in his right foot, a broken left index finger and a separate surgery on his lower back.
 
"Yeah, it's frustrating," Anderson said. "When I'm healthy and able to go out there and do my work, I feel like I'm a pretty good pitcher. I don't think I've ever been able to put everything as a whole together in one season. I've had some good spots – and some good seasons here and there – but hopefully I can put it all together and have a healthy season and do my part."
 
The Cubs are such a draw that Shane Victorino signed a minor-league deal here last year – even with more than $65 million in career earnings and even after a fan dumped a beer on him while he tried to catch a flyball at Wrigley Field in 2009.   
 
Anderson wanted to play for a winner and understood the organization's pitching infrastructure. He saw his pitching style as a match for the unit that led the majors in defensive efficiency last year. He was even intrigued by Camp Maddon and the wacky stunts in Mesa.  
 
"It's obviously an uber-talented group," Anderson said. "(It's also) seeing the fun that they're having. I'm more on the calm and cerebral side, but I think doing some of the things that these guys have in store for me will hopefully open me up a little bit and break me out of my shell. 
 
"'Uncomfortable' is a good word, especially for me. You don't want to get complacent. You don't want to get used to rehab. You want to go out there and do new things and try new things and meet new people and have new experiences. All things considered, the Cubs offered the best mix of everything."