I’ve said it many times to wait on pitching. Getting an ace or two early is fine, but there are so many good options in the middle rounds. There are plenty of guys with nice ERA’s and high K rates in these rounds such as Tommy Hanson, Max Scherzer, Brandon Morrow, Chris Carpenter, and Gio Gonzalez. With that said, here are my top 99 starting pitchers.

  1. Tim Lincecum (SF)
  2. Roy Halladay (PHI)
  3. Felix Hernandez (SEA)
  4. Cliff Lee (PHI)
  5. Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
  6. Jon Lester (BOS)
  7. Josh Johnson (FLA)
  8. Ubaldo Jimenez (COL)
  9. Justin Verlander (DET)
  10. Tommy Hanson (ATL)
  11. David Price (TB)
  12. CC Sabathia (NYY)
  13. Mat Latos (SD)
  14. Yovani Gallardo (MIL)
  15. Max Scherzer (DET)
  16. Jered Weaver (LAA)
  17. Cole Hamels (PHI)
  18. Zack Greinke (MIL)
  19. Chris Carpenter (STL)
  20. Clay Buchholz (BOS)
  21. Matt Cain (SF)
  22. Dan Haren (LAA)
  23. Wandy Rodriguez (HOU)
  24. Francisco Liriano (MIN)
  25. Brett Anderson (OAK)
  26. Chad Billingsley (LAD)
  27. Roy Oswalt (PHI)
  28. Gio Gonzalez (OAK)
  29. Brandon Morrow (TOR)
  30. Jeremy Hellickson (TB)
  31. Josh Beckett (BOS)
  32. Brian Matusz (BAL)
  33. Matt Garza (CHC)
  34. Daniel Hudson (ARI)
  35. Jair Jurrjens (ATL)
  36. Edinson Volquez (CIN)
  37. Phil Hughes (NYY)
  38. Madison Bumgarner (SF)
  39. Shaun Marcum (MIL)
  40. Tim Hudson (ATL)
  41. Ryan Dempster (CHC)
  42. Ricky Romero (TOR)
  43. Ted Lilly (LAD)
  44. Ervin Santana (LAA)
  45. John Danks (CWS)
  46. Trevor Cahill (OAK)
  47. Ricky Nolasco (FLA)
  48. Colby Lewis (TEX)
  49. Gavin Floyd (CWS)
  50. Michael Pineda (SEA)
  51. Tim Stauffer (SD)
  52. Carlos Zambrano (CHC)
  53. Jaime Garcia (STL)
  54. Jhoulys Chacin (COL)
  55. Jordan Zimmermann (WAS)
  56. Erik Bedard (SEA)
  57. Jonathan Sanchez (SF)
  58. Hiroki Kuroda (LAD)
  59. Jorge De La Rosa (COL)
  60. Javier Vazquez (FLA)
  61. Ian Kennedy (ARI)
  62. John Lackey (BOS)
  63. Travis Wood (CIN)
  64. Homer Bailey (CIN)
  65. Brian Duensing (MIN)
  66. CJ Wilson (TEX)
  67. Brett Myers (HOU)
  68. James Shields (TB)
  69. Rick Porcello (DET)
  70. JA Happ (HOU)
  71. Joe Blanton (PHI)
  72. Johnny Cueto (CIN)
  73. Derek Holland (TEX)
  74. Mike Pelfrey (NYM)
  75. Carlos Carrasco (CLE)
  76. Carl Pavano (MIN)
  77. Edwin Jackson (CWS)
  78. Justin Masterson (CLE)
  79. Clayton Richard (SD)
  80. Wade Davis (TB)
  81. Scott Baker (MIN)
  82. Mike Leake (CIN)
  83. Bud Norris (HOU)
  84. James McDonald (PIT)
  85. Jonathan Niese (NYM)
  86. Jeff Niemann (TB)
  87. AJ Burnett (NYY)
  88. Anibal Sanchez (FLA)
  89. Zach Britton (BAL)
  90. Fausto Carmona (CLE)
  91. Jake Arrieta (BAL)
  92. Aaron Harang (SD)
  93. Bronson Arroyo (CIN)
  94. Brett Cecil (TOR)
  95. Daisuke Matsuzaka (BOS)
  96. Jake Westbrook (STL)
  97. Mark Buehrle (CWS)
  98. Derek Lowe (ATL)
  99. Brandon Beachy (ATL)

There are tons of guys to get late who can break out. The players listed in the first paragraph are All Star candidates. Jeremy Hellickson, Brian Matusz, and Daniel Hudson are the big 3 of the middle rounds. All 3 of these guys have similar value and could break out the same way that Mat Latos and David Price did last season. Even later than these guys you can find Michael Pineda, a rookie who is compared to Felix Hernandez and has already made the Mariners starting rotation. He is a great guy to target. Jhoulys Chacin, Tim Stauffer, and Travis Wood are all young guys with rotation spots who will climb up in the rotation as the season progresses. All are excellent late picks. Carlos Carrasco and Zach Britton are two rookie of the year candidates who typically aren’t even drafted. Having a chunk of the guy’s I just listed in the middle and bottom of your rotation will really solidify your team.

A few guys who are ranked higher on my list then where they are typically drafted and are good values are Tim Lincecum, Tommy Hanson, Clay Buchholz, Chris Carpenter, Josh Beckett, Matt Garza, Brian Duensing, Mike Pelfrey, Erik Bedard, and Rick Porcello. Expect bounce back seasons for both Bedard and Porcello.

Be weary of injury with so many good pitchers already starting the year on the DL. However, if these guys fall a good bit because of their injuries, grab them. This list includes Zack Greinke, Mat Latos, Johnny Cueto, and Homer Bailey. Other guys who are injured who I don’t recommend are Johan Santana, Jon Garland, Brandon Webb, and Tommy Hunter. Jair Jurrjens could start on the DL, but regardless he is a great pick.

Just trust me to wait on pitching. In my latest draft I grabbed Tommy Hanson in round 6 and waited until round 8 to put together a staff that includes Max Scherzer, Wandy Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Brandon Morrow, Brett Anderson, Michael Pineda, Tim Stauffer, John Lackey, and Travis Wood. I barely missed out on Hellickson, Matusz, and Hudson but would have been thrilled to replace any of those middle guys with those big 3. This staff will compete with any staff in the league, should have more strikeouts, and can compete any week for Wins, ERA, and WHIP. And if you use my pitching strategies from a previous blog then your pitching is unbeatable. Plus your able to stack your offense early.

AL Cy Young Prediction: Jon Lester. Close calls Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Gio Gonzalez, CC Sabathia. NL Cy Young Prediction- Tim Lincecum. Close calls Roy Halladay, Josh Johnson, Tommy Hanson, Clayton Kershaw.

For statistics, comments, and projections on the top 1143 players of the 2011 Fantasy Baseball season purchase my highly accurate spreadsheet. It will put you into your fantasy baseball playoffs. $10 contact me at mbrown3486@gmail.com I will send an example of the 2010 spread sheet upon request.

Check out The Fantasy God’s other position break downs: