Ranking the NL All-Star Starting Pitchers

Ever wonder how the starting pitchers representing the NL in the All-Star game ranked in terms of fantasy value? Wonder no more!

The Ace to End All Aces
Roy Halladay

Halladay is the probably the best pitcher on the planet, in fantasy and in real life. Halladay is going to give you a little less than a strikeout an inning, but his strikeout totals will be high thanks to his workhorse mentality manifesting itself in innings pitched. He still has some of the best stuff in the game, and while his ballpark and run support have hurt him, you’re going to have a hard time finding a more trustworthy pitcher than Halladay.

Fantasy Aces
Cole Hamels
Clayton Kershaw
Cliff Lee
Tim Lincecum

While some owners may not believe it to be true, Hamels is a true fantasy ace, even in standard leagues. Hamels has one of the best single pitches in baseball, and his overall game continues to get a little bit better every year. Kershaw has explosive stuff, and it looks like he’s finally pitching up to his potential. Lee is still plain old nasty, and Lincecum’s velocity is back up a little bit and it’s helped him continue to dominate.

Fantasy Stud
Matt Cain

Cain started the season out a little slow, but he’s picked it up recently and is doing what he does best. His BABIP is low — as is his HR/FB% — but they have always been that way thanks to his pitching magic.

Standard Contributor
Ryan Vogelsong

Vogelsong has been solid this year, with the Giants and fantasy owners alike finding a diamond in the rough who could push them over the top.

Skepticism is Warranted
Jair Jurrjens

I was a big fan of Jurrjens during his first season with the Braves, but he’s been disappointing since then. His strikeout rate is poor, and his GB% is uninspired. If I’m a Jurrjens owner, I’m selling him off to the highest bidder during the All-Star break.

Other Notes on NL Starting Pitchers

Tim Hudson’s improved strikeout rate has allowed him to maintain a WHIP of 1.15 despite a 20 point rise in his BABIP. Hudson’s strikeout rate is accompanied by a nice SwStr%, and if his K/9 can stay above 6.00, he’ll have a very nice fantasy season for those of you with high strikeout options elsewhere in your rotation.

- It’s not often that we view a .300 BABIP as unlucky, but that’s just what has happened to Ted Lilly. Because of his massive FB%, Lilly’s career mark is just below .275, so we may see the lefties’ WHIP and ERA lower sometime soon.

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    Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

    16 Responses to “Ranking the NL All-Star Starting Pitchers”

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    1. bsally says:

      Wait a minute. Vogelsong is ranked above Jurrjens? Are you kidding me?

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    2. harpago17 says:

      “I was a big fan of Jurrjens during his first season with the Braves, but he’s been disappointing since then.”

      He was very disappointing in 2010, but how can anyone be disappointed with his numbers this year? An ERA under 2.00 has a lot of value, whether you expect it to continue or not.

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    3. Jon Bongiovi says:

      Jurrjens xFIP is 3.67 and we all know that’s what matters, not what happens in the real world.

      Seriously, I’d take Jurrjens over anybody in the NL other than Halladay, Lincecum, and Kershaw right now. He owns Philly too and is a big reason why the Braves have stayed right with them in the East.

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    4. El Cid says:

      Vogelsong’s xFIP is 3.62. He has a better strike out rate than Jurrjens, although Jurrjens has better control. Their LOB%, GB% and BABIP are eerily similar. Both figure to regress in the second half, the only question is to what degree. Vogelsong definitely has more question marks surrounding him, while Jurrjens has more of a track record, albeit unimpressive.

      Based on the comments here I would definitely try to trade Jurrjens since he looks like a Mark Buerhle in a better ballpark/league while people seem to value him as much more than that. Whereas nobody will give up much for Vogelsong because nobody knows what to expect from him ROS.

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    5. Travis says:

      Thank god I didn’t trade Jurrjens after that last article suggesting that we should sell high. Would’ve missed out on a complete game one-hitter.

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    6. Kyle says:

      Obviously this guy is just a little upset he wasnt bright enough to draft Jurrjens this year. Trading him would be insane. The guy is carrying the braves right now and looks lights out every start. Zach = Philly Lover

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      • Jon Bongiovi says:

        It’s funny how everyone has already penciled in the gutty gritty $170MM bloated payroll Phillies as NL East champs, when the Braves are four fucking games back playing with half of a team and no contribution from Uggla yet.

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    7. SF 55 for life says:

      Buy Low, Sell High.

      That’s what Zach is suggesting right now, selling high on Jurrjens. Has Jurrjens been great so far, absolutely. Which is exactly why you trade him, because there is no way he keeps it up. He isn’t ranking these guys based on what they have done, but on what they will do. Right now you trade him to another owner who overvalues Jurrjens.

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    8. csg says:

      If you have Hamels and Kershaw as fantasy aces, you cant leave out Tommy Hanson.

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      • Unfortunately, however, he did not make the All-Star team.

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        • csg says:

          AS selections and the game is a complete joke. I mean Jeter is the starting AL SS with a .649OPS. Cabrera, Andrus, Peralta, and Ramirez are all better selections than this guy. Its simple, its a fan vote and has nothing to do with player performance. What is he like 10th out of 11 AL SS in WAR?

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    9. thalooch says:

      Vogelsong easily belongs in “skepticism is warranted” section.
      Perhaps 80 innings(in which he started the game) is enough of a sample size for some, but I’d like to see more, especially from any Giants starter that struggles for run support. Also, look at his home/road splits. 1.01 era at home, 3.40 on the road.

      I don’t see his 82% LOB pct keeping up,

      Needless to say, I don’t agree with his all-star selection, even if his story is unique and interesting.

      Perhaps he will continue to be somewhat useful in fantasy, but I’ll be surprised if by the end of the season he’s anything more than a #5 starter in standard mixed leagues.

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    10. This’utes superb site, I had been looking for something like this particular

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    11. You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

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    12. Robert says:

      Seems like a bit of an overreaction. I HATE WHEN PEOPLE ARE WRONG ON TEH INTERWEBZ

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