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
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.
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.
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.
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
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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