As a part of our 2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit, we examine the elite options at each position. Let’s take a look at our top fantasy starting pitchers for 2015, and compare our rankings to their current Average Draft Position (ADP) in mock drafts. As always, if your thoughts differ from these, please comment below or make use of our Fantasy Baseball Forum to share.
1. Clayton Kershaw
What else can really be said about Kershaw at this point? He’s simply otherworldly. 1.77 ERA, 10.59 K/9, 21-3 record, and his third Cy Young. Opponents batted .194 against him for the YEAR. He’s one of those once-in-a-generation pitchers, and he’s only 26. Scary.
2. Felix Hernandez
Felix would probably the best pitcher in the league in any time but one featuring Kershaw. As is, he’s money for fantasy and a model of consistency. He’s been over 200 innings every year since 2008, failed to win 10+ games only once, and consistently posts about 9 K/9. It doesn’t hurt that he gets to pitch at SafeCo, or that the Mariners should continue to get better this year. Add it all up, and he’s a no-risk selection towards the end of the first round.
3. Chris Sale
As I write this, we’ve found out that Sale broke his foot getting out of his truck. The chances look slim that he’ll be ready for Opening Day, so I’m expecting his ADP to drop like a stone. Which is music to my ears – I’d be happy to take him at 16, so I’ll definitely take the discount. Sale finished 2014 with a ridiculous 2.17 ERA and 10.76 K/9 while pitching in a batters ballpark. The White Sox retooled over the offseason and seem ready to give their ace some more help this year. I’m going to be watching his ADP closely – he just might be the biggest bargain of all SP.
4. Johnny Cueto
Cueto kicked the door down in 2014, finishing with 20 wins, a 2.25 ERA, and and amazing 243.2 innings pitched. What’s even more impressive to me if that he got his 20 wins on a severely undermanned Reds team. He’s 29, entering his prime, and is still on the upswing. He’ll be worth his freight on draft day, and more.
5. David Price
The fact that Price is only our fifth SP shows how deep starting pitching is in the majors right now. He ‘only’ won 15 games, clocked an ERA of 3.26, and posted 9.82 K /9. A couple years ago, those are Cy Young numbers. In 2014, it didn’t even get him into the top three! Regardless, Price is a stud. Since his rookie season he’s never thrown less than 186 innings or won less than 10 games. His team is absolutely stuffed full of offensive talent, so he’ll have plenty of runs to work with. The Tigers are serious championship contenders, so 20+ wins seems well within reach. Finally, the Tigers signed Price to a one-year contact, so he’ll be pitching for his next contract in 2015. The Price, as it were, is definitely right at 22.7.
Yu Darvish, Madison Bumgarner, Adam Wainwright, Max Scherzer, and Corey Kluber round out our top 10 at the position. A lot can change during spring training, so be sure to check out our most up-to-date starting pitcher rankings.