You will hear over and over again from other fantasy sites that it is fine to wait on pitching and grab a bunch of upside guys late in your draft but you will not hear that here. Starting pitching is extremely important and the studs are ranked so high for a reason. They are better than the guys you are going to get late (simple logic right?).
With that said, settings plays a huge role into what you should look for and when you should start taking starting pitchers. In leagues that there is no innings limits, it is fine to wait and just pick up a new pitcher every Sunday that is going to pitch twice in the upcoming week to get the counting stats. If you are in a league that there is a minimum innings a week pitched, you need a stud to anchor your rotation.
In our overall rankings you will see the value that we put on starting pitching but there are certainly some pitchers we love and some we don’t believe will repeat what they did a season ago such as R.A. Dickey. To highlight a few is to highlight whom we, and Vegas, think will have the best chance to be this years Cy Young winners. Clayton Kershaw, Steven Strasburg, and Justin Verlander all should get a ton of wins, post high K counts, with a low ERA.
After these elite pitchers it is key to note your settings and which pitchers to target. Jared Weaver can post a nice ERA and win total but will not blow anyone away with the strikeouts. Also, something should be said for CC Sabathia and the fact he always seems to throw at least 175 innings every single season. Kris Medlen is not a huge sleeper, as everyone remembers his second half last year, but we have to note what he did – 9 wins, 0 loses, and a 0.94 ERA, crazy, no chance he does that for a season but he will be on my team.
Draft Day Advice
Really try to exploit your settings when it comes to starting pitching as who you should target can vary greatly due to that. As a general rule of thumb, I always like to grab a stud pitcher, two upside pitchers with a decent history, then wait and grab a few sleepers later in the draft.