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Fantasy preview: Starting pitchers

By February 27, 2013

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This advice is a few years old, but it's still relevant. The all-important question: How soon do I take a starting pitcher?

The answer depends on your format and your draft position. If you've got a top-three pick, it's probably too soon. There is scarcity at work the hitting positions, and the chance to have Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout or Robinson Cano in your lineup every day is probably too good to pass up. Yet in most leagues, it means you won't get that top-of-the-line ace on the mound.

Yet many still wait too long to draft that first starting pitcher, and then you're looking for luck. Because if you don't pick a pitcher in the first or early second round, you won't get one of these top-tier pitchers, all of whom are primed for big seasons:

  1. Justin Verlander, Tigers
  2. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
  3. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
  4. David Price, Rays
  5. Felix Hernandez, Mariners

All five are in their prime, four of the five have Cy Young awards (and the other, Strasburg, just might turn out to be the best of the five) and all five are likely to give your team a great ERA, solid WHIP, more than 15 wins and lots of strikeouts.

That's just the top-tier. Here are the top 80 fantasy pitchers, ranked in tiers, for 2013.

2013 position rankings


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