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2013 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Starting Pitchers

Top three choices are as good as it gets with dominant aces

By

Updated March 30, 2013

For the fifth season, About.com Baseball is back with its comprehensive fantasy baseball rankings. We've added some tweaks to the formula for 2013 and are confident the rankings are as accurate as ever. They'll be updated weekly in March, looking at trends, injuries and other developments.

Baseball guide Scott Kendrick has been with About.com since 2007, has been playing fantasy baseball for 20 years and has ranked players for the last decade. He's perused just about every preseason magazine, scoured the other baseball websites and taken some of the best expert opinions into account.

We're in a golden age of pitching, which means there's plenty of depth at the top. But if you've got a chance to grab either of the top three, go for it. You aren't likely to be disappointed..

On to the rankings of starting pitchers, looking at the top 80:

TIER 1: No-brainers

1. Justin Verlander, Tigers

  • Age on opening day: 30
  • 2012 stats: 17-8, 2.64 ERA, 239 Ks, 1.057 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 19-7, 2.79, 236 Ks, 1.042 WHIP

2. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: 14-9, 2.53 ERA, 229 Ks, 1.023 WHIP
  • Three-year average: .16-8, 2.56 ERA, 229 Ks, 1.055 WHIP

3. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

  • Age on opening day: 24
  • 2012 stats: 15-6, 3.16 ERA, 197 Ks, 1.155 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 7-3, 2.94 ERA, 104 Ks, 1.090 WHIP

4. David Price, Rays

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: 20-5, 2.56 ERA, 205 Ks, 1.100 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 17-8, 2.94 ERA, 203 Ks, 1.143 WHIP

5. Felix Hernandez, Mariners

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 13-9, 3.06 ERA, 223 Ks, 1.142 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-11, 2.92 ERA, 225 Ks, 1.138 WHIP

TIER 2: Elite aces

6. Matt Cain, Giants

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: 16-5, 2.79 ERA, 193 Ks, 1.040 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-9, 2.94 ERA, 183 Ks, 1.069 WHIP

7. Jered Weaver, Angels

  • Age on opening day: 30
  • 2012 stats: 20-5, 2.81 ERA, 142 Ks, 1.018 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 17-8, 2.73 ERA, 191 Ks, 1.034 WHIP

8. Cole Hamels, Phillies

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 17-6, 3.05 ERA, 216 Ks, 1.124 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 14-8, 2.97 ERA, 207 Ks, 1.095 WHIP

9. R.A. Dickey, Blue Jays

  • Age on opening day: 38
  • 2012 stats: 20-6, 2.73 ERA, 230 Ks, 1.053 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-9, 2.95 ERA, 156 Ks, 1.150 WHIP

10. Cliff Lee, Phillies

  • Age on opening day: 34
  • 2012 stats: 6-9, 3.16 ERA, 207 Ks, 1.114 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 11-8, 2.90 ERA, 210 Ks, 1.047 WHIP

11. Gio Gonzalez, Nationals

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: 21-8, 2.89 ERA, 207 Ks, 1.129 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 17-9, 3.08 ERA, 191 Ks, 1.252 WHIP

12. Madison Bumgarner, Giants

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: 16-11, 3.37 ERA, 191 Ks, 1.114 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 12-10, 3.23 ERA, 156 Ks, 1.193 WHIP

TIER 3: Dependable No. 2s

13. Zack Greinke, Dodgers

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 15-5, 3.48 ERA, 200 Ks, 1.196 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-8, 3.83 ERA, 194 Ks, 1.215 WHIP

14. CC Sabathia, Yankees

  • Age on opening day: 32
  • 2012 stats: 15-6, 3.38 ERA, 197 Ks, 1.140 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 18-7, 3.17 ERA, 208 Ks, 1.188 WHIP

15. Chris Sale, White Sox

  • Age on opening day: 24
  • 2012 stats: 17-8, 3.05 ERA, 192 Ks, 1.135 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 7-3, 2.89 ERA, 101 Ks, 1.125 WHIP

16. Mat Latos, Reds

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: 14-4, 3.48 ERA, 185 Ks, 1.161 WHIP
  • Three-year average :12-9, 3.30 ERA, 186 Ks, 1.144 WHIP

17. Kris Medlen, Braves

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: 10-1, 1.57 ERA, 120 Ks, 0.913 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 5-1, 2.47 ERA, 68 Ks, 1.032 WHIP

18. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals

  • Age on opening day: 31
  • 2012 stats: 14-13, 3.94 ERA, 184 Ks, 1.248 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 17-12, 3.13 ERA, 198 Ks, 1.142 WHIP

19. Yu Darvish, Rangers

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 16-9, 3.90 ERA, 221 Ks, 1.280 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 16-9, 3.90 ERA, 221 Ks, 1.280 WHIP

20. Roy Halladay, Phillies

  • Age on opening day: 35
  • 2012 stats: 11-8, 4.49 ERA, 132 Ks, 1.222 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 17-8, 2.91 ERA, 190 Ks, 1.085 WHIP

21. Johnny Cueto, Reds

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: 19-9, 2.78 ERA, 170 Ks, 1.171 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-7, 2.93 ERA, 137 Ks, 1.183 WHIP

22. Max Scherzer, Tigers

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: 16-7, 3.74 ERA, 231 Ks, 1.274 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 14-9, 3.89 ERA, 196 Ks, 1.290 WHIP

23. Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 12-8, 2.94 ERA, 153 Ks, 1.170 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 7-7, 3.20 ERA, 101 Ks, 1.173 WHIP

24. James Shields, Royals

  • Age on opening day: 31
  • 2012 stats: 15-10, 3.52 ERA, 223 Ks, 1.168 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 14-12, 3.76 ERA, 211 Ks, 1.210 WHIP

TIER 4: Solid starters

25. Aroldis Chapman, Reds

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: 5-5, 1.51 ERA, 28 saves, 122 Ks, 0.809 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 3-2, 2.33 ERA, 13 saves, 70 Ks, 1.015 WHIP
  • Note: Might be considered a reliever in your league, but is slated to start the season in the rotation.

26. Matt Moore, Rays

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: 11-11, 3.81 ERA, 175 Ks, 1.348 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 6-5, 3.76 ERA, 95 Ks, 1.345 WHIP

27. Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: 15-12, 4.02 ERA, 187 Ks, 1.301 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 15-8, 3.55 ERA, 184 Ks, 1.193 WHIP

28. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: 16-9, 3.66 ERA, 204 Ks, 1.304 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 15-8, 3.67 ERA, 203 Ks, 1.293 WHIP

29. Josh Johnson, Blue Jays

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 8-14, 3.81 ERA, 165 Ks, 1.280 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 7-7, 2.87 ERA, 135 Ks, 1.165 WHIP

30. Doug Fister, Tigers

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 10-10, 3.45 ERA, 137 Ks, 1.194 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 9-12, 3.41 ERA, 125 Ks, 1.169 WHIP

31. Dan Haren, Nationals

  • Age on opening day: 32
  • 2012 stats: 12-13, 4.33 ERA, 142 Ks, 1.291 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-11, 3.75 ERA, 183 Ks, 1.186 WHIP

32. Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees

  • Age on opening day: 38
  • 2012 stats: 16-11, 3.32 ERA, 167 Ks, 1.165 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-13, 3.26 ERA, 162 Ks, 1.180 WHIP

33. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: 9-13, 3.81 ERA, 180 Ks, 1.219 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 6-6, 3.86 ERA, 92 Ks, 1.305 WHIP

34. C.J. Wilson, Angels

  • Age on opening day: 32
  • 2012 stats: 13-10, 3.83 ERA, 173 Ks, 1.344 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 14-8, 3.36 ERA, 183 Ks, 1.256 WHIP

35. Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: 10-7, 2.96 ERA, 108 Ks, 1.115 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 10-8, 4.16 ERA, 163 Ks, 1.270 WHIP

36. Matt Harvey, Mets

  • Age on opening day: 24
  • 2012 stats: 3-5, 2.73 ERA, 70 Ks, 1.146 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 3-5, 2.73 ERA, 70 Ks, 1.146 WHIP

37. Lance Lynn, Cardinals

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: 18-7, 3.78 ERA, 180 Ks, 1.318 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 9-4, 3.67 ERA, 110 Ks, 1.272 WHIP

38. Jake Peavy, White Sox

  • Age on opening day: 31
  • 2012 stats: 11-12, 3.37 ERA, 194 Ks, 1.096 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 8-8, 4.07 ERA, 127 Ks, 1.172 WHIP

39. Brett Anderson, A's

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: 4-2, 2.57 ERA, 25 Ks, 1.029 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 4-4. 3.20 ERA, 53 Ks, 1.218 WHIP

40. Tim Lincecum, Giants

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: 10-15, 5.18 ERA, 190 Ks, 1.468 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-13, 3.71 ERA, 213 Ks, 1.308 WHIP

41. Anibal Sanchez, Tigers

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 9-13, 3.86 ERA, 167 Ks, 1.267 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 10-11, 3.70 ERA, 175 Ks, 1.296 WHIP

42. Jon Lester, Red Sox

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 9-14, 4.82 ERA, 166 Ks, 1.383 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 14-10, 3.85 ERA, 191 Ks, 1.281 WHIP

43. Ryan Vogelsong, Giants

  • Age on opening day: 35
  • 2012 stats: 14-9, 3.37 ERA, 158 Ks, 1.228 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-8, 3.05 ERA, 148 Ks, 1.240 WHIP

44. Mike Minor, Braves

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: 11-10, 4.12 ERA, 145 Ks, 1.154 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 6-5, 4.37 ERA, 88 Ks, 1.302 WHIP

45. Jeremy Hellickson, Rays

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: 10-11, 3.10 ERA, 124 Ks, 1.254 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 9-7, 3.07 ERA, 91 Ks, 1.193 WHIP

46. Homer Bailey, Reds

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 13-10, 3.68 ERA, 168 Ks, 1.240 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 8-6, 4.09 ERA, 124 Ks, 1.283 WHIP

47. Jonathon Niese, Mets

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 13-9, 3.40 ERA, 155 Ks, 1.172 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 11-10, 3.97 ERA, 147 Ks, 1.341 WHIP

48. Jarrod Parker, A's

  • Age on opening day: 24
  • 2012 stats: 13-8, 3.47 ERA, 140 Ks, 1.263 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-8, 3.47 ERA, 140 Ks, 1.263 WHIP
  • Trending:Up

49. Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: 13-12, 3.78 ERA, 156 Ks, 1.290 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 14-11, 3.65 ERA, 140 Ks, 1.277 WHIP

50. Marco Estrada, Brewers

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 5-7, 3.64 ERA, 143 Ks, 1.142 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 3-5, 4.09 ERA, 81 Ks, 1.197 WHIP

TIER 5: Rotation backups

51. Tim Hudson, Braves

  • Age on opening day: 37
  • 2012 stats: 16-10, 3.62 ERA, 102 Ks, 1.207 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 16-8, 3.19 ERA, 133 Ks, 1.163 WHIP

52. Matt Harrison, Rangers

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: 18-11, 3.29 ERA, 133 Ks, 1.261 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 11-7, 3.56 ERA, 101 Ks, 1.309 WHIP

53. Wade Miley, Diamondbacks

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 16-11, 3.33 ERA, 144 Ks, 1.182 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 10-6, 3.53 ERA, 84 Ks, 1.261 WHIP

54. Matt Garza, Cubs

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 5-7, 3.91 ERA, 96 Ks, 1.177 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 10-9, 3.68 ERA, 147 Ks, 1.238 WHIP

55. Ryan Dempster, Red Sox

  • Age on opening day: 35
  • 2012 stats: 12-8, 3.38 ERA, 153 Ks, 1.197 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 12-11, 4.04 ERA, 184 Ks, 1.327 WHIP

56. A.J. Griffin, A's

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: 7-1, 3.06 ERA, 64 Ks, 1.130 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 7-1, 3.06 ERA, 64 Ks, 1.130 WHIP

57. A.J. Burnett, Pirates

  • Age on opening day: 36
  • 2012 stats: 16-10, 3.51 ERA, 180 Ks, 1.241 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 12-12, 4.61 ERA, 166 Ks, 1.391 WHIP

58. Josh Beckett, Dodgers

  • Age on opening day: 32
  • 2012 stats: 7-14, 4.65 ERA, 132 Ks, 1.327 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 8-9, 4.25 ERA, 141 Ks, 1.263 WHIP

59. Brandon McCarthy, Diamondbacks

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 8-6, 3.24 ERA, 73 Ks, 1.252 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 8-7, 3.29 ERA, 98 Ks, 1.179 WHIP

60. Kyle Lohse, Brewers

  • Age on opening day: 34
  • 2012 stats: 16-3, 2.86 ERA, 143 Ks, 1.090 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 11-6, 3.76 ERA, 102 Ks, 1.250 WHIP

61. Alexi Ogando, Rangers

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 2-0, 3.27 ERA, 3 saves, 66 Ks, 1.000 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 6-3, 3.12 ERA, 1 save, 77 Ks, 1.102 WHIP

62. Andy Pettitte, Yankees

  • Age on opening day: 40
  • 2012 stats: 5-4, 2.87 ERA, 69 Ks, 1.142 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 8-3, 3.13 ERA, 85 Ks, 1.224 WHIP

63. Edwin Jackson, Cubs

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: 10-11, 4.03 ERA, 168 Ks, 1.218 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 10-10, 4.10 ERA, 165 Ks, 1.353 WHIP

64. Derek Holland, Rangers

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 12-7, 4.67 ERA, 145 Ks, 1.221 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 10-5, 4.26 ERA, 120 Ks, 1.303 WHIP

65. Tommy Hanson, Angels

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 13-10, 4.48 ERA, 161 Ks, 1.454 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 11-9, 3.80 ERA, 158 Ks, 1.269 WHIP

66. Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: 12-11, 4.02 ERA, 154 Ks, 1.261 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 12-11, 4.02 ERA, 154 Ks, 1.261 WHIP

67. Tommy Milone, A's

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 13-10, 3.74 ERA, 137 Ks, 1.279 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 7-5, 3.75 ERA, 76 Ks, 1.273 WHIP

68. Jaime Garcia, Cardinals

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 7-7, 3.92 ERA, 98 Ks, 1.364 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 11-7, 3.36 ERA, 128 Ks, 1.330 WHIP

69. Mike Fiers, Brewers

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: 9-10, 3.74 ERA, 135 Ks, 1.261 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 4-5, 3.68 ERA, 68 Ks, 1.280 WHIP

70. Phil Hughes, Yankees

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 16-13, 4.23 ERA, 165 Ks, 1.265 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-8, 4.48 ERA, 119 Ks, 1.295 WHIP

71. Shaun Marcum, Mets

  • Age on opening day: 31
  • 2012 stats: 7-4, 3.70 ERA, 109 Ks, 1.266 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 11-6, 3.62 ERA, 144 Ks, 1.179 WHIP

72. Jason Vargas, Angels

  • Age on opening day: 30
  • 2012 stats: 14-11, 3.85 ERA, 141 Ks, 1.178 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 11-12, 3.96 ERA, 129 Ks, 1.246 WHIP

73. Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays

  • Age on opening day: 34
  • 2012 stats: 13-13, 3.74 ERA, 125 Ks, 1.171 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 13-11, 3.87 ERA, 111 Ks, 1.291 WHIP

74. Clay Buchholz, Red Sox

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: 11-8, 4.56 ERA, 129 Ks, 1.326 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 11-6, 3.50 ERA, 103 Ks, 1.272 WHIP

75. James McDonald, Pirates

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: 12-8, 4.21 ERA, 151 Ks, 1.263 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 8-7, 4.18 ERA, 120 Ks, 1.376 WHIP

76. Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners

  • Age on opening day: 31
  • 2012 stats: 9-5, 3.16 ERA, 101 Ks, 1.277 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 9-5, 3.16 ERA, 101 Ks, 1.277 WHIP

77. Alex Cobb, Rays

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: 11-9, 4.03 ERA, 106 Ks, 1.247 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 7-5, 3.86 ERA, 71 Ks, 1.270 WHIP

78. Ross Detwiler, Nationals

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: 10-8, 3.40 ERA, 105 Ks, 1.223 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 5-5. 3.39 ERA, 54 Ks, 1.277 WHIP

79. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: None
  • Three-year average: None

80. Julio Teheran, Braves

  • Age on opening day: 22
  • 2012 stats: 0-0, 5.68 ERA, 5 Ks, 0.947 WHIP
  • Three-year average: 0-0, 5.19 ERA, 7 Ks, 1.346 WHIP

NEXT 10: Michael Pineda, Yankees, Chad Billingsley, Dodgers; Chris Capuano, Dodgers; Justin Masterson, Indians; Wandy Rodriguez, Pirates; Bud Norris, Astros; Jason Hammel, Orioles; Gavin Floyd, White Sox; Dillon Gee, Mets; Vance Worley, Twins

2013 position rankings

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