The first three months of the 2013 fantasy baseball season are in the books, and now we’re really starting to get a feel for the fantasy baseball landscape. RotoBaller will be updating our positional rankings over the next week. Today, we’re revisiting the starting pitcher rankings we initially published in April and have updated in May and June. All the ranks below are compared to the FantasyPros ECR (Expert Consensus Rank), which will show you where RotoBaller differs with the expert community and by how much. Check out our tier-by-tier analysis below the rankings, and let us know where you agree or disagree with us!
Tier 1: Look no further than Waino’s spectacular 114/12 K/BB ratio to get an idea of how dominant he’s been this season. Scherzer remains unbeaten in 16 starts and has stunningly assumed the role of ace in Motown. Poor run support has plagued Kershaw, but there’s nothing wrong with his game. Darvish and Hernandez vie for the title of the AL West’s best pitcher.
Tier 2: Lee remains an absolute pitching machine. Much like Scherzer, Zimmermann has taken over as ace of a staff whose previous leader was unquestioned. Harvey is also a victim of poor run support, but on a start-by-start basis he’s as good as it gets. Masterson is fresh off his second complete-game shutout of the season and Corbin remains unbeaten at 9-0.
Tier 3: A lot of talent here. Iwakuma is maestro on the mound, and Lynn is showing that his strong rookie campaign was no fluke. Sale has been piling up Darvish-like strikeout numbers of late. Strasburg’s ERA and WHIP are elite, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that his season has been at least partially disappointing.
Tier 4: Gonzalez started the season slow but is back on track and approaching elite status again. Tillman is putting together a true breakout while Verlander has taken a sharp tumble and may finally be showing signs of wear after years of monster pitch counts. Teheran is delivering on all the hype and has been one of baseball's top pitchers since May, while Kuroda is quietly the best starter on the Yankees’ staff.
Tier 5: Sanchez returns from injury and aims to resume his sparkling campaign on Saturday while Medlen has found a groove and is clearly one of the NL’s best young arms. Greinke appears to have rebounded from his broken collarbone, and is it possible that Colon is having a career season at age 40? Moore’s overall numbers still look good, but command issues and inconsistency have been big problems of late. Garza is showing well as one of the premier arms available on the trade market, and with Buchholz injured, none other than John Lackey is the premier starter on the first-place Red Sox. Liriano is rising- he’s been outstanding in the NL and could find himself in the top 30 if he continues pitching so well. Sabathia isn't what he once was and neither is Lester, who is having a second straight subpar season.
Tier 6: Weaver hasn't pitched anything like the ace he is paid to be, and Hamels has been a disaster but there's still time for a turnaround...we think. Bailey still mixes in the odd stinker but he’s reduced his walks and is a good-to-very-good major league pitcher at this point. Gonzalez has reeled off five straight quality starts while Porcello – who looked like he might finally be putting things together – is at least temporarily back to being an unreliable option.
Tier 7: Dempster is pretty much giving the Red Sox what they expected: solid but unspectacular pitching. Pettitte has not been a quality option of late, and Gallardo is bench-worthy in all formats at this point. Nolasco could hold real value if traded to a competent team, and Ogando is a quality arm that you shouldn't forget about.
Tier 8: Kazmir continues a remarkable comeback but sorry, Lincecum fans: the glory days are over. You never know what you’ll get from Hughes and Phelps has shown that when he's bad, he's real bad. Westbrook’s numbers will eventually align with his putrid K/BB ratio, and Beachy should soon be paying back those owners who stashed him all season. Morrow and Johnson are drifting further and further off the fantasy radar, and Brandon McCarthy’s shoulder issues continue to plague his career.