They say when you’re doing an auction draft, you should spend $180 on hitting, leaving only $80 for pitching. And the reasoning is simple: your hitters play everyday, while your starting pitchers are only going to pitch twice a week at most. In a head-to-head league, where a pitcher is only giving you between 6-15 innings a week, the impact isn’t very significant. Conversely, in a rotisserie league, where you’re compiling numbers all year round, and pitcher stats are valuable due to an innings limit, top-shelf pitchers are a hotter commodity. Regardless of the style of gameplay, there will always be pitching late in a draft. Not listed below are fantasy nuggets like Dan Haren, Derek Holland, Johan Santana, Kyle Lohse, Lance Lynn, Ryan Vogelsong, and Chris Capuano, all of whom will be available near the end of your draft. Because of this ability to get talent late, you won’t need to get seven or eight of these top-37 pitchers. But it should be noted that ending a draft without at least two to three would be a detriment to your team. Having a few mainstays, a few sure things, is without question, the way you’ll win a championship.
Even after going over my rankings, there are a few players who have questions marks, at least for me.
Last year, the Washington Nationals had Stephen Strasburg on an innings limit, but in 2013 apparently they’re taking off the kid gloves. Word to the wise: he’s still going to be on an innings limit, just a higher one. Don’t kid yourself. I can’t see the executives in D.C. letting their prized youngster throw over 200 innings. But the amount of strikeouts he can get with that many innings will outweigh any ball and chain tied to him.
Another player who I worry about is Chris Sale and his paper thin body. In 2012, Sale threw 192 innings, 121 more than his previous high. The work load increase frightens me. He seems like a DL stint waiting to happen. And throw in a post all-star break ERA of 4.03 and I wonder if I have him ranked too high.
Roll the dice, my friends. Starting pitchers always seem to be the most risky picks.