We have a great tool called the Player Rater at Fanball. I write a weekly article where I breakdown the top-50 fantasy performers in the game, and you can find the actual Player Rater Tool by clicking on the link. This week I did things a bit different. Since we are at the half way point of the season I broke down the top-10 guys at each position, versus the top-50 overall, and you can read that breakdown at MLB Player Rater: Midseason Stars. In the current piece here at BaseballGuys I’ll break down the top-20 hurlers in the fantasy game as major league baseball gears up for the All-Star Game.
1- Adam Wainwright
He is second in the NL with a 2.11 ERA and a total of 13 victories, while he is second in innings pitched (136.1) and third in WHIP (1.00). The dude is a flat out ace.
2- Josh Johnson
All the early season talk of the #3 man on the list has obscured the fact that JJ leads baseball with a 1.70 ERA and the NL with a 0.96 WHIP. Also, he’s allowed more than one earned run just once in his last 11 starts (he gave up two runs on June 26th).
3- Ubaldo Jimenez
The numbers are spectacular highlighted by by his big league leading 15-1 record and his 2.20 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Clearly he’s not affected by the altitude in Colorado.
4- Roy Halladay
Halladay leads baseball with 148 IP, the third highest total in the NL in 15 years at the All-Star break, and his ratios are phenomenal (2.19 ERA, 1.05 WHIP). So how is he only 10-7? Come on Phillies offense, get to it.
5- Billy Wagner
What’s up with that retirement talk Billy? There is no need to contemplate hanging them up given his outstanding work that includes 20 saves, a 1.21 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP an a .156 BAA in 37.1 innings.
6- Mat Latos
Did you know that he is third in baseball with a 0.97 WHIP? Latos also has a 2.45 ERA for the Padres, but the team will likely be cautious with him in the second half because of innings pitched concerns.
7- Mariano Rivera
Amazingly, the guy just never seems to slow down. Is he getting even better with age? His numbers suggest it might be possible: 1.05 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, .137 BAA and 20 saves.
8- Rafael Soriano
His K-rate is well off the pace at 7.75 (career 9.68), but otherwise the rest of his performance has been pretty special including a 1.60 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and a stupendous 23-for-24 save conversion mark.
9- Jon Lester
The first lefty starter on the list, Lester overcame a slow start to produce a line that any starter in baseball would be proud of. Lester is 11-3 for the Sox, and ratios like a 2.78 ERA and 1.09 WHIP are rarely seen in the AL East.
10- Cliff Lee
The newest prize in the Rangers’ corral, Lee leads baseball with a 0.95 WHIP. He’s also posting an unfathomable 15.17 K/BB rate. The best mark in the history of the game for a hurler who qualified for the ERA title is 11.00 by Bret Saberhagen in 1994.
11- Jose Valverde
He is 19-for-20 on saves and is sporting sparkling ratios of a 0.92 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. Also, how in the world is it possible to hold batters to a .125 average through 39 innings?
12- Heath Bell
The NL leader with 24 saves has a fine 1.88 ERA, though his 1.33 WHIP would be his worst mark since moving to San Diego (it was 1.21 in 2008).
13- David Price
The AL starter in the All-Star game, Price leads the junior circuit with 12 victories. It would be a shock if he were able to hold on to that 2.42 ERA, he just hasn’t pitched well enough to really deserve that mark.
14- Jonathan Broxton
Despite an irregular usage pattern – long periods of nothing followed by intensive work – Broxton has emerged with a continuation of his 2009 season, and that is a great thing. He has 19 saves, a 2.11 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and an impressive 12.91 K/9 mark leading to a striking 7.86 K/BB rate.
15- Brian Wilson
Wilson had 41 and 38 saves the past two years, and just past the halfway point this season he has converted 23 of 25 chances. He also has an impressive 50 Ks in 37.2 innings, a total that goes along swimmingly with his 1.91 ERA.
16- Joakim Soria
No one pays any attention since he pitches for the Royals, but Joakim has 25 saves, the best total in baseball. He also has a 2.31 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP, numbers that are slightly worse than his career averages (2.13 and 0.99).
17- Andy Pettitte
He always wins games so his 11-2 record isn’t a total shock, but his 2.70 ERA and 1.15 WHIP are since over the last four seasons he hasn’t produced an ERA better than 4.05 or a WHIP below 1.38.
18- CC Sabathia
With 12 victories he has already posted a 10th straight season of at least 11 wins. He’s also near the top of the AL in ERA (3.09) and WHIP (1.14) which is a yearly occurrence at this point.
19- Leo Nunez
He entered the year with question marks but he has answered them. His 1.55 GB/FB ratio is a career best (career 0.94) and his K-rate is way up to 9.08 (career 6.78). It’s almost as if he is a new pitcher (potential alien abduction?). The work has led to a 1.04 WHIP and 20 saves.
20- Jered Weaver
Don’t even try lying and say that Weaver was your choice to be leading baseball in strikeouts at the All-Star Break (he has 137, six more than Tim Lincecum). That 1.08 WHIP of his is also fourth in the AL. Only his 8-5 record has held him back from being more of a national story.
By Ray Flowers