With the All-Star break upon us and the game’s most promising players enjoying the sunny weather in Anaheim, we here at FBS take a look at the Top 10 SP from the first half of the season. It’s been an amazing start to the season for a man from Colorado, but there are plenty others who have been absolutely electric for fantasy owners this season.
1.Ubaldo Jimenez, SP COL: 15-1, 2.20 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 113 K, 127 IP
It’s only appropriate that Ubaldo is number one our list given the fact that he’s gotten off to such a historic start. He’s got an incredible 15 wins at the All-Star Break, and could very well finish the year north of 25 wins. With his ability to strikeout batters at an amazing clip with a 97 MPH fastball that carries over a foot of movement, Ubaldo has truly become one of the most electric starters in recent history. He’s always been capable of throwing the ball hard, but it seems that this is the year Jimenez has finally learned how to pitch. Congratulations to him on being selected to start for the National League.
2.Adam Wainwright, SP STL: 13-5, 2.11 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 127 K, 136.1 IP
There’s been a new ace in St. Louis for a couple of seasons now, as Adam Wainwright has shown what he is capable of. Fantasy owners should be quite familiar with him, and although he may be most remembered for striking out Carlos Beltran back in ’06, Wainwright has long since matured to become the dynamic starter that he is today. He has been absolutely lights-out this season and hasn’t allowed more than four ER in any start. He pitches with such brilliance that his amazing performance has become somewhat of a normalcy to Cards fans. While fantasy owners can pencil him in for a quality start (QS) just about every time he takes the hill.
3.Josh Johnson, SP FLA: 9-3, 1.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 123 K, 122 IP
Johnson could very well be number one on this list if he hadn’t been the victim of some poor run support in some of his outings. Johnson is pitching as well as anyone in baseball and should be much closer to 14 wins than 9. He is an elite fantasy option in every format for the second half and owners that are lucky enough to have him on board should hold tight and never let go. With an overpowering fastball and a very strong confidence on the mound, Johnson has established himself as South Florida’s newest ace.
4.David Price, SP TB: 12-4, 2.42 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 100 K, 115.1 IP
Price is showing the fantasy world exactly why he was so highly touted when being selected first overall out of Vanderbilt in 2006. Price has turned into the ace atop the rotation that the Rays had hoped he would, and has just been named the starter for the American League in this year’s All-Star game. Price has shown the ability to dominate hitters with an overpowering fastball and a slider that absolutely falls off of the table and has really kept hitters off balance for the entire first half. He’s got a chance to win 20 games, but his second half upside is slightly limited by the Rays monitoring his workload very closely. Remember, he threw just 128 innings in the majors last year, and is already approaching that number at the halfway point.
5.Cliff Lee, SP TEX: 8-4, 2.64 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 91 K, 112.2 IP
Lee got off to a late start this season because of an abdominal sprain, but he certainly has more than made up for his missed time. Lee has an absolutely astounding 91:6 K:BB ratio, which is better than 15:1. He’s a candidate to lead the MLB in WHIP by season’s end as he just doesn’t walk anybody, and it seems that he just continues to rack up the strikeouts every time out. Pair all of that with his incredible ability to work extremely deep into the game (6 CG already), Lee has really become a favorite of fantasy owners. He is the definition of consistency, and despite him being traded last week, he stays out in the AL West where he has enjoyed success thus far this season.
6.Mat Latos, SP SD: 10-4, 2.45 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 99 K, 106.2 IP
Latos has been a pleasant surprise to some, but not to those who are fantasy familiar. After getting a taste of what Latos could do last season, it seems that we’re getting the full flavor this year. Despite being overshadowed by the Strasburg hype, Latos may very well be the better of the two youngsters—at least right now. Those who would argue should really take a close look at Latos as he has been just overpowering every hitter that has faced him this season. He’s another young arm with a power fastball and devastating (but still developing) breaking stuff. Latos can absolutely make a batter look silly at the plate, and the only thing that limits his second half upside is the fact that he’ll be limited to somewhere between 150-180 IP.
7.Jered Weaver, SP LAA: 8-5, 3.20 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 137 K, 121 IP
Put me down as someone who didn’t exactly pencil Jered Weaver in as the strikeout leader in the MLB at the halfway point. The younger Weaver has really established himself as the ace of an Angels’ staff that saw John Lackey depart via free agency this season. His K:BB ratio isn’t quite as good as Cliff Lee’s at 138:27, but whose is? He’s on pace to win 16 games just like he did last season, so I can’t say that I didn’t anticipate this season’s success, but he’s nonetheless been quite the fantasy find. Despite a couple of rough starts heading into the break, he’s had some absolute gems throughout the first half and has solidified himself as a fantastic fantasy option.
8.Felix Hernandez, SP SEA: 7-5, 2.88 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 131 K, 137.2 IP
Despite his low win total, King Felix has certainly looked a lot like royalty this season. He’s back to pitching at a CY Young level and the results are evidence of that. He has pitched nine innings in four of his last five starts heading into the break and is only 2-0 over that span, so he’s definitely been a victim of poor run support from an anemic Mariners offense. He hasn’t given up more than two runs in a start in over a month and has allowed just eight runs over his last six starts, spanning 51.2 innings. He’s simply been on fire and is an elite option for his ability to strike hitters out and carry a remarkably low ERA & WHIP.
9.Jon Lester, SP BOS: 11-3, 2.78 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 124 K, 120 IP
Lester endured a tough start to the start of his 2010 campaign, but quickly straightened himself out and has re-affirmed his role atop the Sox rotation as the main-man. He’s always been known as a strikeout guy, but this lefty hurler is on pace to win over 20 games and strike out better than a batter per inning. Lester’s comeback story is a testament to so many things, and luckily for him, one of those is his outstanding work ethic. Lester has truly developed into a dynamic fantasy option and a legitimate number one on your staff.
10.Roy Halladay, SP PHI: 10-7, 2.19 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 128 K, 148 IP
Halladay gets the nod as the final pitcher to make the Top 10. It was an awfully tight race in the year of the pitcher, but Halladay’s seven complete games have really separated him from his competitors. Halladay not only came into a new league & division this year, but emphatically declared his arrival by pitching a perfect game in the first half of the season. Doc’s brilliance can’t be understated and he really knows how to pitch regardless of the ballpark that he is in. Halladay continues to be one of the most underappreciated pitchers in the game because of his quiet demeanor, but fantasy owners won’t mind if he slips under the radar and right into one’s lap.
Clayton Kershaw: 9-4, 2.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 128 K, 112.1 IP
Yovani Gallardo: 8-4, 2.58 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 122 K, 111.2 IP
Andy Pettitte: 11-2, 2.70 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 87 K, 113.1 IP