Fantasy Baseball Preview 2014: Pitchers

NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw dominated fantasy pitching and should be the first starter...

NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw dominated fantasy pitching and should be the first starter off the board in every mixed-league and NL-only draft. (Scott Rovak/Reuters/Files)

JOEL COLOMBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:10 PM ET

OK, we’ll come out and say it right off the top: Drafting starting pitching is a crapshoot. (And yes, I actually just began a sentence with a verb, an adjective and a noun, all ending in ‘ing.’).

But if the year-to-year variances of the position don’t get you ― heck, even start-to-start fluxations can be fantasy killers ― then the always looming injury bug will. We’ve already lost four top young pitchers for the season to Tommy John surgery in the Matt Harvey, Jarrod Parker, Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen with Patrick Corbin possibly joining them.

It’s why some of us say we will never pay more than $25 for, or gamble a first-round pick on, any starter. Though it doesn’t explain why I used the first two picks in my mixed-league draft a year ago on Clayton Kershaw, who was definitely worth it, and Justin Verlander, a shining example of everything I groused about at the top.

With all that in mind, in only a rough order, here are the roughly top 70 or so starters this year, put roughly into tiers from which you could probably close your eyes and pick any name and have the same chance of success. Yeah, it’s rough.


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