Texas Rangers Pitchers: 2015 Team Preview

Jul 23, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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I think you can make a case that Yu Darvish is the most undervalued elite SP.  It is hard to really be undervalued when you are elite, but I think you can reasonably select Darvish as the fourth pitcher this year.  (I have Darvish sixth among starters on the top players list that I am currently working on).  The ace of the Rangers is the best strikeout pitcher in the game.  He would have led the league among starters with his 11.35 K/9 had he qualified.

Personally, I would feel a lot better drafting Yu Darvish than I would about drafting Adam Wainwright or Johnny Cueto at the same position.  My only mark against Yu Darvish is that he only made 22 starts in 2014.  However, I think he will make 32 starts in 2015 and continue his dominant form.

Derek Holland and Yovani Gallardo are probably both worth a stream if you are looking for innings, but no one besides Darvish in the Rangers’ rotation is really worth a fantasy draft pick.  As Tanner’s projections illustrate, the second through fifth starters are all projected an ERA above 4.00 and a WHIP of at least 1.30.  There is no fantasy appeal in those numbers.

Neftali Feliz only threw 31.2 innings with the Rangers in 2014 at the Major League level, but you should beware of his deceptive numbers.  Feliz recorded 13 saves, a 1.99 ERA, and .98 WHIP in limited outings, so it sounds pretty good, but he also had a dreadful 5.97 K/9, .176 BABIP, 4.90 FIP, 4.60 xFIP, 4.40 SIERA, and a 8.2% K-BB%.

Feliz’s 2014 numbers all scream regression. Neftali Feliz could be one of the rare cases where it is better to invest in an elite set-up man rather than chase saves.

Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball has created all of the projections seen in this post.  You can read about how he develops his projections here.  His projections are invaluable to this site.  You can also visit his site at www.smartfantasybaseball.com.