After the value picks for the AL and NL are released, I will continue with the NL team previews as I continue to build and tinker with my 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. If you have any questions or comments about a specific player, then please feel free to ask.
Anyway, here are my AL pitchers that I believe will outperform their ADP. Some are stars while others are marginal options, but I believe all should go higher than what they will go for in draft day.
SP Michael Pineda of the New York Yankees
No one questions Pineda’s talent or potential, but his health is always the major question mark. After a fantastic 2011 rookie season with the Mariners, Michael Pineda missed the next two seasons with a major shoulder injury. In 2014, Pineda was finally pitching in the Majors again, but he still only made it 76.1 innings.
Michael Pineda was great when he took the mound for the Yankees with a 1.89 ERA, but his significant decline in velocity from 2011 altered his strikeout ability. The 6’7” righty will be a strong candidate for a solid ERA and WHIP in 2015, but he no longer possesses the K potential he had before the injury.
RP Dellin Betances of the New York Yankees
While Masahiro Tanaka will be the most impactful pitcher on the Yankees if he stays healthy, no one has better stuff than Betances. If Dellin Betances does the win the job as the closer of the Bronx Bombers, then he will be a top 5 closer with potential to surpass even the elite four closers. Here is why he could be so great.
SP Anibal Sanchez of the Detroit Tigers
I have written about Sanchez in the past because he is a very talented starter who is coming off a down year. Anibal is a perfect bounce back candidate, which I wrote about in this article. In 2015, Anibal Sanchez will be a decent value with high upside based on his past performance.
SP Phil Hughes of the Minnesota Twins
Phil Hughes only walked 16 hitters in 32 starts, but his greatness in 2014 was truly unappreciated. His nasty 2.65 FIP and his 7.98 K/9 is the best strikeout ratio of his career as a full-time starter. As you can read in this team preview, Hughes was phenomenal, but he will be underrated again.
SP Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros
Like Phil Hughes, Dallas Keuchel had a phenomenal season that was quite underrated. I explained some of his value in the Houston team preview. There is almost no doubt in my mind that Keuchel is legit, and I am a full-blown member of the Dallas Buyers Club.
SP Collin McHugh of the Houston Astros
While Collin McHugh could be susceptible to a decent amount of regression in 2015, his ADP is still low because starters are so deep and he has not established himself as a legitimate option in many opinions. I am not sure if I will draft McHugh, but he is a respectable option in the late rounds.
SP Matt Shoemaker of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Shoemaker finished as a top 30 starter in 2014 even though he only made 20 starts and 27 appearances in his rookie season. Matt Shoemaker can flat out pitch and his split-finger really drops off the table at the front of the plate.
SP Garrett Richards of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The value of Richards comes from the fact that he could return very early in the 2015 season and he may be drafted around the 25th starter despite the fact that he was a top 10 SP until his season-ending knee injury. Of course, Garrett Richards being a value pick is completely dependent on when he returns to the mound, but only a few missed starts could result in his owners finding a huge bargain.
Sean Doolittle will probably not be ready for Opening Day, but the replacement closer, Tyler Clippard, is a seasoned vet and an excellent bullpen arm. Both pitchers should be way above average closers with their high K rate and low ERA and WHIP. Doolittle is coming off of a historic season, and I have him as my #6 RP when he is healthy.
SP Hisashi Iwakuma of the Seattle Mariners
I have sung the praises of Iwakuma a few times during this off-season for his masterful control and ability to keep the ball down in the zone. Hisashi Iwakuma will be a safe option because of his very high floor in terms of ERA and WHIP.