In a fantasy baseball league, you might see two pitchers from the same team included on rosters. But four is quite unusual. This could be the case, however, with the San Francisco Giants again this year.
Four of their starting pitchers are ranked in the top 45, so even in a 10 team league, they all should be on a roster. All five of their SPs started in 31 or more games last season, which in large part contributed to them winning the NL West.
Matt Cain developed into the ace of the staff last season. He had 16 W, 193 K, a 1.04 WHIP and a 2.79 ERA. He pitched a no-hitter, won the All-Star game and won the clinching game of the World Series. He has been the fifth or six SP off the board this spring.
Madison Bumgarner, in his second full year as a starter, also had 16 wins. He struck out 191 and had a tidy WHIP of 1.11. He has usually been around the 12th SP off the board this year. Since he has not yet reached his 24th birthday, Bumgarner is a popular holding in keeper leagues.
Tim Lincecum had a really off year compared to his previous seasons. But he still managed to record 190 Ks and win 10 games. His ERA was a fantasy-staff killer at 5.18. At times last year, the two-time Cy Young winner looked like he didn’t have a clue. He was demoted to the bullpen for postseason play and did play a strong role in the Giants winning their second championship in three years. So, managers who draft him this year are looking for a return of his dominance in 2008 and 2009. Maybe his haircut will help him out.
Ryan Volgesong had a modest 158 K and a respectable 3.37 ERA. He recorded 16 straight QS on his way to winning 14 games. After playing three seasons in Japan from 2007 through 2009, and then 2010 at AAA, he has revitalized his career when given the chance with the Giants. He should have one more good year left in his career, even at age 36.
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