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Week 8 Fantasy Baseball: Top 20 Starting Pitchers

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Week 8 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

For Week 8 of the fantasy baseball season, I will take a little different approach. Instead of ranking the entire field, I will instead focus entirely on starting pitching. It is quickly becoming the most crucial aspect of fantasy, so knowing which hurler to start could never be more important for the outcome of a fantasy week.

It is imperative to make sure to have as many two-start pitchers in your lineup as possible. They will most likely pitch twice as many innings and will get a chance to rack up twice as strikeouts, in a perfect world of course.

This week in particular there is some true Cy Young candidates taking the hill twice. Clayton Kershaw, Shelby Miller, and Max Scherzer will all get to make the extra trip to the bump in the upcoming scoring period. Nothing is more valuable than having your fantasy ace get an extra start in a given week, so consider yourself among the lucky few if you have one of the power trio listed above in Week 8.

Of course there are some other starters that are mainstays among my top-20 rankings. Big names like Felix Hernandez, Matt Harvey, Adam Wainwright, Madison Bumgarner, and Jordan Zimmermann are impossible to leave out of any starter rankings. They can go the distance on any given night and have all matured into some of the best arms in fantasy. No matter what they did the previous week, or who they are facing in the upcoming week, these are guys who you can expect to always see in my rankings.

So before setting your final fantasy lineup this week, here are my top-20 starting pitchers for Week 8.

Adam McGill is the Senior Fantasy Sports Writer at Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @adammcgill83, like him on Facebook, or add him to you networks on Google here or here.

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20. Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners

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Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners - Iwakuma has been an amazing value pick this fantasy season. He is 5-1 already and has a meager 1.84 ERA. His value only goes up with the extra start this week.

Week 8 Starts:

5/20 @ Cleveland Indians

5/26 vs. Texas Rangers

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19. Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks - Corbin is the less talked about rookie, but is off to a quick 6-0 start. He also has a remarkable 1.52 ERA and 47.6% Ground Ball Out Percentage this season.

Week 8 Starts:

5/20 @ Colorado Rockies

5/26 vs. San Diego Padres

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18. Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals

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Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals - In the last three years against the New York Mets, Gonzalez has a 3-1 record. New York may have beaten him up earlier this season, but Gio has gotten the better of them over the last couple seasons. Expect Gonzalez to rebound and have another strong outing.

Week 8 Start:

5/22 @ New York Mets

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17. Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox

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Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox - Buchholz has not won a game in the three starts since the so-called spitball controversy. He has also seen his ERA climb from 1.01 to 1.78. However, he still has a beautiful 1.04 WHIP and has gone at least seven innings in each start this year.

Week 8 Start:

5/22 @ Chicago White Sox

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16. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants - Bumgarner got beat up for seven earned runs last week in Colorado, but he certainly wasn’t the first starter to take a thrashing at Coors Field. The 23-year-old is still one of the best in baseball and will the show the world again this week.

Week 8 Start:

5/22 vs. Washington Nationals

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15. Jason Marquis, San Diego Padres

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Marquis, San Diego Padres - The Staten Island native has won four straight starts and has only allowed two earned runs in his last 14 innings of work. He will start twice this week, so take advantage of it if you have him on your roster.

Week 8 Starts:

5/20 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

5/26 @ Arizona Diamondbacks

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14. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

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Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals - Strasburg’s eight-inning gem last week put fantasy owners at ease about his mid-season struggles. He seems to have settled down, so consider him an elite starting option once again.

Week 8 Start:

5/21 @ San Francisco Giants

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13. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers - In his second season in the majors, Darvish has matured by leaps and bounds. He is currently leading the entire MLB with 86 strikeouts and is about to face off against a free-swinging Oakland A’s offense.

Week 8 Start:

5/21 vs. Oakland Athletics

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12. Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays

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Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays - The southpaw has an amazing 8-0 record to start the season, while his 2.29 ERA and 1.09 WHIP are among the best in the AL. He has been untouchable this year and will have another strong start against the Baby Bombers this week.

Week 8 Start:

5/25 vs. New York Yankees

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11. Matt Harvey, New York Mets

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Harvey, New York Mets - Harvey has been immaculate this fantasy season. He has an incredible 5-0 record, 1.55 ERA, and 0.72 WHIP. He has already earned his spot among the elite fantasy starters.

Week 8 Start:

5/22 vs. Cincinnati Reds

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10. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners - King Felix allowed five earned runs in his last start and was obviously off his game. Hernandez never has two bad outings in a row, though, so expect him to rebound performance this week.

Week 8 Start:

5/25 vs. Texas Rangers

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9. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers - Verlander is another Cy Young contender somewhat off his game right now, as he has allowed 11 earned runs in the last 7.2 innings. However, if anyone can turn it around in an instant, it is Verlander.

Week 8 Start:

5/22 @ Cleveland Indians

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8. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies

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Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies - The 34-year-old has continued to surprise people this fantasy season. He has lasted an average of 106.9 pitches per start and currently has an amazing 2.83 ERA. Oh yeah, did I mention he pitches in Miami this week.

Week 8 Start:

5/22 @ Miami Marlins

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7. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals

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Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals - Wainwright is coming off a masterful nine-inning two-hitter, which was the third time the former reliever has accomplished the feat in his career. This week Wainwright will get to display his talents in the pitching-friendly confines of PetCo Park, so expect another sensational outing from AW.

Week 8 Start:

5/21 @ San Diego Padres

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6. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

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Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox - Sale has pitched 23 consecutive scoreless innings and has lowered his ERA all the way down to 2.53. The 24-year-old has become the face of the Chi Sox rotation and has proven that he can be a number fantasy starter.

Week 8 Start:

5/22 vs. Boston Red Sox

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5. Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox

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Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox - Lester has rebounded from his disgusting 2012 fantasy performance and has got off to a quick 5-0 start. He will receive two starts this week and will be a premier Week 8 starting option.

Week 8 Starts:

5/20 Chicago White Sox

5/25 vs. Cleveland Indians

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4. Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals

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Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals - Zimmermann has caught the attention of the fantasy world by starting the season 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.

Week 8 Start:

5/24 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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3. Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals - The rookie has pitched lights out this year. He is off to a quick 5-2 start and is sitting down 9.99 batters per nine innings. He will get two starts this week in pitcher-friendly parks, so expect big things from Miller in Week 8.

Week 8 Starts:

5/20 @ San Diego Padres

5/26 @ Los Angeles Dodgers

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2. Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers

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Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers - Scherzer has been absolutely unhittable this year. He is currently 5-0 and striking out a career-high 11.64 batters per nine innings. With two starts in this scoring period, Scherzer could easily rack up over 20 K's.

Week 8 Starts:

5/21 @ Cleveland Indians

5/26 vs. Minnesota Twins

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1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers - Kershaw is currently leading the NL with a 1.40 ERA, and the southpaw has already piled up a staggering 67 K's on the year. He will have a huge performance this week and will single-handedly win some matchups with the extra trip to the hill.

Week 8 Starts:

5/20 @ Milwaukee Brewers

5/26 vs. St. Louis Cardinals