In 2009, we saw the first glimpse of Cliff “Mr. Fantastic” Lee. He made 12 starts going 7-4 with 79.2 IP, a 3.39 ERA, and struck out 74 during his successful stretch with the Phillies. Lee was this off-season’s most coveted free agent, and stunned the baseball universe with his decision. However, getting a taste of World Series savor with the Texas Rangers, Lee now joins the rest of his super hero friends in the City of Brotherly Love to try yet again to win it all. Last year, Mr. Lee won 12 games in 28 starts while posting a 3.19 ERA, striking out 185, and walking only 18 batters in 212 innings.
In 2011, Lee should see an increase in wins with all the same stuff: many strikeouts, few walks, and a solid ERA in the low to mid three’s. Starting from opening day, Cliff will find himself in the midst of a friendly competition with super hero friend Roy “The Thing” Halladay as they dual it out for the title of ace of the rotation.
Five complete game shutouts, one perfect game, a no hitter in his first post-season start, and a Cy Young to cap it off, Halladay was easily baseball’s top pitcher in 2010. As 2011 approaches, there is no reason for him to lose his title as the games best arm. His health is no longer a concern as he is about to enter his sixth straight season of 30+ starts.
Despite allowing 24 home runs last year, we can say the hitters’ advantage of Citizens Bank Park is not a major liability. Halladay posted a stellar 2.44 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.
2011 should be another career year for Hamels. He has transformed into a reliable, middle-of-the-rotation type pitcher, and no longer has the weight solely on his shoulders.
He’s like the Dwayne Wade of the Phillies. He knows the team, knows the city, and this is the year he and his fantastic friends have all come together at once.
Well, for 2009 and the beginning of 2010, it looked like Oswalt would become invisible in the fantasy world. He really struggled in Houston and appeared to be a pitching pariah of fantasy teams across the nation. But then, on July 30th, Invisible-Oswalt overcame his curse, and embarked on his triumphant return.
After being traded to the Phillies, Oswalt went 7-1 in 83 innings with 73 strikeouts and a 1.74 ERA. By the way, this guy loves pitching in Philly. He’s 9-0 in ten starts in Citizens Bank Park. Whether it’s throwing against the Phills or throwing for them, Oswalt just seems to like the smell of cheesesteaks and the sound of cursing Philly fans. 2011 looks promising for Oswalt and his super-friends.
One thing to note though, Oswalt does not fair too well when facing the Braves. I’m not saying bench him against Atlanta, but keep it in mind if it does occur more than once.
Philly Phorecast (CBS Sports Overall Starting Pitcher Rankings):
Roy Halladay (1), Cliff Lee (5), Cole Hamels (13), Roy Oswalt (15).
Written by Tyler Becker exclusively for www.thefantasyfix.com. Look for Tyler’s
weekly insight into MLB, NFL, & NHL. You can follow Tyler on Twitter @FantasyProdigy
Where do these four fall in your 2011 fantasy baseball overall pitcher rankings?
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