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Yu Darvish, 2014 Texas Rangers
The regular season is closing in, and fantasy baseball is right there with it. Let's take a look at the Rangers roster and rank the top five in the fantasy world.
No. 3: Yu Darvish, RHP
2013 stats: 13-9, 2.83 ERA, 209 2/3 innings, 32 starts, 277 strikeouts, 80 walks, 6.2 hits per nine innings
Pros: What can you say about Darvish? He's a machine. He led the league last season in strikeouts, K/9 innings, hits per nine innings and finished second in the AL Cy Young balloting. The only thing preventing him from being the top Ranger in fantasy baseball is the fact he's a starting pitcher and only plays once or twice a week. But as far as starting pitchers in fantasy baseball, he's right at the top.
Cons: Well, the injury scare is out there as the Rangers expect to see MRI results on Darvish's stiff neck some time on Wednesday. Also, if you're looking for strikeouts, Darvish is going to get them for you, but he might have a change of philosophy this year. This is nitpicking, but it's thought that Darvish is going to try to be more economical and pitch to contact more this year to get deeper into games. So yeah, his strikeout numbers might not be astronomical, but they'll still be really good and his other numbers will be better, theoretically. So, pretty much nothing to say here.
Verdict: As a top 2-3 starting pitcher in baseball, Darvish should go high in your draft, but probably not until the early third round as the name of the game in fantasy baseball is getting big-time hitters that play every day.