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ZiPS: No. 1 Starter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Yu Darvish reacts after striking out Josh Hamilton in the seventh inning. We were excited too Yu!

    ESPN's Dan Szymborski is a computer and stat guru, and we love getting a look at his projections. Here are his numbers for the 2014 Texas Rangers.

    Position: No. 1 starter

    Player: Yu Darvish, RHP

    Last year: 13-9 record, 2.83 ERA, 277 strikeouts, 209.2 innings, 6.2 hits/9 innings, 11.9 K/9 innings

    *bold denotes league leader in category

    2014 projections: 3.03 ERA, 263 strikeouts, 201.2 innings, 6.9 hits/9 inning, 11.74 K/9 innings

    if these numbers turn out to be anywhere close to accurate, the Rangers will take it in a heartbeat. Sure, all the numbers are just a slight tick off his 2013 numbers, which netted him a second-place finish in the AL Cy Young race, but they just might win him the Cy Young in 2014 if you throw out an extraordinary season from Max Scherzer.

    Mark it down, 263 strikeouts would still lead the baseball world, as would his hits per nine innings and strikeouts per nine innings figures. Simple fact of the matter is this: Darvish is one of the top 7-8 starters in all of baseball, and just might be the best in the American League, and these projections do nothing to dissuade that thought.