March 20, 2006
March 20, 2006

Table of Contents
March 20, 2006

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
Fantasy Baseball Preview 2006


With the home run era over, successful starters will be easier to find

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

This is an article from the March 20, 2006 issue Original Layout

1.ALJohan Santana, Twins1672380.972.87The American League leader in strikeouts two yearsrunning threw a career-high 231 2/3 innings in '05.
2.NLPedro Martinez, Mets1582080.952.82 
3.NLChris Carpenter, Cardinals2152131.062.83 
4.ALRoy Halladay, Blue Jays1241080.962.41 
5.NLJake Peavy, Padres1372161.042.88One of the NL's best power pitchers, he's won leagueERA and strikeout titles--and has yet to turn 25.
6.NLRoy Oswalt, Astros20121841.202.94 
7.ALRich Harden, A's1051211.062.53 
8.NLAndy Pettitte, Astros1791711.032.39 
9.ALBartolo Colon, Angels2181571.163.48 
10.ALRandy Johnson, Yankees1782111.133.79 
11.ALFelix Hernandez, Mariners44771.002.67Forget Mark Prior and Kerry Wood; no Cubs starter hasbeen more consistent than Zambrano, who has never finished a full season withan ERA above 4.00.
12.NLCarlos Zambrano, Cubs1462021.153.26 
13.NLDontrelle Willis, Marlins22101701.132.63 
14.NLJohn Smoltz, Braves1471691.153.06 
15.NLBen Sheets, Brewers1091411.073.33 
16. Roger Clemens, free agent1381851.011.87Word is he's leaning heavily toward retirement;still, it's not a bad idea to think that he might come back for one moreseason.
17.ALMark Buehrle, White Sox1681491.183.12 
18.NLJason Schmidt, Giants1271651.424.40 
19.NLJeff Suppan, Cardinals16101141.383.57 
20.NLMark Mulder, Cardinals1681111.383.64 
21.ALCliff Lee, Indians1851431.223.79 
22.NLChris Capuano, Brewers18121761.383.99 
23.ALA.J. Burnett, Blue Jays12121981.263.44Three years removed from reconstructive elbowsurgery, he can be overpowering; look for the righthander to easily eclipse hiscareer high of 12 wins.
24.ALBarry Zito, A's14131711.203.86 
25.ALJon Garland, White Sox18101151.173.50 
26.ALJosh Beckett, Red Sox1581661.183.38 
27.NLTim Hudson, Braves1491151.353.52 
28.NLMark Prior, Cubs1171881.213.67 
29.NLJae Seo, Dodgers82591.112.59 
30.ALJoe Blanton, A's12121161.223.53 
31.NLJon Lieber, Phillies17131491.214.20 
32.NLZach Duke, Pirates82581.201.81 
33.ALJeff Weaver, Angels14111571.174.22 
34.ALDan Haren, A's14121631.223.73 
35.ALFreddy Garcia, White Sox1481461.253.87 
36.ALCurt Schilling, Red Sox88871.535.69 
37.NLKerry Wood, Cubs34771.184.23 
38.NLBrett Myers, Phillies1382081.213.72 
39.ALTim Wakefield, Red Sox16121511.234.15 
40.ALJose Contreras, White Sox1571541.233.61After a lackluster first half in 2005, he went 11-2with a 2.96 ERA down the stretch. Confidence should carry over, thoughcareer-high 204 2/3 innings is a concern.
41.ALMike Mussina, Yankees1381421.374.41 
42.ALGustavo Chacin, Blue Jays1391211.393.72 
43.ALC.C. Sabathia, Indians15101611.264.03 
44.NLLivan Hernandez, Nationals15101471.433.98
45.NLChris Young, Padres1271371.264.26Fly ball pitcher gave up 19 homers in 164 2/3 inningsin '05; he'll appreciate deep power alleys at Petco and fleet-footedoutfielders behind him.
46.NLBrandon Webb, Diamondbacks14121721.263.54 
47.ALBrad Radke, Twins9121171.184.04 
48.NLMatt Morris, Giants14101171.284.11 
49.ALJavier Vazquez, White Sox11151921.254.42 
50.ALJohn Lackey, Angels1451991.333.44 
51.ALDavid Wells, Red Sox1571071.314.45 
52.NLJohn Patterson, Nationals971851.193.13 
53.ALJosh Towers, Blue Jays13121121.273.71 
54.ALKevin Millwood, Rangers9111461.222.86Reigning AL ERA champ unlikely to retain his crownpitching in hitter-friendly Ameriquest Field, but he should improve on hispaltry 2005 win total.
55.ALShawn Chacon, Yankees810791.333.44 
56.NLTom Glavine, Mets13131051.363.53 
57.NLJorge Sosa, Braves133851.392.55Always known to have a live arm; after failing inmiddle relief with Devil Rays, he settled in nicely as a member of the Braves'rotation.
58.ALErvin Santana, Angels128991.394.65 
59.NLSteve Trachsel, Mets14241.324.14 
60.ALEsteban Loaiza, A's12101731.303.77 


Cliff Lee

Despite a 32-13record over the last two years, Indians lefthander Cliff Lee is one of thefantasy game's most underrated starters. How does a pitcher who is notoverpowering win as often as he does? Lee has an odd arm angle, making hispitches hard to pick up, and he's not afraid to challenge hitters. "He'ssneaky, aggressive and very smart," says manager Eric Wedge. Because Leehas the benefit of Cleveland's formidable lineup, no significant injuryhistory, and the potential to pitch 225 innings and strike out 160, there can'tbe more than a dozen AL pitchers you'd take over him. And Lee may last longerin the draft than you'd think because fellow owners will be scared off by his3.79 ERA last year. Don't be.


BRANDON MCCARTHY,White Sox As a rookie last year he made 10 starts and had a 1.17 WHIP in 67innings. The 22-year-old has great command and the potential to be the futureace of the staff.

JON PAPELBON, RedSox The 25-year-old righty is next in line for a spot in the rotation afterfinishing '05 as the team's most effective reliever, but he needs a hole toopen by trade or injury.

AARON SMALL,Yankees Last season he went from nonroster invitee in the spring to goingundefeated in 10 decisions, mostly as a starter. Still, he started camp thisyear rated seventh among starters.


AARON HEILMAN,Mets Mediocre in seven starts (4.71 ERA), he adjusted his delivery and wasoutstanding in relief (2.18 ERA, 72 K's, five saves in 66 innings). He returnsto the rotation with confidence.

RYAN MADSON,Phillies After 130 relief appearances over the last two seasons, therighthander gets his wish and moves into the rotation. In the minors, he was asolid starting prospect in '02 and '03.

ANTHONY REYES,Cardinals The club's top prospect has to beat out newly acquired Sidney Ponsonto replace Matt Morris in the rotation. Even if Ponson wins the job, Reyescould get at least 20 starts.


Zach Duke

If you wereprescient enough to have Duke stashed among the prospects on your roster lastseason, you enjoyed an unexpected bump in wins and ERA. But now take a long,sober look at the Pirates' 22-year-old lefthander. Despite the quality of hisstuff and his clean mechanics, Duke comes with a few caveats. First, hisprofile has risen dramatically, so he's no longer a bargain. Second, he'll losegames because of poor support from a lineup that ranked 14th in the NL in runslast year. Third, and most important, Duke's 1922/3 innings last year, splitbetween Triple A and Pittsburgh, is his professional high, so fatigue is anissue; the Pirates will treat him attentively, monitoring pitch counts anderring on the side of caution when dealing with injury. Still, Duke is a goodbet to make 25 starts, get double-digit wins and log a respectable ERA.