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Shuffle Up: Adam Wainwright rules the world

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Overdue for a Cy Young (USAT)

Here's the first Shuffle Up from the flow of the season, the starting pitchers. Marinate over them.

What's happened to this point is an audition, only. We're trying to figure out how to rank the players going forward. Assume a 5x5 scoring system, and players at the same cost are considered even.

And remember the golden rule – a player doesn't gain 15-20 percent of bonus value simply because he's on your roster.

Injured pitchers have their own listing at the very bottom. I didn't consider anyone in the minors.

$30 Adam Wainwright
$29 Felix Hernandez
$28 Yu Darvish
$28 Jose Fernandez
$27 Max Scherzer
$26 Cliff Lee
$26 Zack Greinke
$26 Stephen Strasburg

Wainwright gets the minor edge in the first class of pitchers for a few simple reasons. He's in the National League, supported by a strong team and offense, and working with the best catcher in baseball. There's nothing wrong with the other prime aces, and you're welcome to prefer anyone you want. But I like avoiding the American League, all else equal, and Fernandez still has to deal with an ordinary cast of characters, not to mention his occasional hiccups on the road (not that listing him T-3 is a slap in the face).

$24 Madison Bumgarner
$22 Justin Verlander
$21 James Shields
$20 David Price
$19 Michael Wacha
$19 Cole Hamels
$19 Masahiro Tanaka
$18 Johnny Cueto
$18 Gio Gonzalez
$17 Andrew Cashner
$17 Matt Cain
$17 Alex Wood
$17 Tony Cingrani
$17 Julio Teheran
$17 Homer Bailey

Don't aim your Teheran arrows at me. I'm also a believer. If you want a con case on Teheran, Mike Salfino offers one, over here . . . It's no fun being shut out of Tanaka (I have zero shares), and his swing-and-miss stuff provides a very high floor. That said, I'm not going crazy with the ranking yet – it's still a dangerous offensive division, and Yankee Stadium can play awfully small in the summer months. And teams will be sure to make adjustments after they see him once or twice. A T-13 ranking on the current board looks good to me; if you prefer him to some of the $20-somethings, state your case.

$16 Jordan Zimmermann
$15 Gerrit Cole
$14 Ervin Santana
$14 Hyun-Jin Ryu
$13 Matt Garza
$13 Shelby Miller
$13 Sonny Gray
$12 Kyle Lohse
$12 Marco Estrada
$12 Scott Kazmir
$12 Jeff Samardzija
$12 Francisco Liriano
$11 Lance Lynn
$11 Tim Hudson
$11 Danny Salazar
$11 Clay Buchholz
$11 C.J. Wilson
$11 Yordano Ventura
$10 Hiroki Kuroda
$10 Dan Straily
$10 Chris Archer
$10 Jon Lester
$10 John Lackey
$10 A.J. Burnett
$10 Tyson Ross

Ross's control could be a little better, but with strikeouts over 8/9 and a ground-ball clip over 50 percent, everything is groovy. And obviously Petco Park is going to hide a lot of mistakes . . . A shame Salazar can't pitch in the NL all the time; he was sharp at San Francisco. I'll feel a lot better if he can do it against the dangerous White Sox this week. Actually, I don't think I would start him against Abreu and his henchmen. Salazar isn't on any of my teams, but that's just a fortunate accident (to this point, anyway). I liked him just as much as everyone else did in March.

$9 Ian Kennedy
$9 Corey Kluber
$8 Nathan Eovaldi
$8 Dan Haren
$8 Yovani Gallardo
$8 Travis Wood
$8 Wily Peralta
$8 Garrett Richards
$7 Justin Masterson
$7 Drew Smyly
$7 Bartolo Colon
$7 Dillon Gee
$7 Jesse Chavez
$7 Jose Quintana
$7 CC Sabathia
$6 Jason Hammel
$6 Zack Wheeler
$6 Rick Porcello
$6 Michael Pineda
$6 Tim Lincecum

The K/BB ratios are sirens singing for Sabathia and Lincecum, but I still say both pitchers are sucker plays. Both guys have struggled with homers as their velocity has decreased in recent seasons, so there's no way I'm going to fall for the mistake of assuming they can have a league-average HR/FB clip the rest of the way. If you want more proof of Lincecum being hittable, look at the bloated line-drive rate. That's not a coincidence . . .

$5 Jake Peavy
$5 Wade Miley
$5 Jenrry Mejia
$5 Martin Perez
$5 Tyler Skaggs
$5 Edinson Volquez
$4 Jon Niese
$4 Jason Vargas
$4 Aaron Harang
$4 R.A. Dickey
$3 Collin McHugh
$3 Robbie Ross
$3 Mike Leake
$3 Mark Buehrle
$3 Jered Weaver
$3 Chris Tillman
$3 Drew Hutchison
$3 Alfredo Simon
$3 Charlie Morton

McHugh is too old to be a prospect and his minor-league resume is nothing special, but we can't ignore someone who strikes out 19 batters over two starts. He'll host Seattle next week (okay), then head to Baltimore (risky) . . . Weaver was already heading in the wrong direction entering the year, and so far, even worse: strikeouts down, walks up, homers up, velocity in the mid-80s. Even if he were a free agent in my mixers, I wouldn't pick him up right now.

$2 Josh Collmenter
$2 Colby Lewis
$2 Henderson Alvarez
$2 Tanner Roark
$2 Jake Odorizzi
$2 Hector Santiago
$2 Tommy Milone
$2 Wei-Yin Chen
$2 Brandon McCarthy
$2 Matt Harrison
$2 Zach McAllister
$2 John Danks
$2 Phil Hughes
$2 Felix Doubront
$2 Roenis Elias
$1 Bronson Arroyo
$1 Jhoulys Chacin
$1 Josh Beckett
$1 Taylor Jordan
$1 Brandon Morrow
$1 Ricky Nolasco
$1 Dallas Keuchel
$1 Ubaldo Jimenez
$1 Brad Peacock
$0 Robbie Erlin
$0 Brett Oberholtzer
$0 Miguel Gonzalez
$0 Tyler Chatwood

Here are provisional ranks for the key pitchers currently on the DL. They're listed as a courtesy, but I'm not going to debate any of them. I'm not a doctor. It's not my elbow, or shoulder, or back. The value of injured players varies greatly from format to format, and I tend to expect less of injured players than most people do. It is what it is.

$29 Clayton Kershaw
$23 Chris Sale
$18 Hisashi Iwakuma
$16 Anibal Sanchez
$14 Mike Minor
$12 Mat Latos
$11 Doug Fister
$10 Alex Cobb
$5 Taijuan Walker
$4 Joe Kelly
$4 Derek Holland
$4 James Paxton
$2 Scott Feldman

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