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AL To NL Starting Pitchers

Like many people, I believe it's easier to pitch in the National League than the American.  The following pitchers will move to the NL for 2011:

  • Cliff Lee, Phillies.  Lee is currently a fourth-round pick.  He spent all of 2010 in the AL and flourished; he'd logged 12 regular season starts in the NL with the Phillies in '09.  That's when he had his career-best strikeout rate at 8.4 per nine, so we could see a similar boost in 2011.  Keep in mind that if Lee finds his way back to 33 regular season starts he could reach 240 innings.
  • Zack Greinke, Brewers.  He's a fifth-round pick at this time as fantasy leaguers prepare to see what Greinke can do in the NL for the first time, with a powerful offense behind him and the motivation of contention.
  • Matt Garza, Cubs.  Garza is going in the ninth round, which isn't much of an added NL boost.  If he pairs his '09 strikeout rate and '10 walk rate and manages to keep the ball in the yard, he could post a huge year.
  • Javier Vazquez, Marlins.  The ninth round is pretty early for Vazquez, he admittedly dominated in his last NL stint.  I've always got interest in Vazquez, but he may have shaken his perennial undervalued tag if that's where he's getting drafted.  I'd want him a few rounds later given his intense struggles last year.
  • Shaun Marcum, Brewers.  I suppose a lack of name value is keeping Marcum in the 14th round.  You're getting a strong WHIP and sufficient Ks; he's a major sleeper unless he climbs to a much earlier spot.
  • Dan Hudson, Diamondbacks.  Hudson came to the NL in July of last year and looked very good in 11 starts for Arizona.  As an 18th round pick you're not risking much.
  • Jake Westbrook, Cardinals.  He also moved to the NL at the trade deadline, and at 6.6 per nine posted one of the better K rates of his career.  If that holds you might be able to squeeze 160 Ks out of the groundballer.
  • Ryan Rowland-Smith, Astros and Dustin Moseley, Padres.  A very low strikeout pair that even the NL can't save for fantasy.

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