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Masahiro Tanaka and Taxing The Starting Pitcher Market

The baseball season starts with all the splendor and fanfare of Open Day ceremonies but soon after the grind encompasses all of its participants.

The strategies formulated are forged and now face-off in a constant confrontation that create the beauty that is baseball.

The 162-game season tests the will and fortitude that produces an unambiguous outcome in the end. Introduce a variable into the equation and situations become skewed. Pitching provides this perfect storm and why they play the games.

There is a reason why certain Fantasy Baseball owners pay a premium for starting pitching, and as the course of the season plays out, those portfolio’s usually reap the benefits.

The most substantial wildcard is Masahiro Tanaka — and “who, what or when” are all recurring questions that will arise for every one of his starts. No one has the answers regarding Tanaka and anyone who states differently is just giving an opinion, not fact.

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Next month, on May 5, I will launch the In-Season Starting Pitcher Index over at and every month onward, throughout the season, I will provide in-depth analysis of the 90 names to know in the volatile starting pitcher market.

On April 15, the tax man came a-calling and in honor of this infamous day, let’s audit the starting pitching market and examine who appreciated or depreciated in this edition.

Starting Pitching Index for April 20, 2015

  1. Clayton Kershaw
  2. Felix Hernandez
  3. Max Scherzer
  4. Matt Harvey
  5. Chris Sale
  6. Stephen Strasburg
  7. David Price
  8. Madison Bumgarner
  9. Johnny Cueto
  10. Corey Kluber
  11. Zack Greinke
  12. Cole Hamels
  13. Jordan Zimmermann
  14. Julio Teheran
  15. Jon Lester
  16. Gerrit Cole
  17. Jake Arrieta
  18. Michael Wacha
  19. Jacob deGrom
  20. Adam Wainwright
  21. James Shields
  22. Jeff Samardzija
  23. Sonny Gray
  24. Alex Wood
  25. Carlos Carrasco
  26. Garrett Richards
  27. Andrew Cashner
  28. Tyson Ross
  29. Chris Archer
  30. Collin Mchugh
  31. Michael Pineda
  32. Gio Gonzalez
  33. Anibal Sanchez
  34. Hisashi Iwakuma
  35. Masahiro Tanaka
  36. Lance Lynn
  37. Brandon McCarthy
  38. Jake Odorizzi
  39. Trevor Bauer
  40. Francisco Liriano
  41. Doug Fister
  42. Drew Hutchison
  43. Yordano Ventura
  44. Scott Kazmir
  45. Shane Greene
  46. Drew Pomeranz
  47. Dallas Keuchel
  48. Shelby Miller
  49. Jimmy Nelson
  50. Anthony DeSclafani 

*I ranked only active starting pitchers, but will have a more comprehensive list coming in May.

Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavila III

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