12 guys will handle the WHIP like Indiana Jones in 2010

Few past figures real or imaginary could crack a whip quite like Indiana Jones — for reference, we’re talking about the pre-crystal/aliens Indy here.

The only other character that springs to mind immediately is Calibos from The Clash of the Titans.

Whether you prefer to associate with Hollywood’s whip heroes or whip villains is really your choice. But if you want to win at fantasy baseball there are 12 elite pitchers who are likely to be WHIP heroes for you in 2010.

Because it’s really a different world for starters and relievers, I’ve separated these lists to represent both parts of your fantasy pitching staff.

Let’s start with the seven elite starters who have been projected by three different experts to be studs in 2010. Elite players are listed with teams and average draft positions:

Roy Halladay, Phillies (27.11); Zack Grienke, Royals (28.33); Dan Haren, Diamondbacks (40.77); Tim Lincecum, Giants (11.99); Chris Carpenter, Cardinals (70.36); CC Sabathia, Yankees (28.96); Cole Hamels, Phillies (99.77).

Obviously, the best value here is Hamels. If he bounces back like a lot of experts think he could, his fantasy owners will be contenders.

Five elite relievers:

Mariano Rivera, Yankees (71.44); Joakim Soria, Royals (100.32); Joe Nathan, Twins (74.06); Huston Street, Rockies (142.06); Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers (69.35)

They’re relievers, so you shouldn’t be drafting them early, but Street’s ADP kinda jumps out, doesn’t it?

Three starters and four relievers didn’t quite make the elite cut but were ranked high enough on two lists to be noted:

Starters

Cliff Lee, Mariners; Johan Santana, Mets; Javier Vazquez, Yankees

Relievers

Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox; Andrew Bailey, Athletics; Billy Wagner, Braves; Mike Adams, Padres

Just so you know what I know, while Bailey only made the cut on two of three projection lists, he was at the very top of one of the lists.

In 2009, nine relievers who pitched at least 50 innings had sub-1.00 WHIPs. Out of starters who threw 150 or more innings, 17 had sub-1.20 WHIPs.

Starters

Haren; Carpenter; Vazquez; Lincecum, Ted Lilly, Cubs; Grienke; Randy Wolf, Dodgers; Halladay; Felix Hernandez, Mariners; Joel Pineiro, Cardinals; Sabathia, Josh Johnson, Marlins; Justin Verlander, Tigers; Matt Cain, Giants; Jarrod Washburn, Mariners-Tigers ; Scott Baker, Twins; Josh Beckett, Red Sox

Relievers

Dan Wheeler, Rays; Bailey; Rivera; Trevor Hoffman, Brewers; Street; Nathan, Mike Wuertz, Athletics; Broxton, Matt Guerrier, Twins

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