|Lester looks to add another strong season to his resume in 2014 (SportsWeb)|
Lester's not a fantasy ace but remains a solid option as a third or fourth starting pitcher. He's always good for 15 or 16 wins, with the potential to threaten 20 if everything goes right for him. Last year's 3.75 ERA was a near perfect match for his career 3.76 mark, so his ERA figures to be in the 3.60-3.90 range this year. Gone are the days of Lester posting elite strikeout totals, but 175 or so still aint too shabby. His WHIP won't help much, but it's not going to hurt you either. 2014 is going to be a contract year for him, too, but maybe not for long if Boston decides to lock him up.
16-7, 3.63 ERA, 174 strikeouts, 1.30 WHIP
Buchholz just can't stay healthy, but at least he pitches well when he's able to take the mound. He was a frontrunner for last year's Cy Young before a strained neck injury waylaid him. He's the classic case of high-risk, high-reward.
My Projections: 9-5, 3.42 ERA, 87 strikeouts, 1.16 WHIP
(If he's healthy): 14-8, 3.54 ERA, 125 strikeouts, 1.23 WHIP
Lackey's redemptive 2013 was not only a total surprise, but also one of his finest seasons. He's unlikely to repeat it in his age 35 season, especially given how poorly he pitched in his two seasons prior to last, but it seems safe to say that he's an effective pitcher once again.
My Projections: 13-11, 4.02 ERA, 153 strikeouts, 1.24 WHIP
Peavy handled himself well his first time through the AL East, posting a 4.04 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 4-1 record in his 10 starts with the Red Sox last year. The former Cy Young winner got roughed up during the postseason, but it wouldn't be wise to put much stock in two starts against baseball's second and third-best offenses. Durability's an issue for Peavy, as he's started more than 30 games in a season just once in the past six years, and he's not the ace he used to be, but at least his peripherals are still nice.
My Projections: 12-9, 4.32 ERA, 116 strikeouts, 1.20 WHIP
Doubront's going to be the fifth starter in Boston's rotation now that Ryan Dempster's out of the picture. The Venezuelan southpaw improved his ERA by more than half a run over his rookie season but failed to show better peripherals. That said, he pitched really well for most of the summer before a couple September shellackings inflated his numbers, so it's conceivable that he continues to improve in 2014 (his third full season as a starter and age 26 season). He could be so much better if he gets his walk rate down from and becomes more economical with his pitches, but until then he's only going to be useful in deep or AL-only leagues.
My Projections: 13-8, 4.16 ERA, 152 strikeouts, 1.40 WHIP
The biggest question mark with Uehara is health. He turns 39 in April and has never surpassed 60 innings in consecutive seasons before. But when he's pitched, his track record has been absolutely stellar. My bet is that if he's healthy, he's going to dominate again in 2014, though not to the insane degree he did a year ago.
My Projections: 3 wins, 36 saves, 2.38 ERA, 75 strikeouts, 0.78 WHIP