August Starting Pitcher Rankings

I’ll have much more on these rankings next week. The pitching landscape is in a rough spot right now and the talent globs are more indistinguishable than ever. The second you start to feel comfortable with someone, they trash your line with a dud or three. Stay tuned for more info to help separate these globs in our final two months of the season.

The tiers are as follows:

#1s (12 SPs) – The true aces of fantasy baseball.

Must Start (9 SPs) – Should be pretty obvious, but these are the guys who always start. Again, it isn’t just the very best guys. There are second and third tier arms in terms of market value that I’d start every time out. They don’t have an obvious split or weakness that would give you a better chance at picking off their poor starts. Some of them are “No Coors Field”-types, but it’s predominantly set it and forget it.

Usually Start (31 SPs) – If “No Coors Field” is 30% with the MS group, it’s more like 60-70% with this group. You need to find a reason to sit them right now in most formats. You might feel like you can spot them properly, but we’re just not that precise in identifying when a solid arm will falter. These guys are good enough to thwart any opponent even on something less than their best day or they could get smacked by a weaker opponent. If you’re rostering them, you should probably be starting them.

Spot Start (S-Shallow, D-Deep) (39 Shallow, 20 Deep SPs) – Flawed talents. A lot of these guys are on the cusp of or have been in the Usually Start tier, but currently you’re looking to curate their starts a bit where you can. These guys might also be US tier arms here temporarily. Pay very close attention to gamelogs of pitchers, get a feel for how they arrived at their bottom line numbers. Not all ERAs are created equally and that’s why it’s not a gauge for future production, especially in small samples. I decided to split the group a bit as sort of a way to identify upward or downward mobility for these guys. The shallow ones are a bit more talented and/or running hot so we’re maybe keeping a closer eye on them.

Could Start (20 SPs) – I know many of you are dealing with some brutal pitching staff conditions right now after drafting a rotation you thought would be a strength, so you might find yourself in this tier a little more than you’d like. There is some talent to be plucked and the right two-start week could really set you up. This is essentially the Spot Star tier for single leagues or super-deep mixers (16+ teams).

NO (16 SPs) – No, just don’t use these guys.

Please leave your questions and comments below!

Kenta Maeda was missed. He’s been a Must-Start for me. I’ll add him and any others I miss over the weekend so if you think of someone I should’ve included, please comment below. I used a probable start sheet for next week to gather names so Maeda’s absence was particularly weird.

August Starting Pitcher Ranks
1 Max Scherzer #1 NL WAS
2 Justin Verlander #1 AL HOU
3 Chris Sale #1 AL BOS
4 Gerrit Cole #1 AL HOU
5 Jacob deGrom #1 NL NYM
6 Aaron Nola #1 NL PHI
7 Noah Syndergaard #1 NL NYM
8 Clayton Kershaw #1 NL LAD
9 Corey Kluber #1 AL CLE
10 Zack Greinke #1 NL ARI
11 James Paxton #1 AL SEA
12 Trevor Bauer #1 AL CLE
13 Luis Severino MS AL NYY
14 Charlie Morton MS AL HOU
15 Patrick Corbin MS NL ARI
16 Carlos Carrasco MS AL CLE
17 Blake Snell MS AL TB
18 Mike Clevinger MS AL CLE
19 Jose Berrios MS AL MIN
20 Madison Bumgarner MS NL SF
21 Rich Hill MS NL LAD
22 David Price US AL BOS
23 Ross Stripling US NL LAD
24 Mike Foltynewicz US NL ATL
25 Lance McCullers Jr. US AL HOU
26 Masahiro Tanaka US AL NYY
27 Jon Gray US NL COL
28 Jameson Taillon US NL PIT
29 Alex Wood US NL LAD
30 Walker Buehler US NL LAD
31 Kyle Gibson US AL MIN
32 Zack Godley US NL ARI
33 Andrew Heaney US AL LAA
34 Tyler Skaggs US AL LAA
35 J.A. Happ US AL NYY
36 Nathan Eovaldi US AL BOS
37 Zack Wheeler US NL NYM
38 Sean Newcomb US NL ATL
39 Joe Musgrove US NL PIT
40 Marco Gonzales US AL SEA
41 Trevor Cahill US AL OAK
42 Miles Mikolas US NL STL
43 Carlos Rodon US AL CWS
44 Jack Flaherty US NL STL
45 Anibal Sanchez US NL ATL
46 Chris Archer US NL PIT
47 Tyler Anderson US NL COL
48 Jon Lester US NL CHC
49 Rick Porcello US AL BOS
50 Sean Manaea US AL OAK
51 Kyle Freeland US NL COL
52 Dylan Bundy US AL BAL
53 Robbie Ray SSS NL ARI
54 Luis Castillo SSS NL CIN
55 Kyle Hendricks SSS NL CHC
56 Jose Quintana SSS NL CHC
57 Dallas Keuchel SSS AL HOU
58 Jake Arrieta SSS NL PHI
59 Vince Velasquez SSS NL PHI
60 Nick Pivetta SSS NL PHI
61 Tanner Roark SSS NL WAS
62 Gio Gonzalez SSS NL WAS
63 Marcus Stroman SSS AL TOR
64 Luke Weaver SSS NL STL
65 Derek Holland SSS NL SF
66 Dereck Rodriguez SSS NL SF
67 Kevin Gausman SSS NL ATL
68 Clay Buchholz SSS NL ARI
69 Chase Anderson SSS NL MIL
70 Shane Bieber SSS AL CLE
71 CC Sabathia SSS AL NYY
72 Cole Hamels SSS NL CHC
73 Jeremy Hellickson SSS NL WAS
74 Marco Estrada SSS AL TOR
75 Andrew Suarez SSS NL SF
76 Freddy Peralta SSS NL MIL
77 Ervin Santana SSS AL MIN
78 Dan Straily SSS NL MIA
79 Nick Tropeano SSS AL LAA
80 Danny Duffy SSS AL KC
81 German Marquez SSS NL COL
82 Antonio Senzatela SSS NL COL
83 Matt Harvey SSS NL CIN
84 Jaime Barria SSS AL LAA
85 Jose Urena SSS NL MIA
86 Jhoulys Chacin SSS NL MIL
87 Edwin Jackson SSS AL OAK
88 Wade LeBlanc SSS AL SEA
89 Zach Eflin SSS NL PHI
90 Ryan Borucki SSS AL TOR
91 Mike Minor SSS AL TEX
92 Julio Teheran DSS NL ATL
93 Reynaldo Lopez DSS AL CWS
94 Jordan Zimmermann DSS AL DET
95 Tyson Ross DSS NL SD
96 Mike Fiers DSS AL DET
97 Matt Boyd DSS AL DET
98 Drew Pomeranz DSS AL BOS
99 Jake Odorizzi DSS AL MIN
100 Felix Pena DSS AL LAA
101 Yonny Chirinos DSS AL TB
102 Ryan Yarbrough DSS AL TB
103 Jake Faria DSS AL TB
104 Junior Guerra DSS NL MIL
105 Mike Leake DSS AL SEA
106 Lance Lynn DSS AL NYY
107 Felix Hernandez DSS AL SEA
108 James Shields DSS AL CWS
109 Ivan Nova DSS NL PIT
110 Yefry Ramirez DSS AL BAL
111 Blaine Hardy DSS AL DET
112 Tyler Mahle CS NL CIN
113 Tommy Milone CS NL WAS
114 Joey Lucchesi CS NL SD
115 Mike Montgomery CS NL CHC
116 Francisco Liriano CS AL DET
117 Jake Junis CS AL KC
118 Trevor Richards CS NL MIA
119 Wei-Yin Chen CS NL MIA
120 Brad Keller CS AL KC
121 Anthony DeSclafani CS NL CIN
122 Robbie Erlin CS NL SD
123 John Gant CS NL STL
124 Austin Gomber CS NL STL
125 Sam Gaviglio CS AL TOR
126 Eric Lauer CS NL SD
127 Clayton Richard CS NL SD
128 Pablo Lopez CS NL MIA
129 Heath Fillmyer CS AL KC
130 Adalberto Mejia CS AL MIN
131 Sal Romano CS NL CIN


Don’t Start These Guys
Andrew Cashner NO AL BAL
Alex Cobb NO AL BAL
David Hess NO AL BAL
Lucas Giolito NO AL CWS
Dylan Covey NO AL CWS
Wade Miley NO NL MIL
Jason Vargas NO NL NYM
Corey Oswalt NO NL NYM
Brett Anderson NO AL OAK
Trevor Williams NO NL PIT
Chris Stratton NO NL SF
Tyler Glasnow NO AL TB
Ariel Jurado NO AL TEX
Bartolo Colon NO AL TEX
Yovani Gallardo NO AL TEX
Martin Perez NO AL TEX

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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No Kenta?