June Starting Pitcher Rankings

Another month is in the books and pitching landscape remains a mess. We lost 10 pitchers off last month’s rankings from underperformance, injuries, and demotions (to the pen or minors) and frankly, I could’ve maybe cut it to 105, but a lot of us play in deep leagues so we have to know the dregs. There are some major moves within even the top 50, let alone the rest of the rankings so I’ll have either an article or solo pod diving into reasoning behind the largest changes and how I feel about them going forward.

I look at my in-season rankings in 4-6 week blocks so the potential innings limits facing some of the younger arms rated highly aren’t really that important right now. Given that so much is going to change in the next month let alone the next four, I don’t see the point in pretending that these updates are viable for the rest of the season.

Pay attention to the tier! If I didn’t rank someone as high as you thought I should, but they are still a must or usually start, then it’s probably not worth freaking out too much. Those tiers mean they are in the rotation pretty much all the time. I’m open to debating slotting, too, but worrying about a 4-spot difference between two guys in the same tier is probably a waste of time.

The tiers are as follows:

#1s (6 SPs) – The true aces of fantasy baseball.

Must Start (29 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 for the foreseeable future.

Usually Start (25 SPs) – If “No Coors Field” is 20-25% 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.

Shallow Spot Start (25 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 while they get on track. 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.

Deep League Spot Start (30 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).

Please leave your questions and comments below!

June SP Rankings
Name Tier TM LG May Diff
1 Max Scherzer #1 WAS NL 1 0
2 Justin Verlander #1 HOU AL 2 0
3 Chris Sale #1 BOS AL 16 13
4 Gerrit Cole #1 HOU AL 4 0
5 Blake Snell #1 TB AL 3 -2
6 Jacob deGrom #1 NYM NL 6 0
7 Clayton Kershaw MS LAD NL 7 0
8 Stephen Strasburg MS WAS NL 12 4
9 Hyun-Jin Ryu MS LAD NL 28 19
10 Luis Castillo MS CIN NL 13 3
11 Walker Buehler MS LAD NL 26 15
12 Charlie Morton MS TB AL 20 8
13 Patrick Corbin MS WAS NL 9 -4
14 Matthew Boyd MS DET AL 30 16
15 James Paxton MS NYY AL 8 -7
16 David Price MS BOS AL 11 -5
17 Zack Greinke MS ARI NL 22 5
18 Zack Wheeler MS NYM NL 25 7
19 Chris Paddack MS SD NL 24 5
20 Trevor Bauer MS CLE AL 5 -15
21 Carlos Carrasco MS CLE AL 10 -11
22 Shane Bieber MS CLE AL 31 9
23 Caleb Smith MS MIA NL 27 4
24 Jack Flaherty MS STL NL 21 -3
25 Noah Syndergaard MS NYM NL 15 -10
26 German Marquez MS COL NL 32 6
27 Aaron Nola MS PHI NL 19 -8
28 Lucas Giolito MS CWS AL N/A N/A
29 Domingo German MS NYY AL 35 6
30 Mike Soroka MS ATL NL 40 10
31 Jose Berrios MS MIN AL 17 -14
32 Madison Bumgarner MS SF NL 34 2
33 Rich Hill MS LAD NL 46 13
34 Kenta Maeda MS LAD NL 50 16
35 Kyle Hendricks MS CHC NL 58 23
36 Jake Odorizzi US MIN AL 72 36
37 Mike Minor US TEX AL 45 8
38 Max Fried US ATL NL 62 24
39 Brandon Woodruff US MIL NL 79 40
40 Frankie Montas US OAK AL 73 33
41 Robbie Ray US ARI NL 42 1
42 Sonny Gray US CIN NL 41 -1
43 Matt Strahm US SD NL 53 10
44 Masahiro Tanaka US NYY AL 39 -5
45 Brad Peacock US HOU AL 52 7
46 Jose Quintana US CHC NL 33 -13
47 Miles Mikolas US STL NL 66 19
48 Griffin Canning US LAA AL 101 53
49 Joe Musgrove US PIT NL 29 -20
50 Spencer Turnbull US DET AL 82 32
51 Steven Matz US NYM NL 49 -2
52 Cole Hamels US CHC NL 43 -9
53 Joey Lucchesi US SD NL 55 2
54 Yonny Chirinos US TB AL 70 16
55 Eduardo Rodriguez US BOS AL 56 1
56 Felix Pena US LAA AL 104 48
57 Kyle Gibson US MIN AL 96 39
58 Nick Pivetta US PHI NL N/A N/A
59 Wade Miley US HOU AL 85 26
60 Jon Lester US CHC NL 59 -1
61 Yu Darvish SSS CHC NL 36 -25
62 Kevin Gausman SSS ATL NL 48 -14
63 J.A. Happ SSS NYY AL 60 -3
64 Tyler Skaggs SSS LAA AL 54 -10
65 Martin Perez SSS MIN AL 110 45
66 Tyler Mahle SSS CIN NL 81 15
67 Jordan Lyles SSS PIT NL 69 2
68 Lance Lynn SSS TEX AL 92 24
69 Andrew Heaney SSS LAA AL N/A N/A
70 Pablo Lopez SSS MIA NL 71 1
71 Trevor Richards SSS MIA NL 80 9
72 Zach Davies SSS MIL NL 106 34
73 Dylan Bundy SSS BAL AL N/A N/A
74 Chris Bassitt SSS OAK AL 84 10
75 Rick Porcello SSS BOS AL 97 22
76 Trent Thornton SSS TOR AL 98 22
77 Yusei Kikuchi SSS SEA AL 64 -13
78 Jimmy Nelson SSS MIL NL N/A N/A
79 Aaron Sanchez SSS TOR AL 77 -2
80 Julio Teheran SSS ATL NL 89 9
81 Jon Gray SSS COL NL 57 -24
82 Jake Arrieta SSS PHI NL 75 -7
83 Marcus Stroman SSS TOR AL 61 -22
84 Jerad Eickhoff SSS PHI NL 51 -33
85 Ryan Yarbrough SSS TB AL 95 10
86 Anibal Sanchez DSS WAS NL 93 7
87 Zack Plesac DSS CLE AL N/A N/A
88 Devin Smeltzer DSS MIN AL N/A N/A
89 Chris Archer DSS PIT NL 38 -51
90 Marco Gonzales DSS SEA AL 47 -43
91 CC Sabathia DSS NYY AL 100 9
92 Merrill Kelly DSS ARI NL 86 -6
93 Mike Foltynewicz DSS ATL NL 37 -56
94 Jon Duplantier DSS ARI NL N/A N/A
95 Tanner Roark DSS CIN NL 111 16
96 Jose Urena DSS MIA NL 125 29
97 Trevor Cahill DSS LAA AL 91 -6
98 Danny Duffy DSS KC AL 123 25
99 Eric Lauer DSS SD NL 112 13
100 Reynaldo Lopez DSS CWS AL 87 -13
101 Jeff Samardzija DSS SF NL 78 -23
102 Anthony DeSclafani DSS CIN NL 108 6
103 Chase Anderson DSS MIL NL 117 14
104 Genesis Cabrera DSS STL NL N/A N/A
105 Shaun Anderson DSS SF NL 83 -22
106 John Means DSS BAL AL 105 -1
107 Sandy Alcantara DSS MIA NL 118 11
108 Brad Keller DSS KC AL 90 -18
109 Drew Pomeranz DSS SF NL 76 -33
110 Ariel Jurado DSS TEX AL N/A N/A
111 Adam Wainwright DSS STL NL 115 4
112 Daniel Mengden DSS OAK AL N/A N/A
113 Dakota Hudson DSS STL NL N/A N/A
114 Jakob Junis DSS KC AL 94 -20
115 Cal Quantrill DSS SD NL 120 5

We hoped you liked reading June Starting Pitcher Rankings by Paul Sporer!

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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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JackS
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JackS

Thanks, Paul!

Why such a steep drop off for Miley?