June Starting Pitcher Rankings

Even as the samples grow larger, pitchers are always changing making it the most volatile market in the fantasy game. This volatility is exacerbated by the tightening talent pool, no doubt due in part due to the ability of teams and players to analyze all aspects of pitching and continually tweak a pitch here or alter mechanics there to unlock a pitcher’s full potential. Following pitchers closely and staying up on those changes is part of the fun of this game.

There is also just the natural ebbs and flows of a season.

Over the course of 30 starts, a guy will have his A+ stuff for 10 starts and then be lucky to have even a single reliable pitch in 10 others leaving those middle 10 to decide their fate. Even the best get knocked around a couple times per year, don’t freak out. Meanwhile, fourth-fifth starters usually end up with 12-15 good starts over the course of a season, even if it’s a 4.75 ERA kind of season, so be careful diving headfirst if it’s the same profile posting outlier numbers. I’ve got 119 guys ranked for June and then the injured guys on their own.

The tiers are as follows:

#1s (13 SPs) – The true aces of fantasy baseball.

Must Start (21 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 (16 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) (30 Shallow, 19 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 (18 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).

Injured (27 SPs) – I find it hard/worthless to rank injured guys. I just think the outlook on injured players varies so much person-to-person that you can’t really use an injured player’s ranking for anything. I will identify the tier I’d put the injured guy in when healthy, though.

Please leave your questions and comments below!

June Starting Pitcher Rankings
1 Max Scherzer #1 NL WAS
2 Justin Verlander #1 AL HOU
3 Chris Sale #1 AL BOS
4 Corey Kluber #1 AL CLE
5 Gerrit Cole #1 AL HOU
6 Luis Severino #1 AL NYY
7 Jacob deGrom #1 NL NYM
8 Noah Syndergaard #1 NL NYM
9 Stephen Strasburg #1 NL WAS
10 Aaron Nola #1 NL PHI
11 James Paxton #1 AL SEA
12 Madison Bumgarner #1 NL SF
13 Zack Greinke #1 NL ARI
14 Carlos Carrasco MS AL CLE
15 Carlos Martinez MS NL STL
16 Blake Snell MS AL TB
17 Charlie Morton MS AL HOU
18 Patrick Corbin MS NL ARI
19 Trevor Bauer MS AL CLE
20 Lance McCullers MS AL HOU
21 Shohei Ohtani MS AL LAA
22 Jose Berrios MS AL MIN
23 Gio Gonzalez MS NL WAS
24 Walker Buehler MS NL LAD
25 Ross Stripling MS NL LAD
26 Garrett Richards MS AL LAA
27 David Price MS AL BOS
28 Nick Pivetta MS NL PHI
29 J.A. Happ MS AL TOR
30 Dylan Bundy MS AL BAL
31 Tyson Ross MS NL SD
32 Miles Mikolas MS NL STL
33 Eduardo Rodriguez MS AL BOS
34 Andrew Heaney MS AL LAA
35 Jameson Taillon US NL PIT
36 Tanner Roark US NL WAS
37 Kyle Hendricks US NL CHC
38 Jose Quintana US NL CHC
39 Mike Clevinger US AL CLE
40 Mike Foltynewicz US NL ATL
41 Sean Newcomb US NL ATL
42 Michael Wacha US NL STL
43 Dallas Keuchel US AL HOU
44 Kyle Gibson US AL MIN
45 Jake Arrieta US NL PHI
46 Tyler Skaggs US AL LAA
47 Jon Lester US NL CHC
48 Alex Wood US NL LAD
49 Junior Guerra US NL MIL
50 Trevor Cahill US AL OAK
51 Luis Castillo SSS NL CIN
52 Joe Musgrove SSS NL STL
53 Rick Porcello SSS AL BOS
54 Fernando Romero SSS AL MIN
55 Caleb Smith SSS NL MIA
56 Vince Velasquez SSS NL PHI
57 Jack Flaherty SSS NL STL
58 Jakob Junis SSS AL KC
59 Zack Godley SSS NL ARI
60 Michael Fulmer SSS AL DET
61 Aaron Sanchez SSS AL TOR
62 Masahiro Tanaka SSS AL NYY
63 Luke Weaver SSS NL STL
64 Sonny Gray SSS AL NYY
65 Jon Gray SSS NL COL
66 CC Sabathia SSS AL NYY
67 Nick Kingham SSS NL PIT
68 Kyle Freeland SSS NL COL
69 Sean Manaea SSS AL OAK
70 Kevin Gausman SSS AL BAL
71 Jake Odorizzi SSS AL MIN
72 Marco Gonzales SSS AL SEA
73 Nick Tropeano SSS AL LAA
74 Dan Straily SSS NL MIA
75 Matt Boyd SSS AL DET
76 Cole Hamels SSS AL TEX
77 Jose Urena SSS NL MIA
78 Ryan Yarbrough SSS AL TB
79 Daniel Mengden SSS AL OAK
80 Jordan Lyles SSS NL SD
81 Tyler Anderson DSS NL COL
82 Chase Anderson DSS NL MIL
83 Nathan Eovaldi DSS AL TB
84 Marco Estrada DSS AL TOR
85 Trevor Williams DSS NL PIT
86 Lance Lynn DSS AL MIN
87 Domingo German DSS AL NYY
88 Zack Wheeler DSS NL NYM
89 Steven Matz DSS NL NYM
90 Steven Wright DSS AL BOS
91 German Marquez DSS NL COL
92 Zach Eflin DSS NL PHI
93 Mike Minor DSS AL TEX
94 Freddy Peralta DSS NL MIL
95 Reynaldo Lopez DSS AL CWS
96 Felix Hernandez DSS AL SEA
97 Carlos Rodon DSS AL CWS
98 Francisco Liriano DSS AL DET
99 Brandon McCarthy DSS NL ATL
100 Andrew Suarez DSS NL SF
101 Jhoulys Chacin CS NL MIL
102 Clayton Richard CS NL SD
103 Danny Duffy CS AL KC
104 Chad Kuhl CS NL PIT
105 Tyler Mahle CS NL CIN
106 Chris Stratton CS NL SF
107 Clay Buchholz CS NL ARI
108 Frankie Montas CS AL OAK
109 Wade LeBlanc CS AL SEA
110 Brent Suter CS NL MIL
111 Trevor Richards CS NL MIA
112 Mike Leake CS AL SEA
113 Dylan Covey CS AL CWS
114 Andrew Triggs CS AL OAK
115 Chad Bettis CS NL COL
116 Zach Davies CS NL MIL
117 Mike Fiers CS AL DET
118 Bartolo Colon CS AL TEX
119 Alex Cobb CS AL BAL
NR Clayton Kershaw IN/#1 NL LAD
NR Johnny Cueto IN/#1 NL SF
NR Yu Darvish IN/MS NL CHC
NR Robbie Ray IN/MS NL ARI
NR Jimmy Nelson IN/MS NL MIL
NR Chris Archer IN/MS AL TB
NR Danny Salazar IN/US AL CLE
NR Kenta Maeda IN/US NL LAD
NR Matt Shoemaker IN/US AL LAA
NR Ervin Santana IN/US AL MIN
NR Hyun Jin Ryu IN/US NL LAD
NR Michael Soroka IN/SSS NL ATL
NR Marcus Stroman IN/SSS AL TOR
NR Joey Lucchesi IN/SSS NL SD
NR Jake Faria IN/SSS AL TB
NR Julio Teheran IN/DSS NL ATL
NR Drew Pomeranz IN/DSS AL BOS
NR Yonny Chirinos IN/DSS NL PIT
NR Jeff Samardzija IN/DSS NL SF
NR Jeremy Hellickson IN/CS NL WAS
NR Adam Wainwright IN/CS NL STL
NR Miguel Gonzalez IN/CS AL CWS
NR Martin Perez IN/CS AL TEX
NR Kendall Graveman IN/DS AL OAK
NR Ryan Carpenter IN/DS AL DET

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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4 years ago

Down goes Fulmer!