Top 120 Starting Pitchers

For me, the end of the Super Bowl is the official start of the fantasy baseball season. Obviously, I never really take my attention away from baseball even after the World Series, but I’m definitely an outlier. There are plenty of big time baseball and football fans who close the book on the diamond for the pigskin come October (or even September if their fantasy team falls out and their favorite team doesn’t make the playoffs) only to return once football is done.

Well, it’s done!

With that, it’s time for a new SP ranking update. I’d be hinting at an update coming sooner than later, so I appreciate your patience. I’ve got a list running 120 deep with colored bars denoting some talent breaks. There is still a substantial Glob™ where the distinctions between pitchers become thinner. I don’t have an ironclad case for #80 over #106 the way I do #16 over #42. These are my preferences, though. I’m leaning on The Glob™ to shirk accountability for my rankings, but it’d be foolish not to acknowledge how wide-open SP ranks become around 70 or so. In fact, there’s an upper tier Glob™ from around 35 to 79 and then the standard Glob™ from 80 until maybe even 150 or so, but I decided to cut it at 120.

I’ll have plenty more on pitcher rankings in the coming months, including lists with commentary on most (if not all) pitchers, lists for attacking The Glob™, my biggest buys, my biggest fades, and more! Justin and I will have a two-part positional preview pod on starting pitchers, each likely approaching two hours if I had to guess. But for now, enjoy this list and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Top 120 – February
Pitcher Team
1 Max Scherzer WAS
2 Jacob deGrom NYM
3 Chris Sale BOS
4 Justin Verlander HOU
5 Gerrit Cole HOU
6 Corey Kluber CLE
7 Aaron Nola PHI
8 Noah Syndergaard NYM
9 Blake Snell TB
10 Clayton Kershaw LAD
11 Carlos Carrasco CLE
12 Luis Severino NYY
13 Trevor Bauer CLE
14 Walker Buehler LAD
15 Jameson Taillon PIT
16 Mike Clevinger CLE
17 David Price BOS
18 Stephen Strasburg WAS
19 James Paxton NYY
20 Zack Greinke ARI
21 Zack Wheeler NYM
22 Madison Bumgarner SF
23 Patrick Corbin WAS
24 Miles Mikolas STL
25 Jose Berrios MIN
26 Carlos Martinez STL
27 Jack Flaherty STL
28 Yu Darvish CHC
29 Kyle Hendricks CHC
30 Mike Foltynewicz ATL
31 Charlie Morton TB
32 J.A. Happ NYY
33 Masahiro Tanaka NYY
34 German Marquez COL
35 Luis Castillo CIN
36 Ross Stripling LAD
37 Nathan Eovaldi BOS
38 Nick Pivetta PHI
39 Eduardo Rodriguez BOS
40 Chris Archer PIT
41 Cole Hamels CHC
42 Kyle Freeland COL
43 Robbie Ray ARI
44 Andrew Heaney LAA
45 Rich Hill LAD
46 Kenta Maeda LAD
47 Joe Musgrove PIT
48 Jimmy Nelson MIL
49 Jon Gray COL
50 Alex Wood CIN
51 Dallas Keuchel FA
52 Shane Bieber CLE
53 Hyun-Jin Ryu LAD
54 Anibal Sanchez WAS
55 Tyler Skaggs LAA
56 Jose Quintana CHC
57 Jon Lester CHC
58 Yusei Kikuchi SEA
59 Joshua James HOU
60 Michael Fulmer DET
61 Reynaldo Lopez CWS
62 Zack Godley ARI
63 Rick Porcello BOS
64 Matthew Boyd DET
65 Jake Arrieta PHI
66 Alex Reyes STL
67 Michael Wacha STL
68 Tyler Glasnow TB
69 Kevin Gausman ATL
70 Kyle Gibson MIN
71 Joey Lucchesi SD
72 Steven Matz NYM
73 Dereck Rodriguez SF
74 CC Sabathia NYY
75 Brandon Woodruff MIL
76 Sonny Gray CIN
77 Luke Weaver ARI
78 Collin McHugh HOU
79 Michael Soroka ATL
80 Anthony DeSclafani CIN
81 Jhoulys Chacin MIL
82 Marco Gonzales SEA
83 Mike Minor TEX
84 Dylan Bundy BAL
85 Trevor Cahill OAK
86 Carlos Rodon CWS
87 Julio Urias LAD
88 Corbin Burnes MIL
89 Jose Urena MIA
90 Sean Newcomb ATL
91 Julio Teheran ATL
92 Jakob Junis KC
93 Jesus Luzardo OAK
94 Jeff Samardzija SF
95 Jake Odorizzi MIN
96 Vince Velasquez PHI
97 Danny Duffy KC
98 Marcus Stroman TOR
99 Derek Holland SF
100 Seth Lugo NYM
101 Aaron Sanchez TOR
102 Trevor Richards MIA
103 Jake Faria TB
104 Freddy Peralta MIL
105 Merrill Kelly ARI
106 Trevor Williams PIT
107 Tanner Roark CIN
108 Alex Cobb BAL
109 Nick Kingham PIT
110 Forrest Whitley HOU
111 Marco Estrada OAK
112 Ryan Yarbrough TB
113 Matt Harvey LAA
114 Michael Pineda MIN
115 Wade Miley HOU
116 Zach Eflin PHI
117 Brad Keller KC
118 Drew Pomeranz SF
119 Ryan Borucki TOR
120 Jerad Eickhoff PHI

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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3 years ago

I get Coors and all but damn, Marquez was basically degrom for 16 starts, with the peripherals to back it up. This ranking feels harsh IMO

3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Sporer

Oh it’s totally not massive, but his stats over it weren’t just great they were otherworldly. I think it does point to some incredible skills. I’m sure there’s some reasons for first and half discrepancies, that people smarter than myself can uncover.

I don’t necessarily disagree on market being too high. I have him as a low cost keeper so won’t need to pay the price. But a bit more confident on his outlook

3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Sporer

That’s fair. My hope as an owner is that the Ks limit some downside. Mid-high 3 era with big Ks can be a top 25 arm. Glad I can own him without paying the market price though, there certainly is risk.

3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Sporer

I like him. Just adding my $0.02 as to why I am cautious. One thing I don’t ever see get mentioned about Marquez is that he hasn’t really figured out how to retire lefties. He’s death on righties – but even during his streak lefties hit him well – he supressed runs against lefties in Sept, but they still hit him to a .297/.333/.459 tune, which is similar to his 2018 full season line of .286/.343/.453 line and his career .284/.344/.444 line.

3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Sporer

I was in on Marquez at the start of last season and was disappointed by his early season performance (so basically I joined you in Collette’s valley of disappointment). I was elated when he turned in that awesome second half, but I have to agree he seems to be getting overvalued by a large segment. I think your other article nails the logical concerns about Marquez: right now, there are comparable pitchers with similar ADPs (or later). The tier offers serious value, but the longer you can wait in that tier, the more likely you can get that value. Also, Charlie Morton deserves his due, which you’ve rightfully given him. Nice work.