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2022 Starting Pitching Fantasy Rankings

In 2021 there were a total of 17 starters that amassed 200 or more strikeouts. There were only seven starters that pitched more than 190 innings. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to build a competitive rotation in 2022.

  1. Walker Buehler, LAD – The gloves finally came off as Buehler finally crossed the 200-inning threshold in 2021. Yes, the walk rates were a bit higher last year but when you only allow 149 hits and strike out better than a batter per inning, to go along with a league leading 28 quality starts, there isn’t reason to be concerned about his status as the best starter in the game.
  2. Gerrit Cole, NYY – He will be the first pitcher off the board this year. The second half of 2021 and that 4.14 ERA identifies his lofty placing is not without some risk.
  3. Corbin Burnes, MIL – It’s hard to complain when a pitcher posts a 2.43 ERA, .94 WHIP, and 234 strikeouts in 167 IP, but I will. Add another 25-to-30 innings and he’s the best pitcher in the game.
  4. Julio Urias, LAD – It has been a long road and a lot of work since that torn anterior capsule in 2017, but Urias has beat the odds and is displaying the form required to be an elite level starter. Count on an ERA in the low three’s, a strikeout per inning, and a ton of Wins from the 25-year-old ace.
  5. Shane Bieber, CLE – 2021 was a tough season for the Indians ace. He dealt with a right shoulder strain that was cause for him to miss more than three months. Bieber is reporting that he’s 100% healthy and fully recovered. A return to his lofty 2019/2020 level of play and Top-3 status could be in the cards.
  6. Zack Wheeler, PHI – Wheeler finished second in a close battle with the Brewers Corbin Burnes for the 2021 NL Cy Young Award. He led all of baseball with 213 1/3 IP. Posted the fifth best ERA (2.78) in all of baseball and struck out 247 hitters, one behind league Leader Robbie Ray. Let’s hope the off-season shoulder soreness is strictly limited to the off-season.
  7. Max Scherzer, NYM – The run of six consecutive seasons posting 200+ innings is clearly in the rearview mirror, but even 175-innings from the 37-year-old ace will leave you with one of the best arms in the game.
  8. Jacob deGrom, NYM – I’d feel more comfortable with deGrom if the Mets could actually provide us with accurate medical information. The health must be a concern but even 125 innings of that superb production is warranting of a spot in the Top-10.
  9. Brandon Woodruff, MIL – A pair of Brewer starters in the Top-10? You betcha! When you strikeout 211 hitters in 179 1/3 IP and put up a 2.56 ERA and .96 WHIP, there is no doubt that you are a Top-10 starter.
  10. Lucas Giolito, CWS – Over the past three seasons, Giolito has posted a 3.41, 3.48, and 3.53 ERA. He consistently strikes out better than a batter-per-inning. 180 innings of mid-three ERA with 200 strikeouts are great numbers to build your Fantasy rotation around.
  11. Aaron Nola, PHI – The hit rates were decent. The walk rate, with only 39 in 180 2/3 IP was excellent. He finished the season with the 8’th most strikeouts (223) in all of baseball. The ERA spiked upwards by almost a run and a half over the great 3.28 ERA he posted in 2020. All this being said, let’s check the ugly 4.63 ERA up to an elevated BABIP and bad luck. A rebound should be in the cards.
  12. Robbie Ray, SEA – Ray is moving to a better park to call home and pitching in a much weaker Division than the AL East. As long as he can keep that slider diving down and in to those right-handed bats, he’ll repeat the success enjoyed in Toronto.
  13. Kevin Gausman, TOR – That four-seamer and split finger pitch account for 52.7 and 35.3% of his total pitches and have developed into a great 1-2 punch. Great enough that the Jays inked him to a five-year $100 million contract this off-season.
  14. Freddy Peralta, MIL – Last year, in 144 1/3 IP Peralta struck out 195 batters while allowing only 14 balls to leave the yard. The kid gloves haven’t come off yet, but when they do, look out.
  15. Sandy Alcantara, MIA – How does a starter post a 3.19 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, strikeout a batter per inning, and manage to lose 15-of-his-33 starts? He pitches for the Marlins and that anemic offense.
  16. Jose Berrios, TOR – The Jays didn’t waste any time, inking the 27-year-old righty and recently acquired former Twin to a 7-year $131 million extension in mid-November. The core of the Jays SP is now locked up for at least the next five years.
  17. Logan Webb, SFG – 158 strikeouts in 148 IP 1/3 IP with a 3.03 ERA and only 36 walks definitely qualifies as a major breakout campaign. For those that exercised patience after the struggles of 2019 and 2020, the rewards are now at hand.
  18. Shohei Ohtani, LAA – I like Shohei Ohtani a lot, but the reality is that in most formats you have the option of using Ohtani at either UT or SP. Do you want the 40-20 potential or 125 great innings? In daily transaction Leagues, he’s the best player in the game. In weekly transaction Leagues, most of those great but limited pitching numbers simply won’t come into play.
  19. Lance Lynn, CWS – An off-season of rest should help with the knee woes that limited his workload to only 157 IP in 2021, the second lowest full-season total since becoming a full-time member of the White Sox rotation in 2012. Even with the health issues, Lynn managed to post a career best 2.69 ERA.
  20. Dylan Cease, CWS – The stuff is filthy and the 226 strikeouts in only 165 2/3 IP (7’th best in the game) clearly identifies that fact. If he can find a way to cut back on the free passes, he could vault into the elite level of starters.
  21. Max Fried, ATL – In 2020, Fried posted an ERA of 2.25 in 56 IP. Last year he upped the ante, producing a 3.04 ERA with 158 strikeouts in 165 2/3 IP, duplicating his 2019 workload. Expect more of the same in 2022, with one exception. The odds are very good that the winner of the 2021 NL Silver Slugger Award for pitchers, won’t be repeating that feat.
  22. Joe Musgrove, SDP – Finally, Musgrove delivered on the lofty expectations that many have been predicting for what seems an eternity. Now that the bar has been set, will it be maintained?
  23. Alek Manoah, TOR – Manoah got the call at the end-of-May and didn’t disappoint. In 20 starts he held the opposition to two or fewer runs in 14 of those starts on his way to posting a 3.22 ERA to go along with 127 strikeouts in only 111 2/3 IP. The Jays youngster has a bright future and that future has arrived.
  24. Trevor Rogers, MIA – The 24-year-old southpaw exploded in 2021, giving the Marlins yet another top-tier weapon in that pitching rich rotation. Mr. Rogers neighborhood is going to prove to be a very unfriendly one for opposing hitters.
  25. Shane McClanahan, TBR – The Rays were cautious with their young southpaw and over 123 1/3 IP he rewarded them with 10 wins, a great 3.43 ERA and 141 strikeouts. The next step is an increased workload, and that should occur this season.
  26. Yu Darvish, SDP – Darvish allowed 28 home runs in 166 1/3 IP. That goes a long way in explaining the 4.22 ERA. All-in-all his 2021 season wasn’t all that much different from his 2019 campaign. Until we see a drop in the gopher balls, he is what he is. Expect a 4.00 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 200 strikeouts.
  27. Justin Verlander, HOU – Verlander will be a full 17 months removed from TJS as we roll into the 2022 campaign. Even at 39-years-of-age, he’s a good bet to return to form early in the 2022 season. Houston is betting on it, and further rewarded him with a conditional $25 million option for 2023, based on only 130 innings pitched.
  28. Tyler Mahle, CIN – The 27-year-old righty produced a career best in virtually every category in 2021, the most important being the 180 innings pitched. A change of scenery is likely, as the Reds tear it down, and moving from the unfriendly confines of Great American Ballpark will do nothing but help as he attempts to string together back-to-back solid seasons.
  29. Blake Snell, SDP – The first half numbers (4.99 ERA/1.55 WHIP) were typical of what we’ve seen from Snell of-late. The second half numbers, a 3.24 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, brought back memories of that 2018 Cy Young campaign. He threw strikes and a lot of them while limiting the free passes. The potential has always been there. Just. Throw. Strikes.
  30. Luis Castillo, CIN – If only the season started in June…..
  31. Frankie Montas, OAK – A stellar 3.37 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 187 IP made for a breakout campaign for the 28-year-old righty. Montas is hoping for another breakout in 2022. Breaking out of Oakland.
  32. Nathan Eovaldi, BOS – After years of struggling to stay healthy, Eovaldi has now strung together two consecutive solid seasons, posting a 3.72 and 3.75 ERA with better than a strikeout-per-inning. Three-in-a-row looks like a decent bet.
  33. Jack Flaherty, STL – A severe oblique strain followed by a right shoulder strain limited the Cards ace to just 15 starts last year. Flaherty has already experienced a recurrence of the shoulder woes this Spring, with the Cards currently anxiously awaiting the results of a second opinion. All one needs to do is revisit that amazing 2019 campaign to see the potential that a healthy Flaherty can bring to the table.
  34. Clayton Kershaw, LAD – The rumor mill had Kershaw looking at the Rangers, but in the end he reupped with the Dodgers on a one-year $17 million deal. The years have taken a toll, and with the back woes he’s not the same pitcher that he once was, but if you’re looking for 125-to-140 innings of above average numbers, he should be more than capable of delivering.
  35. Framber Valdez, HOU – In 2021, Valdez finally broke the 100-inning barrier for the first time, tossing 134 2/3 innings. He was a huge factor in Houston returning to the World Series. An increased workload this coming season and he could have that same effect in 2022.
  36. Chris Bassitt, NYM – It would have been tough for Bassitt to repeat the 12 wins he produced in 2021 for the A’s. Moving to the Mets removes those concerns.
  37. Carlos Rodon, SFG – Rodon tossed 132 2/3 innings in 2021, his highest total since 2016. He lowered the walk rate significantly, only allowing 36. The result, a career best 2.37 ERA. He was rewarded with a two-year $44 million deal with the Giants. It’s all about the health.
  38. Luis Garcia, HOU – He won the battle for the fifth starter gig over Cristian Javier and never looked back, finishing second to Randy Arozarena in the AL ROY voting. 11 wins, a 3.48 ERA, and better than a strikeout per inning is a nice floor to build on heading into 2022.
  39. Charlie Morton, ATL – In his past three full seasons the ageless wonder has struck out 201, 240, and 216 batters. The highest ERA he has posted over that same time span is 3.34. He just continues to get better and better as he moves closer to 40.
  40. Eduardo Rodriguez, DET – The off-season $77 million Free Agent deal brings a veteran presence to the Tiger’s youthful rotation. Another year removed from the struggles he endured with Covid-19, including myocarditis, could prove to make the addition of E-Rod a bargain.
  41. Pablo Lopez, MIA
  42. Shane Baz, TBR
  43. Sean Manaea, OAK
  44. Marcus Stroman, CHC
  45. Logan Gilbert, SEA
  46. Ian Anderson, ATL
  47. Chris Sale, BOS
  48. Mike Clevinger, SDP
  49. Zac Gallen, ARZ
  50. Michael Kopech, CWS
  51. Tarik Skubal, DET
  52. Ranger Suarez, PHI
  53. Adam Wainwright, STL
  54. Hyun-Jin Ryu, TOR
  55. Anthony DeSclafani, SFG
  56. Alex Wood, SFG
  57. Triston McKenzie, CLE
  58. Jon Gray, TEX
  59. Jose Urquidy, HOU
  60. Luis Severino, NYY
  61. Sonny Gray, MIN
  62. Casey Mize, DET
  63. Noah Syndergaard, LAA
  64. Tanner Houck, BOS
  65. Jordan Montgomery, NYY
  66. Patrick Sandoval, LAA
  67. Cristian Javier, HOU
  68. Joe Ryan, MIN
  69. German Marquez, COL
  70. Cal Quantrill, CLE
  71. John Means, BAL
  72. Aaron Civale, CLE
  73. Bailey Ober, MIN
  74. Yusei Kikuchi, TOR
  75. Marco Gonzales, SEA
  76. Eric Lauer, MIL
  77. Alex Cobb, SFG
  78. Lance McCullers, HOU
  79. Josiah Gray, WAS
  80. Huascar Ynoa, ATL
  81. Steven Matz, STL
  82. Luis Patino, TB
  83. James Kaprielian, OAK
  84. Carlos Hernandez, KCR
  85. Trevor Bauer, LAD
  86. Carlos Carrasco, NYM
  87. Adrian Houser, MIL
  88. Stephen Strasburg, WAS
  89. Taijuan Walker, NYM
  90. Andrew Heaney, LAD
  91. Kyle Hendricks, CHC
  92. Chris Flexen, SEA
  93. Elieser Hernandez, MIA
  94. Drew Rasmussen, TBR
  95. Wade Miley, CHC
  96. Corey Kluber, TBR
  97. Jameson Taillon, NYY
  98. Matt Manning, DET
  99. Aaron Ashby, MIL
  100. Zach Plesac, CLE
  101. Tucker Davidson, ATL
  102. Tylor Megill, NYM
  103. Tony Gonsolin, LAD
  104. Nick Martinez, SDP
  105. Nick Pivetta, BOS
  106. Merrill Kelly, ARZ
  107. Reid Detmers, LAA
  108. Brady Singer, KCR
  109. Edward Cabrera, MIA
  110. Jose Suarez, LAA
  111. Michael Pineda, FA
  112. Hunter Greene, CIN
  113. Jesus Luzardo, MIA
  114. Nate Pearson, TOR
  115. Zack Greinke, KCR
  116. Madison Bumgarner, ARZ
  117. Dane Dunning, TEX
  118. Dustin May, LAD
  119. Rich Hill, BOS
  120. Luke Weaver, ARZ
  121. Dallas Keuchel, CWS
  122. Miles Mikolas, STL
  123. Zach Eflin, PHI
  124. Drew Smyly, ATL
  125. Kris Bubic, KCR
  126. Dylan Bundy, MIN
  127. Patrick Corbin, WAS
  128. Dan Straily, ARZ
  129. Mike Minor, CIN
  130. Domingo German, NYY
  131. Reynaldo Lopez, CWS
  132. Tyler Alexander, DET
  133. Jake Odorizzi, HOU
  134. Nestor Cortes, NYY
  135. Nick Lodolo, CIN
  136. Michael Wacha, BOS
  137. Daniel Lynch, KCR
  138. Cole Irvin, OAK
  139. Max Meyer, MIA
  140. Cody Morris, CLE
  141. JT Brubaker, PIT
  142. Ryan Weathers, SDP
  143. Kyle Gibson, PHI
  144. Grayson Rodriguez, BAL
  145. Roansy Contreras, PIT
  146. David Price, LAD
  147. Dakota Hudson, STL
  148. Cade Cavalli, WAS
  149. Luis Gil, NYY
  150. Reiver Sanmartin, CIN
  151. Matthew Liberatore, STL
  152. Joey Wentz, DET
  153. Zach Thompson, PIT
  154. Danny Duffy, LAD
  155. Clarke Schmidt, NYY
  156. Chris Paddack, SDP
  157. Graham Ashcraft, CIN
  158. Adbert Alzolay, CHC
  159. Tyler Anderson, FA
  160. Vladimir Gutierrez, CIN
  161. Michael Lorenzen, LAA
  162. George Kirby, SEA
  163. Antonio Senzatela, COL
  164. Justin Dunn, CIN
  165. Sixto Sanchez, MIA
  166. Ryan Yarbrough, TBR
  167. James Paxton, BOS
  168. Zach Davies, FA
  169. Jordan Balazovic, MIN
  170. Brandon Williamson, CIN
  171. Kyle Freeland, COL
  172. Mike Soroka, ATL
  173. Luis Frias, ARZ
  174. Matt Brash, SEA
  175. Jackson Kowar, KCR
  176. Jhoan Duran, MIN
  177. Ross Stripling, TOR
  178. Hans Crouse, PHI
  179. Kyle Muller, ATL
  180. Ryan Pepiot, LAD
  181. MacKenzie Gore, SDP
  182. Spencer Howard, TEX
  183. Emerson Hancock, SEA
  184. Bobby Miller, LAD
  185. Bryse Wilson, PIT
  186. AJ Alexy, TEX
  187. Griffin Canning, LAA
  188. Jordan Lyles, BAL
  189. Spencer Strider, ATL
  190. Josh Rogers, WAS
  191. Mitch Keller, PIT
  192. Brad Keller, KCR
  193. Taylor Hearn, TEX
  194. Brent Honeywell Jr., OAK
  195. Matthew Boyd, DET
  196. Chris Archer, FA
  197. Randy Dobnak, MIN
  198. Erick Fedde, WAS
  199. Jaime Barria, LAA
  200. Paolo Espino, WAS
  201. David Peterson, NYM
  202. Jose Quintana, PIT
  203. Miguel Yajure, PIT
  204. Vince Velasquez, FA
  205. Mark Appel, PHI
  206. Chad Kuhl, COL
  207. Sean Hjelle, SFG
  208. Carlos Martinez, SFG
  209. Johan Oviedo, STL
  210. Lewis Thorpe, MI
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