Starting Pitchers

There is nothing wrong with moving early on Starting Pitching this year, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to. You can and will be able to find solid upper-tier starters right through the 5th Round. Starting pitching is deep, with plenty of talent from top-to-bottom, allowing us the opportunity to pick the path we wish to journey.

  1. Sandy Alcantara, MIA – He led the League in IP by a whopping 23 2/3 over runner-up Aaron Nola, while posting a 2.28 ERA. His six complete games led the Majors. He is the consummate workhorse in a League where that phrase can’t be used very often. 
  2. Shohei Ohtani, LAA – We should be incredibly thankful to watch the best all-around player in the game’s history.
  3. Gerrit Cole, NYY – In the past five full seasons, Cole has started 33, 32, 33, 30, and 32 games. Over that span, he has bested the 250-strikeout mark three times. Even with a mid-3 ERA, there’s a lot to like.
  4. Corbin Burnes, MIL – As a parting gift to the Milwaukee faithful, he’ll attempt to carry them to a playoff spot in 2023.
  5. Aaron Nola, PHI – 2021 proved to be a hiccup, as we saw Nola return to his workhorse-type ways last year—Bank on 200 innings of low-3 ERA and 200+ strikeouts.
  6. Dylan Cease, CWS – Over the past two seasons, only eight starters have recorded back-to-back 200+ strikeout seasons, and Dylan Cease is one of those eight.
  7. Shane McClanahan, TBR – A left shoulder impingement at the end of August cost McClanahan three weeks, but he still managed to build on his excellent 2021 rookie campaign. There will be a Cy Young Award in the future.
  8. Alek Manoah, TOR – When you toss 196 2/3 innings of 2.24 ERA ball and are a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award in your first full season in the League, you’re an ace and should be treated as such heading into 2023.
  9. Justin Verlander, NYM – In a career that began in 2005, Verlander defied the odds and returned from TJS to post a 1.75 ERA, the best of his long and stellar career. Cooperstown awaits!
  10. Julio Urias, LAD – He’s the MLB win leader with 37 in the past two years while posting a 2.96 and 2.16 ERA. Yes, he could post higher strikeout numbers, but that’s a pretty minor issue when you look at what he brings to the table.
  11. Jacob deGrom, TEX – When healthy, deGrom is the best pitcher in the game. The last time he was 100% healthy was in 2019. Take anything over 135 innings and consider it a bonus.
  12. Spencer Strider, ATL – In 131 2/3 IP, he posted a 2.67 ERA with 202 strikeouts. A repeat of that amazing rookie campaign, adding in ten starts, and you have a Top-5 SP.
  13. Max Scherzer, NYM – “Mad” Max is now heading into his age-39 season, and the volume of work might be dropping slightly, but not the quality of that work.
  14. Shane Bieber, CLE – Bieber started 31 games last year, with 25 of them being of the “quality start” variety. The only thing that he doesn’t do is light up the radar gun with 100 mph heat, and he doesn’t have to.
  15. Carlos Rodon, NYY – A healthy Rodon is an ace, and with 31 and 24 starts over the past two seasons, the health concerns should be starting to fade.
  16. Max Fried, ATL – Since becoming a member of the Braves rotation in 2019, we’ve seen improvement each year with the same consistent (30, 28, and 30 starts) workload. Pencil him in for 30 starts, and enjoy the ride.
  17. Brandon Woodruff, MIL – Woodruff didn’t replicate that stellar 2021 campaign but didn’t miss by all that much. The Brewers will need another very good year from Woodruff to make it into the playoffs.
  18. Cristian Javier, HOU – Those who exercised patience were rewarded handsomely and will continue to reap the rewards for many years.
  19. Luis Castillo, SEA – A full year in Seattle should see a return to double-digit wins with the consistently solid ERA and strikeout totals.
  20. Zac Gallen, ARZ – We finally witnessed an entire season from Zac Gallen, as he bested his last season-high innings pitched by a whopping 62 2/3 innings. It was worth the wait.
  21. Zack Wheeler, PHI – Wheeler missed a month while dealing with forearm soreness but finished the season strong. Another 200-inning season might not be in the cards, but 160-to-175 solid innings make Wheeler a solid #2 Fantasy SP.
  22. Joe Musgrove, SDP – The past two seasons have been a model of consistency for Musgrove. A little run support would be just what the doctor ordered.
  23. Kevin Gausman, TOR – Double-digit wins with 200+ strikeouts as a #2 SP.
  24. Yu Darvish, SDP – Darvish is coming off his best season since 2013 and was handsomely rewarded for his efforts.
  25. Triston McKenzie, CLE – That curve ball is a thing of beauty.
  26. Logan Webb, SFG – Webb has allowed only 29 home runs in his first 434 2/3 innings. The workload increased last year as he closed in on the 200 IP mark. Yeah, we’d like to see an uptick in the strikeout rate, but it was quietly an excellent breakthrough campaign for the young Giants’ #2 starter.
  27. Luis Severino, NYY – When he pitched last year, he looked like the Severino of old. Unfortunately, he simply didn’t pitch enough, missing two months with a lat strain. Would I be surprised if he returns to his Top-20 form? Not one bit.
  28. Framber Valdez, HOU – Sinker, curveball, and cutter. Wash, rinse, and repeat because it is necessary and highly effective. 
  29. Logan Gilbert, SEA – A #3/4 SP investment could yield #2 rewards.
  30. George Kirby, SEA – The 22 walks in 130 IP were some impressive. Better days are ahead, and the current days we witnessed last year were pretty darn good.
  31. Clayton Kershaw, LAD – There’s nothing wrong with planning for 20 starts, especially when you know they will be 20 very good starts.  
  32. Hunter Greene, CIN – Let’s hope that a stellar September is a harbinger of future things.
  33. Tyler Glasnow, TBR – Tyler Glasnow is heading into his age-30 season. Tyler Glasnow has surpassed the 100 IP mark in a season once. Need I say more?
  34. Kyle Wright, ATL – It took a bit longer than expected, but Wright finally delivered on that potential as the #5 overall pick out of Vanderbilt in 2017. He exploded in 2022, posting a 21-5 won/loss record and a 3.19 ERA. Run support is a good thing; there will be no shortage in Atlanta.
  35. Robbie Ray, SEA – A safe bet to contribute 200+ strikeouts with a high-3 ERA.
  36. Nestor Cortes, NYY – Hitters couldn’t sort through the deception, and that won’t change moving forward.
  37. Nick Lodolo, CIN – It was an impressive debut by the 25-year-old southpaw. Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo give the Reds an exciting one-two punch to build around.
  38. Tony Gonsolin, LAD – The right forearm strain that cost Gonsolin the last five weeks of the regular season has to be a concern. You won’t have to overpay for that great 2022 season, so don’t.  
  39. Kodai Senga, NYM – The “ghost” forkball will torment hitters, and the fastball has some serious giddy up. First-time, through the League, Senga should dominate.
  40. Blake Snell, SDP – The 2022 and 2021 seasons were virtually identical. The difference being Snell walked 18 fewer hitters, and five fewer balls left the yard last year. The resulting difference in ERA was almost a full run, 4.20 vs. 3.38. I won’t slap money down on Snell, keeping the walk rates for 2022 low, but it can’t be ruled out.
  41. Luis Garcia, HOU – The 2021 and 2022 numbers were virtually identical. There’s no reason to expect 2023 to differ.
  42. Jesus Luzardo, MIA – Luzardo pitched in a career-high 18 starts in 2022. The 3.32 ERA was outstanding, and he struck out 120 hitters in 100 1/3 innings, another career high. Will 2023 be when he stays fully healthy and works 150+ innings?
  43. Lucas Giolito, CWS – Giolito took a step backward last year as his old bugaboo resurfaced, the free pass. You can count on 170 innings and close to 200 strikeouts, but the ERA will continue to soar until he gets the walks under control.
  44. Chris Sale, BOS – Chris Sale has had 11 starts in the past three years. Nothing further needs to be said.
  45. Brady Singer, KCR – Singer was one of the most improved starters in baseball last year. No explanation is required when you toss 25 more innings than 2021 with 18 fewer free passes.
  46. Jordan Montgomery, STL – He’d sure look good in pinstripes. 
  47. Chris Bassitt, TOR – He has been an under-rated starter the past three seasons and should flourish as the #3 starter for the Jays.
  48. Freddy Peralta, MIL – Will the 27 starts amassed in 2021 proves to be an outlier?
  49. Jeffrey Springs, TBR – Raise your hand if you predicted Springs would start 25 games last year and post a 2.46 ERA. The Rays pulled another “rabbit” out of the hat.
  50. Dustin May, LAD – The Dodgers have stated that workload limitations will be in place for May in 2023. The potential is still sky-high for the 25-year-old righty; know your parameters.
  51. Pablo Lopez, MIN
  52. Drew Rasmussen, TBR
  53. Joe Ryan, MIN
  54. Reid Detmers, LAA
  55. Merrill Kelly, ARZ
  56. Lance Lynn, CWS
  57. Miles Mikolas, STL
  58. Charlie Morton, ATL
  59. Sonny Gray, MIN
  60. Grayson Rodriguez, BAL
  61. Hunter Brown, HOU
  62. Martin Perez, TEX
  63. Jose Berrios, TOR
  64. Andrew Heaney, TEX
  65. Nathan Eovaldi, TEX
  66. Tyler Anderson, LAA
  67. Jameson Taillon, CHC
  68. Edward Cabrera, MIA
  69. Jon Gray, TEX
  70. Patrick Sandoval, LAA
  71. Jack Flaherty, STL
  72. Trevor Rogers, MIA
  73. Michael Kopech, CWS
  74. Taijuan Walker, PHI
  75. Cal Quantrill, CLE
  76. Ranger Suarez, PHI
  77. Tyler Mahle, MIN
  78. Andrew Painter, PHI
  79. Jose Urquidy, HOU
  80. Roansy Contreras, PIT
  81. Noah Syndergaard, LAD
  82. Ross Stripling, SFG
  83. Eric Lauer, MIL
  84. Eduardo Rodriguez, DET
  85. Marcus Stroman, CHC
  86. Zach Eflin, TBR
  87. Jose Quintana, NYM
  88. Kenta Maeda, MIN
  89. Alex Wood, SFG
  90. Kyle Harrison, SFG
  91. Bailey Ober, MIN
  92. Lance McCullers Jr., HOU
  93. Adam Wainwright, STL
  94. Carlos Carrasco, NYM
  95. Justin Steele, CHC
  96. Michael Wacha, SDP
  97. Johnny Cueto, MIA
  98. Alex Cobb, SFG
  99. Hayden Wesneski, CHC
  100. Sean Manaea, SFG
  101. Kyle Bradish, BAL
  102. Nick Pivetta, BOS
  103. Aaron Civale, CLE
  104. Nick Martinez, SDP
  105. Steven Matz, STL
  106. Drew Rucinski, OAK
  107. Jose Suarez, LAA
  108. Matt Manning, DET
  109. Garrett Whitlock, BOS
  110. David Peterson, NYM
  111. Spencer Turnbull, DET
  112. Ken Waldichuk, OAK
  113. Domingo German, NYY
  114. Mike Soroka, ATL
  115. Mitch Keller, PIT
  116. Shintaro Fujinami, OAK
  117. Corey Kluber, BOS
  118. James Paxton, BOS
  119. MacKenzie Gore, WAS
  120. Luis Ortiz, PIT
  121. Drew Smyly, CHC
  122. Josiah Gray, WAS
  123. Zack Greinke, KCR
  124. Michael Lorenzen, DET
  125. Dean Kremer, BAL
  126. Braxton Garrett, MIA
  127. Cole Irvin, BAL
  128. Tylor Megill, NYM
  129. Bailey Falter, PHI
  130. James Kaprielian, OAK
  131. Frankie Montas, NYY
  132. German Marquez, COL
  133. Kyle Gibson, BAL 
  134. Mike Clevinger, CWS
  135. Marco Gonzales, SEA
  136. Matthew Boyd, DET
  137. Zach Plesac, CLE
  138. Drey Jameson, ARZ
  139. Clarke Schmidt, NYY
  140. Ian Anderson, ATL
  141. Kyle Muller, OAK
  142. Gavin Williams, CLE
  143. Yusei Kikuchi, TOR
  144. Brayan Bello, BOS
  145. Cade Cavalli, WAS
  146. Aaron Ashby, MIL
  147. Seth Lugo, SDP 
  148. Brandon Pfaadt, ARZ
  149. Tarik Skubal, DET
  150. Hyun-jJin Ryu, TOR
  151. John Means, BAL
  152. Taj Bradley, TBR
  153. Luis Patino, TBR
  154. Gavin Stone, LAD
  155. Tanner Bibee, CLE
  156. Ryan Pepiot, LAD
  157. Chase Silseth, LAA
  158. Cole Winn, TEX
  159. Yosvery Zulueta, TOR
  160. Jordan Lyles, KCR
  161. Adrian Sampson, CHC
  162. Eury Perez, MIA
  163. Zach Davies, ARZ
  164. Brandon Williamson, CIN
  165. Daniel Lynch, KCR
  166. Brad Keller, KCR
  167. Ricky Tiedmann, TOR
  168. Paul Blackburn, OAK
  169. Kyle Freeland, COL
  170. Bryce Miller, SEA
  171. Bryce Elder, ATL
  172. Ryan Yarbrough, KCR
  173. Jake Odorizzi, TEX
  174. Wade Miley, MIL
  175. Bobby Miller, LAD
  176. Graham Ashcraft, CIN
  177. Vince Velasquez, PIT
  178. Matthew Liberatore, STL
  179. Gordon Graceffo, STL
  180. Ryne Nelson, ARZ
  181. Madison Bumgarner, ARZ
  182. Robert Gasser, MIL
  183. Emerson Hancock, SEA
  184. Joey Wentz, DET
  185. Kyle Hendricks, CHC
  186. Sixto Sanchez, MIA
  187. Rich Hill, PIT
  188. JT Brubaker, PIT
  189. Luis Cessa, CIN
  190. Walker Buehler, LAD
  191. DL Hall, BAL
  192. Griff McGarry, PHI
  193. Patrick Corbin, WAS
  194. Trevor Bauer, FA
  195. Ryan Weathers, SDP
  196. Anthony DeSclafani, SFG
  197. Jonathan Stiever, CWS
  198. Trevor Williams, WAS
  199. Luke Weaver, CIN
  200. Stephen Strasburg, WAS
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