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2015 Dynasty / Keeper Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Starting Pitchers (Part 2)

This is part 2 of my dynasty starting pitcher rankings for fantasy baseball. Last week we looked at the top 30 pitchers for keeper / dynasty leagues. We are deep into dynasty season here at RotoBaller, and we've already analyzed dynasty rankings for Third Base, Catcher, Shortstop, First Base, Second Base and Outfield Part 1 and Part 2.

Just because these guys are in part two doesn't mean you should underestimate them. Pitching is incredibly deep. There are some players who could easily jump the tiers listed here.

Editor's Note: Be sure to check out all of RotoBaller's 2015 fantasy baseball rankings articles, including tiered rankings and lots of great rankings analysis. Let's win some leagues!


Tier 7 - Dynasty / Keeper Starting Pitcher Rankings

31) Tyson Ross, 27, SD

32) Jacob deGrom, 26, NYM

33) Marcus Stroman, 23, TOR

34) Anibal Sanchez, 30, DET

35) Hisashi Iwakuma, 33, SEA

In 195 innings last year Ross pitched to a 2.81 ERA, 8.97 K/9, and 1.21 WHIP. The only reasons he is this low on my rankings are a high walk rate and iffy run support from the Padres. If you play in a league that measures quality starts, feel free to scoop him up earlier.

DeGrom was overshadowed for years by Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. This past year he decided he wasn't going to take it anymore. The NL Rookie Of The Year pitched to a 2.69 ERA, 9.24 K/9, and 1.14 WHIP in 149 innings last season. He did have a brief shoulder scare, but he should be ready to rock this next season.

I would like Stroman a lot more if he didn't call the Rogers Centre his home. He occasionally flashed ace potential in his rookie season. Expect him to build upon his debut in 2015. Given his age, he's well worth a shot as your number three starter.

We were all mesmerized by Sanchez's 2013 numbers. However, that's just not his true nature. He's capable of 200 strikeouts in a given season, but he's yet to go over 200 innings in his career.

Iwakuma reminds me a lot of Ryu. They're both under the radar guys who don't strikeout a ton of batters. However, they'll give you a reliable ERA and WHIP. Roll the dice on Iwakuma in case he has another year like 2012 in him.

Tier 8 - Dynasty / Keeper Starting Pitcher Rankings

36) James Shields, 33, SD

37) Carlos Carrasco, 27, CLE

38) Danny Salazar, 25, CLE

39) Zack Wheeler, 24, NYM

40) Lance Lynn, 27, STL

"Big game" Shields has been billed as a front line starter this offseason. He doesn't quite pass the smell test, but he is capable of a lot of strikeouts while providing a fairly low ERA. He looks to have landed in a dream destination after signing with San Diego, also known as the greatest pitcher's around. He will also be facing weaker NL lineups, so he could be in for a big year.

The fantasy community seems to be split on Carrasco. Some say he's the truth, some say the sky is falling. I'm somewhere in the middle, but I like him enough to rank him 37th. A 9.40 K/9, 2.66 xFIP, and 0.99 WHIP don't lie. Don't rely on him for a 2.00 ERA but a 3.00 ERA with over 8.0 K/9 is reasonable.

Salazar is incredibly frustrating. He has a ton of potential but has trouble putting it all together. He returned with a 9.48 K/9 and 2.34 BB/9 in the second half. If he can keep up those rates, maybe he'll realize his potential.

Wheeler has now been outshined by the previously mentioned Harvey and deGrom. That's not to say Wheeler isn't good in his own right. He's only 24 and consistently posts a mid-3's ERA with over 8.0 K/9. He's another youngster with control issues. If he can tame that beast, he'll be even better going forward.

Lynn had an incredible year in 2014, pitching to a 2.74 ERA, 8.00 K/9, and 1.26 WHIP. Don't be fooled, there was a huge amount of luck involved in that ERA. His xFIP suggests he is more of a 3.81 ERA pitcher last year. Yikes. There is good news though. Lynn has pitched over 200 innings the past two seasons and has come close to breaking 200 strikeouts. The Cardinals are also great at developing pitchers. Lynn should be a solid number three pitcher in your fantasy rotation for years.

Tier 9 - Dynasty / Keeper Starting Pitcher Rankings

41) Drew Smyly, 25, TB

42) Collin McHugh, 27, HOU

43) Chris Archer, 26, TB

44) Jose Quintana, 26, CWS

45) Patrick Corbin, 25, ARI

In seven starts with the Rays, Smyly pitched to a 1.70 ERA, 8.31 K/9, and 0.76 WHIP. It's a small sample, but may hint at a possible breakout. His season stats don't look as pretty, but the Rays are known for developing pitchers. With Smyly's prospect pedigree, there is reason to be excited.

McHugh had some kind of year while letting Dallas Keuchel take all the attention. McHugh was probably one of the quietest pitchers ever to post a 2.73 ERA with over a strikeout per inning. While some regression is coming his way, his curve ball and slider rank among the best in baseball.

Archer had a huge year. Over 182 innings he pitched to a 3.33 ERA, 8.0 K/9, and 1.29 WHIP. As I previously mentioned, Tampa Bay knows how to develop it's young pitchers. While some ERA inflation is coming, the strikeout rate could improve.

There's a lot to like about Quintana. He has a high strikeout rate, fairly good control, and some measures even say last season's 3.32 ERA was unlucky. Be wary, he's prone to the occasional clunker, and he pitches most of his games at the hitter friendly U.S. Cellular Field.

Corbin is coming off a 2013 season in which he pitched over 200 innings, had a 3.41 ERA, and 7.69 K/9. Unfortunately, 2014 began with Tommy John surgery. I wouldn't expect much if anything from him this season, but it's a good time to buy low.

Tier 10 - Dynasty / Keeper Starting Pitcher Rankings

46) Homer Bailey, 28, CIN

47) Doug Fister, 30, WAS

48) Ian Kennedy, 30, SD

49) Michael Pineda, 26, NYY

50) Jake Odorizzi, 24, TB

Bailey had a great 2013 when he struck out 199 batters and posted a 3.49 ERA. He followed it up with a rough 2014 season. Bailey still has a lot of potential, but it's getting harder and harder to trust it's there. Still, he should be capable of a mid-3's ERA while striking out a decent amount of batters.

Fister's strikeout rate isn't exactly overwhelming, but he will give you a bunch of quality starts. Pitching for one of the best lineups in the National League should also lead to a decent amount of wins for Fister. There are rumors that Fister may be traded though. If he's dealt to an American League team, my ranking of him drops down considerably.

Kennedy is fresh off his first 200 strikeout season and his best year since 2011. The walks are still a little high for my liking, but he pitches his home games at pitcher friendly Petco Park. How long he remains in Petco after this season remains to be seen, and that will have an immense impact on his value.

Pineda would be ranked much higher if only he could stay healthy. His 1.89 ERA, 6.96 K/9, and 0.89 WHIP look great on the surface but that was done in only 76 innings pitched. He has a lot of strikeout potential, but don't expect the ERA or WHIP to remain where it was over that small sample.

Odorizzi has a ton of strikeout potential. A 4.13 ERA isn't attractive, but that will come down as he learns better command. Have I mentioned the Rays are great at developing young pitching? I can't emphasize that enough.

Tier 11 - Dynasty / Keeper Starting Pitcher Rankings

51) Dallas Keuchel, 27, HOU

52) Andrew Cashner, 28, SD

53) Taijuan Walker, 22, SEA

54) James Paxton, 26, SEA

55) Phil Hughes, 28, MIN

Keuchel is the poor man's Fister. He's younger, but he has much less of a track record of success. He's not going to overwhelm you with his strikeout rate. If he can replicate 2014, he'll be good for your ERA and WHIP.

Cashner has a lot of potential, but he lacks the ability to stay healthy. When on the field last year, he pitched to a 2.55 ERA, 6.79 K/9, and 1.13 WHIP over 125 innings. Advanced metrics also suggest his era should have been a full point higher. If you believe he can discover his "true" strikeout potential and stay healthy, he makes a good buy low candidate.

Walker is one of the top pitching prospects in the game for a reason. He looked pretty good in his limited major league sample size last year, but he walked way too many batters to be effective. It remains to be seen if he even cracks the rotation in the coming year, though he should be up at some point. If you can tolerate the growing pains, Walker may just reward you.

Speaking of Walker, his teammate Paxton isn't too shabby either. If you are wondering why I'm so high on Paxton, do yourself a favor and watch video of Paxton's delivery. Then watch video of Clayton Kershaw's. Do they look similar to you? They do to me and I'm betting that Paxton will see at least some success as a result.

Hughes had the best K/BB ratio in the majors last year. Everyone saw that coming right? Jokes aside, I've liked Hughes for a while and he seems to have found a comfort zone in Minnesota. It doesn't hurt that Target Field is spacious which solves some of Hughes' previous gopher ball problems.

Tier 12 - Dynasty / Keeper Starting Pitcher Rankings

56) Matt Shoemaker, 28, LAA

57) Shelby Miller, 24, ATL

58) Chris Tillman, 26, BAL

59) Dylan Bundy, 22, BAL

60) Matt Cain, 30, SF

Shoemaker had a breakout season at 28. He compiled a 3.04 ERA, 8.21 K/9, and 1.07 WHIP in 136 innings. The Angels are another team with a history of developing their pitchers well. If Shoemaker can build upon this momentum, he's someone you're going to want to own for the back end of your rotation.

Miller's stock plummeted this past year after pitching well in 2013. I have a hard time giving up on him entirely since he's only 24, but it's also hard to endorse him. His walk rate increased dramatically and his strikeout rate decreased. It's possible the Braves will rebuild Miller. If they do, he'll shoot up my rankings.

Tillman pitched over 200 innings last year with solid results. Advanced metrics suggest his era should have been well over 4.20. However, if you look at the 21 starts Tillman made after June 10th, he pitched to a 2.38 ERA, 6.27 K/9, and 1.09 WHIP. Maybe something has finally clicked for him.

Bundy is the only pitching prospect besides Walker to make this list. I could have also added Archie Bradley, Andrew Heaney, or countless others. The issue is that there is so much major league talent with upside that it was impossible to really rank those who haven't even cracked the majors yet.

So why Bundy over everyone else? Pedigree is one thing. Hearing his stuff constantly compared to Jose Fernandez's is another. It'll be interesting to see how Bundy bounces back after the Tommy John surgery he had in 2013. He's running out of minor league options, so expect to see him in the majors by at least 2016.

Cain was once an elite option. That's no longer the case. However, surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow could lead to a comeback season. There's also part of me that feels this is a 30-year -old pitcher who has had multiple surgeries in the past year. Take the chance at your own peril.

For more about pitching prospects who don't appear in this article look for an upcoming article on the subject. Also look for my dynasty article on relief pitchers coming soon.

Until next time Rotoballers,




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