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2024 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings, Tiers, Analysis - Roto League Drafts

Spencer Strider fantasy baseball rankings waiver wire pickups draft sleepers starting pitchers

As we inch closer to MLB's Opening Day, we also welcome the most turbulent and confusing time in the fantasy baseball draft season. Parsing through hundreds of players' profiles is hard enough, but recent Spring Training data makes it difficult to find the players worth drafting to your team.

Luckily, RotoBaller's preseason rankings -- compiled by Nick Mariano, Ariel Cohen, Eric Cross, and Brad Camara -- are a fantastic guide. This article focuses on the starting pitchers. For other positions, look to RotoBaller's preseason rankings and analysis.

There are 225 starting pitchers ranked and arranged into 17 tiers. I'll then analyze certain pitchers who stand out as undervalued or overvalued.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

Starting Pitcher Fantasy Baseball Rankings - Roto Leagues

SP Tier SP Ranking Player Name Pos Overall
1 1 Spencer Strider SP 8
1 2 Corbin Burnes SP 19
1 3 Zack Wheeler SP 22
2 4 Luis Castillo SP 27
2 5 Kevin Gausman SP 29
2 6 George Kirby SP 34
2 7 Pablo Lopez SP 35
2 8 Zac Gallen SP 38
2 9 Yoshinobu Yamamoto SP 41
2 10 Tyler Glasnow SP 42
2 11 Tarik Skubal SP 43
3 12 Logan Webb SP 45
3 13 Aaron Nola SP 47
3 14 Freddy Peralta SP 52
3 15 Framber Valdez SP 56
3 16 Grayson Rodriguez SP 62
3 17 Max Fried SP 63
3 18 Zach Eflin SP 66
3 19 Eury Perez SP 68
3 20 Logan Gilbert SP 69
4 21 Blake Snell SP 71
4 22 Bobby Miller SP 75
4 23 Jesus Luzardo SP 76
4 24 Joe Ryan SP 83
5 25 Justin Steele SP 89
5 26 Joe Musgrove SP 99
5 27 Cole Ragans SP/RP 102
5 28 Tanner Bibee SP 107
5 29 Michael King SP/RP 116
5 30 Dylan Cease SP 128
5 31 Shane Bieber SP 130
5 32 Chris Sale SP 131
5 33 Jordan Montgomery SP 133
5 34 Bailey Ober SP 134
6 35 Chris Bassitt SP 135
6 36 Hunter Brown SP 137
6 37 Sonny Gray SP 138
6 38 Hunter Greene SP 144
6 39 Justin Verlander SP 157
6 40 Gavin Williams SP 161
6 41 Shota Imanaga SP 163
6 42 Carlos Rodon SP 165
7 43 Merrill Kelly SP 167
7 44 Bryce Miller SP 169
7 45 Nick Pivetta SP/RP 177
7 46 Mitch Keller SP 180
7 47 Jose Berrios SP 182
7 48 Cristian Javier SP 183
7 49 Walker Buehler SP 184
7 50 Ryan Pepiot SP/RP 188
7 51 Eduardo Rodriguez SP 191
7 52 Yu Darvish SP 192
7 53 Bryan Woo SP 196
7 54 Nathan Eovaldi SP 199
7 55 Aaron Civale SP 202
7 56 Kodai Senga SP 208
7 57 Cristopher Sanchez SP 221
7 58 Nick Lodolo SP 227
8 59 Brayan Bello SP 228
8 60 Brandon Pfaadt SP 229
8 61 Triston McKenzie SP 231
8 62 Charlie Morton SP 233
8 63 Nestor Cortes Jr. SP 235
8 64 Mason Miller SP 239
8 65 Braxton Garrett SP 243
8 66 Kyle Harrison SP 245
8 67 Reid Detmers SP 247
8 68 Kutter Crawford SP/RP 254
8 69 Andrew Abbott SP 257
8 70 Kenta Maeda SP 259
8 71 Marcus Stroman SP 260
8 72 Gerrit Cole SP 269
8 73 Yusei Kikuchi SP 270
8 74 Griffin Canning SP 274
8 75 Max Scherzer SP 275
9 76 Shane Baz SP 276
9 77 Louie Varland SP/RP 291
9 78 Emmet Sheehan SP 293
9 79 Taj Bradley SP 294
9 80 Edward Cabrera SP 299
9 81 Lance Lynn SP 304
9 82 Reese Olson SP 306
9 83 Jon Gray SP 308
9 84 John Means SP 309
9 85 Luis Severino SP 310
9 86 MacKenzie Gore SP 311
9 87 Erick Fedde SP 318
9 88 Tyler Wells SP/RP 319
9 89 Michael Wacha SP 322
9 90 Steven Matz SP/RP 332
9 91 Ranger Suarez SP 334
9 92 Dean Kremer SP 336
9 93 Sean Manaea SP/RP 337
10 94 Andrew Heaney SP/RP 343
10 95 James Paxton SP 344
10 96 Michael Kopech SP 348
10 97 Jameson Taillon SP 360
10 98 Paul Skenes SP 362
10 99 Patrick Sandoval SP 365
10 100 Chase Silseth SP/RP 367
10 101 Clayton Kershaw SP 370
10 102 Ricky Tiedemann SP 373
10 103 Alex Cobb SP 374
10 104 John Brebbia SP/RP 375
10 105 Trevor Rogers SP 378
10 106 Frankie Montas SP 379
10 107 Josiah Gray SP 380
10 108 Miles Mikolas SP 384
10 109 Chris Paddack SP 385
10 110 Clarke Schmidt SP 387
11 111 Matt Manning SP 390
11 112 Joe Boyle SP 392
11 113 Kyle Bradish SP 393
11 114 Graham Ashcraft SP 394
11 115 Tanner Houck SP 395
11 116 Garrett Whitlock SP/RP 398
11 117 JP Sears SP 400
11 118 Taijuan Walker SP 410
11 119 Jack Flaherty SP 411
11 120 Jose Quintana SP 415
11 121 Matt Strahm SP/RP 416
12 122 Dane Dunning SP/RP 417
12 123 Tylor Megill SP 418
12 124 Aaron Ashby SP/RP 421
12 125 Jared Jones SP 422
12 126 Jacob deGrom SP 427
12 127 Bryce Elder SP 428
12 128 Gavin Stone SP 434
12 129 AJ Smith-Shawver SP 436
12 130 Kyle Gibson SP 441
12 131 Sawyer Gipson-Long SP 443
12 132 Alek Manoah SP 448
12 133 Zack Littell SP/RP 449
13 134 Kyle Hendricks SP 453
13 135 Jordan Wicks SP 455
13 136 Keaton Winn SP 457
13 137 Jhony Brito SP/RP 460
13 138 Brady Singer SP 468
13 139 Ross Stripling SP/RP 470
13 140 Jose Urquidy SP/RP 474
13 141 Javier Assad SP/RP 476
13 142 Cade Horton SP 482
13 143 Wade Miley SP 483
13 144 Casey Mize SP 485
13 145 Jeffrey Springs SP/RP 487
13 146 Max Meyer SP 491
13 147 Cole Irvin SP/RP 495
13 148 Drew Rasmussen SP 498
13 149 Robbie Ray SP 499
13 150 J.P. France SP 500
13 151 Robert Gasser SP 501
13 152 David Peterson SP/RP 503
13 153 Brandon Williamson SP 511
13 154 Hayden Wesneski SP/RP 514
13 155 Drew Thorpe SP 515
14 156 Trevor Bauer SP 516
14 157 Lance McCullers Jr. SP 525
14 158 Will Warren SP 532
14 159 Ryne Nelson SP 545
14 160 Nick Martinez SP/RP 548
14 161 Michael Soroka SP 550
14 162 Mike Clevinger SP 553
14 163 Paul Blackburn SP 554
14 164 Drew Smyly SP/RP 555
14 165 Luis Medina SP/RP 557
14 166 Shane McClanahan SP 563
14 167 Connor Phillips SP 566
14 168 Colin Rea SP 569
14 169 Adrian Houser SP 571
14 170 Anthony DeSclafani SP 573
15 171 Mason Black SP 577
15 172 Randy Vasquez SP/RP 578
15 173 Emerson Hancock SP 583
15 174 Domingo German SP 592
15 175 Shawn Armstrong SP/RP 595
15 176 Ty Madden SP 597
15 177 Caleb Ferguson SP/RP 606
15 178 Tyler Holton SP/RP 610
15 179 Dustin May SP 611
15 180 Michael Grove SP/RP 614
16 181 Joe Ross SP 615
16 182 Michael Lorenzen SP 617
16 183 Yariel Rodriguez SP 620
16 184 Roansy Contreras SP/RP 633
16 185 Jackson Jobe SP 635
16 186 Bowden Francis SP 638
16 187 Luke Weaver SP 639
16 188 Cade Cavalli SP 641
16 189 Jack Leiter SP 642
16 190 Hurston Waldrep SP 648
16 191 Sixto Sanchez SP 651
16 192 Jake Eder SP 658
16 193 Jared Shuster SP 659
16 194 Tyler Anderson SP 661
16 195 Shintaro Fujinami SP/RP 663
16 196 Luis Gil SP 669
16 197 Albert Suarez SP 671
16 198 Chayce McDermott SP 674
16 199 Mick Abel SP 676
16 200 Matthew Liberatore SP/RP 677
16 201 Ryan Weathers SP 679
16 202 Alex Wood SP 682
16 203 Tyler Mahle SP 683
16 204 Jake Irvin SP 684
16 205 Tekoah Roby SP 688
17 206 Cal Quantrill SP 691
17 207 Luis L. Ortiz SP 693
17 208 Quinn Priester SP 695
17 209 Alex Faedo SP 701
17 210 Mike Vasil SP 703
17 211 Jose Butto SP 705
17 212 Touki Toussaint SP 707
17 213 Ryan Yarbrough SP/RP 708
17 214 Mitch Spence SP 711
17 215 Martin Perez SP/RP 712
17 216 Spencer Arrighetti SP 715
17 217 Allan Winans SP 718
17 218 Matt Waldron SP 720
17 219 Spencer Turnbull SP 721
17 220 Patrick Corbin SP 724
17 221 Carlos Rodriguez SP 725
17 222 Darius Vines SP 727
17 223 Brandon Bielak SP 730
17 224 Cody Poteet SP/RP 741
17 225 Joey Cantillo SP 745

Tier 1 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

Spencer Strider is the first pitcher off the board in most leagues. While Strider didn't replicate his otherworldly rookie year, he was still unquestionably one of the best pitchers in the league. While a 3.86 2023 ERA isn't ideal for the first pitcher off the board, his NL-leading 2.85 FIP and league-leading 112 Pitching+ grade prove he's still the best starting pitching option.

Corbin Burnes' elite stuff (127 Stuff+ grade) and strong track record keep him in Tier 1 of these rankings. While last year's 3.39 ERA and 25.5% strikeout rate was a deviation from his usual sub-3.00 ERA and >30% K rate seasons, there's reason to expect better this season. A drama-less 2024 offseason may prevent a reprisal of last year's first-half performance (4.10 ERA through his first 16 starts). With Burnes now heading the rotation of a powerhouse Orioles team, he's well worth the price tag.

Zack Wheeler re-upped with the Philadelphia Phillies on a massive three-year, $126 million extension. The 34-year-old's 3.15 FIP, 1.08 WHIP, and 26.9% strikeout rate in 2023, indicate he should be his usual dependable self in 2024.

 

Tier 2 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

Luis Castillo, Kevin Gausman, and Zac Gallen are all safe picks at their respective ADPs in the late 20s and early 30s. Each finished in the top six of their respective 2023 Cy Young Award races, and all are generally stable pitchers with relatively strong advanced metrics to support them.

George Kirby is in line to enter bona fide ace territory in his third season in the majors. But even if the 25-year-old only hovers around his career 3.20 FIP and 4.2% walk rate, he's worth a top-40 pick.

Pablo Lopez is coming off his best season yet, with a career-best 3.00 xERA and a 29.2% strikeout rate. A top-40 pick might feel expensive, but it is per his value.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is an interesting case, as all overseas players tend to be in their first years in the MLB. A career 1.82 ERA in the NPB, along with clearly impressive stuff, got him handed the largest contract ever for an MLB pitcher. There is a lot to weigh with him, but there's rarely going to be a point where a superstar talent like Yamamoto is available to draft at pick 41.

Tarik Skubal has been remarkable when healthy, with a 2.00 FIP, 32.9% strikeout rate, and 4.5% walk rate in 15 starts last season. The talented southpaw's durability is always a concern, but his talent is too much to leave on the board past the 50-pick mark.

Tyler Glasnow comes with apparent health and durability concerns, as 2023 was just his second year (out of eight seasons) with more than 90 innings pitched. However, his SP1 ceiling is worth a top-50 pick, especially with an elite Dodgers lineup in his corner.

 

Tier 3 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

Aaron Nola had, by his standards, a mediocre 2023, with a 4.46 ERA, 4.03 FIP, and a 25.5% strikeout rate through 193 2/3 innings pitched. True workhorse status and an encouraging second-half (3.26 xFIP) mean the 30-year-old is still worth that top-50 pick.

Logan Webb remains one of the game's best arms, with a 3.25 ERA and 3.6% walk rate in 2023. Feel comfortable taking him at his ADP of 66.5.

Freddy Peralta began the 2023 season with a troubling 4.70 ERA in the first half. But he gained better control on his changeup (90 Location+ grade in first half, 102+ Location+ grade in second half), leading to a second-half 2.81 ERA. Look for Peralta at a comfortable ADP of 60.

Framber Valdez is coming off a terrible second half, with a 4.66 ERA, 4.39 FIP, and 1.24 HR/9 through his last 14 starts, along with a putrid 9.00 ERA through three postseason starts. However, a 24.8% strikeout rate and a pristine track record, when he can coerce groundballs, drive hopes for a return to success in 2024.

Max Fried dealt with multiple injuries in 2023, but when healthy, he was one of the best pitchers on the planet. Even if his 3.87 xERA and 11.1% walk rate concern you, he should be off the board by the 70s.

Grayson Rodriguez had difficulty adjusting to the majors, with a 7.35 ERA and 5.80 FIP in his first 10 starts before being demoted to Triple-A. However, the former top prospect's 2.58 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 1.10 WHIP, and 6.9% walk rate in the second half means you can reasonably expect a superb sophomore season.

After his first year in the Rays pitching lab, Zach Eflin did wonders, with a 3.50 ERA, .276 opponent wOBA, 1.02 WHIP, 26.5% strikeout rate, and 3.4% walk rate. Not only are these marks sustainable, but his expected totals (3.11 xERA, .270 xwOBA) indicate that it could've panned out better. Eflin is a clear steal at his 87.5 ADP.

Logan Gilbert, with his 3.73 ERA and 4.3% walk rate through 32 starts in 2023, is a good get at pick 71.

The Marlins capped Eury Perez at 90 innings in 2023, but his tantalizing fastball (128 Stuff+ grade, 8.4% SwStr rate) is worth the expensive price tag (74 ADP).

 

Tier 4 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

Blake Snell, the 2023 NL Cy Young Award winner, is, at time of writing, still unsigned. While a slow-moving free agency market and 3.77 xERA feel concerning, Snell's high strikeout ceiling and dominant 2023 are worth a pick in the late 60s.

Bobby Miller is another tantalizing young talent, with a 3.76 ERA and 123 Stuff+ grade through 22 starts in his rookie year. A relatively mediocre 23.6% strikeout rate shows room for improvement, but Miller should stick near his ADP of 80.

Joe Ryan's 4.51 ERA looks scary, but a minuscule 5.1% walk rate, 3.53 xERA, and other expected stats make him a great value pick in the 90s.

Jesus Luzardo's season was on par with many of the pitchers ranked above him (178 innings pitched, 3.58 ERA, 28.1% strikeout rate), but this was the 26-year-old's first season with more than 18 starts, so his 89.6 ADP lags behind his true value.

 

Tier 5 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

Justin Steele is coming off a fifth-place finish in the 2023 NL Cy Young Award voting. While a 4.06 ERA in his last 10 starts of 2023 might've left a bad taste in your mouth, a 2.54 xFIP, 29% strikeout rate, and 5% walk rate over that stretch should allay concerns -- especially at an ADP of 105.

Various injuries threw off Joe Musgrove's season, but a 3.02 ERA over his last three seasons is worth taking a chance on at his ADP of 110.

Cole Ragans had the second-half breakout fantasy managers dream of, with a 2.64 ERA, 3.28 xFIP, 1.07 WHIP, and a 31.1% strikeout rate through 12 starts after being acquired at the trade deadline by Kansas City. But his lack of experience and low wins ceiling means a 112 ADP is fair.

Tanner Bibee was strong right out of the gate in his rookie year, with a 2.98 ERA through 25 starts. A 3.66 xERA isn't ideal, but his lack of pedigree is unfortunately dragging his ADP down to 115.

Sonny Gray is coming off a second-place finish in the AL Cy Young award voting with a league-leading 2.83 FIP for the Minnesota Twins. There should be tempered expectations for a repeat season with the St. Louis Cardinals after news of his hamstring injury. Nevertheless, Gray's 3.69 xERA and impressive stuff metrics make him a fair pick at his 125 ADP.

Michael King was fantastic after being moved into the Yankees starting rotation late in 2023, with a 2.23 ERA, 31.3% strikeout rate, and a 5.5% walk rate through 40-and-one-third-innings. King looks like a good bet at a 151.4 ADP in the more pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

Jordan Montgomery is still a free agent at the time of writing, but a 3.20 ERA/4.04 xERA is a steal at a 145 ADP.

Dylan Cease's 4.58 ERA and 4.08 xFIP in 2023 mean it's not a fantastic idea to expect him to on a 112 ADP. However, a move to the pitcher-friendly Petco Park should offer him a much needed boost.

Chris Sale got somewhere closer to stability in 2023 after back-to-back injury-ridden seasons. His 3.71 xERA and 29.4% strikeout rate through 20 starts with Boston in 2023 suggests some success with Atlanta in 2024. The 34-year-old is an intriguing pick at his 150 ADP.

Bailey Ober was solid in his first entire season, with a 3.43 ERA, 25.3% strikeout rate, and 3.96 FIP. He's done enough to be worth drafting in the mid-100s.

 

Tier 6 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

Chris Bassitt is still chugging along, with a 3.60 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 22.5% strikeout rate through 200 innings pitched. He's a solid starter to snipe at his 136 ADP.

Justin Verlander is set to turn 41 this February, and Father Time is knocking at his locker. With a 4.56 xFIP and 14.8% strikeout-to-walk-percentage ratio in 2023, let Verlander fall to his ADP of 119 before considering him.

Hunter Greene remained a one-trick pony in fantasy baseball last season, but his elite 30.5% strikeout rate is a mighty impressive trick. But considering his 4.82 ERA last season, a 133 ADP is a little expensive for the 24-year-old flamethrower.

It was a difficult year for former top prospect Hunter Brown, with a 5.09 ERA through 29 starts. However, a 26.8% strikeout rate and 3.52 xFIP are signs to take him well before his 184 ADP.

 

Tier 7 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

Tier 7 comprises fairly priced regressed aces, quality SP3-level pitchers, and a few talented arms primed for breakouts.

Gavin Williams had a solid rookie season, with a 3.29 ERA and 23.5% strikeout rate through 16 starts. However, his 4.53 xFIP and 10.7% walk rate make his 155.8 ADP a bit too risky.

While he impressed with a 2.98 ERA and 29.1% strikeout rate through 29 starts in his first year in the MLB, Kodai Senga's shoulder injury, 3.87 xERA, and 11.1% walk rate are signs you should pass on him until the mid-100s.

Mitch Keller and Merrill Kelly may not be household names, but both had sub-4.00 FIP and 25%+ K% 2023 seasons. However, ADPs of 150 and 168 for Kelly and Keller, respectively, are prices that should be assigned to pitchers in the tiers above them.

Jose Berrios bounced back from a terrible 2022 season with a 3.65 ERA, 23.5% strikeout rate, and 3.99 WHIP.  Both pitchers are solid bets with ADPs in the late 160s.

Cristian Javier took a step back from a masterful 2022 breakout season, with a putrid 4.56 ERA and 5.16 xFIP through 31 starts. The fastball that took him to the stratosphere in 2022 wasn't working the same in 2023, with a deafened shape leading to a .343 xwOBA on his primary pitch. An impressive late-season stretch is worth putting stock in, but Javier should stay off your roster until the mid-to-late 170s.

Eduardo Rodriguez, now a member of the Diamondbacks rotation, is a notably underpriced pitcher. With a 3.30 ERA, 4.06 xFIP, 23% walk rate, and a better lineup to support him, Rodriguez is a steal at his 191 ADP.

Walker Buehler is back in the fold this year, but don't get overly excited. Still in recovery from his 2022 Tommy John surgery, you shouldn't expect an immediate return to his elite 2021 self. The 29-year-old is still somewhat of a question mark at his 150 ADP; with sure things still on the board at pick 150, it'd be wise to look elsewhere.

Nathan Eovaldi is coming off another solid season, with a 3.63 ERA, 3.96 xFIP, and 22.9% strikeout rate. However, a terrible stretch of starts after returning from an elbow injury in September (9.30 ERA and 13.3% walk rate through six starts) has likely besmirched his reliability in fantasy baseball. While his September showing may have lost you a fantasy championship in 2023, his 3.05 xFIP through six postseason starts should give you confidence that he sustains the success of seasons past in 2024.

Bryan Woo showed some serious potential in his rookie season, with a 3.48 xERA and 25.1% strikeout rate through 18 starts. However, the 23-year-old had his fair share of blow-up starts in just 87-and-one-third innings pitched. He's got the stuff to be successful in 2024, but not enough of a track record to take him at his 189.5 ADP.

While you may want to write off Cristopher Sanchez's incredible 2023 season (a 3.44 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 24.2% strikeout rate, and 4% walk rate through 18 starts) as a flash in the pan, an elite-performing changeup, impressive command, and an elite Phillies lineup means you should expect him to return well on his 224 ADP.

 

Tier 8 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

Charlie Morton has officially gained old-timer status, but the 40-year-old remained effective last season, with a 3.64 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 25.6% strikeout rate, and 14 wins through 30 starts. While a 4.27 xFIP raises concern, it is not enough to deny the Atlanta Braves pitcher at his 242.5 ADP.

Nestor Cortes Jr. hit -- what we should hope is -- a speed bump in 2023. His tried-and-true fastball was the only thing working for Cortes in 2023 (>.350 xwOBA on both secondary pitches), leading to a 4.97 ERA and 4.84 xFIP through 12 starts. A 3.66 xERA and history of success is enough to take him in the early-to-mid 200s.

Gerrit Cole, winner of the 2023 AL Cy Young award, is rarely dropped to past tier 1 of these rankings. However, news of Cole being sidelined for at least two months should scare off most fantasy baseball managers.

Kutter Crawford is set up for a strong 2024 season. Fenway is a terrible place to pitch, so a 3.30 xERA and 25.6% strikeout rate across 23 starts is something real. Boston isn't likely to find a back-end pitcher better than Crawford, so feel extremely comfortable drafting him anywhere in the mid-to-late 200s.

Andrew Abbott somehow morphed from a mediocre prospect to a thoroughbred rookie pitcher to start the 2023 season. Abbott hopped from Double-A to the majors in a matter of months and excelled with a 1.90 ERA through his first 10 starts. But a 4.32 xFIP seemingly presaged a 6.42 ERA over his last 11 starts. While his arsenal is somewhat weak (87 overall stuff+ grade, -6 run value on his curveball, .361 xwOBA on his fastball), his ability to locate allows him to be successful enough to take him in the mid-200s.

Triston McKenzie had his 2023 season ruined by injury, but the 26-year-old has a good shot at finding his way back to his 2022 self (30 starts, 2.96 ERA, 0.95 WHIP). McKenzie's injury risk combined with his exhibited ceiling make him a solid target in the mid-200s.

There's a legion of starting pitchers available in this tier who are only slightly past their primes, with Kenta MaedaMarcus Stroman, and Yusei Kikuchi all past the age of 32 and still possessing sub-4.00 xFIP marks in 2023. All three pitchers are worth thinking about in the mid-to-late 200s.

 

Tier 9 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

There are plenty of serviceable starting pitchers in Tier 9.

There were some ugly moments in 2023 for Max Scherzer, but a 3.28 xERA should assuage any serious concerns. In 2024, we should expect the three-time Cy Young Award Winner to make good on his 325 ADP.

Shane Baz didn't have much of a rookie season, sidelined by Tommy John for the end of the 2022 season and all of the 2023 season. While the 24-year-old's prospect pedigree is undeniable, he certainly presents as a risk not worth taking until the late-200s.

Average pitchers close to the middle of their careers are also in play here. Dean Kremer, Jon Gray, Jameson Taillon, Steven Matz, Tyler Wells, Ranger Suarez and Luis Severino aren't the flashiest of names, but they are all quality pieces available at inexpensive prices.

Erick Fedde's 2.00 ERA 2.00 ERA, 2.38 FIP, 2.29 xFIP, 29.5% strikeout rate, 4.9% walk rate, and 0.95 FIP through 30 starts were enough to snag himself a KBO MVP award and a spot in the Chicago White Sox rotation. While the Chicago White Sox's deplorable defense and lack of offensive firepower may make his life difficult, he's likely to well overperform his 481.6 ADP.

Michael Wacha has been oddly successful over the past two seasons, with a 3.27 ERA despite a 4.23 xFIP through his last 47 starts. He looks like fool's gold, but fool's gold is still worth something if you take it in the 300s.

Reese Olson quietly delivered some of the league's best pitching down the stretch of his rookie season. In his last six starts, the 24-year-old put up a sparkling 1.51 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 26.3% strikeout rate, and .151 opponent batting average. A 3.56 FIP, 3.63 xFIP, and .248 xBA down the stretch signal that maybe we shouldn't be heralding him as a possible Cy Young candidate, but he should be a good pickup in the early 300s.

MacKenzie Gore has the strikeout ceiling to have fantasy appeal, with a 25.9% strikeout rate and 12.1% SwStr rate in 2023. A 4.11 xFIP gives some hope for comprehensive success, but he still hasn't proven enough to warrant picking before the 300s.

 

Tiers 10, 11, and 12 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

There are still plenty of quality starting pitchers available here.

Pitchers like Ricky Tiedemann, Paul Skenes, and Chase Silseth should be of great interest, as they are all esteemed young talents likely to debut soon this year.

However, the Gen Z-ers are not the only pitchers of this tier capable of producing in fantasy baseball. James Paxton, Sean Manaea, Andrew Heaney, John Brebbia, Chris Paddack, Clayton Kershaw, Miles Mikolas, Alex Cobb, and Clarke Schmidt should all provide some decent pitching with inexpensive ADPs in the 300s, 400s, and even 500s.

There are a few grizzled vets who showed flashes of brilliance in 2023 (i.e., Jose Quintana, Taijuan Walker), but their age-related regression is a risk only worth taking in the later rounds of deep leagues.

Kyle Bradish's breakout 2023 season (2.83 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) might convince you to take him earlier than advised, given his right UCL sprain. However, a weak 3.82 xERA and 79.1% left-on-base rate mean that it's better to play it safe with the sidelined starter.

Talented pitchers coming back from serious injury or failure are mostly crapshoots. However, if pitchers like Alek Manoah, Frankie Montas, Aaron Ashby, or Casey Mize look to have regained robustness, a late look could serve you well.

Jacob deGrom should be incredibly impressive when he returns from injury in the last months of 2024. While he should make enough of a difference in the fantasy playoffs, keeping him for months on end in the reserve spot may prevent you from ever getting to the fantasy playoffs.

Graham Ashcraft finally found his footing in the second half of 2023, with a 2.58 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in his last 12 starts, before going down early in September with a toe injury. While a 4.33 xFIP in that span should encourage you to wait before drafting him, his late-season success could sustain some momentum going into 2024.

The oft-injured Garrett Whitlock has yet to surpass 80 innings, but his proven skill and a 3.74 xFIP in 2023 could make him a solid sleeper pick late in your draft.

Tiers 13, 14, and 15 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

Believe it or not, there's still effective starting pitching available in the 13th, 14th, and 15th tiers.

If you still have a hankering for veteran starting pitchers who've lost a step, Kyle HendricksRoss Stripling, Matt Strahm, Jose Urquidy, Lance McCullers, Wade Miley, Domingo German, Adrian Houser, Colin Rea, Anthony DeSclafani, and Kyle Gibson should all be in play for rotation spots.

More prospect stashes are popping up, but with less certainty to their stuff compared to Skenes and Tiedemann. Cade HortonMason Black, Will Warren, and Robert Gasser should all be up early enough this season, and all three arms have enough potential to be worth a throw of the dice in deeper leagues.

Tiers 16 and 17 - Starting Pitcher Fantasy Rankings

It's difficult to find quality starting pitching at the bottom of the barrel, but there are still an assortment of possibly fantasy relevant starters in these tiers. Most of them can be split into two classes: prospects who have a significant chance of not making an impact at the major-league level this year (we'll call them 'lottery tickets'), and veterans on the ropes who could get time in the major-league rotation but lack strong track records (we'll call them 'roughs in the diamond').

Of the lottery tickets: Jackson JobeCade CavalliJack Leiter, Joey CantilloMick Abel, Mike Vasil, and Hurtson Waldrep

Of the roughs in the diamond: Drew SmylyAlex Faedo, Sixto SanchezTyler AndersonAlex WoodJake Irvin, Patrick Corbin, Brandon Bielak, Spencer Turnbull, Luis L. OrtizCal QuantrillTouki Toussaint, Martin Perez, Michael Lorenzen and Ryan Yarbrough.

Of the remaining names, Quinn PriesterMatthew LiberatoreShintaro Fujinami, and Roansy Contreras are of interest. All are former top prospects who haven't picked up enough service time in the majors to write them off as busts. While they'll have to show something substantial in their bullpen and Triple-A roles, their respective front offices won't give up on these young pitchers.



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Jalen Chatfield14 mins ago

Agrees To Three-Year Extension With Hurricanes
Kaapo Kakko25 mins ago

Signs One-Year Extension With Rangers
Randy Arozarena30 mins ago

Returning Thursday
Patrik Laine34 mins ago

Poised To Move On From Columbus
Edwin Díaz42 mins ago

Edwin Diaz Officially Reinstated From Injured List
Evan Rodrigues46 mins ago

Promoted To First Line Thursday
Aleksander Barkov53 mins ago

Will Play In Game 3 Versus Oilers
Willson Contreras1 hour ago

Taking Full Batting Practice On Thursday
Luis Castillo1 hour ago

Bumped Back To Friday
Ty France2 hours ago

Should Return Soon
Brandon Marsh4 hours ago

Starting Rehab Assignment
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To Undergo Foot Surgery
Giancarlo Stanton4 hours ago

Not Playing Thursday
Ryan Mountcastle4 hours ago

Taking A Seat Against Braves
Atlanta Falcons4 hours ago

Falcons Lose 2025 Fifth-Round Pick Following Tampering Investigation
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Fouls Out For First Time In Postseason Career
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Puts Up 35 Points In Losing Effort
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Stays Productive In Game 3 Win
Jaylen Brown7 hours ago

Finishes Near 30-Point Triple-Double Wednesday
Jayson Tatum7 hours ago

Leads Celtics With 31 Points In Game 3 Victory
Bryce Miller15 hours ago

Dominates White Sox Wednesday
Sonny Gray15 hours ago

Fans Nine In Quality Start
Trea Turner15 hours ago

Runs Bases Wednesday
Jeimer Candelario16 hours ago

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Kristaps Porzingis17 hours ago

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Josh Jacobs17 hours ago

Taking Part In Mandatory Minicamp
Markelle Fultz17 hours ago

Hoping To Stay In Orlando
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Expected To Miss A Good Chunk Of Time
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Fans Two In First Triple-A Start
Ben Lively18 hours ago

Scheduled To Start Sunday
Jackson Merrill18 hours ago

Makes History With Two Blasts
Michael King18 hours ago

Racks Up Season-High 12 Strikeouts
Hunter Renfroe19 hours ago

Doesn't Have A Fractured Foot
Yoshinobu Yamamoto20 hours ago

Moved Back To Saturday
Andrés Muñoz20 hours ago

Andres Munoz Receives Injection In His Back
Bryan Woo20 hours ago

MRI "Was Perfectly Clean"
Kodai Senga20 hours ago

To Throw Two More Bullpen Sessions
Luka Doncic20 hours ago

Good To Go On Wednesday
Kristaps Porzingis20 hours ago

Won't Play In Game 3
Laurent Brossoit22 hours ago

Maple Leafs Have "Mutual Interest"
Jaccob Slavin22 hours ago

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Evander Kane23 hours ago

Uncertain For Thursday's Game 3
Darnell Nurse23 hours ago

Expected To Play In Game 3
Aleksander Barkov23 hours ago

Practices On Wednesday, Will Travel To Edmonton
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Panthers Non-Committed About Jonathon Brooks' Training Camp Availability
Alvin Kamara1 day ago

Present For Mandatory Minicamp
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Absent Again Wednesday
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To Skip All Of Mandatory Minicamp
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A Sleeper Pick At U.S. Open
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Striking The Ball Well Heading To Pinehurst
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A Major Wild Card At Pinehurst
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Trust Ludvig Aberg At Pinehurst
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Finding Consistency Heading To U.S. Open
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