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Starting Pitcher Rankings and Tiers for 2023 Fantasy Baseball

Shohei Ohtani - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

Hello, welcome fantasy baseball friends to an early look at the 2023 starting pitcher rankings. Spring training is right around the corner and leagues are going to start ramping up, so now is a great time to dive into what to expect out of the starting pitcher landscape.  

I’ve ranked 75 of the top starters for fantasy purposes and have broken them down into tiers. These tiers will give you a better idea of when to target a certain pitcher. Current ADP has also been included to gauge if you should jump on a pitcher early or wait on one.   

Check out some of our other rankings and work done by the RotoBaller staff. Everyone does a great job here, and I hope you count on RotoBaller for your fantasy news and analysis because we've got every angle covered for you. But, without further ado, let's get into what 2023 has in store for the top 75 hurlers.  

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Tier 1 - Cy Young

SP Rank  SP Tier   Player Name  ADP 
1  1  Shohei Ohtani  13 
2  1  Corbin Burnes  17 
3  1  Gerrit Cole  20 
4  1  Sandy Alcantara  26 
5  1  Shane McClanahan  37 
6  1  Justin Verlander  42 
7  1  Jacob deGrom  31 

My top tier might be a little larger than most but both Verlander and deGrom have proven to be an SP1 repeatedly, even as they age. I’m a little more bullish on McClanahan than most but his 30.3% strikeout rate and 2.82 SIERA point to elite production. Cole had a down year by his standards last season, but his ADP shows most people think he’ll bounce back to elite status, and I’m right there with them. I had to talk myself out of putting Alcantara second, so just know when he finishes that high on player raters.  


Tier 2 - A Great Ace

SP Rank  SP Tier  Player Name  ADP 
8  2  Aaron Nola  41 
9  2  Brandon Woodruff  37 
10  2  Spencer Strider  33 
11  2  Max Scherzer  45 
12  2  Carlos Rodon  48 
13  2  Julio Urias  52 
14  2  Shane Bieber  55 

I could be convinced Nola deserves to be in the top tier after his 25.5% K-BB% came in fourth while his 2.58 FIP placed fifth in the league, but he’s been too much of a mixed bag in the past. Hopefully, he can continue his dominance in 2023 and claim a spot in the top tier. Strider is rightfully moving up the boards quickly. All these guys have the potential to finish the year in the top tier, so if you don’t grab one of the first-tier pitchers, don’t get too worried.   


Tier 3 - The Almost Ace

SP Rank  SP Tier  Player Name  ADP 
15  3  Zack Wheeler  54 
16  3  Dylan Cease  39 
17  3  Alek Manoah  61 
18  3  Zac Gallen  71 
19  3  Max Fried  67 
20  3  Nestor Cortes  111 
21  3  Yu Darvish  80 

 The outlier here for me is Nestor Cortes, as his ADP is over 70 slots after Dylan Cease. Cease is a talented pitcher, but his 2022 peripherals don’t match his ERA, hinting at some regression this season. He’s still young and has the potential to reach the next tier, but for now, his ADP is too much for me. Nestor projects to have a similar win and ERA total with fewer strikeouts. Wheeler just missed the second tier and Manoah could easily finish in that tier, so there are some great options here.


Tier 4 - A Mixed Bag of Goodness

SP Rank  SP Tier  Player Name  ADP 
22  4  Kevin Gausman  68 
23  4  Luis Castillo  67 
24  4  Joe Musgrove  83 
25  4  Christian Javier  69 
26  4  Framber Valdez  80 
27  4  Tyler Glasnow  95 
28  4  Robbie Ray  98 
29  4  Triston McKenzie  85 
30  4  Clayton Kershaw  125 
31  4  Logan Webb  106 
32  4  Nick Lodolo  137 

This tier has a little bit of everything. Kershaw is holding onto a top 30 SP slot while youngsters McKenzie and Lodolo try to crack that plateau. Javier and Valdez are separated by 11 spots in ADP, but I see them as close to interchangeable. Javier had the better strikeout stuff, but both had similar ERA and FIP and Valdez pitched the full year. Look for Lodolo to have a breakout year and possibly finish a tier higher than ranked now.  


Tier 5 - Young or Sturdy

SP Rank  SP Tier  Player Name  ADP 
33  5  Blake Snell  130 
34  5  George Kirby  113 
35  5  Luis Severino  116 
36  5  Logan Gilbert  110 
37  5  Lucas Giolito  166 
38  5  Kyle Wright  112 
39  5  Pablo Lopez  171 
40  5  Hunter Greene  120 
41  5  Lance Lynn  140 
42  5  Chris Bassitt  150 
43  5  Dustin May  167 

There are a few former high-tier pitchers here and there are a few future high-tier pitchers here. High-upside youngsters going earlier than their seasoned counterparts is a common theme in fantasy baseball. Owners want to have a Kirby, Gilbert, Wright, or Greene on their team when they break out, but I’m here to tell you a Severino, Giolito, or Lopez will be just as useful as the younger pitchers. A healthy May will blow by this rank. 


Tier 6 - Not Sexy But Good

SP Rank  SP Tier  Player Name  ADP 
44  6  Freddy Peralta  145 
45  6  Luis Garcia   
46  6  Joe Ryan  149 
47  6  Jesus Luzardo  153 
48  6  Jordan Montgomery  167 
49  6  Charlie Morton  175 
50  6  Tony Gonsolin  155 
51  6  Chris Sale  178 

Here we start to lose some of the appeal name-wise, but a top 50 pitcher is nothing to scoff at. Everyone needs a pitcher like Montgomery and his mid-3s ERA, even if he doesn’t have the huge strikeout ratio of pitchers in the higher tiers. Gonsolin had a great year from an ERA and win-loss standpoint but didn’t have the overall numbers to back it up. A fall from grace could befall him this season and his ADP shows most owners are expecting one.  


Tier 7 - Helpful Yet Uninspiring 

SP Rank  SP Tier  Player Name  ADP 
52  7  Jeffrey Springs  184 
53  7  Kodai Senga   
54  7  Drew Rasmussen  183 
55  7  Jon Gray  213 
56  7  Brady Singer  191 
57  7  Lance McCullers Jr.  202 
58  7  Patrick Sandoval  212 
59  7  Grayson Rodriguez  199 
60  7  Sonny Gray  222 
61  7  Nathan Eovaldi  278 
62  7  Andrew Heaney  234 
63  7  Frankie Montas  229 
64  7  Jack Flaherty  226 
65  7  Reid Detmers  240 
66  7  Tyler Mahle  292 
67  7  Aaron Ashby  270 

This extensive list is not quite the Mr. Irrelevant tier, and this tier has some breakout potential in it, but a lot of the options here are middling. It will be interesting to see how Senga pitches stateside and what Rodriguez can do if given the full year in the majors. A Flaherty bounceback isn’t out of the question and a Detmers leap is also a possibility. There are pitchers here where you know what you’re going to get from them, so that’s always useful, even if they aren’t top talent.  


Tier 8 - Mr. Irrelevant

SP Rank  SP Tier  Player Name  ADP 
68  8  Alex Cobb  257 
69  8  Jose Berrios  249 
70  8  Edward Cabrera  245 
71  8  Jameson Taillon  272 
72  8  Jose Urquidy  264 
73  8  Tyler Anderson  237 
74  8  Merrill Kelly  227 
75  8  Michael Kopech  296 

The Mr. Irrelevant tier is full of guys you’ll have to monitor early and often. Spot starts or home/road splits and things of that nature will come into play. I wouldn’t expect one of these starters to jump into the top 30 this year, but they are going to be useful at times. Anderson and Kelly had good 2022 fantasy seasons and it’s possible someone like Taillon or Kopech get into an extended groove, so there are still guys here worth targeting late. 

That's going to do it for the early top 75 starting pitchers for this go around. Good luck to all.

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