We’re now four months deep into the baseball season, and fantasy owners are in the heat of the stretch run. For many of those in contention, they will live and die on their starting pitching. RotoBaller has been updating our positional rankings over the past week. Today, we’re revisiting the starting pitcher rankings we initially published in April and have updated on a monthly basis since. All the ranks below are compared to the FantasyPros ECR (Expert Consensus Rank), which will show you where RotoBaller differs with the expert community and by how much. Check out our tier-by-tier analysis below the rankings, and let us know where you agree or disagree with us!
Tier 1- It’s pretty easy placing Scherzer at the top considering that he’s 16-1 with a 2.86 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 170/34 K/BB ratio over 151.1 IP. Kershaw is right on his heels and reigns as the NL’s premier fantasy hurler, while the borderline taken-for-granted King Felix is crafting yet another spectacular season. Harvey has probably been a hair better than Kershaw this season, but poor run support has cost him dearly in the victory department.
Tier 2- Darvish continues to astound with his strikeout totals, and Corbin is running away with NL Rookie of the Year. Price is back in top form, as he comes off a July where he went 5-1 with a 1.68 ERA and absurd 35/1 K/BB ratio in 48.1 IP.
Tier 3- Minor, Bumgarner, Sale and Moore are four of the fastest-rising left-handed starters in the game. Gonzalez has turned things around after a slow start and is fully back to his 2012 performance-level. Tillman has won an eye-popping 23 games since July 4, 2012.
Tier 4- Holland sports an outstanding 145/44 K/BB ratio, while Liriano has been utterly brilliant for the first-place Pirates. Fernandez has struck out 27 over his past two starts and is easily MLB’s most electrifying young arm, while Strasburg has been very good but not great in 2013.
Tier 5- Verlander’s spotty season continues, as he’s been a huge disappointment to fantasy owners. Win/loss record aside, Burnett is having a career season at age 36. Peavy was outstanding in his Red Sox debut and figures to be a factor in fantasy leagues down the stretch, and Archer is fresh off a 4-0, 0.73 ERA July that featured two complete-game shutouts. Nova has surprisingly been one of baseball’s best pitchers since returning from his minor league demotion at the end of June.
Tier 6- Hamels was terrific in July and could still provide late-season value to fantasy owners shell-shocked by his 4-13 record. It’s stunning to see the rising Doubront and Kazmir ranked ahead of perennial aces Sabathia and Cain. Chatwood has been a revelation in Colorado, Miley has turned things around of late, and Dickey continues to live the up-and-down life of a knuckleballer.
Tier 7- Kluber is underrated and should be owned in all leagues. Beachy is back and was solid in his second appearance after getting lit up in his first start. Kennedy’s extreme flyball tendencies should be greatly alleviated now that he’s in San Diego- grab him if he’s been cut in your league. Peralta put together a great stretch in July but has faltered again in his past two starts. Gallardo has been a huge bust.
Tier 8- Hefner has turned into a pumpkin after a magical six-week stretch, while Maholm, Hammel and McAllister have all battled injuries. Speaking of injuries, McCarthy was OK until his pitch count ran up and he was chased from his start against Boston following two months on the DL. This might be it for Pettitte.