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Rest-Of-Season Starting Pitcher Rankings (September Update)


With the MLB regular season winding down, we begin to close in on the final stretch of your fantasy baseball championship run. We've collected some of the brightest baseball minds here at Rotoballer to deliver you our rest-of-season rankings analysis to help you secure your league title. Now that fantasy football is nearly in full swing, take advantage of distracted managers in your league by staying active on the waiver wire and staying on top of trending hitters.

Starting pitchers have been the bane of fantasy owners' existence this year. Whether you side with Justin Verlander or not, it's obvious that offense as a whole, especially home runs, are up. That's been bad news for many SP that were drafted in the first few rounds. If you are still in the thick of the race in your mixed roto league, it's critical to find the right pitchers to trust so your ratios don't tank.

Throw those preseason ADPs out along with any preconceived notion of how these players were going to perform - we've taken into account injuries, team context, Statcast metrics, and gameplay observations in order to provide you with the most current rankings possible. Check out our fantasy baseball rankings dashboard for the very latest rankings which are continually updated. Without any more delay, let's break down the 2019 SP rest-of-season rankings for September.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Updated SP Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (September)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can follow his ranks all season long. Win big with RotoBaller in 2019! 

Ranking Tier Player Position Nick Nick G Riley
1 1 Justin Verlander SP 5 4 5
2 1 Gerrit Cole SP 6 6 6
3 1 Jacob deGrom SP 13 10 10
4 2 Walker Buehler SP 17 20 16
5 2 Luis Castillo SP 29 28 30
6 2 Clayton Kershaw SP 31 26 33
7 2 Hyun-Jin Ryu SP 23 46 26
8 2 Max Scherzer SP 47 29 22
9 2 Zack Greinke SP 28 41 29
10 2 Stephen Strasburg SP 32 27 43
11 2 Shane Bieber SP 45 25 38
12 3 Charlie Morton SP 37 37 36
13 3 Mike Clevinger SP 42 49 65
14 3 Patrick Corbin SP 52 63 59
15 3 Aaron Nola SP 41 51 94
16 3 Jack Flaherty SP 71 39 103
17 3 Lucas Giolito SP 69 77 88
18 3 Domingo German SP 77 74 89
19 4 Mike Soroka SP 111 86 50
20 4 Trevor Bauer SP 103 94 63
21 4 Jose Berrios SP 101 83 77
22 4 Noah Syndergaard SP 83 99 90
23 4 Madison Bumgarner SP 98 97 80
24 4 Lance Lynn SP 89 82 109
25 4 Yu Darvish SP 66 114 117
26 4 Sonny Gray SP 113 87 98
27 4 James Paxton SP 94 112 101
28 4 Mike Minor SP 119 91 97
29 5 Caleb Smith SP 133 95 84
30 5 Matthew Boyd SP 95 92 142
31 5 Masahiro Tanaka SP 112 115 115
32 5 Kyle Hendricks SP 137 88 129
33 5 Kenta Maeda SP 131 126 112
34 5 Zack Wheeler SP 144 142 116
35 5 Cole Hamels SP 141 171 111
36 5 Max Fried SP 147 147 161
37 5 Mike Fiers SP 189 129 138
38 5 German Marquez SP 151 143 171
39 5 Robbie Ray SP 201 148 118
40 6 Ryan Yarbrough SP 148 146 176
41 6 Wade Miley SP 153 141 179
42 6 Jake Odorizzi SP 210 156 123
43 6 Eduardo Rodriguez SP 166 177 148
44 6 Chris Paddack SP 202 182 114
45 6 Marcus Stroman SP 184 184 157
46 6 Zac Gallen SP 160 188 187
47 6 Andrew Heaney SP 161 205 #N/A
48 6 David Price SP 139 181 265
49 6 Miles Mikolas SP 194 178 213
50 6 Ian Kennedy SP 182 176 250
51 6 Jose Quintana SP 179 189 245
52 6 Dinelson Lamet SP 186 172 275
53 6 Cal Quantrill SP 270 163 #N/A
54 6 Zach Plesac SP 218 208 224
55 6 Joey Lucchesi SP 294 194 165
56 7 Joe Musgrove SP 212 206 236
57 7 Michael Pineda SP 245 199 217
58 7 Jeff Samardzija SP 303 207 167
59 7 Diego Castillo RP/SP 219 236 #N/A
60 7 Dallas Keuchel SP 309 231 149
61 7 Anibal Sanchez SP 272 193 229
62 7 John Gant SP 223 240 #N/A
63 7 Julio Teheran SP 244 218 241
64 7 Aaron Sanchez SP 226 251 #N/A
65 7 Chris Bassitt SP 317 160 #N/A
66 7 Colin Poche SP 237 241 #N/A
67 7 John Means SP 256 229 235
68 8 Kyle Gibson SP 322 211 195
69 8 Jon Lester SP 340 #N/A 152
70 8 Giovanny Gallegos SP 238 246 289
71 8 Brendan McKay SP/1B 265 266 243
72 8 Dakota Hudson SP 261 261 #N/A
73 8 Dustin May SP 311 268 206
74 8 Reynaldo Lopez SP 267 260 #N/A
75 8 Blake Snell SP 290 255 256
76 8 Brandon Woodruff SP #N/A 267 #N/A
77 8 Jose Urena SP 269 #N/A #N/A
78 9 Jose Suarez SP 275 #N/A #N/A
79 9 Merrill Kelly SP 338 #N/A 220
80 9 Corey Kluber SP 297 288 262
81 9 Anthony DeSclafani SP 308 269 #N/A
82 9 Steven Matz SP 310 285 278
83 9 J.A. Happ SP 316 #N/A 266
84 9 Dylan Cease SP 287 #N/A 299
85 9 Carlos Carrasco SP 332 256 #N/A
86 9 Homer Bailey SP 296 296 #N/A
87 9 Yonny Chirinos SP 301 293 #N/A
88 10 Alex Wood SP 323 273 #N/A
89 10 Chase Anderson SP 299 #N/A #N/A
90 10 Joe Ross SP 300 #N/A #N/A
91 10 Jakob Junis SP 306 #N/A #N/A
92 10 Jordan Lyles SP 307 #N/A #N/A
93 10 Amir Garrett SP 315 #N/A #N/A
94 10 Brad Keller SP 337 294 #N/A
95 10 Sandy Alcantara SP 319 #N/A #N/A
96 10 Trevor Richards SP 408 292 264
97 10 Marco Gonzales SP 325 #N/A #N/A
98 10 Vince Velasquez SP 327 #N/A #N/A
99 10 Jordan Yamamoto SP 328 #N/A #N/A
100 10 Adam Conley SP/RP 329 #N/A #N/A
101 10 Tyler Beede SP 330 #N/A #N/A
102 10 Tanner Roark SP 422 242 #N/A
103 11 Chris Archer SP 389 #N/A 288
104 11 Asher Wojciechowski SP 341 #N/A #N/A
105 11 Julio Urias SP 391 #N/A 296
106 11 Nathan Eovaldi SP 419 #N/A 279
107 11 Pablo Lopez SP 351 #N/A #N/A
108 11 Mitch Keller SP 423 #N/A 284
109 11 Matt Strahm RP/SP 354 #N/A #N/A
110 11 Rick Porcello SP 355 #N/A #N/A
111 11 Trevor Williams SP 357 #N/A #N/A
112 11 Zach Davies SP 361 #N/A #N/A
113 11 Mike Leake SP 363 #N/A #N/A
114 11 Tony Gonsolin SP 372 #N/A #N/A
115 11 Sean Manaea SP 388 #N/A #N/A
116 11 Ivan Nova SP 392 #N/A #N/A
117 11 Elieser Hernandez SP/RP 395 #N/A #N/A
118 11 Jake Arrieta SP 397 #N/A #N/A
119 11 Kevin Gausman SP 401 #N/A #N/A
120 11 Framber Valdez SP 403 #N/A #N/A
121 11 Drew Smyly SP 406 #N/A #N/A
122 12 Adam Wainwright SP 407 #N/A #N/A
123 12 CC Sabathia SP 409 #N/A #N/A
124 12 Mike Montgomery SP/RP 410 #N/A #N/A
125 12 Yusei Kikuchi SP 413 #N/A #N/A
126 12 Mike Foltynewicz SP 414 #N/A #N/A
127 12 Gio Gonzalez SP 416 #N/A #N/A
128 12 Eric Lauer SP 417 #N/A #N/A
129 12 Zach Eflin SP 418 #N/A #N/A
130 12 Andrew Cashner SP 421 #N/A #N/A
131 12 Martin Perez SP 424 #N/A #N/A
132 12 Drew Pomeranz SP 425 #N/A #N/A
133 12 Luis Severino SP 426 #N/A #N/A
134 12 Jesus Luzardo SP 427 #N/A #N/A
135 12 Spencer Turnbull SP 428 #N/A #N/A
136 12 Jose Urquidy SP 429 #N/A #N/A
137 12 Dylan Bundy SP 430 #N/A #N/A

 

Rankings Analysis - Top Tiers

Tier One

Justin Verlander continues to be impossibly good at age 36, with a 2.77 ERA and 35% K-rate over 179 innings. But Verlander is somehow getting better as the season goes on, going 5-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 43.7% K-rate since the All-Star break. And then there's Gerrit Cole, who has a 2.25 ERA since the break and a 39.7% K-rate that's second only to his teammate Verlander. Cole has now struck out double-digit batters in six of his last nine starts and is in the midst of one the great contract-year performances in sports history. Listen to Teddy KGB and pay that man his mo-ney.
Here's the simplest way to explain why the Astros are the prohibitive World Series favorites; in a seven-game series, Verlander and Cole will start at least four of the games…Good luck, everyone!

The problem with having a transcendent year like the one that Mets starter Jacob deGrom had in 2018, is that anything but a repeat-performance is seen as disappointing. deGrom may not be as dominant as he was last year but he’s pretty close, posting a 31.9% K-rate that’s virtually identical and a 15.7% swinging-strike rate that’s actually increased by a half-point. And his 2.56 ERA might be almost a run higher than last year’s ridiculous 1.70 ERA, but it’s still a 2.56 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over 162 innings. So, no complaining allowed.

Tier Two

Welcome to the party, pal! After spending two years as an “ace-in-waiting”, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler is waiting no more after a dominant 2019 thus far. Buehler has only gotten better since his impressive rookie campaign, increasing his strikeout-rate by two points, while shaving two-points from his walk-rate and posting double-digit strikeouts in four games this season, including a 15 K shutout against the Padres on August 3. Ascend, young ace. Ascend.

In a tier full of the old-guard, it might be a 26-year-old Luis Castillo who’s one of the best of the bunch for the remainder of 2019. Over 154 innings this year, Castillo is 12-5 with a 3.04 ERA with 179 strikeouts. Castillo remains held back by a 9.7% walk-rate, but improvements may already be here; he has a 4.0% walk-rate in his nine starts since the beginning of July while keeping his K-rate steady.

Injury concerns are the only reasons that Max Scherzer is slumming it in Tier 2, instead of taking his rightful place near the top. Having spent nearly 50 days on the injured list this year, Scherzer finally returned on August 22 to pitch four innings ( and 71 pitches), allowing one run and striking out three. While there were no reported setbacks, Scherzer has said that he’s not out of the woods yet and will likely not be throwing with maximum effort in order to avoid reinjuring himself. Danger Will Robinson. Danger.

Looks like I’m the low-man on Dodger pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu but it’s not talent or performance that lands him in this tier, as his 12 wins, 2.00 ERA and 0.98 WHIP say that he obviously belongs higher. But this time of year, it’s less about what you’ve done, and more about what lies ahead. And that might be more rest for Ryu, as his 152 2/3 innings are the most for the 32-year-old leftie since 2014. With his worst performances of the year coming in his last two starts, in which he gave up a total of 11 runs in 10 innings – allowing five home runs – Dodger management could be very careful in managing his health and innings as September rolls around.

We’re all on the same page with rooting for Cleveland’s Shane Bieber to challenge Justin to a Highlander-style fight to the death, right? If there can only be one Bieber, then hopefully the one who has an 11.0 K/9 and 3.23 ERA over 175 innings will win. After an impressive rookie campaign, Bieber now has a 30.1 % K-rate on the season which is a six-point increase over 2018’s mark, while pitching the third-most innings in baseball in 2019.

Tier Three

Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger started the year off in spectacular fashion, going 1-0 in his first two starts with 22 strikeouts in 12 innings. But then injuries cost him over two months, and after allowing 12 earned runs in his first two starts back, the world seemed to forget about the breakout that was promised by his dominant start to 2019. But since those two bad starts, Clevinger has been all that was promised and more, going 8-0 over his last 10 starts, with a 2.11 ERA and 34.6% K-rate over 60 innings. If not for the early-season injuries, we could very well be placing him in the same conversation with Walker Buehler and Luis Castillo.

It’s been an up-and-down season for Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola, with his owners spending much of the first half of the season wondering what exactly was wrong, be it injuries or stuff. Through his first 15 starts, Nola was 6-1 with a 25.1% K-rate but had an unsightly 4.89 ERA and 10% walk-rate. But Nola seems to have turned a corner since the middle of June and is now 6-3 through his last 13 starts, with a 2.27 ERA, 28.4% K-rate, and 7.6% walk-rate.

Welcome to the official Jack Flaherty Hype Train section! And judging by our rankings, it’s clear to see that I’m the conductor. Why is Flaherty’s 3.32 ERA and 28.7% K-rate (which are almost identical to Flaherty’s marks in 2018) deserved of a hype train? Wasn’t Flaherty pretty bad after entering the season as a favorite to make the leap to Ace? Well, a 4.90 ERA in his first 17 starts wasn’t exactly good but Flaherty at least kept his strikeout stuff, posting a 26.4% K-rate over his first 90 innings pitched. But in his last nine starts, Flaherty hasn’t just turned a corner…He’s lapping a lot of the field. Since July 7, Flaherty is 6-1 and earned his only loss giving up only one earned run in seven innings against the Giants. In these last 56 innings, Flaherty has 70 strikeouts and a 0.80 ERA that's best in the majors over that period, crushing Jacob deGrom’s measly 1.04 ERA. It may have taken two-thirds of the season, but it’s now time to lay Jack and let the hype wash over you.

 

Rankings Analysis - Middle Tiers

Tiers Four

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Because this ranking for Cincinnati ne Cleveland pitcher Trevor Bauer might actually be too high, given his recent performances. Bauer started off the season fine, posting a 2.45 ERA through his first seven starts in April. But May didn’t bring flowers for Bauer, only horrors, as the Twitter commando has been on a swift decline ever since the calendar flipped. In 22 starts since (which includes a mid-season trade), Bauer has a 5.00 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, and even threw a ball over the centerfield fence in a fit of rage. Not a great trifecta. And after giving up 18 ER in his last 11 innings, Bauer owners have to wonder what exactly they are in store for during September.

Another year for Mets starter Noah Syndergaard, and another year of a declining strikeout rate, with Thor’s 23.8% K-rate far from his peak of 29.3% in 2016. But while the avalanche of strikeouts hasn’t come back, Syndergaard has quietly been very effective since the All-Star break, going 3-2 over 54 innings, with a 1.82 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, along with a 9.11 K/9 that doesn’t exactly make him Brett Anderson.

Tier Five

When you play for the worst team in baseball, it’s easy to be overlooked. Enter, Matthew Boyd. The 28-year-old leftie has certainly had his problems this year, posting a 4.47 ERA over 159 innings for the hapless Detroit Tigers. But Boyd has unlocked his filthiest stuff this year, with a career-high 31.1% K-rate that’s backed by a 14.3% swinging-strike rate that’s the eighth-highest in all of baseball. Boyd, oh Boyd…That’s nasty.

As a St. Louis native, I can’t tell you how odd it is to be the only one of us that’s championing a Cub. Especially a boring old Cub like pitcher Kyle Hendricks. But Hendricks is a great example of a player being valuable in fantasy by being above-average across the board, as opposed to having one or two standout skills. Would anyone like to guess where Hendricks ranks on Yahoo’s Player Rater? I can’t read your mind, but I have to assume that no one was guessing #79. And definitely, no would guess that Yahoo projects him as the #53 player by year’s end. The #53 player, not the #53 pitcher. Since the beginning of May, Hendricks has a 2.75 ERA over 118 innings, with 98 strikeouts and a 0.95 WHIP. Boring? Yes. But are those ratios extremely valuable in an innings-eater like Hendricks? Also, yes.

 

Tier Six

Want to know a secret? I wanted to put Dinelson Lamet a lot higher than #172 but I’m going to try and keep my expectations in check… just for this year. Before being taken down by the nefarious Tommy John, Lamet was a popular breakout pick entering the 2018 season, carrying elite velocity and strikeout ability, with the 28.7% K-rate to prove it. And now that he’s fully recovered in 2019, Lamet has been even better than he was in 2017, posting a 30.1% K-rate and 3.83 xFIP through his first nine starts back. I’ll keep the hype in check for the remainder of 2019 but all bets are off in 2020.

 

Rankings Analysis - Lower Tiers

Tier Seven

I suppose we should talk about Chris Bassitt, considering that I'm clearly the only one who is a believer in the 30-year-old right-hander. Like a worse version of Kyle Hendricks earlier, Bassitt doesn't strike fear into any one category with his numbers but is rather a pitcher whose fantasy whole is greater than the sum of his mediocre parts. Bassitt is now 9-5 on the year, with a 3.59 ERA and 117 strikeouts in his 125 innings pitched, good for #134 on the current Yahoo Player Rater. And for the near future, Bassitt has a few plus-matchups on the likely horizon, facing Kansas City(twice) and Detroit in his next five starts.

Tier Eight and lower

Hey! Who let Anthony DeSclafani on here? Oh wait, looks like I did, seeing I'm the only one of we three who ranked him in the top-300. But I certainly don't like him all the time, because the key to getting value out of Disco Tony is knowing when to use him, as he is a man of extremes. In 25 starts this year, DeSclafani has allowed one run or less 12 times (including his last two starts)...And four runs or more in six of those 25 starts. So if you're confident in choosing your spots, DeSclafani could be a boon down the stretch, especially considering his upcoming schedule, as the right-hander goes to Miami on August 28, followed by three starts against Philadelphia and Arizona(twice).

More Fantasy Baseball Rankings Analysis