Midseason Rankings and Tiers: Starting Pitcher (SP)

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With the first half of the season in the books, it’s time for one last RotoBaller rankings update. As with our May edition, these rest-of-season rankings come from yours truly and my favorite bandwagon Red Sox fan, Nick Mariano. Today, we're finishing things off with a look at the pitchers; I'll cover the starters below, while Nick will dissect the reliever ranks.

Check out all of our updated rankings. Adjust your league size, and export your rankings. Tiers, auction values, prospects, news and more. It's all free.

Let's get to it.

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2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Starting Pitchers (Midseason Update)

Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Nick Composite
1 1 Clayton Kershaw SP 6 4 5
2 1 Max Scherzer SP 9 10 9.5
3 1 Chris Sale SP 12 11 11.5
4 1 Corey Kluber SP 20 22 21
5 2 Madison Bumgarner SP 36 23 29.5
6 2 Stephen Strasburg SP 29 34 31.5
7 2 Yu Darvish SP 34 36 35
8 2 Jacob deGrom SP 41 32 36.5
9 2 Chris Archer SP 47 42 44.5
10 2 Zack Greinke SP 26 65 45.5
11 2 Carlos Martinez SP 39 63 51
12 2 Carlos Carrasco SP 50 56 53
13 3 Lance McCullers SP 53 57 55
14 3 Alex Wood SP 59 66 62.5
15 3 Robbie Ray SP 68 68 68
16 3 Jon Lester SP 111 55 83
17 3 Jake Arrieta SP 129 40 84.5
18 3 Luis Severino SP 69 109 89
19 3 Dallas Keuchel SP 81 99 90
20 4 David Price SP 91 95 93
21 4 Michael Fulmer SP 92 96 94
22 4 James Paxton SP 115 94 104.5
23 4 Aaron Nola SP 100 111 105.5
24 4 Johnny Cueto SP 109 103 106
25 4 Justin Verlander SP 123 92 107.5
26 4 Jose Quintana SP 117 106 111.5
27 4 Sean Manaea SP 103 129 116
28 5 Jose Berrios SP 96 139 117.5
29 5 Jameson Taillon SP 138 108 123
30 5 Jeff Samardzija SP 101 147 124
31 5 Gerrit Cole SP 179 76 127.5
32 5 Marcus Stroman SP 160 97 128.5
33 5 Masahiro Tanaka SP 180 91 135.5
34 5 Jonathan Gray SP 140 146 143
35 5 Kenta Maeda SP 155 132 143.5
36 5 Danny Duffy SP 157 138 147.5
37 6 Jimmy Nelson SP 137 158 147.5
38 6 Zack Godley SP 152 155 153.5
39 6 Rich Hill SP 203 113 158
40 6 Sonny Gray SP 209 114 161.5
41 6 Daniel Straily SP 166 159 162.5
42 6 Cole Hamels SP 119 220 169.5
43 6 Ivan Nova SP 188 154 171
44 6 Ervin Santana SP 230 137 183.5
45 6 Kyle Hendricks SP 181 189 185
46 7 Aaron Sanchez SP 238 135 186.5
47 7 Lance Lynn SP 217 176 196.5
48 7 Eduardo Rodriguez SP 211 192 201.5
49 7 Steven Matz SP 194 217 205.5
50 7 Jacob Faria SP 191 227 209
51 8 J.A. Happ SP 199 232 215.5
52 8 Gio Gonzalez SP 225 213 219
53 8 Drew Pomeranz SP 189 254 221.5
54 8 Carlos Rodon SP 218 228 223
55 8 Alex Cobb SP 269 180 224.5
56 8 Danny Salazar SP 192 274 233
57 8 Julio Teheran SP 308 165 236.5
58 8 Taijuan Walker SP 215 260 237.5
59 8 Brad Peacock SP 212 264 238
60 8 Noah Syndergaard SP 207 283 245
61 8 Felix Hernandez SP 255 239 247
62 8 Dylan Bundy SP 315 181 248
63 8 John Lackey SP 299 204 251.5
64 8 Jake Odorizzi SP 258 245 251.5
65 9 Rick Porcello SP 276 231 253.5
66 9 Jhoulys Chacin SP/RP #N/A 255 255
67 9 Brandon McCarthy SP 242 271 256.5
68 9 Chase Anderson SP 221 312 266.5
69 9 Adam Wainwright SP 322 212 267
70 9 Tanner Roark SP 339 206 272.5
71 9 Zach Davies SP #N/A 275 275
72 9 Marco Estrada SP 305 248 276.5
73 9 Garrett Richards SP 277 #N/A 277
74 9 Mike Clevinger SP 280 276 278
75 10 Matt Shoemaker SP 270 288 279
76 10 Jerad Eickhoff SP 318 244 281
77 10 Michael Foltynewicz SP 301 263 282
78 10 Michael Wacha SP 319 251 285
79 10 Zack Wheeler SP 342 230 286
80 10 Kevin Gausman SP 316 262 289
81 10 Robert Gsellman SP #N/A 292 292
82 11 Vincent Velasquez SP 292 #N/A 292
83 11 Trevor Bauer SP 341 247 294
84 11 Ariel Miranda SP 296 #N/A 296
85 11 Tyler Anderson SP #N/A 300 300
86 11 Mike Leake SP 274 330 302
87 11 Ian Kennedy SP 282 329 305.5
88 12 Patrick Corbin SP 347 266 306.5
89 12 Mike Fiers SP 295 320 307.5
90 12 Miguel Gonzalez SP #N/A 310 310
91 12 Mike Montgomery SP 323 #N/A 323
92 12 Junior Guerra SP #N/A 324 324
93 12 Francisco Liriano SP 331 318 324.5
94 12 CC Sabathia SP 340 #N/A 340
95 12 Jason Hammel SP 343 #N/A 343
96 12 Homer Bailey SP #N/A 344 344

 

Midseason Starting Pitcher Rankings Analysis

The usual spate of injuries, along with the continuing surge in home runs, has made this season a hellish one for fantasy owners in search of quality pitching. Hardly anyone has been immune to the "allegedly" juiced ball. Even once and future king Clayton Kershaw has already set a career high in homers allowed, though it hasn't kept him from posting his typically transcendent results. Despite some whispers to the contrary, he remains in a class by himself, ahead of fellow top-tier aces Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, and Corey Kluber. The entire quartet has everything you want from a pitcher, of course: Tons of strikeouts, great ratios, high volume, and lengthy track records that point to more of the same in the games to come.

The group in Tier 2 have plenty going for them, they're just not quite up to the standard set by our Four Horsemen. Madison Bumgarner has the strongest case for inclusion in the top group, we just need to see how he rebounds from his shoulder injury. I maintain that Stephen Strasburg's health issues are overblown by most folks, but between those and his propensity for the occasional clunker outing, it's enough to relegate him to the second tier. Yu Darvish, Jacob deGrom, and Chris Archer are immensely talented, but none of the trio is pitching at his best this season.

Carlos Carrasco is likewise great, he just never seems to give you the innings you need to classify him as a no-doubt stud. Carlos Martinez remains vulnerable to left-handed batters, which keeps him from reaching his full potential. There's not much disagreement at the top between Nick and I, with the exception of Zack Greinke. He's completely rebounded from his difficult first year in Arizona and is having one of the best seasons of his illustrious career.

The next couple of tiers are an interesting mix of underachieving stars and guys who are excelling but have limited track records. In the former category, you have three-fifths of the Cubs' starting rotation - Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and newly acquired Jose Quintana. All have had issues with the long ball this year and occasional control problems, which is why they're each rocking 4.00+ ERA and 1.30+ WHIP marks. Johnny Cueto and Justin Verlander have also taken a tumble in our rankings after struggling in the first half. Given the track records involved, it would hardly come as a shock to see any of all of these veterans turn it on after the break.

Hell, Verlander did so just last year, though he didn't have quite as poor a showing in the first few months of 2016 as he has this time around. In the "talented but less established" bucket, there's Lance McCullers, Alex Wood, Robbie Ray, Luis Severino, James Paxton, Aaron Nola, and Sean Manaea. Of that group, only Wood has ever topped 175 MLB innings in a season. Most of them have had their share of health issues, and only Ray and Severino have avoided the disabled list this year. That said, each of them has been largely excellent when on the mound and that figures to continue.

After a relatively harmonious top 30, the next several tiers are where you start to see some major disagreements between Nick and myself. After touting him during the offseason as a rebound candidate and investing in several leagues, I'm completely off the Gerrit Cole train. He's got a 4.75 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over the past calendar year at this point. Marcus Stroman's improved ERA feels like a mirage, since his peripherals have barely budged. No idea what the deal is with Masahiro Tanaka, but I'm certainly not putting him in the top 20 SP after his awful first half. Ervin Santana is #fakenews. Aaron Sanchez has been even more of a disappointment than I expected thanks to a season-long battle with blisters. Speaking of blisters, Rich Hill...pass. Between his health, his inconsistent performance to date, and the Dodgers' rotation shell game, I'm staying away. Also, Dylan Bundy is bad and Nick should feel bad for ranking him as high as he did.

As for the arms I've ranked higher, Cole Hamels looks more like himself on the other side of his DL stint. I'm cautiously optimistic on the Jimmy Nelson breakout. Drew Pomeranz has been quietly excellent of late, particularly with keeping the ball in the yard. Danny Salazar is worth a gamble in the second half, and could frankly make both of our rankings look foolish if he's healthy. Lastly, while there's a lot of uncertainty around when (or if) he'll return this season and in what capacity, even 4-5 starts from Noah Syndergaard at 70-80 percent could be a boon to fantasy owners in September.

 

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