Pitching rankings, any rankings at all for that matter are extremely tough. The reason being is that everything is very situational. If you end up with too much risk early on you need to go after pitchers with minimal health risk. If you don’t have enough strikeouts early on you need to chase high strikeout upside and so on. While we love to nitpick pitchers being five picks apart it actually doesn’t mean much.
As for strategy, it’s a little hard to plan that out without seeing some sort of ADP and how the market is reacting. With that said, taking pitchers early worked for me last season and it even worked for the Main Event overall winner so I will likely be implementing that same strategy. Some of my best teams in NFBC (National Fantasy Baseball Championship) had pitchers like Brandon Woodruff, Lance Lynn, and Lucas Giolito. Everyone has their own style though and I understand that.
In the rankings below you will see a column labeled SP Rank. Instead of doing tiers, I decided to add what starting pitcher spot I am comfortable with having that player. SP1 means I want them as the Ace of my team. This means anyone with an SP2 next to it makes me nervous to have them as my Ace. You get the idea.
I do want to point out certain pitchers and discuss my thoughts on their ranking.
Jacob deGrom: This ranking is based on him being healthy. No one loves him more than me (Mets fan) but the consistent injuries with the increase in velocity have to be taken into account here. Plus, I’m not so sure he can go on a historic run like he did last season, no doubt the best pitcher in baseball when healthy though.
Robbie Ray: I’m assuming I will be lower on him here. The four-seam is being pounded into the zone at a very high clip and the contact numbers aren’t that great when hitters connect.
Carlos Rodon and Shane Bieber: Shoulder injuries can become lingering issues and both of these pitchers hold injury risk coming into 2022.
Dylan Cease: The command was worked on and his walk rate dipped while his strikeout rate doubled. Hard to not buy in.
Luis Garcia: Insane movement profile and I personally think he has some of the best stuff out there.
Hyun-Jin Ryu: Had personal issues as well as had to pitch in one of the most hitter-friendly parks we have seen. No more Buffalo means better days ahead.
Logan Gilbert: Give me Gilbert all day.
Michael Kopech: This ranking obviously assumes he is in the rotation. He is a highly-touted prospect with a high-velocity fastball and high whiff ability.
Luis Severino: We got to see him pitch in 2021 and he looked to be fully healthy. Still a risk and likely won’t have any shares.
Tylor Megill, Patrick Sandoval, Aaron Ashby, and Josiah Gray: If they for sure make their teams starting rotations they will be in my SP4 tier.
German Marquez and Austin Gomber: Can’t deal with the Coors headache.
Clayton Kershaw, Noah Syndergaard, Justin Verlander, Mike Clevinger, and Mike Soroka: I am more than willing to miss out on any of them. Not worth the risk in my opinion.
Triston McKenzie: Until he stabilizes his fastball velocity I just can’t buy-in.
Dane Dunning: Good command with a lot of potential in the slider and changeup.
Eric Lauer: Increase in velocity makes him intriguing.
Christian Javier and Luis Gil: If they make the rotation bump him up to SP6 range.
Justin Steele: Was surprised at his profile and actually see some potential here, a solid pick for DC’s.
Justin Dunn: Added over two MPH on his fastball and has really solid stuff, shoulder is an issue though.
Dinelson Lamet: Go away.
Tyler Beede: Sneaky super late-round pick.
I’m sure there will be a ton of questions and you can ask me either on Twitter @SPStreamer or you can comment on the article below, thank you for reading!