Major League Baseball may be in a lockout right now, but that won’t stop us from our 2022 fantasy baseball prep! Today, we’ll be looking at starting pitchers.
As they say, pitching wins championships, and that couldn’t be more true in fantasy baseball. Having an ample amount of depth on your pitching depth to deal with injuries and struggles is extremely important, especially with how volatile pitching can be from year to year.
See, even if the pitchers themselves have the same underlying talent from one year to the next, their circumstances, such as ballpark factors, defense, or simply luck, can completely hamper their surface-level statistics. Thus, the best way to combat this is by taking what we know about the talents of the players and adjusting based on their situation.
Something else that can help our analysis? Projections! Using each pitcher’s underlying numbers from the past three seasons to project their ERA, adjusting their WHIP based on projected batting average on balls in play allowed, and calculating their total project amount of strikeouts, I’ve been able to project each pitcher’s anticipated fantasy baseball value.
Note that this does not include wins. Why you may ask? Wins have been found to be very difficult to project on a yearly basis, as they are quite subject to the quality of team and bullpen, but, also, just luck. Let strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP be the driving forces behind drafting a pitcher; they are more stable metrics.
With that said, let us get to the projections! For players with less than two years of data, I used Steamer’s projection to calculate their overall 20-80 scale grade. The weighting all follows what the Marcel projection strategy, which you can read about here. Now, without further ado, here are the projections:
2022 Starting Pitcher Projections
However, projections do not tell the whole story. What if a pitcher has made a recent pitch-mix change? What if they are changing teams? What if they naturally always over perform their underlying numbers? What if they have untapped upside beyond their median projection? These are difficult to capture in simple projections. Luckily, it’s what we can take into account when ranking starting pitchers. With that in mind, here are my top-150 starting pitcher rankings for the upcoming season: