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Fantasy Baseball SP Rankings: Starting Pitcher Tiers, Sleepers, Draft Strategy


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Putting collectively SP rankings for 2021 appears like much more of a idiot’s errand than standard. Not solely are final 12 months’s stats reasonably useful at finest and fully ineffective at worst, however the elevated probability of accidents and strict innings limits after each beginning pitcher threw so few innings final 12 months is even larger than regular. That will not cease fantasy baseball house owners from pondering they’ll spot the “sure things” within the high tier and the “must-have sleepers” within the center tiers, however it doesn’t matter what your standard draft technique is, one factor is definite: Depth goes to be essential at this notoriously risky place. 

The high 10-15 pitchers in our rankings are just like the highest 10-15 you may discover on most websites, although not necesarily in the identical order. We like Blake Snell a little bit extra and Jack Flaherty rather less, however po-tay-to/po-tah-to. These gamers will all doubtless go within the first 4 or 5 rounds. After that, issues can go in quite a lot of instructions.

For occasion, we’re not practically as excessive on Zac Gallen as most websites regardless of the younger righty impressing over the previous two seasons. Gallen continues to be a high-Okay hurler who can not less than be a No. 2 on any employees, however we’re just a bit frightened about his lack of expertise and residential park. Shouldn’t we additionally really feel that manner about Corbin Burnes or Jesus Luzardo, each of whome are ranked forward of Gallen? Yeah, we should always, however we like Burnes’ barely larger strikeout potential and Luzardo’s dwelling park a liittle extra. You would possibly disagree. So be it. There are going to be numerous comparable examples at this place.

Even although we talked about elevated damage dangers, you should not let that impression your alternatives an excessive amount of. Obviously, a participant like Dinelson Lamet (biceps, elbow) is extra of a threat and you do not wish to draft him too early regardless of his top-10 expertise, however even already-injured SPs, reminiscent of Chris Sale (elbow) and Luis Severino (elbow), who won’t return till round midseason, may have simply as a lot worth as SPs who appear spry and prepared initially of the season. All damage dangers can rapidly grow to be potential values in the event that they’re falling too far.

You can go a range instructions when drafting, but it surely’s not really useful you load up on too many pitchers early. You nonetheless doubtless need not less than one ace and a strong No. 2, however filling out your rotation with late-middle or late-round picks — then being a vigilant streamer as soon as the season begins — can work simply in addition to drafting 5 pitchers within the first 12 rounds. Getting a mixture of “stable” veterans and some high-upside youthful pitchers is normally sensible. Focusing on strikeouts — probably the most repeatable stat — is absolutely the one factor you possibly can depend on. 

Every different pitching stat is topic to a excessive degree of variance, so it is also necessary to check the superior stats. Unsustainably excessive or low BABIPs — which could possibly be much more deceptive after such a brief season — should be scrutinized extra carefully, whereas wins are nearly not even price taking a look at or attempting to challenge past elementary evaluation of “pitchers on better teams have a better chance of getting wins.” (Duh)

Ultimately, SP is a journey into the nice unknown yearly, and regardless of who your pitchers are after draft day, be ready to stream and play the matchups. When it involves pitching, that is the one technique you possibly can depend on using yearly.

We’ll be updating these pitcher rankings as wanted all through the spring, so examine again for the newest participant motion. 

Fantasy Baseball SP Rankings: Starting Pitcher Tiers, Sleepers, Draft Strategy

Rankings based mostly on 5×5 H2H leagues with Ks, ERA, WHIP, Wins, and Saves as pitching classes. 

Position eligibility based mostly on Yahoo’s default settings


Rank Player (throws) Age (as of 4/1) Team Tier
1 Shane Bieber (R) 25 Indians 1
2 Jacob deGrom (R) 32 Mets 1
3 Trevor Bauer (R) 30 Dodgers 1
4 Gerrit Cole (R) 30 Yankees 1
5 Yu Darvish (R) 34 Padres 1
6 Max Scherzer (R) 36 Nationals 1
7 Luis Castillo (R) 28 Reds 2
8 Walker Buehler (R) 26 Dodgers 2
9 Blake Snell (L) 28 Padres 2
10 Aaron Nola (R) 27 Phillies 2
11 Lucas Giolito (R) 26 White Sox 2
12 Brandon Woodruff (R) 28 Brewers 2
13 Clayton Kershaw (L) 33 Dodgers 2
14 Sonny Gray (R) 32 Reds 2
15 Jack Flaherty (R) 25 Cardinals 2
16 Stephen Strasburg (R) 32 Nationals 2
17 Zack Greinke (R) 37 Astros 2
18 Kenta Maeda (R) 32 Twins 3
19 Corbin Burnes (R) 26 Brewers 3
20 Hyun Jin Ryu (L) 34 Blue Jays 3
21 Tyler Glasnow (R) 27 Rays 3
22 Carlos Carrasco (R) 34 Mets 3
23 Jesus Luzardo (L) 23 A’s 3
24 Zac Gallen (R) 25 D-backs 3
25 Zach Plesac (R) 26 Indians 3
26 Patrick Corbin (L) 31 Nationals 3
27 Kyle Hendricks (R) 31 Cubs 3
28 Dinelson Lamet (R) 28 Padres 3
29 German Marquez (R) 26 Rockies 4
30 Charlie Morton (R) 37 Braves 4
31 Marcus Stroman (R) 29 Mets 4
32 Zack Wheeler (R) 30 Phillies 4
33 Chris Paddack (R) 25 Padres 4
34 Jose Berrios (R) 26 Twins 4
35 James Paxton (L) 32 Mariners 4
36 Ian Anderson (R) 22 Braves 4
37 Joe Musgrove (R) 28 Padres 4
38 Max Fried (L) 27 Braves 4
39 Cristian Javier (R) 24 Astros 4
40 Triston McKenzie (R) 23 Indians 4
41 Kevin Gausman (R) 31 Giants 4
42 Zach Eflin (R) 26 Phillies 5
43 Framber Valdez (L) 27 Astros 5
44 Lance Lynn (R) 33 White Sox 5
45 Marco Gonzales (L) 29 Mariners 5
46 Frankie Montas (R) 28 A’s 5
47 Tony Gonsolin (R) 26 Dodgers 5
48 Dylan Bundy (R) 29 Angels 5
49 David Price (L) 35 Dodgers 5
50 Pablo Lopez (L) 25 Marlins 5
51 Sixto Sanchez (R) 22 Marlins 5
52 Aaron Civale (R) 25 Indians 5
53 Eduardo Rodriguez (L) 27 Red Sox 5
54 Corey Kluber (R) 34 Yankees 5
55 Julio Urias (L) 24 Dodgers 5
56 Andrew Heaney (L) 30 Angels 5
57 Chris Bassitt (R) 32 A’s 5
58 Josh Lindblom (R) 33 Brewers 5
59 Tyler Mahle (R) 26 Reds 5
60 Shohei Ohtani (R) 26 Angels 5
61 Griffin Canning (R) 24 Angels 5
62 Dallas Keuchel (L) 33 White Sox 5
63 Lance McCullers (R) 27 Astros 5
64 Mike Soroka (R) 23 Braves 5
65 Chris Archer (R) 32 Rays 6
66 Dane Dunning (R) 26 Rangers 6
67 Jose Urquidy (R) 25 Astros 6
68 Spencer Turnbull (R) 28 Tigers 6
69 Sandy Alcantara (R) 25 Marlins 6
70 Dustin May (R) 23 Dodgers 6
71 Jordan Montgomery (L) 28 Yankees 6
72 Chris Sale (L) 32 Red Sox 6
73 Deivi Garcia (R) 21 Yankees 6
74 Adbert Alzolay (R) 26 Cubs 6
75 Justus Sheffield (L) 24 Mariners 6
76 Michael Pineda (R) 32 Twins 6
77 Drew Smyly (L) 31 Braves 6
78 Sean Manaea (L) 29 A’s 6
79 Noah Syndergaard (R) 28 Mets 6
80 Luis Severino (R) 27 Yankees 6
81 Michael Kopech (R) 24 White Sox 6
82 Brady Singer (R) 24 Royals 6
83 Elieser Hernandez (R) 25 Marlins 7
84 Mike Minor (L) 33 Royals 7
85 Caleb Smith (L) 29 D-backs 7
86 A.J. Puk (L) 25 A’s 7
87 Mitch Keller (R) 24 Pirates 7
88 Jameson Taillon (R) 29 Yankees 7
89 Zach Davies (R) 28 Cubs 7
90 Adam Wainwright (R) 39 Cardinals 7
91 Yusei Kikuchi (L) 29 Mariners 7
92 Luke Weaver (R) 27 D-backs 7
93 Tarik Skubal (L) 24 Tigers 7
94 Matt Boyd (L) 30 Tigers 7
95 Nathan Eovaldi (R) 31 Red Sox 7
96 Ryan Yarbrough (L) 29 Rays 7
97 J.A. Happ (L) 38 Twins 7
98 Brent Honeywell (R) 26 Rays 7
99 Taijuan Walker (R) 28 Mets 7
100 John Means (L) 27 Orioles 7
101 Steven Brault (L) 28 Pirates 8
102 Kwang Hyun Kim (L) 32 Cardinals 8
103 Madison Bumgarner (L) 31 D-backs 8
104 Nate Pearson (R) 24 Blue Jays 8
105 Merrill Kelly (R) 32 D-backs 8
106 Danny Duffy (L) 32 Royals 8
107 Kyle Freeland (L) 27 Rockies 8
108 Robbie Ray (L) 29 Blue Jays 8
109 Domingo German (R) 28 Yankees 8
110 Vince Velasquez (R) 28 Phillies 8
111 Keegan Akin (L) 26 Orioles 9
112 Jose Quintana (L) 32 Angels 9
113 Jake Arrieta (R) 35 Cubs 9
114 Jon Gray (R) 29 Rockies 9
115 Joey Lucchesi (L) 27 Mets 9
116 Rich Hill (L) 41 Rays 9
117 Spencer Howard (R) 24 Phillies 9
118 Brad Keller (R) 25 Royals 9
119 Anthony DeSclafani (R) 30 Giants 9
120 Miles Mikolas (R) 32 Cardinals 9



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