We wrap up each week of positional coverage with our 2018 rankings. In addition to the rankings we will pose a number of questions to our panel covering topics such as reaches and targets, players to avoid and late round impact players.
Taking part in our rankings will be Kevin Jebens, Jim Finch, Kenny Garvey, Josh Coleman, Dan Marcus and Mike Sheehan. Unfortunately duty called for Mike Levin and he was unable to submit rankings. Our six”experts” each ranked their top 100 starting pitchers for the 2018 season.
Players marked N/R were not ranked inside the top 100 by that particular person. If you feel we overlooked someone or would like to debate a player’s ranking, feel free to do so in the comment section below.
|3||Chris Sale||Red Sox||1||3||4||3||4||1|
|24||Jake Arrieta||Free Agent||31||17||28||30||18||22|
Which top-20 pitcher do you plan on owning the most stock of?
Kevin: If Bumgarner has been bumped from the top-5 due to his bit of missed time and less elite strikeout rate, I could see investing in him a lot. My second target will be Quintana or Nola.
Jim: If the current ADP holds true I’ll be owning a lot of Yu Darvish. He’s ranked outside the top-12 and potentially a 5th round pick in 12 team leagues so the price is right in my ballpark. Also Shohel Ohtani is being taken near the end of the top-20 so I may take, or even reach a round early, to get him Just make sure you draft Ohtani the pitcher on Yahoo as they split him into two separate players *facepalm*
Kenny: I put my rankings together before the “humidor” news out of Arizona, but I was high on Robbie Ray prior. Adding the dimension on water-logged baseballs and his numbers will get even better. I’m looking for a 200 IP and 200+ K season from him in 2018.
Dan: The move to National League has me in on Yu Darvish in every draft.
Josh: I’m already 3 drafts into the 2018 season and Jose Quintana ownership is 100%. Lackluster 2017 hasn’t provided a full discount, but I’m very comfortable with his current price. Really safe skill set with a great defense behind him. He’ll be the Cubs workhorse in 2018.
Mike S: I tend to prioritize hitting over pitching in roto so sometimes I miss on getting any consensus top 20 guys. For the sake of argument, let’s say deGrom. He’s one of the two or three pitchers I would argue as the top option behind the 4 super aces. deGrom throws hard (95.2 MPH average) with a really high swinging strike rate (13.3%). I tend to like him 3-5 spots better than most folks in the industry.
|27||Marcus Stroman||Blue Jays||34||41||23||26||29||30|
|29||David Price||Red Sox||27||29||33||33||44||26|
|46||Drew Pomeranz||Red Sox||43||44||66||40||50||45|
Which pitchers(s) do you plan on avoiding in the draft?
Kevin: Despite the decent results and projections of guys like Stroman, Morton, and Bauer, I’m less likely to take them where they’re going.
Jim: I do not trust the Zack Greinke resurgence, will not take Zack Godley in the top-30 based one a single year of work, and am avoiding Rich Hill in the top-30 based on the inevitable injury and missed time. Looking further down the ranks I see Gio Gonzalez (career year), Felix Hernandez (the King is dead), Jake Farie (skeptical), and any Mes pitcher not named deGrom or Syndergaard as avoid candidates.
Kenny: I touched on Fulmer, Godley, and Bundy in my article Wednesday. I also want to steer clear of James Paxton. His injury history isn’t that great, which makes it tough to use a top 4 round pick on a guy who may only give you 120 innings.
Dan: I will be avoiding Noah Syndergaard (injury combined with ADP), Jon Lester (lost a step), Dinelson Lamet (not a believer) and Shohel Ohtani (hype increased ADP – someone in your league will reach too high).
Josh: Syndergaard has Top overall SP upside, but the risk of health just scares me to death. With a top 40 overall asking price I’ll happily give someone else the chance at glory.
Mike S: I won’t be paying for Robbie Ray. The humidor makes me think that he could return close to his draft stock. Overall though, the walks and hard contact still scare me.
|51||Lance Lynn||Free agent||59||59||64||51||35||64|
|T54||Aaron Sanchez||Blue Jays||58||69||40||54||58||60|
|57||Alex Cobb||Free Agent||76||77||53||59||43||43|
|66||J.A. Happ||Blue Jays||62||60||59||77||73||69|
|68||Rick Porcello||Red Sox||90||74||49||57||75||76|
|71||Lucas Giolito||White Sox||64||63||82||95||83||65|
|73||Eduardo Rodriguez||Red Sox||75||88||89||65||77||66|
Favorite underrated pitcher based on curent ADP?
Kevin: Cueto went from a top-10 option to an ADP of 152. He’s not without some risk, but the returns could be quite nice now.
Jim: I don’t consider Kyle Hendricks to be underrated, but his current ADP (41 among pitchers and 114 overall) seems low. I love the consistency in his numbers the last two years and dependability is something I covet from my mid rotation guys. For those same reasons you can add on David Price, Jon Lester and Sonny Gray who are all being taken after Hendricks – pure solid value here.
Kenny: This guy could be used here or in the next question, but I have to go with Tyler Chatwood. His current ADP has him as the 79th pitcher, which puts him roughly in rounds 27-30, which is undrafted in most leagues! His career splits away from Coor’s are worth noting (3.31 ERA/1.33 WHIP). Pitching for the Cubs should do wonders for his fantasy value.
Dan: Masahiro Tanaka was better than his numbers suggest. The strikeous were there and he could be a top-20 arm.
Josh: Jeff Samardzija is currently the 36th SP off the board. Excellent skill set with 200+ IP potential gives him a chance at Top 15 SP upside. Track record of success hasn’t meshed with what the peripherals would suggest he deserves, but 2018 could be the year.
Mike S: Part of why I don’t generally pay for SP is because there’s so many guys I like later on, like Zack Godley. All the underlying stats say this guy is an ace in waiting. Huge swinging strike rate (13.3%) and a better than 3-1 strikeout to walk rate. His NFBC ADP is currently 126, so I much prefer him to his teammate Robbie Ray.
|T78||Marco Estrada||Blue Jays||72||82||67||76||N/R||72|
|T83||Carlos Rodon||White Sox||65||86||92||63||N/R||94|
|91||Reynaldo Lopez||White Sox||97||100||N/R||98||95||79|
Late round pick(s) that could make an impact?
Kevin: Given how few pitchers are reaching 200 IP right now, don’t forget about solid partial seasons from guys like Jimmy Nelson. I also like the gamble of Reynaldo Lopez.
Jim: I look for both upside and boring solid veteran numbers equally late in the draft. Daniel Mengden and Andrew Heaney are two popular picks from a year or two ago that seem to be pushed aside now for newer prospects. I’ll throw a dart at Adam Wainwright to see if he’s done or not, the Reds duo of Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan could be sneaky injury bounce back options,
Kenny: I used Chatwood above so mark him down. Joe Musgrove is another name to keep an eye on. Musgrove should be a rotation regular now that he’s in Pittsburgh and a switch to the NL should raise his K/9 rate higher than his 8.1 last year. I’m not taking him in shallow leagues, but he’ll definitely be on any watch list’s following draft day.
Dan: I expect Tyler Anderson to take another step in 2018 (do not fear Coors with Anderson). Brandon Finnegan could make for an intereting injury bounce back late in the draft. Finally, I’m giving Carlos Rodon once more chance to put things together.
Josh: Jameson Taillon and Sean Manaea both have that post-hype feel to them and I really like both for 2018. Aaron Sanchez is criminally undervalued assuming his thin skin can hold up. Angels rotation mix of Heaney/Skaggs/Shoemaker/Ramirez will have a nice breakout -throw a dart at which ones it will be.
Mike S: There’s so many guys that fit this description. Just like OF, I wouldn’t want to fill up my starting staff too early. Looking at his NFBC ADP of 190, I would say Michael Fulmer. He was really solid last year and folks seem to be overrating the injury. He had the same surgery as deGrom, which worked out just fine for the Mets hurler.
|Honorable Mentions: 3 of 6 lists|
|Outside Looking In: 2 of 6 lists|
|Michael Kopech||White Sox||84||95||N/R||N/R||N/R||N/R|
In addition to the above players, there were 15 additional receiving only one ranking. They are Tyler Glasnow, Andrew Triggs, Walker Buehler, Jason Vargas, Robert Stephenson, John Lackey, Mike Minor, Daniel Mengden, Jharel Cotton, Luis Perdomo, Mike Montgomery, Wei-Yin Chen, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Harvey and Nick Pivetta.