2018 Starting Pitcher Rankings: Top 100

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.

Rank Player Team Jim Kevin Josh Mike S Kenny Dan
1 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 3 1 1 2 1 2
2 Max Scherzer Nationals 2 2 2 4 2 3
3 Chris Sale Red Sox 1 3 4 3 4 1
4 Corey Kluber Indians 4 4 3 1 3 4
5 Madison Bumgarner Giants 5 6 5 5 7 5
6 Stephen Strasburg Nationals 6 5 8 6 5 11
7 Jacob deGrom Mets 9 9 7 7 6 8
8 Noah Syndergaard Mets 7 7 9 10 9 12
9 Luis Severino Yankees 8 10 15 9 11 7
10 Zack Greinke Diamondbacks 19 12 6 11 8 9
11 Carlos Carrasco Indians 12 8 10 13 17 6
12 Yu Darvish Cubs 10 15 16 8 12 10
13 Justin Verlander Astros 15 11 11 12 10 17
14 Chris Archer Rays 14 13 13 14 15 14
15 Carlos Martinez Cardinals 16 14 17 15 13 13
16 Robbie Ray Diamondbacks 13 19 20 20 14 16
17 Aaron Nola Phillies 18 20 14 19 23 15
T18 James Paxton Mariners 21 16 19 16 21 20
T18 Jose Quintana Cubs 20 18 12 24 20 19
20 Dallas Keuchel Astros 17 24 18 18 16 21
21 Jon Lester Cubs 24 21 21 17 25 28
22 Gerrit Cole Astros 26 22 31 21 19 23
23 Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 23 28 22 27 26 18
24 Jake Arrieta Free Agent 31 17 28 30 18 22
25 Alex Wood Dodgers 25 27 24 22 28 31




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.

Rank Player Team Jim Kevin Josh Mike S Kenny Dan
26 Shohel Ohtani Angels 11 25 29 32 33 38
27 Marcus Stroman Blue Jays 34 41 23 26 29 30
28 Johnny Cueto Giants 22 34 30 25 41 36
29 David Price Red Sox 27 29 33 33 44 26
30 Sonny Gray Yankees 28 32 44 29 37 27
31 Lance McCullers Astros 30 38 36 23 39 32
32 Kyle Hendricks Cubs 29 23 25 73 27 24
T33 Jose Berrios Twins 33 35 56 31 24 25
T33 Luis Castillo Reds 42 37 34 34 22 35
35 Luke Weaver Cardinals 39 33 27 45 30 40
36 Rich Hill Dodgers 35 26 43 37 32 48
T37 Jeff Samardzija Giants 45 31 26 38 46 39
T37 Jon Gray Rockies 36 30 32 60 34 33
39 Danny Duffy Royals 41 45 37 36 38 29
40 Zack Godley Diamondbacks 38 36 48 28 45 34
41 Trevor Bauer Indians 44 46 42 39 31 42
42 Michael Fulmer Tigers 60 48 38 35 36 37
43 Gio Gonzalez Nationals 52 39 45 42 40 44
44 Garrett Richards Angels 50 56 35 43 42 41
45 Jameson Taillon Pirates 32 40 39 41 68 52
46 Drew Pomeranz Red Sox 43 44 66 40 50 45
47 Danny Salazar Indians 47 42 55 49 49 47
48 Taijuan Walker Diamondbacks 53 53 47 56 52 46
49 Kenta Maeda Dodgers 46 49 46 46 70 54
50 Cole Hamels Rangers 51 57 58 47 56 53

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.  

Rank Player Team Jim Kevin Josh Mike S Kenny Dan
51 Lance Lynn Free agent 59 59 64 51 35 64
T52 Julio Teheran Braves 48 52 50 64 64 55
T52 Chase Anderson Brewers 40 43 61 82 48 59
T54 Kevin Gausman Orioles 71 51 57 52 51 57
T54 Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays 58 69 40 54 58 60
56 Dylan Bundy Orioles 73 50 62 48 66 49
57 Alex Cobb Free Agent 76 77 53 59 43 43
58 Charlie Morton Astros 78 47 41 78 54 68
59 Jake Faria Rays 56 62 72 61 61 56
60 Blake Snell Rays 57 55 73 44 82 58
61 Jordan  Montgomery Yankees 54 67 65 58 47 81
62 Michael Wacha Cardinals 66 58 60 53 86 50
63 Sean Manaea Athletics 79 66 54 50 85 51
64 Felix Hernandez Mariners 88 54 51 55 60 82
65 Mike Clevinger Indians 37 68 86 75 65 61
66 J.A. Happ Blue Jays 62 60 59 77 73 69
67 Patrick Corbin Diamondbacks 63 79 52 90 74 62
68 Rick Porcello Red Sox 90 74 49 57 75 76
69 Jake Odorizzi Twins 85 71 96 62 55 63
70 Ervin Santana Twins 61 80 70 66 81 83
71 Lucas Giolito White Sox 64 63 82 95 83 65
72 Jimmy Nelson Brewers 55 87 69 83 71 88
73 Eduardo Rodriguez Red Sox 75 88 89 65 77 66
74 Tyler Chatwood Cubs 49 65 81 N/R 53 89
75 Jerad Eickhoff Phillies 93 94 78 68 63 70

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.

Rank Player Team Jim Kevin Josh Mike S Kenny Dan
76 Tanner Roark Nationals 91 70 71 91 78 71
77 Zach Davies Brewers 95 72 93 96 67 67
T78 Marco Estrada Blue Jays 72 82 67 76 N/R 72
T78 Dinelson Lamet Padres 67 61 74 89 N/R 78
80 Joe Musgrove Pirates 87 99 90 87 72 85
81 Matt Shoemaker Angels 89 83 68 67 90 N/R
82 Ivan Nova Pirates 86 85 80 80 93 99
T83 Carlos Rodon White Sox 65 86 92 63 N/R 94
T83 Mike Foltynewicz Braves 68 75 N/R 70 62 N/R
85 Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers 70 96 77 71 87 N/R
86 Mike Leake Mariners 99 N/R 83 97 80 75
87 Tyler Anderson Rockies 77 97 84 93 N/R 84
88 Sean Newcomb Braves 81 84 N/R 94 84 98
T89 Steve Matz Mets N/R N/R 63 79 96 95
T89 C.C. Sabathia Yankees 98 90 88 N/R 57 N/R
91 Reynaldo Lopez White Sox 97 100 N/R 98 95 79
92 Luis Gohara Braves 74 73 N/R N/R N/R 74
93 Vince Velasquez Phillies 94 89 N/R 69 N/R 97
94 Brad Peacock Astros N/R N/R N/R 92 59 80
95 Jack Flaherty Cardinals N/R 78 91 N/R 97 93
96 Jakob Junis Royals 96 N/R 79 N/R 100 87
97 Tyler Skaggs Angels N/R N/R 75 88 N/R 90
98 Anthony DeSclafani Reds 69 N/R 95 N/R N/R 92
99 Collin McHugh Astros N/R N/R 97 N/R 76 91
100 Andrew Heaney Angels 82 N/R 85 100 N/R N/R

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
Player Team Jim Kevin Josh Mike S Kenny Dan
Daniel Norris Tigers 92 N/R 99 85 N/R N/R
Brent Honeywell Rayls N/R 92 N/R N/R 99 86
Jhoulys Chacin Brewers N/R 93 N/R N/R 88 100
Outside Looking In: 2 of 6 lists
Alex Reyes Cardinals N/R N/R N/R 74 69 N/R
Miles Mikolas Cardinals N/R 64 87 N/R N/R N/R
Dan Straily Marlins N/R 91 N/R N/R N/R 73
Brandon Finnegan Reds 80 N/R N/R N/R N/R 96
Michael Kopech White Sox 84 95 N/R N/R N/R N/R
German Marquez Rockies N/R 98 94 N/R N/R N/R
Jose Urena Marlins N/R N/R N/R 99 94 N/R
Adam Wainwright Cardinals 100 N/R 98 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.

2018 RANKINGS
CatcherFirst BaseSecond BaseThird BaseShortstopOutfieldRelieversTop 250

 

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3 thoughts on “2018 Starting Pitcher Rankings: Top 100”

  1. Hey,

    Great list. In a 12 team Keeper
    Keep 10 major leaguers
    Keep 7 minor leaguers
    C,C
    1b-abreu
    2b-altuve
    Ss-andrus
    3b- Arenado
    CI
    MI
    5 of- Harper,Marte, Mazara
    U
    6sp- kluber, Stroman, Snell
    3rp

    Minors- Acuna, E. Jimenez, V. Robles, Alford,alex reyes,Mitch Keller, Walker buehler, Sanchez

    I was just offered Verlander and a first round minor pick(number 5, hoping to get gazara) for Robles. I have to take this right? With keeper would i replace?

    Thanks

    1. It’s not an automatic take. Yes, Verlander is an improvement over Snell. He’ll be good this year and probably next so combined with your other two starters you’ve got a great core. And you do get a pick to possibly make up for the loss of

      Robles is one of the top hitting prospects right now, and in his prime he could be a better, and more consistent version of Starling Marte. It will take time for the power to develop, but the speed, average and runs will play short-term.

      You’ve got a solid ML core so you can absorb the loss of Robles. If you are good at finding and or acquiring minor league talent then meke the move and go for the gold this year. You may kick yourself years from now, but if you can win this year, and maybe next, it might be worth it. I’d prefer to give up any other minor league player you have for Verlander (without the 1st round pick attached). I’d see if that’s possible, but if not this offers is still good IMO. If you ask a prospect first guy, though, he will say the opposite.

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