We wrap up each week of positional coverage with our 2019 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 Jim Finch, Hunter Denson, Seth Bias and Jake Blodgett. Our four “experts” each ranked their top 100 starting pitchers for the 2019 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||2||3||3||3|
|25||David Price||Red Sox||27||26||22||20|
Which top-20 pitcher do you plan on owning the most stock of?
Hunter: If I decide to invest in an upper tier arm going into the season, there’s no one I want more shares of than Aaron Nola. He had a great season last year and I see big things for him and the Phillies in 2019.
Jim: I’m all about consistency and value so I see a lot of Carlos Carrasco in my future. He and teammate Corey Kluber are the type of pitchers that you can look at their track record and virtually guarantee what they will give you. I’ll pay an extra dollar or reach a round early to get either.
Seth: I tend to wait on pitching, but I like both Jack Flaherty and German Marquez a great deal.
Jake: I wouldn’t advise the strategy for every player, but for Corey Kluber I will accept being a year too late to abandon ship rather than let someone else enjoy another year of 200K, a sub-3 ERA, and a sub-1 WHIP. A drop in velocity late last year, a sub-par playoff showing and trade rumors have understandably scared some managers, but I’m in – for 2019 at least.
|40||Eduardo Rodriguez||Red Sox||41||42||35||44|
|T 41||Dallas Keuchel||FREE AGENT||42||47||41||39|
|T 41||Shane Bieber||Indians||48||36||37||48|
|43||Nathan Eovaldi||Red Sox||43||39||44||49|
Which starting pitchers do you plan on avoiding in the draft?
Hunter: Clayton Kershaw (23.9% K%, 4.5% BB%, 1.04 WHIP in 2018). Last season he was a lot closer to Anibal Sanchez (24.4% K%, 7.6% BB%, 1.08 WHIP in 2018) than he was to an ace and his latest injury concerns aren’t helping matters.
Jim: Blake Snell and Trevor Bauer both had breakout seasons, and not even I will argue the numbers put up in 2018. However, an NFBC ADP of 29 and 33 respectively is too rich for me. I have the most faith in Snell of the two, and he is the right age for a breakout, but I’d like to see it again before investing this high As for Bauer, he has a long track record of mediocrity for me to just vault him into the upper echelon.
Seth: You won’t find me with Julio Teheran on my team. I don’t understand why he’s still so over-drafted – if your closer allowed as many baserunners in his innings as Teheran does in the first, he’d lose his job!
Jake: I don’t like banking on guys to duplicate or best career years. Miles Mikolas and Charlie Morton were awesome last year, and very well could be again, but I am going to pass while wishing them both the best of luck.
|T 51||Zack Godley||Diamondbacks||50||69||57||40|
|T 51||Rick Porcello||Red Sox||65||43||39||69|
|T 56||Alex Wood||Reds||44||66||59||56|
|T 56||Kevin Gausman||Braves||59||49||55||62|
|71||Marcus Stroman||Blue Jays||62||70||74||81|
|T 73||Michael Wacha||Cardinals||66||82||71||79|
|T 73||Mike Minor||Rangers||75||73||72||78|
Who is your favorite underrated pitcher based on current ADP?
Hunter: German Marquez at 82.40 looks low to me given his 2018 performance. Obviously, he comes with some risk given his home environment and lack of MLB experience, but as the 29th arm off the board? Yes, please.
Jim: I’m a sucker for falling stars (Bumgarner 80, Tanaka 137), post-hype sleepers (Luis Castillo 113), and solid yet boring contributors (Kyle Hendricks 124, J.A. Happ 138). My overall favorite based on current ADP is Alex Wood (234). He’ll miss some games, but he’s averaged 150 innings the past two years with solid numbers – you shouldn’t be able to find that type of stability heading into round 20.
Seth: I like Trevor Richard’s stuff. I like Stroman’s stuff too. And I made the argument Marquez could be drafted top 10.
Jake: My initial reaction was Shane Bieber, but it looks like his bandwagon is at an appropriate capacity, kudos to the fantasy community for recognizing the importance of command. My second choice for this question is Jameson Taillon, a man who missed fewer games battling cancer than Aaron Sanchez missed for blisters. With the slider he developed last year he could provide top-10 value, but he’s not quite being drafted based on that ceiling.
|80||Reynaldo Lopez||White Sox||81||61||N/R||71|
|87||Carlos Rodon||White Sox||90||75||85||N/R|
|92||Aaron Sanchez||Blue Jays||78||86||100||N/R|
|T 99||Trevor Williams||Pirates||N/R||92||68||N/R|
|T 99||Touki Toussaint||Braves||N/R||N/R||80||80|
|100||Lucas Giolito||White Sox||86||83||N/R||N/R|
Late round pick who could make an impact?
Hunter: Brad Peacock (335.45) and Matt Strahm (389.01) are two late round picks (or early waiver wire targets) I want on my roster this season. Both are fighting for rotation spots and could easily turn a profit if they break camp with a job.
Jim: Focusing on pitchers who were not reached for inside the top-200 (not an easy task) I’d be looking at Sonny Gray. The Yankees altered his pitch usage from previous years which I think played a part in his demise (he was quite serviceable before NY). Luke Weaver, Mike Fiers, Michael Pineda, Greg Holland, Lance Lynn and Chase Anderson are a few more of my favorite late rounders.
Seth: Richards, Strahm, a rookie like Luzardo, Whitley or Keller. Even a guy like Caleb Smith.
Jake: It’s not exactly a hot-take to say that the best pitching prospect in the game could be fantasy-relevant, but sometimes it’s nice not to overthink things. Forrest Whitley is a young pitcher with a giant frame, three plus pitches and two plus-plus offerings – sounds like a guy I want on my team.
|Outside Looking in|
In addition to the above five players, there were an additional 14 players ranked – each appearing on only one set of rankings… basically a few of our personal favorites to consider. With the exception of Tyler Anderson, none of them were ranked in the top 80 and only the first four ranked in the 81-90 range.
In order of ranking: Tyler Anderson, Lance Lynn, Jaime Barria, Adam Wainwright, Michael Pineda, Danny Duffy, Mike Soroka, Chase Anderson, Alex Cobb, Tanner Roark, Marrill Kelly, Diego Castillo, Pablo Lopez, Trevor Richards.