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Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 Fantasy Baseball – UPDATED 4/3

UPDATED 4/3 Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2022

We’re a little over four days from Opening Day (YES!) and instead of waiting to update my Top 100 Starting Pitcher fantasy baseball rankings until tomorrow, I elected to make a traditional update to The List a day early so everyone can view them in one large table before their Sunday night drafts.

Want an earlier update to The List? Join me on Mondays at 12:00pm EST as I live-stream its creation each week!

Have questions? My “office hours” are on Twitch 9:00 am – 11:00 am EST Monday – Friday + the aforementioned stream for The List.

For each edition of The List, I have a set of rules to outline my thought process and how to best use these rankings. These are a little different today as we sit firmly inside the preseason. Please take note:

  1. This is 5×5, 12-teamer, H2H format focused. It generally is the same as roto as well, but make sure you adjust accordingly.
  2. For the preseason, I’m creating two separate tables. First, is an injury table that outlines what tiers I’m taking these players in my pre-season drafts and a second for what tier they’d be if fully healthy. It’s the best solution I could come up with to help ya’ll out.
  3. Second is a table of pitchers outside the Top 100 I considered. Please read this if you can’t find your guy.
  4. Since this is a 12-teamer, I heavily weigh upside in the back-half of the rankings. Tier 10 is likely going to underperform those in Tier 11 across a full season, but it’s in your best interest to chase Tier 10’s ceiling vs. settling for Tier 11’s floor.
  5. I’ve made a decision to remove all the labels that I struggle to maintain through the season to instead give each player just one label at a time. It streamlines the process much better and hopefully gives you a more targeted understanding of the player.
  6. I’ve also made the decision to not mention Trevor Bauer. There’s too much of a headache for many reasons. Just don’t do it.
  7. The notes outline oh-so-much to help your team. Please read them if you can instead of just scrolling to the bottom.

 

Let’s get to the tables. First is the injury table:

 

Injured Players Removed From The List

 

I’ve placed Lance McCullers Jr., Jack FlahertyShane Baz, and Chris Sale past Tier 8 for a reason—it’s the point in the draft where you can afford to take an IL stash and not miss out on a legit arm for the year. Take note of how your draft is unfolding and when you get to the moment where the other starters on the board don’t push the needle a whole lot, consider these injured arms.

Sooooo Lance Lynn’s injury news literally came out the minute I published this. I just updated him in case you didn’t see it before (7:40pm ET).

Mike Clevinger was placed on the IL earlier today and I expect him to not miss a whole lot of time, pushing him toward the top of the injured arms. In some ways, it’s better that he’s hurt – you can get a roster spot back while he ramps up for the year.

Now let’s take a look at the pitchers I considered for the Top 100 but didn’t quite make the cut:

 

Other Starting Pitchers I Considered

 

Lastly, I heavily recommend you read my 40,000 words on All the Top 224 Starting Pitchers for 2022 that I released in February. About 95% of it still applies and will do so much to help you understand the skill sets of everyone ranked here. Seriously, it will answer all your questions and it took months of work to put together. Read it.

 

 

Ranking Notes

 

  • This is your reminder to please read these notes as they’ll tell you plenty about why “someone moved up” or “why is he at #X?!”
  • Seriously. Read the notes.

 

  • Despite seeing the trees of green in the first 18 spots, it’s all a product of Jacob deGrom and Lance Lynn’s injury. Don’t think anything more of it.
  • About Lance Lynnhe was removed from his Saturday game with knee soreness and while we don’t know if he’s hitting the IL yet, I’ve moved him down the ranks significantly. Expect his rank to shift when we know more later this week. UPDATE: I’ve removed Lynn from The List as he’s out until at least mid-May with a meniscus tear.

 

  • After a few weeks of talking about how Carlos Rodón’s rank shouldn’t change with his new deal in San Francisco, I had a change of heart after shifting my philosophy to focus more on quality during the first half of the season & figuring out the rest in the second half. It’s led me to raise Rodón’s rank as our expectation is a high quality of innings but with a major question mark in August and September. And hey, maybe he holds it through the year.
  • I also removed Luis Castillo from The List, bumping up Zac Gallen while moving down Blake SnellGallen looks good to go while Snell is a bit rough with his command currently.

 

  • Clayton Kershaw saw a rise as we hadn’t seen him pitch in the spring before my last update. Looking healthy, he’s my 30th SP off the board – not the same level of ability as Rodón, but with similar concerns.
  • It’s mostly the same affair in Tier 6 as well. I gave Eduardo Rodríguez a small bump over Nathan Eovaldi as I don’t believe I was weighting Erod’s ceiling enough before. Meanwhile, Luis Severino stays pat as he’s sitting 96/97 in spring training with a good-looking slider as well.

 

  • Tier 7 is where things start to get real. These notes may get a little bit long as the spring has brought some majors shifts as I try my best to determine where the cliff is of “worthy enough to take a shot on while not losing on legit value”
  • About that cliff – it’s actually earlier because of how fantastic Tier 9 and Tier 10 are. Seriously, there are so many quality arms to fall back on later in your draft that allow you to take chances in Tier 7 and Tier 8. That’s how I’m thinking about this and please don’t just look at the number and call it dumb. There’s a reason, y’all.

 

  • Back to Tier 7. I still like John Means given the humidor + the moved back left-field wall + he’s back to 92/93 mph velocity. I’ve given Luis García a bump as I’ve undervalued the possibility of his slider/changeup returning this year.
  • Alex Wood also rises as he’s reportedly up to 93 mph from his 91.8 mph last year. That’s insane. You should feel comfortable starting Wood constantly early on.

 

  • Meanwhile, I’ve been a bit hesitant to grab Ian Anderson as I’m becoming more worried about his control. I still believe he’ll develop that command of the zone in due time, but placing him inside Tier 6 was a bit too aggressive.
  • Alex Cobb is apparently throwing 94-97 mph these days after sitting 92.7 mph last year. With that velocity to help mask his heater, there’s a whole lot to like there.

 

  • Tier 8. Oh Tier 8. I wrestled with this a ton and ultimately, between my podcast with Sporer during the fireside chat & realizing the depth of “a step above a Toby, probably” pitchers, I’ve decided right at #50 marks the moment to start chasing for the ceiling guys. Do I expect all four to finish the season ranked higher than those in Tier 9? No, but at least one of them should. That’s the point – take chances, make mistakes, GET MESSY – because you’ll get quality arms later that’ll do just fine.
  • So let’s start with Joe Ryan and Tanner HouckRyan’s four-seamer is up in velocity this spring a full tick, while the Twins are relying on him as their opening day starter. He’s ready for a ton of innings and I’m willing to gamble the slider will come through across the full year. As for Houck, I has a few questions to his slider’s strike rate, but the Red Sox seem to be leaning on him & if he finds himself holding a walk rate around 7/8%, you’re going to see great things.

 

  • Then we have our two rookies who have turned heads over the last three weeks. Reid Detmers has a full repertoire in a fantastic curveball and slider, paired with a four-seamer he elevates with intent. There’s a whole lot to like here and with the pseudo-six-man rotation in the Angels, I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw 140-150 frames from Detmers this year. Get in on this.
  • As for Matt Brashhis curveball is as filthy as they come. He also features 96 mph heaters upstairs and the strikeouts are sure to flow. Unlike Detmers, though, is a bit more inefficiency that may force him to just five innings constantly in Seattle. Still, the ability is too good to ignore and very much worth your pick.

 

  • With that out of the way, Tier 9 arrives and is filled with solid arms, sprinkled with upside plays. I’m a touch worried about Sean Manaea’s 88-90 mph velocity (was 92+ last year), forcing him down a touch. I still like Jon Gray’s situation and Ranger Suárez should be fine in Philly.
  • I did have to move down Marcus Stroman, Adam Wainwright, José Urquidyand Jordan MontgomeryIn short, I felt none of these had major ceilings to chase and while I don’t believe any will outright hurt your teams, they aren’t pushing the needle strong enough to encourage a pick over the rest.

 

  • It may shock many to see the final four names in this tier. Nick Lodolo is the current #5 for the Reds, but may not make his first start until the 6th game of the year, or possibly a week later. I believe in his talent more than Hunter Greene’s, though, who hurls 100+ mph fastballs without the best command & still gets hit decently hard. Lodolo is more of a finished product and I’m excited to see him get his shot.
  • The other two arms here are Jesús Luzardo and Tylor Megill. Luzardo has been not only sitting two ticks higher at 97 mph, but has favored his curveball plenty more and it gets me all kinds of excited. Megill has been sitting 96+ mph as well, and now will a clear rotation spot for the foreseeable future, I can see Megill becoming a major force with a strong fastball.

 

  • Tier 10 is where it’s at, though. See, you just took chances on Luzardo, Lodolo, Detmers, and/or Brash, but you need some help early in the season. Well, here are your guys. Zach Eflin gets the A’s and Marlins to start the year, Nick Martínez has a rotation spot and looks like a solid arm to carve 5-6 innings constantly. Aaron Civale is featuring cutters and curveballs well and kicks off the season against the Royals. Sign me up for all of these.
  • It looks crazy to put Patrick Corbin over Hyun Jin Ryu but hear me out. Corbin increased his velocity and is seemingly close to his 2018/2019 self. Given ample opportunity still inside that rotation, I can’t rid myself of the feeling Corbin figures it out this year. And if he’s struggling? Move on. As for Ryu, he had a whole lot of trouble across the board last year with diminished velocity is the rough AL East. I don’t have nearly as much hope he can turn into a legit #2/#3 SP again.

 

  • Tier 11 is filled with red, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook them. Are you looking for a stash play? These guys have you covered. Aaron Ashby isn’t starting out of the gate, but once he does, he’ll shoot up these ranks – possibly into the Top 50.
  • I like the long-term outlook of Josiah GrayI just want to wait and see how his command develops through the year instead of trusting it in April. The fastball gets hit a bit too hard for my liking while he needs to earn a few more strikes across his two stellar breakers.

 

  • Mitch Keller and his 97 mph velocity has sent a buzz across Florida, though I worry about his secondaries to push him into the higher tiers.
  • With Noah Syndergaard throwing just 93-95 so far, I’m starting to lean he’s not worth the trouble early on in the season. Luis Patiño and Drew Rasmussen are also giving the same vibes, but I may be wrong about the SP treatment of the Rays for 2022, leading me to bump up Rasmussen to 81.

 

  • Tier 12 is where the drop off truly hits and blends a bit with the final tier. We’re in legit replacement level now as all of these names aren’t guys I’d want to enter the season with on my squad. I’ve ranked Tier 12 and Tier 13 mostly “backward” – Tier 13 is filled with solid one week guys while Tier 12 is more for the full season. For example, Carlos Carrasco could get his slider and changeup back and soar up the ranks, while Tony Gonsolin could get his slider cooking inside the zone and become a strong arm for any team.
  • Do I want to start most of these guys early? Not really, and that’s where Tier 13 comes into play.

 

  • Tier 13 has the early week starters and you’ll be surprised to find some solid streams here. Check out Austin Gomber on the road in Texas or hosting the Cubs for his first two starts – not bad at all. There’s also the Royals who collectively get the Guardians and the Tigers (and Cardinals, sorry Greinke) and could perform well across both.
  • Lastly, don’t forget about the Rays hosting the Orioles and Athletics to kick off the season as they could sneak in some decent innings + wins. That’s Corey Kluber and Ryan Yarbroughand hey, why not some Taylor Hearn as he hosts Rockie Road?
  • Quickly put, there’s some great short-term solutions for those needing a little extra help as they take chances in Tier 8. Go for it y’all and good luck your drafts :)

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Gerrit ColeT1
Aces Gonna Ace
-
2Corbin Burnes
Aces Gonna Ace
-
3Brandon Woodruff
Aces Gonna Ace
-
4Zack Wheeler
Aces Gonna Ace
-
5Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
-
6Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
-
7Sandy Alcantara
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
8Julio Urías
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
9Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
10Robbie Ray
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
11Lucas Giolito
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
12Charlie Morton
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
13Max Fried
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
14Joe Musgrove
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
15Logan Webb
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
16Kevin Gausman
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
17Freddy Peralta
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
18Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
19Carlos Rodón
T4
Injury Risk
+10
20Alek Manoah
Ace Potential
+1
21Trevor Rogers
Ace Potential
+1
22Justin Verlander
Ace Potential
+1
23Frankie Montas
Ace Potential
+1
24Shane McClanahan
Ace Potential
+1
25José Berríos
Ace Potential
+2
26Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
-
27Chris Bassitt
Ace Potential
+3
28Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
+3
29Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
+4
30Clayton Kershaw
T5
Injury Risk
+12
31Blake Snell
Ace Potential
+1
32Tyler Mahle
Ace Potential
+2
33Pablo López
Ace Potential
+2
34Luis Severino
T6
Ace Potential
+3
35Michael Kopech
Ace Potential
+4
36Patrick Sandoval
Ace Potential
+4
37Eduardo Rodriguez
Strikeout Upside
+6
38Nathan Eovaldi
Strikeout Upside
+3
39Logan Gilbert
Ace Potential
+5
40Shohei Ohtani
Injury Risk
+5
41Framber Valdez
Quality Starts
+5
42John Means
T7
Quality Starts
+6
43Luis García
Strikeout Upside
+13
44Alex Wood
Strikeout Upside
+11
45Ian Anderson
Ace Potential
-7
46Tarik Skubal
Strikeout Upside
+6
47Alex Cobb
Ace Potential
+27
48Sonny Gray
Strikeout Upside
+1
49Joe Ryan
T8
Ace Potential
+12
50Tanner Houck
Ace Potential
+12
51Reid Detmers
Ace Potential
+21
52Matt Brash
Ace Potential
+28
53Sean Manaea
T9
Strikeout Upside
-2
54Jon Gray
Quality Starts
+5
55Ranger Suárez
Quality Starts
+2
56Marcus Stroman
Quality Starts
-9
57Adam Wainwright
Quality Starts
-4
58Huascar Ynoa
Strikeout Upside
-
59Triston McKenzie
Strikeout Upside
+1
60José Urquidy
Quality Starts
-10
61Jordan Montgomery
Strikeout Upside
-7
62Nick Lodolo
Stash Option
+17
63Jesús Luzardo
Ace Potential
+14
64Tylor Megill
Quality Starts
+7
65Hunter Greene
Strikeout Upside
+UR
66Zach Eflin
T10
Quality Starts
+7
67Nick Martinez
Quality Starts
+16
68Anthony DeSclafani
Quality Starts
+1
69Steven Matz
Quality Starts
+1
70Aaron Civale
Quality Starts
+18
71Patrick Corbin
Ace Potential
+13
72Hyun Jin Ryu
Quality Starts
-4
73Aaron Ashby
T11
Stash Option
-7
74Bailey Ober
Strikeout Upside
+1
75Mitch Keller
Ace Potential
+10
76Josiah Gray
Ace Potential
-9
77Noah Syndergaard
Ace Potential
-13
78Michael Lorenzen
Strikeout Upside
-2
79Luis Patiño
Ace Potential
-1
80Drew Rasmussen
Streaming Option
+UR
81Carlos Carrasco
T12
Quality Starts
+10
82Cal Quantrill
Quality Starts
+11
83Tony Gonsolin
Strikeout Upside
+11
84Casey Mize
Quality Starts
+11
85Zach Plesac
Quality Starts
+11
86Eric Lauer
Quality Starts
-23
87Germán Márquez
Strikeout Upside
+10
88Zack Greinke
T13
Streaming Option
+UR
89Kyle Gibson
Streaming Option
-2
90Austin Gomber
Streaming Option
+UR
91Marco Gonzales
Quality Starts
-1
92Miles Mikolas
Streaming Option
+7
93Dakota Hudson
Streaming Option
+UR
94Adrian Houser
Streaming Option
+UR
95Corey Kluber
Streaming Option
+UR
96Ryan Yarbrough
Streaming Option
+UR
97Kris Bubic
Streaming Option
+UR
98Taylor Hearn
Streaming Option
+UR
99Carlos Hernández
Streaming Option
-1
100José Suarez
Streaming Option
+UR

Labels Legend

Aces Gonna Ace
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low IPS
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
Stash Option

 

Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Michael says:

    I think you’re going to look back a question detmers being so many spots in front of syndergaard.

  • Steve says:

    Matz fits in where ?

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