Top 150 Starting Pitchers For Fantasy Baseball 2022

Ranking the Top 150 Starting Pitchers For 2022 Fantasy Baseball.

What is happening!

The fantasy baseball season just ended and before we all hibernate, run the numbers, and produce polished projections, I feel it’s important that I put out what I like to call my “rough draft” of February 2022’s Top 200 Starting Pitchers when my opinions and thoughts of 2021 are still fresh. So I ranked the Top 150 Starting Pitchers for 2022 Fantasy Baseball instead.

What I’m trying to say is, today’s rankings will be vastly different in February. I have no idea how different – if I knew that, they wouldn’t be different – and I’ll use this foundation to discuss players through the off-season, helping me determine who I’m actually higher or lower on than originally thought, while I have yet to do my complete dives into each player’s season. Please don’t hate me for this.

I also need to take a moment to express my general philosophy for drafting starting pitchers. Tt remains unchanged from years past in case you’ve heard me say this before. My strategy comes in two parts. First:

  • 1. Draft FOUR starting pitchers I trust to not be droppable through the season

Essentially, you don’t need to get two of the Top 15 starters to excel. Instead, develop a foundation of four starters who won’t be so bad that they deserve a drop. Generally, that speaks to the Top 40 starters or so, and this year it may creep into the Top 50. Why is this important? Well, that leads me to the second part:

  • 2. Chase upside & pitchers you can drop early instead of middling decent pitchers

This is I Don’t Draft Tobys in a nutshell and is rooted in how much opportunity there is on the Waiver Wire in April & May. You need to put yourself in a position to take chances on pitchers early in the season as so many of them hit and become legit foundation starters through the year.

Don’t believe me? Here is a list of Starting Pitchers who had a 2021 ADP of #260 or later:

 

 

And that’s not even including this rag-tag crew containing many pitchers you were able to grab at specific points of the season for legit value:

 

 

Now you understand. That’s where I’m coming from with these rankings and it’s important to not treat them as a “Best Ball” ranking. They are anticipating your action on the waiver wire.

 

Alright, let’s get to it now. Remember, these ranks are based on a 12-teamer, 5×5 roto format. Adjust accordingly to your situation.

For those unaware:

  • Cherry Bomb = A volatile pitcher who is either super sweet or blows up in your face. There are few middle grounds.
  • Toby = A middling pitcher who you can’t decide if they do enough to stay on your team and give you the itch to drop every single day. Named after Toby from The Office.

 

Ranking Notes

 

  • This is your reminder to please read these notes as they’ll tell you plenty about my thought process and why I’m ranking guys in a certain way.
  • For this edition, I figured I’d be a madman and write a very short blurb about each starter to give you a general feel of my thoughts on that guy and to showcase this isn’t just some random “he doesn’t know this pitcher at all!” ranking. I hope it helps!

 

 

  • Seriously. Read the notes.

 

Tier 1

 

These are the defacto aces. You’re going to be thrilled with any of these pitchers.

 

Gerrit Cole – I may be changing this one by February, but it’s the Mike Trout rule. I’m not betting he’ll be the #1 SP, but he has the highest floor of anyone. Strikeouts galore, Win potential, excellent ratios, all of it.

Corbin Burnes – He’ll be many people’s #1 and I get it. I went with Cole because of the longer track record. Floor is everything.

Walker Buehler – I’m stoked he went over 200 frames, though Burnes, despite 40 fewer innings, still earned 20 more strikeouts. That matters.

Brandon Woodruff – Expect 200 frames next season and the ratio floor is amazing.

Max Scherzer – He was the #1 SP in the second half on The List, but you can’t ignore the injury floor that isn’t present in those above.

Zack Wheeler – I think he’ll continue to have waves of struggle, but the volume is legit. It’ll all even out well in the end.

Jacob deGrom – He’s the best pitcher on the planet, but we all know the injury concerns. That’s a problem.

 

Tier 2

 

They all have the volume you want of an SP #1, but they do have a touch more concern than those in Tier 1.

 

Sandy Alcantara – I adore this man and I also recognize his changeup and slider aren’t always on point. Think ratios bordering elite with 200 frames.

Robbie Ray – He made an adjustment to throw more fastballs over the plate & his slider was excellent. There is a gamble here – was he just in rhythm or can he repeat this? I’m leaning toward the latter, though I wouldn’t ignore the expected regression of some kind (90% LOB rate!).

Julio Urías – It was an incredible sub 3.00 ERA season across 185+ frames and he did it without his changeup on point. Little track record of this level of success, though, and does he have 190+ IP stamina in him?

Lance Lynn – He missed time due to injury and you have to expect 180+ frames of production once again next season.

Kevin Gausman – He found his splitter again by the end of the year and potential 200 IP volume is there with fantastic marks across the board.

 

Tier 3

 

They all can be an SP #1, but shockingly have limitations that prevent them from being a lock.

 

Shane Bieber – His final two starts were terrifying: low spin rates, 2mph drop in fastball velocity + poor command. It’s not fair to judge him from two starts but it does make me a little more hesitant than those in Tier 2.

Chris Sale – His changeup took a step back and the heater was a bit inconsistent. A full healthy off-season should help, though.

Jack Flaherty – The first half was excellent, then injury slowed him down. 180+ innings of quality seem to be in order for 2022, just not elite quality.

Lucas Giolito – We can recognize Giolito as a 180 IP, ~3.50 ERA guy and that’s just fine with me.

Freddy Peralta – He throws cross-body and it makes me concerned about long-term command, though I can’t ignore his quality of inning this year. Should be ready for 160-180 frames next year.

Luis Castillo – The first two months were atrocious, his final four came with a sub 3.00 ERA and plenty of strikeouts. The WHIP will always be a problem, though.

 

Tier 4

 

This is a fun tier of high potential mixed with solid floors. Be careful here – if you load up on too many of these, you could set yourself up for a potential disaster of a season.

 

Aaron Nola – It was an ERA north of 4.00, but his WHIP and strikeouts were elite. I’m willing to bet on a recovery in ERA alongside a revival of his changeup.

Clayton Kershaw – The elbow injury doesn’t look to require surgery, though you have to wonder how many innings you’ll get out of Kershaw and how elite they will be.

Carlos Rodón – We expected 93.5 mph from Rodón this year and instead got ~96 mph consistently, followed by heavy fatigue in September. I’m skeptical we’ll get the same velocity back and the health has to be in question.

Joe Musgrove – Fluctuated a bit through the year and dealt with a tough schedule. Love the stuff, I question the approach as he never quite locked into a consistent pitch mix. Makes me wonder if he can truly hint at the Top 10 starters.

Shane McClanahan – The stuff is elite, the Rays are the issue. 160+ frames should come, which may spell more 5/6 inning games instead of 6+ innings.

Alek Manoah – The Jays will let Manoah go deeper than McClanahan and I’d expect 170-180 innings. Biggest concern is the lack of changeup development this year. Can he reliably be four-seamer/slider for a full six months?

Max Fried – Shaky at first, settled in the second half to be as stable as anyone. Slider needs to be a major whiff pitch once again, hopefully the curveball gains stick around.

Lance McCullers – Love the curveball and it will keep him relevant regardless of the rest of the pitch mix. Hopefully pitch efficiency takes a step forward.

Charlie Morton – He’s back for one more and I don’t want to take for granted his health this season. Would feel lucky to get 180 frames again.

Pablo López – Injury shortened his season and it could return next year. Expect many six-inning games. Changeup + four-seamer works well, needs a cutter or slider to take the leap into the Top 15 SP.

 

Tier 5

 

Many of these pitchers could quickly rise across the 2022 season, though we just don’t know if they’ll hit their peaks.

 

Frankie Montas – Rough first half until the splitter and slider returned. Looked like a defacto ace in the second half. The fluctuations seem to be a part of who he is and could lead to some tough early decisions in 2022.

Yu Darvish – He’s the premium Cherry Bomb as his command fluctuates from start to start. Spidertack could have been a solution for it, though the stuff is still legit. Could bounce back in a big way if he gets used to no Spidertack in the off-season.

Blake Snell – Snell figured it out in August, going fastball/slider and showing no fear with heaters over the plate. It works, we just didn’t see a whole lot of it. Given his historical fluctuations, we can’t bank on April 2022 mirroring August.

Dylan Cease – The slider has returned in a major way, the question is if his four-seamer and curveball can survive. Command is still not quite at the level we want.

Logan Webb – The slider was excellent + the changeup was a stable third option in the second half. I’m skeptical his sinker command can be this good next season – his low arm angle speaks to inconsistent command and I wonder if 2021 was a season of being in rhythm, making it a peak rather than a plateau.

José Berríos – I call him The Flag as he undulates between elite and pedestrian through the season, ultimately landing on an ERA between 3.50 and 3.90. Hopefully he’s on the upper end in 2022. Nothing has changed inside his repertoire to speak otherwise.

Shohei Ohtani – I’m scared his 130+ innings will be the most we see for a while. Let’s say it’s 120 innings next year, how good will they be? Is that worth your roster spot? Tough questions to answer.

Zac Gallen – He dealt with a pair of injuries that set back his whole season – an arm injury before the season started + a hamstring injury after returning. His trio of secondaries – curveball, cutter, changeup – have been elite in the past, though we never saw all three working this year. Four-seamer is still an elite Called Strike% pitch. Plenty of potential here.

Trevor Rogers – Second half was marred by tragic personal affairs. First half featured a changeup for whiffs, sliders for strikes, and a well command heater. Could see it repeated next year.

Huascar Ynoa – Ynoa was fantastic tossing 96+ mph with an elite slider before an emotional punch fractured his hand. The skills are still there, though the changeup isn’t much of a savior when the fastball or slider aren’t there.

Tyler Mahle – His Home/Road splits were as transparent as they come, though the slider hasn’t developed as well as we hope. Likely a ~3.70 ERA arm with a strikeout rate flirting with 30% for the foreseeable future.

 

Tier 6

 

Hey, it’s the injured guys tier! I imagine I’ll be separating this one out in February and scattering them across the other tiers.

 

Mike Clevinger – Missed all of 2020 with TJS and was a Top 15 SP prior. Who knows how many innings he goes and if he has the same fastball velocity + pair of breakers.

Luis Severino – Came back in relief and had moments looking like the Severino of old. Injury history is getting length now, though.

Justin Verlander – He’ll be 39 years old and returning from TJS. You don’t see that very often, but then again, you don’t see a guy like Verlander very often.

Noah Syndergaard – Tossed a few innings in relief with his heater velocity slightly down and did not feature a breaking pitch. Sliders apparently hurt his arm now and I wonder if he can be as effective without it.

 

Tier 7

 

Many of these will give you plenty of volume, though either they have high volatility or don’t have a higher enough ceiling to be inside the Top 40.

 

Sean Manaea – Velocity spike was incredible (normally 90/91, sat 93/94 at times!), changeup and curveball command was a bit sporadic. If he’s healthy for the full year, his heavy sinker whiffs could propel him into Top 30 again.

Framber Valdez – It’s rare to see a pitcher actually average his previous two seasons, but that’s what Valdez did. Sinker wasn’t great and curveball wasn’t always exceptional. Should be safe for high volume and solid ratios.

Chris Bassitt – I keep underrating him and this may be another season. He doesn’t earn many whiffs but steals a ton of strikes with his sinker (one of the more underrated ones out there). I feel he’s more of a 3.80 ERA and 22% strikeout guy than someone hinting Top 20 SP marks.

Nathan Eovaldi – His curveball was more consistent than I anticipated, boasting a 41% CSW on the year. Still had his fair share of disasters when it was gone, though. Health has been a concern in the past, too, and it may turn its ugly head again in 2022.

José Urquidy – Urquidy missed plenty of time in 2021 but flexed a solid four-pitch mix by the end. Could be a rock for the Astros in 2022.

Marcus Stroman – He never fails to hold a FIP under 4.00 and while there were fluctuations in his slider, cutter, and splitter, the sinker kept him valuable through the season. It’s a limited ceiling, but if you need volume, Stroman has you covered.

Ian Anderson – He’s still figuring out his command, but there were flashes of elite ability when his curveball and changeup fell into place. This could mean a better second half than first for Anderson in 2022.

Alex Wood – He surprised this year in San Francisco with an excellent slider and velocity at times sitting 92 mph. It could be just a peak, though, and we may be off this train early next year.

 

Tier 8

 

This is the most controversial tier, I’m sure. At this point, you should have at least four starters you trust to not drop during the season, which opens you up to chase as many ceiling arms as you want. I’m likely to be drafting multiple guys from here in March.

 

Dinelson Lamet – He was as dominant as they come in 2020 before his elbow started barking. After a year of battling injuries and few innings, you have to think 2022 holds a more consistent path to innings.

Michael Kopech – If the White Sox give him a rotation spot, he could dominate quickly. Upper 90s heater, a great slider, and a developing changeup. Watch this for more.

Shane Baz – He’ll likely get the 2021 Shane McClanahan treatment – expect about 130 frames and a late April call-up but the ability is elite. An excellent fastball featured up in the zone + a legit breaker. I broke down all pitches of his MLB debut here and I highly recommend watching it. He has a shocking veteran approach despite his age.

Logan Gilbert – Fastball is wonderful, the slider has potential, and the curveball + changeup could earn strikes. If the slider is always there, Gilbert will excel. 125 frames this year could turn into 160+ for Mariners next year.

Sixto Sánchez – A lost season as Sixto dealt with shoulder issues but the potential remains the same. It’s upper 90s + a wipeout slider + plus changeup. Could return 140 innings of bliss.

Patrick Sandoval – We saw the ace potential during his July as his changeup and slider were whiff machines. It was a flash, though, and we don’t know if his back injury will affect his 2022.

Luis Garcia – His first half was glorious and the second half brought a heavy reduction in his slider, possibly a product of fatigue. He should be entrenched in the rotation next year and paired with a fresh arm, Garcia could come out firing.

John Means – The opening month was brilliant, the injury and spin rate drops were not. He never lined up 93+ mph with his peak changeup and breaker, leaving room for much more in the future. I hope we see it, especially with his high 180+ IP potential.

Josiah Gray – He lost his command in September, but got it back by the end. All three pitches – fastball, slider, curveball – can whiff double-digits on a given night. The sky is the limit here and he’ll get chances in Washington.

Tarik Skubal – Needs a little more time getting in rhythm with his slider and changeup, but the fastball creates a strong foundation. 170+ frames await after being limited this year.

Sonny Gray – He couldn’t find a rhythm with his secondaries, relying too much on sneaky fastballs to get by in 2021. It could be a lot more volatility in the season ahead making for some tough decisions and plenty of headaches.

 

Tier 9

 

This tier is filled with 2021 “breakouts” who I’m not sure will last into 2022. Feel free to grab these instead of those in Tier 8 if you believe in their hot streaks.

 

Adam Wainwright – No one expected 2021 from Waino, are we really buying in for 2022? The curveball was fantastic but the magic should be wearing off.

Anthony DeSclafani – He was a popular grab early in the year and I’m not sure his fastball/slider combo separates him far enough from the waiver wire in 2022.

Taijuan Walker – He had a velocity spike to 95 mph but didn’t gain much in his secondaries. If the fastball is worse, it’ll be rough.

Cal Quantrill – It was an incredible second half, though I’m skeptical his stuff is as good as the results were. Seriously, that was a stupid run and I don’t think it’s as simple as “okay, that but just a little worse”. Probably one of the most hotly debated pitchers this off-season!

James Kaprielian – Kap and Quantrill are very similar to me – fastball focused with a slider that can look great at times & had some incredible stretches.

Jordan Montgomery – Curveball and changeup have potential to be an incredible 1-2 punch. He needs to develop a bit more reliance in the zone, though, as pitch efficiency is a problem.

Aaron Civale – Never found a groove in 2021. Stuff speaks to a solid curveball/cutter/fastball mix + a variety of others (slider, splitter, two fastballs) and he could find it next year.

Casey Mize – Had a burst in the middle of the summer and was limited too soon. Fastball/slider/curveball/splitter arsenal doesn’t speak to an elite pitcher but could continue developing well.

Ranger Suárez – It was a league-winning run for Suárez as he faced plenty of weak lineups. His fastball + changeup approach is good, but not close to the sub 1.50 ERA he posted. Needs a proper third pitch for called strikes. His four-seamer and changeup will not both carry a .200 BAA next year.

Jameson Taillon – Had moments of bliss with the curveball and slider. Another off-season building up could be fruitful after a year of getting his feet back under him.

 

Tier 10

 

It’s more questionable upside with a collection of young potential and big names who want to reclaim older days.

 

Tanner Houck – The slider disappeared for a moment and should be there in full next year. Fastball is solid, the question is if the splitter can be a strong third option that allows him to go six frames.

Jesús Luzardo – Luzardo was lost for ages until he began tossing under 40% fastballs. His curveball is elite, the changeup is great, and if he can maintain heavy secondary usage, this could be great. Just stop throwing that sinker and toss more four-seamers, please.

Aaron Ashby – His power mid-to-upper 90s sinker paired with a slider and changeup he throws for strikes speaks to an absurd ceiling. Unclear how the Brewers will use him, though, and there will be bumps in the road.

Hyun Jin Ryu – His changeup and cutter took a major step back this season. Had brief moments where he looked to return, though, and a game or two with 91/92 mph velocity. There’s hope for redemption, but this could be an early cut.

Carlos Carrasco – Carrasco never quite got in rhythm with his changeup and slider at the same time. Velocity was back to normal, though, and a proper off-season could get him back on track.

Chris Paddack – The fastball hasn’t returned to its 2019 peak yet. This may have been a humbling season for Paddack, though, and he could return with new adjustments for 2022.

 

Tier 11

 

Before the questionable Toby tier, I felt these four pitchers deserved to be considered for their upside if you wanted to take another gamble early in the season.

 

Luis Patiño – The fastball is legit and we never saw the slider take off as we expected. He’s expected to get more play in the rotation next year and may turn heads out of the gate if the breaker is on point. The Rays are sure to limit him in some fashion, though.

Adbert Alzolay – We saw it working before his injury, acting as a discount Huascar Ynoa with a decent mid-90s heater and a phenomenal slider. He could come back in full force in April.

Triston McKenzie – When he has command, McKenzie’s ceiling is glorious, especially with his velocity hovering 93 mph. Breakers aren’t always there, though, and it may be a painful start to the season.

Elieser Hernandez – The slider is great, the rest of the stuff is lacking. Fastball can get by and when the changeup is there, things can work easily. Over-reliance on the slide has me a little worried he’ll become a dependable play.

 

Tier 12

 

I’m willing to bet multiple of these pitchers will do well in 2022 but they are awfully boring and can be considered a TobyIt’s hard to bank on an elite ratio season ahead for any of them and I’m sure to have egg on my face from at least one of these starters. It’s just not the spin of the wheel I want to take.

 

Zack Greinke – What does the future even hold for Greinke? He’s a Free Agent next season and could boast a sub 4.00 ERA without the strikeout rates of old…or he could retire. His WHIP could be better than 1.20, though, and that’s something you shouldn’t ignore.

Zach Plesac – He failed to feature the excellent sliders and changeups of years past. An injury interrupted his season and 2022 could hold a return to form.

Marco Gonzales – After stumbling early, Marco had a strong second half, proudly wearing the Toby label. Don’t expect the world from him and he can be helpful against middling-to-poor lineups.

Eduardo Rodriguez – The four-seamer was great, the rest was not. I worry he’s too volatile to hold through a season, but he could be useful early in the year.

Steven Matz – He’s as Toby as they come. The sinker can work, the curveball is solid, and the changeup has its days. Monitor where he lands in Free Agency – his rotation spot and defense/offensive behind him may change things drastically.

Chris Flexen – He’ll be winning the Spider-Man award for 2021 as the man saved many fantasy teams. I question if his four-seamer and cutter are enough to repeat next year, though, and a decline from a 3.61 ERA and 1.25 WHIP doesn’t make for a fun draft target.

Germán Márquez – Coors is undefeated yet Márquez finds a way to be productive through the year. If he has his slider and curveball early, he can dominate.

Kyle Hendricks – The second half wasn’t kind to Hendricks, becoming a clear drop before the final weeks. The margin of error has always been small for Hendricks’ repertoire and I won’t rule out a tweak in the off-season to calibrate him for 2022 success.

Kyle Gibson – What a wild first half that was. He fell off hard in the late months of summer, but who knows. Maybe he can go on another wonderful run to kick-off 2022.

Zach Eflin – Missed a lot of time with a knee injury, ranking is this low due to the possibility he misses time to start next season. Great for Quality Start leagues, ratios are a little questionable and inconsistent, though. Curveball never took off like we wanted it to.

 

Tier 13

 

So many battled for a spot in this tier and these are arms to keep an eye on in the spring. I can see myself taking a flier on these in deeper formats.

 

Jon Gray – Had a velocity peak in July, got injured, and was not the same. If he leaves Colorado, there’s intriguing upside with that heater + an excellent slider.

Joe Ryan – The four-seamer is deceptive and will spark fantastic outings. Unclear if he can perform against tough opponents, though – his secondaries are a bit lacking.

Cristian Javier – Will he get the green light in the rotation after spending the year in long relief? His breaker has legit potential and the fastball plays well up in the zone.

Drew Rasmussen – Only went five innings for the Rays but his four-seamer was ridiculously good at 97 mph. Secondaries aren’t much, but that fastball can get the job done. If he has a rotation spot, he becomes very interesting.

Brady Singer – Sinker/slider approach didn’t change this year and it had its peaks and valleys. There’s a feeling that what you see is what you get.

Corey Kluber – He had brief moments hinting at his Cy Young self with 91+ mph velocity and an elite cutter. Breaker was working and he needs both of those former elements to return to form.

Yusei Kikuchi – When he’s at 96 mph, Kikuchi can excel with his slider and cutter stealing strikes. We saw a dip to 94 mph in the second half and who knows what 2022 brings.

Kyle Muller – Love the stuff – mid-90s fastball with a whiffable slider and curveball – needs refinement and a rotation spot to blossom.

All right, now that the notes are at the top and you understand where I’m coming from, let’s get to The List:

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Gerrit ColeT1
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
2Corbin Burnes
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+UR
3Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+UR
4Brandon Woodruff
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+UR
5Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
6Zack Wheeler
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
7Jacob deGrom
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
8Sandy Alcantara
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
9Robbie Ray
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
10Julio Urias
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
+UR
11Lance Lynn
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
12Kevin Gausman
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
13Shane Bieber
T3
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
14Chris Sale
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+UR
15Jack Flaherty
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
16Lucas Giolito
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
17Freddy Peralta
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
18Luis Castillo
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+UR
19Aaron Nola
T4
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
20Clayton Kershaw
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
21Carlos Rodon
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
22Joe Musgrove
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+UR
23Shane McClanahan
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
24Alek Manoah
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
25Max Fried
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+UR
26Lance McCullers
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
27Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
28Pablo Lopez
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+UR
29Frankie Montas
T5
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
30Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
+UR
31Blake Snell
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
+UR
32Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
+UR
33Logan Webb
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Streaming Option
+UR
34Jose Berrios
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
+UR
35Shohei Ohtani
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
36Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+UR
37Trevor Rogers
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
38Huascar Ynoa
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+UR
39Tyler Mahle
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
40Mike Clevinger
T6
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
41Justin Verlander
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
42Noah Syndergaard
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
43Luis Severino
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
44Sean Manaea
T7
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
+UR
45Framber Valdez
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
46Chris Bassitt
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+UR
47Nathan Eovaldi
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+UR
48Jose Urquidy
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+UR
49Marcus Stroman
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+UR
50Ian Anderson
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+UR
51Alex Wood
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+UR
52Dinelson Lamet
T8
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+UR
53Michael Kopech
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+UR
54Shane Baz
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+UR
55Logan Gilbert
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
56Sixto Sanchez
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
57Patrick Sandoval
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
58Luis Garcia
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
59John Means
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Stash Option
+UR
60Josiah Gray
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
+UR
61Tarik Skubal
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+UR
62Sonny Gray
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+UR
63Adam Wainwright
T9
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+UR
64Anthony DeSclafani
Injury Risk
Ratio Focused
+UR
65Taijuan Walker
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+UR
66Cal Quantrill
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+UR
67James Kaprielian
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+UR
68Jordan Montgomery
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+UR
69Aaron Civale
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+UR
70Casey Mize
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+UR
71Ranger Suarez
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+UR
72Jameson Taillon
Injury Risk
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
+UR
73Tanner Houck
T10
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+UR
74Jesus Luzardo
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Stash Option
+UR
75Aaron Ashby
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
+UR
76Hyun Jin Ryu
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+UR
77Carlos Carrasco
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
+UR
78Chris Paddack
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+UR
79Luis Patino
T11
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+UR
80Adbert Alzolay
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+UR
81Triston McKenzie
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+UR
82Elieser Hernandez
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
83Zack Greinke
T12
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+UR
84Zach Plesac
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Stash Option
+UR
85Marco Gonzales
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+UR
86Eduardo Rodriguez
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
+UR
87Steven Matz
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Toby
+UR
88Chris Flexen
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Ratio Focused
+UR
89German Marquez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
+UR
90Kyle Hendricks
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+UR
91Kyle Gibson
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
92Zach Eflin
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+UR
93Jon Gray
T13
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+UR
94Joe Ryan
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+UR
95Cristian Javier
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
96Drew Rasmussen
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
+UR
97Brady Singer
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+UR
98Corey Kluber
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+UR
99Yusei Kikuchi
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Stash Option
+UR
100Kyle Muller
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
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

 

And now for the final 75 starting pitchers who I considered and should be noted for 2022. No, I’m not doing another 75 blurbs right now. I’m not that crazy.

 

The Rest of The List

Photos by 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 pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar dude says:

    Great list this early, hard to do.

    I’m in a keep 15 league and seem to have more SP keepers than bats and all at good prices ($5 raise each year, $320 cap for the 15 players at keeper submission time).

    You mention keeping 4 “would not drop players”. I have 6 in your top 40 and 8 in your top 50.
    Alcantara $10
    Sale $17
    Peralta $11
    McClanaham $10
    Fried $15
    Rogers $7
    Verlander $10
    Severino $5

    I also have
    Montgomery $10
    Marques $16

    I feel like Sale, Peralta, McClanaham, Verlander and Severino all have some level of unreliability to them, IP, Old, Injury prone, etc. Would that lead you to want to keep more that 4 solid non-drop level guys? maybe 6 or 7 or 8 or would you look to move for some bats?

    Also what do you think Nate Pearson’s roll will be next year? Have him for $6.

  • Avatar Floyd says:

    Thanks for this early list and comments! My instincts tell me not to trust Nola & Mahle (inconsistency, though both had fourteen 6+ IP outings…Gausman had 21!) where they are ranked but I enjoy watching them pitch.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    Happy to see that Jayce Stinker got canned. That guy just didn’t know baseball well enough to be in charge. Not that there are not a great deal of “managers” that fit that description but one is a start. While I understand that he did check the most important box of being under 40 he doesn’t know baseball well enough – he also exceeded the age limit as he is now 40. Hopefully he does not catch on as a manager anywhere else. There is no reason he can’t be a bench coach or something like that. In any case, managers have nothing to do with game management in this era but he is a fool with a microphone in front of his face and it is hard to tolerate.

  • Avatar Mark says:

    I used Nick’s streaming list every day of the season in two leagues. I did not draft any starting pitchers
    before the 18th round and I finished first in both leagues. I don’t say that to brag but to point out that
    the streaming list works and that you do Not need to draft starting pitchers early.

    • Avatar DB says:

      My first 3 pitchers were Scherzer, Woodruff, and Ohtani (ESPN dual-player)… All picked earlier than expected, but all picked with serious faith in the fact that 2020 was an aberration. Scherzer was at the end of the second round, Woodruff was early third, and Ohtani was ~ 8th…

      I won that league… Did I do wrong picking the right pitchers early?

      LOL.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    The amount of volatility on these rankings year over year is telling. Telling of what I am not sure. It is a fact that the elite players in the game don’t change significantly year over year.

    You are way too high on McClanahan. That WHIP is mediocre and heath has always been a major concern. TB doesn’t develop, they burn players. I would not pay anything for him. You likely just saw his peak. Everyone around him annihilates him in WHIP – that singular metric is be superior to the sum of all the AWS sponsored data in the world. I get it, you have to answer to Twitter.

  • Avatar DB says:

    I mean… I get your hesitation, but Webb… He’s a beast, and I doubt there’s much that’s gonna torch him next season, there’s really nothing that he has to fix, and his team doesn’t need more from him.

    PLEASE, screetch how much you think he’s bad and can’t be trusted. I’ll know better.

  • Avatar Aaron Lackman says:

    Nola seems too low to me. If you believe in a era recovery , what’s holding him back from tier 2 or 3? Also I get the love for alcantara but Marlins lack of win discount needs to be deeper.

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