Fantasy Baseball: Early roto SP rankings

Nationals Strasburg

Putting together roto SP rankings and tiers is really tough because at a certain point as with the whole of roto it becomes about balance and with pitching that is a really tough balance to strike. In certain situations you might be able to sacrifice the chase for WHIP in return for catching up some strikeouts and vice-versa.

There is also the difficulty of judging wins. You cannot really chase wins on draft day because so much is down to luck. You can maximize your possibility of getting wins by drafting good pitchers on good teams but sometimes even that isn’t enough and therefore you are better off balancing the other categories and letting wins look after itself to some extent. When fantasy baseball finally switches to a majority of leagues using quality starts then ranking this position will get a lot easier.


Right now I haven’t put too much weight into those guys who remain free agents because there are always starting pitching jobs available and I expect most of the top end guys to be signed in plenty of time. If we get closer to the season and people still aren’t signed then you might see them start to slip down rankings as the risk of missing time gets larger. Saying that though I have only actually ranked two current free agents; Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish. That isn’t to say others won’t move up if a desirable situation arises but as it stands they are the only two to break into the top 60.

As with outfield I have only ranked the top 60 because I envisage at this time in the year most people are setting keepers or just starting slow email draft and therefore there isn’t the need to go any deeper. Here are my top 60 roto SP rankings based on ESPN eligibility.

Tier Rank Name Team Eligibility
1 1 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP
1 2 Max Scherzer WSH SP
2 3 Corey Kluber CLE SP
2 4 Chris Sale BOS SP
2 5 Madison Bumgarner SF SP
3 6 Stephen Strasburg WSH SP
3 7 Justin Verlander HOU SP
3 8 Zack Greinke ARI SP
3 9 Noah Syndergaard NYM SP
3 10 Jacob deGrom NYM SP
3 11 Chris Archer TB SP
3 12 Dallas Keuchel HOU SP
3 13 Yu Darvish FA SP
3 14 Carlos Carrasco CLE SP
4 15 Luis Severino NYY SP
4 16 Carlos Martinez STL SP
4 17 Jake Arrieta FA SP
4 18 David Price BOS SP
4 19 Jon Lester CHC SP
4 20 Jose Quintana CHC SP
4 21 Masahiro Tanaka NYY SP
4 22 James Paxton SEA SP
4 23 Robbie Ray ARI SP
4 24 Johnny Cueto SF SP
5 25 Rich Hill LAD SP
5 26 Alex Wood LAD SP
5 27 Lance McCullers HOU SP
6 28 Zack Godley ARI SP
6 29 Marcus Stroman TOR SP
6 30 Aaron Nola PHI SP
6 31 Gerrit Cole HOU SP
6 32 Sonny Gray NYY SP
6 33 Jose Berrios MIN SP
7 34 Kyle Hendricks CHC SP
7 35 Michael Fulmer DET SP
7 36 Cole Hamels TEX SP
7 37 Marco Estrada TOR SP
7 38 Gio Gonzalez WSH SP
7 39 Ervin Santana MIN SP
7 40 Jeff Samardzija SF SP
7 41 Jon Gray COL SP
7 42 Drew Pomeranz BOS SP
7 43 Taijuan Walker ARI SP
7 44 J.A. Happ TOR SP
7 45 Danny Duffy KC SP
7 46 Shohei Ohtani LAA SP
7 47 Blake Snell TB SP
7 48 Danny Salazar CLE SP
7 49 Luis Castillo CIN SP
7 50 Luke Weaver STL SP
7 51 Jameson Taillon PIT SP
7 52 Kenta Maeda LAD SP
7 53 Kevin Gausman BAL SP
7 54 Dinelson Lamet SD SP
8 55 Trevor Bauer CLE SP
8 56 Julio Teheran ATL SP
8 57 Rick Porcello BOS SP
8 58 Garrett Richards LAA SP
8 59 Tanner Roark WSH SP
8 60 Felix Hernandez SEA SP



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