Rankings are always important in Fantasy Baseball, regardless of whether it’s pre-season or during the regular season. The purpose of these rankings throughout the season will be to help determine the top-100 pitchers on ROS value. Basically, if you did a draft today, here’s how I would rank the top 100 arms. Hopefully, these ongoing 2022 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings can help with in-season management and with trading as well.
Talk about returning in style. After missing around a month with a sprained right ankle and issues with his Raynaud’s syndrome (numbness in fingertips), Brandon Woodruff returned to the mound Tuesday night and dominated the Tampa Bay Rays. In five innings of work, Woodruff allowed just two hits and one earned run with 10 strikeouts and zero walks. He finished the start with a stellar 45% whiff rate and 39% CSW. On top of that, Woodruff averaged 97.7 mph on his four-seamer and 97.2 mph on his sinker, both up more than 1.5 mph from before hitting the IL and up a little more than 1 mph each from 2021.
I’m sure the Brewers will take it easy with Woodruff for the next few starts, but I’m not expecting any major restrictions moving forward. This is an arm that we were drafting as a top-5 pitcher just a few short months ago that has the potential to return to that level ROS. The window to buy low on him is shutting quickly.
One of my favorite buy-low pitcher targets right now, especially in redraft, is Charlie Morton. On the surface, Morton’s 4.73 ERA and 1.33 WHIP aren’t overly impressive, but it’s when you dig deeper that the encouragement begins to shine brightly. Entering last night’s start, Morton was leading the Majors over the last 30 days with a stellar 32.5% K-BB rate (yes, even ahead of McClanahan) and had a 2.11 xFIP and SIERA over that timeframe with a 0.90 WHIP and .191 BAA as well.
Morton is still trying to shake those early-season woes that are weighing his season ratios down, and that right there creates a great buying opportunity. Plain and simple, Morton is better than his surface ratios right now. His dominant curveball has finally returned this month as well with a .059 BAA, .118 SLG, .142 wOBA, and 58.7% whiff rate. When Morton is pitching like this, he needs to be considered a top-40 arm at the very least moving forward.
The career of MacKenzie Gore has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least. He’s gone from the alpha dog of pitching prospects to a massive question mark to one of the most exciting young Major League arms over the last few years. But is this roller coaster about to descend once again? I’m pretty sure it won’t descend back to 2020/2021 levels, but I’m definitely a bit concerned with Gore moving forward. After a dominant April and May, the wheels have come off in June in regards to Gore’s command and control.
On top of that, Gore’s strikeout rate has plummeted month to month and he currently sports one of the worst K-BB marks in the entire league for the month of June. The last time Gore had less than three walks in a start was over a month ago on 5/22 against the Giants. And over his last three outings, Gore has 11 walks to just eight strikeouts over 11.1 innings. That equates to a 17.7% walk rate and 12.9% strikeout rate. Yikes.
Again, I’m not saying that Gore is going to lose all of his value entirely, but with command and control issues popping back up now after spearheading his issues in 2020/2021, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned right now.
Other Pitcher Notes
Jon Gray, TEX: Gray is absolutely rolling right now. Last night marked his 3rd quality start in his last four outings, 4th in his last six, and 5th in his last eight. He’s sporting a 2.39 ERA over his last six starts and ranks inside the top-25 in K-BB rate for the 127 pitchers with 20+ IP over the last 30 days.
Chris Sale, BOS: Sale is making another rehab outing on Thursday, this time in Double-A Portland. It should be long before he’s back up with Boston but I’m almost certain that his workload will be limited immensely over the 2nd half of the season. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to use the hype surrounding his impending return to try and sell.
Tyler Wells, BAL: I’m not exactly sure what has gotten into Tyler Wells and the Baltimore Orioles lately. Over the last 30 days, Wells has won five of his six starts while posting a 1.97 ERA and 0.88 WHIP across 32 innings. The last time he allowed more than three earned runs in a start was in his 2022 debut on April 10th. However, Wells doesn’t miss many bats and has an xFIP and SIERA over 5.00 for the last month. I’m expecting Wells to come crashing back to Earth very soon.
Nestor Cortes, NYY: Apparently Nestor Cortes is mortal after all. Over the last 30 days, Cortes has cooled off to the tune of a 4.15 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 26 innings. His early-season pace was certainly unsustainable, but the window to sell high is pretty much gone. With that said, Cortes should still be valued as a top-50 SP for now.
Jack Flaherty, STL: After only eight innings across three starts, Jack Flaherty is back on the IL with a shoulder strain. The talented right-hander just can’t seem to stay healthy and this might be another extended absence. I’d hold for now, especially if you have IL spots open, but he”ll be hard to hold if this is another long IL stint.
If you aren’t playing your dynasty leagues on Fantrax, you’re missing out on the deepest player pool and most customization around. For more rankings, check out Eric’s Top-400 Prospect Rankings or Chris Clegg’s Top-500 OBP Dynasty Rankings, and make sure to check out the Fantrax Toolshed Podcast for more dynasty talk!
Top-100 2022 Starting Pitcher Rankings
NOTE: Prospects will not be added until they have been called up to the Majors.
Media Credit: Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire
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