The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Dynasty Dugout: Pitcher Dynasty/Keeper Rankings

The starting pitcher and relief pitcher positions are the only ones that aren’t dominated by young stars in their early-20s like most of the other positions are. Three of the top four starting pitchers are north of 30 years old, while three of the top five relievers are 29 or older. There’s nothing wrong that. Most pitchers are usually able to maintain an elite level of production further into their 30s than hitters can. I guess the moral of the story here is not to shy away from older pitchers in their 30s.

Other 2018 Dynasty/Keeper Rankings:   C   1B   2B   SS    3B    OF

The Top Dog 

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Yeah, he has a bad back that acts up every now and then. So what? Until it starts affecting his performance or causes him to miss significant time over multiple seasons, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. The man has a 2.36 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 9.9 K/9  in his career. What more do you want from the guy? Plus, he made Shohei Ohtani look like a little league hitter a couple of weeks ago. Kershaw has pitched 21.1 scoreless innings with 23 strikeouts this spring and looks poised for another great season. Having just turned 30, we should get to witness several more seasons of Kershaw dominance.

Guys like Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, and Corey Kluber are right on his heels, but for now, Kershaw still holds onto the top spot.

On the Rise

Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies

Nola has been a personal favorite of mine for a few years. He’s not going to blow you away with a high 90s heater, but he still throws in the low-90s with great command and control of his entire arsenal, including one of MLB’s best curveballs. Every time I watch him pitch, he reminds me of a young Roy Halladay.

Nola had his best season yet in 2017, finishing with a 3.54 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, and 12 wins. All of which were career-bests for the 24-year-old right-hander. He might never crack the elite tier, but Nola has the arsenal and upside to remain a near top-10 option for many years to come.

Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays

It’s amazing what a talented pitcher can do once he harnesses his control. You might look at Snell’s 4.04 ERA and 1.33 WHIP from 2017 and be slightly underwhelmed. “What’s so special about that?” Great question, glad you asked. The answer is nothing. However, when you take a look at his numbers over the second half of the season, you’ll see just how good Snell has the potential to be.

Split IP ERA WHIP BB/9 K/9
1st Half 52.0 4.85 1.64 5.9 7.8
2nd Half 77.1 3.49 1.13 2.9 8.6

Snell cut his walk rate literally in half, and the rest of his numbers got better as a result. Learn to control your pitches, kids. It’s all about control and command. Snell now enters the top-50 of these rankings and has the potential to rise even more if he continues to limit the walks like he did late in 2017.

On the Decline

Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers

Pitchers like Michael Fulmer might be highly valuable in real life, but not so much in the fantasy world. Fulmer has recorded a 3.45 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over his first two Major League seasons, but that has come with a lackluster 6.8 K/9. It’s not like he’s out there throwing mid-80s “salad,” as Dennis Eckersley would say. Fulmer averaged around 96 mph on his fastball and also throws a high-80s slider. Both pitchers were above-average offerings for him last season, according to FanGraphs. However, his swinging strike rate was still only 9.3%, which ranked 79th out of 134 pitchers with over 100 innings last season.

Tyler Glasnow, Pittsburgh Pirates

Remember everything I said about Snell above? It all applies here with Glasnow, with the difference being that Glasnow has yet to harness his control enough to become an effective Major League pitcher. He was able to get by in the minors even though he had a 4.2 BB/9, but that type of control doesn’t usually get you far in the Major Leagues. Through his first 17 starts and five relief appearances, Glasnow has recorded a 6.75 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 6.2 BB/9, and 8.4 K/9. The upside here is still enormous, but unless he improves his control, he may never be able to live up to the hype.

Keep An Eye On …

Julio Urias, Los Angeles Dodgers

Remember when Urias was a universal top-five prospect? That was only a couple of short years ago. Well, Urias now faces a long road back after undergoing anterior capsule surgery during the middle of last season and won’t be back until later in the 2018 season. The surgery he underwent is a complex one, but all indications are that it went well. Still, shoulder injuries are harder to come back from than elbow injuries, and there’s no guarantee that Urias ever comes close to being the pitcher he was before the injury.

Starting Pitcher Rankings

1Clayton KershawLAD301
2Chris SaleBOS282
3Max ScherzerWAS334
4Corey KluberCLE316
5Noah SyndergaardNYM253
6Madison BumgarnerSF285
7Stephen StrasburgWAS299
8Luis SeverinoNYY2416
9Carlos CarrascoCLE3114
10Jacob deGromNYM297
11Aaron NolaPHI2430
12Robbie RayARI2621
13Chris ArcherTB2910
14Carlos MartinezSTL268
15Gerrit ColeHOU2725
16Shohei OhtaniLAA23NR
17Luis CastilloCIN25NR
18Yu DarvishCHC3112
19Justin VerlanderHOU3535
20Luke WeaverSTL2480
21Jose BerriosMIN2340
22Michael KopechCHW2129
23Alex ReyesSTL2328
24Zack GreinkeARI3411
25Forrest WhitleyHOU20NR
26Dallas KeuchelHOU3013
27Jose QuintanaCHC2927
28Walker BuehlerLAD2338
29Lance McCullers Jr.HOU24NR
30Luiz GoharaATL21NR
31A.J. PukOAK2259
32Alex WoodLAD2715
33James PaxtonSEA2922
34Marcus StromanTOR2619
35Jake ArrietaPHI3226
36Sixto SanchezPHI1965
37Mackenzie GoreSD1970
38Hunter GreeneCIN1848
39Jon GrayCOL2645
40Jameson TaillonPIT2618
41Michel BaezSD22NR
42Mitch KellerPIT2160
43Triston McKenzieCLE2055
44Blake SnellTB2586
45Danny SalazarCLE2850
46Dinelson LametSD25NR
47Brent HoneywellTB2252
48Zack GodleyARI27NR
49Michael FulmerDET2520
50David PriceBOS3324
51Kyle HendricksCHC2842
52Jon LesterCHC3423
53Kolby AllardATL2075
54Jake FariaTB24NR
55Masahiro TanakaNYY2931
56Jay GroomeBOS1946
57Sonny GrayNYY2841
58Trevor BauerCLE27NR
59Aaron SanchezTOR2537
60Kevin GausmanBAL2762
61Jack FlahertySTL22NR
62Johnny CuetoSF3232
63Dylan CeaseCHW22NR
64Chance AdamsNYY23NR
65Carlos RodonCHW2591
66Taijuan WalkerARI2567
67Lucas GiolitoCHW2366
68Mike SorokaATL2073
69Josh HaderMIL2357
70Eduardo RodriguezBOS2443
71Dylan BundyBAL2544
72Mike ClevingerCLE2798
73Sean ManaeaOAK2636
74Garrett RichardsLAA2988
75Julio TeheranATL2733
76Jordan MontgomeryNYY2599
77Jon DuplantierARI23NR
78Jesus LuzardoOAK20NR
79Julio UriasLAD2154
80Gio GonzalezWAS3263
81Drew PomeranzBOS2961
82Cole HamelsTEX3447
83Jeff SamardzijaSF33NR
84Jake OdorizziTB2890
85Charlie MortonHOU34NR
86Danny DuffyKC2939
87Matt ManningDET20NR
88Chase AndersonMIL3085
89Kyle WrightATL2271
90Lance LynnMIN3076
91Kenta MaedaLAD2956
92Ervin SantanaMIN3589
93Patrick CorbinARI28NR
94Justus SheffieldNYY21NR
95Tyler GlasnowPIT2449
96Steven MatzNYM2634
97Felix HernandezSEA3134
98Rick PorcelloBOS2964
99Joey WentzATL20NR
100Alec HansenCHW23NR

Relief Pitcher Rankings

1Kenley JansenLAD301
2Craig KimbrelBOS292
3Corey KnebelMIL268
4Roberto OsunaTOR234
5Aroldis ChapmanNYY303
6Ken GilesHOU279
7Edwin DiazSEA2410
8Raisel IglesiasCIN287
9Archie BradleyARI2518
10Felipe RiveroPIT2614
11Cody AllenCLE2915
12Brad HandSD2824
13Andrew MillerCLE3212
14Wade DavisCOL325
15Zach BrittonBAL306
16Sean DoolittleWAS3126
17Arodys VizcainoATL2729
18Alex ColomeTB2917
19Jeurys FamiliaNYM2822
20Mark MelanconSF3323
21Kelvin HerreraKC2813
22Dellin BetancesNYY3019
23Chris DevenskiHOU2720
24A.J. MinterATL24NR
25Brad BrachBAL3116
26Greg HollandFA3211
27Carl EdwardsCHC26NR
28Hector NerisPHI28NR
29Blake TreinenOAK29NR
30Blake ParkerLAA32NR

Thank you for reading another edition of Dynasty Dugout here on Fantrax. I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members.  Got a question that I didn’t cover here? Follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask there.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.