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Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Starting Pitcher Rankings

The starting pitcher landscape is always evolving. Pitchers are always gaining or losing velocity and/or spin, altering their arsenal or pitch usage, or just losing their stuff altogether. A pitcher can go from a top-25 arm to barely making my top-75 in a hurry. Yes, I’m looking at you Patrick Corbin. We might only be a few weeks into the 2021 season but we’re already starting to see some of these trends come into play or continue from 2020. I’ve done my best to factor all this into my personal ranks with these brand new top-150 dynasty starting pitcher rankings.

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Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Starting Pitcher Rankings

1Shane BieberSPCLE26AL
2Jacob deGromSPNYM32NL
3Gerrit ColeSPNYY30AL
4Walker BuehlerSPLAD26NL
5Corbin BurnesSPMIL26NL
6Lucas GiolitoSPCHW26AL
7Aaron NolaSPPHI28NL
8Brandon WoodruffSPMIL28NL
9Trevor BauerSPLAD30NL
10Zac GallenSPARI25NL
11Tyler GlasnowSPTB27AL
12Luis CastilloSPCIN28NL
13Yu DarvishSPSD34NL
14Jack FlahertySPSTL25NL
15Blake SnellSPSD28NL
16Clayton KershawSPLAD33NL
17Ian AndersonSPATL23NL
18MacKenzie GoreSPSD22NL
19Shohei OhtaniUT,SPLAA26AL
20Jesus LuzardoSPOAK23AL
21Sixto SanchezSPMIA22NL
22Sandy AlcantaraSPMIA25NL
23Max FriedSPATL27NL
24Jose BerriosSPMIN27AL
25Lance LynnSPCHW34AL
26Stephen StrasburgSPWSH32NL
27Max ScherzerSPWSH36NL
28Nate PearsonSPTOR24AL
29Kenta MaedaSPMIN33AL
30Lance McCullers Jr.SPHOU27AL
31Joe MusgroveSPSD28NL
32Sonny GraySPCIN31NL
33Luis SeverinoSPNYY27AL
34Chris SaleSPBOS32AL
35Pablo LopezSPMIA25NL
36Matt ManningSPDET23AL
37Spencer HowardSPPHI24NL
38Zach PlesacSPCLE26AL
39Luis PatinoSPTB21AL
40Julio UriasSPLAD24NL
41Kyle HendricksSPCHC31NL
42Zack WheelerSPPHI31NL
43Mike SorokaSPATL23NL
44Dinelson LametSPSD28NL
45Dustin MaySPLAD23NL
46Casey MizeSPDET24AL
47Tarik SkubalSPDET24AL
48Frankie MontasSPOAK28AL
49Noah SyndergaardSPNYM28NL
50Aaron CivaleSPCLE26AL
51Chris PaddackSPSD25NL
52Mike ClevingerSPSD30NL
53Hyun Jin RyuSPTOR34AL
54Carlos CarrascoSPNYM34NL
55Logan GilbertSPSEA24AL
56Dylan BundySPLAA28AL
57George KirbySPSEA23AL
58Emerson HancockSPSEA22AL
59Asa LacySPKC22AL
60Eduardo RodriguezSPBOS28AL
61Max MeyerSPMIA22NL
62Tyler MahleSPCIN26NL
63Freddy PeraltaSP,RPMIL24NL
64Clarke SchmidtSPNYY25AL
65John MeansSPBAL28AL
66Grayson RodriguezSPBAL21AL
67Trevor RogersSPMIA23NL
68Michael KopechSPCHW25AL
69Framber ValdezSPHOU27AL
70Zack GreinkeSPHOU37AL
71Kevin GausmanSPSF30NL
72Carlos RodonSPCHW28AL
73Dane DunningSPTEX26AL
74German MarquezSPCOL26NL
75Marcus StromanSPNYM30NL
76Triston McKenzieSPCLE23AL
77Brady SingerSPKC24AL
78Patrick CorbinSPWAS31NL
79Nathan EovaldiSPBOS31AL
80Brendan McKaySPTB25AL
81Nick LodoloSPCIN23NL
82Garrett CrochetSP,RPCHW21AL
83Jameson TaillonSPNYY29AL
84Dallas KeuchelSPCHW33AL
86Tony GonsolinSPLAD27NL
87Dylan CeaseSPCHW25AL
88Matthew BoydSPDET30AL
89Griffin CanningSPLAA25AL
90Daniel LynchSPKC24AL
91Tejay AntoneSP,RPCIN27NL
92Andrew HeaneySPLAA30AL
93Mick AbelSPPHI19NL
94Edward CabreraSPMIA23NL
96Brailyn MarquezSPCHC22NL
97Corey KluberSPNYY35AL
98Reid DetmersSPLAA21AL
99Simeon Woods-RichardsonSPTOR20AL
100Josiah GraySPLAD23NL
101Jose UrquidySPHOU26AL
102Domingo GermanSPNYY28AL
103Marco GonzalesSPSEA29AL
104Shane BazSPTB21AL
105Forrest WhitleySPHOU23AL
106Ryan YarbroughSPTB29AL
107Matthew LiberatoreSPSTL21NL
108Elieser HernandezSPMIA26NL
109Ethan HankinsSPCLE21AL
110James PaxtonSPNYY32AL
111Jackson RutledgeSPWSH22NL
112Daniel EspinoSPCLE20AL
113Sean ManaeaSPOAK29AL
114Cristian JavierSPHOU24AL
115Shane McClanahanSPTB24AL
116Jordan BalazovicSPMIN22AL
117Yusei KikuchiSPSEA29AL
118Hunter GreeneSPCIN21NL
119Justus SheffieldSPSEA25AL
120Alek ManoahSPTOR23AL
121Zach EflinSPPHI27NL
122Anthony DeSclafaniSPSF30NL
123Tanner HouckSPBOS24AL
124Caleb SmithSPARI29NL
125Zach DaviesSPCHC28NL
126Mitch KellerSPPIT25NL
127Deivi GarciaSPNYY22AL
128Jared KelleySPCHW19AL
129Robbie RaySPTOR29AL
130Chris BassittSPOAK32AL
131Jordan MontgomerySPNYY28AL
132Blake WalstonSPARI19NL
133Drew SmylySPATL32NL
134David PriceSPLAD35NL
135Jake OdorizziSPHOU31AL
136Michael PinedaSPMIN32AL
137Brennan MaloneSPPIT20NL
138Garrett RichardsSPBOS33AL
139Quinn PriesterSPPIT20NL
140Cade CavalliSPWSH22NL
141Brad KellerSPKC25AL
142Matthew AllanSPNYM20NL
143Bryce JarvisSPARI23NL
144Jhoan DuranSPMIN23AL
145Bobby MillerSPLAD22NL
146Taijuan WalkerSPNYM28NL
147Adbert AlzolaySPCHC26NL
148Josh LindblomSPMIL34NL
149Carlos MartinezSPSTL29NL
150Kyle WrightSPATL25NL

Are we going to have a newcomer join the top tier of Shane Bieber, Jacob deGrom, and Gerrit Cole? If you’ve watched Corbin Burnes since the start of 2020, he’s been making a strong case to join the aforementioned trio. Since the start of 2020, Burnes has made 12 starts and three relief appearances totaling 78 innings. In those 78 innings, he’s posted a ridiculous 1.73 ERA (Tied-1st with Bieber), 0.83 WHIP (2nd – Bauer), 39.1% strikeout rate (3rd – Bieber/deGrom), and 31.1% K-BB rate (3rd – Bieber/deGrom). He’s up to 5th in my rankings and will be up with that trio if he continues dominating like he currently is (or even close to it). If we were ranking arsenals or upside, Burnes would be up there already. He just needs the longevity.

Another big mover near the top of the rankings has been Tyler Glasnow. While I’ve been highly critical of Glasnow over the last few years, I’ve mentioned two main aspects that would cause him to shoot up my rankings if improved/corrected.

  1. Lack of a legit 3rd offering (New Slider!)
  2. Durability (One season over 100 IP in career, never had more than 13 starts in a season)

That new slider is key. Glasnow has thrown the pitch 29.1% of the time so far through four starts with a .176 BAA, .235 SLG, .208 wOBA, 39.1% whiff rate. This doesn’t smell like the “Glasnow 3rd pitches” of the past that he basically abandons as the season progresses. Having a 3rd weapon is massive for Glasnow’s value but point #2 is still a major TBD. If Glasnow shows that he can hold up over a full season, he’ll jump into my top-10 without question.

Right below him at #12 is Luis Castillo who hasn’t looked nearly as good this year. Through three starts (15.1 IP), Castillo has posted a 7.04 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 17.9% strikeout rate. Obviously, Castillo isn’t this bad and it could just be a bad three starts, but something I noticed was a decrease in velocity and subsequent decrease in whiff rate on all four of his offerings. Not just a minor drop either.

Velocity (20/21)
4-Seam Fastball: 97.4/95.7
Sinker: 97.5/95.5
Changeup: 88.2/86.4
Slider: 86.8/83.8

Whiff% (20/21)
4-Seam Fastball: 37.2/25.7
Sinker: 13.1/8.0
Changeup: 40.1/31.7
Slider: 42.3/15.4

Castillo has thrown his 4-seamer and sinker less this season while his slider and changeup usage has risen. Again, it’s just been three starts and I’m not dropping him too far down my rankings (dropped two spots), but this is definitely something worth monitoring as the season progresses.

Another name you’ll notice a bit lower than you probably expected is Jack Flaherty. Listen, Flaherty is very good, but is he fantasy ace good? That’s what I’m questioning. It feels like we’re still ranking him off of what he showed us in the 2nd half of the 2019 season when he posted a pristine 0.91 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 6.3% walk rate, and 33.9% strikeout rate over 99.1 innings. In his other 325 career innings, Flaherty has a 4.15 ERA. Yes, he’s very young and I’m probably being a bit harsh here. However, I’m valuing Flaherty as an SP2 moving forward, rather than a fantasy ace that I build my pitching staff around.

The main reason why Sandy Alcantara wasn’t higher on my rankings previously was his ability (or inability) to miss bats at a high clip. A higher whiff and strikeout rate was literally all he needed to make a substantial jump for me and that has happened so far in 2021. Alcantara has improved his whiff rate from 24% to 32.2% this season along with his strikeout rate from 22.7% to 28.0%.

Two main factors that stand out immediately are his improved changeup and four-seam fastball. Mainly his changeup which he’s more than doubled the usage of this season. But beyond that, four of his five pitches have seen a solid jump in whiff rate. This is very encouraging, and if it sticks, means that Alcántara is likely a top-25 dynasty arm moving forward.

Three Trending Down

Chris Paddack, SDP: Just last week, I saw a quote on Twitter that said “I think Chris Paddack needs a 2nd pitch.” I thought about it for a second and realized how true that statement was. We’ve been harping on Paddack for his mediocre and seldom-used curveball (which he’s forgotten about in 2021), but his fastball has become a below-average offering for him as well. On top of that, Paddack’s command and control seem to have regressed from what we saw in the minors and during his rookie season. There are a lot of red flags here to trust him as one of your top three pitchers.

Patrick Corbin, WAS: A few days back, I posted a tweet called “The Tale of Two Corbins”. On one side, you have Patrick Corbin who has allowed 15 ER in 6.1 innings this season. On the other side, you have Corbin Burnes who has allowed the same amount of earned runs since the start of the 2020 season (78 IP). Corbin’s velocity remains down around 90mph and both his four-seamer and sinker are average pitches at best now, and probably both below-average if we’re being honest. It doesn’t matter how good Corbin’s slider is if hitters don’t have to respect the rest of his arsenal. He’s falling down my rankings faster than an Emmanuel Clase fastball.

Mike Soroka, ATL: If I was an Atlanta Braves fan, I would be ecstatic to have Mike Soroka on my team along with Ian Anderson, Max Friend, etc. However, for me, Soroka falls into the “better in real life than in fantasy category”. Soroka is great at stabilizing your ratios, as evident by his career 2.86 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, but the strikeout rate is lackluster. Through his first 36 starts, Soroka has a very unimpressive 19.6% strikeout rate. He’s always been about avoiding hard contact and inducing groundballs which he’s done at a 50.9% clip. As far as I’m concerned, Soroka is a younger Kyle Hendricks with a lesser strikeout rate. That’s useful, but not elite.

Media Credit: Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire, Baseball Savant, Rob Friedman (Pitching Ninja)

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  1. james says

    Opinions on Trevor Rogers, Dane Dunning and Carlos Rodon (I know …. injuries)? They all seem to be turning corners.

    1. Eric Cross says

      Rogers and Dunning can rise up another 15-20 spots by season’s end if they continue pitching well. Rodon I’m still unsure about due to past issues.

  2. Mr. Rogers says

    Trevor Rogers should be MUCH higher. Developed a new breaking ball, his velocity is up, and he’s been dominant in the spring and early going. K-rate was high already and trending higher. One of the hardest throwing lefty starters in baseball right now with a 3-pitch mix. Should be top-30 IMO.

    1. Eric Cross says

      Here’s why I don’t have him higher.

      1) it’s been four starts. I’ve already moved him up a ton, but need to see this longer before I move him up more.
      2) The walk rate is a concern. 11.5% through four starts. He definitely has the stuff to move up, but putting him top-30 would be he’;d be ahead of guys like Sale, Musgrove, Lopez, etc, which I personally cannot do yet.

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