The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Positional Rankings: Top-100 Starting Pitchers

Dynasty leagues are the best, aren’t they? It’s the closest us fanatics can get to being a real baseball general manager. While you might not look at your team every single day of the offseason, dynasty leagues are a year-round commitment and there’s never a bad time to improve your team. Never I say! Whether you’re starting a new dynasty league or entering year 20, rankings play a vital part of any draft prep, trades, etc. I’ve released my overall top-500 as recently as March (and will update that soon), but I figured I’d dive a little deeper and rank the top players at each position which will go further than my top-500 did. Leading off these fantasy baseball dynasty positional rankings are my top-100 dynasty starting pitcher rankings.

If you aren’t playing your dynasty leagues on Fantrax, you’re missing out on the deepest player pool and most customization around. Just starting out in a dynasty league? Then check out Eric Cross’ Top-250 Overall Fantasy Prospects and Top-500 Dynasty League Rankings.

Also, make sure to check out the Fantrax Dynasty Baseball Podcast and Five Tool Fantasy Baseball Podcast Weekly for more dynasty talk.

Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Starting Pitcher Rankings

Buying In On: Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox

Okay, fine, I’ll admit that I’m slowly coming around to the concept of Lucas Giolito as a borderline fantasy ace. Where I ranked him should reflect that too. For someone that was incredibly high on him during his prospect days, I’m surprised it’s been so tough for me to accept his recent success. The biggest issue for Giolito to start his career was his wildly inconsistent command and control which affected the effectiveness of his entire arsenal and led to a disastrous 6.13 ERA in 2018. He was arguably the worst starting pitcher in baseball that season and now he’s inside my top-20? Here’s why.

When looking at his pitch mix above, you can see a few noticeable changes from 2018 to 2019 for Giolito. First, he ditched his 2-seamer and solely threw 4-seamers in 2019. His velocity on those 4-seamers rose from 92.4 mph to 94.2 mph while improved command and control of the pitch cause a big jump in effectiveness. Giolito also decreased his curveball usage by 6% and increased his changeup usage by 10.5%. When you look at all the expected stats above, you can see why those changes were made. Giolito’s three best pitches are his 4-seamer, slider, and changeup, and those are the pitches he used 95.9% of the time in 2019.

Most have already bought back in on Giolito and it’s time for the rest of his skeptics to do the same. Can he get up into the elite ranks with the likes of Walker Buehler and Shane Bieber? I’m still not sold there. However, this is definitely a top-20 dynasty starting pitcher right now.

Not Sold On: Tyler Glasnow, Tampa Bay Rays

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone. There are two main reasons why I’m not sold fully sold on Glasnow as a budding ace in fantasy.

  1. Lack of a 3rd Pitch – While the fastball and curveball can dominate opposing lineups, what happens when one isn’t working for Glasnow? He’s screwed, that’s what. Glasnow threw these two offerings 96.5% of the time last season, rarely mixing in his below-average changeup. I’ve been hearing he’s working on that changeup, but until I see a serviceable one, I’m not moving him up my rankings.
  2. Durability – Glasnow has missed plenty of time over the last few seasons and doesn’t have a frame that screams workhorse starter.

Can he develop into a fantasy ace that we can rely on? Sure. But I want to see a useable third offering and more durability before I place that tag next to Glasnow’s name.

Injured Aces

Since the 2019 season concluded, we’ve had three big-name pitchers go under the knife. The trio of Chris Sale, Luis Severino, and Noah Syndergaard have each been considered a fantasy ace at one point or another. Sale as recently as last season. But now with them all missing the 2020 season and part of 2021, how do we value them? Sale has been the best of this trio over the last handful of seasons, regularly finishing as a top-5 or top-10 fantasy pitcher. But he’s also the oldest at 31 years old currently. And by the time he throws his next Major League pitch, he’ll be 32. Meanwhile, both Syndergaard and Severino will still be in their 20’s but haven’t dominated as much as Sale has. All of this weighs into their rankings.

As you can see from my rankings, I have then ranked Syndergaard, Sale, Severino, with all three close together. Personally, I’m the most worried about Severino as this isn’t the first major injury he’s had as he’s also had shoulder issues that concern me more than elbow injuries. He’s the youngest of the trio which helps, but also the riskiest moving forward in my eyes. Syndergaard is the one I’d target the most here as he’s still in his 20’s and has dominated before with more prolonged success than Severino.

In a startup dynasty draft, all three appear to be falling quite a bit. I’m currently in the middle of a dynasty startup mock draft and this trio was drafted as follows:

  • Chris Sale (151, SP41)
  • Luis Severino (169, SP46)
  • Noah Syndergaard (177, SP49)

I get that they’re all injured and will miss 2020 and half of 2020, but those are all values as far as I’m concerned. Each of these three still has top-20 fantasy SP upside and I’d be actively trying to buy-low on them if possible.

The Top Prospects

These are how they’re ranked in my dynasty rankings, not my prospect rankings. My dynasty rankings take proximity to Majors into account where my prospect rankings do not. A total of 12 prospects were inside my top-50 of these rankings. They are…

1. MacKenzie Gore, SD (12): The #1 pitching prospect in baseball reached Double-A to end the 2019 season and likely isn’t far off from making his Major League debut. He has arguably the highest ceiling AND floor of any pitching prospect.

2. Jesus Luzardo, OAK (15): After dominating the upper minors, Jesus Luzardo received a cup of coffee in Oakland’s bullpen last season and didn’t disappoint. He’ll move back into the rotation in 2020 and is one of the most talented left-handed pitchers in baseball.

3. Nate Pearson, TOR (29): The big 6’6 righty finally had the kid gloves removed late in 2019 and now all bets are off. There might not be a more electric arm in the minors right now than Pearson with his four-pitch mix headlined by a triple-digit fastball and filthy slider. He should be up early in the 2020 season and possesses ace upside with massive strikeout potential.

4. Matt Manning, DET (31): With the improvement of his changeup and overall command along with his elite fastball/curveball combination, Manning has established himself as one of the elite pitching prospects in the game. He’s not far off from the Majors either after spending all of 2019 in the Double-A Eastern League.

5. Forrest Whitley, HOU (33): Yes, the 2019 season was a disaster, but remember, Forrest Whitley was held in higher regard than MacKenzie Gore just 12-15 months ago by a lot of prospect analysts, myself included. There’s ace upside with Whitley thanks to a dynamic four-pitch arsenal. If he can get back on track with his command and control, the sky is the upside.

6. Michael Kopech, CHW (35): If it weren’t for Tommy John surgery, Kopech would likely be inside the top-20. The flame-throwing righty possesses massive strikeout upside and has a chance to become one of the top pitchers in the game if everything clicks.

7. Casey Mize, DET (36): Here’s arguably the safest pitching prospect listed here. Mize doesn’t have the massive strikeout upside that the names above do, but his FB/SPL/SL combination generates plenty of weak contact and allows him to pitch deep into games. The shoulder issue from 2019 does concern me a little, but there’s ace upside here.

8. Dustin May, LAD (37): The hard-throwing, red-haired right-hander debuted with the Dodgers last season and is going to be pitching near the top of that Los Angeles rotation for many years to come. Like with Mize, May hasn’t posted gaudy strikeout totals, but his 2SFB/CT/CB combination is good enough to carve up opposing lineups.

9. A.J. Puk, OAK (42): While I still believe there’s some reliever risk here, Puk’s ultimate upside cannot be denied. A 6’7 southpaw with an upper-90’s fastball, double-plus slider, and above-average changeup doesn’t just grow on trees. If he can keep his command and control in check, watch out.

10. Spencer Howard, PHI (45): After a breakout 2019, Spencer Howard finds himself on the cusp of the Majors. With a dynamic four-pitch mix and solid command and control, Howard has high-end #2 starter upside and should contribute at some point in 2020.

11. Brendan McKay, TB (48): McKay as a hitter is still a work in progress, but his skills on the mound are going to make McKay a dude in this league for a long time. In addition to having two plus pitches and four total that flash above-average or better, McKay’s plus command and make his arsenal that much more effective. There’s a great combination of ceiling and floor here.

12. Luis Patino, SD (50): Once a lot of these names above graduate from prospect status, Luis Patino will likely be in the running for the top overall pitching prospect in the game. The electric righty has showed a bulldog mentality and plenty of poise on top of possessing four Major League average or better pitches, highlighted by a filthy FB/SL combo.

Alright, here are the rankings!

1Gerrit ColeNYY29
2Jacob deGromNYM31
3Walker BuehlerLAD25
4Shane BieberCLE24
5Jack FlahertySTL24
6Blake SnellTB27
7Max ScherzerWAS35
8Stephen StrasburgWAS31
9Chris PaddackSD24
10Mike ClevingerCLE29
11Luis CastilloCIN27
12MacKenzie GoreSD21
13Justin VerlanderHOU37
14Aaron NolaPHI26
15Jesus LuzardoOAK22
16Patrick CorbinWAS30
17Lucas GiolitoCWS25
18Jose BerriosMIN25
19Shohei OhtaniLAA25
20Clayton KershawLAD32
21Tyler GlasnowTB26
22Mike SorokaATL22
23Noah SyndergaardNYM27
24Chris SaleBOS31
25Yu DarvishCHC33
26Eduardo RodriguezBOS27
27Luis SeverinoNYY26
28Brandon WoodruffMIL27
29Nate PearsonTOR23
30Zac GallenARI24
31Matt ManningDET22
32Max FriedATL26
33Forrest WhitleyHOU22
34Zack GreinkeHOU36
35Michael KopechCWS23
36Casey MizeDET22
37Dustin MayLAD22
38Trevor BauerCIN29
39Corey KluberTEX34
40Frankie MontasOAK27
41Charlie MortonTB36
42Luis PatinoSD20
43A.J. PukOAK25
44Julio UriasLAD23
45Zack WheelerPHI29
46Spencer HowardPHI23
47James PaxtonNYY31
48Dinelson LametSD27
49Brendan McKayTB24
50Carlos CarrascoCLE33
51Sonny GrayCIN30
52Madison BumgarnerARI30
53Luke WeaverARI26
54Hyun-Jin RyuTOR33
55Matthew BoydDET29
56Griffin CanningLAA24
57Andrew HeaneyLAA28
58Kyle HendricksCHC30
59Robbie RayARI28
60Matthew LiberatoreSTL20
61Sean ManaeaOAK28
62Dylan CeaseCWS24
63Alex ReyesSTL25
64Ian AndersonATL21
65Lance LynnTEX32
66Logan GilbertSEA23
67German MarquezCOL25
68David PriceLAD34
69Grayson RodriguezBAL20
70Sixto SanchezMIA21
71Sandy AlcantaraMIA24
72Mitch KellerPIT24
73Caleb SmithMIA28
74Tarik SkubalDET22
75Lance McCullersHOU26
76Mike FoltynewiczATL28
77Jameson TaillonPIT28
78Carlos MartinezSTL28
79Mike MinorTEX32
80Shane BazTB20
81Marcus StromanNYM28
82Domingo GermanNYY27
83Aaron CivaleCLE24
84Kyle WrightATL24
85Joe MusgrovePIT27
86Josh JamesHOU27
87Brailyn MarquezCHC21
88Jake OdorizziMIN30
89Masahiro TanakaNYY31
90DL HallBAL21
91Joey LucchesiSD26
92Steven MatzNYM28
93Clarke SchmidtNYY24
94Jon GrayCOL28
95Daniel LynchKC23
96Anthony DeSclafaniCIN30
97Josiah GrayLAD22
98Ethan HankinsCLE20
99Dallas KeuchelCWS32
100Brusdar GraterolLAD21

Media Credit: Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire, Lance Brozdowski, Baseball Savant,

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2018/2019 and we’re not slowing down in 2020! With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at

  1. simon says

    fantastic article

    1. Eric Cross says

      Thank you!

  2. George S Pascoe says

    I was surprised you left Edward Cabrera off the list and included Sixto Sanchez I thought they were very close with some experts giving the edge to Cabrera.

    1. Eric Cross says

      They are fairly close and Cabrera didn’t miss making this by much. I’m more confident in Sixto now after putting the elbow inflammation behind him.

  3. John says

    Who in the bottom 20 has the best chance to vault up into the top 20? Marquez for me but curious your thoughts there. Easiest path and potentially great stuff if he can harness it.

    1. Eric Cross says

      Marquez, Wright, Baz stand out. Darkhorse: Musgrove.

  4. Shane McClanahan says

    Great list, much appreciated!

    Wondering when you think we’ll see McClanahan making it to the show…& how far off is he from guys like Lynch/Gray/Hankins?

    1. Eric Cross says

      Probably 2022 on McClanahan, and he’s not far off at all. Wasn’t too far behind those guys in my rankings.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.