Updated 2015 Fantasy Rankings: Starting Pitchers: #1-20 (Tiered)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know that there is a risk in selecting starting pitchers early, given the seemingly endless injury reports (how do those who drafted early and selected Yu Darvish feel).  Lucky for fantasy owners the position is as deep as it has ever been.  Who is the best available?  Who are we steering clear of?  Let’s take a look at how our rankings currently look:

 

Tier 1:
1. Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers

Tier 2:
2. Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
3. Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
4. David Price – Detroit Tigers
5. Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
6. Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals
7. Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
8. Jeff Samardzija – Chicago White Sox
9. Jon Lester – Chicago Cubs
10. Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
11. Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies

Tier 3:
12. Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners
13. Alex Wood – Atlanta Braves
14. Tyson Ross – San Diego Padres
15. Julio Teheran – Atlanta Braves

Tier 4:
16. Zack Greinke – Los Angeles Dodgers
17. Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals
18. Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
19. Jordan Zimmermann – Washington Nationals
20. Carlos Carrasco – Cleveland Indians
(This tier continues…)

Thoughts:

  • The concern with Jeff Samardzija is moving to Chicago, where home runs could be plentiful.  This spring he’s allowed 8 HR over 17.1 IP, just making those concerns grow.  He’s never had home run issues before (0.94 HR/9), has matured into one of the better strikeout pitchers in the game (8.28 K/9 in ’14, but a 10.9% SwStr% and 34.0% O-Swing% indicate a bit more) and he took a significant step forward in his control in 2014 (1.76 BB/9).  Don’t let the poor spring cause you to drop him down your draft board.
  • Chris Sale is going to miss time early this season, so it may look odd still seeing him ranked #10 and in the second tier.  However if he were healthy he would’ve been in the Top 5 and is only expected to miss a handful of starts (at most).  Don’t send him spiraling too far.
  • Tier 3 is an extremely intriguing group, and one you likely can target after many of the Tier 4 starters come off the board.  That means value on draft day.  The most valuable may be Hisashi Iwakuma, and we recently took a closer look at him to try and determine if he was an underappreciated fantasy ace.  Make sure to check out that article by clicking here.
  • Surprised to see Adam Wainwright sitting in Tier 4?  We took a look at his consistently inflated line drive rate recently, which has been at 23% or higher in each of the past three seasons, so make sure to check that out by clicking here.

Make sure to check out all of our 2015 rankings:

*** Make sure to order Rotoprofessor’s 2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guidel!  The guide comes complete with projections of over 600 players, expended rankings, sleepers, Top 50 prospects, Top 40 “New” dynasty prospects and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day). For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league! For more information and to place your order, click here. ***

5 comments

  1. Bill says:

    Where is Cueto?

  2. Ted Striker says:

    Not a believer in Arrieta? Loving him this year.

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Bill – Cueto is #21. I’m not a believer in him replicating last season’s success, as I talked about at http://rotoprofessor.com/baseball/?p=24901

    Ted Striker – I’m actually a big believer in Arrieta (though more as a SP3), but I can’t justify pushing him into the Top 20. It just goes to show you how deep SP is this season.

  4. Jay says:

    Samardzija over Sale? Really?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I was being cautious with Sale’s injury (prior to the injury I think he was #3). If he’s only going to miss one start, as may be possible, he jumps back up to the Top 5.

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