Updated 2015 Fantasy Rankings: Starting Pitchers: #21-40 (Tiered)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Earlier today we looked at our Top 20 starting pitcher rankings, talking about how deep the position is this season.  As we look at the next 20 names on our rankings that becomes even more abundantly clear:


Tier 4 (continued):
21. Johnny Cueto – Cincinnati Reds
22. Masahiro Tanaka – New York Yankees
23. Matt Harvey – New York Mets

Tier 5:
24. Jacob deGrom – New York Mets
25. Sonny Gray – Oakland A’s
26. James Shields – San Diego Padres
27. Garrett Richards – Los Angeles Angels
28. Doug Fister – Washington Nationals
29. Drew Hutchison – Toronto Blue Jays
30. Alex Cobb – Tampa Bay Rays
31. Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs

Tier 6:
32. Anibal Sanchez – Detroit Tigers
33. Michael Wacha – St. Louis Cardinals
34. Gerrit Cole – Pittsburgh Pirates
35. Wily Peralta – Milwaukee Brewers
36. Lance Lynn – St. Louis Cardinals
37. Derek Holland – Texas Rangers
38. Yordano Ventura – Kansas City Royals
39. Brandon McCarthy – Los Angeles Dodgers
40. John Lackey – St. Louis Cardinals


  • Tier 6 actually includes seven more pitchers, further showing the current depth at the position.
  • A lot of people feel Johnny Cueto should be ranked significantly higher than this, especially after his elite performance in 2014.  However there’s a good chance that his strikeouts regress (8.94 K/9 in ’14, 7.41 for his career as well as a 9.8% SwStr% in ’14) and he benefitted from significant luck (.238 BABIP, 82.5% strand rate).  For an in-depth look at Cueto, click here.
  • We all know that Masahiro Tanaka and Matt Harvey have the upside of Tier 2 starters, but both carry a bit of risk (Tanaka feels like a ticking time bomb and Harvey is going to be limited after missing 2014 due to Tommy John surgery).
  • Both Garrett Richards and Alex Cobb are going to miss the start of the season, but both would’ve likely been in Tier 3 had they been healthy and are only expected to miss a handful of starts.  As their price drops their value becomes too alluring to ignore.
  • Is there a chance of Drew Hutchison developing into a Top 25 starter?  Absolutely, and you can find out why we feel that way be clicking here.
  • Early in the offseason we looked at Wily Peralta, who’s 17 W put him on the map but he’s significantly more than that.  To find out why he’s one of our favorites click here.
  • Derek Holland feels like a forgotten option, doesn’t he?  He pitched just 37.0 innings last season due to injury, but don’t forget that he posted a 3.42 ERA and 1.29 WHIP back in ’13 and is going to come at little cost.  He’s well worth the gamble.  For a more detailed look at him, click 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. ***


  1. Steve says:

    I would like to hear your opinion on an SP question. Who would/do you value more in a points league, Mike Fiers or Carlos Martinez (who can be plugged into RP)?

    Thank you very much!!

  2. M says:

    Why is Cashner not on this list?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Until he proves otherwise he’s a pitcher we can only trust when starting at home:

      Home – 1.43
      Road – 4.31

      Home – 2.39
      Road – 4.16

      He’s also injury prone and has seen his strikeouts regress (whether it’s intentional for better control or not)

  3. JJ says:

    I think Jose Fernandez can regain top 30, if not top 15 value when he finds his stride after couple starts in June.

    First year after Tommy John is always tricky, but if Harvey is ranked as high as 23rd on your list, I think Fernandez deserves consideration for his potentials. After all, he was a top 5 pitcher before going down. Recent casualties of TJ like Strasburg, Wainwright or Zimmermann all did pretty well the first year coming back from it.

  4. Greg says:

    Archer? Jose Fernandez? Fiers? Tillman? Thoughts please. 🙂

    While were at it, please rate my team in 14 team h2h. Yes, I need to find closers at some point…but we all know that in 2 mos. at least 5 will be new….

    C: Yan Gomes (saw your caution, should have read beforehand)
    1B: M. Cabrera
    2B: M. Betts
    3B: Longoria
    SS: Desmond
    OF: Springer
    OF: Calhoun
    OF: Cuddyer
    UT: Eaton
    UT: Pollack
    SP: DeGrom
    SP: Wacha
    SP: Archer
    SP: Fiers
    SP: Hahn
    SP: Pomeranz
    SP: Tillman
    SP: Jose Fernandez (will move to DL)
    RP: McGee
    RP: Familia

    Planning to move McGee/Fernandez to DL for Cron and Mujica when they open it up. I took flyers on pitchers who showed flashes of dominance in short stints last year (Fiers, Pomeranz, Hahn). We’ll see. So…any thoughts on where to improve? Not much left. 14 team league. I am thinking of getting Soria (behind Nathan) and wait for Nathan’s doom….I think it’s pretty solid though you have me doubting Yan Gomes now… ha.

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    JJ – Fernandez falls short because of the missed time and no guarantee he’s ready for June. He could be a great asset in the 2nd half, but Harvey is ready for Week 1. That’s the difference.

    Greg – Luckily pitching is deep, because you did take a lot of risks (but have a good offense because of it). Like you said, you should be able to find closers, but monitor the starters market as well (I’m sure there will be guys who come up before long). As for Gomes, if he stumbles I’m sure you’ll be able to replace him easily enough in a one-catcher league (Bethancourt, Iannetta, etc.), but he should be a useful option. I just don’t think he’s going to live up to the draft day cost.

  6. Sawyer says:

    Thanks for the great analysis as always. Couple questions.

    Why is Anibal ranked so low?

    Do you have any thoughts on Zach McAllister? He has added 4 MPH to his fastball, and his spring results are significant. I’d love to see a full analysis on him.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      In regards to Sanchez, it’s the likely limited strikeouts (it’s hard to buy into his elevated ’13 mark) that keeps him down. Still, he’s a solid SP3 and one that I’d love to own (and do in a few leagues).

      As for McAllister, it’s hard to put much stock in his spring numbers (as it is for anyone). I’ll dig into him this week, though, and we’ll have a full analysis in the coming days!

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