Updated 2017 Rankings: Top 40 Starting Pitchers #1-20: How Do The Injuries Impact The Rankings?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It certainly feels like the risk of injury is higher with a starting pitcher than with other positions, doesn’t it?  While they have avoided significant injury, thus far, there have been concerns about many of the elite in the game already and the 2017 season hasn’t even started yet.  How have our rankings been impacted?  Let’s take a look:

1) Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
2) Max Scherzer – Washington Nationals
3) Noah Syndergaard – New York Mets
4) Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
5) Chris Sale – Boston Red Sox
6) Corey Kluber – Cleveland Indians
7) Carlos Carrasco – Cleveland Indians
8) Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers
9) Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs
10) Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals
11) Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays
12) Jon Lester – Chicago Cubs
13) Masahiro Tanaka – New York Yankees
14) Carlos Martinez – St. Louis Cardinals
15) Kyle Hendricks – Chicago Cubs
16) Johnny Cueto – San Francisco Giants
17) Jacob deGrom – New York Mets
18) Dallas Keuchel – Houston Astros
19) David Price – Boston Red Sox
20) James Paxton – Seattle Mariner0073


  • There had been concerns regarding the health of Max Scherzer, and while it still could be an issue for now owners he appears to be in the clear. He may not start on Opening Day, but he’s not going to miss time and remains one of the elite in the game.
  • Another starter who faced an injury scare was Carlos Carrasco, who dealt with an elbow issue recently. He’s not completely out of the woods, but reports have him back on the mound and throwing without an issue.  That should mean little missed time, if any, for a pitcher who brings strikeouts, control and should improve on the home runs he allowed.  Consider him well worth buying in all formats.
  • David Price gave owners quite a scare, though it appears that he’s avoided serious injury. He’s still going to miss time, though, and does need to drop down the rankings accordingly (and he could fall out of the Top 20 if bad news hits).
  • Pitchers like Dallas Keuchel, Jacob deGrom and Chris Archer are coming off somewhat disappointing seasons, but that makes them ideal buy low candidates as opposed to pitchers to avoid. Keuchel in particular is a pitcher you shouldn’t have to utilize a Top 20 starter pick to acquire, but he should return to that type of level.
  • Surprised to see James Paxton sneak into the Top 20? He showed the three skills we look for last season (8.70 K/9, 1.79 BB/9, 48.1% groundball rate), and there’s significantly more upside in the strikeout rate.  His issues last season were based on luck (.347 BABIP, 66.3% strand rate), not talent, and he’s a must buy in all formats.

*** Order Rotoprofessor’s 2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for Just $7.00 By Clicking Here!!   Not only will you get all the help you need to dominate your fantasy draft, but you will also be entered to win a Noah Syndergaard autographed baseball, complete with “Thor” inscription! ***

Make sure to check out our other 2017 Rankings:

Standard League
OBP League
First Base01/16/1703/07/17
Second Base03/22/1703/09/17
Third Base02/06/1703/12/17
Outfield#1-20 |03/16/17

#21-40 |03/16/17
Starting Pitcher#1-20 |02/27/17

#21-40 |03/02/17
Relief Pitcher01/02/17--


  1. Carlito says:

    Nola or Ray?

  2. Shaggy says:

    Watch out for Smyly. If he brings down the HRs allowed…yow. 🙂

  3. Sawyer says:

    Velasquez not in the top 40?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      The strikeouts are nice, but I have a ton of questions:

      1) Can he keep down the home runs?
      2) What will happen when the luck regresses?

      Outside of the strikeouts, he’s a risky option

  4. MJ says:

    The only reasonIwon’t draft Paxton (let alone consoder him a top 20), is health. I don’t trust he can pitch 100 innings.

  5. Bunker says:

    Where would you rank Porcello? I do not think he is the best (or even 2nd best) pitcher on the Red Sox.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He’s just outside of the Top 40. I’m not the biggest believer in him and doubt I’ll own him anywhere this season

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