2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: SPSporting News — (Matt Lutovsky)
Let's face it -- we all know these starting pitcher rankings are going to be hilariously wrong when we look back at the end of the year. Injuries will ruin some seasons (and fantasy baseball teams); good batted-ball luck will create some ERA and WHP sleepers; run support will play a major role in wins; top prospects will disappoint, middling prospects will have hot stretches, and the cycle will begin anew next year. Trying to compile SP rankings is almost as futile as trying to put together RP rankings, but your draft cheat sheet isn't complete without them...so here they are.
Fortunately, there's no shortage of options. As strikeouts rise across the league, more pitchers will have value. Of course, homers are also rising, which means pitchers who can keep their ERAs down will be at a premium. That's a tough stat to predict because of the aforementioned batted-ball luck, so looking at HR-rates, BB-rates, and ground-ball rates in addition to K-rates will take on added importance.
The top of the rankings doesn't feature many surprises. You can toss them up and put them in whatever order you'd like, but they should all be solid unless injuries strike. Chris Sale, Noah Syndergaard, and Clayton Kershaw are perhaps the biggest risks, but we all know arm problems can arise for anyone at any time, especially young starters.
Perhaps the biggest question with SPs is not who to draft but when to draft them. It's tough to spend a first-round pick on a guy who is inherently riskier than a position player and can only help four categories as opposed to five, but it's likely at least one or two pitchers will come off the board in the first round of your draft. A few more will go in the second, and after that, it's anything goes.
As with OF, you can almost always find a pitcher worth considering, so going with multiple pitchers in the first few rounds feels like an unnecessary risk, but you can make anything work as long as you're willing to work the waiver wire once the season starts.
DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 cheat sheet
Fantasy Baseball Rankings: SP
These rankings are for standard 5x5, non-keeper leagues. Eligibility based on Yahoo default settings.
* = Not eligible at SP on draft day but expected to be early in the season
|2||Chris Sale||Red Sox|
|30||David Price||Red Sox|
|33||Eduardo Rodriguez||Red Sox|
|37||Rick Porcello||Red Sox|
|53||Nathan Eovaldi||Red Sox|
|92||Reynaldo Lopez||White Sox|
|97||Marcus Stroman||Blue Jays|
|98||Aaron Sanchez||Blue Jays|
|99||Carlos Rodon||White Sox|
|110||Lucas Giolito||White Sox|
|114||Ryan Borucki||Blue Jays|
|119||Ivan Nova||White Sox|
|125||Matt Shoemaker||Blue Jays|