2023 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings: Pitchers
The 2023 fantasy baseball season will be here before we know it. That means it’s time for you to prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts. Beyond our draft prep articles and mock draft simulator, we will have you covered with 2023 fantasy baseball rankings. You can find our updated 2023 fantasy baseball expert consensus rankings here. And below you’ll find rankings from our analysts to help you prepare for the 2023 fantasy baseball season.
Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings & Advice
The Brewers took the training wheels off for Corbin Burnes in 2022, allowing him to throw 202 innings after only 167 the year before. The 28-year-old didn’t disappoint, striking out 243 batters while feasting on the free-swinging NL Central batters. Some fatigue appeared to set in following the All-Star Break, but overall, his numbers remained elite, with an xFIP of 2.85, a K/9 of 10.83, and a WHIP of 0.97. With no clear-cut SP1 in fantasy this season, Burnes is a solid choice, as he will buoy your pitching categories while pitching in front of a Top 10 defensive team.
In 2022, Sandy Alcantara had Jacob deGrom on speed dial to discuss coping strategies for receiving little to no run support during a dominant pitching season. He had nine NDs, giving up an average of 1.5 earned runs while pitching more than six innings in all but one. Beyond that, Alcantara threw 228 innings with a 2.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 207 strikeouts, winning the NL Cy Young with all 30 first-place votes. The 27-year-old demonstrated an easy delivery, and the Marlins demonstrated comfort in letting him go deep into ballgames. The concerns with Alcantara are related to over-drafting him coming off his career year and an xFIP that was an entire run above his ERA. He does not overpower hitters, but they struggle to make good contact against his three-pitch mix. He deserves a high draft pick – just recognize some slight regression may be on the horizon.
Kevin Gausman is an interesting case study of how surface and underlying stats can do weird things. In 2021, he had a 2.81 ERA but a 3.28 xFIP; in 2022, it was a 3.35 ERA and 2.75 xFIP. The difference lay entirely in his BABIP, which did its expected jump from an impossible .274 to an outrageous .363. Gausman throws his split-finger fastball almost 35% of the time, which is his best pitch but also the one that can lead to this type of BABIP jump. All of that is to say that the 31-year-old cannot be counted on for exceptional, ace-like numbers. Still, he will be a solid SP2 in any fantasy team rotation, giving you strikeouts and protecting your ratios, but the variance will always play into his overall numbers.
Beyond our fantasy baseball content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – that optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball draft season.
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