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Starting Pitchers to Target & Avoid at ADP (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Starting Pitchers to Target & Avoid at ADP (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

As you prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts, figuring out who you want to target in drafts and who you want to avoid is important. Culling your draft list is crucial to make it go seamlessly.

Starting pitching is extremely deep this year which is great for fantasy, but there are some that seem too good to be true and others that are inexplicably cheaper than they should be. Here are my picks for starting pitchers to target and avoid at the first base position in 2023.

Starting Pitchers to Target/Avoid at ADP

Targets

Alek Manoah (SP – TOR): ADP 67.65

In his second season as a Major Leaguer, Manoa posted 196.2 innings of a 2.24 ERA and .99 WHIP with 16 wins and 180 strikeouts. He was top 10 in innings pitched and top 20 in total strikeouts. He has plus command and very good stuff. While the strikeout rate dipped, his ability to pitch so many innings allows him to volume his way to great overall strikeout numbers, and he is on a team that is going to win a ton of games for him. He is one of my most rostered pitchers this year.

Zac Gallen (SP – ARI): ADP 71.23

Gallen was fantastic in 2022, throwing 184 innings with a 2.54 ERA with a .91 WHIP, 192 strikeouts, and 12 wins. He has great command and stuff with all four of his pitches. I think the fact he pitches in Arizona has hidden him from getting too much hype, but Arizona is on the cusp of a breakout as a team with a lot of young up-and-coming talent. He is my NL Cy Young prediction.

Kyle Bradish (SP – BAL): ADP 329.07

Bradish is quickly becoming a trendy sleeper for deeper leagues, but those of you in shallower formats should begin to take notice as well. He has great stuff with average command and a fantastic home park to pitch in. After a pitch mix change in the second half, he posted a 3.28 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 65 strikeouts in 71.1 innings. He is still extremely cheap and a nice gamble if he can keep the gains we saw at the end of last year.

Jose Suarez (SP – LAA): ADP 356.81

Suarez also made a pitch mix change in the second half of 2022, throwing his slider more, and it resulted in a breakout. He threw 64 innings in the second half with a 2.81 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, and 58 strikeouts. He has great command and good stuff, and as long as he continues with the slider-heavy approach, he could maintain a lot of his gains from 2022.

Avoids

Dylan Cease (SP – CWS): ADP 43.54

Cease was fantastic in 2022, so why am I fading him? The main reason is his lack of control and command. He has less-than-average command and poor control. This becomes a huge issue that is amplified by the fact he is a two-pitch pitcher. When he loses the feel for a pitch in a start, he can get hit around, as we saw in his most recent Spring Training start. He is also a negative in WHIP, which, when you’re drafting a starting pitcher as high as you have to with Cease, you expect to not have him actively hurt you in a category.

Tyler Glasnow (SP – TB): ADP 104.23

I know some might say that this is an easy call, but I was already fading Glasnow prior to the oblique injury. Glasnow is a fantastic pitcher on a per-inning basis. However, he has not been able to stay healthy for an entire season in his career. The most innings he has ever thrown in a season is 111.2, and that was back in 2018. He only threw 6.2 innings last season coming off of Tommy John surgery, so it is hard to expect him to throw a complete workload, to begin with. Now he’s already starting off the season with an injury, so I am completely taking him off of my draft list.

Hunter Greene (SP – CIN): ADP 107.84 and Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN): ADP 132.00

Greene and Lodolo are huge targets for a lot of people in the industry as they are young arms that flashed huge potential late in the season last year. However, they both have the same red flags. They do not have great WHIPs because of their walk rates. They also will struggle with wins with how bad the Reds look like they are going to be. I do also worry about home runs in Great American Ballpark. If I am going to gamble on one of them, it is Greene, whose stuff is just off the charts. There are too many red flags for me to pay their current prices.


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