Welcome to the first edition of our Top 50 Starting Pitchers of the Week series for 2023. Each week, we’ll review the upcoming slate and rank the starters based on their ability, matchups, and the number of starts they have scheduled. We’re starting with Week 2, which is a bit confusing as Week 1 was only four days long, and some platforms merged them together. Thus, to clarify, these rankings are for the week of Monday, April 3, through Sunday, April 9.
Before we jump into the fun stuff, let’s note a few things. First, schedules change. Justin Verlander (SP – NYM) never made his scheduled start on Friday as he was a late addition to the IL. Max Fried (SP – ATL) injured himself in Thursday’s opener and won’t make his second start, originally scheduled for Wednesday, April 5. It’s a good practice to double-check the Pitcher Planner before setting your weekly lineup, just in case something changes.
Second, how valuable two-start pitchers are in weekly formats varies. In a traditional 5×5 weekly league, getting two starts out of a pitcher is a significant advantage, as it can pad your strikeout totals and gives you a better chance at a win. However, ERA and WHIP aren’t always helped by two starts, so two starts shouldn’t guarantee an automatic spot in your lineup. We significantly boost two-start starters in our rankings but don’t go crazy with it.
Last, as the season just began a few days ago, we’ll rely on the preseason Expert Consensus Rankings as our starting point, tweaking it for this week’s matchups. We won’t continue this practice as the season wears on, and we have more 2023 data points at our disposal, like YTD stats and ROS rankings.
- Weekly Trade Value Chart
- Weekly Waiver Wire Advice
- MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet
- Weekly Fantasy Baseball Content
Let’s jump into next week’s rankings with that out of the way. The full 50-pitcher table is below, but here are a couple worth highlighting:
Most Enticing Two-Start Starters
Drew Rasmussen (SP – TB) not only gets two starts next week but also faces two of the league’s worst offenses in Washington and Oakland. Michael Kopech (SP – CWS) and Carlos Carrasco (SP – NYM) also have juicy schedules. Kopech gets San Francisco at home and Pittsburgh on the road. Carrasco will face Milwaukee on the road and Miami in New York.
Scariest Two-Start Starters
Freddy Peralta (SP – MIL) has a two-start week, which could lead to a ton of strikeouts, given his ability to miss bats. However, he’ll face the Mets and Cardinals, which isn’t ideal. Charlie Morton (SP – ATL) may also keep you restless as his two starts come in St. Louis and at home against the Padres.
Best Matchups for Pitchers with One Start
Shane McClanahan (SP – TB) gets the Nationals in Washington, while his teammate, Jeffrey Springs (SP, RP – TB), will face Oakland at home. It could be a nice week for the Rays. Shane Bieber (SP – CLE) also faces the A’s, this time in Oakland, which may be even better. Meanwhile, Lucas Giolito (SP – CWS) will square off against the Pirates in Pittsburgh, and Pablo Lopez (SP – MIN) will seek revenge against the Marlins in Miami.
Worst Matchups for Pitchers with One Start
You’re starting Corbin Burnes (SP – MIL) regardless, but you don’t love him having to face the Mets after a lackluster Opening Day. Spencer Strider (SP, RP – SD) will go against the Padres’ new lineup, but at least Fernando Tatis Jr. (OF, SS – SD) won’t be active yet. Blake Snell (SP – SD), who couldn’t get through the fifth inning in the opener, will have a tough time getting right against the Braves in Atlanta. In Minneapolis, Joe Ryan (SP – MIN) will square off against the Astros, albeit without Jose Altuve (2B – HOU).
|1||Shohei Ohtani (SP, DH – LAA)||@SEA|
|2||Gerrit Cole (SP – NYY)||PHI|
|3||Corbin Burnes (SP – MIL)||NYM|
|4||Shane McClanahan (SP – TB)||@WSH|
|5||Sandy Alcantara (SP – MIA)||MIN|
|6||Aaron Nola (SP – PHI)||@NYY|
|7||Max Scherzer (SP – NYM)||@MIL|
|8||Jacob deGrom (SP – TEX)||BAL|
|9||Shane Bieber (SP – CLE)||@OAK|
|10||Spencer Strider (SP, RP – ATL)||SD|
|11||George Kirby (SP – SEA)||LAA, @CLE (two starts)|
|12||Nestor Cortes Jr. (SP – NYY)||PHI, @BAL (two starts)|
|13||Zack Wheeler (SP – PHI)||CIN|
|14||Brandon Woodruff (SP – MIL)||STL|
|15||Dylan Cease (SP – CWS)||SF|
|16||Kevin Gausman (SP – TOR)||@KC|
|17||Julio Urias (SP – LAD)||COL|
|18||Luis Castillo (SP – SEA)||LAA|
|19||Alek Manoah (SP – TOR)||@KC|
|20||Framber Valdez (SP – HOU)||DET|
|21||Yu Darvish (SP – SD)||ARI|
|22||Freddy Peralta (SP – MIL)||NYM, STL (two starts)|
|23||Drew Rasmussen (SP – TB)||@WSH, OAK|
|24||Zac Gallen (SP – ARI)||@SD|
|25||Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD)||@ARI|
|26||Charlie Morton (SP – ATL)||@STL|
|27||Logan Webb (SP – SF)||@CWS|
|28||Hunter Greene (SP – CIN)||CHC|
|29||Logan Gilbert (SP – SEA)||@CLE|
|30||Lance Lynn (SP – CWS)||SF|
|31||Brady Singer (SP – KC)||TOR, @SF|
|32||Blake Snell (SP – SD)||@ATL|
|33||Jon Gray (SP – TEX)||@CHC|
|34||Lucas Giolito (SP – CWS)||@PIT|
|35||Reid Detmers (SP – LAA)||@SEA, TOR (two starts)|
|36||Chris Sale (SP – BOS)||@DET|
|37||Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN)||@PHI|
|38||Jeffrey Springs (SP,RP – TB)||OAK|
|39||Pablo Lopez (SP – MIN)||@MIA|
|40||Joe Ryan (SP – MIN)||HOU|
|41||Jesus Luzardo (SP – MIA)||MIN|
|42||Jose Berrios (SP – TOR)||@KC, @LAA (two starts)|
|43||Dustin May (SP – LAD)||@ARI|
|44||Jordan Montgomery (SP – STL)||@MIL|
|45||Chris Bassitt (SP – TOR)||@LAA|
|46||Tyler Mahle (SP – MIN)||@MIA, HOU|
|47||Hunter Brown (SP, RP – HOU)||DET, @MIN (two starts)|
|48||Carlos Carrasco (SP – NYM)||@MIL, MIA (two starts)|
|49||Luis Garcia (SP – HOU)||@MIN|
|50||Michael Kopech (SP – CWS)||SF, @PIT (two starts)|
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