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Top 50 Starting Pitchers Rankings: Week 1 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Top 50 Starting Pitchers Rankings: Week 1 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

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.

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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).

Rank Player Matchup(s)
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)

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.

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