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Top 50 Starting Pitcher Rankings: Week 6 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Top 50 Starting Pitcher Rankings: Week 6 (2023 Fantasy Baseball)

Starters are hitting the IL at break-neck speed, but we must venture on as we approach Week 6 of the MLB season. For those new to this series, we review the upcoming slate every Friday and create a ranking for the Top-50 starters based on their ability, matchups and number of scheduled starts. Today’s ranks are for the week of Monday, May 8 through Sunday, May 14.

Top 50 Starting Pitcher Rankings: Week 6

As always, our planning starts with the Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and is adjusted based on the Pitcher Planner. As rotations change frequently, double-check the planner before setting your lineup. The complete top 50 is below, but first, let’s review some of the best and worst matchups on paper next week.

Two-Start Starters with the Best Matchups

Fourteen pitchers in our Top 50 have two starts next week, including five of the first six. If Zac Gallen (SP – ARI) is on your roster, you’re likely licking your chops at the prospect of Miami and San Francisco at home next week. Max Scherzer (SP – NYM) also has two juicy matchups against the Reds and Nationals, though both are on the road, and he got lit up in his last start. Rangers’ teammates Andrew Heaney (SP – TEX) and Jon Gray (SP – TEX) will get to face Seattle and Oakland on the road, propelling them up the list.

Two-Start Starters with the Best Matchups

There aren’t two terrible matchups, but the Rays’ duo of Shane McClanahan (SP – TB) and Zach Eflin (SP,RP – TB) have to travel to Baltimore and face the Yanks in the Bronx, which is not ideal. McClanahan is so good he still ranks first on the list, but you could make a case for Gallen at number one.

Two-Start Starters with Mixed Matchups

Two-start starters are often saddled with one good and one not-so-good matchup. That’s the case with four of our Top 50 this week, beginning with the White Sox tandem of Dylan Cease (SP – CWS) and Lucas Giolito (SP – CWS), who start the week at the Royals before facing the Astros at home. Nestor Cortes Jr. (SP – NYY) gets two home games next week. The first is against one of the worst offenses in the league in the A’s. The second is against the Rays, who continue to crush it. The Brewers are also at home next week, and Freddy Peralta (SP – MIL) will start off against the Dodgers before getting the Royals on the weekend.

Best Matchups for Solo-Start Starters

Among the pitchers with only one scheduled start, Corbin Burnes (SP – MIL), Shane Bieber (SP – CLE), Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN) and Lance Lynn (SP – CWS) have the best matchups on paper. Burnes will take on the Royals in Milwaukee, while Bieber hosts the Tigers. Lodolo, who has struggled recently, couldn’t ask for much more than the Marlins in Miami. Lynn has had a tough start to the season but is generating strikeouts and will face the Royals in Kansas City next week.

Worst Matchups for Solo-Start Starters

On the flip side, several hurlers face a difficult opponent next week. Gerrit Cole (SP – NYY) will take on the red-hot Rays in the Bronx, while Spencer Strider (SP,RP – ATL) and Max Fried (SP – ATL) travel to Toronto to face the Blue Jays. Aaron Nola (SP – PHI) also has a date with the Jays, though his will be in Philadelphia. His teammate, Zack Wheeler (SP – PHI), won’t face the Jays but gets to twirl in the thin Denver air. The Padres’ Yu Darvish (SP – SD) and Blake Snell (SP – SD) will take on the Dodgers in Chavez Ravine, where L.A. has been tough this year. Last, we have Chris Bassitt (SP – TOR), who almost dropped out of the Top 50 as he’ll have to face the Braves in Toronto.

Rank Player Matchup(s)
1 Shane McClanahan @BAL, @NYY (two starts)
2 Zac Gallen MIA, SF (two starts)
3 Max Scherzer @CIN, @WSH (two starts)
4 Dylan Cease @KC, HOU (two starts)
5 Corbin Burnes KC
6 Framber Valdez (SP – HOU) @LAA, @CWS (two starts)
7 Gerrit Cole TB
8 Sandy Alcantara (SP – MIA) CIN
9 Spencer Strider @TOR
10 Shohei Ohtani (SP,DH – LAA) HOU
11 Luis Castillo (SP – SEA) TEX
12 Logan Webb (SP – SF) WSH, @ARI (two starts)
13 Nestor Cortes Jr. OAK, TB (two starts)
14 Shane Bieber DET
15 Aaron Nola TOR
16 Kevin Gausman (SP – TOR) @PHI
17 Logan Gilbert (SP – SEA) TEX, @DET (two starts)
18 Julio Urias (SP – LAD) SD
19 Zack Wheeler @COL
20 Freddy Peralta LAD, KC (two starts)
21 Cristian Javier (SP,RP – HOU) @LAA
22 Justin Verlander (SP – NYM) @CIN
23 Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD) @MIL
24 Joe Ryan (SP – MIN) CHC
25 Max Fried @TOR
26 Yu Darvish @LAD
27 Lucas Giolito @KC, HOU (two starts)
28 Alek Manoah (SP – TOR) @PHI
29 Andrew Heaney @SEA, @OAK (two starts)
30 Pablo Lopez (SP – MIN) SD
31 Joe Musgrove (SP – SD) @MIN
32 George Kirby (SP – SEA) TEX
33 Drew Rasmussen (SP – TB) @NYY
34 Jon Gray @SEA, @OAK (two starts)
35 Hunter Greene (SP – CIN) NYM
36 Nick Lodolo @MIA
37 Marcus Stroman (SP – CHC) STL, @MIN (two starts)
38 Charlie Morton (SP – ATL) BOS
39 Jordan Montgomery (SP – STL) @CHC
40 Lance Lynn @KC
41 Blake Snell @LAD
42 Sonny Gray (SP – MIN) CHC
43 Chris Sale (SP – BOS) STL
44 Alex Cobb (SP – SF) @ARI
45 Dustin May (SP – LAD) SD
46 Chris Bassitt ATL
47 Jesus Luzardo (SP – MIA) @ARI
48 Zach Eflin @BAL, @NYY (two starts)
49 Hunter Brown (SP,RP – HOU) @CWS
50 Justin Steele (SP – CHC) STL


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