Skip to main content

2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (AL)

Expert Consensus Ranking (24 of 27 Experts) -

Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Shohei Ohtani (LAA - SP,DH) 6 7.0 +1.0
This is your annual reminder to ensure you know how Shohei Ohtani's pitcher/hitter eligibility is treated in your league(s), as it can make a world of difference in fantasy value. What it will not make a difference in, however, is his incredible talent on the field. His fifth season in MLB saw a slight decline in hitting stats (34 HR, 95 RBI, .273/.356/.519) (and yes, that was a decline). However, he threw 166 innings, struck out 219 batters, and maintained a 2.33 ERA and 1.01 WHIP to finish fourth in Cy Young voting. The Angels have stated they plan to pitch Ohtani every sixth day as regularly as possible, meaning he could conceivably get 28-30 starts in addition to 600 plate appearances. On top of all of that, he is in his walk year and will be auditioning for what will surely be a huge contract. Yes, he clogs your Utility spot, and it can be frustrating to manage him in weekly leagues where he can only start as one or the other. But if you play on a platform where he is counted as both at all times, he is the fantasy 1.1, no matter who they give the real-life MVP to.
2 Gerrit Cole (NYY - SP) 9 9.0
Gerrit Cole demonstrated some decline in 2022, allowing 1.48 HR/9 on his way to a 3.50 ERA and a career-high total in homers allowed with 33. There is your knock on the 32-year-old. The rest of his numbers remained stellar. He led the league in strikeouts with 257 of them in 200 2/3 innings, kept his WHIP at 1.02, and carried an xFIP of 2.77, meaning his ratios were slightly inflated. On top of that, the Yankees led MLB in team defensive runs saved, so anything FIP doesn't take into consideration should still be positive. Cole will typically pitch into the sixth inning, meaning he qualifies for wins and quality starts more often than not, and the Yankees should win an abundance of games in 2023. He is not the clear-cut SP1 he's been in years past, but he should still be one of the first off the board.
3 Jacob deGrom (TEX - SP) 13 14.0 +1.0
Once again, Jacob deGrom is the pitcher on the board with the wildest range of outcomes possible. If someone could guarantee his health, an argument could be made to take him in the first round. Instead, we have reality, and the reality is that deGrom started only 11 games and pitched 64 1/3 innings, both of which are lower numbers than in the truncated 2020 season. In those 64 innings, he struck out 102 batters using his elite arsenal of pitches. Batters did hit him a little harder when they did make contact, and he had a career-high 1.26 HR/9, but the rest of his Statcast profile still shines bright red. In the offseason, the Texas Rangers handed the 34-year-old a five-year, $185 million contract to anchor their staff. Globe Life Park is a better hitter's park than City Field, but when it comes to deGrom, the only factor that impacts his fantasy value is availability.
4 Shane McClanahan (TB - SP) 15 15.0
Two IL stints in 2022 are the only thing suppressing McClanahan's draft value in 2023. The 25-year-old pitched 166 1/3 innings, struck out 194 batters, and blessed fantasy managers with a 2.54 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. His Statcast page could be the official symbol of Valentine's Day, with the only non-red stat being his fastball spin rate. Because it's the Rays, it's hard to predict how many innings or how deep into ball games they will let him go, but as long as he is healthy, he could anchor a fantasy staff coming out of the fourth or fifth round. Expect a little over 10.0 K/9, an ERA closer to 3, a microscopic WHIP from the third-year player, and the latest entry into the Tampa Bay pitching echelon.
5 Dylan Cease (CWS - SP) 18 16.0 -2.0
Dylan Cease finished second to Justin Verlander for 2022 AL Cy Young and had an outstanding year for a wildly disappointing White Sox team. He threw 184 innings, going 14-8 while striking out 227 batters with an ERA of 2.20 and a WHIP of 1.11. Sounds great for a 27-year-old who could be a fantasy anchor for your pitching staff, right? Well... Underneath that sparkling 2.20 ERA was an xFIP of 3.50 and an extremely low BABIP of .260. These metrics should give you pause as you face the decision to draft him in the 2nd/3rd round of your draft. If he gets his walks and home runs under control, he could live up to that ADP, but be wary of drafting an "if" guy that high.
6 Carlos Rodon (NYY - SP) 21 20.0 -1.0
Carlos Rodon celebrated turning 30 by signing a six-year, $162 million contract with the Yankees, and it's not hard to see why New York was willing to pay him. In 2022, Rodon threw a career-high 178 innings, struck out 237 batters, and ended with a sparkling ERA of 2.88 and WHIP of 1.03. Fantasy players need to note two important things: (1) The change from pitcher-friendly Oracle Park to hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium will have some elevated effect to his ERA; and (2) Beware of drafting an oft-injured pitcher coming off a career year. Rodon is a great pitcher who will help any fantasy staff but don't overpay on draft day.
7 Shane Bieber (CLE - SP) 22 22.0
Shane Bieber traded an elite K% for an elite BB% in 2022, providing fantasy managers with a different type of ace on their pitching staff. He still struck out 198 batters in 200 innings, but his true value was in his 2.88 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. His xERA was 3.51, but his xFIP was 2.98, which is encouraging for 2023. Bieber will not dazzle you with an overpowering fastball, and he occasionally gets lit up by hard contact, but his K/BB ratio of 5.50 will provide a great floor to rely on.
8 Kevin Gausman (TOR - SP) 26 28.0 +2.0
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.
9 Luis Castillo (SEA - SP) 27 29.0 +2.0
Luis Castillo got traded to the Mariners at the deadline last season, moving from the band box that is Great American Ballpark to T-Mobile Park and helping Seattle make the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The 30-year-old pitched 150 innings after beginning the season on the shelf, and his numbers were markedly improved from his 2021 campaign. He struck out 167 batters on his way to a sub-3.00 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. With Castillo, the concern is often that he starts slow, but Seattle may be a perfect location for him to settle in more quickly, as home games in April and May will have a roof option. He would make for a good SP2 on regular 5x5 fantasy teams.
10 Alek Manoah (TOR - SP) 32 24.0 -8.0
The Blue Jays took the training wheels off Alek Manoah, and he responded with 196 2/3 innings of ace-level pitching. His K/9 rate dipped to 8.24, but his BB/9 improved from 3.22 to 2.33. The concern is that his 2.24 ERA was well below his xERA of 3.31 and xFIP of 3.97. Manoah collected 16 wins and, while we can't predict those very well, he did pitch over 6 innings on average, making him a solid pick in QS leagues as well. He is still only 25 years old and should be a durable righty on fantasy staffs in 2023.
11 Cristian Javier (HOU - SP,RP) 36 33.0 -3.0
Cristian Javier began 2022 in the bullpen and then started 25 games, bringing joy to fantasy managers' hearts everywhere. The 25-year-old tossed a 94-mph fastball with a 77-mph curve and mixed in a slider and changeup to create an 11.74 K/9. He struck out 194 batters in 148 2/3 innings and held a 2.54 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. His BABIP and LOB% are both due for regression, and his xFIP was 3.53, so it's important to temper expectations in those departments. All in all, Javier will make a great SP3 with SP2 upside.
12 Framber Valdez (HOU - SP) 37 34.0 -3.0
Framber Valdez became Mr. Quality Start in 2022, tossing 201 1/3 innings in 31 starts for the World Champions. Houston allowed the 29-year-old to go deep into games, and with the departure of Justin Verlander, he slots in as their No. 1 starter. Valdez has more value in fantasy leagues where quality starts are a category because his pitching repertoire lends itself to more groundouts than strikeouts. He is no slouch, though, and will serve as a great SP2 on fantasy rosters.
13 Tyler Glasnow (TB - SP) 45 42.0 -3.0
Tyler Glasnow was having an outstanding season in 2021 before requiring Tommy John surgery. He somehow made it back before the end of the 2022 season, starting two games and looking like the Glasnow of old. The 29-year-old's Steamer projections show a 2.96 xFIP and a K/9 north of 11, and his current ADP is 92. He is a risky SP2 and would be a much safer pick as a third or fourth starter. However, if he stays healthy, he has all the makings of an SP1.
14 Robbie Ray (SEA - SP) 44 41.0 -3.0
Robbie Ray signed a five-year contract with Seattle in 2022 and produced well, even if he didn't live up to his Cy Young numbers. He started 32 games, throwing 189 innings and striking out 212 batters. His ERA made the expected leap up to 3.71, but his BB% stayed in the single digits, meaning he may have repaired his proverbial Achilles heel for good. While he is not an SP1, he carries a lot of good assets as an SP2 for 2023 and can be expected to finish in the general vicinity of 2022's numbers.
15 Triston McKenzie (CLE - SP) 49 38.0 -11.0
Triston McKenzie reduced his BB/9 from 4.35 to 2.07 in 2022, skyrocketing up fantasy rankings and boosting the the pitching staff for any manager who rolled the dice on him. The question becomes what his fourth MLB season will bring. His .237 BABIP is due for some regression, and his xFIP was 3.77. He struck out 191 batters in 191 1/3 innings, with a practically unhittable curveball. He does allow more hard contact than we'd like from an SP1, but he slots in nicely as an SP2/SP3 as long as fantasy managers account for some regression while drafting.
16 Nestor Cortes Jr. (NYY - SP) 52 55.0 +3.0
Nestor Cortes was a gift to fantasy managers who drafted him late in 2022. He started 28 games, throwing 158 1/3 innings, striking out 163 batters, and maintaining a 2.44/0.92 ERA/WHIP. His GB% of 33.5 and LOB% of 82.8 contribute to his excellent ratios. The Yankees were the best team in Defensive Runs Saved, which furthered his effectiveness. He won't come with quite as big of a discount in 2023, but in the tenth round, he is a great SP3.
17 Luis Severino (NYY - SP) 56 59.0 +3.0
Luis Severino returned from Tommy John surgery, and the Yankees applied restraint to his workload early in the season. He then incurred a lat injury that cost him a 60-day IL stint and limited his start count to 19. However, in 102 innings, he struck out 112 batters and carried a 3.18 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. After he returned from the IL, he showed no signs of lingering issues down the stretch. Walks and home runs will always keep Severino from being in that upper echelon of starters, but he has SP1 ability that can be had long after the studs are gone.
18 Logan Gilbert (SEA - SP) 57 50.0 -7.0
Logan Gilbert flashed the goods in 2021 and returned for a great year in 2022. He pitched 185 2/3 innings, striking out 174 batters with a 3.20 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. His Statcast page looks concerning at first, finishing above the 50th percentile in only three categories - extension, fastball velocity, and BB%. Gilbert throws five different pitches, which keeps hitters off balance and allows him to be successful. He will turn 26 in May, and 2023 will show us what kind of long-term fantasy asset he may be. Much like his teammate, George Kirby, Gilbert is a nice SP4 piece you can grab a little later in drafts.
19 George Kirby (SEA - SP) 59 53.0 -6.0
George Kirby arrived in the majors in 2022 and immediately showed off his meticulous control which led to a 6.05 K:BB ratio. The lack of walks is his calling card, even if he gives up hard contact on his four other pitches. Fantasy managers are clamoring for him to develop a second devastating pitch to increase his effectiveness overall. At age 25, Kirby can serve as a great SP3/SP4 for fantasy managers with hope that he will climb the ranks going forward.
20 Lance Lynn (CWS - SP) 69 66.0 -3.0
Lance Lynn suffered a knee injury late in Spring Training that cost him two months of the season. When he returned, it looked like all of the skills that made him so highly sought after had disappeared. He had an unsightly 6.42 ERA heading into August and was getting clobbered by hitters. From August til the end of the season, however, he carried a 2.43 ERA and returned to his low-walk, low-HR self. Lynn is a prime candidate to climb draft boards if he shows out during Spring Training given his history as a workhorse.
21 Joe Ryan (MIN - SP) 70 72.0 +2.0
Joe Ryan emerged as a solid No. 2 starter in Minnesota in 2022, striking out 151 batters in 147 innings, going 13-8 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. His xERA was 3.57 but his xFIP was 4.35. He gives up more HR than fantasy managers would like (1.22 HR/9 last year), but he balances that with a 9.24 K/9 and 2.88 BB/9. The 26-year-old definitely has a place on fantasy rosters and can probably be picked up somewhere in the 13th round.
22 Lucas Giolito (CWS - SP) 72 76.0 +4.0
If you drafted Lucas Giolito in 2022, chances are good you spent a great deal of time debating whether or not to drop him, trade him, or hold. The good news is that he wasn't as bad as his surface numbers. He had an ERA of 4.90 but an xFIP of 3.66. The other news is that his fastball velocity and K% decreased while his BB% increased. Giolito is only 28 years old, and his ADP puts him somewhere around the 13th round. He should be better in 2023, but no promises he will return to his 2019-2021 form.
23 Pablo Lopez (MIN - SP) 76 78.0 +2.0
Pablo Lopez started 32 games for the hapless Marlins in 2022 and threw 180 innings with 174 strikeouts, a 3.75 ERA, and a 1.17 WHIP. He had been the target of many trade rumors at the deadline but stayed put. Instead, he was swapped to the Twins in January, which should result in more wins with a better lineup, though Target Field will play smaller than loanDepot Park in Miami. He is an appealing SP4 for fantasy staffs.
24 Chris Bassitt (TOR - SP) 74 69.0 -5.0
Chris Bassitt is the exact type of high floor/low ceiling starting pitcher that you draft to your roster in a later round and then don't worry about. He isn't going to do anything flashy (8.27 K/9), but he shouldn't do much to harm your numbers. After starting 27 games in 2021 and 30 in 2022, Bassitt can be counted on for 175 solid innings and somewhere in the 3.70/1.18 ERA/WHIP.
25 Chris Sale (BOS - SP) 77 87.0 +10.0
Chris Sale seemed like the most snake-bitten player in baseball last season. He began the year on the 60-day IL with a stress fracture in his ribs. He made his way back in July and pitched 5 2/3 innings before a line drive fractured his pinky finger. While waiting for him to possibly return, he fell off a bike and fractured his wrist, which had to be surgically repaired in the offseason. Behind all of this is the hope that he can return to his 2019 form, which is the last time he made more than 10 starts in a season. The draft discount would have to be huge to take a flier on him, and chances are good that one of your much more hopeful league mates will take him before he reaches that point.
26 Brady Singer (KC - SP) 94 89.0 -5.0
Brady Singer is a 26-year-old unfinished product who flashed some excellent skills in 2022. He started 24 games and threw 153 1/3 innings while maintaining a 3.23 ERA (3.30 xFIP) and 1.14 WHIP. His Statcast leaves a lot to be desired, though he is in the 82nd percentile in BB%. He's another pitcher who will be a nice SP4 or SP5 to add later in drafts to help balance your ratios.
27 Jeffrey Springs (TB - SP,RP) 93 90.0 -3.0
28 Jon Gray (TEX - SP) 95 102.0 +7.0
If Jon Gray had stayed healthy in 2022, he would be going much higher in drafts this year. Instead, he had a start/stop season where he dealt with finger, knee, and oblique issues. Assuming he starts 20+ games this year, he will provide fantasy managers a strikeout-per-inning performance by coupling a 96-mph fastball with his punchout 85-mph slider. Take the discount and don't look back.
29 Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU - SP) 99 96.0 -3.0
30 Drew Rasmussen (TB - SP) 97 91.0 -6.0
31 Luis Garcia (HOU - SP) 96 165.0 +69.0
32 Frankie Montas (NYY - SP) 103 105.0 +2.0
33 Andrew Heaney (TEX - SP) 106 111.0 +5.0
34 Grayson Rodriguez (BAL - SP) 108 100.0 -8.0
35 Patrick Sandoval (LAA - SP) 110 103.0 -7.0
36 Jose Berrios (TOR - SP) 113 113.0
37 Sonny Gray (MIN - SP) 116 106.0 -10.0
38 Reid Detmers (LAA - SP) 114 110.0 -4.0
39 Nathan Eovaldi (TEX - SP) 127 129.0 +2.0
40 Tyler Mahle (MIN - SP) 131 131.0
41 Tyler Anderson (LAA - SP) 141 108.0 -33.0
42 Jose Urquidy (HOU - SP) 151 125.0 -26.0
43 Hunter Brown (HOU - SP,RP) 136 122.0 -14.0
44 Michael Kopech (CWS - SP) 144 139.0 -5.0
45 Bailey Ober (MIN - SP) 158 128.0 -30.0
46 Martin Perez (TEX - SP) 148 126.0 -22.0
47 Zach Eflin (TB - SP,RP) 167 193.0 +26.0
48 Garrett Whitlock (BOS - SP,RP) 194 145.0 -49.0
49 Eduardo Rodriguez (DET - SP) 192 154.0 -38.0
50 Kenta Maeda (MIN - SP) 161 170.0 +9.0
51 Jalen Beeks (TB - SP,RP) 175 399.0 +224.0
52 Tanner Houck (BOS - SP,RP) 168 187.0 +19.0
53 Nick Pivetta (BOS - SP) 170 173.0 +3.0
54 Cal Quantrill (CLE - SP) 177 127.0 -50.0
55 Kyle Bradish (BAL - SP) 200 180.0 -20.0
56 Matt Brash (SEA - SP,RP) 187 248.0 +61.0
57 Shane Baz (TB - SP) 205 212.0 +7.0
58 Kyle Gibson (BAL - SP) 181 204.0 +23.0
59 Mike Clevinger (CWS - SP) 180 175.0 -5.0
60 Tarik Skubal (DET - SP) 182 176.0 -6.0
61 Cody Morris (CLE - SP) 183 200.0 +17.0
62 Domingo German (NYY - SP) 198 206.0 +8.0
63 Aaron Civale (CLE - SP) 173 157.0 -16.0
64 Corey Kluber (BOS - SP) 215 182.0 -33.0
65 Brayan Bello (BOS - SP) 214 163.0 -51.0
66 James Paxton (BOS - SP) 225 278.0 +53.0
67 Jose Suarez (LAA - SP) 229 186.0 -43.0
68 Cole Irvin (BAL - SP) 231 194.0 -37.0
69 Clarke Schmidt (NYY - SP,RP) 213 300.0 +87.0
70 Spencer Turnbull (DET - SP) 216 232.0 +16.0
71 Marco Gonzales (SEA - SP) 244 203.0 -41.0
72 JP Sears (OAK - SP,RP) 217    
73 Jordan Lyles (KC - SP) 246 261.0 +15.0
74 Casey Mize (DET - SP)   247.0  
75 Ken Waldichuk (OAK - SP) 237 198.0 -39.0
76 Yusei Kikuchi (TOR - SP,RP) 298 223.0 -75.0
77 Kyle Muller (OAK - SP) 235 276.0 +41.0
78 Michael Lorenzen (DET - CF,SP) 251 250.0 -1.0
79 Dean Kremer (BAL - SP) 247 221.0 -26.0
80 Zach Plesac (CLE - SP) 248 219.0 -29.0
81 John Means (BAL - SP) 296 201.0 -95.0
82 Paul Blackburn (OAK - SP) 338 281.0 -57.0
83 Chris Flexen (SEA - SP,RP) 283 279.0 -4.0
84 Matt Manning (DET - SP) 255 228.0 -27.0
85 Tyler Wells (BAL - SP) 286 269.0 -17.0
86 Taj Bradley (TB - SP) 277 295.0 +18.0
87 Jake Odorizzi (TEX - SP) 308 256.0 -52.0
88 James Kaprielian (OAK - SP) 262 245.0 -17.0
89 Daniel Lynch (KC - SP) 263 286.0 +23.0
90 Kris Bubic (KC - SP) 264 308.0 +44.0
91 Dane Dunning (TEX - SP) 304 272.0 -32.0
92 Joey Wentz (DET - SP) 287 288.0 +1.0
93 Brad Keller (KC - SP,RP) 392 387.0 -5.0
94 Kutter Crawford (BOS - SP,RP) 290 302.0 +12.0
95 Glenn Otto (TEX - SP) 294 267.0 -27.0
96 Luis Patino (TB - SP) 297 249.0 -48.0
97 Ricky Tiedemann (TOR - SP) NRI 305 331.0 +26.0
98 Josh Winder (MIN - SP) 313 304.0 -9.0
99 Cole Winn (TEX - SP) 373 381.0 +8.0
100 Griffin Canning (LAA - SP)      
101 Drew Rucinski (OAK - SP,RP) 329    
102 Chase Silseth (LAA - SP) 331 316.0 -15.0
103 Deivi Garcia (NYY - SP,RP) 400    
104 Daniel Espino (CLE - SP) MiLB 333 274.0 -59.0
105 Jack Leiter (TEX - SP) MiLB 352 339.0 -13.0
106 Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN - SP) 334    
107 Austin Voth (BAL - SP,RP) 342 303.0 -39.0
108 Tanner Bibee (CLE - SP) MiLB 349 334.0 -15.0
109 Louie Varland (MIN - SP) 348 341.0 -7.0
110 Gavin Williams (CLE - SP) MiLB 351 354.0 +3.0
111 Zack Greinke (KC - SP) 356 217.0 -139.0
112 Yonny Chirinos (TB - P,SP) 359 306.0 -53.0
113 Ryan Yarbrough (KC - SP,RP) 368 357.0 -11.0
114 Davis Martin (CWS - SP,RP) 377 382.0 +5.0
115 Emerson Hancock (SEA - SP) NRI 385 342.0 -43.0
116 Beau Brieske (DET - SP) 384 352.0 -32.0
117 Mitch White (TOR - SP,RP) 395 392.0 -3.0
118 Owen White (TEX - SP) 383 425.0 +42.0
119 Spencer Howard (TEX - SP) 386 429.0 +43.0
120 Tyler Alexander (DET - SP,RP) 387    
121 Bryan Mata (BOS - SP) 393 430.0 +37.0
122 Mason Montgomery (TB - SP) NRI 403