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2021 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (AL)

Expert Consensus Ranking (50 of 50 Experts) -

Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Gerrit Cole (NYY - SP) 2 2.0
Cole was pretty much as advertised in his first season with the Yankees. His ERA rose a tad, as did his home run rate as expected, and his strikeout rate fell a bit, though it remained at an absurdly high level. And, for the most part, all of his expected metrics fell off a tad from his 2019 season. But Cole's numbers from that season were so dominating that he could withstand plenty of regression and still be one of the best pitchers in fantasy. As such, he'll head into 2021 close to the way he came into the 2020 season: a dominant, high-strikeout, low-walk starter who will throw plenty of innings and who is more likely to finish as the top overall fantasy pitcher than he is to finish outside the top-10. It's a matter of personal preference between Cole and Jacob deGrom as the first pitcher off the board, but neither should fall outside the top-10 overall picks on draft day.
2 Shane Bieber (CLE - SP) 4 3.0 -1.0
Bieber took the huge gains he had made in 2019 and kicked the into hyperdrive en route to a Cy Young season. He had a miniscule 1.63 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP, and took his strikeout percentage to 41.1%, which ranked first among qualified starters. Everything was exceptional for Bieber, as he held batters to just a .167 batting average, barely allowed home runs, and earned eight wins in just 12 starts. He may struggle to again find wins given the Indians' depleted lineup, but there is nothing else to think twice about with Bieber. He's part of the ultra-elite tier in starting pitching with Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole, and should be a first-round selection, especially since he seems to have had no ill effects from his battle with COVID-19.
3 Lucas Giolito (CWS - SP) 6 5.0 -1.0
Giolito followed up his breakout 2019 season with a nearly identical 2020 season. His ERA was within .07, his WHIP within .02, and his strikeout percentage within a point and a half. Despite pitching in a homer-friendly park, Giolito has managed to limit home runs, which is a key to his continued success with the White Sox. He won't face quite an easy schedule this year (AL and NL Central pitchers had plenty of sub-par offenses to feast on in 2019), but entering his age-27 season, he should only continue to improve from a skills standpoint. Draft him as an SP1, albeit a low-end one.
4 Tyler Glasnow (TB - SP) 21 20.0 -1.0
Glasnow is really a fascinating case study. He followed up an incredible 60-inning stretch in 2019 (1.78 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 33% strikeout rate) with a bit of a step back last year (4.08 ERA and 1.13 WHIP). But his xFIP in 2020 (2.75) was actually lower than in 2019 (2.94), and his strikeout rate jumped to a whopping 38.2%. The real issue for Glasnow is that he's a two-pitch pitcher, and although both his fastball and curveball are outstanding, they need to be superb at all times for him to have a dominant season. And last year, they were both just a bit worse than the season prior, particularly his fastball. With enormous strikeout upside and a spot in the rotation of one of the best and most pitching-savvy teams in the Rays, Glasnow makes a fine SP2 for a fantasy team. But his injury history, and his lack of a third pitch, make him a bit riskier than others going in his range.
5 Kenta Maeda (MIN - SP,RP) 25 19.0 -6.0
Fantasy managers rejoiced when Maeda was traded from the Dodgers to the Twins, but he surpassed even the loftiest of expectations. In the short season, Maeda went 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA, a 0.73 WHIP, and a 32.3% strikeout rate. In addition to simply being let loose with his innings, Maeda made a tangible change to his pitch mix, throwing far fewer fastball and more sliders and changeups (though his fastball was as effective as it had ever been last year, too). Maeda surely won't be able to repeat his numbers from 2020, as he allowed just a .208 BABIP, had an 80.2% LOB rate, and benefited from being able to feast on solely the NL and AL Central lineups. But even with some regression, he should still be a rock solid SP2, and should be drafted as such.
6 Lance Lynn (CWS - SP) 26 23.0 -3.0
Lynn turned in another stellar year in 2020, leading MLB with 84 innings pitched, striking out plenty of batters, and keeping his walk rate and overall numbers in check. But there are a few warning signs under the hood, including his 4.19 FIP, his 4.34 xFIP, and his career-high 79.4% LOB rate. Of bigger concern is his trade to the White Sox and hitter-friendly Guaranteed Rate Field, particularly because Lynn had a 38.3% fly-ball rate in 2019 and a 42.3% fly-ball rate last year. That led to the worst HR/9 rate of his career and second-worst HR/FB rate (13.8%) in 2020. Countering those troublesome warning signs, however, is the fact that he'll be caught by perhaps the best pitch framer in baseball in Yasmani Grandal, and that will generally help with his numbers which, again, were excellent last year. Add it all up and Lynn's ERA should likely increase simply because of the additional home runs he'll allow if he can't turn around his trend in fly-ball rate, but Grandal's presence and Lynn's general aptitude on the mound should allow for another strong season and make him worthy of a selection as an SP2.
7 Liam Hendriks (CWS - RP) 29 24.0 -5.0
Hendriks showed last year that his 2019 breakout season was not a fluke, as he improved on just about all of his numbers. Not only did he put up 14 saves in the shortened season, but he dropped his ERA to 1.78, his WHIP to 0.67, and his walk rate to just 3.3%. In short, there's nothing negative you can possibly take away from his 2020 season. Despite moving to a worse park with the White Sox, Hendriks is, without question one of the top closers in fantasy, and should be either the first or second (behind only Josh Hader) relief pitcher drafted.
8 Hyun Jin Ryu (TOR - SP) 31 28.0 -3.0
Fantasy managers expected some regression from Ryu after his career season in 2019 and with him moving to the Blue Jays, but it really didn't come. He continued to be among the best in the game at limiting opposing batters' quality of contact, and upped his strikeout rate to 26.2%, second best of his career. Ryu's 2.69 ERA was a bit higher than the 2.32 mark he put up in in 2019, but his FIP, xFIP, SIERA, and xERA were all the same or better than the previous year. In short, other than the potential for injury, which hasn't been a factor in the last two seasons, there's no reason to doubt Ryu at this point.
9 Aroldis Chapman (NYY - RP) 34 30.0 -4.0
Chapman missed time last year because he was diagnosed with COVID-19, but he was largely the same pitcher as always when he was on the mount. He struck out 22 batters in his 11 2/3 innings pitched and allowed just six hits. His velocity may be slightly below what it was at its peak, but it's still elite, and he appears to have plenty left in the tank heading into his age-33 season. He'll again close for one of the best teams in baseball, and although he's never had a 40-save season, he should easily surpass 30 and be one of the top closers drafted in fantasy.
10 Jose Berrios (MIN - SP) 38 33.0 -5.0
Berrios may not ever become the dominant pitcher many projected him to be, but he offers a strong floor for fantasy managers. Ignoring his 2016 cup of coffee, Berrios has pitched to a 3.89 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, and a strikeout per inning in his career. And although his walk rate went up a tad and he gave up a bit harder contact in 2020's shortened season, his numbers didn't vary from his usual output significantly. Bank on around a 4.00 ERA, a WHIP somewhere around 1.25, and plenty of strikeouts. In today's fantasy game, that's more than adequate for a strong fantasy staff.
11 Zack Greinke (HOU - SP) 44 43.0 -1.0
Greinke is entering his age-37 season, but still somehow keeps getting it done. His ERA of 4.03 last year was certainly higher than fantasy managers are used to seeing, but it came with a 2.80 FIP and 3.51 xFIP. His strikeout rate was his best since 2017 and his walk rate of 3.3% was the best of his entire career. But his velocity was down about two ticks, with his fastball clocking in at just 87.9 miles per hour. Greinke is as smart a pitcher as there is but it's going to be difficult to succeed over the course of a full 162-game season if his pure stuff continues to diminish. He's one of the few pitchers in the game who is probably capable of pitching 200 innings in 2021, but expect a continued downward trend in his performance.
12 Raisel Iglesias (LAA - RP) 45 44.0 -1.0
Iglesias bounced back from a sub-par 2019 to post an excellent 2020 season, with a 2.74 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, and the lowest walk rate of his career. He'll now move to the Angels where he'll keep his role as a closer. Iglesias's numbers should be solid as usual, and his precise value should hinge on whether the Angels use him in more of a multi-inning role like the Reds historically did (which limited Iglesias's save totals), or deploy him as a more traditional ninth-inning option. Either way, Iglesias will be the Angels' stopper, and hence, should be drafted as a strong top-10 RP option.
13 Jesus Luzardo (OAK - SP,RP) IL10 47 47.0
Luzardo's 2020 campaign wasn't terrible, but it certainly left fantasy managers wanting more. The strikeouts were there, but not quite at the level that was expected. He rarely went deep into games. And he was just more hittable than he ever was in the minors or in his brief time as a reliever in 2019. Luzardo throws four quality pitches and is working to improve his arsenal as we head into the 2021 season, so there's little reason to downgrade your opinion of him too much from where it was prior to the 2020 campaign because of one nine-start stretch. He's an incredibly high-upside pitcher who carries with him plenty of injury risk, and the combination leaves him as a solid SP3 for fantasy leagues.
14 Zach Plesac (CLE - SP) 50 32.0 -18.0
Plesac is getting a ton of love for his eight excellent starts in 2020, but there's plenty of reason to be cautious. His FIP, xFIP, xERA, and SIERA were all more than a run higher than his ERA, and both his strikeout rate and walk rate significantly outproduced what he showed he could do in the minors. Yes, Plesac altered his pitch mix, throwing fewer fastballs and instead more sliders and changeups, so if you're looking for a reason to buy the gains, you have one. But he had a ridiculous 91.7% LOB rate, and even with his ability to limit hard contact, his BABIP against should rise from the .224 mark last year. Plesac can help a fantasy staff, but manage expectations significantly.
15 Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU - SP) 52 56.0 +4.0
McCullers made a successful return from Tommy John surgery after missing the 2019 season and looked almost exactly like the 2018 version of himself. His ERA (3.93) and WHIP (1.16) were within seven-tenths of a point of his 2018 numbers, and his walk and strikeout rates fell just slightly. McCullers relied a bit more on his sinker and less on his curveball than in past years, but the two work well together and he continued to throw them in combination about 80% of the time. In short, what you thought of McCullers heading into 2018 is pretty much what you should think of him now. Unfortunately, that includes concerns about his innings, because after a missed year and 55 innings last year, the chances of him topping 150 innings this season are remote. Buy him at his production, but understand that there's likely a hard cap on his innings total.
16 Ryan Pressly (HOU - RP) 54 49.0 -5.0
Pressly had his usual solid season, but got the benefit of closing for the Astros after Roberto Osuna's injury. His numbers fell off a bit from the previous two years (his 1.33 WHIP was particularly out of character), but he will almost certainly rebound from the .365 BABIP he allowed. He's slated to again be the Astros' closer, and as such, should provide plenty of saves while giving fantasy managers positive value in ratios. That makes him one of the few reliable closers worth drafting at more than a late-round price.
17 Dylan Bundy (LAA - SP) 57 51.0 -6.0
Bundy largely made good on the enormous amount of buzz that surrounded him after he moved from the Orioles to the Angels. He set career bests in ERA (3.29), WHIP (1.04), strikeout rate (27%), and walk rate (6.4%). Bundy's fastball, though it continued to trend down in velocity, was more effective than in years' past, in part because he cut way down on his usage of the pitch (just 33.6%, after throwing it at least 42.4% of the time in every previous season). His slider remained one of the best pitches in the game, and his remaining secondary pitches improved, too. At some point, Bundy's fastball velocity is going to become an issue, but there's little reason to expect that to come in 2021. Draft him as as an SP3.
18 James Karinchak (CLE - RP) 62 48.0 -14.0
Karinchak is expected to be Cleveland's closer after Brad Hand moved on to the Nationals, though it's not a sure thing yet. Yes, he walks too many batters (5.33 per nine innings), but you can get away with it when you strike out nearly half the batters you face and hitters bat .151 against you overall. Karinchak has two absolutely devastating pitches: a mid-90's fastball (.184 batting average against, .151 xBA) and a power curveball (.140 batting average against, .114 xBA). Cleveland may not have a ton of success this year and hence save opportunities may be limited, but Karinchak can be a dominant fantasy reliever if he gets the job. Monitor reports out of the spring to see when and if Terry Francona formerly anoints him as the closer. If he does, he should vault to being a top-6 or 7 reliever.
19 Trevor Rosenthal (OAK - RP) IL60 65 54.0 -11.0
After missing the 2018 season and most of the 2019 season, Rosenthal bounced back in a huge way last year. He stepped in as the Royals' closer, notching seven saves, and then was unhittable with the Padres after a mid-year trade. He parlayed his success into a one-year contract with the A's, where all signs point to him being the undisputed closer. Rosenthal was an outstanding reliever in his prime and once had back-to-back 45-save (or better) seasons. And his raw stuff looked excellent last year, as he totaled the best strikeout rate of his career. If he stays healthy, he has a shot at being a top-5 closer, but you can draft him a little later than that and likely make a profit.
20 Frankie Montas (OAK - SP) 66 79.0 +13.0
Montas had a terrible 2020 season, but it was more than likely due to a back injury he suffered early on which probably bothered him throughout the year. He started off with four excellent starts (four runs and 22 strikeouts in 23 innings) before he was scratched with back tightness and returned with lower velocity. Yes, he had the PED suspension in 2019, but Montas's splitter was, and should continue to be when a healthy, a dominant pitch, and a healthy season should mean a return to being a starter you can "set and forget." If he can ever get away from throwing his sinker so much, and incorporate more of his splitter and/or four-seam fastball, he could be a monster. Montas was diagnosed with COVID-19 right at the start of spring training, but he has returned healthy and looked good in the spring, so he's an ideal sleeper.
21 Shohei Ohtani (LAA - SP,DH) 71 71.0
Depending on your league settings, Ohtani has the potential to be a dominant force in 2021. There has never been any doubt about his talent, and he looks fantastic in the spring, hitting home runs at will and pumping in high-90s fastballs when on the mound. He's been batting on days he pitches, and Joe Maddon has suggested that he's going to throw out the old rules that led to Ohtani's decreased playing time. If you can move him between hitter and pitcher on a daily basis, then move him up your board significantly. Even if not, he should provide plenty of value when healthy as either a hitter or a pitcher, so make sure he's on your radar as you move into the double-digit rounds.
22 Corey Kluber (NYY - SP) 77 65.0 -12.0
Kluber has pitched 36 2/3 innings combined over the last two years, and will now join the Yankees on a one-year deal. There's nothing to be gained from looking at his numbers since 2018, as the sample size is too small, and prior to that, he was a perennial Cy Young contender. There was a bit of a velocity drop at the end of his last healthy season, but he was also finishing up his fifth straight 200-inning season. In other words, his lack of innings over the last two years (due to injury) may wind up being a blessing in disguise for Kluber. His ADP has some helium based on how quickly the Yankees signed him, but so long as you bake in some pretty substantial injury risk, he's certainly worth drafting as an SP5 with upside.
23 Marco Gonzales (SEA - SP) IL10 76 76.0
If you want to buy into performances from the 2020 season, then you'll have Gonzales significantly higher than you would otherwise. He made major gains last year, including up his strikeout rate to a career-best 23.1% and lowering his walk rate to a career-best 2.5%. Bu even with the gains, Gonzales's swinging strike rate was only 8.4% (below his career average), and his fastball velocity is close to the worst in the league. As a pure back end of the rotation starter, he's fine, but do not expect anything close to a 3.10 ERA again, and bake in regression for his strikeouts.
24 James Paxton (SEA - SP) IL60 78 102.0 +24.0
Paxton missed almost the entire 2020 season after straining a flexor in his pitching forearm. Any forearm injury is worrisome because of the connection to the elbow, and Paxton has hardly been the picture of health in his career. He'll try to jumpstart his career again back with the Mariners, and the reports from his workout, where he reportedly touched 94 MPH, were encouraging after his velocity drop last year. When he pitches, he's almost always effective, so he's worth a late-round pick for the potential upside. But the injury history should keep him relatively low on your draft board.
25 Aaron Civale (CLE - SP) 79 92.0 +13.0
Civale fits the mold of the Cleveland pitcher over the last few seasons: start with the command, and let the team work on the rest. That's how Civale has found success the last two seasons, and continues to do so in the spring. He's never going to be a high-strikeout pitcher - he never was in the minors and his fastball sits in about the 91 MPH range. But his ability to limit free passes and hard contact means that he shouldn't hurt a fantasy rotation. He's a high-floor, low-ceiling starter, who is ideal for the back end of a fantasy staff.
26 Andrew Heaney (LAA - SP) 82 97.0 +15.0
Heaney is a fine pitcher, but it feels like he has a lot more to him than his career 4.44 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. His fastball is hittable and he throws it often, and his curveball isn't quite good enough to offset the damage. He was outspoken about working this offseason to become less predictable, so hopefully that manifests itself in his 2021 performance. But there's no reason to draft him as anything but a pitcher who will give you decent strikeouts and mediocre ratios, hopefully as someone you can use on your bench and stream in the right matchup.
27 Chris Bassitt (OAK - SP) 84 83.0 -1.0
Bassitt doesn't wow you with his raw stuff, and is never going to be a high-strikeout pitcher. But he has above-average command and is able to generally limit hard contact and home runs. If he were being drafted on the basis of his 2.29 ERA last year then he would be someone to avoid, but the fact is he is never going to be drafted on the basis of his actual numbers given his sub-par strikeout rate and his significantly higher FIP and xFIP (versus his ERA). He can add plenty of value on the back end of a fantasy rotation, so long as you have strikeouts covered elsewhere.
28 Jose Urquidy (HOU - SP) 88 90.0 +2.0
 
29 Rafael Montero (SEA - RP) 91 80.0 -11.0
Montero wound up closing for the Rangers and totaling eight saves in 2020, but it wasn't a particularly special season. His hard-hit rate and walk-rate increased from his strong 2019 season, and he totaled a 4.08 ERA. Now with Seattle, Montero's best asset may be his lack of competition for the closer's role, as Seattle has struggled for several seasons to find a reliable ninth-inning option. Draft Montero as a mid-tier closer, who you're taking more for his job security than his spectacular numbers.
30 Triston McKenzie (CLE - SP) 90 88.0 -2.0
McKenzie had a very successful major league debut last year, pitching to a 3.24 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, and a 33.1% strikeout rate. His talent isn't in question at this point, but his health certainly is. McKenzie has a very slight build and has missed time with injury in his minor league career, including all of the 2019 season. Even if he stays healthy all year, Cleveland is likely to put a hard cap on his innings. There's a reward, but there's plenty of risk to go with it. Draft him for the back end of your rotation and hope he gets to 140 innings.
31 Jordan Romano (TOR - RP) 92 93.0 +1.0
Romano is poised to serve as the Blue Jays' closer after Kirby Yates suffered an elbow injury which will cost him the season. Romano's stuff isn't special, but he had a very solid 2020 campaign, and should see plenty of save chances with Toronto, assuming he's officially named the closer. The relief pitcher landscape for fantasy gets cloudy quickly, so despite the lack of certainty, Romano makes a decent option for your second reliever. Bump him higher if he's officially named the closer before the season.
32 Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS - SP) 96 98.0 +2.0
Rodriguez missed the entire 2020 season because of serious complications from a heart conditions caused by COVID-19, but he looks to be healthy heading into 2021. Assuming he doesn't have any setbacks, he should be considered one of the safest pitchers in the game. You know what you're going to get from Rodriguez: an ERA around 4.00, a WHIP around 1.30, and solid strikeouts. Those numbers won't wow you, but Rodriguez has consistently limited hard contact throughout his career, so he should retain what amounts to a fairly high floor. Plus, the usual innings concerns shouldn't be as much of a factor for him, considering nearly every pitcher has similar concerns after 2020. For a late-round pitcher, he's hardly an upside play, but he should be someone you can stick in the back end of your rotation and not think much about it.
33 John Means (BAL - SP) 97 115.0 +18.0
Means's 4.53 ERA and grotesque home run rate are probably going to scare the casual fantasy manager away, but there is a ton to like about him heading into 2021. First, Means had a weird year last season, as he dealt with arm fatigue early and then his father passed away, so his schedule was certainly thrown up into the air at the start. Probably because of those difficulties, his outstanding changeup wasn't effective earlier in the season, but it was back to being his money pitch by season's end. Add to that Means' increase in velocity, his strong finish (1.52 ERA, 30 strikeouts over his last four starts), and his excellent command, and there's a breakout waiting to happen, despite the tough division.
34 Alex Colome (MIN - RP) 98 75.0 -23.0
Colome has been a quality major league reliever for year, but last year, managed to drop his ERA down to a silly 0.81 and his WHIP below 1.00 for the first time in his career. His success was largely on the back of increased movement on his cutter (which induced a ton of weak contact, but which was also less of a strikeout pitch, leading to a drop in strikeouts), as well as Yasmani Grandal's pitch-framing skills. He'll now move to Minnesota where he'll likely form some sort of committee with Taylor Rogers. He's worth drafting, but only very late, and with the expectation that he won't pile on a ton of saves.
35 Dallas Keuchel (CWS - SP) 100 82.0 -18.0
Keuchel pitched to a remarkable 1.99 ERA last year, though that's hardly to be expected to repeat in 2021. His xFIP was nearly two runs higher, his BABIP against was nearly 40 points below his career average, and his already low strikeout rate dipped to just 16.3%. Having Yasmani Grandal as a catcher certainly helps a pitcher outperform his expected stats, but even if Keuchel were to repeat his 2020 performance, his strikeout rate is such a drain that it keeps his value in check. If your staff is dominant in strikeouts, then you can roll with Keuchel at the very back end of your rotation. But if not, just ignore him on draft day.
36 Jordan Montgomery (NYY - SP) 107 116.0 +9.0
 
37 Taylor Rogers (MIN - RP) 106 100.0 -6.0
Rogers has been the reliever to roster in Minnesota for the past two seasons, but he's totaled just 39 saves over that span. Even with the shortened 2020 season, that's just not the total you want to see from a reliever if you're relying on him as an RP1, especially when the Twins as a team have totaled 92 saves over the last two years. Rogers's lack of saves is all about Rocco Baldelli's philosophy, rather than Rogers's lack of effectiveness (he's totaled a 2.80 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, and a 10.8 K/9 over the last three years). Unfortunately, Baldelli is unlikely to abandon his committee approach with the additions of Alex Colome and Hansel Robles. Rogers is still a fine RP2, but certainly don't expect him to get every save chance in Minnesota.
38 Jameson Taillon (NYY - SP) 103 89.0 -14.0
Taillon has undergone Tommy John surgery twice, and has totaled just 37 1/3 innings over the last two years. And really, he's had only one truly notable year, which was in 2018. But what separated Taillon that year was his outstanding slider, which not only performed exceedingly well, but also buoyed the effectiveness of the rest of his pitches. Now with the Yankees, Taillon has plenty of upside. But, as always, health remains the concern, and is the reason you shouldn't draft him until you've filled out most of your staff.
39 Sean Manaea (OAK - SP) 114 114.0
 
40 Michael Pineda (MIN - SP) 108 109.0 +1.0
 
41 Ryan Yarbrough (TB - SP,RP) 117 128.0 +11.0
Yarbrough doesn't get a ton of respect in the fantasy community because he doesn't strike out a ton of batters, but he's quietly put together an excellent career. He's practically a wizard at limiting hard contact (he has allowed an average exit velocity of 84.8 MPH and an average hard hit rate of 26.3%, both remarkably low numbers), and he rarely issues free passes or home runs. In other words, it's really difficult to string together big innings against Yarbrough, especially as he's continued to use his excellent changeup more and more. The Rays will probably let him go a little more this year with their rotation, but even if they keep his usage the same, he'll be an excellent addition to the back end of a fantasy staff.
42 Matt Barnes (BOS - RP) 118 110.0 -8.0
Barnes may begin the year as the closer, but it's hardly a guarantee that he'll keep the role. His walk rate has been above 13% for each of the last two seasons, and his WHIP is 1.38 over that span. Adam Ottavino, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Hirokazu Sawamura are in play to take over for Barnes if he struggles. For now, consider Barnes on the very tail end of draftable relievers in fantasy.
43 Brady Singer (KC - SP) 112 135.0 +23.0
 
44 Cristian Javier (HOU - SP) 113 104.0 -9.0
 
45 Jake Odorizzi (HOU - SP) IL10 123 136.0 +13.0
 
46 Nathan Eovaldi (BOS - SP,RP) 122 125.0 +3.0
Similar to John Means, Eovaldi is another starter who finished the season on a roll. Eovaldi upped his cutter usage as the expense of his four-seam fastball, and he posted a 25:2 K:BB ratio over his final four starts (while allowing just two earned runs). If you take out his worst start of the season, Eovaldi's ERA drops from 3.72 to 2.51. He has never shown any kind of consistency at the major league level, but fantasy managers could do worse when searching for a late-round lottery ticket.
47 Diego Castillo (TB - SP,RP) IL10 124 129.0 +5.0
 
48 Greg Holland (KC - RP) 126 106.0 -20.0
Holland re-signed with the Royals after an outstanding season, during which he put up an ERA under 2.00 and a WHIP below 1.00 for the first time since 2014. He'll almost certainly begin the year as the closer, but he's unlikely to stay in the role for the entire season. Even if he's not dealt to a contender by the trade deadline, his walk rate is surely to be closer to the 5.3/9 innings that he put up his previous four seasons, rather than the 2.22 he managed last year. Draft Holland late as someone who can chip in saves early, but be prepared to hit the waiver wire later in the year.
49 Griffin Canning (LAA - SP) 134 155.0 +21.0
It's mostly about health with Canning, who offers a great deal of stability when he's on the mound. You can expect at worst a low 4.00 ERA, about a 1.30 WHIP, and roughly a strikeout per inning. But he did close last season notably strong, pitching to a 3.14 ERA, and a 1.19 WHIP, with a 14.5% swinging strike rate and a 10.4 K/9 mark over his final five starts. That's probably his ceiling, but it shows what he's capable of when he is healthy and gets into a groove. He's a fine pick at his cost (which is minimal), but bake in some injury risk.
50 Pete Fairbanks (TB - RP) 133 157.0 +24.0
 
51 Chris Sale (BOS - SP) IL60 131 131.0
 
52 Framber Valdez (HOU - SP,RP) IL10 127 94.0 -33.0
Valdez was shaping up to be a fine sleeper this year, after he had a highly successful stint in the Astros rotation last year. But he fractured his finger early in spring training and the expectation is that he'll miss significant time, though recent reports are far more optimistic than the initial season-ending variety. Drop him down a ton from where you initially had him ranked, but draft him toward the back end of your rotation where the risk/reward balance should equalize.
53 Mike Minor (KC - SP) 137 150.0 +13.0
 
54 Yusei Kikuchi (SEA - SP) 138 156.0 +18.0
 
55 Matthew Boyd (DET - SP) 144 134.0 -10.0
 
56 Domingo German (NYY - SP) 139 119.0 -20.0
German has won the fifth starter's job after a torrid spring, during which he didn't allow a run over nine innings pitched while walking one and striking out 13. German's off-the-field issues aside, he was a quality MLB pitcher in 2019, and he should be a decent contributor in four categories, especially considering his low walk rate. He's not risk-free, as a downturn in his performance could lead to Deivi Garcia coming back in the rotation. But he's a fine, late-round selection.
57 Justus Sheffield (SEA - SP) 158 160.0 +2.0
 
58 Tarik Skubal (DET - SP) 154 147.0 -7.0
 
59 Nate Pearson (TOR - SP) MiLB 153 137.0 -16.0
Pearson is oozing with talent, but he just can't seem to stay healthy. Whether it was elbow soreness last year or the groin strain that is now going to keep him out of action for a bit, something seem to crop up to delay his success in the majors. He wound up pitching just 18 innings overall last year, but the stuff is there, without question. His fastball reaches triple digits, his slider is dominant, and his curveball and changeup are far above average. There's always a bit more uncertainty with young power pitchers, particularly when they've had elbow injuries like Pearson has. And, after trading for Steven Matz, the Blue Jays have plenty of rotation depth and shouldn't feel pressured into rushing Pearson back from injury. In keeper and dynasty formats, he's still a buy, but in redraft leagues, he's probably not worth a pick at this point.
60 Dane Dunning (TEX - SP) 161 169.0 +8.0
Dunning had an interesting seven-start run in 2020. He started out relying heavily on his outstanding slider and his fastball, which led to a strong swinging strike rate and plenty of punchouts in his first few starts. He then abandoned that approach to focus more on his changeup, which led to him missing fewer bats and being less successful. Now with the Rangers, Dunning should get a chance to compete for a rotation spot right out of the gate. He has the tools and skills necessary to be successful, and the draft capital necessary to acquire him should be minimal. He's worth a late-round pick in nearly all formats.
61 Luis Severino (NYY - SP) IL60 163 163.0
Severino is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, but the reports so far have been generally positive. He's already throwing off a mound in mid-March, and a June return isn't out of the question if he can avoid setbacks. Avoiding setbacks is the key, of course, and it's something that's rare in the world of returning from multiple serious issues, as Severino is trying to do. But, for now, draft him with one of your last picks and stash him in your IL spot, if you have the room.
62 Nick Wittgren (CLE - RP) 155 196.0 +41.0
 
63 Adam Ottavino (BOS - RP) 168 166.0 -2.0
 
64 Robbie Ray (TOR - SP) 170 141.0 -29.0
 
65 Brad Keller (KC - SP) 165 151.0 -14.0
 
66 Nick Anderson (TB - RP) IL60 146 99.0 -47.0
Anderson has a partial tear of his elbow ligament and, although he won't need surgery, he is likely out until after the All-Star Break. Although he can be dominant when healthy, there's no reason to draft and stash him at this point, given that he won't even be the sole closer for the Rays if and when he returns.
67 Tanner Scott (BAL - RP) 176 192.0 +16.0
 
68 Dylan Cease (CWS - SP) 183 149.0 -34.0
 
69 Michael Kopech (CWS - RP,SP) 187 148.0 -39.0
Kopech remains one of the top pitching prospects in the game, but he hasn't pitched competitively in about two-and-a-half year at this point. His fastball and slider are more than MLB caliber, and he had a 31.2% strikeout rate in the minors. But after missing all of 2019 with Tommy John surgery and opting out last year, it wouldn't be wise to just expect Kopech to step right back into a rotation without any growing pains. The White Sox also have depth in their rotation after trading for Lance Lynn and signing Carlos Rodon, so Chicago can, and likely will, stick Kopech in the minors to start the year to continue his development. But given their championship aspirations, he should crack the rotation at some point during the season if he show he is back to form.
70 Jake Diekman (OAK - RP) 184 153.0 -31.0
 
71 Chad Green (NYY - SP,RP) 179 176.0 -3.0
 
72 J.A. Happ (MIN - SP) 191 182.0 -9.0
 
73 Jose Quintana (LAA - SP,RP) 188 203.0 +15.0
 
74 Rich Hill (TB - SP) 180 227.0 +47.0
 
75 Casey Mize (DET - SP) 202 162.0 -40.0
 
76 Emmanuel Clase (CLE - RP) 189 266.0 +77.0
 
77 Deivi Garcia (NYY - SP) MiLB 190 161.0 -29.0
 
78 Carlos Rodon (CWS - SP) 192 259.0 +67.0
 
79 Spencer Turnbull (DET - SP) 200 205.0 +5.0
 
80 Gregory Soto (DET - SP,RP) 196 190.0 -6.0
 
81 Ian Kennedy (TEX - RP) 197 208.0 +11.0
 
82 Ross Stripling (TOR - SP,RP) 222 263.0 +41.0
 
83 A.J. Puk (OAK - RP) IL10 209 202.0 -7.0
 
84 Aaron Bummer (CWS - RP) 194 199.0 +5.0
 
85 Chris Archer (TB - SP) IL60 216 185.0 -31.0
 
86 Daulton Jefferies (OAK - SP) MiLB 244 275.0 +31.0
 
87 Bryan Garcia (DET - RP) 241 234.0 -7.0
Garcia is the favorite for the closer's role in Detroit, but don't be fooled by his 1.66 ERA last year, as it came with a 5.74 xFIP and a 4.98 K/9 mark. His minor league career has been fairly stellar (2.50 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 11.5 K/9), and he has extensive experience as a closer from both college and the minors. If you're drafting a Tigers reliever, it should be Garcia, but only at a bargain-basement price.
88 Josh Staumont (KC - RP) 195 224.0 +29.0
 
89 Randy Dobnak (MIN - RP,SP) MiLB 234 241.0 +7.0
 
90 Garrett Richards (BOS - SP) 198 226.0 +28.0
 
91 Yusmeiro Petit (OAK - RP) 225 194.0 -31.0
 
92 Logan Allen (CLE - SP,RP) MiLB 247 317.0 +70.0
 
93 Tyler Duffey (MIN - RP) 220 195.0 -25.0
 
94 Tanner Houck (BOS - SP) MiLB 226 167.0 -59.0
 
95 Taylor Hearn (TEX - RP) 205    
 
96 Rafael Dolis (TOR - RP) IL10 229 220.0 -9.0
 
97 Danny Duffy (KC - SP) 236 262.0 +26.0
 
98 Felix Pena (LAA - SP,RP) MiLB 243 402.0 +159.0
 
99 Matt Bush (TEX - RP) IL60 242 302.0 +60.0
 
100 Scott Barlow (KC - RP) 230 311.0 +81.0
 
101 Mike Foltynewicz (TEX - SP) 223 269.0 +46.0
 
102 Alex Cobb (LAA - SP) IL10 266 303.0 +37.0
 
103 Jonathan Hernandez (TEX - RP) IL60 272 198.0 -74.0
 
104 J.B. Wendelken (OAK - RP) IL10 250 217.0 -33.0
 
105 Zack Britton (NYY - RP) IL60 249 181.0 -68.0
 
106 Garrett Crochet (CWS - RP) 210 186.0 -24.0
 
107 Dean Kremer (BAL - SP) 211 297.0 +86.0
 
108 Keegan Akin (BAL - SP) 214 308.0 +94.0
 
109 Kyle Gibson (TEX - SP,RP) 221 200.0 -21.0
 
110 Nick Pivetta (BOS - SP,RP) 253 279.0 +26.0
 
111 Joe Smith (HOU - RP) 260    
 
112 Darwinzon Hernandez (BOS - RP) 227 347.0 +120.0
 
113 Steven Matz (TOR - SP) 273 230.0 -43.0
 
114 Josh Fleming (TB - SP) 277 265.0 -12.0
 
115 Luis Patino (TB - RP) 281 218.0 -63.0
 
116 Matt Manning (DET - SP) MiLB 285 277.0 -8.0
 
117 Darren O'Day (NYY - RP) IL10 279 245.0 -34.0
 
118 Shane McClanahan (TB - SP,RP) 264 337.0 +73.0
 
119 Mike Mayers (LAA - RP) 286 256.0 -30.0
 
120 Mike Fiers (OAK - SP) IL10 297 301.0 +4.0
 
121 Joely Rodriguez (TEX - RP) 269 339.0 +70.0
 
122 Kris Bubic (KC - SP) 271 264.0 -7.0
 
123 Matt Shoemaker (MIN - SP) 300 288.0 -12.0
 
124 Enoli Paredes (HOU - RP) IL10 255 304.0 +49.0
 
125 Jorge Alcala (MIN - RP) 256    
 
126 Brandon Workman (BOS - RP) MiLB 288 222.0 -66.0
 
127 Chris Flexen (SEA - SP,RP) 282 296.0 +14.0
 
128 Luis Garcia (HOU - RP,SP,SS) 312    
 
129 Matt Foster (CWS - RP) 299 201.0 -98.0
 
130 Cal Quantrill (CLE - SP,RP) 308 253.0 -55.0
 
131 Cesar Valdez (BAL - RP) 306 352.0 +46.0
 
132 Kohei Arihara (TEX - SP) IL10 289 274.0 -15.0
 
133 Julio Teheran (DET - SP) IL60 317 294.0 -23.0
 
134 Lou Trivino (OAK - RP) 290 364.0 +74.0
 
135 Patrick Sandoval (LAA - SP) 318 334.0 +16.0
 
136 Tyler Alexander (DET - SP,RP) 263    
 
137 Jonathan Loaisiga (NYY - SP,RP) 270 331.0 +61.0
 
138 Martin Perez (BOS - SP) 330 333.0 +3.0
 
139 Pedro Baez (HOU - RP) IL60 309 378.0 +69.0
 
140 Bruce Zimmermann (BAL - SP) MiLB 501 416.0 -85.0
 
141 Collin McHugh (TB - SP,RP) 314 386.0 +72.0
 
142 Joe Jimenez (DET - RP) 311 329.0 +18.0
 
143 Jesse Hahn (KC - RP) IL10 274 355.0 +81.0
 
144 Michael Wacha (TB - SP,RP) IL10 335 229.0 -106.0
 
145 Adam Kolarek (OAK - RP) 319    
 
146 Codi Heuer (CWS - RP) 280 380.0 +100.0
 
147 Jaime Barria (LAA - SP,RP) 298 350.0 +52.0
 
148 Cody Stashak (MIN - RP) MiLB 283    
 
149 Phil Maton (CLE - RP) 302 401.0 +99.0
 
150 Michael King (NYY - SP,RP) 287    
 
151 Jakob Junis (KC - RP,SP) 349 370.0 +21.0
 
152 Brendan McKay (TB - SP,DH) MiLB 320 341.0 +21.0
 
153 Daniel Norris (DET - SP,RP) 294 367.0 +73.0
 
154 Hunter Harvey (BAL - RP) IL60 337 213.0 -124.0
Harvey strained his oblique in spring training and was placed on the 60-day IL, meaning he's unlikely to contribute as the Orioles' designated closer, which was unlikely anyway with Brandon Hyde as the manager. Harvey had a ton of buzz heading into last season, but a strained forearm ultimately limited him to just 8 2/3 innings. He's got a dominant fastball that can reach triple digits, but his injury history has been a roadblock to him becoming a regular and reliable reliever. Hyde likes to go by committee anyway, and Harvey's injury should give him the chance to do just that again. Perhaps spend a last-round pick on Harvey, but better yet, leave him undrafted.
155 Evan Marshall (CWS - RP) 304 394.0 +90.0
 
156 Justin Dunn (SEA - SP) 357 293.0 -64.0
 
157 Sergio Romo (OAK - RP) 350 246.0 -104.0
 
158 Jose Cisnero (DET - RP) 323 372.0 +49.0
 
159 Ryan Brasier (BOS - RP) IL60 303    
 
160 Josh Sborz (TEX - RP) 432    
 
161 Brent Honeywell Jr. (TB - SP) MiLB 338 332.0 -6.0
 
162 Tony Watson (LAA - RP) 366 410.0 +44.0
 
163 Cole Sulser (BAL - RP) 307    
 
164 Dillon Tate (BAL - RP) IL10 355 422.0 +67.0
 
165 Blake Parker (CLE - RP) MiLB 370    
 
166 Cam Bedrosian (OAK - SP,RP) MiLB 361    
 
167 Ryan Thompson (TB - RP) 310    
 
168 Andres Munoz (SEA - RP) IL60 340 381.0 +41.0
 
169 Anthony Misiewicz (SEA - RP) 313 446.0 +133.0
 
170 Keynan Middleton (SEA - RP) IL10 363    
 
171 Oliver Perez (CLE - RP) MiLB 365    
 
172 Logan Gilbert (SEA - SP) MiLB 379 239.0 -140.0
 
173 David Phelps (TOR - RP) IL10 326    
 
174 Steve Cishek (LAA - RP) 345    
 
175 Blake Taylor (HOU - RP) IL10 371    
 
176 Caleb Thielbar (MIN - RP) 322    
 
177 Chaz Roe (TB - RP) IL60 415    
 
178 Cody Reed (TB - RP) 325    
 
179 Justin Wilson (NYY - RP) 362    
 
180 Jace Fry (CWS - RP) IL60 327    
 
181 Hunter Wood (TEX - RP) MiLB 328    
 
182 Asa Lacy (KC - RP,SP) MiLB   423.0  
 
183 Julian Merryweather (TOR - SP,RP) IL60 329 390.0 +61.0
 
184 Clarke Schmidt (NYY - P,RP,SP) IL60 430 320.0 -110.0
 
185 Brett Martin (TEX - RP) 333    
 
186 Grayson Rodriguez (BAL - SP) MiLB   441.0  
 
187 Noe Ramirez (LAA - SP,RP) MiLB 389    
 
188 Kendall Graveman (SEA - RP) 334 349.0 +15.0
 
189 Josh James (HOU - RP) IL10 399 392.0 -7.0
 
190 Kyle Zimmer (KC - RP) IL10 336    
 
191 Drew Steckenrider (SEA - RP)      
 
192 Simeon Woods-Richardson (TOR - SP) MiLB   424.0  
 
193 Junior Guerra (LAA - RP) IL10 384    
 
194 Richard Lovelady (KC - RP) MiLB 401    
 
195 DL Hall (BAL - SP) MiLB      
 
196 Matt Andriese (BOS - RP) 343 411.0 +68.0
 
197 Trevor Stephan (CLE - RP,SP)      
 
198 Nick Nelson (NYY - RP) MiLB 344 403.0 +59.0
 
199 Tyler Chatwood (TOR - SP,RP) 347 365.0 +18.0
 
200 Daniel Lynch (KC - SP) 437 335.0 -102.0
 
201 Kolby Allard (TEX - RP,SP) 373 415.0 +42.0
 
202 Alex Claudio (LAA - RP) 397    
 
203 Hansel Robles (MIN - RP) 374 216.0 -158.0
 
204 Reid Detmers (LAA - SP) MiLB   430.0  
 
205 Devin Smeltzer (MIN - SP,RP) 348 443.0 +95.0
 
206 Shawn Armstrong (BAL - RP) 351    
 
207 Jordan Balazovic (MIN - SP) MiLB 457 391.0 -66.0
 
208 Justin Verlander (HOU - SP) IL60 463 187.0 -276.0
 
209 Reynaldo Lopez (CWS - SP) MiLB 443 361.0 -82.0
 
210 Brandon Brennan (BOS - RP) MiLB 353    
 
211 Cole Irvin (OAK - SP,RP)   336.0  
 
212 Buck Farmer (DET - RP) MiLB 354    
 
213 Tyler Ivey (HOU - SP,RP) MiLB 386    
 
214 Kyle Cody (TEX - RP,SP) IL60 358 328.0 -30.0
 
215 Ryan Borucki (TOR - RP) 372 449.0 +77.0
 
216 Josh Taylor (BOS - RP) 359    
 
217 Matt Magill (SEA - RP) MiLB 393    
 
218 Nick Margevicius (SEA - SP,RP) IL10 450 384.0 -66.0
 
219 Erik Swanson (SEA - SP,RP) 438    
 
220 Jordan Lyles (TEX - SP) 416 374.0 -42.0
 
221 Jose Urena (DET - SP,RP) 412 359.0 -53.0
 
222 Ljay Newsome (SEA - RP,SP) IL10 398    
 
223 Andrew Kittredge (TB - SP,RP) 425 360.0 -65.0
 
224 Adam Plutko (BAL - SP,RP) 419    
 
225 Derek Holland (DET - SP,RP) IL10 367 298.0 -69.0
 
226 Demarcus Evans (TEX - RP) MiLB 449 376.0 -73.0
 
227 Ryan Sherriff (TB - RP) MiLB 417    
 
228 Ryne Stanek (HOU - SP,RP) 369    
 
229 Lewis Thorpe (MIN - RP) MiLB 402    
 
230 Hector Rondon (BOS - RP) MiLB 409    
 
231 Marcus Walden (BOS - RP) MiLB 436    
 
232 James Hoyt (LAA - RP) MiLB 427    
 
233 Jimmy Cordero (CWS - RP) IL60      
 
234 Luis Cessa (NYY - RP) 407    
 
235 Tom Hatch (TOR - RP) IL60 378 373.0 -5.0
 
236 Wade Davis (KC - RP) 418 286.0 -132.0
 
237 Anthony Kay (TOR - RP) 380 437.0 +57.0
 
238 Andre Scrubb (HOU - RP) 381    
 
239 Gerardo Reyes (LAA - RP) MiLB 447    
 
240 Jhoan Duran (MIN - SP) MiLB   412.0  
 
241 Jackson Kowar (KC - SP) MiLB 453 385.0 -68.0
 
242 Michael Fulmer (DET - RP,SP) 421 351.0 -70.0
 
243 Luke Bard (LAA - SP,RP) IL60 451    
 
244 Casey Sadler (SEA - RP) IL10 382    
 
245 Joe Ryan (TB - SP) MiLB   273.0  
 
246 Travis Bergen (TOR - RP) 385    
 
247 Jorge Lopez (BAL - SP,RP) 434 448.0 +14.0
 
248 Burch Smith (OAK - RP) 388    
 
249 Shaun Anderson (MIN - SP,RP) MiLB 390    
 
250 Aaron Slegers (LAA - RP) 391    
 
251 Trent Thornton (TOR - RP,SP) 429 451.0 +22.0
 
252 Hirokazu Sawamura (BOS - RP,SP) 442 398.0 -44.0
 
253 Austin Brice (BOS - RP) 396    
 
254 Wandy Peralta (NYY - RP) 413    
 
255 Ryan Weber (BOS - SP,RP) MiLB 444    
 
256 Zac Lowther (BAL - SP) MiLB 433    
 
257 Jeffrey Springs (TB - RP) 404    
 
258 Trevor Richards (TB - SP,RP) MiLB 446 436.0 -10.0
 
259 Cam Hill (CLE - RP) IL60 452    
 
260 Mike Montgomery (NYY - SP,RP) MiLB 458    
 
261 Jake Newberry (KC - RP) MiLB 414    
 
262 Wes Benjamin (TEX - RP) MiLB 454    
 
263 Nik Turley (CWS - RP) MiLB      
 
264 Phillips Valdez (BOS - RP) 481    
 
265 Colten Brewer (BOS - SP,RP) MiLB      
 
266 Tyson Ross (TEX - SP) MiLB 465    
 
267 Joe Palumbo (TEX - SP,RP) MiLB 467    
 
268 Yohan Ramirez (SEA - SP,RP) MiLB 459 405.0 -54.0
 
269 Glenn Sparkman (MIN - SP,RP) MiLB 473    
 
270 Hyeon-jong Yang (TEX - RP,SP) 461 427.0 -34.0
 
271 John King (TEX - RP) 478    
 
272 Connor Seabold (BOS - SP) MiLB 468    
 
273 Carlos Hernandez (KC - SP) MiLB 483    
 
274 Travis Lakins Sr. (BAL - SP,RP) 491    
 
275 Evan Phillips (BAL - RP) MiLB 492    
 
276 Logan Allen (CLE - P) MiLB 498    
 
277 Mike Baumann (BAL - SP) MiLB 499