2018 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (AL)

Expert Consensus Ranking (42 of 45 Experts) -
Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Chris Sale (BOS - SP) 7 5.0 -2.0
Sale faded just a tad down the stretch to take his truly remarkable season down to just an outstanding one. Sale struck out an incredible 308 batters, kept his WHIP below 1.00, and won 17 games for the second straight year. Although Sale entered the league with injury concerns because of his slight frame and wild delivery, he has surpassed 200 innings pitched in four of the last five seasons, and is a true ace of a fantasy staff. Whether you draft him before Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer, or even Clayton Kershaw is simply a matter of personal preference at this point.
2 Corey Kluber (CLE - SP) 6 6.0
Kluber battled back issues which required a DL-stint and struggled a bit in the playoffs. There, you have now learned everything negative about Kluber's 2017 season. On the bright side, he topped 200 innings for the fourth straight year, won 18 games for the third time in four seasons, set career-bests in ERA, WHIP, and strikeout-rate, and won the American League Cy Young award. Back issues are always scary, but Kluber has given no reason to doubt him, and he's one of the few truly guaranteed pitchers in all of fantasy.
3 Carlos Carrasco (CLE - SP) 16 16.0
Last year the knock on Carrasco was durability. Well, he posted 200 innings and was dynamite throughout the season. There is nothing holding him back now from being one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball.
4 Luis Severino (NYY - SP) 20 15.0 -5.0
We saw flashes of a true ace in 2015, and last year Severino proved he has the makings of a perennial Cy Young candidate. While he isn't on the same level as Kluber and Sale, it may only be a matter of time before he reaches them.
5 Justin Verlander (HOU - SP) 22 17.0 -5.0
Verlander was sensational once he moved to Houston, but doing that over a full season at the age of 35 is another story. While is a clearly a top 10 fantasy pitcher in drafts, his ceiling seems to be last among the group.
6 Aroldis Chapman (NYY - RP) 32 25.0 -7.0
While it's true that Aroldis is officially a human, that doesn't mean we should expect his disappointing season to repeat in 2018. Rather, he looks like a safe bet for 30+ saves and 100+ Ks on top of solid ratios.
7 James Paxton (SEA - SP) 33 30.0 -3.0
Paxton has shown hints of being an ace, but in the second half last season, he emerged as one of the best arms in baseball. If he can finally stay on the mound for more than 150 innings, we may be talking about a Cy Young contender. Think Carlos Carrasco this time last year.
8 Roberto Osuna (HOU - RP) 37 34.0 -3.0
Osuna's ERA ended at 3.38 last year which is not ideal, but he is among the best closers in baseball and still just 23 years old. You can count on him for a stellar WHIP , 35+ saves and 80 Ks.
9 Gerrit Cole (HOU - SP) 39 31.0 -8.0
Everything Cole gains in picking up likely 5 more wins with the Astros is cancelled out with the hit his ratios should see moving way from Pittsburgh's pitcher-friendly environment. Expect a near repeat performance from him as a borderline top 100 overall player this year.
10 Masahiro Tanaka (NYY - SP) 41 36.0 -5.0
Every year, there are a handful of quality starting pitchers who completely bust for whatever reason. Last year, it seemed as though Tanaka would be another example when he posted a 5.47 ERA in 102 first half innings. In the second half, however, everything turned around. Sure, his 3.77 ERA was pedestrian, but his underlying metrics lined up with the best in all of baseball. In fact, his 2.83 xFIP was third behind only Corey Kluber and Chris Sale. While there is a chance Tanaka falls back into whatever funk he was in a 10 months ago, you've got to be encouraged as a potential fantasy owner at the filthy metrics he posted to close the season.
11 David Price (BOS - SP,RP) 42 43.0 +1.0
Price struggled at times last year, but he nearly matched his career ERA, WHIP and K/9 so don't be so quick to assume he is done. We may again see the top 10 pitcher he once was.
12 Ken Giles (TOR - RP) 47 40.0 -7.0
Giles had a rough 2016, but bounced rigt back to being one of the top 5 closers in baseball last year. His WHIP likely won't be under 1.00, but you can bet on 80+ Ks and 30+ saves.
13 Lance McCullers (HOU - SP) 45 49.0 +4.0
If Lance McCullers wins the pitching triple crown, it would likely surprise no one. With that said, we saw how terrible he can be at times. Just be sure you realize the risk you are taking if you add him in fantasy drafts this year.
14 Edwin Diaz (SEA - RP) 50 41.0 -9.0
As is true with most closers, Diaz has gone through some rough spells, but overall, the 23-year-old has been spectacular and may only get better from here.
15 Shohei Ohtani (LAA - SP,DH) 49 39.0 -10.0
If Ohtani wasn't coming off an injury riddled season and expected to be capped in his usage, you could make a case for him being similar to Luis Severino. With that said, the question marks are there so don't jump out of the seat of your pants expecting a Cy Young right away. His bat is unlikely to be ready, so maybe .260 with a dozen homers in 200 to 300 at bats.
16 Brad Hand (CLE - RP) 55 51.0 -4.0
Hand has been lights out in back to back seasons, posting stellar WHIPs with over 100+ Ks in each season. This year, he should have the closer job full-time too so he has top-5 reliever upside and a fairly safe floor.
17 Jose Berrios (MIN - SP) 54 44.0 -10.0
Berrios was not a dominant fantasy asset last season, but he has shown enough that it is not out of the realm of possibility for him to pull a Luis Severino on the AL this season as a 24-year-old.
18 Sonny Gray (NYY - SP) MiLB 56 50.0 -6.0
Gray had a miserable 2016 season, but bounced back admirably last year with a 3.55 ERA and 153 strikeouts. While he likely won't ever be more than a #3 SP again, those kind of numbers could net him 15 wins pitching in front of that Yankees lineup.
19 Trevor Bauer (CLE - SP) 61 55.0 -6.0
You may look at Bauer's 5.24 ERA in the first-half and see that he went 10-2 with a 3.01 in the second-half, but he was actually every bit as good in the first-half in terms of underlying metrics. Rather, he just had some bad luck. This may be the year we finally get a top 30 starting pitcher out of him with 220+ Ks.
20 Marcus Stroman (TOR - SP) 58 57.0 -1.0
Stroman somehow only has 37 wins in his career despite always throwing a ton of innings and offering solid ratios. That number may come up, but his strikeouts are likely capped at 160, making him a safe play without much upside.
21 Alex Colome (SEA - RP) 62 56.0 -6.0
Colome led the AL with 47 saves last year, but the ratios were mediocre and he doesn't strike many batters out. Seeing that the Rays are forfeiting their season, 40+ saves seems unlikely in 2018.
22 Danny Duffy (KC - SP) 64 63.0 -1.0
Duffy has shown flashes of being an excellent pitcher at times in his career. Last season, he was merely mediocre however, so realize there is a bit of risk with this pick and a small ceiling in regards to wins.
23 Michael Fulmer (DET - SP) 69 65.0 -4.0
Fulmer may produce solid ratios, but the strikeouts are non-existent and you can't even bank on 10 wins considering the Tigers' lineup he will be pitching in front of.
24 Blake Treinen (OAK - RP) 80 71.0 -9.0
It was a tale of two seasons for Treinen, as he flopped when given the closer's role for the Nationals, but then excelled in the role after his trade to the Athletics. Treinen didn't pitch all that well with the Nationals, but he was incredibly unlucky given his BABIP when combined with his 60.5% ground ball rate. His numbers with Oakland (2.13 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, strikeout rate above 20%) are more indicative of what owners can expect. The A's are mediocre, of course, but that shouldn't stop Treinen from being a fine relief option late in drafts.
25 Dylan Bundy (BAL - SP) 77 70.0 -7.0
Bundy's ERA wasn't where fantasy owners would have wanted to see it, but over the course of the season, his peripheral numbers looked more and more like the #2 pitcher the Orioles were hoping he would eventually become.
26 Blake Snell (TB - SP) 79 74.0 -5.0
Snell's strikeout rates dropped last season and his ERA went up, but that doesn't mean he is a bust. Rather, let's try to remember that he was recently the minor league pitcher of the year and has substantial untapped potential that may show it's face this season.
27 Danny Salazar (CLE - SP) 82 83.0 +1.0
Everyone and their grandma knew Danny Salazar had front of the rotation stuff, but he had a rough first half thanks to a sore shoulder in June. When he came back, he was as good as ever, placing second in baseball with 12.8 K/9 over the second half and a 3.00 ERA. There is plenty of risk if you draft him, but the upside is that of a Cy Young winner, and I don't throw that term around lightly.
28 Mike Clevinger (CLE - SP,RP) 91 75.0 -16.0
Clevinger is officially in the rotation to start the season and may just be the steal of fantasy drafts this year. He was a top 15 pitcher when he was on the mound for 21 starts last season and might strikeout 220 this year if he has the chance from Cleveland.
29 Jacob Faria (TB - SP) 95 86.0 -9.0
Faria was impressive in his 86 inning big league debut, but there is much more potential to be tapped into. Last season before his call up, Faria was striking out an unbelievable 12.9 batter per nine innings. He' got 200 K upside with a low-3's ERA if he gets enough innings.
30 Sean Manaea (OAK - SP) MiLB 99 106.0 +7.0
Manaea looked sharp in the first ha;f and has showed a great deal of promise at times in his career. Taking the wrong medications derailed his season, though, so you'll be able to get a discount on draft day for a quality pitcher.
31 Fernando Rodney (OAK - RP) 104 80.0 -24.0
The Twins are planning on using Rodney as their closer and saves are saves so go ahead and draft him late if you need to fill the category. That doesn't mean his role will last long, however, as Rodney is one of the worst closers entering the season.
32 Blake Parker (LAA - RP) 100 90.0 -10.0
The Angels seem to be going with the inferior Bedrosian as their closer to begin the season, but if he slips up one bit, you can bet on Parker taking over again. If and when he is the closer, he is a top 15 reliever in baseball.
33 Rick Porcello (BOS - SP) 103 84.0 -19.0
Bouncing back to Cy Young form is extremely unlikely for Porcello, but his 4.65 ERA last season and 17 losses were the product of much bad luck. He should return cloer to his career norm of a low 4's ERA with 12 to 15 wins.
34 Jordan Montgomery (NYY - SP) 109 96.0 -13.0
While Jordan Montgomery was not a big prospect, he possesses enough swing and miss stuff that he could take another leap forward this season. His ceiling isn't huge, but he is a safe bet to be a fantasy relevant pitcher and we just might get more.
35 Aaron Sanchez (TOR - SP) 106 69.0 -37.0
Sanchez was only able to throw 36 innings last season and they weren't all that good. He does have a career 3.01 ERA, however, so if he can stay on the mound, we might get a big-time surprise late in drafts.
36 Dellin Betances (NYY - RP) 111 94.0 -17.0
Betances likely won't be saving more than a handful of games, but even in last year's down season, he still managed 100 Ks and solid ratios. You can bet on the safety late in drafts if you need help in those three categories.
37 Lucas Giolito (CWS - SP) 107 87.0 -20.0
Most will flock to Giolito after posting a sparkling 2.38 ERA and sub 1.00 WHIP in 45 innings last year. After all, he was a former top 5 prospect, right? While that is true, it is not necessarily accurate to regard him as such at the time he re-entered the majors. Giolito may be 6'6" and 255 pounds, but he has lost several ticks off his fastball and no longer has the stuff to strike out 200 hitters in a season. In fact, last year his 6.8 K/9 was in the same range as Clayton Richard and Jason Vargas, which is a far cry from Cy Young territory.
38 Shane Greene (DET - RP) 110 88.0 -22.0
39 Jake Odorizzi (MIN - SP) 114 105.0 -9.0
The Twins' opening day starter struggled through the second half of last season, but he is healthy now and set to return to posting the quality numbers we saw throughout his career. If you need a safe pitcher late into drafts, Odorizzi fits the bill.
40 Brad Peacock (HOU - SP,RP) 113 92.0 -21.0
It seems as though the Astros will be forced to leave Peacock out of the starting rotation to open the season, but even with that being the case, he was so dominant out of the pen last year that he ought to be drafted. He also provides that rare SP eligibility for a relief pitcher than essentially gives you free quality innings.
41 Alex Cobb (BAL - SP) 115 91.0 -24.0
Cobb has had trouble staying healthy through his career, but he did rack up 180 innings last season and the Orioles paid him a pretty penny this spring. He won't strike out too many hitters, but you can rely on useful ratios as always from Cobb.
42 Chris Devenski (HOU - RP) 121 121.0
43 Alexander Claudio (TEX - RP) 119 109.0 -10.0
44 Cameron Bedrosian (LAA - RP) 122 107.0 -15.0
The Angels have been grooming Bedrosian to be the closer from some time and he has shown considerable potential, but is not nearly as polished as Blake Parker who seems to be the best reliever in their bullpen. Apparently, Bedrosian is the favorite for the job though. Don't draft him as though it is locked into place, nor that if he has the job, he is bound to hang onto it for too long with Parker breathing down his neck.
45 Felix Hernandez (SEA - SP) 120 95.0 -25.0
Long gone are the days where Felix will pitch 240 innings, winning 20 games, but if he can remain healthy, 14 wins and useful ratios are a real possibility. His floor is high enough that drafting him late is hardly a risk at all.
46 Chad Green (NYY - RP) 117 108.0 -9.0
Apologies to Kenley Jansen, but Green was the best reliever in baseball during the second half after a rather dominant first half. Batters hit just .147 off him over the entire season and struck out in 45% of their at-bats. That is not a typo! The Yankees finally got wise and decided to put him in the rotation for 2018. There is, of course, some risk here, but he is going undrafted in most leagues. Buy yourself a lottery ticket and maybe just maybe you will end up with this year's breakout starter of the year.
47 Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS - SP) DL10 127 140.0 +13.0
The Red Sox aren't expected to get E-Rod back by the start of the season, but when he does return, they might have one of the sneakiest fantasy baseball pickups. At times, Rodriguez has shown SP #2 type upside and if he puts it together for a full season, he might strike out 200 batters with 15 wins and quality ratios some day.
48 Addison Reed (MIN - RP) 124 122.0 -2.0
49 Carlos Rodon (CWS - SP) 135 161.0 +26.0
Rodon struggled with his command after his return from injury, but eventually ironed it out. He's got top 20 starting pitcher upside this season if he can stay healthy and maintain that command all season.
50 Nate Jones (CWS - RP) 132 133.0 +1.0
51 Jake Junis (KC - SP) 131 158.0 +27.0
52 Matt Shoemaker (LAA - SP) 139 159.0 +20.0
Shoemaker broke out at the end of 2016 and was supposed to be a great late-round addition this time last year, but he only started 14 games and wasn't all that impressive. The upside is still there, but it comes with some risk.
53 Mike Minor (TEX - SP,RP) 146 150.0 +4.0
54 Mychal Antonio Givens (BAL - RP) 144 160.0 +16.0
55 Tyler Glasnow (TB - SP,RP) 140 171.0 +31.0
Glasnow may have been the worst pitcher in the big leagues last year because he struggled with his command. He also happened to be the best pitcher in the minors last year too with video game numbers. Expect a major bounceback, and while he may may not be an ace right away, he does offer that type of upside.
56 Mike Leake (SEA - SP) 137 153.0 +16.0
Leake has now given fantasy owners an ERA under 4.00 in four of his last five seasons. The strikeouts won't be there, but if you need a durable volume guy, Leake will do the trick.
57 CC Sabathia (NYY - SP) 147 119.0 -28.0
58 Collin McHugh (HOU - SP,RP) 150 156.0 +6.0
59 Reynaldo Lopez (CWS - SP) 164 148.0 -16.0
Lopez was not impressive last season with a 4.72 ERA and just 30 Ks in 47 innings, but he offers considerable upside so if you are in a deep league, feel free to draft him as a late flier.
60 Erasmo Ramirez (SEA - SP,RP) FA 151 209.0 +58.0
61 Trevor Hildenberger (MIN - RP) 153 217.0 +64.0
62 Juan Minaya (CWS - RP) 158 147.0 -11.0
63 Tyler Skaggs (LAA - SP) 168 168.0
The Angels are experimenting with a six-man rotation so don't expect much in the way of innings, but Skaggs still has untapped potential and could take a big leap forward this year if he can stay on the mound.
64 Will Harris (HOU - RP) MiLB 156 131.0 -25.0
65 Emilio Pagan (OAK - RP) 155 139.0 -16.0
66 Yusmeiro Petit (OAK - RP) 166 221.0 +55.0
67 Ian Kennedy (KC - SP) 173 191.0 +18.0
68 Tommy Kahnle (NYY - RP) MiLB 171 137.0 -34.0
Kahnle would need a total Yankees disaster to get save opportunities as he is either fourth or fifth in line for New York. Still, his stuff is good enough that we should be looking at one of the top non-closers in baseball again this season.
69 Chance Adams (NYY - SP) MiLB   205.0  
70 Matt Bush (TEX - RP) 172 208.0 +36.0
71 Marco Gonzales (SEA - SP) 163 151.0 -12.0
72 Daniel Mengden (OAK - SP) 205 178.0 -27.0
73 Juan Nicasio (SEA - RP) 180 199.0 +19.0
74 Andrew Heaney (LAA - SP) 192 186.0 -6.0
Heaney has only given L.A. 27 innings over the past two seasons because of injury and is again nursing an elbow injury, but if he can get on the bound, we may see an ERA around 3.5 with quite a few wins.
75 Michael Kopech (CWS - SP) 174 149.0 -25.0
76 Kyle Gibson (MIN - SP) 201 189.0 -12.0
77 Doug Fister (TEX - SP) FA 195 244.0 +49.0
78 Yonny Chirinos (TB - SP,RP) MiLB 177 328.0 +151.0
79 Danny Barnes (TOR - RP) 206    
80 Jose Leclerc (TEX - RP) 179 341.0 +162.0
81 Hector Rondon (HOU - RP) 181 249.0 +68.0
82 Andrew Triggs (OAK - SP) 210 157.0 -53.0
83 Joe Jimenez (DET - RP) 196 170.0 -26.0
84 Kendall Graveman (OAK - SP) 213 195.0 -18.0
85 Nick Goody (CLE - RP) 194 251.0 +57.0
86 Nick Vincent (SEA - RP) FA 178 297.0 +119.0
87 Mike Fiers (OAK - SP) 216 238.0 +22.0
88 Ryan Dull (OAK - RP) 208 286.0 +78.0
89 Andrew Cashner (BAL - SP) 220 181.0 -39.0
90 Alex Wilson (DET - RP) 199 344.0 +145.0
91 Carson Smith (BOS - RP) DL60 209 231.0 +22.0
92 Ryan Buchter (OAK - RP) 187 305.0 +118.0
93 Liam Hendriks (OAK - RP) 188 323.0 +135.0
94 Austin Pruitt (TB - SP,RP) 200 327.0 +127.0
95 Daniel Norris (DET - SP) 228 174.0 -54.0
96 Chris Hatcher (OAK - RP) MiLB 231    
97 Ryan Tepera (TOR - RP) 222 257.0 +35.0
98 Matt Barnes (BOS - RP) 233 282.0 +49.0
99 Forrest Whitley (HOU - SP) MiLB   228.0  
100 Ben Lively (KC - SP) MiLB 243 240.0 -3.0
101 Joe Smith (HOU - RP) 214 264.0 +50.0
102 James Hoyt (CLE - RP) 215    
103 Matt Boyd (DET - SP) 217 211.0 -6.0
104 Paul Blackburn (OAK - SP) 245    
105 Carson Fulmer (CWS - SP) 239 214.0 -25.0
106 George Kontos (NYY - RP) MiLB 256    
107 Brian Johnson (BOS - SP,RP) 227 247.0 +20.0
108 Anthony Banda (TB - SP,RP) 250 339.0 +89.0
109 Jordan Zimmermann (DET - SP) 249 145.0 -104.0
110 Gregory Infante (RP) FA      
111 Buck Farmer (DET - SP,RP) 263    
112 Steven Wright (BOS - SP,RP) 235 185.0 -50.0
113 Tyler Duffey (MIN - RP) MiLB 221    
114 Mark Leiter Jr. (TOR - SP,RP) 253 253.0
115 Parker Bridwell (LAA - SP) 242 146.0 -96.0
116 A.J. Cole (NYY - SP,RP) MiLB 260 154.0 -106.0
117 Dan Otero (CLE - RP)   225.0  
118 Jesse Hahn (KC - SP) 240    
119 Brian Flynn (KC - RP) 230    
120 Cory Gearrin (OAK - RP) 264    
121 Keynan Middleton (LAA - RP) 251 267.0 +16.0
122 Taylor Rogers (MIN - RP) 252 237.0 -15.0
123 Burch Smith (KC - SP,RP) MiLB   299.0  
124 Chih-Wei Hu (TB - RP) 268    
125 Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA - SP) NRI 211 216.0 +5.0
126 Francis Martes (HOU - SP,RP) 278 256.0 -22.0
127 Adalberto Mejia (MIN - SP) 283 279.0 -4.0
128 Jose Alvarado (TB - RP)   337.0  
129 Daniel Gossett (OAK - SP) 284    
130 Wilmer Font (TB - SP,RP)   343.0  
131 Andrew Kittredge (TB - SP,RP) MiLB 246 331.0 +85.0
132 Domingo German (NYY - SP,RP) MiLB      
133 Ryan Pressly (HOU - RP) 266    
134 Enny Romero (KC - RP) FA 248    
135 Gabriel Ynoa (BAL - SP,RP) MiLB 287    
136 Joe Biagini (TOR - SP,RP) 273 230.0 -43.0
137 Justin Grimm (SEA - RP) MiLB 259    
138 Ricardo Rodriguez (TEX - RP)      
139 Trevor Oaks (KC - SP) 275    
140 Brandon Workman (BOS - RP) MiLB 262    
141 Hansel Robles (LAA - RP) 280 259.0 -21.0
142 Raul Alcantara (OAK - SP) MiLB      
143 Michael Pineda (MIN - SP) 282 316.0 +34.0
144 Aaron Slegers (MIN - SP) 286 274.0 -12.0
145 Chaz Roe (TB - RP) 269    
146 Austin Brice (LAA - RP) 271    
147 Sam Tuivailala (SEA - RP)   332.0  
148 Joshua Smoker (DET - RP) 272    
149 David Paulino (TOR - SP,RP)   258.0  
150 Miguel Castro (BAL - RP) 289    
151 James Pazos (SEA - RP) 274    
152 Ryne Stanek (TB - SP,RP) 279    
153 Wily Peralta (KC - SP,RP)      
154 Wade LeBlanc (SEA - SP,RP)      
155 Tyler Thornburg (BOS - SP,RP)   307.0  
156 Dan Altavilla (SEA - RP)   287.0  
157 Oliver Drake (MIN - RP)      
158 Warwick Saupold (DET - RP) DFA      
159 Nestor Cortes (NYY - SP,RP) MiLB