2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (NL)

Expert Consensus Ranking (56 of 59 Experts) -
Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Max Scherzer (WSH - SP) 2 1.0 -1.0
Looking for 18 wins, 220 innings and nearly 300 strikeouts? You can virtually lock it in with Scherzer. Not only that, be he has a 0.975 WHIP over the past six seasons. That is downright unfair. Don't hesitate to grab him late in the 1st round this year.
2 Jacob deGrom (NYM - SP) 6 6.0
deGrom was magical in 2018 and while there is a chance that continues into this season, we have to remember that the two prior seasons, he carried a 3.32 ERA with just 382 Ks and 22 wins. While that makes for a useful pitcher, the risk of him returning to that leaves him below Sale and Scherzer's tier
3 Aaron Nola (PHI - SP) 15 13.0 -2.0
Nola took another major leap forward last year, and while he may never be a 300 or even 250 strikeout guy like the handful of pitchers being drafted above him, 220+ with a sub 1.00 WHIP and 2.50 ERA will certainly warrant a third round pick
4 Trevor Bauer (CIN - SP) 19 16.0 -3.0
Prior to an injury in the second half, Bauer was among the top pitchers in baseball. He still struck out 221 batters in 175 innings, but with health, those numbers could easily climb to 270 in 215 innings
5 Noah Syndergaard (NYM - SP) 22 19.0 -3.0
Thor has elite stuff without a doubt, but the numbers haven't quite made it to the top tier of pitchers. Rather, he has just one season with 170 strikeouts and has yet to win 15 games. You may argue that a Cy Young is right around the corner, but we've been saying that for three years now and it is starting to look like we have another Strasburg on our hands
6 Walker Buehler (LAD - SP) 24 23.0 -1.0
After tearing through the minors, Buehler pitcher pretty well for the Dodgers in the first half. Then a flip switched and he proceeded to become one of the top pitchers in baseball over the second half, posting a 2.03 ERA with 92 Ks and just a .165 BA allowed in 80 innings. Draft him accordingly
7 Edwin Diaz (NYM - RP) 30 27.0 -3.0
The Mets acquired Diaz to serve as their new closer, and he should be one of the first two closers off the board in all fantasy leagues following his dominant 2018 in Seattle.
8 Patrick Corbin (WSH - SP) 32 26.0 -6.0
Corbin was an absolute monster last season, striking out 246 batters with a 1.05 WHIP and 3.15 ERA. Granted, those ratios are likely to jump, perhaps even half a run in ERA, but he should also add considerably to his 11 wins from 2018 now that he is in Washington
9 Stephen Strasburg (WSH - SP) 33 32.0 -1.0
There is a lot of appeal in drafting an upside pitcher like Strasburg, but keep in mind that he averages just 145 innings over the last four years. Even with an excellent strikeout rate, that comes to just 174 Ks per season. The ratios will likely be golden again, but know that there is plenty of risk in spending a 5th or 6th round pick on him this year
10 Jack Flaherty (STL - SP) 36 33.0 -3.0
Flaherty was absurdly good last season as a rookie and seemed to improve as the year went on, striking out 95 in 76 second half innings. With that said, his walk rate climbed to a dangerous 3.52 per nine innings by seasons end. He has the upside to strike out 240 batters, but there is some risk here as well
11 Jameson Taillon (PIT - SP) IL60 37 37.0
If you look at Taillon's second half, it may seem as though he broke out into an ace, but the underlying metrics tell a different story. Rather, he was propped up by a great deal of BABIP and HR/FB ratio luck. Most likely, he will continue to pitch like a good #3 this season for Pittsburgh.
12 Kenley Jansen (LAD - RP) 41 40.0 -1.0
Jansen has been so good for so long that you might automatically assume him to be the top closer once again in 2019, but last year, he was nowhere close to it. Rather, his ERA plummeted to 3.01 with "just" 82 Ks. You can still grab him among the top tier, but you shouldn't even be considering taking him in the first five or six rounds.
13 Clayton Kershaw (LAD - SP) 42 29.0 -13.0
For the first time in a decade, there is quite a bit of risk with drafting Kershaw. He hasn't pitched 180 innings since 2015 and saw his strikeout rate plummet from 10.4 to 8.6 per nine innings. You can bank on top-notch ratios, but because of the innings a low strikeout totals and a potential shoulder injury, Kershaw has fallen into the third-tier of fantasy pitchers this year.
14 Zack Wheeler (NYM - SP) 51 43.0 -8.0
Wheeler has had struggles staying on the field but even if we can get 120 innings of the way he pitched to close the season, he would prove well worth a mid-round pick's investment. He may be the breakout ace that no one in the industry seems to be talking about this year.
15 Felipe Vazquez (PIT - RP) RST 52 44.0 -8.0
Vazquez's surface numbers weren't quite as dominant last year as they were in 2017, but his FIP and xFIP were nearly identical, and his overall numbers as the Pirates' closer were still quite good. He should have plenty of job security after signing a four-year contract extension last year and is easily a top-10 fantasy closer this season.
16 German Marquez (COL - SP) 54 42.0 -12.0
Marquez had a terrific strikeout-to-walk ratio last season, but still finished with an ERA of 3.77, which feels like a best-case scenario for a pitcher who calls Coors Field home. Marquez should provide plenty of innings and strikeouts and his fair share of wins, but he's not likely to be of much help when it comes to ERA and WHIP.
17 Miles Mikolas (STL - SP) 57 53.0 -4.0
Mikolas had an incredible season in his first year back from pitching in Japan, posting a 2.83 ERA and 1.07 WHIP while winning 18 games for the Cardinals. His weak strikeout rate is a bit of a detriment in roto leagues with low innings caps, but it isn't too big a deal in points leagues. That said, he's due for a bit of a correction in his BABIP and HRs allowed, which should cause his ERA to rise at least into the mid-3.00s. He can still be a useful fantasy pitcher in most formats, but could be overvalued.
18 Sean Doolittle (WSH - RP) 60 55.0 -5.0
Doolittle is firmly established as the Nationals' closer heading into 2019, and he's proven to be an elite one when healthy. Unfortunately, injuries have been a frequent concern for Doolittle, which helps explain why the Nationals acquired two other relievers with closing experience in Trever Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough.
19 Craig Kimbrel (CHC - RP) 61 49.0 -12.0
Although still unsigned, it's safe to assume Kimbrel won't settle for a setup role. After all, no reliever in MLB history holsters a lower career FIP than his 1.96. Despite a concerning walk uptick (4.48 BB/9), he posted a 2.74 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 42 saves in 2018. Somewhat surprisingly, his ADP hasn't suffered from a disastrous postseason and drawn-out free agency. That should change now that he remains a free agent in mid-March. Drafters must now consider the higher the likelihood of a delayed or rusty start to the season. Or worse, maybe he actually follows through on his threat to sit out 2019.
20 Madison Bumgarner (SF - SP) 62 51.0 -11.0
Bumgarner was one of the best fantasy starters out there until a couple of years ago, but he hasn't been quite the same since his 2017 dirt bike accident. He has remained a help in ERA thanks to his ability to limit base hits, but his strikeout rate has plummeted and last year his walk rate rose as well. Bumgarner's peripherals suggest he is playing with fire, even in a very pitcher-friendly environment in San Francisco. Still just 29 years old, a big bounce back season cannot be completely discounted, but there is no question that Bumgarner is a risk-reward choice on draft day.
21 Robbie Ray (ARI - SP) 63 64.0 +1.0
Ray took a big step backward last year in the ratios but still racked up 165 Ks in just over 120 innings pitcher. There is still upside for an ace pitcher here and the floor may be about what we got last year which didn't kill anyone's championship hopes. He makes for a quality mid-round pick.
22 Kirby Yates (SD - RP) 65 59.0 -6.0
Yates took over as the Padres' closer following the Brad Hand trade last July, and the team didn't skip a beat. Yates finished with an impressive 2.14 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 12.86 K/9, so he should return as the unquestioned 2019 closer barring a surprise acquisition. Yates' fantasy value also gets a bit of a boost from the Padres signing Manny Machado, as it decreases the likelihood of Yates getting dealt to a contender at the trade deadline.
23 Luis Castillo (CIN - SP) 67 72.0 +5.0
Castillo quickly became a darling of the analytics community last season but failed to meet the expectations of those who reached for him in fantasy. He is still plenty young and talented, however, so don't give up on him less the breakout comes a year later than everyone planned for.
24 Josh Hader (MIL - RP) 68 57.0 -11.0
Hader registered three fewer strikeouts (143) than Miles Mikolas last season and eight more than Kenley Jansen and Ken Giles combined. Although not Milwaukee's full-time closer, he notched 12 saves and six wins with a 2.43 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. He led all relievers in strikeout % (46.7) and swinging-strike rate (19.0%). As a result, he's an anomaly who should get drafted above middling closers even in standard five-by-five leagues. Despite his clear dominance, it's awfully tough paying such a steep price for a middle reliever who's no guarantee to vulture as many saves and wins. With a consensus ADP above Sean Doolittle, Kirby Yates, and Jose Leclerc, drafters should instead try to find the next Hader in the final rounds or on the waiver wire. This could all change, however, if injuries to Jeremy Jeffress and Corey Knebel clear a path to saves. (The Brewers have also been linked to Craig Kimbrel.) Hader is a top-five stud in saves-plus-holds format who'd garner that same elite status in all leagues if given the closer's role.
25 Chris Archer (PIT - SP) IL60 66 68.0 +2.0
Archer has proven to be a pitcher who consistently posts a higher ERA than his advanced metrics suggest he deserves. At this point, we should no longer be expecting that to suddenly change. Until we see otherwise, expect Archer to post an ERA around 4.00, a WHIP in the 1.20s, and a fairly strong strikeout rate.
26 Kyle Hendricks (CHC - SP) 70 70.0
His success defies common convention, but how many times does Hendricks have to prove himself as a sustainable anomaly? He boasts a 3.07 career ERA in 789 innings, only once going over 3.45 (3.95 in 2015). He has made at least 30 starts in three of the last four seasons, and a stellar 5.4% walk rate led to a 1.15 WHIP in 2018. Despite his lacking velocity, The Professor typically records 160-170 strikeouts over a full season of work. He's a boring, but effective SP3 to pair with high-upside strikeout pitchers.
27 Raisel Iglesias (CIN - RP) 73 69.0 -4.0
New Reds manager David Bell has indicated that Iglesias is "going to pitch in the most important spots in the game," whether it is the ninth inning or earlier. Bell added that "[a] lot of times it's going to be in that closing role." In actuality, that may not be much of a change from past seasons for Iglesias, who has entered in the eighth inning in 43 of his 129 appearances (33 percent) over the last two seasons. He didn't amass more than 30 saves either year, but still finished as a top-12 reliever in standard 5
28 Yu Darvish (CHC - SP) 71 80.0 +9.0
Darvish missed most of the 2018 season due to elbow and triceps injuries, and he was clearly not himself for the 40 innings he was able to pitch. Health has been a constant concern for Darvish, but he's been a consistently dominant strikeout pitcher, and last year was the first time in his Major League career that he's had an ERA over 3.90 or WHIP above 1.28. His team context in Chicago remains great, so the chance of a big bounce back season is there if he can just stay off of the DL.
29 Wade Davis (COL - RP) 75 66.0 -9.0
You may feel comfortable with the fact that Wade Davis is incredible, but beware of Coors. The saves will come, but chances are high that his ratios will lag behind what you are looking for in a closer. At his current ADP, you will almost certainly be able to wait and snag a better option.
30 Nick Pivetta (PHI - SP) 78 84.0 +6.0
Pivetta's peripherals say that his ERA should have been much better than 4.77 last year, but he was victimized by a high BABIP, low strand rate, and lots and lots of home runs. This is an elite bat misser who has thrown fewer than 300 innings at the Major League level, so there is some breakout potential here. We'll learn this season whether Pivetta is ready to take a step forward or if he's the next in a line of pitchers who don't quite live up to their peripherals.
31 Rich Hill (LAD - SP) 79 94.0 +15.0
It's a bit surprising how much the ECR favors Hill over Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Ross Stripling. All are superb options when healthy, but none should be trusted to work any more than 135 innings. So why such a heavy preference for Hill? The unlikely reclamation project turns 39 before starting the season, and he wasn't as elite (3.66 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 3.57 SIERA) in 2018's 132.2 innings. Drafters must exude patience, as he has struggled out of the gate in each of the last two seasons. In what should come as a surprise to nobody, he's already dealing with a short-term MCL injury that will delay his scheduled Opening Day start. He's a strong SP2 or 3 in the starts he makes, but it wouldn't be shocking to see him run out of steam. Just don't drop him much for this injury; such issues were already expected and factored into his draft cost.
32 Mike Foltynewicz (ATL - SP) 80 62.0 -18.0
A relative afterthought in many 2018 drafts, Foltynewicz fastened a 2.85 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 183 frames. Deploying fewer sinkers and more sliders helped unlock his upside, but beware paying full freight for an encore. A substandard 3.34 BB/9 could cause more trouble if a .253 BABIP rises near his .303 career norm. This was a case of not paying for the career year before elbow soreness threatened his wipe out multiple April starts.
33 David Robertson (PHI - RP) IL60 81 81.0
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler refused to commit to a single closer in 2018, and that will reportedly happen again in 2019, even after Philadelphia spent $23 million this offseason to bring in Robertson on a two-year contract. Robertson and Seranthony Dominguez are the two logical candidates to share the closer's role, but further late-inning shenanigans simply can't be ruled out from Kapler.
34 Cole Hamels (CHC - SP) 82 82.0
Hamels displayed all the signs of a pitcher in decline during his three seasons in Texas, but he rebounded nicely upon joining the Cubs at midseason last year. It's hard to know exactly what version of Hamels we'll get at this point, but being in the National League should help. It's not unreasonable to hope for a sub-4.00 ERA, a WHIP in the low 1.20s, and close to a strikeout per inning in 2019.
35 Kenta Maeda (LAD - SP) 87 95.0 +8.0
Over his first three seasons with the Dodgers, Maeda has finished as the SP19, SP33, and SP49 in standard 5x5 rotisserie leagues, despite averaging just 145 innings pitched per season. He is a good bet to again produce an ERA around 3.80, WHIP around 1.20, and better than a strikeout per inning. While it would be unwise to expect more than around 130 innings from Maeda this season, given how the Dodgers have handled Maeda and the rest of their pitching staff over the last couple years, he's proven he can be a solid mixed league asset even with a limited workload. He's particularly valuable in shallower leagues (10/12 team leagues with short benches) and leagues with multiple DL spots, since there will be decent fill-ins available for the starts he misses in those formats.
36 Jose Quintana (CHC - SP) 89 88.0 -1.0
37 Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD - SP) 97 99.0 +2.0
Ryu was terrific when healthy last season, posting a 1.97 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 9.73 K/9 across 15 starts. You can never expect more than around 100 innings from Ryu, but they'll be good innings -- think a 3.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 9+ K/9.
38 Will Smith (SF - RP) 99 129.0 +30.0
Smith doesn't have much competition for saves at this point, but he hasn't exactly been the most durable reliever. More importantly, he will be a valuable trade chip mid-season as a lefty setup man, so take the saves while you can with Smith, but know they might not stick around all year.
39 Jake Arrieta (PHI - SP) IL60 102 106.0 +4.0
40 Jon Gray (COL - SP) IL60 101 105.0 +4.0
Drafters would be forgiven for giving up on Gray, who continually fails to transfer his FIP (3.68) to a strong ERA (4.65). Coors can't take the full blame; he posted a 5.34 ERA on the road last season. Demoted during the season, he threw out a triumphant July return (1.66) by yielding 35 runs in his final 58.2 frames. With a four-seamer rocked to a career .326/.401/.512 slash line, Gray might never escape this purgatory, at least not with the Rockies. Then again, at least he's cheap now. Given the elite strikeout stuff, he might be worth a dart throw in shallower leagues. Investors, however, must be willing to pull the cord if his Jekyll and Hyde profile persists.
41 Joey Lucchesi (SD - SP) 98 111.0 +13.0
42 Jordan Hicks (STL - RP) IL60 105 102.0 -3.0
Spring stats often get overblown, but how do you ignore someone throwing 103 mph and collecting eight strikeouts in his first 16 batters faced? Armed with what pitching coach Mike Maddux called "the best fastball I've ever seen," Hicks brandishes elite upside despite posting a middling 3.59 ERA and 7.4 K-BB% in his rookie season. Remember, the Cardinals bumped him up straight from Single-A, so the 22-year-old is still developing. He just may ascend into a top-shelf reliever as soon as this season, and it's possible that dominance would land him save opportunities. If opening 2019 as the Cardinals' closer, Hicks wields league-winning upside.
43 Chris Paddack (SD - SP) 106 128.0 +22.0
One of this spring's trendiest risers, Paddack has turned heads with 20 strikeouts and two walks in 12.2 frames. This type of dominance is nothing new for the 6'4" righty, who registered an absurd 120 strikeouts to eight walks in 90 innings between Single-A and Double-A last season. After signing Manny Machado, the Padres may call up their prized prospect early in the season to prove they mean business. Yet Paddack assumed a limited workload last season after undergoing Tommy John in 2016, so he still may not toss more than 145 major league innings despite making the Opening Day roster. That's a problem to worry about later; the rookie needs to be owned in all leagues.
44 Ross Stripling (LAD - SP,RP) 104 107.0 +3.0
Let's not forget how awesome Stripling was to start the season. He posted a 2.39 ERA with an MLB-high 11.38 BB/K ratio before the All-Star break. Despite finishing with a 3.02 ERA, he underperformed a .266 xwOBA that finished ninth among all starters. A potential top-25 starter if provided a secure job, he's instead a dicey top-50 choice with the Dodgers likely to give Kenta Maeda the fifth spot after Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. He'll earn some starts eventually, potentially to start the season if Kershaw (shoulder inflammation) and/or Buehler (arm) aren't ready, but Stripling may not significantly exceed last year's 122 innings. The skills make him worth a plunge at the right spot, especially with injuries already beginning to pile up for the NL champs.
45 Joe Musgrove (PIT - SP) 109 119.0 +10.0
Despite his career 21.0% strikeout rate, Musgrove offers upside potential as a late-round flier. An 11.5% swinging-strike rate suggests he could fan more batters, especially if he maintains last summer's uptick in slider usage. He also wields excellent control, as shown by issuing just seven walks in 10 second-half starts. His .281 xwOBA matched that of Patrick Corbin, narrowly besting James Paxton and Pirates teammate Jameson Taillon. He has the makings of a sneaky SP3 who will only cost a bench pick.
46 Jon Lester (CHC - SP) 111 87.0 -24.0
Jon Lester had 18 wins with a 3.32 ERA in 2018, so everyone seems to just assume he is still an ace. That couldn't be further from the truth, however. His skill-indicative ERA was 47th out of 57 qualified pitchers and he was a disaster in the second half. Like his former teammate, Jake Arrieta, things can fall apart quickly even for those who were once at the top of the game. He shouldn't be touched until at least the 13th round in a standard sized redraft league this year.
47 Kyle Freeland (COL - SP) 113 86.0 -27.0
48 Andrew Miller (STL - RP) 114 123.0 +9.0
Some are under the impression that Miller was signed to close in St. Louis, but the Cardinals have made it clear that Miller will be a multi-inning middle of the game type of beast like we saw in his Cleveland days. Rather, Jordan Hicks or potentially even Carlos Martinez will close. Regardless, Miller should be able to pile up the Ks and keep his ratios down enough to warrant a late-round pick.
49 Arodys Vizcaino (SEA - RP) IL60 117 100.0 -17.0
Reports were suggesting that Vizcaino was in a closer battle with A.J. Minter, but now that Minter is banged up, it seems as though Vizcaino will open the season as the closer for a playoff contending team. That should make him worthwhile to draft, but that doesn't exactly mean he will hang onto the job for long if he slips up.
50 Dallas Keuchel (ATL - SP) 115 101.0 -14.0
Keuchel will open 2019 without a team. Even if he signs, don't get too excited. Remember how a prolonged free agency worked out for Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, and Greg Holland last year? After posting a 3.74 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with an underwhelming 153 strikeouts in 204.2 innings, the 31-year-old lefty isn't particularly alluring in shallow mixed leagues anyway. Drafters shouldn't feel too guilty about dropping him in a 10- or 12-team mixed league with limited bench slots.
51 Alex Wood (CIN - SP) 116 131.0 +15.0
Wood will open 2019 on the IL with a back injury, but don't forget about him. Even before getting hurt, he was overlooked in drafts despite carrying a career 3.29 ERA and 3.36 FIP and gaining job security with a move from the Dodgers to the Reds. The park change and diminished velocity have caused valid concerns, but the 28-year-old righty should remain a solid No. 4 or 5 starter when healthy.
52 Steven Matz (NYM - SP) 126 142.0 +16.0
53 Pedro Strop (CHC - RP) 128 127.0 -1.0
Brandon Morrow is technically the Cubs' closer, but it seems as though he will miss at least a month to open the season. That makes Strop the likely replacement and for one of the best teams in baseball. Don't be surprised if Morrow misses longer or even losses the job to Strop while he is on the IL.
54 Kevin Gausman (CIN - SP) 127 120.0 -7.0
Gausman will begin 2019 on the IL with a minor shoulder injury, but he could return as soon as April 5. He's still a sneaky post-hype sleeper whose strikeout rate dipped to 19.1% despite a career-high 11.3% swinging-strike rate. Once freed from Baltimore, he boasted a 2.87 ERA in 10 starts with the Braves.
55 Sean Newcomb (ATL - SP) 131 122.0 -9.0
56 Archie Bradley (ARI - RP) 133 118.0 -15.0
Bradley looked like the overwhelming favorite to close in the desert, but the situation became considerably cloudier when the Diamondbacks signed Greg Holland in January. Manager Torey Lovullo now expects to have "a nice little competition" for the job. Bradley's ERA ballooned to 3.64 last season, but his xFIP and SIERA suggest he was pretty much the same pitcher as he was in 2017. He just stranded fewer baserunners and surrendered more home runs. Although unlikely to be nearly as dominant as he was in 2017, he should certainly be better than Holland.
57 Carlos Martinez (STL - SP,RP) 132 109.0 -23.0
Although prone to waning command on a start-to-start basis, Martinez had offered year-to-year consistency for three durable seasons before a shoulder injury limited him to 119.2 innings last season. He allowed three runs in 18.1 innings as a reliever down the stretch, which reportedly had the Cardinals considering a bullpen role even before shutting him down with a shoulder setback. The 27-year-old righty, who owns a career 3.37 ERA and 8.82 K/9, may no longer be available to open 2019 in the rotation. Daring drafters could snag him at an even cheaper price, but the health and usage risks alongside last year's 11.5% walk rate make him far from a lock to rebound.
58 Corey Knebel (MIL - RP) IL60 130 108.0 -22.0
An intriguing bounce-back selection, Knebel is dealing with a UCL injury that has Brewers manager Craig Counsell concerned. Although one of the game's elite strikeout artists over the last two seasons, late drafters should avoid him in case the worst scenario is confirmed. Josh Hader could see more save opportunities, but the Brewers could still sign Craig Kimbrel or put someone else into the ninth-inning role so their best reliever can keep working in high-leverage spots.
59 Seranthony Dominguez (PHI - SP,RP) IL60 136 140.0 +4.0
The majority of Dominguez' appeal was ruined when the Phillies signed David Robertson, who will almost certainly be their closer. With that said, Dominguez should be a three-category monster and well worth owning even without the saves.
60 Matt Strahm (SD - SP,RP) 135 144.0 +9.0
Strahm is the ultimate sleeper, as he is a great bet to post killer numbers if he beats out the odds and makes the Padres rotation. He has been a stud in the bullpen when healthy but may end up there once again.
61 Jimmy Nelson (MIL - SP) MiLB 140 168.0 +28.0
62 Alex Reyes (STL - SP) MiLB 144 143.0 -1.0
Reyes threw all of four innings in his return from Tommy John surgery before suffering a shoulder injury that knocked him out for the rest of the 2018 season. He enters 2019 as a total wildcard who isn't likely to be in the Opening Day rotation, but the talent is obvious. He could easily be a huge difference-maker for fantasy owners in the season's second half, if not earlier.
63 Shane Greene (ATL - RP) 149 136.0 -13.0
Although Greene had a rough 2018 season, he comes into this year as the expected closer for Detroit. Joe Jimenez might take over before long, but as long as Greene continues to offer saves and strikeouts, he deserves a roster spot.
64 A.J. Minter (ATL - RP) IL60 148 152.0 +4.0
Minter was supposed to be in the heat of the competition for saves in Atlanta, and while that may happen down the road, an injury setback for him has handed the job over to Vizcaino. Unless you play in a deeper league, this should make Minter undraftable, but worth keeping an eye on in free agency.
65 Hunter Strickland (WSH - RP) MiLB 139 125.0 -14.0
Strickland recorded two saves before any other MLB team could win a game. Guess he's the 2019 fantasy MVP, right? Not quite, but this is a case that demands swift attention, as the Tokyo games confirmed his status as Seattle's closer. He also started 2018 strong in the same role for San Francisco before winding up with a 3.97 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, so don't get too carried away.
66 Luke Weaver (ARI - SP) 153 174.0 +21.0
67 Sonny Gray (CIN - SP) 155 150.0 -5.0
68 Brandon Morrow (CHC - RP) IL60 150 155.0 +5.0
Morrow is working his way back from an elbow injury that should cost him the first month of the season. He was very good last season and will earn $9 million this year, so it's certainly possible he regains the closer job even if Pedro Strop is handling it well in his absence. He's a smart DL stash.
69 Julio Urias (LAD - SP) 146 148.0 +2.0
70 Drew Steckenrider (MIA - RP) IL60 169 171.0 +2.0
The Marlins likely won't win 70 games, but even so, there will be saves to be found on the roster and Steckenrider is the early favorite to get the job done. How long the role stays his is anyone's guess, but saves are saves so add him late if you are desperate.
71 Brandon Woodruff (MIL - SP,RP) 163 153.0 -10.0
72 Greg Holland (WSH - RP) MiLB 160 161.0 +1.0
Despite posting a 4.66 ERA last season and struggling to reach 90 mph in spring, Holland will open 2019 as Arizona's closer. Best-case scenario: He keeps the job and records 30 saves with an ugly ERA like Brad Boxberger last season. He could just as easily lose the job to Archie Bradley or Yoshihisa Hirano in April, so he's best deployed in deeper leagues.
73 Anibal Sanchez (WSH - SP) 166 164.0 -2.0
74 Freddy Peralta (MIL - SP) 170 167.0 -3.0
Despite finishing top 10 in both strikeouts per nine innings and batting average against, Peralta is somehow not a lock to make the Brewers' rotation. If he pitches well enough in spring training, we've got one of the favorite candidates to break out this season. He'll have to earn his shot first.
75 Michael Wacha (STL - SP) MiLB 177 151.0 -26.0
76 Blake Parker (PHI - RP) 171 199.0 +28.0
After Parker signed with the Twins, many assumed he will be the closer, but it seems as though Trevor May is the favorite. In fact, Parker is likely the third-best reliever in this bullpen behind May and Rogers so beware on draft day.
77 Marcus Stroman (NYM - SP) 179 154.0 -25.0
78 Vince Velasquez (PHI - SP) 182 203.0 +21.0
79 Julio Teheran (ATL - SP) 183 134.0 -49.0
80 Corbin Burnes (MIL - RP) MiLB 176 166.0 -10.0
81 Jeremy Jeffress (MIL - RP) FA 185 159.0 -26.0
Jeffress could again see save opportunities in Milwaukee this season, but Corey Knebel is the favorite to lead the closer committee. Regardless, Jeffress can help enough in other areas (Ks, ERA, WHIP) to be worth rostering in many formats even if he isn't closing. If you're skeptical, consider this: Josh Hader and Jeffress finished as the third and fourth most-valuable relievers in standard 5
82 Trevor Williams (PIT - SP) 184 163.0 -21.0
83 Derek Holland (CHC - SP) 181 208.0 +27.0
84 Caleb Smith (MIA - SP) 187 212.0 +25.0
85 Mike Soroka (ATL - SP) 201 219.0 +18.0
With five, yes FIVE, talented starting pitchers ready to make a rookie splash in Atlanta, projection models aren't too sure what to make of Soroka, but he is the most polished and we expect him to come out of Spring Training with a spot in the rotation. Soroka has premier command of his pitches, and while he isn't a big strikeout guy, we could be looking at a Kyle Hendricks like fantasy asset. That is someone you'll want to get your hands on if he emerges as the Braves #5 starter.
86 Jeff Samardzija (SF - SP) 186 226.0 +40.0
87 Jeurys Familia (NYM - RP) 208 193.0 -15.0
The Mets added the best closer in baseball this off-season so Familia takes a step back, but if anything happens to Diaz, Familia is the clear closer-in-waiting and would be top 20 at the position right away.
88 Zach Eflin (PHI - SP,RP) 191 170.0 -21.0
89 Chase Anderson (MIL - SP) 202 200.0 -2.0
90 Dereck Rodriguez (SF - SP) 203 165.0 -38.0
91 Keone Kela (PIT - RP) 212 218.0 +6.0
Vasquez is the closer in Pittsburgh for now, but Kela has immense upside if he slips up or is injured so be sure to keep him on waiver wire speed dial.
92 Touki Toussaint (ATL - SP) MiLB 205 186.0 -19.0
93 Pablo Lopez (MIA - SP,RP) 197 271.0 +74.0
94 Johnny Cueto (SF - SP) 217 202.0 -15.0
95 Seth Lugo (NYM - SP,RP) 224 227.0 +3.0
Lugo is one of those rare assets who qualifies as both a starting pitcher and reliever. Most likely, he will be used exclusively in the bullpen where he may pile up another 100 innings of stellar ratios.
96 Mark Melancon (ATL - RP) 209 225.0 +16.0
Will Smith is the closer for now in San Francisco but he hasn't been all that durable, plus he may be on the trade market before long as a coveted lefty setup man. Don't sleep on Melancon getting saves again within a few months.
97 Kyle Wright (ATL - SP) MiLB 199 235.0 +36.0
98 Tyler Anderson (COL - SP) IL60 210 247.0 +37.0
99 Anthony DeSclafani (CIN - SP) 221 217.0 -4.0
100 Jose Urena (MIA - SP) 216 236.0 +20.0
101 Merrill Kelly (ARI - P) 220 244.0 +24.0
Kelly is a real player, believe it or not. The reason you haven't heard of him is because he has been playing in South Korea the last few years. You might not know it from looking, but his 3.60 ERA and 9.0 K/9 actually made him the most impressive pitcher in the KBO. The reason, of course, is that virtually every game in that league is played in a Coors Field like offensive environment. Kelly doesn't quite have the control of a Miles Mikolas, but he has better strikeout stuff and could be every bit the surprise off the waiver wire in April if he makes the rotation.
102 Bryse Wilson (ATL - SP) MiLB 207 268.0 +61.0
103 Mike Leake (ARI - SP) 258 237.0 -21.0
104 Eric Lauer (SD - SP) 219 252.0 +33.0
105 Craig Stammen (SD - RP) 243 333.0 +90.0
106 Sandy Alcantara (MIA - SP) 230 254.0 +24.0
107 Yoshihisa Hirano (ARI - RP) 246 207.0 -39.0
108 Drew Pomeranz (MIL - SP) 273 211.0 -62.0
109 Anthony Swarzak (ATL - RP) MiLB 228 241.0 +13.0
110 Hector Neris (PHI - RP) 277 298.0 +21.0
111 Jesus Reyes (CIN - SP,RP) MiLB 249    
112 Steve Cishek (CHC - RP) 240 216.0 -24.0
With Brandon Morrow out, the Cubs' closer job will likely end up in Strop or Edwards' hands, but keep an eye on Cishek just in case he takes the coveted role for a month or two to start the season.
113 Adam Conley (MIA - RP) 260 308.0 +48.0
114 Gio Gonzalez (MIL - SP) MiLB 279 220.0 -59.0
115 Jeremy Hellickson (WSH - SP) MiLB 229 304.0 +75.0
116 Drew Smyly (PHI - SP) 288 245.0 -43.0
117 Joe Kelly (LAD - RP) 238 238.0
118 Carl Edwards Jr. (SD - RP) IL10 261 210.0 -51.0
It seems as though Pedro Strop will be the closer to open the season and eventually Brandon Morrow will get the job back. There is a chance Edwards slips in as the closer, however, but he has plenty of upside regardless of saves.
119 Zach Davies (MIL - SP) MiLB 297 338.0 +41.0
120 Jon Duplantier (ARI - SP) 305 340.0 +35.0
121 Chad Bettis (COL - SP,RP) IL60 316 469.0 +153.0
122 Tony Watson (SF - RP) IL60 253 250.0 -3.0
123 Taijuan Walker (ARI - SP) 282 330.0 +48.0
124 Caleb Ferguson (LAD - SP,RP) MiLB 250 374.0 +124.0
125 Max Fried (ATL - SP,RP) 293 293.0
126 John Brebbia (STL - RP) 290 361.0 +71.0
127 Robbie Erlin (SD - SP,RP) 268 290.0 +22.0
Erlin may not be a household name and you'll never feel sexy about drafting him, but if you want quality ratios, especially WHIP, he will answer the call late into drafts as your 6th starting pitcher.
128 Jason Vargas (PHI - SP) 270 306.0 +36.0
129 Wei-Yin Chen (MIA - SP) 284 329.0 +45.0
130 Ryne Stanek (MIA - SP,RP) 262 360.0 +98.0
131 Dinelson Lamet (SD - SP) 350 281.0 -69.0
132 Darren O'Day (ATL - RP) 272 464.0 +192.0
133 Reyes Moronta (SF - RP) IL60 269 375.0 +106.0
134 Seunghwan Oh (COL - RP) FA 271 229.0 -42.0
135 Tyler Mahle (CIN - SP) 275 336.0 +61.0
136 Dakota Hudson (STL - RP) 267 204.0 -63.0
Hudson has quality stuff and produced for the Redbirds last season, but he is going to have a difficult time beating out both Alex Wainwright and Alex Reyes for the final spot in St. Louis' rotation. If it happens, he will be worth owning, but don't bank on it until we get more info.
137 Andrew Suarez (SF - SP) 294 284.0 -10.0
138 Brad Brach (NYM - RP) 280 320.0 +40.0
139 Jared Hughes (PHI - RP) 298 345.0 +47.0
140 Pedro Baez (LAD - RP) 303 277.0 -26.0
141 Jake Faria (MIL - SP) MiLB 320 318.0 -2.0
142 Junior Guerra (MIL - SP,RP) 330 234.0 -96.0
143 Luke Gregerson (STL - RP) FA 296 401.0 +105.0
144 Matt Albers (MIL - RP) MiLB 427    
145 Adam Wainwright (STL - SP) 345 249.0 -96.0
146 Antonio Senzatela (COL - SP,RP) 300 299.0 -1.0
147 Richard Rodriguez (PIT - P) 304    
148 Fernando Rodney (WSH - RP) 308 221.0 -87.0
149 Alex Claudio (MIL - RP) 309    
150 Michael Lorenzen (CIN - RP) 306 270.0 -36.0
151 Jerad Eickhoff (PHI - SP) IL60 339 324.0 -15.0
152 Jose Castillo (SD - RP) IL60 318 310.0 -8.0
Castillo is out for the first two months, but if the Padres fall behind early and dangle Kirby Yates in trades like they've done with closers in the past, don't be surprised if Castillo takes over as a dominant second-half closer.
153 Cody Reed (CIN - RP) 353 391.0 +38.0
154 Kyle Crick (PIT - RP) IL60 343 408.0 +65.0
155 Matt Andriese (ARI - SP,RP) 315 323.0 +8.0
156 John Gant (STL - SP,RP) MiLB 347 342.0 -5.0
157 Amir Garrett (CIN - RP) 361 377.0 +16.0
158 Pat Neshek (PHI - RP) IL60 338 228.0 -110.0
159 Juan Nicasio (PHI - RP) 384 404.0 +20.0
160 Justin Wilson (NYM - RP) 335    
161 Scott Oberg (COL - RP) IL60 379 365.0 -14.0
162 Adam Warren (SD - RP) IL60 337    
163 Chris Stratton (PIT - SP) 331 370.0 +39.0
164 Ray Black (MIL - RP) MiLB 344 402.0 +58.0
165 Tommy Hunter (PHI - RP) IL60 348 481.0 +133.0
166 Kyle Barraclough (SF - RP) 352 362.0 +10.0
167 Tayron Guerrero (MIA - RP) 393 419.0 +26.0
168 Robert Gsellman (NYM - RP) 389 309.0 -80.0
169 Erick Fedde (WSH - SP) MiLB 342 369.0 +27.0
170 Jordan Lyles (MIL - SP,RP) 390 372.0 -18.0
171 Scott Alexander (LAD - RP) IL60 349    
172 Jose Alvarez (PHI - RP) 381 367.0 -14.0
173 Joe Ross (WSH - SP) MiLB 364 279.0 -85.0
174 Andrew Chafin (ARI - RP) 380    
175 Mitch Keller (PIT - SP) 360 288.0 -72.0
176 Dylan Floro (LAD - SP,RP) MiLB 365    
177 Brett Kennedy (SD - SP) IL60 355    
178 Tyler Chatwood (CHC - SP) 408 399.0 -9.0
179 Alex Wilson (CHC - RP) MiLB 394    
180 Roenis Elias (WSH - RP) 366 307.0 -59.0
181 Dennis Santana (LAD - SP,RP) MiLB 409 371.0 -38.0
182 Trey Wingenter (SD - RP) 370 456.0 +86.0
183 Francisco Liriano (PIT - SP) 377 352.0 -25.0
184 Robert Stephenson (CIN - SP) 402 325.0 -77.0
185 Luis Perdomo (SD - SP) 378    
186 Enyel De Los Santos (PHI - SP) 387 328.0 -59.0
187 Jimmie Sherfy (ARI - RP) 399 472.0 +73.0
188 Brandon Finnegan (CIN - SP) MiLB 436    
189 Drew Gagnon (NYM - SP) 411    
190 Williams Perez (STL - SP,RP) MiLB 382    
191 Edubray Ramos (PHI - RP) 419    
192 Walker Lockett (NYM - SP,RP) 391    
193 Steven Brault (PIT - SP,RP) 463    
194 Dominic Leone (STL - RP) MiLB 415 313.0 -102.0
195 Giovanny Gallegos (STL - RP) 425    
196 Jeff Hoffman (COL - SP,RP) 460 473.0 +13.0
197 Yoan Lopez (ARI - RP) 447 418.0 -29.0
198 Jake McGee (COL - RP)      
199 Taylor Widener (ARI - SP) MiLB 426 389.0 -37.0
200 Drew Anderson (PHI - SP,RP) FA 247 354.0 +107.0
201 Adam Kolarek (LAD - RP) 451    
202 Jose Quijada (MIA - P) 396    
203 Brad Wieck (CHC - SP,RP) 449    
204 Kyle Keller (MIA - P) 397    
205 Austin Gomber (STL - SP,RP) MiLB 446 379.0 -67.0
206 Daniel Ponce de Leon (STL - SP,RP) 401 347.0 -54.0
207 Alex McRae (PIT - SP,RP) 403    
208 David Phelps (CHC - SP,RP) 404    
209 Corbin Martin (ARI - SP,RP) 405 476.0 +71.0
210 Jarlin Garcia (MIA - SP,RP) 406    
211 Victor Arano (PHI - RP) IL60 407 479.0 +72.0
212 Robert Stock (SD - SP,RP) IL60 423    
213 Jordan Yamamoto (MIA - SP) 410 491.0 +81.0
214 Luis Avilan (NYM - RP) 412    
215 Tony Cingrani (STL - RP) IL60 413 295.0 -118.0
216 Corey Oswalt (NYM - SP,RP) 414 410.0 -4.0
217 Austin Voth (WSH - SP) 416    
218 Sam Coonrod (SF - SP,RP) 417    
219 J.B. Bukauskas (ARI - SP) MiLB 418 462.0 +44.0
220 Ranger Suarez (PHI - SP,RP) 420 485.0 +65.0
221 R.J. Alaniz (CIN - RP) 421    
222 Jonny Venters (WSH - SP,RP) IL60 455    
223 Logan Webb (SF - P) 422    
224 Luis Escobar (PIT - SP)      
225 Henderson Alvarez (WSH - SP) NRI      
226 Jeff Brigham (MIA - SP) 424    
227 Taylor Williams (MIL - RP) MiLB 456    
228 Austen Williams (WSH - P) IL60 474    
229 Koda Glover (WSH - RP) IL60 465 305.0 -160.0
230 Sal Romano (CIN - SP,RP) 428 334.0 -94.0
231 Jacob Nix (SD - SP) IL60 475 441.0 -34.0
232 Taylor Clarke (ARI - SP) 429    
233 Carlos Estevez (COL - RP) 478    
234 Chris Martin (ATL - RP) MiLB 431 331.0 -100.0
235 Michael Feliz (PIT - RP) 471 425.0 -46.0
236 Nick Vincent (PHI - RP) 430    
237 Zach Lee (SD - RP) DFA 432    
238 Duane Underwood Jr. (CHC - SP) 435    
239 Grant Dayton (ATL - RP) MiLB 434    
240 Brandon Kintzler (CHC - RP) 459    
241 J.T. Chargois (LAD - RP) MiLB 438    
242 T.J. McFarland (ARI - RP) 440    
243 Troy Scribner (ARI - SP) MiLB 439    
244 James Pazos (COL - RP) 441    
245 Daniel Zamora (NYM - P) 443    
246 P.J. Conlon (NYM - SP,RP) FA 445    
247 Tony Barnette (CHC - RP) RST 448    
248 Tyler Beede (SF - SP) 450 433.0 -17.0
249 Yefry Ramirez (PIT - SP,RP) 452    
250 Brett Graves (MIA - SP,RP) MiLB 453    
251 Adrian Houser (MIL - RP) MiLB 454    
252 Adam Morgan (PHI - RP) IL60 457    
253 Kyle McGrath (SD - RP) MiLB 458    
254 Jaime Schultz (LAD - RP) MiLB 461    
255 Tony Sipp (WSH - RP) FA 462 357.0 -105.0
256 Elieser Hernandez (MIA - SP,RP) 464    
257 Ryan Meisinger (STL - RP) MiLB 467    
258 Paul Sewald (NYM - RP) 466    
259 Chad Sobotka (ATL - P) MiLB 468 458.0 -10.0
260 Jacob Rhame (NYM - RP) IL60 469    
261 Daniel Hudson (WSH - RP) 470    
262 Jerry Blevins (ATL - RP) MiLB 473    
263 Austin Davis (PHI - RP) 479    
264 Aaron Loup (SD - RP) IL60 483    
265 Matt Koch (ARI - SP,RP) MiLB 487 475.0 -12.0
266 Wander Suero (WSH - SP,RP) MiLB 482    
267 Tyler Bashlor (NYM - RP) 484    
268 Justin Grimm (CIN - RP) MiLB 485    
269 Austin Brice (MIA - RP) 486    
270 Sam Howard (COL - SP,RP) 489    
271 Tyler Webb (STL - RP) 493 385.0 -108.0
272 A.J. Schugel (PIT - RP) MiLB 490    
273 Chih-Wei Hu (CHC - RP) MiLB 492 409.0 -83.0
274 Williams Jerez (PIT - RP) 501    
275 Tyler Kinley (MIA - RP) 495    
276 Luke Jackson (ATL - RP) 503    
277 Chase Whitley (ATL - RP) MiLB 498    
278 Merandy Gonzalez (STL - SP,RP) MiLB 499    
279 Xavier Cedeno (CHC - RP) IL60 504    
280 Donnie Hart (NYM - RP) 506    
281 Clay Holmes (PIT - SP,RP) 502    
282 John Curtiss (PHI - RP) FA 505    
283 Brett Cecil (STL - RP) IL60 507 493.0 -14.0
284 Steven Okert (SF - RP) MiLB 513    
285 Yimi Garcia (LAD - RP) MiLB 514    
286 Nick Rumbelow (NYM - RP) MiLB 508    
287 Mike Mayers (STL - RP) MiLB   488.0  
288 Wes Parsons (COL - P) 509    
289 Allen Webster (CHC - SP) IL60 510 301.0 -209.0
290 Ben Meyer (MIA - P) MiLB 511    
291 Matt Bowman (CIN - RP) 518    
292 Alec Mills (CHC - SP,RP) 512 474.0 -38.0
293 Aaron Wilkerson (MIL - SP,RP) MiLB 515    
294 Nick Burdi (PIT - RP) IL60 520 480.0 -40.0
295 Miguel Diaz (SD - RP) IL60 521    
296 Edward Paredes (PHI - RP) FA 516    
297 Eric Stout (CIN - RP) MiLB 517    
298 Joey Krehbiel (ARI - RP) MiLB 522    
299 Kyle McGowin (WSH - SP,RP) MiLB 519    
300 Jerry Vasto (CHC - RP) MiLB      
301 Robby Scott (ARI - RP) 524    
302 D.J. Snelten (SF - RP) MiLB 523    
303 Bryan Shaw (COL - RP) 526 400.0 -126.0
304 Javy Guerra (WSH - RP) 528    
305 Keury Mella (CIN - RP) 525    
306 Braden Shipley (ARI - RP) MiLB 527    
307 Dillon Maples (CHC - RP)      
308 James Norwood (CHC - RP) 529    
309 Pierce Johnson (SF - RP) 530    
310 Trevor Gott (SF - RP) IL60 531    
311 Kyle Ryan (CHC - SP,RP) 533    
312 Joe Harvey (COL - P) 534    
313 Mike Morin (PHI - RP) 532    
314 Rayan Gonzalez (COL - RP) MiLB      
315 Josh Tomlin (ATL - SP,RP)      
316 Yacksel Rios (PIT - RP)      
317 Brian Duensing (CHC - RP) MiLB 535    
318 Josh Lucas (WSH - RP) MiLB 537    
319 Harrison Musgrave (COL - SP,RP) MiLB 536    
320 Jackson Stephens (CIN - RP) 538    
321 Chris Flexen (NYM - SP,RP) 539    
322 Alec Asher (COL - SP,RP) MiLB 540    
323 Wandy Peralta (SF - RP) 541    
324 Gerardo Reyes (SD - P)      
325 Dovydas Neverauskas (PIT - RP)      
326 Lucas Sims (CIN - RP)      
327 Junichi Tazawa (CIN - RP) MiLB      
328 Tanner Rainey (WSH - SP,RP)      
329 Burch Smith (SF - SP,RP)      
330 Julian Fernandez (MIA - RP) IL60      
331 Brandon Maurer (PIT - RP) MiLB      
332 Jared Miller (ARI - SP,RP) MiLB