2019 Fantasy Baseball ROS Rankings
Expert Consensus Ranking (12 of 16 Experts) -
|Rank||Player (Team, Position)||Overall||Notes|
|1||Max Scherzer (WSH - SP)||6||1||1||1.0||0.0||4.0||-2.0||
Conventional wisdom has cautioned against taking a pitcher in the opening round. Scherzer, however, earned an exception. The added risk of hurlers keeps investors away early, but Washington's ace has posted a sub-3.00 ERA, sub-1.00 WHIP, and at least 268 strikeouts in 200 innings in each of the last four seasons. He hit 300 punchouts last season with the best swinging-strike rate (16.2%) of any qualified starter. Although pitchers can malfunction without any prior notice, Scherzer has earned trust as one of fantasy's premier investments. Don't overreact to a slow start punctuated by a stunning early beatdown at Miami; he still sports a 2.45 FIP and 26.9 K-BB% underneath a 3.72 ERA through 10 starts. He's still the SP1.
|2||Justin Verlander (HOU - SP)||12||2||6||3.0||1.2||21.0||+9.0||
Judging solely by his peripheral numbers, Verlander has been quite lucky so far this year -- he currently has the lowest BABIP allowed and highest strand rate of any qualified starter in the Majors. But top-tier aces like Verlander are also fully capable of making their own luck. Verlander probably won't be a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher from here on out if he continues pitching like he has been, but he could always take his performance to another level like he did last year -- and he'll still be really valuable even if he doesn't.
|3||Jacob deGrom (NYM - SP)||14||2||7||3.4||1.4||10.0||-4.0||
There's every reason to believe deGrom is every bit as good as we thought he was coming into the season, but the results haven't quite been there because of an inflated HR rate. While deGrom rode an unsustainably low HR/FB ratio to a sub-2.00 ERA last season, this year the opposite has occurred -- an inflated HR/FB ratio has pushed his ERA close to 4.00. In the long run, he should be something in between, which is why the projection systems expect an ERA in the 2.90-3.00 range. Most deGrom owners would surely be just fine with that.
|4||Chris Sale (BOS - SP)||19||2||8||4.6||1.8||11.0||-8.0||
Sale's 2019 campaign got off to a nightmarish start, but he's righted the ship in a big way in May. And while his diminished velocity was a legitimate concern for fantasy owners early in the season, it is now not far off from where it was in his best seasons. Hopefully you bought low.
|5||Gerrit Cole (HOU - SP)||17||3||7||4.6||0.8||27.0||+10.0||
While's he's been quite good in his own right, Cole has been overshadowed by teammate Justin Verlander. But the peripheral numbers suggest Cole has actually been the better pitcher. Cole is generating more strikeouts than any other pitcher in the game, but he's been hurt by a low strand rate and high HR/FB rate. Expect those rates to normalize soon and for Cole to start producing the numbers of a top-five fantasy starter.
|6||Blake Snell (TB - SP)||22||3||7||5.3||1.3||28.0||+6.0||
Snell had a 1.89 ERA last year, and yet he's somehow managed to pitch even better so far this season. He missed 10 days with a broken toe, but when he's been on the mound, he's generated significantly more strikeouts and significantly fewer walks. If there's one knock on Snell, it's that he isn't a huge innings-eater, which could impact his win total. But once his batted ball outcomes normalize, we could see his ERA quickly surge below 3.00.
|7||Trevor Bauer (CLE - SP)||29||4||28||6.4||1.1||31.0||+2.0||
Bauer is an elite bat-misser, but he's had a big issue with walks this season and it has begun to come back to haunt him. Last season showed the upside Bauer possesses when he is in a groove, but the fact it was the only time he posted a sub-4.00 ERA should give fantasy owners pause.
|8||Carlos Carrasco (CLE - SP)||37||7||17||10.4||2.5||36.0||-1.0||
Carrasco's 2019 season got off to a rocky start, but he has quickly rounded into form. "Cookie" has had a fair amount of batted ball misfortune, but with a career-best strikeout rate and career-best walk rate, he just might be pitching as well as he ever has. He's a terrific buy-low candidate.
|9||Clayton Kershaw (LAD - SP)||39||8||34||10.7||2.8||54.0||+15.0||
Kershaw is no longer the big strikeout guy he once was, but his elite control remains. He also seemingly has the intangible characteristics of a pitcher who has mastered his craft: He has outperformed his peripherals each of the last two seasons and looks well on his way to doing it again in 2019. Don't expect any major regression here -- only an injury could keep him from being a must-start option for the rest of the season.
|10||Patrick Corbin (WSH - SP)||38||8||20||11.2||1.9||47.0||+9.0||
For the most part, Corbin has picked up right where he left off when he broke out during his final season in Arizona. His strikeout, walk, and ground ball rates all aren't quite as great as they were last year, but they're still good enough to enjoy continued fantasy success. He is an under-the-radar fantasy ace.
|11||Luis Castillo (CIN - SP)||45||8||21||12.2||3.0||128.0||+83.0||
Castillo has picked up right where he left off last September, when he began dominating hitters. He is generating far more swings-and-misses than he did in his first two Big League seasons, providing confidence that the breakout is real. His relatively high walk rate is mildly concerning, but Castillo should be able to maintain many of the gains he's made through the first two months of the season.
|12||Noah Syndergaard (NYM - SP)||42||8||30||13.3||3.8||35.0||-7.0||
Syndergaard has only been a pitcher who performs like an ace when healthy, but this year some performance issues have creeped in to accompany the ever-present injury risk. Thor is striking out less than a batter per inning for the first time in his career, and he's allowing opposing hitters to elevate the ball more, which has contributed to a spike in his home run rate. That said, he's also been incredibly unfortunate when it comes to his strand rate and HR/FB ratio, so expect much better numbers going forward.
|13||Stephen Strasburg (WSH - SP)||50||7||28||14.3||3.4||59.0||+9.0||
Strasburg is having another one of his typically-dominant seasons, the only question is whether he can stay healthy. He has broken 200 innings just once in his career, and has surpassed 150 in just one of the last four seasons. Still, injuries are difficult to predict, and there's little doubt that Strasburg is a top-12 starter for however long he can avoid the injured list.
|14||Aaron Nola (PHI - SP)||51||11||60||16.2||5.7||25.0||-26.0||
Nola has really struggled with walks and home runs so far this year, but the good news is that he is striking out more hitters than ever. Last season always seemed like a best-case scenario, but things should get better, particularly if he can throw more strikes.
|15||Zack Greinke (ARI - SP) DTD||56||8||40||16.3||4.6||56.0||‐||
Greinke is not an elite strikeout pitcher, but he is a workhorse with pinpoint control who is on track to produce an ERA of 3.21 or better and WHIP of 1.15 or better for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. There is real value in that consistency.
|16||Edwin Diaz (NYM - RP)||59||10||28||18.0||4.4||50.0||-9.0||
Diaz's numbers look fantastic, but his velocity has been down in May. It's not a huge red flag yet -- he's still an elite fantasy closer -- but is worth keeping an eye on.
|17||Jose Berrios (MIN - SP)||60||11||37||18.9||6.4||73.0||+13.0||
Berrios is doing an excellent job of limiting free passes this season, but there isn't much else in his profile to suggest he is experiencing a legitimate breakout. Given his strong surface numbers and high prospect pedigree, he is a potential sell-high candidate.
|18||Walker Buehler (LAD - SP)||53||9||34||19.1||5.8||40.0||-13.0||
Buehler hasn't looked nearly as dominant as he did in his breakout 2018 campaign, but he's been better of late. Pitching in a favorable ballpark and division with a great lineup supporting him, Buehler has the talent to be a huge fantasy contributor down the stretch.
|19||Charlie Morton (TB - SP)||71||15||40||24.6||6.5||114.0||+43.0||
Morton has successfully carried over the improvements he made as a pitcher during his two seasons in Houston. His walk rate can be a bit of an issue at times, but he misses a ton of bats and is also quite adept at limiting hard contact. It remains to be seen how many innings he'll be able to throw -- he's never surpassed 172 -- but he should continue to be a high-end fantasy starter as long as he's healthy.
|20||Aroldis Chapman (NYY - RP)||74||14||34||24.9||3.4||70.0||-4.0||
Aroldis Chapman has been his typical dominant self again this year and has earned plenty of job security despite the host of other strong relievers in the Bronx.
|21||Jack Flaherty (STL - SP)||70||15||59||26.3||9.7||60.0||-10.0||
Flaherty has the arsenal to be a fantasy ace, but his issue with walks has reared its ugly head again over the last month, and home runs have also been a continual thorn in his side. He still has a bit of work to do to fully reach his potential.
|22||Kenley Jansen (LAD - RP)||81||13||46||26.6||5.5||71.0||-10.0||
For the second year in a row, Jansen has had some issues with the long ball, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio remains excellent. He should be just fine.
|23||Josh Hader (MIL - RP)||83||16||34||26.6||5.7||105.0||+22.0||
Hader has dominant stuff and a proven ability to succeed in the ninth inning, but he will reportedly have to share the closer job with Jeremy Jeffress in the near future.
|24||Blake Treinen (OAK - RP)||82||12||36||26.8||5.4||62.0||-20.0||
Treinen's strikeout rate is down considerably from last season, and he is walking nearly five batters per nine innings, which is not a recipe for sustained success. It's most likely just a matter of small sample size, but he'll need to do a better job of limiting walks to again be an elite fantasy closer.
|25||Zack Wheeler (NYM - SP)||75||18||62||27.5||4.3||85.0||+10.0||
Wheeler's issues with wildness have resurfaced this season, but he's also been unlucky in terms of BABIP and strand rate. He should be a lot better in the second half than he's been in the first, so buy-low if you can.
|26||Roberto Osuna (HOU - RP)||87||18||39||27.7||4.3||77.0||-10.0||
Osuna is striking out less than a batter per inning and his batted ball results indicate that he's due for some regression, but that's inevitable when your ERA sits well below 1.00. He's an elite fantasy closer no matter how you slice it.
|27||Kirby Yates (SD - RP)||90||15||49||28.1||7.1||108.0||+18.0||
Yates emerged as one of the best fantasy closers out there last season, and he's picked up right where he left off in 2019.
|28||German Marquez (COL - SP)||76||12||53||28.9||8.2||82.0||+6.0||
It's been the same old story with Marquez: struggles at Coors Field and dominance on the road. His peripherals suggest he deserves a better fate, but until we see him have sustained success at home, he is really a glorified streamer, albeit a very high-end one.
|29||Brad Hand (CLE - RP)||88||15||38||29.4||4.2||81.0||-7.0||
Hand has been even better in Cleveland than he was in San Diego. He's forced his way into the top-five closer conversation.
|30||James Paxton (NYY - SP) IL10||73||9||57||29.9||11.2||49.0||-24.0||
Paxton has been limited to just seven starts so far due to knee inflammation, but he appears to be on the verge of returning. When he has been on the mound, Paxton has looked just as dominant as he did in his Seattle years. Missed time is always part of the equation with Paxton, but he'll be a must-start option whenever he is healthy.
|31||Chris Paddack (SD - SP)||93||11||44||30.4||9.9||227.0||+134.0||
Paddack has been one of the biggest breakout fantasy stars of 2019, and while his owners can expect some regression, there's no doubt he can be a top-tier fantasy starter for the rest of the year and beyond. The bigger issue for Paddack's 2019 outlook is a likely innings limit -- expect the Padres to look for opportunities to skip his turn in the rotation in the second half of the season, even if they don't resort to shutting him down completely.
|32||Felipe Vazquez (PIT - RP)||94||17||38||30.9||5.2||86.0||-8.0||
Vazquez is well on his way to a third-straight year as a dominant closer in Pittsburgh.
|33||Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD - SP)||99||14||47||33.1||11.1||181.0||+82.0||
Ryu has been a solid fantasy starter for several years, but he became an elite one last year and has fully carried it over to 2019. There's really no reason to expect major regression from Ryu, so the only real concern is how many innings he'll be able to throw. He hasn't thrown more than 152 innings since he threw 192 as a rookie in 2013, and we all know the Dodgers love to rotate their starters on and off the injured list.
|34||Caleb Smith (MIA - SP)||107||12||51||34.8||6.2||395.0||+288.0||
Smith is a strong early candidate to emerge as the most under-the-radar fantasy ace of 2019. He's had some fortunate batted ball luck, but with an excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio, his true skills are those of a pitcher capable of finishing with a sub-3.00 ERA. He may not get a ton of wins pitching for the Marlins, but fantasy owners who struck gold on the waiver wire by adding Smith will hardly complain.
|35||Sean Doolittle (WSH - RP)||108||19||51||36.7||5.9||102.0||-6.0||
Doolittle is a terrific fantasy closer. The only question is his durability.
|36||Shane Bieber (CLE - SP)||102||19||59||37.0||11.2||149.0||+47.0||
Bieber is a little bit homer-prone, but his combination of pinpoint control and lots of strikeouts is a recipe for sustained fantasy success.
|37||Matthew Boyd (DET - SP)||116||20||61||37.9||10.7||299.0||+183.0||
Boyd has emerged from relative obscurity to emerge as one of the better pitchers in the American League. Wins could be hard to come by on a rebuilding Tigers team, but with a pristine strikeout-to-walk ratio, Boyd's mid-3.00s ERA is as likely to go down as it is to go up.
|38||Madison Bumgarner (SF - SP)||111||27||60||39.4||7.9||96.0||-15.0||
Bumgarner's surface stats don't look like anything special, but his peripherals suggest he deserves much better results than he's been getting. His strikeout-to-walk ratio, in particularly, is a very promising sign. Expect a MadBum resurgence in the near future -- he's a terrific buy-low candidate.
|39||David Price (BOS - SP)||105||22||60||40.5||10.9||84.0||-21.0||
Price missed a couple weeks with elbow tendinitis, but he's been very good when healthy and appears to be fully recovered from the injury.
|40||Raisel Iglesias (CIN - RP)||123||21||73||42.1||8.5||125.0||+2.0||
Iglesias got off to a rocky start this year, but he's been much better lately. He's one of the most bankable fantasy closers year and year.
|41||Ken Giles (TOR - RP)||124||24||85||42.1||5.8||144.0||+20.0||
Giles has had a major career resurgence north of the border and looks to be a top-15 fantasy closer going forward.
|42||Jordan Hicks (STL - RP)||126||29||59||43.0||7.7||185.0||+59.0||
Hicks has emerged as one of the better fantasy closers in baseball this year, and while his high walk rate is a little worrisome, he's likely earned quite a bit of job security at this point.
|43||Tyler Glasnow (TB - SP,RP) IL10||115||21||65||43.8||15.1||162.0||+47.0||
Glasnow was in the midst of a massive breakout season before he hit the injured list with a forearm strain. His future is still incredibly bright but his outlook for the rest of 2019 is cloudy until we see him back on a mound.
|44||Masahiro Tanaka (NYY - SP) DTD||125||30||56||45.0||3.5||120.0||-5.0||
Tanaka has been very good in the early going, but his ERA is due for some regression towards the high-3.00s. His strikeout rate and swinging strike rate are down a bit this year, so that also merits watching.
|45||Robbie Ray (ARI - SP)||130||27||71||47.6||7.5||116.0||-14.0||
Everything went right for Ray in 2017, when he registered a 2.89 ERA despite a 3.94 BB/9 and 3.72 FIP. An oblique strain limited him to just 123.2 innings in 24 starts last season, and 70 walks led to a 3.93 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He remained just as tough to hit with a .215 batting average against and 12.01 K/9, so he could bounce back to the 218 strikeouts procured in 2016 and 2017 even if again held below 175 frames. Yet the ballooning walk rate makes him a WHIP liability, and run support could be scarce from a ransacked Diamondbacks lineup. His April has resembled more of the same, and he has recorded 22 strikeouts and 11 walks in 15.1 frames.
|46||Domingo German (NYY - SP,RP)||133||33||70||47.9||10.2||363.0||+230.0||
German has quickly emerged as the Yankees' best starting pitcher, and while he has been a tad fortunate in terms of batted ball outcomes, he should be able to remain a significant fantasy asset for the rest of 2019 and beyond.
|47||Kyle Hendricks (CHC - SP)||129||36||60||48.0||5.6||126.0||-3.0||
Hendricks got off to a little bit of a slow start this season, but he was able to quickly get back on track. He is going to be a liability in terms of strikeouts, but can be a big help in ERA and WHIP. There's value to be found in his consistency.
|48||Mike Soroka (ATL - SP)||134||33||70||48.4||10.1||416.0||+282.0||
Soroka is due for a healthy amount of regression, but he's been so good that he can afford to regress and still be a well-above average fantasy starter.
|49||Wade Davis (COL - RP)||135||25||64||49.4||7.6||121.0||-14.0||
Davis has been having a lot of success in Colorado, but he'll need to get his walk rate under control in order to avoid eventual disaster in hitter-friendly Coors Field.
|50||Rich Hill (LAD - SP)||136||32||81||52.6||5.9||174.0||+38.0||
Hill missed the first month with a knee strain, but he's been his usual excellent self since returning. The next injury is never far away with Hill, but he should be a major fantasy asset whenever he takes the mound.
|51||Cole Hamels (CHC - SP)||138||38||78||54.2||9.5||146.0||+8.0||
Hamels has really benefitted from escaping Texas and returning to the National League. He is outperforming his peripherals with a low-3.00s ERA, but he's managed to do that for much of his career so regression isn't guaranteed.
|52||Shohei Ohtani (LAA - SP,DH)||144||26||73||56.5||11.2||171.0||+27.0||
Regardless of how the league's host site manages the Ohtani dilemma, he'll only contribute as a hitter after undergoing Tommy John surgery last season. He wasn't ready for April in that capacity either. The Japanese phenom exceeded expectations inside the batter's box, batting .285/.361/.564 with 22 homers and 10 steals (13 HRs and eight SBs over the final two months) in just 357 plate appearances. There's still 25/10 potential, but those stashing him should temper speed expectations since the Angels won't want to risk another injury. Now that Ohtani is back in the lineup, make sure he's rostered in all leagues in case he rediscovers last year's late game-changing ceiling.
|53||Chris Archer (PIT - SP)||137||30||96||58.0||17.5||124.0||-13.0||
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, look at all those strikeouts. Fool me three times … but what about his FIP? Archer looked poised to finally reverse his fortune before ceding six runs to the Dodgers, ballooning his ERA back to familiar heights at 4.33. He then went on the IL with right thumb inflammation. He may just require a minimal 10-day stay on the shelf. While Archer once again struck out over a batter per frame (9.67 K/9) through five starts, his command waned (4.00 BB/9) while he traded ground balls for fly balls. The upside remains there, but the 30-year-old still looks too dicey to trust as a top-30 starter.
|54||Joe Musgrove (PIT - SP)||142||40||80||58.6||12.5||208.0||+66.0||
Musgrove initially pleased drafters who felt they snagged the perfect late-round flier with sneaky upside. They have since (this writer included) learned a valuable lesson about taking early victory laps. He exited April with a pristine 1.54 ERA, but it has jumped to 4.20 following a pair of disastrous starts. He still possesses a 2.97 FIP and 11.6% swinging-strike rate, so don't overreact and drop him. Yet the walks are up, and he has benefited by ceding just one homer all season. The strong beginning may have set expectations too high, but Musgrove still has the makings of a solid SP4 as long as his struggles aren't caused by an unidentified injury.
|55||Miles Mikolas (STL - SP)||143||41||88||60.7||10.1||98.0||-45.0||
Four starts into the season, Mikolas had yet to record more strikeouts than runs allowed. While he has lowered his ERA to 4.02 with a pair of strong starts, he has fetched just 28 strikeouts in 47 innings. Even last year's middling 6.55 K/9 was playable without any walks, but he's not going to reach that low threshold with a 7.3% swinging-strike rate. Managers should worry and lower expectations, but the precise pitcher has looked far better in his last two outings.
|56||Will Smith (SF - RP)||159||38||90||61.9||12.3||297.0||+138.0||
Smith is one of the most underrated fantasy closers in the league. The only question is whether he ends up getting dealt into a set-up role elsewhere.
|57||Shane Greene (DET - RP)||160||34||92||63.0||14.1||249.0||+89.0||
Greene is having easily the best season of his career, and while he's due for some regression in terms of both saves and ERA, he suddenly looks fully capable of remaining an above-average fantasy closer all season.
|58||Jose Quintana (CHC - SP)||154||44||87||63.0||8.8||165.0||+11.0||
Let's hope furious drafters looked at Chicago's schedule before dropping Quintana when the Brewers burned him for eight runs on April 5. He has since tossed seven scoreless innings against both the Pirates and Marlins, accumulating 18 combined strikeouts and one walk. After posting an ERA above 4.00 in consecutive years, it's nice to see the 30-year-old southpaw dominate anyone. He may at least return to top-50 SP form as someone to use confidently in the right matchups.
|59||Luke Weaver (ARI - SP)||167||39||108||64.9||12.6||310.0||+143.0||
Weaver is in the midst of a breakout year, and his peripherals largely support the excellent results he's been getting.
|60||Kenta Maeda (LAD - SP) IL10||158||53||84||66.0||8.3||175.0||+17.0||
Maeda is an excellent strikeout pitcher who has a great ballpark and lineup supporting him. But he does struggle with walks at times, and is likely to be shuttled on and off the injured list with minor ailments more than once this season.
|61||Jon Lester (CHC - SP)||161||44||103||66.1||12.8||161.0||‐||
A clear regression candidate, Lester has instead gotten better. Unlike last year, his spectacular start (1.43 ERA) is backed by a 20.3 K-B%. Yet his contact and swinging-strike rates haven't improved, and a .337 xwOBA is right in line with last year's .340. He may not fall off the map as sharply as he did in 2018, but the veteran southpaw won't vie for the ERA title either. He's a steady hand for those who temper expectations.
|62||Alex Colome (CWS - RP)||166||45||91||66.8||11.8||203.0||+37.0||
Colome is having a very strong season as the White Sox closer, but a trade to a contender is a threat to his season-long fantasy viability.
|63||Greg Holland (ARI - RP)||172||43||94||70.7||11.9||289.0||+117.0||
Holland has had a nice bounceback season after finishing 2018 strong, but he will need to get his bloated walk rate under control to avoid falling apart at some point.
|64||Mike Minor (TEX - SP)||173||52||123||72.7||20.8||320.0||+147.0||
This looks like a different Minor than the man who posted a 4.18 ERA and 20.6 K% last season. He now sports a 2.40 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 48.2 innings. He has blanked the opposition three times in seven starts, and that doesn't include a one-run, 13-strikeout gem against Seattle. Bolstered velocity and an elite spin rate has led to better success with his four-seam fastball, and all three of his other offerings (slider, changeup, and curveball) have a swinging-strike rate above 13.0%. Even if a 3.91 SIERA suggests regression is coming, the southpaw has shown more than enough to roster in all leagues.
|65||Jose Alvarado (TB - RP)||177||22||103||73.8||16.7||166.0||-11.0||
Alvarado initially appeared on the verge of becoming this year's Blake Treinen, dominating out of the gate with 16 strikeouts and four saves in 10 scoreless outings. The early monopoly on Tampa Bay's closing gig has proven a mirage, as he has not recorded a save since April 7. Diego Castillo and Emilio Pagan, meanwhile, have each tallied three. The lefty is still bringing an elite ERA and K rate to the table, but the walks and uncertain role will block him from blossoming into a top-10 fantasy reliever.
|66||Mike Foltynewicz (ATL - SP)||156||32||96||65.1||15.8||112.0||-44.0||
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 he hardly looks poised for an encore. The 27-year-old has a 5.94 ERA and 10 strikeouts in three starts, which has seen his fastball velocity drop two mph. Although he should at least return to a useful option when fully healthy, managers can't even trust him in their starting lineups at the moment.
|67||Craig Kimbrel (RP) FA||180||27||109||77.2||17.7||93.0||-87.0||
It's May, and Kimbrel is still a free agent. It's time to worry, especially since his agent threatened to have his client sit out 2019 entirely. Even if he soon finds a club, the star closer will need a few weeks to ramp up after missing spring training. The Brewers stand out as a logical candidate after losing Corey Knebel for the season, and a reunion with the Braves also makes sense. Keep stashing him, but consider cashing out if someone is willing to "buy low" for 75 cents on the dollar. There's now a good chance he won't sign until teams no longer need to forfeit draft-pick compensation.
|68||Yusei Kikuchi (SEA - SP)||176||54||114||77.5||7.9||163.0||-13.0||
Signed by Seattle this winter, Kikuchi heads to the U.S. with a career 2.77 ERA in eight seasons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. Since he is accustomed to working in a six-man rotation, Seattle has limited him to no more than six innings per start in addition to using him once as a first-inning opener. With a 4.54 ERA and 6.68 K/9, he hasn't shown much upside to start his MLB career. The 27-year-old southpaw looks more like a matchup play than a solid mid-rotation piece, but the book isn't closed just yet.
|69||Matt Barnes (BOS - RP)||195||50||145||79.5||15.8||205.0||+10.0||
Barnes is being deployed in a flexible role by Red Sox manager Alex Cora, but he is pitching so well that he can have quite a bit of fantasy value even if he never becomes Boston's exclusive closer.
|70||Sonny Gray (CIN - SP)||182||61||105||80.7||14.0||268.0||+86.0||
Maybe Gray just needed to get away from the Yankees. The righty has quickly rebounded from a lost 2018 with a 3.65 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in five starts. That doesn't even begin to properly display his dominance, as the 28-year-old has recorded 31 strikeouts in 24.2 innings with a 54.1% ground-ball rate and 1.97 FIP. The owner of a career 3.66 ERA, Gray should be rostered in all leagues.
|71||Matt Strahm (SD - SP,RP)||207||55||119||81.3||19.3||262.0||+55.0||
Strahm has done a great job avoiding walks and home runs thus far, but it would be nice to see him starting striking out more batters. Otherwise his ERA could be due for quite a bit of regression.
|72||Yu Darvish (CHC - SP)||184||56||99||73.9||14.2||143.0||-41.0||
Arthroscopic elbow surgery limited Darvish to eight starts in 2018. Adding insult to injury, he wasn't even good (4.95 ERA) in his brief time on the mound. He looks even worse in 2019. The righty has relinquished an appalling 33 walks in 36.2 innings, giving him a destructive 5.40 ERA and 1.72 WHIP. Darvish has also served up eight home runs in eight starts and has only once got through six innings. Maybe he rights the ship, but it's getting hard to trust him in any starting lineups. He's the ultimate boom-or-bust starter whose value keeps dipping. It's not crazy to drop him in 10- or 12-team mixed leagues with limited bench spots.
|73||Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS - SP)||201||54||126||76.3||21.0||150.0||-51.0||
An intriguing option when healthy, Rodriguez took another step forward with a 3.82 ERA, 3.65 FIP, and 10.13 K/9 in 2018. Good luck, however, getting a full season out of the lefty. Knee and ankle injuries contained him to 129.2 frames, so he has yet to make 25 starts for more than 137.1 frames in a single season. He flaunted a high ceiling by mixing in fewer four-seamers in favor of a cutter, and he has reportedly spent the offseason working on his slider with help from Chris Sale and Pedro Martinez. Drafters must prepare to make up the lost innings elsewhere, but he's nevertheless the type of high-strikeout hurler worth rostering alongside sturdier rotation anchors. Investors can breathe a sigh of relief. After two brutal starts to open 2019, he has regained his velocity and posted a 2.76 ERA and 39 strikeouts in his past six outings.
|74||Max Fried (ATL - SP,RP)||194||39||105||67.3||17.3||521.0||+327.0|
|75||Hector Neris (PHI - RP)||213||55||121||78.6||19.3||503.0||+290.0||
Early in the season, it appeared Gabe Kapler was going to play the ninth inning by ear. While Neris has recorded just seven saves as of May 19, that's only because the Phillies have either won big or lost. This is no longer a committee, and Neris has notched a 1.86 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 19.1 innings. It's time to treat like him a top-20 fantasy closer.
|76||Brandon Woodruff (MIL - SP,RP)||210||51||122||87.9||17.1||276.0||+66.0||
Woodruff has emerged from the pack as the young Brewers pitcher to own in fantasy leagues. He generates a lot of strikeouts and his peripherals fully back up his mid-3.00s ERA.
|77||J.A. Happ (NYY - SP)||185||57||173||83.1||33.0||131.0||-54.0||
Happ massively out-performed his 2018 draft pick despite posting his highest ERA (3.65) since 2014. He now owns a 3.49 ERA and 8.45 K/9 over those past four seasons, and yet many drafters scoffed at him going around the pick-150 range. It seemed like a reasonable price for someone who accompanied his career-high 193 strikeouts with a career-high 10.3% swinging-strike rate and career-low 78.3% contact rate. Yet many the skeptics were right. The 36-year-old has coughed up 19 hits and 12 runs in 12.1 innings, which is especially concerning since he twice faced the Orioles. Despite losing a bit of velocity, he keeps striking out over a batter per frame. Give him at least one or two more chances to rebound before dropping him in standard mixed leagues.
|78||Blake Parker (MIN - RP)||218||61||117||88.4||13.0||382.0||+164.0||
Although everyone wanted Trevor May to close for Minnesota, the honor has instead gone to Parker. He has recorded three save chances, the Twins yanked him in a bases-loaded jam before he could finish (or blow) his fourth opportunity. With more walks (five) than strikeouts (four) through 5.1 innings, he could soon abdicate the closer distinction to May or Trevor Hildenberger, with Taylor Rogers also getting some chances when lefties bat in the ninth.
|79||Kevin Gausman (ATL - SP)||214||65||158||89.1||27.0||209.0||-5.0||
Gausman, who begin 2019 on the IL with a minor shoulder injury, is 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. He has brought those gains into 2019, collecting a 31.0 K% through three starts with the help of an increased splitter usage. This could be the breakout some have expected for years.
|80||Brad Peacock (HOU - RP,SP)||206||58||125||88.7||20.5||247.0||+41.0||
Peacock has had some ups and downs this season, but he's been more good than bad. He should remain a solid mixed league starter for however long he holds down a rotation spot in Houston.
|81||Jose Leclerc (TEX - RP)||211||23||112||88.9||21.2||118.0||-93.0||
Leclerc, who went all of August and September without yielding a run last year, already allowed as many in April (10) as all of 2018. Saddled with a 2.16 WHIP, higher than last year's 1.56 ERA, the Rangers are removing him from the ninth-inning role. He showed top-tier upside last year, but the righty has already done too much damage to everyone's ratios to keep around without save opportunities.
|82||Joey Lucchesi (SD - SP)||200||36||165||92.6||26.3||196.0||-4.0|
|83||Ryan Brasier (BOS - RP)||217||42||111||84.6||15.4||356.0||+139.0||
Most expected Matt Barnes to serve as Boston's closer, but Brasier has picked up a team-leading six saves. One of last year's most improbable comeback stories has now allowed 12 runs over 50.2 total outings since joining the Red Sox. While Barnes is still the superior pitcher with a much higher strikeout ceiling, opportunity will likely make Brasier a usable if he keeps getting the chances. Just beware a 4.26 FIP and some recent rough outings that could lead to a role demotion.
|84||Marco Gonzales (SEA - SP)||215||67||122||92.4||16.2||229.0||+14.0|
|85||Corey Kluber (CLE - SP) IL10||188||4||163||69.6||41.8||24.0||-164.0||
Kluber has averaged 218 innings and 245 strikeouts with a 2.85 ERA in the last five seasons. His streak of stability will end this year due to a line-drive comebacker fracturing his forearm. There's no set timetable, but the fact that he has talked about it not being season-ending seems to suggest it could be months rather than weeks. Although it's awfully tough to drop an ace, managers shouldn't expect him back anytime soon.
|86||Jake Arrieta (PHI - SP)||204||45||101||87.4||12.0||191.0||-13.0|
|87||Jake Odorizzi (MIN - SP)||235||68||138||98.8||20.4||448.0||+213.0|
|88||Frankie Montas (OAK - SP)||231||66||119||86.0||15.9||659.0||+428.0||
Montas has harvested a 2.67 ERA with 52 strikeouts and 11 walks in 54 superb innings this season. He has introduced a splitter that has ate up opponents with a 63.6% ground-ball rate and 19.0% swinging-strike rate. While the 26-year-old has dominated with help from an easy May schedule, he fared well in two April outings against the Astros. He looks like the real deal, or at least a borderline top-50 starter.
|89||Diego Castillo (TB - RP)||247||75||119||94.4||14.7||468.0||+221.0||
If you play in a deeper league, Castillo can be a ratio master that racks up plenty of saves, or better yet, if you employ the Marmol Strategy, Castillo qualifies as a starting pitcher so you can plug him on days where you don't have enough starters going.
|90||Mike Clevinger (CLE - SP) IL60||224||54||101||79.0||18.4||58.0||-166.0||
Clevinger was off to a fantastic start and looked primed to join the elite tier of fantasy starters, but a back injury has derailed those plans. He's now expected to be out until around the All Star break, but he's shown more than enough -- both last year and this year -- to be a must-stash player for the second half.
|91||Martin Perez (MIN - SP,RP)||250||68||95||82.7||7.9||818.0||+568.0||
Since moving into Minnesota's rotation in mid-April, Perez has posted a 2.01 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in seven starts. He has notched at least seven strikeouts in all four May turns with help from a dominant new cutter that has ceded a -10 wRC+ and 15.5% swinging-strike rate. This clearly isn't the same pitcher who holds a career 4.52 ERA and 5.69 K/9, so make sure he's rostered in all mixed leagues. Getting to pitch against the feeble AL Central will help sustain his resurgence.
|92||Jameson Taillon (PIT - SP) IL60||223||26||95||71.7||15.1||66.0||-157.0||
The Pirates placed Taillon on the IL with a right elbow flexor strain on May 4, and he's expected to be shut down for a month before resuming baseball activity. He didn't meet lofty expectations before going down, registering a 4.10 ERA and 19.0% K rate in seven starts. Those who have the room should stash him, but don't count on a swift return.
|93||Ryan Pressly (HOU - RP)||249||65||106||85.6||9.6||316.0||+67.0||
Pressly may not be Houston's closer, but he's still an elite middle reliever worth rostering for strikeouts and ratios. He has yet to allow a run or walk all season, stockpiling nine strikeouts with just three hits. The 30-year-old wields three superb pitches (fastball, slider, and curveball) that generate helpings of whiffs and ground balls. He could be this year's version of Adam Ottavino, only better.
|94||Jon Gray (COL - SP)||230||55||151||95.8||23.4||190.0||-40.0||
Anyone 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. The same Jekyll and Hyde profile has persisted into 2019, as he has yielded one or zero runs three times (including once at home against the Phillies) but five runs each in three other starts. His 4.64 FIP isn't even calling for better days, so the maddening righty no longer feels worth the hassle as a top-50 starter.
|95||Rick Porcello (BOS - SP)||232||54||153||96.9||23.3||148.0||-84.0||
After surrendering 19 runs (14 earned) through three dreadful starts, Porcello could soon find himself on the wavier in shallower leagues. The durable righty has endured such dreadful outings over the years, but he'll at least take the ball every turn and compile 180-190 strikeouts. He could be a valuable buy-low addition in deeper leagues and viable matchup play in standard mixed leagues.
|96||Marcus Stroman (TOR - SP)||291||81||151||103.6||20.4||277.0||-14.0|
|97||Mychal Givens (BAL - RP)||269||67||139||110.2||14.7||255.0||-14.0||
Although Baltimore may only win 50 games, Givens is one of the closers who has no competition for saves on his team. Even 25 save opportunities is better than what someone like Josh Hader or Zach Britton will get. Pair that with another 80 strikeouts and respectable ratios and we are looking at a top 30 fantasy reliever.
|98||Ross Stripling (LAD - SP,RP)||242||66||145||99.9||20.7||192.0||-50.0||
Despite posting a 3.07 ERA in five starts, Stripling will move to the bullpen with Rich Hill rejoining the Dodgers' rotation. This known risk deflated the cost of a potential top-25 starter, and he never stood much of a chance at working more than 160 frames. Don't cut bait just yet; it's highly unlikely Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Kenta Maeda will all stay healthy. Stripling could even supplant the struggling Maeda.
|99||Tyler Skaggs (LAA - SP)||243||80||160||107.3||21.9||217.0||-26.0||
After getting shelled by the Cubs, Skaggs went on the IL with a sprained ankle. He returns in short order to beat the Royals, so investors can only hope he'll start looking like the breakout hurler they anticipated. A terrible showing right before getting sidelined also hurt his bottom line in 2018, and he still wields a 3.15 ERA through five outings.
|100||Lucas Giolito (CWS - SP)||278||68||164||104.0||26.3||455.0||+177.0|
|101||Pablo Lopez (MIA - SP,RP)||267||72||168||105.4||25.4||498.0||+231.0|
|102||Hansel Robles (LAA - RP)||266||70||116||97.6||13.2||828.0||+562.0||
Robles appears to be the Angels' closer …. for now. While gamers can't ignore someone compiling saves with a 29.0% K rate, his long ball woes will lead to catastrophe. He already has a 3.79 ERA despite a 7.7% HR/FB rate well below his 11.8% career norm, so don't be shocked if a couple of blow-up outings cost him the job.
|103||Luis Severino (NYY - SP) IL60||256||42||91||76.8||11.0||68.0||-188.0||
Already sidelined through April with a shoulder injury, Severino also suffered a Grade 2 lat strain. He won't be back before the All-Star break, making this Exhibit A for those who don't touch injured players in late drafts. An ace when healthy, it's still difficult to bench him altogether. It's understandable, though, for anyone with no IL spots who needs a healthy performer.
|104||Jerad Eickhoff (PHI - SP)||284||46||112||98.3||11.6||573.0||+289.0|
|105||Pedro Strop (CHC - RP) IL10||282||54||141||105.6||16.9||226.0||-56.0||
Given a clear path to saves with Brandon Morrow on the shelf, Strop went on the IL with a hamstring injury. Bothered by the issue, he had posted a 5.06 ERA following a three-run flare-up against the Marlins. There's no timetable for his return, and he's not guaranteed to return to the closer's role. Steve Cishek will likely lead a committee in Strop's absence.
|106||Kyle Gibson (MIN - SP)||263||73||130||99.4||16.5||293.0||+30.0|
|107||Luke Jackson (ATL - RP)||272||68||144||91.0||24.9||
With Arodys Vizcaino out for the season and A.J. Minter optioned to Triple-A, Jackson is now the clear closer in Atlanta. He has handled the role well so far, notching six saves with a 2.31 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23.1 innings. The Braves could still bring back Craig Kimbrel after the MLB draft, but Jackson needs to be owned for now.
|108||Kyle Freeland (COL - SP)||262||86||167||109.4||22.2||158.0||-104.0||
Freeland registered a 4.23 ERA through five starts before landing on the IL with a blister on his left middle finger. That's simply the regression most expected when posting a 2.87 ERA and 4.35 SIERA in 2018. Not so fast. He also improved his WHIP from 1.25 to 1.19 and bolstered his K% from 20.5 to 25.2 before going down. This time his SIERA (3.98) predicts a step forward. While Coors Field still looms as a serious threat -- he has already allowed seven runs in a home start against the Braves -- this version of Freeland is a borderline top-50 starter to use with confidence on the road when healthy.
|109||Steven Matz (NYM - SP)||260||48||149||107.9||21.4||258.0||-2.0||
Matz had allowed five runs through three combined starts before ceding eight runs (without recording a single out) at Philadelphia on April 16. His ERA jumped from 1.65 to 4.96. That catastrophic risk comes with the territory for the Mets southpaw, who allowed seven runs in a similarly disastrous turn at Washington last year. An 8.5% swinging-strike rate doesn't support a high strikeout rate, so he's a fringe option better saved for streaming in the typical 10- or 12-team mixed league. Such an opportunity arises when he returns from a forearm injury to face the Marlins of May 18.
|110||Jeremy Jeffress (MIL - RP)||281||64||137||96.8||25.7||286.0||+5.0||
Jeffress, who started the season sidelined with a shoulder injury, is making his return from the IL. While Josh Hader has dominated as Milwaukee's final boss, the Brewers may want to slide him back into a more flexible high-leverage role. That could mean save chances for Jeffress as Corey Knebel recovers from Tommy John surgery. He won't replicate last year's 1.29 ERA, but grab Jeffress now in hopes of getting some saves with above-average ratios.
|111||Jimmy Nelson (MIL - SP) IL10||275||84||170||113.4||24.5||371.0||+96.0||
Last seen in the majors on September 8, 2017, Nelson is on the verge of returning from a partially torn labrum and a strained rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. He looks ready to rejoin Milwaukee's rotation after recording eight strikeouts in 5.2 scoreless innings in his third Triple-A rehab start. Before the injury cut his 2017 short, he had posted a 3.49 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 175.1 innings. Stash him now if still sitting on the waiver wire.
|112||Cody Allen (LAA - RP)||293||26||174||110.9||33.9||156.0||-137.0||
The Angels have removed Allen from the closer's role after relinquishing seven walks and five runs in 8.1 innings. His gopheritis has carried over from 2018, allowing three homers in 10 outings. There's no reason to roster him unless the save opportunities return.
|113||Zach Eflin (PHI - SP,RP)||279||73||153||100.5||25.6||304.0||+25.0|
|114||Andrew Heaney (LAA - SP) IL10||317||82||122||101.5||12.8||189.0||-128.0||
Following a rocky return from Tommy John surgery, Heaney made major strides by submitting 180 strikeouts in as many innings last season. Since he also issued just 45 walks, a 3.74 SIERA hints at improvement from last season's 4.15 ERA. The spotty health history and mediocre sinker present concerns, but he flashed ace upside with five double-digit strikeout gems. Early elbow discomfort pushed back his 2019 debut, but he's schedule to begin his minor league rehab on May 20. Consider stashing him before the Angels activate him.
|115||Ty Buttrey (LAA - RP)||287||82||131||101.8||15.5||444.0||+157.0||
The Angels officially stripped Cody Allen of his closing duties. While they have not named his replacement -- Brad Ausmus has instead expressed a willingness to use a committee -- Buttrey is the clear top candidate for saves. A strong contender before they signed Allen has ceded one run in a dozen innings with 16 strikeouts and 1.20 FIP. Grab him if still available.
|116||Collin McHugh (HOU - RP,SP)||268||52||166||104.3||36.0||210.0||-58.0||
Well, that didn't last long. Moved back into the rotation, McHugh mustered a 1.96 ERA through four superb starts. Four starts, later, his ERA has inflated to 6.37. He has relinquished eight home runs among his 24 hits allowed in those 18 frames. Those who rode his fast start must either move on or bench him until he turns the corner. It might not be long until the Astros slide him back into the bullpen.
|117||Steve Cishek (CHC - RP)||274||77||231||120.7||46.6||418.0||+144.0|
|118||Tyler Mahle (CIN - SP)||322||55||172||106.2||35.4||636.0||+314.0||
Mahle has one of the better strikeout-to-walk ratios in the game, and even though he is a little homer-prone, his peripherals fully back up his mid-3.00s ERA. The breakout is real.
|119||Adam Ottavino (NYY - RP)||303||89||146||115.1||16.2||287.0||-16.0||
Ottavino might be stuck behind Chapman, Betances, Britton and Chad Green for the closer job, but he is a force of nature who could strike out 100 batters this season to go with sparkling ratios and a handful of wins. Don't hesitate to add him late in drafts to boost you in three categories.
|120||Roenis Elias (SEA - RP)||289||88||126||111.0||9.0||771.0||+482.0|
|121||David Robertson (PHI - RP) IL10||297||53||155||104.8||27.1||145.0||-152.0||
Robertson landed on the IL with a sore elbow on April 15. Before getting sidelined, he ceded four runs in 6.1 innings with six walks and strikeouts apiece. It's still an atypical development for the veteran righty, who has logged at least 60 innings and 75 strikeouts in each of the last seven seasons. This may be burying the lede, but the 34-year-old also did not record a single save in the opening two weeks. With the Phillies declaring no closer, there's no need to stash an injured reliever in standard mixed leagues.
|122||Spencer Turnbull (DET - SP)||298||74||132||105.2||20.5||813.0||+515.0|
|123||Jordan Lyles (PIT - SP,RP)||316||87||129||100.4||15.7||851.0||+535.0||
Ignore Lyles at your own risk. After spending the last few years as a subpar reliever, the unlikely breakout star has posted a 1.97 ERA and 26.4% K rate in eight starts. A 3.94 xFIP and 3.99 SIERA suggest this won't last, but he could still regress into a capable mixed-league option. He shouldn't be sitting on any waiver wires after May 17's 12-strikeout gem at San Diego.
|124||Dellin Betances (NYY - RP) IL60||328||84||143||112.5||21.3||244.0||-84.0||
Betances is merely a closer in waiting, but besides Josh Hader, the best in the game. He is a sure bet for 90+ Ks, with upside ranging to nearly 130. Likewise, his ratios will be terrific each year and you can even rely on a handful of wins and saves too.
|125||A.J. Minter (ATL - RP) MiLB||369||56||145||119.6||19.7||275.0||-94.0||
Arodys Vizcaino will likely miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on his pitching elbow. That gave Minter an opportunity to run away with the ninth-inning role. He didn't embrace that chance, yielding 26 baserunners and 12 runs in 11 innings before getting option to Triple-A. Drop him, especially if replacement closer Luke Jackson is still available, in all but the deepest of re-draft leagues.
|126||Taylor Rogers (MIN - RP)||309||101||135||114.7||12.0||587.0||+278.0||
May and Parker are seemingly in a batter at the top of Minnesota's depth chart, but Rogers is the type of guy who could find himself in the role at some point, and if it were to happen, he would dominate.
|127||Jesus Luzardo (OAK - SP) MiLB||332||81||122||96.3||15.4||259.0||-73.0||
Initially a candidate for an early-season promotion, Luzardo was shut down for four-to-six weeks in late March because of a strained rotator cuff in his left shoulder. The 21-year-old southpaw still has a bright future, and he could conceivably headline Oakland's weak rotation by the summer. This setback, however, lessens the appeal of drafting and stashing him in shallower re-draft formats.
|128||Sergio Romo (MIA - SP,RP)||310||96||181||119.8||29.5||399.0||+89.0|
|129||Alex Wood (CIN - SP) IL10||299||67||136||110.0||24.9||230.0||-69.0||
Wood, who was initially expected to return from a back injury in April, continues to suffer setbacks that push back his timetable. Although he initially looked like an intriguing piece to round out the rotation, most of that appeal came from the potential of logging more innings for the Reds. There's not enough upside to exert a spot on him in shallower leagues with limited or no IL spots.
|130||Lou Trivino (OAK - RP)||311||101||134||110.6||12.2||486.0||+175.0|
|131||Andrew Miller (STL - RP)||351||82||141||119.3||18.3||214.0||-137.0||
Miller has looked dreadful in the early stages of 2019. The once untouchable southpaw has surrendered five walks, four walks, and six runs (three homers) in 3.2 frames. His opposing contact rate has skyrocketed, allowing Jordan Hicks to take command of the Cardinals' ninth-inning role. He's droppable in shallow mixed leagues with standard scoring categories.
|132||Jeff Samardzija (SF - SP)||333||69||155||114.4||28.7||453.0||+120.0|
|133||Merrill Kelly (ARI - P)||334||80||156||115.6||25.9||465.0||+131.0|
|134||Chris Martin (TEX - RP)||331||78||139||115.2||15.0||774.0||+443.0|
|135||Trevor Williams (PIT - SP) IL10||338||100||169||128.4||19.7||292.0||-46.0|
|136||Reynaldo Lopez (CWS - SP)||330||95||172||126.3||22.2||284.0||-46.0|
|137||Forrest Whitley (HOU - SP) MiLB||335||61||143||94.3||35.2||273.0||-62.0|
|138||Michael Pineda (MIN - SP)||300||100||128||117.6||7.1||329.0||+29.0|
|139||Emilio Pagan (TB - RP)||307||87||129||118.2||7.4||804.0||+497.0|
|140||Alex Reyes (STL - SP) MiLB||391||94||211||126.0||49.2||261.0||-130.0||
Reyes didn't end up in the rotation but that doesn't mean he will be in the bullpen all season. Keep a close eye on your league's waiver wire in case the owner grows impatient and cuts him. There is a chance Reyes in the Walker Buehler of 2019's second half.
|141||Zach Davies (MIL - SP)||324||90||158||121.4||24.5||646.0||+322.0|
|142||Corbin Burnes (MIL - RP)||349||77||169||118.8||34.0||296.0||-53.0|
|143||Michael Wacha (STL - SP)||339||83||157||123.6||26.9||271.0||-68.0|
|144||Anthony Swarzak (ATL - RP)||383||61||175||111.0||47.6||469.0||+86.0|
|145||Corbin Martin (HOU - SP,RP)||325||72||154||116.5||29.2||993.0||+668.0|
|146||Anthony DeSclafani (CIN - SP)||358||108||128||117.3||7.1||445.0||+87.0|
|147||Chris Bassitt (OAK - SP)||374||92||114||106.7||10.4||888.0||+514.0|
|148||Archie Bradley (ARI - RP)||376||76||156||126.0||23.3||207.0||-169.0||
Bradley looked like the overwhelming favorite to close in the desert, but then the Diamondbacks signed Greg Holland in January. Manager Torey Lovullo named Holland the closer just prior to Opening Day. 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 be better than Holland and could eventually steal the closer gig from him.
|149||Trevor Richards (MIA - SP)||366||111||161||127.0||17.5||357.0||-9.0||
Richards carried a 4.42 ERA with 4 wins last year and formerly played independent baseball after going undrafted. It helps, however, that he has the best changeup in baseball. Richards' changeup is Trevor Hoffman-esque. It carried a 41.2% whiff rate with a .214 xWOBA. It certainly helped his performance when he adjusted by throwing it 38% of the time instead of 23% of the time at the start of the season. In those closing months, hitters were so focused on his filthy change-up that his slider suddenly became even more deadly than the changeup. With two of the most useful pitches in baseball, Richards could breakout this year in Miami much like Jake Peavy did in in 2004 after a rough start to his career.
|150||Griffin Canning (LAA - SP)||344||100||187||132.6||30.3||746.0||+402.0|
|151||Seranthony Dominguez (PHI - SP,RP)||357||104||150||126.2||17.7||256.0||-101.0|
|152||Reyes Moronta (SF - RP)||343||98||118||109.7||8.5||715.0||+372.0|
|153||John Gant (STL - SP,RP)||346||93||129||110.7||14.7||648.0||+302.0|
|154||Shawn Kelley (TEX - RP) IL10||410||101||140||121.0||18.1||864.0||+454.0|
|155||Gio Gonzalez (MIL - SP)||377||94||203||131.3||50.7||403.0||+26.0|
|156||Danny Duffy (KC - SP)||386||88||178||124.7||38.6||458.0||+72.0|
|157||Josh James (HOU - SP)||354||80||183||127.0||42.5||222.0||-132.0||
James missed out on his chance at the rotation because of a quad injury and landed in the bullpen instead where he is unsurprisingly dominant. Don't be shy about picking him up with expectations for him to perform similarly to Delin Betances.
|158||Zack Godley (ARI - SP)||360||89||175||125.0||36.5||246.0||-114.0||
Everyone's (or at least this writer's) favorite 2018 breakout pick pitched his way out of Arizona's rotation by relinquishing a 7.58 ERA and 1.72 WHIP through six disastrous starts. Those still holding out hope for a turnaround should drop Godley in all formats.
|159||Julio Teheran (ATL - SP)||399||95||194||138.3||36.9||238.0||-161.0|
|160||Carlos Martinez (STL - SP)||362||79||191||137.8||40.4||194.0||-168.0||
Martinez, who has missed the season's first month after experiencing shoulder weakness in spring training, will officially return as a reliever. With Jordan Hicks solidifying St. Louis' closer role, this transition is unlikely to include any save opportunities. That makes the former front-line starter an unnecessary stash in standard mixed leagues.
|161||Brandon Morrow (CHC - RP) IL60||421||83||190||137.5||37.8||278.0||-143.0||
It sounds as though Morrow is going to miss the start of the season. That could very well turn into multiple months as we've seen with "minor" pitching injuries many times before. It is a dangerous game to draft based on injury optimism, even if the closer does have considerable upside.
|162||Dallas Keuchel (SP) FA||353||77||134||105.5||28.5||183.0||-170.0||
Keuchel is still 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.
|163||Nathan Eovaldi (BOS - SP) IL10||352||84||199||145.8||41.9||159.0||-193.0||
Eovaldi is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow. He posted a 6.00 ERA before landing on the IL, so the hard-throwing, but erratic righty is not an essential stash in standard mixed leagues.
|164||Nick Pivetta (PHI - SP) MiLB||380||117||206||145.3||35.7||151.0||-229.0||
Most metrics painted Pivetta as the perfect breakout pick. On the strength of a stellar 19.7 K-BB%, he posted a 3.80 FIP and 3.51 SIERA despite a bloated 4.77 ERA in 2018. That makes his abhorrent start to 2019 all the more frustrating. The polarizing pitcher has acquiesced 31 hits and 18 runs in 18.1 nightmarish innings. Because of his weak fastball, the erratic righty may never be trustworthy on a game-by-game basis. The Phillies demoted him to Triple-A, so disgruntled managers can move on in 12-team mixed leagues.
|165||Ian Kennedy (KC - SP)||408||94||166||136.0||26.2||665.0||+257.0|
|166||Sean Newcomb (ATL - SP)||413||105||124||114.5||9.5||213.0||-200.0||
Newcomb got optioned to Triple-A after issuing eight walks to five strikeouts through his first three starts. The lefty allowed a ghastly 90.3% contact rate while generating just nine swinging strikes. Drop him in all leagues.
|167||Vince Velasquez (PHI - SP) IL10||403||114||159||129.3||21.0||386.0||-17.0|
|168||Jakob Junis (KC - SP)||418||99||165||132.0||33.0||319.0||-99.0|
|169||Jhoulys Chacin (MIL - SP)||422||114||137||125.5||11.5||237.0||-185.0|
|170||Anibal Sanchez (WSH - SP) IL10||396||117||136||126.5||9.5||294.0||-102.0|
|171||Yonny Chirinos (TB - SP,RP)||434||127||170||144.3||15.8||411.0||-23.0|
|172||Touki Toussaint (ATL - SP)||433||104||200||152.0||48.0||333.0||-100.0|
|173||Kelvin Herrera (CWS - RP)||431||116||171||145.8||20.0||306.0||-125.0||
Herrera was presumably signed to close for the White Sox, but they also added Alex Colome who has closing experience. This one is too close to call for now so you may want to add both in a late round just to make sure you get some saves.
|174||Dylan Bundy (BAL - SP)||435||107||182||144.5||37.5||280.0||-155.0|
|175||Julio Urias (LAD - SP)||392||130||147||137.0||7.3||266.0||-126.0||
Urias doesn't qualify as a rookie but if he were, we might be talking about the best rookie pitcher in baseball. He looks tremendous to start the year and will carry fantasy owners as long as the Dodgers allow him to remain in the rotation.
|176||Brad Keller (KC - SP,RP)||426||126||136||131.0||5.0||361.0||-65.0|
|177||Taijuan Walker (ARI - SP) IL60||438||111||207||159.0||48.0||647.0||+209.0|
|178||Chase Anderson (MIL - SP)||440||112||167||139.5||27.5||383.0||-57.0|
|179||Mike Fiers (OAK - SP)||441||113||177||145.0||32.0||338.0||-103.0|
|180||Jaime Barria (LAA - SP) MiLB||444||116||219||167.5||51.5||457.0||+13.0|
|181||Jonathan Loaisiga (NYY - SP) IL60||447||119||204||161.5||42.5||426.0||-21.0|
|182||Framber Valdez (HOU - SP)||448||120||218||169.0||49.0||542.0||+94.0|
|183||Brent Honeywell Jr. (TB - SP) MiLB||439||120||213||166.5||46.5||558.0||+119.0|
|184||Freddy Peralta (MIL - SP)||442||121||184||152.5||31.5||301.0||-141.0||
Peralta's first two turns tell prospective investors everything they need to know about the volatile righty. He began the season by allowing four runs in three innings, only to rebound with 11 strikeouts over eight shutout frames at Cincinnati. He'll look like a dark horse Cy Young Award contender one day, but he'll torpedo your ratios the next. After getting rocked twice more, the Brewers placed him on the IL with a sore shoulder. There's no need to stash him beyond deeper dynasty leagues.
|185||CC Sabathia (NYY - SP)||437||125||162||145.0||15.3||355.0||-82.0|
|186||Trevor Cahill (LAA - SP)||455||124||160||142.0||18.0||452.0||-3.0|
|187||Dereck Rodriguez (SF - SP) MiLB||445||130||171||150.3||16.7||295.0||-150.0|
|188||Jeurys Familia (NYM - RP)||133||222||177.5||44.5||348.0||
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.
|189||Zack Britton (NYY - RP)||453||133||174||153.5||20.5||315.0||-138.0||
Britton isn't going to be the closer in New York, nor is he likely the next man up since Dellin Betances is also ahead of him, but Britton is still well worth owning if your league allows you to start four or five relievers. He will help your ratios significantly while adding nearly 80 Ks as usual.
|190||Sandy Alcantara (MIA - SP)||460||133||154||143.5||10.5||556.0||+96.0||
Wild in his brief big league audition last year, Alcantara opened 2019 with no walks in eight scoreless frames against the Rockies. Wielding a mid-90s heater, the 23-year-old righty possesses immense upside if he continues to harness his command. Undrafted in most leagues, give him an April test run to see if there's anything to his strong first impression.
|191||Jon Duplantier (ARI - SP) MiLB||465||135||210||172.5||37.5||650.0||+185.0|
|192||Dinelson Lamet (SD - SP) IL60||463||135||198||166.5||31.5||514.0||+51.0|
|193||Drew Pomeranz (SF - SP)||464||137||189||158.7||22.1||414.0||-50.0|
|194||Mark Melancon (SF - RP)||458||141||149||145.0||4.0||408.0||-50.0||
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.
|195||Aaron Sanchez (TOR - SP)||467||143||152||147.5||4.5||328.0||-139.0|
|196||Drew Steckenrider (MIA - RP) IL60||144||224||184.0||40.0||305.0||
Steckenrider missed out on the Marlins' closer role, so while he may provide 90 strikeouts, there is no point in owning him if you play in a standard-sized mixed league.
|197||A.J. Puk (OAK - SP) MiLB||470||147||201||174.0||27.0||622.0||+152.0|
|198||Wade Miley (HOU - SP)||473||148||161||154.5||6.5||358.0||-115.0|
|199||Seth Lugo (NYM - SP,RP) IL10||474||152||212||182.0||30.0||454.0||-20.0|
|200||Robert Stephenson (CIN - SP)||476||152||179||163.3||11.4||766.0||+290.0|
|201||Joe Kelly (LAD - RP)||155||220||187.5||32.5||490.0|
|202||John Means (BAL - P)||156||157||156.5||0.5|
|Saquon Barkley (NYG)||RB|
|Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)||RB|
|Christian McCaffrey (CAR)||RB|
|Alvin Kamara (NO)||RB|
|Melvin Gordon (LAC)||RB|
|DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)||WR|
|Davante Adams (GB)||WR|
|David Johnson (ARI)||RB|
|Le'Veon Bell (NYJ)||RB|
|Julio Jones (ATL)||WR|
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|James Conner (PIT)||RB|
|Todd Gurley (LAR)||RB|
|Joe Mixon (CIN)||RB|
|Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)||WR|
|Travis Kelce (KC)||TE|
|Michael Thomas (NO)||WR|
|Nick Chubb (CLE)||RB|
|JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT)||WR|
|Dalvin Cook (MIN)||RB|
|Antonio Brown (OAK)||WR|
|George Kittle (SF)||TE|
|Mike Evans (TB)||WR|
|T.Y. Hilton (IND)||WR|
|A.J. Green (CIN)||WR|
|Marlon Mack (IND)||RB|
|Keenan Allen (LAC)||WR|
|Amari Cooper (DAL)||WR|
|Derrick Henry (TEN)||RB|
|Sony Michel (NE)||RB|
|Adam Thielen (MIN)||WR|
|Mike Trout (LAA)||CF,DH|
|Christian Yelich (MIL)||LF,CF|
|Mookie Betts (BOS)||CF,RF|
|Nolan Arenado (COL)||3B|
|J.D. Martinez (BOS)||LF,RF|
|Max Scherzer (WSH)||SP|
|Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)||LF,CF|
|Alex Bregman (HOU)||3B,SS|
|Cody Bellinger (LAD)||1B,CF|
|Trevor Story (COL)||SS|
|View All Rankings|
|Javier Baez (CHC)||2B,3B|
|Justin Verlander (HOU)||SP|
|Trea Turner (WSH)||SS|
|Francisco Lindor (CLE)||SS|
|Jacob deGrom (NYM)||SP|
|Paul Goldschmidt (STL)||1B|
|Gerrit Cole (HOU)||SP|
|Chris Sale (BOS)||SP|
|Bryce Harper (PHI)||CF,RF|
|Blake Snell (TB)||SP|
|Charlie Blackmon (COL)||CF|
|Freddie Freeman (ATL)||1B|
|Jose Altuve (HOU)||2B|
|Manny Machado (SD)||3B,SS|
|Jose Ramirez (CLE)||2B,3B|
|Adalberto Mondesi (KC)||2B,SS|
|Whit Merrifield (KC)||1B,2B|
|Rhys Hoskins (PHI)||1B,LF|
|Trevor Bauer (CLE)||SP|
|George Springer (HOU)||CF,RF|
|Anthony Davis (NOR)||PF,C|
|James Harden (HOU)||PG,SG|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)||SF,PF|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||C|
|Kevin Durant (GSW)||SF,PF|
|LeBron James (LAL)||SF,PF|
|Stephen Curry (GSW)||PG,SG|
|Nikola Jokic (DEN)||PF,C|
|Damian Lillard (POR)||PG|
|Russell Westbrook (OKC)||PG|
|View All Rankings|
|Victor Oladipo (IND)||PG,SG|
|Paul George (OKC)||SG,SF|
|Joel Embiid (PHI)||PF,C|
|Kawhi Leonard (TOR)||SG,SF|
|Chris Paul (HOU)||PG|
|Jimmy Butler (PHI)||SG,SF|
|Kemba Walker (CHA)||PG|
|Kyrie Irving (BOS)||PG,SG|
|Ben Simmons (PHI)||PG,SF|
|Jrue Holiday (NOR)||PG,SG|
|Rudy Gobert (UTH)||C|
|Andre Drummond (DET)||PF,C|
|John Wall (WAS)||PG|
|Kyle Lowry (TOR)||PG|
|Khris Middleton (MIL)||SG,SF|
|Donovan Mitchell (UTH)||PG,SG|
|Bradley Beal (WAS)||SG|
|Kevin Love (CLE)||PF,C|
|Draymond Green (GSW)||PF,C|
|LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)||PF,C|