Top 50 SP for Fantasy Baseball 2017

By: Nate Leer

We finished up this year’s lists of hitters with the top 40 OF earlier this week. We move on to the position with risk and the most potential reward. Starting pitchers are notoriously fickle. Of course injuries, including Tommy John surgery, can impact the position. However, there is also plenty of uncertainty after the top tiers based solely on performance. There are just not enough proven, consistent pitchers with top 20 upside. With so much uncertainty in the middle of the pitching pack, knowing who to snag late is key. Don’t overpay for marginal talent when you can get as much upside later with way less invested.

The top 50 SP for fantasy baseball 2017, with significant drops between tiers, focus on values at the right draft slot or price:

1. Clayton Kershaw – LAD.

2. Max Scherzer – Was.

3. Madison Bumgarner – SF.

4. Chris Sale – ChiW.

The top 4 SPs are in a class of their own. All have small issues: Kershaw – injuries last 2 years, Scherzer – finger issue, Bumgarner – lots of innings, Sale – new park that can be tough on lefties. However, they have all been great for years and you can safely expect more of the same.

5. Corey Kluber – Cle.

6. Yu Darvish – Tex.

7. Noah Syndergaard – NYM.

8. Jake Arietta – ChiC.

9. Chris Archer – TB.

10. Justin Verlander – Det.

The 2nd tier of SPs has a ton of upside with recent elite production but cause for concern on some level or good, not great, upside

11. Carlos Carrasco – Cle.

12. Jacob DeGrom – NYM.

13. Carlos Martinez – StL.

14. Jon Lester – ChiC.

15. Johnny Cueto – SF.

16. Gerrit Cole – Pit.

17. Cole Hamels – Tex.

This is where the best values end for a ways. Sure their are guys farther down the list that are worth owning, but their track records do not support their likely values. Some of the guys 11-17 will fall a bit in drafts as they are not sexy names. Be ready to grab value as a #2 SP and you will reap benefits all year.

18. Kyle Hendricks – ChiC.

19. Kevin Gausman – Bal.

20. Stephen Strasburg – Was.

21. Jose Quintana – ChiW.

22. Danny Salazar – Cle.

23. Danny Duffy – KC.

24. Masahiro Tanaka – NYY.

SPs 18-24 are all high-risk, high-reward players. Hendricks, Qunitana and Duffy emerged last year but can they continue to pitch at a high level? Gausman and Salazar are talents who have yet to put it all together. Strasburg and Tanaka could be elite, or their arms might fall off.

25. Rich Hill – LAD.

26. Ricl Porcello – Bos.

27. Kenta Maeda – LAD.

28. Julio Teheran – Atl.

29. Matt Harvey – NYM.

30. Zack Greinke – Ari.

31. Felix Hernandez – Sea.

32. Dallas Keuchel – Hou.

33. Lance McCullers – Hou.

34. Marcus Stroman – Tor.

35. David Price – Bos.

The question marks get more numerous as we move down the list. SPs 25-35 have limited track records, significant injury concerns and/or the appearance of being in decline. Be very careful where you draft them!

36. Michael Fulmer – Det.

37. Aaron Sanchez – Tor.

38. Jake Odorizzi – TB.

39. James Taillon – Pit.

40. Marco Estrada – Tor.

41. Carlos Rodon – ChiW.

42. Sonny Gray – Oak.

43. John Lackey – ChiC

44. Steve Matz – NYM

45. Matt Moore – SF.

46. Michael Pineda – NYY.

47. James Paxton – Sea.

48. Sean Manaea – Oak.

49. Jon Gray – Col.

50. Jared Eickhoff – Phi.

The last tier of 15 SPs in the top 50 are where you can start to find values again in your drafts. Some of these guys will go too early. Others could fit right in to the back end of your rotation if you’ve filled out most of the rest of your roster earlier in the draft. The move is to grab a handful of these high-upside guys late and let a couple of them emerge as borderline studs. My faves are Estrada, Rodon, Matz, Moore and Manaea.

Next 20 SPs: JA Happ – Tor, Dylan Bundy – Bal, Garrett Richards – LAA, Ervin Santana – Min, Francisco Liriano – Tor, Zack Wheeler – NYM, Matt Shoemaker – LAA, Jharel Cotton – Oak, Tyler Glasnow – Pit, Lucas Giolito – ChiW, Julio Urias – LAD, Michael Wacha – StL, Scott Kazmir – LAD, Drew Pomeranz – Bos, Blake Snell – TB, Reynaldo Lopez – ChiW, Robbie Ray – Ari, Taijuan Walker – Ari, Patrick Corbin – Ari, Lance Lynn – StL.

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