Baseball Press

2020 Positional Rankings - Starting Pitchers

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

A quick overview and a few comments on 2020 rankings for starting pitchers. As always, you can find all of our rankings updated periodically by clicking the "Rankings" link at the top of the website.

Here are the positions we've covered thus far:

2020 Positional Rankings - Catcher
2020 Positional Rankings - First Base
2020 Positional Rankings - Second Base
2020 Positional Rankings - Shortstop
2020 Positional Rankings - Third Base
2020 Positional Rankings - Outfield

To keep things short and sweet, and to keep you from clicking off the site, I won't be going into much detail on a lot of the "top pitching" players. We all know that Gerrit Cole and Jacob deGrom are the best pitchers in baseball, so the last thing we need is another article with the same confirmation.

Tier One


I don't think there are any major surprises with the top stating pitchers heading into this season. If you own any of these players, you have a good starting point for your rotation. Even if you don't own one of these players, you can still put together a quality rotation.

Tier Two


Tier Two is another sold group of starting pitchers. In fact, some players like Shane Bieber and Walker Buehler could be considered Tier One pitchers when the season is said and done. However, for now, they are not at the level of a deGrom or Max Scherzer. Again, there are plenty of pitchers to build a sold rotation around, even if you don't snag the number one starting pitcher overall. 

Tier Three


Tier Three has a ton of talent in it, containing a solid blend of veterans that have won Cy Young Awards and rookies coming off terrific introduction seasons. Luis Castillo is a true ace, who continue to put up lights out strikeout totals. Chris Paddack was limited in innings last season, but should be a force to be reckoned with in 2020. Tyler Glasnow was limited with injuries, but can hopefully toss past the 5th inning this season. Despite the terrible win-loss record for Yu Darvish, he still struck out over 200 hitters in just over 178 innings pitched.

Tier Four


I typically live on Tier Three and Tier Four starting pitchers, simply because I don't want to draft pitchers early - as there are so many of them to pick from. Shohei Ohtani could find some innings this season, and would be a nice pickup in later rounds as a pitcher. Hyun-Jin Ryu doesn't allow a lot of earned runs, but also isn't very exciting - typically just "meh". Most of the players in this tier only showed value in one category, and are likely why they are here - meaning they are late round pickups for the back end of your fantasy rotation.

Tier Five


Tier Five is just like every other tier we have reviewed - this is the rest of the players - the catch all queue. All of these starting pitchers are serviceable, but certainly not must have on draft day. In fact, if you don't draft them, you can likely get them on your first pass of the waiver wire. There are always starting pitchers on the waiver wire - that's the beauty of streaming and picking your matchups. You can draft any of these players and not feel bad about dropping them during the third week of the season.