RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: Starting Pitchers

Starting pitchers are the best. For whatever reason — perhaps their true talent changes more year to year, or they have less control over their results than hitters, or injury is more pervasive — pitchers are harder to project than hitters. I personally believe it’s because the power of changing your pitching mix can make you a new pitcher.

Look at Dallas Keuchel. He used to have a meh curve, he ditched it for a good slider. How relevant are his past stats now? You move a pitcher from the tougher league to the easier one, and you have to guess at how much that will matter, to some extent. Because the defense behind them will change too. In Doug Fister‘s case, it always seemed like he’d get better defense at his new stop. Is that the case? Or consider the case of Jose Fernandez and the lack of major league sample size. You regress him, and he’s still great. Or Masahiro Tanaka, the complete lack of major league stats.

Pitching is great. Look how wildly we disagree.

Rankings based on 5×5 roto, 12 teams, single-catcher with Middle Infield and Corner Infield spots, 14 hitters and 9 pitchers. Each ranker had their own mix of projections and intuition.

RG Name Jeff Zach Mike Eno
1 Clayton Kershaw 1 1 1 1
2 Yu Darvish 2 3 2 2
3 Justin Verlander 6 8 5 4
4 Felix Hernandez 5 5 6 7
5 Adam Wainwright 7 4 4 8
6 Max Scherzer 3 2 9 10
7 Stephen Strasburg 10 6 8 3
8 Chris Sale 4 10 7 6
9 Cliff Lee 9 9 3 11
10 Madison Bumgarner 8 12 10 5
11 Jose Fernandez 12 11 12 9
12 David Price 11 13 17 12
13 Zack Greinke 13 7 27 13
14 Cole Hamels 14 15 15 16
15 Matt Cain 20 19 11 15
16 Gio Gonzalez 17 21 24 17
17 Jordan Zimmermann 23 27 16 14
18 Doug Fister 29 16 14 23
19 Anibal Sanchez 16 14 20 38
20 Mat Latos 15 37 13 25
21 Mike Minor 19 20 37 18
22 Kris Medlen 22 26 33 19
23 James Shields 18 24 22 37
24 Danny Salazar 40 18 25 20
25 Masahiro Tanaka 21 28 31 26
26 Shelby Miller 24 22 38 24
27 Homer Bailey 25 40 23 30
28 Alex Cobb 36 17 28 39
29 Jeff Samardzija 27 31 29 34
30 Patrick Corbin 30 25 35 32
31 CC Sabathia 34 32 32 31
32 Hisashi Iwakuma 31 50 26 27
33 Jered Weaver 42 46 21 29
34 Julio Teheran 26 33 53 28
35 Gerrit Cole 33 45 45 21
36 Hyun-Jin Ryu 35 23 46 42
37 Michael Wacha 43 34 40 36
38 Sonny Gray 44 49 42 22
39 Francisco Liriano 28 38 47 44
40 R.A. Dickey 39 59 18 47
41 Hiroki Kuroda 54 53 19 41
42 Lance Lynn 37 43 36 51
43 Matt Garza 51 29 30 59
44 Jon Lester 32 41 52 45
45 Matt Moore 41 39 51 50
46 Andrew Cashner 49 35 64 35
47 Johnny Cueto 59 47 61 33
48 Tony Cingrani 50 36 63 52
49 A.J. Griffin 47 69 44 43
50 Ian Kennedy 38 63 58 46
51 A.J. Burnett 52 51 49 55
52 Dan Haren 53 30 67 57
53 Tim Lincecum 48 68 34 64
54 Corey Kluber 65 42 41 69
55 C.J. Wilson 46 86 39 48
56 Justin Masterson 45 62 55 58
57 Marco Estrada 79 61 56 40
58 John Lackey 60 64 62 63
59 Jake Peavy 66 66 50 71
60 Ervin Santana 70 60 43 81
61 Tim Hudson 80 74 48 53
62 Ubaldo Jimenez 58 55 69 74
63 Alex Wood 61 84 60 54
64 Dan Straily 64 75 74 49
65 Ivan Nova 68 54 79 61
66 Rick Porcello 69 57 70 66
67 Chris Tillman 57 76 65 67
68 Scott Kazmir 84 52 54 89
69 Yovani Gallardo 56 71 73 83
70 Josh Johnson 74 48 66 96
71 Zack Wheeler 63 58 83 82
72 Clay Buchholz 82 73 57 77
73 Bartolo Colon 62 65 91 72
74 Brandon Beachy 94 44 76 79
75 Kyle Lohse 75 90 68 65
76 Chris Archer 77 79 88 60
77 Wade Miley 71 93 75 70
78 Jose Quintana 67 106 72 68
79 Dillon Gee 85 91 71 73
80 Drew Smyly 81 100 80 62
81 Kevin Gausman 97 67 106 56
82 Taijuan Walker 95 56 85 93
83 Ricky Nolasco 83 88 59 99
84 Jon Niese 73 77 87 94
85 Jarrod Parker 72 106 81 75
86 James Paxton 106 85 82 87
87 Edwin Jackson 78 70 106 106
88 Tyson Ross 99 106 86 76
89 Travis Wood 89 106 95 84
90 Phil Hughes 100 72 96 106
91 Brandon Morrow 76 80 122 98
92 Wei-Yin Chen 90 106 77 105
93 Trevor Cahill 88 106 106 80
94 Bronson Arroyo 106 102 84 92
95 Tyler Skaggs 98 94 92 100
96 Jason Vargas 106 82 97 106
97 Mike Leake 92 106 118 78
98 Miguel Gonzalez 96 106 99 97
99 Henderson Alvarez 106 106 94 95
100 Mark Buehrle 106 97 93 106
101 Felix Doubront 91 99 106 106
102 Martin Perez 106 106 106 85
103 Yordano Ventura 106 105 106 86
104 Jhoulys Chacin 87 106 104 106
105 Bud Norris 106 89 103 106
106 Hector Santiago 106 95 98 106
107 Jenrry Mejia 106 106 105 91
108 Erasmo Ramirez 106 96 106 101
109 Brandon McCarthy 106 87 110 106
110 Eric Stults 106 78 125 102
111 Brett Anderson 106 98 101 106
112 Tanner Roark 106 92 109 106
113 Garrett Richards 106 104 100 106
114 Charlie Morton 106 106 102 104
115 Derek Holland 86 107 133 106

Players ranked by one analyst: Matt Harrison, Wandy Rodriguez, Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Locke, Matt Harvey, Jaime Garcia, Gavin Floyd, Josh Beckett, Scott Feldman, Tommy Milone, Juan Nicasio, Joe Kelly, Wily Peralta, Nathan Eovaldi, Jacob Turner.



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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.


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centerfield_ballhawk
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centerfield_ballhawk

Eno, you clearly owe my main man Anibal Sanchez an apology… and you owe me an explanation for the reason(s) you ranked him at #38.

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