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Strike Zone

May Starter Rankings

by Matthew Pouliot
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to the May starting pitcher rankings update. Up this week are all of May's rest-of-season position rankings and overall top 300. Remember that players are listed where they’re most valuable, so if you don’t see someone you’re looking for, check another position. Designated hitters are listed with the first basemen. 

 

Click to see other May rankings:

Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH

 

 

Follow us at @Rotoworld_BB and @matthewpouliot on Twitter.



Starting pitcher Rankings

 

 

May SP Team 2016
1 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 1
2 Jake Arrieta Cubs 4
3 Max Scherzer Nationals 2
4 Stephen Strasburg Nationals 11
5 Chris Sale White Sox 5
6 Madison Bumgarner Giants 3
7 Jose Fernandez Marlins 6
8 David Price Red Sox 7
9 Noah Syndergaard Mets 19
10 Corey Kluber Indians 9
11 Gerrit Cole Pirates 10
12 Jacob deGrom Mets 8
13 Sonny Gray Athletics 17
14 Zack Greinke Diamondbacks 16
15 Johnny Cueto Giants 21
16 Cole Hamels Rangers 18
17 Danny Salazar Indians 26
18 Dallas Keuchel Astros 13
19 Matt Harvey Mets 14
20 Jose Quintana White Sox 36
21 Garrett Richards Angels 23
22 Taijuan Walker Mariners 33
23 Carlos Martinez Cardinals 29
24 Carlos Carrasco Indians 12
25 Felix Hernandez Mariners 15
26 Kenta Maeda Dodgers 45
27 Jon Lester Cubs 28
28 Jake Odorizzi Rays 30
29 Jeff Samardzija Giants 24
30 Adam Wainwright Cardinals 20
31 Drew Smyly Rays 48
32 Justin Verlander Tigers 25
33 Chris Archer Rays 27
34 Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 35
35 Marcus Stroman Blue Jays 22
36 Yu Darvish Rangers 51
37 Michael Wacha Cardinals 39
38 Michael Pineda Yankees 31
39 John Lackey Cubs 43
40 Steven Matz Mets 41
41 Francisco Liriano Pirates 42
42 Jaime Garcia Cardinals 46
43 Wei-Yin Chen Marlins 38
44 Kyle Hendricks Cubs 47
45 Lance McCullers Astros 44
46 Patrick Corbin Diamondbacks 37
47 Gio Gonzalez Nationals 50
48 Matt Moore Rays 69
49 Jordan Zimmermann Tigers 53
50 Yordano Ventura Royals 40
51 Jason Hammel Cubs 59
52 Anthony DeSclafani Reds 52
53 Julio Teheran Braves 54
54 Juan Nicasio Pirates 55
55 Hisashi Iwakuma Mariners 49
56 Joe Ross Nationals 56
57 Adam Conley Marlins 73
58 Tyson Ross Padres 32
59 Rick Porcello Red Sox 75
60 Raisel Iglesias Reds 34
61 Jose Berrios Twins 102
62 Mike Leake Cardinals 57
63 Marco Estrada Blue Jays 67
64 Jimmy Nelson Brewers 71
65 Aaron Nola Phillies 78
66 Ian Kennedy Royals 76
67 Kevin Gausman Orioles 68
68 Jesse Hahn Athletics 74
69 Scott Kazmir Dodgers 65
70 Drew Pomeranz Padres 101
71 Rich Hill Athletics 95
72 Vincent Velasquez Phillies 86
73 Carlos Rodon White Sox 85
74 Clay Buchholz Red Sox 61
75 James Shields Padres 66
76 Erasmo Ramirez Rays 81
77 Shelby Miller Diamondbacks 58
78 Eduardo Rodriguez Red Sox 77
79 Hector Santiago Angels 99
80 Derek Holland Rangers 88
81 Nate Karns Mariners 89
82 Mike Fiers Astros 62
83 Luis Severino Yankees 64
84 Collin McHugh Astros 72
85 Tanner Roark Nationals 132
86 Nathan Eovaldi Yankees 79
87 Nick Tropeano Angels 118
88 Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays 107
89 Adam Warren Cubs 87
90 Phil Hughes Twins 63
91 Anibal Sanchez Tigers 70
92 Alex Wood Dodgers 83
93 Sean Manaea Athletics 167
94 Rubby De La Rosa Diamondbacks 91
95 Andrew Cashner Padres 84
96 J.A. Happ Blue Jays 103
97 Chris Devenski Astros 253
98 Tyler Glasnow Pirates 123
99 Robbie Ray Diamondbacks 90
100 Edinson Volquez Royals 154
101 Blake Snell Rays 139
102 Kris Medlen Royals 92
103 Kendall Graveman Athletics 96
104 Wade Miley Mariners 104
105 Kyle Gibson Twins 82
106 Steven Wright Red Sox 146
107 Chris Heston Giants 108
108 Jake Peavy Giants 80
109 Michael Fulmer Tigers 194
110 Josh Tomlin Indians 114
111 Matt Cain Giants 93
112 Brandon Finnegan Reds 179
113 R.A. Dickey Blue Jays 98
114 Martin Perez Rangers 106
115 A.J. Griffin Rangers 172
116 Daniel Norris Tigers 116
117 Jerad Eickhoff Phillies 159
118 Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers 124
119 Andrew Heaney Angels 60
120 Shane Greene Tigers 100
121 Trevor Bauer Indians 133
122 Jeff Locke Pirates 109
123 C.J. Wilson Angels 122
124 Mat Latos White Sox 144
125 Lucas Giolito Nationals 162
126 Brandon McCarthy Dodgers 131
127 Tyler Chatwood Rockies 246
128 Chris Young Royals 113
129 Cody Reed Reds 203
130 Henry Owens Red Sox 161
131 Bartolo Colon Mets 136
132 Jon Gray Rockies 117
133 James Paxton Mariners 119
134 Tyler Skaggs Angels 115
135 Jon Niese Pirates 121
136 Jeremy Hellickson Phillies 138
137 Chase Anderson Brewers 111
138 Henderson Alvarez Athletics 202
139 Joe Kelly Red Sox 110
140 Chris Tillman Orioles 151
141 Alex Cobb Rays 149
142 Zack Wheeler Mets 148
143 Doug Fister Astros 140
144 Ervin Santana Twins 147
145 Tim Cooney Cardinals 112
146 Drew Hutchison Blue Jays 134
147 Ross Stripling Dodgers 224
148 Jered Weaver Angels 137
149 Yusmeiro Petit Nationals 125
150 CC Sabathia Yankees 142
151 Homer Bailey Reds 135
152 Vidal Nuno Mariners 127
153 Travis Wood Cubs 130
154 Ubaldo Jimenez Orioles 145
155 Brett Anderson Dodgers 155
156 Matt Wisler Braves 163
157 Ricky Nolasco Twins 164
158 Julio Urias Dodgers 175
159 Cody Anderson Indians 105
160 Michael Feliz Astros 152
161 Jesse Chavez Blue Jays 143
162 Colin Rea Padres 177
163 Jhoulys Chacin Braves 241
164 Danny Duffy Royals 120
165 Colby Lewis Rangers 183
166 Jose Urena Marlins 210
167 Mark Appel Phillies 222
168 Matt Shoemaker Angels 97
169 John Lamb Reds 178
170 Carlos Villanueva Padres 128
171 Aaron Blair Braves 260
172 Robert Stephenson Reds 255
173 Ivan Nova Yankees 157
174 Josh Hader Brewers 229
175 Justin Nicolino Marlins 287

 

Dropping off (from preseason top 150): Chris Bassitt (94th), Marco Gonzales (126th), Tyler Lyons (129th), Charlie Morton (141st), Mike Bolsinger (150th)

 

  • I’m feeling a little better now about Arrieta for a durability standpoint, so he jumps past Scherzer and Bumgarner. I still think he’s more of a health risk than those two, but he certainly seems strong right now. On a per-inning basis, I did have him a tad higher than those two entering the year (ignoring durability, my top five entering the year would have been Kershaw, Arrieta, Fernandez, Sale, Scherzer).

 

  • I still worry about Syndergaard’s arm. He’s undoubtedly a top-five pitcher for the short term, but I’m not optimistic about him racking up 200 innings. Carlos Martinez, Maeda, Archer and Jaime Garcia are some other guys whose rankings are held back by durability concerns.

 

  • Zimmermann’s fast start in the AL hasn’t swayed me in the least; his velocity remains down and his strikeout rate is in a steady decline. He’s a smart pitcher and he’ll keep making adjustments in an effort to stay ahead of hitters, but I don’t think it leads to a sub-3.50 ERA the rest of the way.

 

  • Rich Hill was ranked in the 60s among SPs going into the spring, but he looked so lost in March that I dropped him all of the way down to 95 in the final preseason rankings. He’s back up to 71 now. In truth, he’s a top-50 pitcher at the moment. However, he’s about as big of a health risk as anyone currently in a major league rotation.

 

  • Like Hill, Nola is riding an exceptional curveball, and not much else, to some excellent early-season results. Nola is averaging just 90 mph with his fastball, and his changeup has been a below average pitch for him in the majors. His curve is ridiculously good and he’s getting enough grounders with the fastball that I don’t want to write him off as a mixed-league asset. I think he’s pitching above his head right now, though.

 

  • I don’t quite know what to do with Velasquez, who is a top-30 starter today but is going to be a non-factor come September and probably quite a bit earlier. Not only is he a big health risk, but he’s going to get shut down early even if he does stay healthy. Owners should probably ride him for another month and then see about selling.

 

  • Severino turned in a quality start Tuesday against the Orioles, but there’s increased chatter about sending him to Triple-A anyway. That’d be quite an overreaction; Severino is throwing 95 mph, he’s walked just five in 25 2/3 innings and he’s sporting an above average groundball rate. He has a 4.42 FIP and a 3.59 xFIP to go along with his 6.31 ERA. I don’t think Severino is suddenly going to bust out as a star this year, but I’m pretty sure he’s better than Ivan Nova or anyone else the Yankees could turn to.
Matthew Pouliot
Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @matthewpouliot.