1. Gerrit Cole, NYY

Best SP in the game, but could be an overpay due to the unknown of how he’ll perform on a new team in a new home ballpark. The difference in price between him and DeGrom is also ridiculously high despite how close they are in ability.

2. Jacob DeGrom, NYM

A contender for the title of being the best SP in the game. He costs a premium, but is worth the cost.

3. Max Scherzer, WAS

Decline risk due to his age.

4. Chris Sale, BOS

Injury risk, but projects as a top 4 SP when healthy.

5. Walker Buehler, LAD

6. Blake Snell, TBR

Likely to be underpriced due to having an unlucky season last year.

7. Justin Verlander, HOU

Major regression candidate due to age.

8. Shane Bieber, CLE

Projection systems don’t expect him to pitch like an ace.

9. Mike Clevinger, CLE

Well outperformed an underwhelming FIP and xFIP in 2017 and 2018, but was a legit ace in a short sample size in 2019.

10. Luis Severino, NYY

Was a legit ace in 2017 and 2018 and had an elite ERA and FIP with an underwhelming xFIP in a short sample size in 2019. Should be one of the best bargains this season.

11. Stephen Strasburg, WAS

An injury risk that might not repeat his contract year last season.

12. Clayton Kershaw, LAD

He’s officially in decline.

13. Aaron Nola, PHI

Top 5 SP in 2018 (albeit with a lucky BABIP).

14. Tyler Glasnow, TBR

Potentially undervalued by projection systems, as he’s a former top prospect who pitched like an ace in a short sample size last season.

15. Luis Castillo, CIN

16. Patrick Corbin, WAS

17. Charlie Morton, TBR

Decline risk due to age and injury-prone.

18. Jack Flaherty, STL

Isn’t an ace based on advanced metrics and projections, but has a good defense behind him.

19. James Paxton, NYY

Contract year boost on a contending team? Injury-prone however.

20. Trevor Bauer, CIN

Great strikeout rate and was an elite SP in 2018, will a contract year make him bounce back from his down 2019?

21. Yu Darvish, CHC

22. Noah Syndergaard, NYM

Injury-prone and coming off a healthy but down year.

23. Carlos Carrasco, CLE

Fastball velocity has been declining since 2015 (though steady in 2018 and short sampled 2019). He missed most of last season due to having leukemia.

24. Zack Greinke, HOU

Major decline candidate.

25. Lance Lynn, TEX

Regression candidate.

26. Sonny Gray, CIN

27. Brandon Woodruff, MIL

Breakout candidate.

28. Robbie Ray, ARI

Contract year and an elite strikeout rate with an ace level (though fluke) 2017 behind him. Mid-season trade candidate.

29. Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS

30. Zack Wheeler, PHI

31. Max Fried, ATL

Breakout candidate with strong projections.

32. Corey Kluber, TEX

His fastball velocity has declined since 2013 and he’s coming off a horrible season that he mostly missed due to injury. He’s also moving to a hitter’s park. All that said, he was a top 5 SP prior to last season.

33. Lucas Giolito, CWS

34. Mike Soroka, ATL

Horrible strikeout rate and expected regression.

35. Kyle Hendricks, CHC

So far keeps outperforming his FIP and xFIP.

36. Dinelson Lamet, SDP

Major breakout candidate.

37. German Marquez, COL

Pitched like an ace in the second half of 2018; underperformed his xFIP last season.

38. David Price, BOS

39. Chris Paddack, SDP

40. Lance McCullers Jr., HOU

Missed all of 2019 and had been injury-prone before that.

41. Jose Berrios, MIN

42. Masahiro Tanaka, NYY

Contract year could boost his performance.

43. Madison Bumgarner, ARI

Moves from a pitcher’s park to a hitter’s one.

44. Frankie Montas, OAK

Has never pitched a full season in the Majors.

45. Marcus Stroman, NYM

Has a low strikeout rate, but is entering a contract year.

46. Hyun-Jin Ryu, TOR

Major injury and regression risk.

47. Dallas Keuchel, CWS

48. Jake Odorizzi, MIN

49. Jon Gray, COL

Potential mid-season trade candidate.

50. Andrew Heaney, LAA

Contract year.

51. Shohei Ohtani, LAA

Expect growing pains and inning limits after he didn’t pitch at all last season.

52. Mike Minor, TEX

Major regression candidate.

53. Jose Quintana, CHC

Contract year.

54. Jesus Luzardo, OAK

Has never pitched a full season in the Majors.

55. Cole Hamels, ATL

56. Garrett Richards, SDP

Contract year and ace like production a few years ago when healthy.

57. Mike Foltynewicz, ATL

58. Alex Wood, LAD

59. Matthew Boyd, DET

Mid-season trade candidate.

60. Chris Archer, PIT

Mid-season trade candidate who was elite back in 2015. He is still young enough to fix things.


1. Kirby Yates, SDP

Mid-season trade candidate, but will likely remain a closer if traded.

2. Aroldis Chapman, NYY

3. Josh Hader, MIL

4. Roberto Osuna, HOU

5. Taylor Rogers, MIN

6. Craig Kimbrel, CHC

Were last season’s struggles due to him missing Spring Training? He should have a long leash due to his contract and lack of competition in Chicago’s bullpen.

7. Edwin Diaz, NYM

8. Liam Hendriks, OAK

No track record as an elite reliever outside last season, but is entering his contract year.

9. Brad Hand, CLE

Struggled in the second half last season due to fatigue.

10. Kenley Jansen, LAD

If Blake Treinen bounces back, the declining Jansen is in serious trouble.

11. Ken Giles, TOR

Mid-season trade candidate that’s likely remain a closer if traded.

12. Brandon Workman, BOS

Matt Barnes is unlikely to be as unlucky as he was last season and so is a serious threat to Workman.

13. Jose LeClerc, TEX

He has no competition in Texas’s bullpen and has an elite strikeout rate, but needs to improve his control.

14. Archie Bradley, ARI

Was quietly elite down the stretch last season.

15. Mark Melancon, ATL

He’s in serious danger of losing the role to Will Smith.

16. Hector Neris, PHI

He’s very inconsistent and could lose his closing role to Seranthony Dominguez.

17. Hansel Robles, LAA

His FIP backed up his ERA, but his xFIP waa pretty bad. He also has no track record as a closer or good reliever outside last season.

18. Emilio Pagan, TBR

Tampa Bay mix and match.

19. Raisel Iglesias, CIN

If they contend, they have to replace him at closer.

20. Brandon Kintzler, MÍA

Mid-season Trade candidate who wouldn’t be a closer on his new team. That said, I actually think he might not be traded and be decent.

21. Ian Kennedy, KCR

He’ll likely be traded at the trading deadline and then he likely won’t be a closer anymore.

22. Alex Colome, CWS

Terrible strikeout rate and advanced metrics, he’s also in his contract year and if they don’t contend is a trade candidate who won’t be a closer on his new team.

23. Carlos Martinez , STL

He will get a chance to start again.

24. Sean Doolittle, WAS

He’s coming off a bad year and has serious competition for his job in Washington’s bullpen.

25. Scott Oberg, COL

He has limited experience as a closer and is a mid-season trade candidate who won’t be a closer anymore if traded.

26. Keone Kela, PIT

Mid-season trade candidate who won’t be a closer anymore if traded.

27. Tony Watson, SFG

Mid-season trade candidate who won’t be a closer anymore if traded.

28. Joe Jimenez, DET

He’s been terrible as a closer in a limited sample.

29. Mychal Givens, BAL

Mid-season trade candidate who won’t be a closer anymore if traded.

30. Sam Tuivailala, SEA

Mid-season trade candidate who won’t be a closer anymore if traded. He’s also unlikely to even be a closer for Seattle by then.

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