Like many other sports, Major League Baseball is delayed in 2020. With this, fantasy baseball is also not operating as planned. However, there is still a possibility of the season happening, even if it is different than the typical Major League season. Should the fantasy baseball season happen this year, a lot of participants will be doing research prior to their draft. Position rankings are a way for people to get an idea of who they might want to target in their fantasy baseball draft. Here is a list of starting pitchers and a list of bullpen pitchers for the 2020 fantasy baseball season.
Multiple players’ stats are according to Baseball-Reference.
25. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Toronto Blue Jays
After finishing 2019 as the National League Cy Young runner-up, Hyun-Jin Ryu has joined the Toronto Blue Jays. He could be used as their ace, which could lead to more starts and a solid number of innings pitched depending on the season format.
24. Sonny Gray, Cincinnati Reds
Sonny Gray had a bounce-back year in 2019. His 2.87 ERA was his lowest since 2015, and his 175 1/3 innings pitched are his most since 2015. Gray had a career-high 205 strikeouts on the year.
23. Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs
Yu Darvish still has some potential for fantasy baseball. After seven MLB seasons, he is averaging about 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. However, he only reached 200 or more innings pitched in a single season once back in 2013.
22. Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies
In 2019, Zack Wheeler pitched a career-high 195 1/3 innings and recorded a career-high 195 punch outs. That was with the Mets, but he has since joined the Phillies, staying in the NL East.
21. Carlos Carrasco (SP and RP Eligibility)
Carlos Carrasco was limited to 80 innings pitched in 2019, missing time with cancer. He should be ready to pitch when the season starts. Back in 2018, he pitched 192 innings including two complete games.
20. Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins
After a rough start to his career in 2016, Jose Berrios has finished three consecutive regular seasons with an ERA below 3.90. He reached a career-high in innings pitched last season with 200 1/3.
19. Zack Greinke, Houston Astros
Zack Grienke pitched 208 2/3 regular-season innings in 2019. He got 33 starts, 187 strikeouts and allowed 73 runs. Greinke also had a 2.93 ERA, his lowest since 2015.
18. Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
After finishing 2018 with a 6.13 ERA and 125 punch outs, Lucas Giolito had a much better year statistically in 2019. He only pitched 3 1/3 more innings, finishing the 2019 season with 176 2/3 innings pitched, but he recorded over 100 more strikeouts with 228 on the year.
17. Chris Paddack, San Diego Padres
In his first big league season, Chris Paddack got 26 starts. He pitched 140 2/3 innings, picking up 153 strikeouts and allowing 31 base on balls. Paddack had a 3.33 ERA in his debut season.
16. Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays
Blake Snell’s numbers were not the same last year as his Cy Young campaign in 2018. Last season, Snell pitched 107 innings, striking out 147 batters. His ERA was up to 4.29.
15. Charlie Morton, Tampa Bay Rays
Charlie Morton had potentially his best season on the mound in 2019 at 35-years-old. He finished third for the AL Cy Young award. Statistically, he recorded a career-high 240 strikeouts in a career-high 194 2/3 innings pitched.
14. Mike Clevinger, Cleveland Indians
Mike Clevinger missed some of 2019 with an injury. He got 21 starts and pitched 126 innings. The Indians pitcher had 169 strikeouts, giving him 12.1 strikeouts per nine rate.
13. Corey Kluber, Texas Rangers
Prior to 2019, Corey Kluber had at least 200 strikeouts and 200 innings pitched each season from 2014-through-2018. He won two Cy Young awards in those years and could get back towards those numbers instead of his short 2019 performance.
12. Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies
Aaron Nola led the National League in batters faced last season with 852. It was his second season in-a-row pitching more than 200 innings. Nola had 229 punch outs last season.
11. Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds
Luis Castillo had multiple single season highs in his third big league season. He pitched 190 2/3 innings, struck out 226 batters and faced 781 batters, which are all single-season highs.
10. Patrick Corbin, Washington Nationals
Southpaw Patrick Corbin posted a 3.25 ERA with the Nationals in the 2019 regular season. He pitched 202 innings, striking out 238 batters. He also pitched a shutout for the second season in-a-row.
9. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw has pitched in at least 149 innings in every regular season since 2009. Last year, Kershaw pitched 178 1/3 innings and struck out 189.
8. Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
Shane Bieber’s second big league season went much better than his first. Bieber finished fourth for the AL Cy Young last season. His base on balls per nine last season was listed at just 1.7, while his stikeouts per nine were up at 10.9.
7. Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers
Walker Buehler picked up 14 wins last season. He also had 215 strikeouts in 182 1/3 innings pitched. Buehler faced 737 batters in the 2019 regular season.
6. Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals
Jack Flaherty recorded a 0.968 WHIP in 2019, the lowest in the National League among eligible pitchers. Flaherty pitched 196 1/3 innings, striking out 231 hitters and allowing 135 hits.
5. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
Stephen Strasburg had 18 wins last season, leading the National League. He also led the NL in innings pitched with 209, which is his most innings pitched in a regular-season since 2014. Strasburg had 251 punch outs last season.
4. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
Justin Verlander won his second Cy Young award last season, both of them in the American League. Verlander made 34 starts last season and led the MLB in both wins with 21 and innings pitched with 223. He also had a career-high 300 strikeouts.
3. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
Jacob deGrom has now won back-to-back National League Cy Young awards. In 2019, he posted a 2.43 ERA in 204 innings pitched. He also struck out 255 batters and threw 44 base on balls.
2. Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
Gerrit Cole led the American League in ERA among qualified pitchers at 2.50. He also led the majors with 13.8 strikeouts per nine among eligible pitchers as he struck out 326 batters in the 2019 regular season.
1. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
Max Scherzer recorded 243 strikeouts last season, making it seven consecutive seasons of at least 240 punch outs. It was also Scherzer’s seventh-year in-a-row finishing in the top five of the Cy Young voting. Scherzer only threw 33 base on balls last year, his lowest since 2008.
15. Craig Kimbrel, Chicago Cubs
Although Craig Kimbrel struggled last season, he could still turn things around and get back on track. He is averaging about 14.6 strikeouts per nine in his MLB career, and that number was only down a little last season at 13.1. However, his ERA was up to 6.53 last season.
14. Will Smith, Atlanta Braves
Will Smith pitched 65 1/3 innings last season. He struck out 96 batters, giving him a 13.2 strikeouts per nine rate which is a career-high. Smith pitched on the Giants last season but is now on the Braves.
13. Hector Neris, Philadelphia Phillies
Hector Neris finished the 2019 season with a 2.93 ERA. He pitched in 68 games and had a WHIP of 1.020, which is his lowest in a season other than 2014 when he only pitched one inning. Neris struck out 89 batters last season.
12. Ken Giles, Toronto Blue Jays
After struggling in 2018, Ken Giles saw a big improvement in 2019. He pitched 53 innings and struck out 83 hitters, giving him a career-high 14.1 strikeouts per nine. His 6.1 hits allowed per nine is his lowest since his rookie year in 2014.
11. Nick Anderson, Tampa Bay Rays
Nick Anderson pitched for both the Marlins and the Rays in his first MLB season. He finished the regular season with 65 innings pitched, striking out 110. Anderson had a 3.32 ERA on the year.
10. Edwin Diaz, New York Mets
After three notable seasons with the Mariners, Edwin Diaz struggled in his first season with the Mets. He pitched 58 innings and allowed 58 hits. Diaz still has potential though, as he had 124 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings pitched the year prior.
9. Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds
Raisel Iglesias declined a little in 2019. He posted a 4.16 ERA in 67 innings pitched. The three years prior, Iglesias had an ERA of 2.53 or lower and pitched at least 72 innings.
8. Brad Hand, Cleveland Indians
Brad Hand finished the 2019 regular season with a 3.30 ERA. He pitched 57 1/3 innings, striking out 84 and walking 18. Hand also finished a career-high 54 games.
7. Liam Hendricks, Oakland Athletics
Liam Hendricks had quite possibly the best season of his career last season. He pitched in a single season-high 75 games, striking out 124 and finishing 41 games, which are also single-season highs.
6. Taylor Rogers, Minnesota Twins
Twins’ southpaw Taylor Rogers has been pretty consistent out of the bullpen over the last few years. In 2018, he had an ERA of 2.63 in 68 1/3 innings pitched. The next year, he had an ERA of 2.61 in 69 innings pitched.
5. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kenley Jansen pitched in 62 games in the 2019 regular season, making it four consecutive years of at least 60 games played. Jansen struck out 80 batters in 63 innings last season.
4. Roberto Osuna, Houston Astros
Roberto Osuna led the MLB in games finished last season with 56. He pitched 65 innings, striking out 73 batters while only allowing 12 base on balls.
3. Kirby Yates, San Diego Padres
Kirby Yates had a career-best 1.19 ERA last season and a career-high in strikeouts with 101. Yates also averaged 15 strikeouts per nine while only having 0.3 home runs allowed per nine.
2. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees
If there is a short season, this may increase Aroldis Chapman’s fantasy value. If he is expected to pitch less innings, he may increase his velocity a little because his workload could be noticeably lowered. Chapman struck out 85 batters in 57 innings last season.
1. Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers
Josh Hader pitched 75 2/3 innings in the 2019 regular season, his second consecutive year of at least 75 innings pitched. He struck out 138 of the 289 batters he faced.
Feature Image Courtesy of Fox Sports.
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