2020 Top 25 Fantasy Starters

Ladies, gentlemen, nerds, sports fans, other living things on this Earth, baseball is coming back. From a source that shall not be named and a personal friend of mine, baseball is going to be coming back starting July 23rd. It is a beautiful time once again if all these hopes and promises come to fruition. With the season *starting in less than a month* comes the time to discuss fantasy baseball. Now, I know no one cares about anyone’s fantasy team except their own but it’s always nice to discuss sports especially being without it for so long. Maybe this is the year talking about your fantasy team is acceptable. Probably not, but let’s pretend it is. In this little discussion I am going to rank baseball’s top 25 pitchers heading into the shortened 60 game season. These projections and opinions have no real rhyme or reason but since I’m a certified genius and kill it (in a good way) every year in fantasy baseball you can either take this with a grain of salt or put all your stock into it. Let’s take a look:

  1. Jacob DeGrom
  2. Gerrit Cole
  3. Max Scherzer
  4. Walker Buehler
  5. Stephen Strasburg
  6. Justin Verlander
  7. Jack Flaherty
  8. Zack Greinke
  9. Shane Bieber
  10. Luis Castillo
  11. Mike Clevinger
  12. Clayton Kershaw
  13. Patrick Corbin
  14. Blake Snell
  15. Charlie Morton
  16. Chris Paddock
  17. Tyler Glasnow
  18. Aaron Nola
  19. Jose Berrios
  20. James Paxton
  21. Mike Soroka
  22. Sonny Gray
  23. Corey Kluber
  24. Max Fried
  25. Frankie Montas

Not a bad group of guys. There are a couple guys that I would like to discuss a little further. I am going to talk about a potential breakout pitcher, hit or miss pitcher, and a consistent performer you should not be worried about. Let’s have a quick discussion.


Breakout: Mike Soroka

Soroka came onto the scene last season not giving up more than one earned run until June 1st, in which he still recorded a quality start and a win. Although we do not have much of a track record besides his minor league stats, Soroka is a sinkerballer. Meaning he does not give up too many home runs as evidenced by his .72 HR/9 last year while the rest of the league was giving up bombs left and right. Last year, Soroka left 79.9% of base runners stranded as well as having his ground ball percentage rate at 51.2% which leveled out to a 2.68 ERA. With 2020 being shortened, Soroka can get hot and never cool down which could equal some recognition in the Cy Young race. Weirder things have happened during the season but Soroka finishing within the top 5 (finished 6th last year in Cy Young voting) isn’t too far fetched.


Consistency: Jack Flaherty

I love Flaherty. The man has it all. The makeup, the arsenal, and age on his side. Flaherty had a phenomenal 2019 finishing with a 11-8 record, and ERA of 2.75, WHIP of .968, which also led the league, H/9 was 6.2– also leading the league while also having a spectacular LOB% of 83.3%. Wins do not matter from a real life perspective, evidenced by DeGrom RIGHTFULLY winning the Cy Young award in 2018, so the only category Flaherty might lack a little in is the wins department but even with the short season wins might be a little hard to come by. Flaherty will be a 3 category stud in 2020 and in many years beyond.


Hit or Miss: Sonny Gray

Gray had a fantastic 2019 by all standards. Had an ERA of 2.87 (2nd best in career), WHIP of 1.084 (2nd best of career), H/9 was 6.3 (career best by .9), 205 strikeouts (career best), 10.5 K/9 (career best) and finished with a career best WAR of 4.4 in his first season with the Reds. Gray did everything he was supposed to plus some for the Reds and there shouldn’t be a reason he couldn’t do it again. The only thing about Gray that scares me is he had a pretty bad 2018 which saw him get moved to the bullpen and his 2016 and 2017 campaigns were injury infested. Gray still finished 2017 with a 3.55 ERA but could not rebound in 2018. There are two Sonny Grays we have seen in his career, one that finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting and the injured not consistent Gray. I personally think we are done with the inconsistent Sonny Gray, but there’s always an open window for opportunity for him to show up again. Draft Gray with optimistic caution.


Good luck this year in fantasy and the rest of 2020. Feel free to discuss in the comments and let me know what you think!


P.S. I would like to take this time and give a shout out to one of my closest friends and now MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHER Eric Hanhold on making the Baltimore Orioles. Keep grinding and good tings will continue to happen.

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