2023 MLB Fantasy: Ranking the Top 30 Starting Pitchers

With the MLB and fantasy baseball seasons just around the corner, let’s talk about starters. Since pitching is half the job, it’s important to pick high-quality arms to stack the roster. With that said, here’s a look at our top 30 starters in fantasy for 2023.

Related: 2023 MLB Fantasy: Ranking the Top 10 Closers

Pitchers 30-11

10. Dylan Cease

Fifteen starters made our Top 50 in fantasy, including White Sox ace Dylan Cease. The 2022 AL Cy Young award finalist dominated hitters last season, in which the right-hander struck out 227 batters over 184 innings. Those 227 K’s ranked as the fifth-most in baseball last year, and his 2.20 ERA ranked as the third-best figure in that category. Additionally, the 27-year-old won 14 games and posted a 2.20 ERA.

Armed with a very good fastball, as well as a wipeout slider and a good curveball, Cease has posted K% rates north of 30% in each of the last two seasons.

9. Luis Castillo

It’s safe to say that we are high on Mariners pitcher Luis Castillo. The 30-year-old right-hander can pound the zone with a hard sinker, and elicit a tong of whiffs and weak contact with a plus change that differs in speed with the heater by about nine MPH. Castillo dominated when healthy last season, in which he struck out 90 over 85 innings.

With a very good Seattle team, Castillo should be able to get 13-15 wins provided he stays healthy in 2023.

8. Sandy Alcantara

The reigning NL Cy Young award winner, Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara was sensational last year. Alcantara posted a very strong 2.28 ERA over a league-leading 228.2 IP with Miami. While he didn’t post a gaudy K/9 rate, the 27-year-old was one of just 11 pitchers to accrue at least 200 strikeouts in 2022.

While Alcantara may not hit 228 innings again in 2023, Alcantara should be able to post a strong ERA and sit at around 13-15 wins

7. Shane McClanahan

Rays LHP Shane McClanahan made much more liberal use of a changeup to go along with plus fastball. The result? McClanahan struck out 194 over 166.1 IP for Tampa Bay last season, a total that ranked 15th in all of MLB in 2022. The young left won 12 games and recorded a tidy 2.54 ERA. Oh, and his .93 WHIP was third-best in the league.

It’s crazy to think that McClanahan could put up better results in 2023, but it’s quite possible.

6. Jacob deGrom

There may not be a more high-risk, high-reward pitcher in this list than Jacob deGrom. The new Ranger has been among the game’s best when healthy, but that hasn’t been often over the last two seasons. deGrom struck out an incredible 100 batters over 64.1 IP in 2022, thanks to a plus-plus fastball and a plus-plus slider.

deGrom did miss some time in Spring Training. But as of now, he should be available for Opening Day.

5. Shane Bieber

Guardians ace Shane Bieber didn’t put up eye-popping strikeout numbers as he did in the past. Nonetheless, Bieber struck out 198 batters over 200.1 IP, and owned a 2.88 ERA in a 13-game season. Bieber can fool hitters with an eclectic arsenal that includes a plus slider, an above-average curve, as well as two fastballs: a four-seamer and a cutter.

On a very strong Cleveland team, expect Bieber to have plenty of opportunities to accrue wins.

4. Carlos Rodón

Yankees LHP Carlos Rodón racked up the strikeouts last season with the Giants. Rodón posted the highest K/9 (12.0) in MLB last season, and finished third in total strikeouts (237). The left-hander has turned into one of the game’s elite starters over the last two years, but it’s unclear as to when Rodón will be pitching for the Yankees this season.

Rodón sustained a forearm strain in Spring Training. While we haven’t moved him down in the rankings just yet, keep a close eye on news regarding Rodón if you haven’t drafted yet. If he’s set to miss significant time, Rodón’s stock will take a hit.

3. Aaron Nola

Phillies ace Aaron Nola struck out 235 batters last season, in what was a phenomenal season for the right-hander. Nola can dice hitters up with an elite curveball, along with a mid-90s heater and above-average changeup. While Nola went just 11-13 in 2022, he did post a solid ERA (3.25) figure and finished the year in the top ten among all pitchers in WHIP (.96).

Nola’s track record is a bit spotty. But, fantasy owners should be quite pleased if the Nola from 2022 returns again this season.

2. Gerrit Cole

Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole is among the game’s premier power pitchers. Cole led all pitchers in strikeouts (257) last year, a figure that set a record for most K’s in a single season by a Yankees pitcher. The Yankees ace is susceptible to the long ball, but does own an overpowering arsenal when on his game.

Provided he stays healthy, Cole should be a lock for 200+ strikeouts.

1. Corbin Burnes

Our top starting pitcher is the man that sits at #7 in our fantasy baseball rankings for 2023 Brewers ace Corbin Burnes has been simply sensational over the past two seasons. The 2021 NL Cy Young award winner, Burnes struck out a NL-high 243 batters and posted very strong 2.94 ERA and .97 WHIP figures.

The right-hander owns a wicked arsenal that includes a plus cutter, plus curveball, and a very good sinker. If Burnes works his stuff like he has in the past, it should be another strong season.

Leave a Reply