2023 fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings: There’s a new No. 1 in Corbin Burnes

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Corbin Burnes throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The Home Field Sports fantasy baseball rankings series continues with starting pitchers, which is an essential position to be strong at when building a successful team.

While it seems smart to load up on elite starting pitching early in the draft, the issue with that strategy is that starting pitchers tend to get hurt at a much higher clip than position players.

As a result, it’s usually best to wait until the middle rounds to address the position even though it’s arguably the most important in fantasy baseball.

We’ve got the top 40 starting pitchers ranked with analysis on the No. 1 option, the top two breakout candidates, the top two bust candidates and a deep sleeper.


No. 1 option

Corbin Burnes, Brewers

Burnes has blossomed into a true fantasy ace and put any concerns about his durability to rest after throwing over 200 innings in his second-straight 200-plus strikeout season. That combined with another sub-3 ERA and sub-1 WHIP shows that Burnes is truly an elite pitcher and should get even better being that he’s only 28 to where he should be the first starter off the board.

Breakout Candidates

Cristian Javier, Astros

Some new arms will need to step up for the pitching factory known as the Houston Astros now that Justin Verlander is no longer in town, and there are none more intriguing than Javier. Framber Valdez is the top candidate to become the new Astros ace, but Javier’s elite strikeout ability gives him a higher fantasy ceiling.

Logan Webb, Giants

Webb put together a second-straight solid season, but it was somewhat overshadowed by free-agent addition Carlos Rodon’s dominant performance. Rodon departed via free agency, so Webb will take over as the Giants ace, a role in which he should thrive considering how well he’s pitched and could take another step forward as an elite fantasy pitcher with how pitcher friendly his home park is.

Bust Candidates

Jacob deGrom, Rangers

deGrom is still one of MLB’s elite pitchers on a per-inning basis, but the issue is that he’s failed to top 100 innings for the past three years. There’s no denying that deGrom is a fantasy ace when healthy, but his lengthy injury history makes him an extremely risky pick in the early rounds, not to mention that moving to the AL West will likely be tougher than his previous stop in the NL East.

Carlos Rodon, Yankees

Rodon is another bonafide ace moving to the American League, but much like deGrom, injuries are a major concern. Rodon’s already battling a forearm strain that’s expected to sideline him into April, which makes him not worth his current draft price considering he has a history of arm injuries and the fact that his new home park isn’t pitcher friendly like it was in San Francisco last year.

Deep sleeper

Nick Lodolo, Reds

The Reds aren’t expected to contend this season, but they’re quietly developing a strong rotation of young arms headlined by flamethrowers Hunter Greene and Lodolo. Greene’s gotten more attention due to his elite upside, but Lodolo also flashed elite strikeout ability last season and is going later in drafts to where he could be a league winner considering what he’s capable of for how late he’s going.


1. Corbin Burnes, Brewers

2. Gerrit Cole, Yankees

3. Sandy Alcantara, Marlins

4. Aaron Nola, Phillies

5. Shane McClanahan, Rays

6. Brandon Woodruff, Brewers

7. Spencer Strider, Braves

8. Justin Verlander, Mets

9. Julio Urias, Dodgers

10. Max Scherzer, Mets

11. Framber Valdez, Astros

12. Shane Bieber, Guardians

13. Max Fried, Braves

14. Zac Gallen, Diamondbacks

15. Alek Manoah, Blue Jays

16. Jacob deGrom, Mets

17. Shohei Ohtani, Angels

18. Dylan Cease, White Sox

19. Zack Wheeler, Phillies

20. Cristian Javier, Astros

21. Yu Darvish, Padres

22. Logan Webb, Giants

23. Joe Musgrove, Padres

24. Luis Castillo, Mariners

25. Kevin Gausman, Blue Jays

26. Carlos Rodon, Yankees

27. Robbie Ray, Mariners

28. Triston McKenzie, Guardians

29. Blake Snell, Padres

30. Hunter Greene, Reds

31. George Kirby, Mariners

32. Nestor Cortes, Yankees

33. Logan Gilbert, Mariners

34. Luis Severino, Yankees

35. Jesus Luzardo, Marlins

36. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

37. Freddy Peralta, Brewers

38. Nick Lodolo, Reds

39. Kyle Wright, Braves

40. Lance Lynn, White Sox


Corner Infielders (1B/3B)

Middle Infielders (2B/SS)



Relief Pitchers


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