We have reached the starting pitching portion of our early rankings. The starting pitcher rankings will have two parts. Part one will consist of 1-50 and part two 51-100. Those that take things too seriously may want to check into some updated rankings closer to January, as a lot will change with the positional rankings this offseason. Many players are looking for new homes this offseason, and they may not sign with their new teams for quite some time. 

The starting pitching position is peculiar this season. It is a very talented position, but that talent pool seems to dry up pretty quickly. Those doing early drafts have noticed starting pitching fly off the boards. After the top 30-40, some may say less, the pitchers on the board are very risky or flawed depending on your approach. Deciphering between the later rankings will be key this draft season. 

Once all the positional rankings are released, I will post a google sheet with all positions on one page (like last year). Make sure to keep a lookout for all updates as the rankings will be more fluid than usual this season; if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@bdentrek). 

Starting Pitchers
1- Gerrit Cole
2- Jacob deGrom
3- Shane Bieber
4- Trevor Bauer
5- Walker Buehler
6- Yu Darvish
7- Lucas Giolito
8- Luis Castillo
9- Max Scherzer
10- Clayton Kershaw
11- Aaron Nola
12- Brandon Woodruff
13- Sonny Gray
14- Jack Flaherty
15- Zac Gallen
16- Hyun Jin Ryu
17- Lance Lynn
18- Blake Snell
19- Framber Valdez
20- Corbin Burnes
21- Carlos Carrasco
22- Kenta Maeda
23- Max Fried
24- Zack Wheeler
25- Zach Plesac
26- Tyler Glasnow
27- Kyle Hendricks
28- Dylan Bundy
29- Pablo Lopez
30- Dinelson Lamet
31- Stephen Strasburg
32- Jose Berrios
33- Lance McCullers Jr.
34- Charlie Morton
35- Zack Greinke
36- David Price
37- Frankie Montas
38- Patrick Corbin
39- Jesus Luzardo
40- Julio Urias
41- Chris Bassitt
42- Marco Gonzales
43- Aaron Civale
44- Jose Urquidy
45- Christian Javier
46- Tony Gonsolin
47- Corey Kluber
48- Chris Paddack
49- Sandy Alcantara
50- Joe Musgrove

The Big Three

For many, the top three are set in stone, the order may not be, but the overall top three are set in stone. Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, and Shane Bieber. All three will be drafted in the first round of drafts and are great starts to your fantasy rotation. As you can see, I have the order Cole, deGrom, and Bieber, but it’s picking at straws. These three arms are great choices if you go pitching early, and if you pair them up, create pocket aces early in your draft, you will be ahead of the rest on draft day. 

Veterans Falling

I love Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer, but as injuries mount and Father Time keeps ticking, there has to be a little cause for concern going into the season. Max and Clayton have shown back issues after the last couple of seasons, with some other injuries. They were excellent targets in a shortened season, but a full or nearly full season will likely cause missed games and downtime. The other factor moving the veterans down is the likes of Lucas Giolito and Luis Castillo continuing to pitch better and cement themselves as aces on a rotation. I have been targeting Giolito and Castillo in drafts, and you can sometimes double-tap them late second and early third rounds.


There are many ways to break down starting pitching going into the 2021 season. Part 2 of the rankings will get even more interesting. I would recommend checking out upcoming episodes of Benched with Bubba as we will go over all the positions and especially spend extra time on starting pitchers. 

When it comes to drafting a starting pitcher, I am quite aggressive this season. I usually have four starting pitchers in the first 7-8 rounds. The bats are deep where elite pitching is not. I want at least four arms I can depend on and then build with riskier arms later. There are many ways to make a team but based on early drafts and ADP; it appears a lot of people have the same thoughts.