Pitcher Rankings Based on Steamer

I ran the Steamer pitching projections through my basic formula which compares players across categories based on standard deviations above replacement in each category. The merits of the approach are it generates a good overall value based on the projected the player pool. The weakness is it doesn’t account for the way people actually fill their pitching slots, i.e., it assumes everyone’s trying to maximize overall value of the nine slots rather than doing so for seven while separately trying to score well in saves in the last two. As a result, one-dimensional closers – those projected to help in saves but little else – are ranked lower than they would be in a typical draft or auction.

Moreover, I’m not suggesting you use this as a draft-sheet – Steamer has a lot of assumptions about health and role built in that turn out to be inaccurate. But overall, Steamer has proven to be the most reliable of all the projections systems, so it’s a good starting point to compare relative values. Finally, I used a $260 budget, 12-team, nine-pitchers-per-active-roster set-up to get the dollar values with a 30 percent allocation of total budget toward pitching.

Here are the rankings:

Rank Pitcher $ Rank Pitcher $ Rank Pitcher $ Rank Pitcher $
1 Clayton Kershaw 48.41 51 Matt Moore 7.00 101 Bartolo Colon 0.10 151 Jim Johnson -4.31
2 Max Scherzer 35.11 52 Ken Giles 6.79 102 A.J. Ramos -0.10 152 Matt Bush -4.44
3 Noah Syndergaard 29.40 53 Seung Hwan Oh 6.69 103 Sam Dyson -0.10 153 Corey Knebel -4.42
4 Madison Bumgarner 28.81 54 Drew Smyly 6.61 104 Taijuan Walker -0.10 154 Jhoulys Chacin -4.36
5 Chris Sale 26.37 55 Matt Harvey 6.46 105 Fernando Rodney -0.18 155 Wade Miley -4.29
6 Corey Kluber 24.36 56 Vince Velasquez 6.30 106 Jharel Cotton -0.21 156 Jordan Zimmermann -4.39
7 Stephen Strasburg 22.67 57 Garrett Richards 5.90 107 Mike Leake -0.25 157 Edinson Volquez -4.42
8 Jon Lester 22.52 58 Marcus Stroman 5.56 108 Jerad Eickhoff -0.35 158 Carter Capps -4.70
9 Johnny Cueto 21.75 59 Julio Teheran 5.59 109 Sean Manaea -0.54 159 Nick Vincent -4.69
10 David Price 21.22 60 Felix Hernandez 5.62 110 Francisco Liriano -0.55 160 Tyson Ross -4.59
11 Carlos Carrasco 21.14 61 Gio Gonzalez 5.49 111 Kyle Barraclough -0.76 161 Trevor Bauer -4.58
12 Justin Verlander 20.52 62 Jon Gray 5.52 112 Francisco Rodriguez -0.80 162 Zack Wheeler -4.76
13 Chris Archer 20.42 63 Jose De Leon 5.28 113 Lance Lynn -1.07 163 Junior Guerra -4.55
14 Yu Darvish 20.03 64 Kevin Gausman 5.30 114 Mike Fiers -1.01 164 Ty Blach -4.89
15 Jake Arrieta 18.18 65 Kelvin Herrera 5.11 115 Sonny Gray -1.04 165 Brad Boxberger -5.03
16 Kenley Jansen 14.37 66 Roberto Osuna 5.07 116 Tyler Anderson -1.04 166 Will Harris -5.27
17 Jacob deGrom 14.25 67 Jeurys Familia 5.03 117 Tyler Glasnow -1.13 167 Daniel Norris -5.22
18 Rich Hill 13.97 68 Dellin Betances 4.77 118 Tanner Roark -1.19 168 Ryan Pressly -5.37
19 Dallas Keuchel 13.97 69 Raisel Iglesias 4.74 119 Jeremy Hellickson -1.24 169 Homer Bailey -5.42
20 Aroldis Chapman 13.82 70 Alex Wood 4.48 120 Greg Holland -1.43 170 Joaquin Benoit -5.53
21 Lance McCullers 13.76 71 Collin McHugh 4.59 121 Hunter Strickland -1.70 171 Adam Conley -5.47
22 Kyle Hendricks 12.86 72 Cam Bedrosian 4.42 122 Mike Montgomery -2.10 172 Clay Buchholz -5.62
23 Michael Pineda 12.83 73 Michael Fulmer 3.96 123 Brandon McCarthy -2.16 173 Blake Treinen -5.72
24 Matt Shoemaker 12.40 74 Adam Wainwright 3.75 124 Mike Foltynewicz -2.04 174 Jason Hammel -5.58
25 Masahiro Tanaka 12.30 75 Jake Odorizzi 3.17 125 Michael Wacha -2.16 175 CC Sabathia -5.86
26 Gerrit Cole 12.17 76 David Robertson 3.04 126 Zach Davies -2.15 176 Darren O’Day -6.04
27 Jameson Taillon 11.98 77 Blake Snell 2.94 127 Adam Ottavino -2.52 177 Shelby Miller -5.88
28 Danny Duffy 12.05 78 Alex Colome 2.80 128 Nate Jones -2.78 178 Jason Vargas -5.93
29 Danny Salazar 12.04 79 Cody Allen 2.55 129 Hector Neris -2.76 179 Dan Straily -5.96
30 Robbie Ray 11.91 80 Anthony DeSclafani 2.59 130 David Phelps -2.82 180 Patrick Corbin -6.20
31 Jeff Samardzija 11.76 81 Tony Watson 2.39 131 R.A. Dickey -2.67 181 Marco Estrada -6.16
32 James Paxton 11.60 82 Joe Ross 2.35 132 Archie Bradley -2.65 182 Mike Clevinger -6.35
33 Andrew Miller 11.33 83 Carlos Rodon 2.27 133 Brett Cecil -3.14 183 Brandon Kintzler -6.41
34 Carlos Martinez 10.83 84 Hisashi Iwakuma 2.15 134 Eduardo Rodriguez -2.98 184 Tyler Duffey -6.69
35 Steven Matz 10.53 85 Julio Urias 2.07 135 Luke Gregerson -3.15 185 Dylan Bundy -6.55
36 Jose Quintana 10.57 86 Jaime Garcia 2.03 136 Ryan Madson -3.07 186 Jeanmar Gomez -6.88
37 Zack Greinke 9.89 87 Scott Kazmir 1.50 137 Felipe Rivero -3.18 187 Jake Barrett -7.13
38 Edwin Diaz 9.75 88 Brandon Maurer 1.46 138 Alex Cobb -3.13 188 Andrew Triggs -7.17
39 Wade Davis 9.51 89 Grant Dayton 1.28 139 Hector Rondon -3.33 189 Luis Perdomo -7.38
40 Aaron Nola 9.37 90 Drew Pomeranz 1.28 140 Luis Severino -3.49 190 Robert Gsellman -7.96
41 Rick Porcello 8.99 91 J.A. Happ 1.35 141 Chad Green -3.50 191 Nate Karns -8.02
42 Kenta Maeda 8.70 92 Ivan Nova 1.21 142 Trevor May -3.55 192 Luke Weaver -8.31
43 Cole Hamels 8.85 93 Sean Doolittle 1.06 143 Brad Hand -3.76 193 Cody Reed -8.42
44 Zach Britton 8.12 94 Ian Kennedy 1.25 144 Ervin Santana -3.52 194 Matt Boyd -8.42
45 Tyler Skaggs 8.11 95 Neftali Feliz 0.69 145 Jesse Chavez -3.73 195 Brett Anderson -8.66
46 John Lackey 8.11 96 Aaron Sanchez 0.82 146 Addison Reed -3.93 196 Chad Kuhl -8.66
47 Mark Melancon 7.85 97 Ricky Nolasco 0.69 147 Drew Hutchison -4.02 197 Brandon Finnegan -8.53
48 Craig Kimbrel 7.89 98 Matt Andriese 0.54 148 Charlie Morton -3.96 198 Scott Feldman -9.00
49 Shawn Kelley 7.86 99 Arodys Vizcaino 0.44 149 Josh Tomlin -4.06 199 Tom Koehler -9.05
50 Wei-Yin Chen 7.78 100 Koji Uehara 0.26 150 Alex Meyer -4.06 200 Reynaldo Lopez -9.31

A couple things that were noteworthy to me:

• Clayton Kershaw is miles ahead of everyone else, worth more than Corey Kluber and Stephen Strasburg combined. But Max Scherzer is also his own tier. And the idea that there’s an elite tier of starting pitchers and then everyone else is supported by these projections.

• Andrew Miller is unexpectedly high, partly because he’s projected for 20 saves along with his elite ratios. I still think he’s problematic in a 12-team mixed league if he’s not getting regular saves because you’ll find good streaming matchups that give you better overall numbers than the players on this list, but ranking him No. 33 overall, Steamer disagrees.