9. Carlos Carrasco- Cleveland Indians
2017: 18-6 3.29 ERA 226 Ks
Even though he may not be the ace on his team, don’t let that fool you into passing him up. Carrasco is an extremely effective #2 that had his first full year as a starter last year. He has dealt with injury problems and just recently, he was sidelined with a foot injury. Manager Terry Francona has assured the sports world that Carrasco is good to go so why is he not on your roster? AL leader in wins and Top 10 in a variety of categories including strikeouts, innings pitched and ERA. Expect some minor regression but don’t hesitate here.
8. Jacob deGrom- New York Mets
2017: 15-10 3.53 ERA 239 Ks
Literally the only bright spot in a long series of darkness and injuries that was on the Mets team. Jacob improved mightily on the team and he’s gained velocity on his fastball. Expect him to improve even more and sneak into the top 10 or even top 5. Part of that depends on the performance of the team he’s playing on.
7. Luis Severino- New York Yankees
2017: 14-6 2.98 ERA 230 Ks
If you either drafted this guy or picked him up off the waiver wire, honestly congrats to you since you reaped some incredible benefits. The breakout pitcher of the season and a Cy Young candidate, he accrued a 25% strikeout rate and a 50% groundout rate. Simply put, Severino has a good defense behind him and he knows exactly how to get you out. Last year he was aggressive on the mound hurling his fastball which was an average speed of 97.5 MPH! You won’t be drafting him as a sleeper pick but you would be wise to take him.
6. Stephen Strasburg- Washington Nationals
2017: 15-4 2.52 ERA 204 Ks
It’s hard to believe that Strasburg’s career has been 8 years long already. Injuries have left a giant asterisk on his entire career as he has only averaged about 24 starts per season. But since he was healthy throughout the majority of last year, there is less of a risk. He is only 29 years old, and his stats can compete with any other pitcher in the league, we are talking Cy Young worthy numbers. This year, take Strasburg with confidence. I have no doubt he’ll prove me wrong and cement his place in the Top 5 at the end of the year.