How Starting Pitching Power Rankings shake out after Strider's injury

April 11th, 2024

When we rolled out the 2024 Starting Pitcher Power Rankings a couple of weeks ago, we looked specifically at Opening Day starters. Now it’s time to open up the voting.

All active MLB starters were eligible this time around, and with Spencer Strider (No. 1 on that Opening Day list) now sidelined, the top spot was wide open.

At this point in the season, with most pitchers having made only two or three starts, one particularly good or bad outing can have an outsized effect. Still, our panel did its best to consider track record, 2023 results and early '24 performance in casting their votes.

Here are the latest Starting Pitcher Power Rankings (All stats through Tuesday).

1. , Orioles
With Strider out, Burnes moves up a notch to No. 1. Baltimore’s offseason trade acquisition has come absolutely as advertised, with a 1.93 ERA and 20-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio through three Orioles starts. This team went out and got Burnes to be the missing piece for a World Series champion, and so far, so good. Baltimore is 3-0 in his starts.

2. , Phillies
The Phillies, on the other hand, are 0-3 in Wheeler’s outings. But that’s almost entirely about their powerful offense going quiet (four total runs scored in those games) than about Wheeler (1.89 ERA). With a new contract extension in hand, the 33-year-old looks about as dominant as he’s been since joining the Phillies in 2020.

3. , D-backs
There was some concern about how Gallen would respond to throwing 210 innings last season, plus another 33 2/3 on Arizona’s run to the World Series. In response, the D-backs took it slow with Gallen this spring, and that strategy is paying off thus far. Gallen has a 2.25 ERA in three starts, with 19 strikeouts over 16 innings and zero home runs allowed.

4. , Dodgers
Despite Glasnow’s spotty medical history, the Dodgers gave up young talent this past offseason to pry him from the Rays and immediately handed the Southern California native a significant contract extension. The question of whether Glasnow can hold up over a six-month season remains unanswered at present, but to date, he is looking exactly like the ace the Dodgers clearly thought they were getting. On Tuesday in Minnesota, he authored one of the MLB’s best pitching performances of the season.

5. , Tigers
A lot of times, offseason hype can give way to the hard reality of the regular season. That has not been the case so far for Skubal, who got plenty of buzz on the heels of a quietly spectacular second half in 2023. The lefty is delivering in ‘24, with opponents posting a .514 OPS across his first two starts.

6. , Twins
López is trying to build off a breakout 2023 that saw him accomplish a pair of firsts, receiving an All-Star selection and some Cy Young Award votes. The early returns are positive, including an Opening Day win in Kansas City that saw López allow just one run on four hits in seven innings.

7. , Dodgers
If you throw out Yamamoto’s MLB debut -- probably fair, especially given that it came in the Seoul Series -- the 25-year-old has shown exactly why he was such a hotly pursued free agent. His past two starts (10 scoreless innings, five hits, two walks, 13 strikeouts) have proven that Yamamoto can make a seamless transition from Japan’s NPB.

8. , Astros
Raise your hand if you knew much (if anything) about Blanco prior to April 1. OK, raise your hand if you do now. The 30-year-old right-hander, a rookie this past season, twirled a brilliant no-hitter that night against the Blue Jays in his 2024 debut and only his eighth MLB start overall. He made a spirited run at another on Sunday against the Rangers and suddenly looks like the Astros’ latest unheralded pitching gem.

9. , White Sox
It raised some eyebrows when the White Sox bestowed their Opening Day start on Crochet, who had pitched exclusively in relief in the Majors and had returned from Tommy John surgery late last season. Well, now Crochet is opening eyes. The 24-year-old lefty, the 11th overall pick in the 2020 Draft, has a 2.00 ERA and 21-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio through his first three MLB starts.

10. , Royals
Like Skubal, Ragans is an AL Central lefty who massively raised expectations with his performance down the stretch in 2023 (in Ragans’ case, after arriving from Texas in the midseason Aroldis Chapman trade). And like Skubal, Ragans has not experienced any issues carrying that over to 2024. His performance through three starts (2.60 ERA, 2.59 FIP, 10.9 K/9 rate) is a near-match for his numbers with Kansas City a year ago.

Others receiving votes: Shota Imanaga (Cubs), Grayson Rodriguez (Orioles), Nathan Eovaldi (Rangers), José Berríos (Blue Jays), Freddy Peralta (Brewers), Tanner Houck (Red Sox), Paul Blackburn (A’s), Brady Singer (Royals), Sean Manaea (Mets), Luis Castillo (Mariners), Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays), Reid Detmers (Angels), Michael Wacha (Royals)

Voters: Chris Begley, Daniel Feldman, Travis Miller, Brian Murphy, Efrain Ruiz, Shanthi Sepe-Chepuru, Andrew Simon, Ismail Soyugenc, David Venn, Tom Vourtsis, Andy Werle