The top 40 starters for 2024 fantasy baseball fall roughly in the 75 to 125 overall for those of you who are wondering where we are overall, and, of course, when the rankings are done I will be along with a top 500 overall to show you exactly where we are. Think of this set of starters as your number twos and number threes, but, again, I will have a pitchers’ pairing tool to help with that too. I give and you receive. Ho, ho, ho, that’s me giving and you receiving.

Also, Razzball Subscriptions are up and running, and that comes with our online Fantasy Baseball War Room. Here’s Steamer’s 2024 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2024 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2024 fantasy baseball:

NOTE I: All my rankings are currently available on Patreon for the price of a Starbucks coffee, if you get one of those extra grande frappuccino jobbers. Don’t wait for the rankings to come out over the next month, and get them all now.

NOTE II: Free agents are listed as just that and not yet projected. Once a guy signs, I will write out their blurb and add in projections, or remove them, if they sign in an unfavorable place. They are ranked currently where I think they might be if they sign on for a full-time job.

NOTE III: Watch Bdon and me discuss the top 40 starters:


21. Justin Steele – This tier started in the top 20 starters. This tier goes from here until here. I called this tier, “Bon varyäge.” Since this preseason is the last time I can mention last preseason, let us not forget I wrote a sleeper post for Steele last year. I don’t mention this simply to gloat — [blows on knuckles, rubs knuckles on shirt, sees blood that was on knuckles that’s now on shirt] Damn it! Last time I break a piece of wood in karate class before gloating. — I bring it up now to say I loved Steele last year, he went out and had a great year and I still love him. Only question really was Steele is a #1 or #2? Well, I think he might’ve over-performed a little last year, but I’m ready to be proven wrong. His command last year (1.9 BB/9) is incredible, but way out of nowhere for him. It’s hard to fake that kind of command for six months, but if he falters even a little, which is hard to avoid, then I’m seeing a number two.  2024 Projections: 12-8/3.56/1.18/186 in 183 IP

22. Joe Ryan – This is a new tier. This tier goes until Keller. I call this tier, “Get fitted for a tuxedo shirt now.” After the season, there’s gonna be so much excitement and congratulations rolling in from your fantasy baseball championships, you won’t have time to get fitted for your tuxedo shirt then, so now’s the time. This tier is gonna get yo’self some championships. This is the tier where you’re going to win or lose your league. These are the starters I am most excited about and will be drafting repeatedly without caution over and over again and again, same sentiment, same sentiment, same sentiment! I love all of these starters. You’ll notice some sleeper posts. At least three of these guys will be in the top 20 starters next year. Also, you might find yourself thinking, “Yo, Grey, if I were a female or into males, you and I would snog, but some of these guys are ranked way too high.” That’s fine, draft them when you need to, i.e., look at their ADP and draft them a round or two before that.

To help with my pitchers’ pairing tool update, I’ve kept most tier names the same (you’ll get over your outrage), and looking at this tier of “Guys I Gotta Get!” is just exhilarating. I feel like I have Viagra rushing through every extremity. My thumbs are hard. I cannot express to you how happy each of these guys makes me. People out there drafting a fading Gerrit Cole and I’m taking Gray and Ryan, and gonna take all that hoo-ha to the bank.

As for Ryan, he came unglued in the 2nd half. His 2nd half is why I will be preaching caution on Eury and Grayson in this tier. You think a guy is like, “Eff you, Hansel and Gretel, I’m going home,” and is out of the woods, and then he detaches from reality and his fantasy value spins out into space, never to be seen again.

“Is that the North Star?”
“No, I believe it’s Joe Ryan’s fantasy value.”

Ryan’s numbers are legitimately gorgeous outside of his ERA. I don’t know why this is so hard for people, but if a guy strikes out a lot of guys (Ryan’s K/9 was 11) and doesn’t walk anyone (1.9 BB/9), he’s going to succeed more times than not. The issue for him was the home run ball, which is even more unlucky than most guys with a home run allowed problem, because Ryan’s command is so stellar. You’d think (I think, at least) if a guy can command his pitches, he’d stop serving up ding dongs. Here’s to a Ding-Dong-less Joe Ryan, which sounds like the worst season of that spy show on Prime. 2024 Projections: 12-7/3.62/1.10/202 in 179 IP

23. Grayson Rodriguez – Just as I kinda feel with Eury, though not expressly said, I think we’re a year away still on Grayson. Like a yoga mom, he will be great for stretches this year. Those stretches might last for two months at a time. There also could be stretches when you realize Grayson is still unpredictable and you need to bench him vs. tougher opponents. That he had a 2.58 ERA in the 2nd half in 76 2/3 IP is very encouraging, and I’m willing to concede his growing pains could be over, but just as quick as a kid can look corrected, he can come undone. Will I draft him? Absolutely. Am I ranking him higher than everyone else? I don’t think so. Daddy doles out tough love to Grayson! 2024 Projections: 11-6/3.46/1.19/173 in 161 IP

24. Bobby Miller – “I don’t believe in chemtrails. I don’t think the earth is flat. Oswald acted alone. Tupac isn’t currently in The Bahamas married to Princess Di. I am naturally a cynic. However, the Dodgers being a home run park, good for offense for their own team, then being a great pitcher’s park for their pitchers, has me very conspiracy-minded. Is Dodger Stadium’s outfield walls on wheels and they move them out every half inning? These are the kind of things I will be investigating on my Youtube show, Tout Info Wars.”

Miller’s stats-slash-projections-slash-minor league numbers-slash-axl look identical to Grayson’s. Even their xFIPs are millimeters from each other. Miller’s ADP is a little higher than this too, which might lead you to think you need to reach for one of these guys if you want them, which is fine, but I will say that whole Framber tier? It’s off my draft board for me, so Miller and everyone in this tier seem ranked lower than they actually are. 2024 Projections: 12-6/3.61/1.12/162 in 158 IP

25. Tanner Bibee – His 9 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a fastball, slider and change that worked alone is enough to rank him here. The 142 IP and 2.98 ERA last year should have him ranked at least here! The upside, the fact that he can have much better command, should get him pushed up. This side note: There’s so much pitching. Don’t let people tell you there’s no pitching. Bibee’s going on average around 110 overall, and likely later in friends and family leagues. It worries me some about the sophomore slump, but that’s strictly anecdotal. There’s no reason why he can’t follow up wonderful with more wonderful. He is also the third guy in a row with basically identical stats. A tier within the tier, call them the Three Musketiers. 2024 Projections: 11-7/3.49/1.16/162 in 159 IP

26. Mitch Keller – Already gave you my Mitch Keller sleeper. It was written by me, you silly Billy. 2024 Projections: 12-8/3.77/1.18/208 in 191 IP

27. Walker Buehler – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Senga. I call this tier, “Raining cold water on the pants tent.” This is just a tier of guys who could be good, but Redd Foxx would call you a big ol’ dummy if you drafted any of them. Ain’t no thing in my chicken and wing combo, but, hell, if I’m paying full price for any of these guys. I am ye of little faith while listening to Faith No More after ripping Faith Evans out of my Word Up magazine, while guessing LIARS every day for Wordle. I’ve given you so many starters who I like up until this point, I’m just taking a little breaksie and giving you some starters I’m out on.

As for Walker, should be returning from his 2nd Tommy John surgery for the start of the season. Wish him the biggest “You can do it” that Rob Schneider’s ever mustered in an Adam Sandler film, but your pants grapes are way bigger than mine if you’re drafting Buehler. 2024 Projections: 9-3/3.47/1.13/139 in 136 IP

28. Dylan Cease – Cease thought he was a pitcher. A major league pitcher. A guy who had reached the pinnacle. A guy with a mustache as sweet as any in the game, that some have said he modeled after yours truly, when I had one — this winter I shaved and my lip is cold! Instead of getting the benefit of the doubt, I turn on Cease. I ptooey at his stats. When he asked for nothing of the sort, Cease has become my talking point for how you can’t mess with a 4+ BB/9 pitcher in today’s game. The rule changes screwed him mercilessly. Singles turn to triples in today’s game. This also goes to what I was saying on our baseball cards podcast the other week (after talking about Reggie Jackson for 45 minutes). Every era of baseball changes, so to say someone from the 90’s isn’t as good as someone from now or vice versa is crazy. I think I used the example of Jose Reyes. When he stole 78 bags, is it the same as someone stealing 78 bags now with the rule changes? Reyes may have stolen 140 bags then. Rickey might’ve stolen 200 bags one season in the 80’s if there was a pitch clock. Any hoo! Cease is screwed because he pitches in this era. If he pitched seven years ago, he might be the number one starter in baseball. UPDATE: Traded to the Yankees oops, sorry. Traded to the Padres. Listen, ADHD is a serious affliction that affects anywhere from 4.1% to 99.8% of the population, depending on where you’re getting your stats. Whether it’s 99.8% or lower, one thing is for sure, Padres’ GM, AJ Preller suffers from it. I’ve never seen anything like it. Padres are in rebuild mode, trade their biggest piece for a prospect, Drew Thorpe, who scouts love. Preller is content; Padres are content. This is the future; this is how we win; this is the way. [three months later] On second thought! AJ Preller is the worst kind of dynasty manager. Even while Preller rebuilds, he’s trading away his prospects. Incredible. So, Cease in San Diego gets a small boost, because, well, shizz couldn’t be worse than in the South Side. Still not going nowhere near him in fantasy because I’m out on pitchers with terrible command in this new pitch clock rules world, until we see another year. Or at least a pitcher as pricy as Cease in drafts with no command. 2024 Projections: 14-10/3.57/1.30/222 in 179 IP

29. Hunter Greene – I was in last year; I cannot be in this year. The stuff is, as they say in a Disney animated movie with French stereotypes, sacre bleu! By the way, whoever called the sugar alternative in a blue packet, Equal and not Saccharine Bleu, is a moron. Well, enough about blue and more about Greene! I have nothing negative to say about his stuff. He could easily click and have a season reminiscent to Strider. Greene could strike out 250 guys in 170 IP. His stuff is that nasty, but, in today’s game, the almost-4 BB/9 is too worrisome. I like him, but I’m passing. If you’re not changing which pitchers you like in fantasy now, with the rule changes, you’re not paying attention. High Ks are fun; no walks are where it’s at. 2024 Projections: 9-12/3.91/1.36/196 in 152 IP

30. Joe Musgrove – Has he been traded yet? How about now? Padres went from spending four bajillion to googling “Is the ha-penny mentioned in Christmas Is Coming a real thing and can we use it to pay people?” Musgrove this late feels like another steal, but he was shut down on August 4th with a shoulder capsule inflammation, which is like one of those magic grow capsules you put into water and they expand into tiny little dinosaurs, only it’s a shoulder and it’s bad. 2024 Projections: 8-7/3.83/1.16/143 in 141 IP

31. Cole Ragans – His final four starts of last year (screenshot courtesy of Razzball dot com, from what I hear is a great site):

So, if his final four starts of last year are what he does in April this year, do you hold him for the 5th start? Maybe you do in a deeper league, but you’re sweating and looking at waivers. This has always been the problem with Cole Ragans, the stuff is great, the command goes sideways. If the command goes completely sideways, you’re going to not only want to drop him, but he’s the type to make you regret everything you’ve ever done in your life, because he’s not going to just go a little pear-shaped. He’s gonna go full cantaloupe. 2024 Projections: 8-11/3.85/1.22/159 in 143 IP

32. Kodai Senga – After this blurb, I will never mention again how right I was last year about Senga. Daddy gets one more moment to shine. [lies on ground surrounded by rose petals like I’m that iconic shot from American Beauty, above me a sign that reads, “Ranked Senga high last year”] Ah, yes, shower me! [we see Cougs stands on a ladder above me dropping rose petals on me] Senga’s ranking this year should also make you pay special attention to Yamamoto. Last year, Senga was so good, he was able to overcome a 4.2 BB/9, which did worry me a little but he had the best pitch (by a starter) in baseball. That ghost forkball is well-named, because that shizz disappears and it elicits boos from fans of opposing hitters. UPDATE: Senga was diagnosed with a strained shoulder and is now off my draft board. 2024 Projections: 9-5/3.63/1.24/129 in 119 IP

33. Chris Bassitt – This is a new tier. This tier goes until Kelly. I call this tier, “Sideways bosom.” There’s safety in numbers. The number three, for unstints, is safe. The number 3 also looks like a sideways bosom. What’s more comforting! These pitchers should be a fantasy number 3 like a sideways bosom. This is a repeat of last year’s fantasy number three tier name, because I like to keep things samesies for when I put together my pitching draft tool. It makes things easier for me.

As for Bassitt, he’s in the same exact spot as he was last year, and likely the same place as he will be next year. I said Bradish might be the most underrated starter (before his injury), but Bassitt is a thinking man’s Bradish. Call him Brainish. Bassitt is so underrated, no one even calls him underrated. (Ignore me calling him underrated so I can make the point.) 2024 Projections: 13-9/3.67/1.15/171 in 186 IP

34. Eduardo Rodriguez – Here’s what I said this offseason, “Signed with the DBacks. Check out this guy, now he can leave Detroit! Guess he didn’t want to go to the Dodgers in the summer, because, as speculated — he hated Beverly Hills Cop. So, EdRod into the Arizona means the end of Tommy Henry’s value. That’s right, a Castaway sequel for Tom Hank! Okay, enough joking on the jibber-jabbering, Ed-Rod went 8.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 3.30 ERA (4.06 xFIP) with a very high called strike percentage and 50th least amount of contact%. It’s promising, and he always seems to be slightly underrated in drafts. For example, last year he finished 85th on the Player Rater; right now, he’s being drafted around 200th overall.” And that’s me quoting me! 2024 Projections: 13-8/3.71/1.17/156 in 164 IP

35. Jordan Montgomery – FREE AGENT 2024 Projections:

36. Merrill Kelly – Went to look at his early years, prior to going to Korea, and he was in the Rays’ system, where he was languishing. His final year there, in Triple-A, 114 IP, 8.5 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 2.76 ERA. The narrative is that he rebuilt his entire career in Korea. So, did he or did the Rays just drop the ball? He looked fine in Triple-A, it’s just the Rays are so insanely cheap they either didn’t want to promote him or maybe they floated to him he could be a middle reliever and he was like, eff this. Either way, Kelly’s command was a little wonky last year, which is a slight worry, but he’s been solid command guy for a while, and he feels safe. 2024 Projections: 13-6/3.64/1.16/170 in 174 IP

37. Bailey Ober – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 60 starters for 2024 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “Bosom buddies.” This tier is you being optimistic. This tier is you chasing bliss, but there’s a chance you’ll never get there. This tier is slightly different than the above, Sideways Bosom. They’re potentially higher upside guys in this tier, but with a higher level of risk. In other words, the safety of the bosom doesn’t feel as strong with them. They’re friends of the bosom. Call ’em Bosom Buddies. In general terms, these guys are risky number threes or high number fours.

As for Ober, I kinda wanted to rank him even higher. Two years ago, I wrote a sleeper post on him. Last year, he had a 9.1 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 and 3.43 ERA. He is the epitome of underrated, and, brucely, I think he always will be. He throws a weak 91 MPH, he doesn’t get ground balls, he doesn’t even throw the ball in the zone that much, he doesn’t make sense. What he actually does is remarkable, he has the 7th highest Swinging Strike% (between Luzardo and Joe Ryan), while having the third highest percentage of balls swung at outside the zone. He doesn’t walk anyone, but he also doesn’t throw strikes. Ugh, I love that. Can you guess if he does well at limiting hard contact? Yes, he’s exactly equal to Spencer Strider. I would’ve wrote another sleeper post for Ober, but I just wrote one two years ago, and I don’t like repeating myself. And that’s me not quoting me! 2024 Projections: 11-7/3.61/1.14/156 in 151 IP

38. Jose Berrios – You cover his name, look at his 8.7 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and you draft him as your number three. It’s as easy as that. Like taking medicine. You do not, under any circumstances, look at his 2022. Do not even talk about it. When you have to mention that year for him, you say, “Berry, berry bad.” That is the code. That’s all that will be spoken on that matter. Now, he’s as safe as a pool with a lifeguard who swallowed a whistle. 2024 Projections: 12-9/3.72/1.21/177 in 181 IP

39. Bryce Miller – Ya know how when you buy a Hyundai, then you suddenly see them all over the place. It’s the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Harrison Bader and some German came up with it. Any hoo! That’s how I feel about pitchers with great command. Now, I’m looking for them, and I’m seeing them everywhere. (You know when I won’t be seeing them? In bottom half of the top 100 starters.) Bryce Miller is yet another solid strikeout, low walk guy, which you likely guessed because of his ranking here. Projections don’t exactly love him, which gave me pause. As I’ve said before, I do my own projections, but it would be foolish to not at least look at what Steamer is saying. My guess is Steamer is going off his very minor, uh, Minor League track record, seeing his Ks last year (8.2 K/9) and is slightly meh’d. That’s fair, but he’s a 95 MPH fastball with insane command (1.8 BB/9). He had the 14th best K/BB (4.58), and was a top 75 prospect not that long ago for Itch. The command has him in the safe tier, everything else has him in this upside tier. 2024 Projections: 10-9/3.83/1.10/139 in 151 IP

40. Hunter Brown – Wouldn’t be surprised if I’m slightly lower on Brown than others. If it’s Brown, rank it down! Not totally intentional if I am lower on Brown, but I’m so wrapped up on starters having good command, which makes daddy go yummers. I trust the Astros implicitly to help starters — they made Luis Garcia something, when he had no business being something — so they’ll prolly figure out how to cut Brown’s walks, and make him a big strikeout guy with a barely 3 ERA, but I’m trying to be a bit more conservative and he did just have a 5.09 ERA his rookie year. 2024 Projections: 9-8/4.06/1.31/182 in 162 IP