Looking at the 2018 Major League Baseball starting rotations, here are the five best back-end starters. All 2018 projections were found through Lindy’s Fantasy Baseball.
Danny Salazar of the Cleveland Indians had 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 2017, which was the most ever for an Indians’ pitcher with at least 100 innings thrown in. The Cleveland right hander’s main pitches are a 96 mph plus four-seam fastball and a 87 mph change up. Danny is projected to have a 12-7 record with a 3.98 ERA along with 188 strikeouts for Cleveland in 2018.
Luke Weaver of the St. Louis Cardinals is a solid starter to round out an order in the Majors. Last season Weaver, from August 2, 2017 to September 20, 2017, won seven consecutive starts, which was the longest streak on the team. It is projected the Cardinals’ pitcher will have a 10-9 record, with a 3.65 ERA and 189 strikeouts. 2018 will be Luke’s first full season in the majors.
Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers is the next top fifth starter in the majors. In 2017, Ryu posted a 3.17 ERA in his 11 starts for the second half of the 2017 season. The Dodgers’ lefty primarily throws a four-seam fastball that averages 91 mph along with a 81 mph change up. He also will mix in a 87 mph cutter to go along with a 72 mph curve for balance on the mound. Ryu is projected to have a 8-7 record, with a 4.40 ERA, and 115 strikeouts for Big Blue in 2018.
Zack Godley of the Arizona Diamondbacks had a 4.4 WAR, which was ranked ninth among National League starters in his first year in the starting rotation. Zack primarily relies on an 83 mph curveball, to go with a 92 mph sinker, and he will mix in a 90 mph cutter when his on the mound. He is projected to have a 12-10 record, with a 3.58 ERA, and 170 strikeouts for the Diamondbacks in 2018.
Jordan Montgomery of the New York Yankees rounds out this list of back-end starters. The left hander, last season, led American League rookies in starts with 29. He also struck out 144 batters in 155 innings for the Yankees. Montgomery brings to the mound a 81 mph curveball and also laces a 92 mph sinker. Jordan is projected to have a 12-10 record with a 4.14 ERA along with 155 strikeouts for the Yankees in 2018.