It’s been a while since the Mariners have had one of the best pitchers in baseball. They’ve had a handful of them throughout their history (The King and The Big Unit), but it seems like they may have another one that is set to enter the conversation. Robbie Ray is looking to take on the role of Mariners Ace, and it’s reflected when you look at the fantasy baseball starting pitching rankings for 2022.
He’s 52nd overall and 14th when it comes to Starting Pitchers… which seems low, but is actually about right. Look, I understand there may be worries about Ray repeating what he did last year. If the walk rate can stay down around 2.5-3.0, then you are getting a stud (hence the Cy Young). He strikes out a ton and goes a lot of innings. Last year’s K rate of 11.5 was actually his lowest rate since 2016.
Robbie Ray is a stud, and can lead your fantasy baseball starting pitching rotation
He’s another one who was hampered for a while by a freak injury. Say whatever you want, but I’m always going to give a guy who got a line drive off his head a couple of years to get back into it.
Yeah, I said years. Also, I’m not gonna insert the video into here, in case you don’t like watching that sort of stuff, which is completely understandable.
Last year, Robbie Ray finished 30th and 9th in overall and SP rankings respectively. Wins, although they’re a stupid stat, do matter in fantasy baseball. He only had 13, so it kept his ranking a little low. He did end up passing Zach Wheeler and leading all of baseball with 248 Ks, which is a massive bump in fantasy.
I mentioned those walks earlier, and they are going to play a large part in his end of 2022 ranking. WHIP is one of the five counting stats for pitchers. If he can keep that walk rate down ala Randy Johnson once he got to the 2.5-3.0 range, then a WHIP of 1.00-1.10 becomes and remains a reality.
There are going to be streaks when it comes to starting pitchers in your draft. There always is. Ray will likely fall into that second run on pitching. Do not take him up with the Degroms, Buehlers, and Burnes of the world. They’re true aces in a separate tier. He likely slots in there alongside guys like Wheeler, Bieber, and Urias. Somewhere in the 6-10 range for SPs. This means you’ll need to try and grab him at the end of the 3rd round in a ten-team draft, or right around the 2nd/3rd round turn in a 12-teamer.
Robbie Ray is going to get you K’s. If you believe in his stuff then it’s fine to go with him at the top of your fantasy baseball starting pitching rotation, just like the Mariners will be in their real-life rotation. Something close to 190 IP, 240 Ks, an ERA around 3.00, a WHIP of 1.05, and wins that hopefully approach 15 make for a very solid #1 fantasy baseball starting pitcher.