Can you believe it, Phillies fans? We are only a month away from Spring Training. And as the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues slowly get closer and closer, many other leagues around the world are starting to get the ball rolling for 2024. That’s right: it’s nearly fantasy baseball season!
This year, we here at Philadelphia Sports Network wanted to provide you with a simple overview of the 2024 Phillies, diving into which Phillies you should want on your fantasy roster in 2024, and which ones you best be ready to avoid.
Before we get going, let’s get on the same page.
There are many different configurations and rankings for fantasy baseball. Team size, positions, scoring style, and more can vary. Unless we specifically denote otherwise, for the sake of these articles we will assume a standard 10-12 team league using 5×5 settings on a weekly lineup format (don’t worry, we will address daily as well throughout).
In other words, your hitters and pitchers contribute to your team in five categories on each side of the ball. For hitters, the categories are batting average, runs, RBI, home runs, and stolen bases. For pitchers: wins, strikeouts, saves, ERA, and WHIP. If your league differs from these rankings, adjust accordingly (for example, I am in a 9×9 league).
Which Phillies Starting Pitchers to Draft
Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola’s rankings should not surprise anyone. The Phillies’ one-two punch at the top of the rotation is among the best in the League, and both are among the top tiers of starting pitchers available.
Wheeler, at fourth, lines up just behind the top three starters in the draft: Spencer Strider (yup), Gerrit Cole, and Corbin Burnes. The 33-year-old was in the 95th percentile in the Majors in BB% in 2023, so expect Wheeler to help your WHIP more than most other aces available.
Nola, meanwhile, stands as the 12th best-starting pitcher in the draft. This means, that unless you are in a larger league or an NL-only league, Nola should likely be the second starting pitcher you draft. Nola is coming off a poor performance in 2023, but history likely indicates that he will return to more ace-like numbers in 2024. But let’s assume for a second that he does not improve.
Then, if you draft him, you will take a bit of a hit in the ERA department (4.46) but you will also get strong numbers (especially for your number two) in WHIP (1.15) and strikeouts (202), with the added bonus that he is on the Phillies and will likely contribute to your Wins column as well.
Late-Draft and Post-Draft Plays
Most leagues tend to start up to five starting pitchers at a time. So while you may not be starting any additional Phillies starters regularly, there is an argument to be made for a third to be picked up in the final rounds of your draft: Cristopher Sanchez.
I have to be honest, I disagree with Sanchez being ranked ahead of Suarez, but the young gun certainly made some improvements to his game in 2023. While I can’t say I recommend drafting Sanchez unless you are in an NL-only or large-league format, I believe he and Suarez can both provide some interesting streaming options for the daily lineup leagues out there.
Their respective 3.44 and 4.18 ERA’s could come in clutch for a team looking to scrape out a win through streaming options. Additionally, if you are a weekly lineup player, they are worth considering if they are on a two-start week. The added innings and strikeouts always have the potential to change a matchup in your favor.
I can’t advise drafting or streaming Taijuan Walker going into 2024. That being said, however, if he looks more like the 2022 version the New York Mets got, Walker could turn heads and become a valuable pickup going into the summer months.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)