2018 Outlook: Let the debate begin: Who was the best pitcher of the past five seasons? If WAR, wins or strikeouts is your measure of choice, it's Scherzer, as he's the major league leader in each of those categories, with 33.3, 89 and 1,320 respectively. Scherzer has also won back-to-back Cy Young awards and three in that five-year span. Perhaps most importantly, in fantasy terms, Scherzer's 163 starts and 1,092 1/3 innings pitched during that span are tops in the game, which means he's bringing you volume in a game that is trending further toward specialization. These are the things points-league managers want, and they're plenty helpful in Rotisserie leagues, too. Although Scherzer is now 33 years old and had minor neck, calf and hamstring injuries last season, the beginning of his career decline doesn't appear imminent. He should again be one of the first pitchers off your draft board -- if not No. 1.
2018 Outlook: Injuries have dogged Strasburg throughout his eight-year career, as he has averaged just 24.1 starts per season (prorating his 2010 debut, which was split between the minors and majors). But when healthy, he has provided numbers competitive with almost anyone's in the game. His eight-start performance to conclude 2017, after missing 23 team games with a nerve impingement in his pitching elbow, is compelling evidence: Strasburg's 0.84 ERA led the league, his 0.78 WHIP was third best and 31.7 percent strikeout rate was fifth best. He's also top 10 in baseball in all three categories since his June 8, 2010, big league debut (among pitchers with at least 100 starts). Selecting him is taking a chance on his Cy Young-caliber talent on a per-start basis and knowing you'll probably need someone to fill in during his likely injury absences. That's a more palatable strategy today than it was in the past, at least.
2018 Outlook: Corbin is one of those pitchers you either like or you don't. His proponents pointed to his 2013 success before Tommy John surgery along with his outstanding second half last season, when he was one of the best starters in the league. Detractors believed his early career success wasn't fully supported by the underlying numbers and didn't trust that last year's finish would carry over to 2018. Then, the installation of a humidor at Chase Field was announced, mitigating at least some of the trepidation about the lefty. Despite being a groundball pitcher, Corbin's main issue is home runs, which of course should be reduced by the humidor. The key to Corbin maintaining his strong second half is sustaining his elevated strikeout rate. One of the byproducts of the humidor is improved grip, which should help Corbin's ability to pound the zone, especially early in the count. He's not as attractive a fantasy option as his rotation mates, but Corbin should be on the radar in all formats.