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Who's the top pitcher in fantasy baseball: Jacob deGrom or Gerrit Cole?

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Yahoo Sports' Andy Behrens and Dalton Del Don explain why Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole are two of the best pitching options in baseball.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ANDY BEHRENS: Welcome back to Yahoo Fantasy Baseball 2021. Today, we are debating the number one overall pitcher in your fantasy draft, and it is this close. We have a group of aces at the top. For me, it's Gerrit Cole. For Dalton, it's Jacob deGrom. Again, they're separated by so little. They are going six and seven in an average Yahoo draft. Dalton, give me the case for deGrom as the first pitcher off the board.

DALTON DEL DON: Oh, it's a pretty easy case. deGrom is better in pretty much any statistical category recently. I mean, last season, he was far better in K rate. DeGrom's FIP last year was 2.26. Cole's was 3.89 his first year in New York. I mean, what are we even arguing here?

The better argument is really Bieber versus Cole. deGrom is the clear number one fantasy pitcher. I'd personally argue the number one fantasy player overall, but that's neither here nor there. He's the league's best pitcher by almost any measure, and you combine that with such a favorable situation.

I mean, normally you'd laugh when I say that about the Mets. But the NL this year shouldn't have the DH. Citi Field is by far the best pitcher's park. I mean, the last three seasons, it leads all of baseball in decreasing run scoring and batting average. Is that good? And the Mets should also provide better run support this year and defense when they added Francisco Lindor. So slam dunk deGrom for me.

ANDY BEHRENS: Oh, leave it to Dalton to base his entire argument off of statistics from mini, 60-game season. Sure, I'll give it to you that deGrom was better statistically last year. Gerrit Cole has been great for a while now. I think this is really close.

Gerrit Cole has an ERA title. He has a 300-strikeout season. Of these two guys, I would say that the guy most likely to deliver 300 strikeouts and lead all of baseball, probably Gerrit Cole. Again, I don't have a huge problem with either of them. This comes down to injury history for me, and it's pretty clean for both players.

I'm not trying to scare anyone off of Jacob deGrom. I think he's an obvious first-round pick. No problem with him whatsoever. But as we look down the injury history for him, he's missed some starts with an elbow, with a forearm, with a back injury, with a neck over the last three seasons. This is recent history. It's a question mark. It's not a huge question mark. He doesn't have any lingering issue that he's coming into the year with, but I don't like to see stuff like that.

I feel perfectly good about Cole. He is the picture of health, and he has been brilliant over multiple seasons. I'm giving him a slight edge here, but I don't even think twice if somebody picks deGrom over him. OK, I may have lost this argument. I would never officially admit that when discussing anything with Dalton Del Don. But I feel like I may have--

DALTON DEL DON: Hold on. Hold on.

ANDY BEHRENS: --taken this one on the chin.

DALTON DEL DON: Health is a fair argument, though, with deGrom. I mean, he has battled some bumps and bruises. There's no doubt about that. But I actually like the fact that he has Tommy John surgery in his rearview mirror, and he recently hit 99% miles per hour throwing batting practice. Come on, man, he's feeling good now.

Wins would be the other issue with him in the past, but FanGraphs projects just three fewer for the Mets than the Yankees this year, so I don't think that'll be a problem like it has been. So yeah, man, give me deGrom over Cole. But I kid. Obviously, Cole is a very nice consolation prize and not super far behind.

ANDY BEHRENS: Yeah, I hate to guess on wins. I wouldn't let that be the separation. It is strictly the medical history for me. Folks, get yourself signed up for fantasy baseball 2021. Go to sports.yahoo.com/fantasy. Do it today.