The List 5/7: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday
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Welcome to The List – The weekly top 100 rankings of starting pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season. Use this list to help make choices on the waiver wire and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues. These rankings are made with 5×5 H2H standard 12-team leagues in mind.
Let’s talk about how the SP landscape has changed since last week:
- With Clayton Kershaw hitting the DL and Max Scherzer absolutely killing it, it was an easy move to dethrone the king. I have no qualms if you want to move Kershaw’s spot from #15, it’s always incredibly difficult those on the DL.
- With that in mind, I elected to have a “DL” focus at the end of the List, where players that are far away from their return – Robbie Ray, Johnny Cueto, and Jimmy Nelson – will be automatically slotted if they should be owned. Madison Bumgarner is a different story as his return is only a few weeks away.
- Other major moves include Miles Mikolas, Rick Porcello, J.A. Happ, and Mike Clevinger seeing significant leaps. Mikolas, Porcello, and Happ each have impressed mightily out of the gate and deserve more love, and seeing Clevinger’s breaking stuff return is exactly why I was looking for to bring him back in the Top 40.
- Dylan Bundy, Yu Darvish, Jose Berrios, Jose Quintana, and David Price each saw dramatic falls. Bundy’s fastball has been abhorrent in his last two starts, a flaw I was starting believe was eradicated by his impressive opening run. While I think better days are ahead for Darvish, I have no choice but to recognize his value on the market now and lower him further. Price and Quintana are the same way, with talent that will most likely see rises in the future, but their current state has me favoring arms like Alex Wood and Michael Fulmer instead. Berrios is as lost as you’ll find a pitcher, though his innate stuff is still there, making him a decent buy low for owners thinking he’s destined for mediocrity the rest of the way.
- The toughest part of The List this week was ranking the upside plays from 45-75. Please keep in mind that these rankings are incredibly fluid in this area as at this point in the rankings, it’s all about finding the hot hand that can stick through the year.
- Walker Buehler and Caleb Smith get some of the most significant rises this week. With Kershaw’s and Hyun-Jin Ryu’s injuries, Buehler has secure innings for the Dodgers and sports a repertoire that speaks to a high floor. Smith has the outlines of a legit Top 30 ceiling with his excellent secondary pitches with a mid 90s fastball that he has commanded well in each of the last three starts. Still plenty of risk, but this is the lottery ticket I’d like to grab at this moment.
- Mike Soroka deserves your love despite his tough outing against the Giants on Sunday. I see premier talent in the 20-year-old rooted in the command of his four-seamer and two-seamer. Given his security in the Braves rotation, I favor him over other options that have less stable foundations.
- Trevor Cahill, Kevin Gausman, and Sean Newcomb also rose considerably, as all three have performed well above expectations in the early weeks.
- It’s time to look elsewhere if you own Chase Anderson, Luke Weaver, or Aaron Sanchez. There’s no question that they can turn it around through the year, but at this point, you may be better off chasing other upside plays.