The List 8/14: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday
Every Monday during the season, I will be releasing “The List” where I rank the current value of the Top 100 pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season. Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from pitchers for 2017 and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues.
Let’s see how the SP landscape has changed:
- There are three notable changes in the Top 25 this week: James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka taking major hits due to injuries, and Chris Archer falling outside the Top 20. The former is self-explanatory, while the time has come to accept that Archer is most likely not going to hold a sub 3.00 ERA rest of the way. His strikeouts are the main attraction for his value, but his volatility in ERA/WHIP forced him to take a fall.
- I’m conceding that with Gio Gonzalez’s smooth schedule the rest of the season that I should be valuing him as a Top 35 starter the rest of the way. I don’t believe he’ll hold an ERA worth writing home about in that time, but with his increased strikeout rate and high IPS, he should be favored over the later options.
- The 40-60s is often the most volatile section as it’s where the trenches lie for waiver-wire adds. Upside is king here as the later arms are often interchangeable and quickly replaceable through streaming. The major points this week are Dylan Bundy, Reynaldo Lopez, Cole Hamels, and J.A. Happ. Bundy has faced two weak teams, but taken full advantage, fanning 10 in each of his last two starts and the highest Fastball velocity of the season. Lopez shocked with a great feel for his Changeup in his 2017 debut, making him a solid add through the end of the year. Happ is looking more like a consistent floor option and deserves your love, while Hamels has found the feel for his signature Changeup in his last two starts against a pair of excellent offenses that could indicate a shift in the right direction.
- There’s no beating around the bush that Sean Manaea and Jose Berrios have been detrimental to your teams across the last month. Manaea looked flat out terrible in his start against the Orioles, while Berrios has been struggling to find the feel for his Fastball once again. Still, it’s well within reason that they both can get back on track in time for your playoffs, but consider the alternatives in your league.
- Both Mike Clevinger and Jordan Montgomery leap back into the Top 60 after getting nixed last week following injuries that have opened up rotation spots for the foreseeable future. Clevinger displayed excellent Fastball command in his last start and his upside warrants a waiver investment. The Bear has a tougher schedule as the Yanks are set to face Boston multiple times ahead, but he can still provide considerable value in those outings and starts in between.
- There are a few shocking players to join the ranks in Week 20. Edwin Jackson has pulled a major 180 and induced plenty of weak contact to get his spot in the Top 90, and when paired with a great schedule on a winning club like the Nationals, it creates unexpected value. Chris Stratton’s recent start against Washington may just be a mirage, though with such a desert of a waiver wire, there’s no reason not chasing him over other questionable arms. Jeremy Hellickson had a rough go of it over the weekend, but his recent trend in the previous two outings could mean a rebound is in order. Andrew Heaney could return for the Angels before too long and be a considerable streaming options, while Chad Kuhl may develop into a decent option himself.
- Leaving The List this week are many unsurprising names. Mike Fiers, Ian Kennedy, Ariel Miranda, and Brent Suter have been far from pulling their respective weight, making it tough to to favor them over other options just inside the Top 100. Meanwhile, Vince Velasquez, Trevor Cahill, and Alex Cobb have all taken injuries that pushed them out.