The List Pre-Opening Day Edition: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Week
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. Note: These rankings have been made with H2H 5×5 12-teamers in mind.
Today is a special edition as we make our last preparations for the season ahead. Rotations have been set, injuries have appeared, and pitchers have given us a variety of performances through March as we ramp up for Sunday’s opening games.
Let’s see how the SP landscape has changed:
- The news of Carlos Carrasco’s elbow has me worried that 190+ inning season isn’t coming, which has me favoring Chris Archer instead entering the season.
- I’m all aboard the Michael Fulmer train and have him as one of my favorite floor options entering Tier 3, which ranges from Carlos Martinez to Marcus Stroman.
- I’m a little concerned about Aaron Nola’s spring, which has featured a 8.38 ERA and a 3.25 BB/9. I think the talent is there and spring is dumb, but it’s not the right risk to take in drafts as he now sits outside the Top 30.
- David Price obviously falls given the nature of his “unique” elbow. I slightly favor chasing him over taking the flier of Matt Harvey at this point, placing Price at #35.
- Injuries are abundant as Drew Smyly, Steven Matz, Carlos Rodon, and Drew Pomeranz all took hits as well. The nature of Smyly’s injury is still unknown but seems less severe than Matz or Rodon, which has me still slightly favoring him over the other two. I’m incredibly scared about Rodon given he averaged about 100 pitches per start last year and I doubt we won’t hear more about his arm before summer arrives. Matz was an obvious risk and 25 starts is essentially out of the question now, but the starts he does make should be more effective than most. Pomeranz is the least severe of them all and he will be back in mid-April, though it’s another issue that doesn’t seem to be a one-time thing.
- Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman both have rotation spots secured now that Matz is out of the picture for a month or so. I’m a fan of both and I think Wheeler can be a solid asset in 12-teamers for at least the month ahead if not longer given the volatility of health inside the Mets’ rotation.
- Alex Cobb has had various random injuries this spring, including a stiff back and hip flexor tightness, and it’s becoming more likely that we won’t see more than 150 innings from Cobb this year.
- The Cardinals have decided on Michael Wacha as their fifth starter and there is value to be had. He’s had a solid spring of 2.42 ERA in 26 frames with a great 22/6 K/BB ratio, making a solid flier for those in leagues where he’s going super late or even undrafted.
- I’m more convinced that Francisco Liriano has a decent chance of keeping his ERA and WHIP in check now that he has reunited with Russell Martin in Toronto. Given that he’s barely touched in 12-teamers, I’d consider him if you needed another arm among a slim waiver wire.
- Shelby Miller is worth a glance given an improved spring from 2016. There’s still plenty of risk and I need more convincing, but there are worse fliers out there.
- In Oakland, Andrew Triggs has been overlooked and could be a solid end-of-your-staff option as he has a rotation spot locked.
- A few other fliers worthy to take: Luis Severino, Brett Anderson, Matt Boyd, and Reynaldo Lopez all are currently planted inside their rotations and bring decent upside. Anderson has a great defense behind him to support his groundball ways, though don’t expect him to stay healthy for long. Lopez has electric stuff that could take shape in a stress-free environment in Chicago, Severino has always had the stuff but not the command and another shot in the rotation may pan out well, and Matt Boyd has kicked out Anibal Sanchez in Detroit, opening the door for some decent innings.
- Leaving The List are Mike Montgomery (no rotation spot), Chad Green (maybe a rotation spot, but not until mid April at earliest), Jose De Leon and Jose Berrios (both sent to minors).