The List 4/1 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

The List

Rank Change Pitcher Labels
1 T1 - Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
2 - Jacob deGrom
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
3 - Chris Sale
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
4 T2 - Justin Verlander
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
5 - Trevor Bauer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
6 - Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
7 T3 - Corey Kluber
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
8 - Blake Snell
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
9 - Noah Syndergaard
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
10 - Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
11 - Carlos Carrasco
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
12 T4 - Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
13 - Jameson Taillon
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
14 - Mike Clevinger
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
15 - Patrick Corbin
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
16 - Zack Wheeler
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
17 - James Paxton
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
18 - Jack Flaherty
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
19 T5 - Stephen Strasburg
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
20 - Zack Greinke
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
21 - Miles Mikolas
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
22 - Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
23 - David Price
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
24 - German Marquez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
25 - Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
26 - Luis Severino
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
27 T6 - Jose Berrios
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
28 - Madison Bumgarner
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
29 - Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
30 - Luis Castillo
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
31 - Masahiro Tanaka
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
32 - Nick Pivetta
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
33 - Kyle Hendricks
Ace Potential
Ratio Focused
34 - Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
35 - Kenta Maeda
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
36 - Kyle Freeland
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
37 - J. A. Happ
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
38 - Mike Foltynewicz
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
39 - Nathan Eovaldi
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
40 - Shane Bieber
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
41 - Yusei Kikuchi
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
42 - Ross Stripling
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
43 T7 - Joe Musgrove
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
44 +1 Matt Strahm
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
45 +2 Chris Paddack
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
46 +3 Julio Urias
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
47 +7 Hyun-Jin Ryu
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
48 -4 Eduardo Rodriguez
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
49 -3 Chris Archer
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
50 +1 Tyler Glasnow
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
51 +2 Joey Lucchesi
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
52 -4 Tyler Skaggs
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
53 T8 +6 Corbin Burnes
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
54 +3 Pablo Lopez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
55 +10 Brandon Woodruff
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
56 +2 Caleb Smith
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
57 -1 Rich Hill
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
58 +9 Collin McHugh
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
59 +10 Matt Boyd
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
60 +8 Trevor Richards
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
61 - Jimmy Nelson
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Stash Option
62 -10 Derek Holland
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
63 T9 +9 Michael Wacha
Injury Risk
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
64 -9 Cole Hamels
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
65 +6 Alex Wood
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
66 UR Sandy Alcantara
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
67 +3 Reynaldo Lopez
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
68 UR Frankie Montas
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
69 +11 Jon Gray
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
70 +7 Kyle Gibson
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
71 +3 Brad Peacock
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
72 +3 Freddy Peralta
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
73 +3 Marco Gonzales
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
74 T10 +7 Michael Pineda
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
75 UR Lucas Giolito
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
76 -16 Kyle Wright
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
77 +1 Steven Matz
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
78 +1 Anibal Sanchez
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
79 T11 -16 Jeff Samardzija
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
80 +2 Jake Arrieta
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
81 +2 Jon Lester
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
82 UR Marcus Stroman
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
83 +14 Aaron Sanchez
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
84 -22 Merrill Kelly
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
85 -1 Rick Porcello
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
86 -1 Kevin Gausman
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Streaming Option
87 -1 Jose Quintana
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
88 -1 Zach Eflin
Low Ips
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
89 -1 Jhoulys Chacin
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
90 UR Trevor Williams
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
91 -1 Domingo German
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
92 T12 -28 Sonny Gray
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
93 -20 Luke Weaver
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
94 - Jake Junis
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
95 UR Matt Shoemaker
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
96 UR Jake Odorizzi
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Streaming Option
97 -1 Julio Teheran
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
98 T13 - Forrest Whitley
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
99 - Alex Reyes
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
100 - Justus Sheffield
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option

Labels Legend

Aces Gonna Ace
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low IPS
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
Stash Option

 

Fringe Starters

 

Pitcher Why They Missed The Cut
Jordan Zimmermann Great first start, but it was against the Jays. I need to see him do it again before giving him a spot
Bryse Wilson I’m worried his bad start will make him to first one out to make room for Kevin Gausman and Mike Foltynewicz
Wade Miley Great for a gamble at a cheap win, I worry about his low IPS and lack of strikeouts.
Martin Perez Spring Training velocity reports are definitely interesting but I need to see it during the season first.
Dallas Keuchel He won’t be starting until May at the earliest and he’s not worth the stash on your roster
Vince Velasquez A massive Cherry Bomb without the clear path to working out of it with inconsistent secondary options.
Tyler Mahle I’m waiting to see if we can trust his new curveball + Alex Wood should return shortly.
Carlos Rodon Still too volatile and wasn’t all too impressive against a poor Royals offense.
Mike Minor Really didn’t look sharp against the Cubs. Not enough upside to risk at this point.
Sean Reid-Foley Could be on The List next week after today’s start against the Orioles.
Andrew Heaney Shut down again with elbow trouble. That’s scary and makes his expected return even later.
Spencer Turnbull I was hoping for a strong performance against the Jays, but it’s not there yet.
Trevor Cahill He may improve as April continues, for now, I’d wait and see.
Ivan Nova Just not enough upside and while he’s a decent streamer, it’s never for a high ceiling. Just not enough there.

 

What is happening!

It’s a new season and the weekly updates to The List have returned. I’ll be ranking the Top 100 Starting Pitchers every Monday from now until the end of the season.

Before I dive into the player notes, we added new elements last week that I’m going to remind everyone once again

  • Previous/Best/Worst columns removed
    • These took a heavy chunk of loading time and ultimately provided very little value. The change arrows themselves are all that’s needed
  • Tiers added
    • As much as I hate making tiers (When do they start and end? How big are the cliffs?), ya’ll have been asking for them and I’m here for all of you. Please understand how hard it is to accurately place them and don’t get too worked up about it.
  • Labels added
    • There’s often confusion as to why a pitcher is a spot or two above or below another. These labels should help understand what each pitcher brings to the table, showing that some pitchers may be better or worse for what you need.
    • Hover over them (or tap on mobile) to see each label’s name next to the pitcher.
    • Ratio Focused = Their value lies in you chasing their ERA/WHIP more than strikeouts and Wins.
    • TobyBoring arm that doesn’t excite you, but you stare at the waiver wire and accept that he just okay enough. You don’t like that he’s around the office, but he gets his work done.
  • Fringe Starters added
    • There are always a handful of starters I badly want to add to The List but I don’t have enough room. I’ll always have this table at the end for a collection of starters – in no order – that I also heavily considered, as well as why they could be relevant
    • This will be where IL Players will land. I’ll mention where they would slot when healthy.

Please let me know how you feel about these changes and I’m looking forward to another fun year assessing the wonderful entity that is the SP Landscape.

On to the notes! Remember, these ranks are for 12-teamers in H2H leagues:

 

Player Notes

 

  • Moving forward, I’ll be mentioning those that were removed from The List in the “Fringe Players” section, so you can see direct reasoning for why they’re off this week.
  • Nothing changed in the Top 43. It’s been four days of games y’all. Yes, even Chris Sale and Yu Darvish didn’t move. I just can’t make a move right now until we find out more about Sale, while Darvish seemed more like shaking off rust than an underlying issue.
  • Since the mid-40s / early 50s is the tipping point for chasing arms, it’s where I had the most trouble ranking this week. There are a ton of exciting arms that could pan out or fizzle, but it’s hard not to love Corbin Burnes’ strikeout flair, Pablo Lopez and Brandon Woodruff each looking strong in their season debuts, and both Collin McHugh and Matt Boyd surprising with high K games as well.
  • Popular late round grabs in Derek Holland, Merrill Kellyand Jeff Samardzija took a hit. Holland and Samardzija didn’t pitch as well as anticipated, with the later struggling to miss bats with his secondary stuff. Kelly hasn’t started yet, but his final ST tuneup came with heavily diminished velocity and I’m concerned it’s going to stick today. I hope I’m wrong and he’ll jump up a bit next week.
  • Cole Hamels and Kyle Wright took significant hits as well. Hamels was far the sturdy arm you wanted in his opening start, making the distance between him and the other Tobys (Porcello, Arrieta, Lester, etc.) plenty closer. Wright’s fastball command is lacking and while he could suddenly break out in a blink of an eye, he could also be out of a job in a week or two.
  • The pair of Sonny Gray and Luke Weaver also looked far from ideal in their opening starts, forcing a sizeable drop in the ranks. They both could be given the TIARA (Turn It Around Right Away) and perform well on a dime, but for now, you’re safer going elsewhere and waiting until they perform.
  • We have a good amount of players joining The List this week. Sandy Alcantara impressed with his eight shutout innings, looking more polished with his heater than expected. Marcus Stroman showcased whiffability – finally! – as he jumped into mid-80s with his teammate Aaron Sanchez (who is sporting increased velocity himself!). Trevor Williams continues to defy everything I know about pitching, Lucas Giolito had a small tick more heat with secondary pitches inside the strikezone, and Frankie Montas’ new splitter could hint at an increase in strikeouts.
  • At the very end, Matt Shoemaker and Jake Odorizzi each got a spot as possible streamers for their stellar performances. Maybe it clicks in the near future against weaker opponents, maybe not. A decent option to consider now.

(Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)

Nick Pollack

Founder of PitcherList.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

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Comments


Rusty

What are your feelings on Yonny Chirinos? He had an impressive start yesterday against the Astros. 13.6% swstr! Do you just not consider him a starter?

Nick Pollack

I considered him!

I’m waiting another start or two before he gets a spot. I expect him to be used as a False Starter with an opener and we’ve seen how his skills can diminish quickly.

Dan

What do you think about Josh James chances of making the rotation in season from the bullpen ? Is he a guy you would consider for the list or for rostering in 12 team standard mixed leagues?

Barrett

fwiw, I’m rolling with James in both 10 teams I’m in (Restart and Dynasty) just for the fact that he’s going to be dominant out of the pen and it never hurts to have good RPs especially in a holds league (both of mine are). That and he’s the first man up into the rotation if McHugh or Peacock get injured or blow up. Pure upside with James and not that much downside if you get his draft value right. Even better if he’s sitting on the wire…

Chucky

How about two front end SPs ( at least on their respective teams) Keller, KC’s OD SP and Newcomb, who certainly looks like he’s going to at least get a chance to hang himself, with that starved Braves staff?

Adam

Curious what kind of batter do you think could be a good trade for Buehler? In a 10 team points league with settings that favour pitchers and doesn’t count strikes, would you consider Votto for Buehler an even trade pending positional needs? Thanks!

Ross

I am also curious about Buehler trade value. I have a deal in the works to acquire Buehler, Darvish, and Stripling for Freddie Freeman and Quintana. I am deep at 1B and in need of pitching depth but don’t want to overpay.

James Hoelscher

Got Eduardo Rodriguez on my squad with little forethought as to why I would want to, and his first outing was real blegh. IS there reason to hold out hope and hold tight?

theKraken

I actually really like best/worst a lot. This should be a database-driven site where that is just a simple SQL query and it is automated. I am certain that it isn’t based on the workload you describe and the previous incorrectness that I now understand the source of. Best/worst provides accountability for previous rankings and I think it is worthwhile. Its what theoretically makes overrating a player a discussion point as opposed to just dismissing it – where that happens there is a learning opportunity or at least a great discussion point. Heck, you could write an off-season article on each player that finishes 30 spots below his peak and it would be interesting – you would have flawed players that we got too excited about (Collin Moran is a hilarious example from 2018 – must draft haha) and a bunch of injury rebounds. I would prefer it to tiers – users have to make their own arbitrary decisions about tiers – you put them in order which is the hard part! My question for you – you are already the best in the world at this without any serious competition. You sure you want to change? I wouldn’t be too worried about what people want… you’ve already made it.

Night Hawk

Why no mention of Eric Lauer? It looks like he’s carrying over his strong finish from last year. Ny the way, love the list.

Eric

Ignoring concerns about total number of starts, Paddack and Glasnow are both top 30 pitchers for me. Paddack has WHIP upside that only pitchers in the first 4 tiers have, and Glasnow has the K floor to absorb a few bad starts, with the upside of ending the year a top 15 SP.

Of course, both could have their innings managed, which depresses their value. Where would you put Paddack and Glasnow if an oracle told you they were both getting 180 innings?

Michael Langseth

Hey Nick–just a heads up that the “The List” link on the homepage redirects to the 3/25 list, not the 4/1 list. Keep up the great work. You’re a gift.

Justin

Strahm is still that high for you? He walked a pitcher and had a fastball of 89 mph. I doubt he is going to gain 5 mph on his fastball and suddenly have enough control to not walk the pitcher. He was even balking, dude looked lost. No statistical evidence he can be effective as a starter either.

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