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The List 4/11: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 1

Updated Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2022.

Welcome to the first in-season edition of The List, where I rank the Top 100 SP for Fantasy Baseball every single Monday of the year. It’s the List the site is named after.

Want an earlier update to The List? Join me on Mondays at 1:00pm ET as I live-stream its creation each week!

Have questions? My “office hours” are on Twitch 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday – Friday + the aforementioned stream of The List.

For each edition of The List, I have a set of rules to outline my thought process and how to best use these rankings. Please take note:

  1. This is 5×5, 12-teamer, H2H format focused. It generally is the same as roto as well, but make sure you adjust accordingly.
  2. We have two tables to review before the notes and rankings. First is an injury table that outlines where players would be relatively ranked if fully healthy. It’s the best way to tackle how to value players on the IL.
  3. Second is a table of pitchers outside the Top 100 I considered. Please read this if you can’t find your guy.
  4. Since this is a 12-teamer, I heavily weigh upside in the back-half of the rankings. Tier 10 is likely going to underperform those in Tier 11 across a full season, but it’s in your best interest to chase Tier 10’s ceiling vs. settling for Tier 11’s floor.
  5. I’ve made a decision to remove all the labels that I struggle to maintain through the season to instead give each player just one label at a time. It streamlines the process much better and hopefully gives you a more targeted understanding of the player.
  6. I’ve also made the decision to not mention Trevor Bauer. There’s too much of a headache for many reasons. Just don’t do it.
  7. The notes outline oh-so-much to help your team. Please read the notes if you can instead of just scrolling to the bottom.

 

Let’s get to the tables. First are all of our injured compatriots:

 

Injured Players Table

 

I made a decision this week: I’ve removed the “Preseason tiers” and changed “tiers” to “Relative Rank” as it’ll be more consistent week-to-week — Tiers change while their relative rank does not.

I know, I know, Lucas Giolito and Blake Snell are technically not on the IL yet, but you know it’s going to happen and it would be dumb for me to rank them right now. I imagine Snell returns before Giolito, but let’s hope they both pitch in April. And yes, there’s a chance Snell avoids the IL, I know.

Jon Gray shouldn’t miss too long with a blister and I applaud the Rangers for making this happen early. Frequently, guys try to tough it out and make matters worse, even having it last through the year. Nip this in the bud and we’ll get amped in May.

Now let’s take a look at the pitchers I considered for the Top 100 but didn’t quite make the cut:

 

Other Starting Pitchers I Considered

 

Lastly, I heavily recommend you read my 40,000 words on all the Top 224 Starting Pitchers for 2022 that I released in February for more info about these players or just follow my daily SP Roundup that outlines all pitcher performances through the season. About 95% of it still applies and will do so much to help you understand the skill sets of everyone ranked here. Seriously, it will answer all your questions and it took months of work to put together. Read it.

 

 

Ranking Notes

 

  • This is your reminder to please read these notes as they’ll tell you plenty about why “someone moved up” or “why is he at #X?!”
  • Seriously. Read the notes.

 

  • Y’all aren’t going to like this, but save for me removing Lucas Giolito and Blake SnellI’m not touching the Top 35 pitchers. Yes, I know that Julio Urías is throwing softer, Shane Bieber’s spin rates are out of whack, etc., etc., etc. We can’t make these drastic season-long moves after one start, a start that comes off a dramatically shortened spring.
  • Remember, the Top 35 are the arms we’re trusting through the full year. There are six more months ahead — I’m not ready to make sweeping assessments on these rock-solid players yet.

 

  • With Giolito and Snell hurt, that’s an innate +2 for many, turning into a +3 once you get past 50 with Jon Gray on the IL. Remember y’all, The List is relative and the # is nothing without understanding the landscape. Mitch Keller is #1 if we only have Pirates pitchers.
  • The only pitcher I actually touched inside the Top 40 was Michael KopechI can imagine this being questionable to some, but after watching his full start, I’m finding myself skeptical of his command, especially as it comes in at a more pedestrian 95 mph. This can absolutely be an “it’s early” thing, but I wanted to give him an early ding just to hedge a bit.

 

  • Inside Tier 7 you’re going to see one of the largest jumps this week coming from Tylor MegillHe represents an important point of my Lists — once you get beyond the secure arms in the first six tiers, guys will move plenty as we’re trying our best to highlight the best ceiling arms to chase. It’s why there can be moves in the back half of The List despite only four days of baseball being played.
  • About Megill: He came out firing against the Nationals, sitting 97-99 in the first frame and settling down to about 96 mph for the entire night, around two ticks harder than last year. His slider was vastly improved as well and I can see Tylord becoming a major arm in fantasyland through the year if he holds 96+ through the year.

 

  • Tier 8 stays the same — everyone’s pitch counts are down and their ceilings are just the same as before. We haven’t even seen Matt Brash start yet. This is one of the weirdest editions of The List all year because of stuff like this. Let’s move on and keep chasing the ceiling.
  • Like Michael KopechI think Tarik Skubal needs a bit more time than I was anticipating. His breakers weren’t clicking as we want them to and we’ll likely have to wait until May or so for us to see the man we envision. That’s completely fine, it just means he slots under a very dominant Sean Manaea and Adam Wainwright for now.

 

  • Oh Ian AndersonHe had a toe blister that removed him early from his final spring start and it likely was still affecting him as he walked five over the weekend. I had a gut feeling Anderson would put it together this season, but I think it’s clouded my vision and I’ve been recognizing the haze that is his wonky command over the last two weeks. I still believe he’s far better than this, but yeah, I can’t put him above inning stalwarts like Marcus Stroman.
  • Nope, I’m not raising Hunter Greene after his debut. Why? Because he’s essentially what we thought he was — good strikeouts, questionable ratios, Cherry BombThat’ll work for the most part in your 12-teamers and let’s hope he develops better four-seamer command over the year.

 

  • I really enjoy Tier 10. Merrill Kelly looked brilliant against the Padres over the weekend, adding two ticks to 93 mph on his heater and showcasing a filthy changeup to fan seven in just four frames. It’s not the elite velocity of Tylord, but it’s a massive indication of change in the right direction for an arm who desperately needed it.
  • There’s also Eric Lauer in this tier, who is back to my original ranking. It’s been tumultuous: He was delayed with a groin injury, then didn’t have his command in order in the spring…but now he’s apparently throwing 2-3 ticks harder. That’s huge. I imagine he’ll get the lead for Tuesday night’s SP Roundup if that holds in his first start of the year and I encourage a snag off the wire if you have room.

 

  • In Tier 11, we have our featured pitcher Kyle HendricksI had my doubts we would see Hendricks carry his classic changeup and stellar command out of the gate, but here we are after seeing 13/33 whiffs on the slowball on opening day. I hope this is enough of an apology for you, Kyle.
  • We also have Kyle Wright entering this tier after an impressive outing against the Reds. His command is still a question mark, but his slider was as good as we’ve seen it. I’m not suggesting he’s completely figured it out now — it’s one start! — but it could be an indication of consistency to come.

 

  • I don’t think I actually touched Aaron Civale’s ranking, so don’t overthink that. I did change Luis Patiño and Drew Rasmussenthough, as I’d starting to lean more into their ceilings in Tampa Bay. Let’s hope they are allowed to go the proper 5+ frames often.
  • Joining them is Tommy Romero as Ryan Yarbrough hit the IL. It’ll take a moment to get him going, so he’s a stash play like Jordan Hickswho is limited to just 45 pitches on Tuesday. We’re at the point in the rankings that you can side with stashing ceiling or aiming for streams, making Hicks and Romero more valuable commodities to consider vs. the plethora of streaming options in Tier 12 and later.

 

  • Tier 12 is where we start seeing the ole reliables who are plenty replaceable. I’m having my doubts that Hyun Jin Ryu is someone worth keeping close to your chest moving forward, while Steven Matz’s blister may be a problem for a good while. Don’t be so loyal that you keep them in your lineups while removing yourself from finding excellent rotation-defining starters.
  • I gave a dip to Michael Lorenzen despite not even tossing an inning as I found myself wanting to chase other guys instead — his ceiling isn’t quite as high as I’d like it to be. That said, he should still be on your radar and I hope to raise him back up next week.

 

  • I gave a massive serving of red to Patrick Corbin after his season debut against the Mets. I was hoping to see something new in any fashion and what we got was a slightly diminished velocity + just two whiffs on his slider the entire night. I find it hard to buy into the concept of him reaching his ceiling without a figurative ladder entering the picture.
  • It was good to see Carlos Carrasco feature a well-commanded changeup and 35% on his sliders, but it’s far too early to believe it’ll be like this consistently. Cool first step, though.

 

  • In the final tier, we have a mix of streaming options and highly questionable ceiling plays. Even with Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibsonand Zack Greinke performing well in their first starts, they aren’t arms I’d run out to grab off my waiver…save for Gibson against the Marlins. That should go well, just don’t hold him for Coors after the fact.
  • I’m not much of a believer in what Mitch Keller has done thus far. Despite his velocity, his heater still gets hit hard + his secondaries haven’t taken the step forward he needs. I’d take my chances elsewhere.

 

  • Tony Gonsolin had a rough go of it in Coors and all I cared about was whether his slider returned. It didn’t, and his velocity did him no favors. It could very well be an early season + Coors thing, and I’ll monitor this with him on the wire instead of my rosters.
  • Sorry Zach PlesacI didn’t see any growth in your sliders nor changeups to be convinced to hold onto you in my 12-teamers. Maybe we’ll see something new, soon.

 

  • We have a few new arms entering the List this week at the end. Nestor Cortes Jr. and Jameson Taillon are here not for their outings against the Jays, but for the Orioles at the end of the week. Consider adding them for the weekend streams as they will be past their likely pitch-limited first starts.
  • Lastly, there are also Elieser Hernandez and Yusei KikuchiElieser is less of a streaming option and more of a long-term play with his excellent slider, while Kikuchi gets the Yankees (no thanks) and then Oakland to close out the week. I’d certainly consider him there.

 

  • As for what would make Alex Fast thrilled, I slotted Austin Gomber at the end of the list as an interesting #100 option…even if it means dropping him a few spots from last week. I originally thought facing the Rangers on the road was a good situation for Gomber, but seeing their offense roll in Toronto has me second-guessing this stream. That said, Gomber has some fantastic secondaries and I’m curious to see how he develops through the season. Keep an eye on Gomber, especially for starts on the road.

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Gerrit ColeT1
Aces Gonna Ace
-
2Corbin Burnes
Aces Gonna Ace
-
3Brandon Woodruff
Aces Gonna Ace
-
4Zack Wheeler
Aces Gonna Ace
-
5Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
-
6Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
-
7Sandy Alcantara
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
-
8Julio Urías
Aces Gonna Ace
-
9Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
-
10Robbie Ray
Aces Gonna Ace
-
11Charlie Morton
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
12Max Fried
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
13Joe Musgrove
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
14Logan Webb
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
15Kevin Gausman
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
16Freddy Peralta
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
17Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
18Carlos Rodón
T4
Injury Risk
+1
19Alek Manoah
Ace Potential
+1
20Trevor Rogers
Ace Potential
+1
21Justin Verlander
Ace Potential
+1
22Frankie Montas
Ace Potential
+1
23Shane McClanahan
Ace Potential
+1
24José Berríos
Ace Potential
+1
25Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
+1
26Chris Bassitt
Ace Potential
+1
27Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
+1
28Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
+1
29Clayton Kershaw
T5
Injury Risk
+1
30Tyler Mahle
Ace Potential
+2
31Pablo López
Ace Potential
+2
32Luis Severino
T6
Ace Potential
+2
33Patrick Sandoval
Ace Potential
+3
34Eduardo Rodriguez
Strikeout Upside
+3
35Nathan Eovaldi
Strikeout Upside
+3
36Logan Gilbert
Ace Potential
+3
37Shohei Ohtani
Injury Risk
+3
38Framber Valdez
Quality Starts
+3
39Michael Kopech
T7
Ace Potential
-4
40John Means
Quality Starts
+2
41Luis García
Strikeout Upside
+2
42Alex Wood
Strikeout Upside
+2
43Alex Cobb
Ace Potential
+4
44Tylor Megill
Quality Starts
+20
45Sonny Gray
Strikeout Upside
+3
46Joe Ryan
T8
Ace Potential
+3
47Tanner Houck
Ace Potential
+3
48Reid Detmers
Ace Potential
+3
49Matt Brash
Ace Potential
+3
50Sean Manaea
T9
Strikeout Upside
+3
51Ranger Suárez
Quality Starts
+4
52Marcus Stroman
Quality Starts
+4
53Adam Wainwright
Quality Starts
+4
54Tarik Skubal
Strikeout Upside
-8
55Ian Anderson
Ace Potential
-10
56Huascar Ynoa
Strikeout Upside
+2
57Triston McKenzie
Strikeout Upside
+2
58José Urquidy
Quality Starts
+2
59Jordan Montgomery
Strikeout Upside
+2
60Nick Lodolo
Stash Option
+2
61Jesús Luzardo
Ace Potential
+2
62Hunter Greene
Strikeout Upside
+3
63Merrill Kelly
T10
Strikeout Upside
+UR
64Zach Eflin
Quality Starts
+2
65Noah Syndergaard
Ace Potential
+12
66Nick Martinez
Quality Starts
+1
67Eric Lauer
Quality Starts
+19
68Anthony DeSclafani
T11
Quality Starts
-
69Kyle Hendricks
Quality Starts
+UR
70Kyle Wright
Strikeout Upside
+UR
71Bailey Ober
Strikeout Upside
+3
72Aaron Civale
Quality Starts
-2
73Luis Patiño
Strikeout Upside
+6
74Drew Rasmussen
Streaming Option
+6
75Jordan Hicks
Stash Option
+UR
76Tommy Romero
Stash Option
+UR
77Steven Matz
T12
Quality Starts
-8
78Hyun Jin Ryu
Quality Starts
-6
79Josiah Gray
Strikeout Upside
-3
80Carlos Carrasco
Quality Starts
+1
81Cal Quantrill
Quality Starts
+1
82Michael Lorenzen
Streaming Option
-4
83Casey Mize
Quality Starts
+1
84Patrick Corbin
Quality Starts
-13
85Germán Márquez
Strikeout Upside
+2
86Zack Greinke
T13
Streaming Option
+2
87Kyle Gibson
Streaming Option
+2
88Adrian Houser
Streaming Option
+6
89Corey Kluber
Streaming Option
+6
90Tony Gonsolin
Strikeout Upside
-7
91Mitch Keller
Strikeout Upside
-16
92Carlos Hernández
Streaming Option
+7
93Elieser Hernandez
Streaming Option
+UR
94Nestor Cortes
Streaming Option
+UR
95Yusei Kikuchi
Streaming Option
+UR
96Jameson Taillon
Streaming Option
+UR
97Taylor Hearn
Streaming Option
+1
98Zach Plesac
Quality Starts
-13
99José Suarez
Streaming Option
+1
100Austin Gomber
Streaming Option
-10

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

 

Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Jason says:

    Would you rather own Luzardo over Greene?

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