The List 4/16: 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:
- So many changes, so little time…Gerrit Cole gets an obvious jump into the Top 15 with his absurd start to the 2018 season, while Shohei Ohtani also sneaks into the Top 20. I didn’t expect myself to be so high on Ohtani, but with plenty of SP #2 arms faltering, it was hard for me to justify weighing his injury inevitability so heavily.
- Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana, and Chris Archer took three of the heaviest falls, with both struggling mightily in their opening starts. I think Darvish isn’t down for the count, but he still has tinkering to do to right the ship, while guys like Jose Berrios and Trevor Bauer are locked in and producing. Quintana’s velocity has dropped a tick and while I expect a rebound from his early performance, I question if he’s going to outclass those in front of him when he does. Archer has had plenty of back luck his way – sub 60% LOB rate! – but not all his punishment has been unfair. There are things he needs to tweak and to see other arms like Luke Weaver (his Curveball is the final piece of the puzzle he needed!) and Jameson Taillon (improved fastball command) perform well early, I had to slot Archer in the 30s.
- Along with Weaver and Taillon, Patrick Corbin and Dylan Bundy made sizeable jumps into the Top 30. They are both following the same approach of throwing their excellent sliders plenty, but there are other elements adding to their promotions. Bundy has showcased more consistent velocity and stamina through starts, while Corbin is changing speeds with his slider, getting more out of his best pitch as he throws it north of 50% of the time.
- Michael Fulmer also took a dive given his inability to take the next step in missing bats. I still think he has that upside even without the leap forward thus far with a skill set that should make him valuable even without a high tally of strikeouts, but he had to take a dive after his recent questionable outings.
- There are two separate tiers of Spice Girls sandwiching a tier of stable backend starters. Reynaldo Lopez and Jakob Junis are two intriguing upside plays at #49 and #50, each with a repertoire that could translate to bigger things through the year. Then from Miles Mikolas to Jon Gray are arms that should be owned, filled with either decent upside with good floors (Eduardo Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez) or a few players that should be consistency good for your squad (Rick Porcello, J.A. Happ). There’s also Jacob Faria who took a step forward last time out after two horrid starts, and Jon Gray who should be better than he recent outings but still has his issues. The final tier of Spice Girls goes from Mike Minor to Andrew Triggs, each showing off good strikeout upside and hints of stronger days ahead. I have no problem switching around these guys as it’s a grab bag of “I hope this works.”
- Big falls came for both Michael Wacha and Kenta Maeda. Wacha simply has not put it together to launch his 2018 campaign, without a proper foundation in his fastball and changeup to get settled in. Maeda’s role in the rotation is surprisingly suspect, and when he does, he can’t be depended on to last more than five innings, opening him up to disastrous outings, even if it comes with the occasional blissful evening.
- Nick Tropeano, Vince Velasquez, Luiz Gohara, and Andrew Cashner joined The List this week. Tropeano returned from TJS to a resounding performance against the Royals as his slider did some excellent work, Velasquez – even without strong secondary pitches – has excelled with his fastball, Cashner’s command has been on point, and it may be time to start considering a stash of Gohara as he’s a few weeks away from his callup.