The List 4/29 – 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 +1 Justin Verlander
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
3 +1 Trevor Bauer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
4 -2 Jacob deGrom
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
5 - Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
6 - Blake Snell
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
7 T2 - Corey Kluber
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
8 +1 Patrick Corbin
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
9 +1 Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
10 +1 Carlos Carrasco
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
11 +2 Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
12 T3 -4 Noah Syndergaard
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
13 -1 Chris Sale
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
14 - Walker Buehler
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
15 - James Paxton
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
16 - Jack Flaherty
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
17 +2 Luis Castillo
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
18 -1 German Marquez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
19 -1 Jose Berrios
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
20 - Zack Greinke
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
21 +1 Zack Wheeler
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
22 +1 David Price
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
23 +1 Stephen Strasburg
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
24 T4 +7 Tyler Glasnow
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
25 -4 Jameson Taillon
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
26 - Shane Bieber
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
27 +1 Mike Foltynewicz
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
28 -1 Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
29 +1 Matt Boyd
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
30 +3 Joe Musgrove
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
31 +6 Hyun-Jin Ryu
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
32 +6 Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
33 -8 Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
34 +2 Caleb Smith
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
35 +5 Chris Paddack
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
36 T5 +7 Domingo German
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
37 -3 Chris Archer
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
38 -9 Madison Bumgarner
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
39 -4 Masahiro Tanaka
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
40 +2 Rich Hill
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
41 +4 Cole Hamels
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
42 +4 Max Fried
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
43 +4 Mike Soroka
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
44 +11 Eduardo Rodriguez
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
45 +8 J. A. Happ
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
46 -7 Kyle Hendricks
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
47 +13 Marco Gonzales
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
48 UR Tyler Skaggs
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
49 -8 Kenta Maeda
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
50 T6 -18 Miles Mikolas
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
51 - Jon Gray
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
52 - Kyle Freeland
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
53 +1 Collin McHugh
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
54 +10 Jose Quintana
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
55 +3 Sonny Gray
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
56 - Luke Weaver
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
57 +19 Marcus Stroman
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
58 +7 Jerad Eickhoff
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
59 -10 Carlos Rodon
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
60 T7 -1 Frankie Montas
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
61 +11 Mike Minor
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
62 +25 Reynaldo Lopez
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
63 -19 Derek Holland
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Streaming Option
64 +4 Matt Strahm
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
65 -2 Jake Arrieta
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
66 -16 Trevor Richards
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
67 -19 Kevin Gausman
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Streaming Option
68 +6 Jon Lester
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
69 +6 Brad Peacock
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
70 UR Griffin Canning
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
71 -14 Joey Lucchesi
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
72 -10 Michael Pineda
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
73 -12 Yusei Kikuchi
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
74 -8 Zach Eflin
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
75 -4 Pablo Lopez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
76 T8 -7 Brad Keller
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
77 -10 Trevor Williams
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
78 - Aaron Sanchez
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
79 - Vince Velasquez
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
80 - CC Sabathia
Injury Risk
Low Ips
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
81 - Steven Matz
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
82 UR Yonny Chirinos
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
83 -13 Merrill Kelly
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
84 -2 Kyle Gibson
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
85 +10 Wade Miley
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
86 UR Chris Bassitt
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
87 -14 Jordan Lyles
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
88 -5 Brandon Woodruff
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
89 -12 Spencer Turnbull
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
90 -5 Rick Porcello
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
91 +1 Clay Buchholz
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Streaming Option
92 UR Trent Thornton
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
93 +5 Jake Junis
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
94 -3 Anibal Sanchez
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
95 UR John Means
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
96 -12 Jeff Samardzija
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
97 -9 Drew Pomeranz
Low Ips
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
98 -1 Tyler Mahle
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
99 - Anthony DeSclafani
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
100 - Forrest Whitley
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
Jimmy Nelson Nelson will be around the 50s when he’s back from the IL
Dereck Rodriguez A Toby who hasn’t helped enough to justify his ranking
Lance Lynn Too much of a Cherry Bomb with plenty of bombs
Zach Davies I don’t trust his recent stretch to last
Nick Margevicius Looks more like a Cup of Schmo than a rosterable arm
Luis Severino The recent injury news sets him back to July 1st, hopefully. He’ll be Top 15 then.
Mike Clevinger His injury has Clev out until middle July. He’ll be Top 20 then.
Nathan Eovaldi Hit the IL with an elbow injury. When starting again, he’ll be 40/50s
Touki Toussaint Touki has been demoted to Triple-A
Nick Pivetta Pivetta has been demoted to Triple-A
Ross Stripling No longer in the Dodgers rotation
Julio Urias He’s now #7 on the block in L.A. Despite my love for him, he’s not worth the stash.
Alex Wood I’m just going to wait until he’s back to properly rank him. Most likely in the 50s.
Jhoulys Chacin Just hasn’t been able to capture the magic of 2018 yet.
Corbin Burnes Demoted to Triple-A
Justus Sheffield Good stash option, but I want to focus on guys in the majors now this week.
Martin Perez Not enough so far to suggest rolling with Perez
Dallas Keuchel He won’t be starting until May at the earliest and he’s not worth the stash on your roster.
Julio Teheran Couldn’t handle Cleveland = not worth it.
Andrew Heaney Shut down again with elbow trouble. That’s scary and makes his expected return even later.
Jake Odorizzi Not worth the investment as he’s a Cherry Bomb with more bad than good.
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.
Sandy Alcantara He’s incredibly raw and the ceiling is not worth the destruction along the way.
Lucas Giolito Questionable with a hamstring injury, probably return soon.

 

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, here are the new List features from last year’s editions:

  • 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.
    • Cherry Bomb = Volatile pitchers who are either “super sweet” or “blow up in your face.” Heed warning.
    • Ace Potential = I define an ace as: 3.40 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 24% K rate, 6.0 IPS. It’s why you see some surprising names as having the upside of an ace.
  • 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

 

  • With his elbow problems and overall disappointment, I not only opened up the top tier, but also made Jacob deGrom the #4 starter this week. I feel his health concerns + worse slider makes him slightly less desirable than Trevor Bauer or Justin Verlander
  • His teammate Noah Syndergaard also takes a hit as Thor has allowed 4+ ER in five of his six starts.
  • Some of the biggest leaps this week came from Marcus Stroman, Reynaldo Lopez, Mike Minorand Jose QuintanaStroman has changed his approach a bit with more sliders, increasing his strikeout potential. Lopez, Minor, and Quintana are all on hot stretches and in the sea of disappointment in the 60s and beyond, they deserve the nod.
  • Marco Gonzales also got some love as he’s yet to allow more than 3 ER across his seven starts this season.
  • Among those disappointments are Trevor Richards, Joey Lucchesi, Derek Hollandand Kevin GausmanRichards is getting exposed for his sole good pitch, Lucchesi doesn’t have a strong enough repertoire, Gausman will see-saw through the year, and despite my belief that Holland will recover, I have to suggest looking elsewhere at this moment before he takes his steps forward.
  • With Griffon Canning making his MLB debut Tuesday, he makes an entrance on The List. Don’t think too much about this, simply grab him and see how it goes tomorrow, giving him a short leash if we don’t like what we see.
  • Tyler Skaggs has returned from the IL and deserves love as a possibly strong ratio arm with good strikeout upside. He’s not as sexy as other arms behind him, but he could bring a rare sense of stability.
  • A host of other names made The List this week. Yonny Chirinos is performing well enough as a False Starter to deserve consideration. Chris Bassitt’s two high strikeout starts could be the start of a trend, Trent Thornton is a decent desperate strikeout option, and John Means may turn into something with his changeup if he gets more chances in the rotation.

(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/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.

sdf

Comments


Derek

What is keeping Montas behind guys like Rodon, Weaver or Gray? He’s showing the ability to get quality starts, strikeouts with his off speed, and limit baserunners. With his strong performance despite facing Houston twice, doesn’t he feel more like Hamels territory?

theKraken

I would not say so at all. Hamels had a WHIP below 1 last I checked and a long track record of success. Montas is one month removed from being unrosterable (last year). I think you should be concerned with his K rate which has historically been a problem for him. I don’t think he feels like Hamels territory.

Nick Gerli

Glasnow is very interesting. I own him in several leagues and love watching him pitch – fast worker with basically two pitches. I wonder how sustainable it is, though. That fastball is seriously hard to square up and the curve is deadly in combination.

-10 on Williams seems really harsh considering it was the first time he gave up more than 4 ER since June of last year, and it was against baseball’s best hitting team. He’s made real improvements in his ability to induce whiffs and chases outside the strike zone since mid-August.

theKraken

Glasnow’s minor league body of work is incredible. Tall guys always take time to develop. There are a lot of reasons to think Glasnow could be really good at some point. I haven’t seen him pitch much – I’ll have to change that.

Micah

Hey Nick – could you roughly break down which tiers are ‘always start’ v. ‘usually start’ for a standard/12-team league? Thanks!

Nick Pollack

I think the tiers don’t work exactly like that. Some are there as your “usually start” while others are there because they aren’t up to snuff right now, but I expect them to kick it into gear shortly. It’s a little more complicated than that, if that makes sense!

theKraken

It all depends on the league. Are you trying to win counting stats or ratios? Are starts limited? No such thing as a standard league as owners will manage their rosters differently.

Nick Pollack

Sub 50% LOB rate is laughable, he’s still missing bats at a good clip –> strikeouts will rise.

Also terrible luck with an error-laden game and a 5 IP rainout that could have been another two strong frames.

Jason

Nick — ERod in the wire and I was considering picking him up — but I have a roster issue. I need to drop a player to activate Folty. I need at least one player to drop to activate Folty — and really would like 2 options if you think I should pick up ERod. Thanks.

My team:

C : Jorge Alfaro (C)
1B: Pete Alonso (1B)
2B: Jonathan Villar (2B, SS)
3B: Nolan Arenado
SS: Javier Baez(2B, 3B, SS)
OF: Trey Mancini (1B, OF)
OF: Rhys Hoskins (1B, OF)
OF: Domingo Santana (OF)
UTIL: Hunter Dozier (1B, 3B)
Bench: Matt Carpenter (1B, 2B, 3B)
Bench: AJ Pollock (OF)
DL: Giancarlo Stanton (OF)
DL: Austin Meadows (OF)

STARTING PITCHERS:
James Paxton
Jameson Talilion
Mike Soroka
Joe Musgrove
Chris Paddack
Collin McHugh
Tyler Glasnow
Max Fried
Caleb Smith
DL: Mike Folynewicz

CLOSERS:
Felipe Vazquez
Wade Davis
Ken Giles

theKraken

Easy… cut Baez and Arenado – those guys are bums.
I would cut Fried to activate Folty. I don’t see the appeal with Fried especially if guys like E-Rod are on waivers.

Kevin

Nick, is Heaney or Eovaldi the better IL stash right now? I’m more concerned about higher upside and not as concerned about who will return first. Thanks and keep up the great work!

theKraken

I figured there was a good chance that DeGrom’s IR stint was just a fictional injury to skip a start and maybe clear his head… was the stuff actually diminished?

Moelicious

Mets fan here. The stuff is fine but the command is awful. He has not been able to hit the catcher’s target over the past three starts. Every pitch misses the glove. He claims he is rushing his delivery which is causing his arm to trail the body and throw everything up in the zone. He is still getting tons of whiffs and Ks even though the location is off. FWIW I do not think he is hurt – he had two MRIs over the past 6 weeks and passed them both.

Jeff

Nola has been garbage this year and hes not even getting that unlucky (5.4 FIP 4.4 SIERA) how is he still in the top 10 when kershaw has been elite and is arguably the best pitcher ever. i mean come on.

Mashers

I have constructed the ’27 Yankees in a 16-teamer, but have struggled with SP (Clevinger, Eovaldi, Pivetta have hurt bad).
Buehler, Flaherty, Hendricks leading up front, but barely holding it together with Weaver, Montas, Chirinos, Samardzija, Canning)
It’s a H2H league where you really need 55 IP+ /wk to compete in K & QS, so running 9 starts a week is almost required. Could use a horse while I wait for Clev’s return.
I have an opportunity to acquire Glasnow ($11 through 2021) or Paddack ($10 through 2021) for Marcel Ozuna (contract expiring). I could fill his starting spot with Voit (Bellinger to OF to join Yeli, Puig) or W Myers.
A) would you make this deal?
B) given the 2 1/2 year window and same cost, which would you target, Glasnow or Paddack?
C) would IP restriction on Paddack concern you for a pennant run this year?

Also, how patient should I be for Pivetta and Eovaldi? Neither are on great contracts so cutting them is an option. But I can stash one or both if I stay really healthy. Which is more likely to be wind in the sail in Weeks 21-24 for the playoff run if I can wait that long?
Thanks for any help.

Jim

Strahm, Holland and Lucchesi are all too close in the ranks and their results are pretty far apart.

Manley Ramirez

Think you need to refine the definition and boundaries of a Toby. Is it not the opposite of a Cherry Bomb — fairly consistent innings but low ceiling, i.e. low K upside?

So, how come Trevor Williams never gets the Toby tab? I mean, if there ever was a Toby…

Same with Hendricks. He should have been considered Spider Man the last few years. Now he seems to be fading, and Marco Gonzales is the new Hendricks. So how come Hendricks was never a Toby but Marco Gonzalez is?

Brad R

Toby as the opposite of Cherry would mean to me consistent 3 run starts and while Hendricks was sorta there last year, he had a tendency to bomb occasionally until about mid august with 13 of his 25 starts going less than 6 innings, 7 of 25 having a GSc of 45 or under, and 11/25 on QS.

For a guy to be consistent enough as your lunchpail guy, he doesn’t have to get you a lot of strikeouts, but you would hope for at least 50% QS rate.

Like I guess you could call him a low IPS shaky Toby till August when he turned into Spider-Man.

But now you are giving multiple prefixes to qualify his version of being a Toby

Herbert

The note you have about skaggs doesn’t seem to explain how he rose from UR to 48. Have you always felt so highly about him? Care to do a deeper article?

kip

way too much respect to kluber imo, he’s been pitching scared all year, like he knows he doesn’t have it

Derek B

Got offered Archer for LeClerc in a dynasty ? I’m thinking this is an extremely good deal since I was very close in dropping Jose tonight after another disaster. Do I go after his Strahm instead ?!

Wade

Hi Nick,

I’m worried about starting McHugh today against the Twins. I feel like he’s going to get shelled and I need to protect my ratios this week. My thought was to sit him today and if he does poorly, to potentially drop him and grab Yu Darvish or Eickhoff/Mikolas off the wire.

Do you think this is a decent plan? Are you equally worried about McHugh? It seemed like he was lucky to only give up 3 home runs during his last outing– it seemed like every ball was getting hit to the warning track. You bumped him up 1 this week in your list so I was curious what you thought.

Swampman

Good Morning Nick,

Looking to improve pitching in a 15 team 4×4 league. Off to good start and strong at front end, but weak in the back end.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Current starters:
Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, JA Happ, Merill Kelly, Charlie Morton, Trevor Richards and Caleb Smith. Also have Luis Severino, Andrew Heaney, Jimmy Nelson and Freddy Peralta on the IL.
Current relievers:
Very weak with Jose LeClerc and Matt Barnes.

Presently starters available: Kenta Maeda, Reynaldo Lopez, Griffin Canning, Michael Pineda, Aaron Sanchez, V Velasquez, Sabathia, K Gibson, Chris Bassitt, J Lyles, S Turnbull, Buchholz, Trent Thompson, Desclafani and Whitley. Couple weak relievere available Hansel Robles, Luke Jackson, Jacob Webb , Nick Anderson and Mark Melancon.

Any ideas?

Nick Pollack

In a 4×4, what is the cut pitching category? Wins?

I’d be swapping Kelly for Canning. Also, with four IL pitchers, are any taking up a bench spot? If so, drop Peralta for Maeda or Turnbull.

Swampman

We have never had the strikeouts category. We have 9 pitchers, either starters or relievers, that play every day. The IL pitchers do not count against the active roster, but will need to cut an active player if want to activate an IL pitcher when they return to active duty.

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published.