The List 4/29 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Nick Pollack released his weekly update, ranking the Top 100 Starting Pitcher rankings for fantasy baseball.

[pitcher_list_new list_id=”30611″]


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.
    • Toby = Boring 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 Quintana. Stroman 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 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.

34 responses to “The List 4/29 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday”

  1. Derek says:

    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?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think it’s still a bit cloudy with the result matching the ability with Montas + how consistent it actually is.

    • theKraken says:

      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.

  2. Nick Gerli says:

    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 says:

      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.

  3. Micah says:

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

    • Nick Pollack says:

      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 says:

      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.

    • Bill says:

      Hi Nick, Whats with Taillon, he’s been terrible.

      • Nick Pollack says:

        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.

  4. Jason says:

    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)

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

    Felipe Vazquez
    Wade Davis
    Ken Giles

  5. Kevin says:

    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!

  6. theKraken says:

    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 says:

      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.

  7. Jeff says:

    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.

  8. Mashers says:

    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.

  9. Jim says:

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

  10. Syryn says:

    I own Sale, Kluber, and Thor….what should I do :(

  11. Frankie says:

    Turnbull last week @ BOS, 5IP 0ER WIN and he drops 12 spots?

  12. Manley Ramirez says:

    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 says:

      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

  13. Herbert says:

    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?

  14. kip says:

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

  15. Big League S. Choo says:

    No respect at all for the man currently leading all qualified SPs in FIP?

  16. Derek B says:

    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 ?!

  17. Wade says:

    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.

  18. Swampman says:

    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 says:

      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.

  19. Swampman says:

    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.

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