Support Pitcher List

Ad-Free Website + 24/7 Fantasy Help

The List 5/16: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 6

Updated Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2022.

Welcome to The List, where I rank the Top 100 SP for Fantasy Baseball every single Monday of the year.

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. If a player is on the IL or not confirmed inside the rotation, they aren’t on the List. That includes injuries and guys in the minors, but there are exceptions for players who are expected to be in the rotation but are being skipped this week.
  4. Second is a table of pitchers outside the Top 100 I considered. Please read this if you can’t find your guy.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  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 year: 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.

Please understand that “70-80” does not guarantee the player will be exactly in that range when they return. Rankings are 100% relative to the landscape and while this table reflects where they would sit in a vacuum, it’s a fluid creature. Sometimes there are oh-so-many options, sometimes I want to see them healthy and stretched out again, and others we’re starving for pitchers and they jump higher than “70-80”. It’s a loose reference point and why it’s called “relative ranking.” I hope it helps!

One last point about that – often times pitchers need an extra week or two to ramp up once they do return to the majors. It’s why Still ILL exists and the “relative rank” you see is when those guys have shaken off their rust. Will they be back to normal in their first start or will they need a few? I have no idea! Those ranks are to show what I’d expect once they are fully back to normal.

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

 

Other Pitchers I Considered

 

Lastly, I heavily recommend you follow my daily SP Roundup that outlines all pitcher performances through the season, or if you want a primer on most of these pitchers, you can check out my 40,000 words from the pre-season via my Top 224 Starting Pitchers for 2022 from February. Both will help you get a grasp of my general thoughts on most of these guys (especially the roundup!) as I simply can’t detail everything about 100 pitchers in these notes each week.

 

 

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.

 

  • The top tier has a new friend today as Kevin Gausman slides in at #4. I don’t think anyone reading this would have any objections given the man has walked just one batter the entire season and dominates despite his move to the AL Beast. What a stud.
  • Things get a little less friendly entering Tier 2 with Brandon Woodruff and Walker Buehler hanging on at the top. Listen, this was incredibly hard to rank this week. On one hand, I recognize how Woodruff has not been the stud you’ve wanted, yet the only real shift has been a horrific strike rate with his slider this year – his fourth pitch – plus some abnormal hard contact allowed on his heater. Is that enough to abandon all our previous notions of Woodruff?

 

  • Like Woodruff, Walker Buehler hasn’t been nearly as pristine as we hoped for, yet unlike Woody, he’s still returned quality ratios along the way. Do we believe his four-seamer will continue to earn few whiffs for the entire year? It’s always challenging to decide when an early-season trend dictates a full six months of distress, or if a pitcher has the ability to make the adjustment and live to their potential. I’m simply not ready to do the former with Buehler yet.
  • Okay okay, I understand that Buehler showed signs of depreciation last year too, yet he still returned a 2.50 ERA, 25% strikeout rate, and a fantastic WHIP. I don’t think I should weigh it harshly, but if you do, I understand.

 

  • Continuing with the second tier, Shane McClanahan not only got his AGA label this week, but did so while calming my nerves about his heater – he earned 10 whiffs on the pitch that’s supposed to be his weakness. It’s hard not to fawn over McClanahan and as Justin Verlander is expected to have some regression given the harder contact on his heater & lack of slider whiffs + Alek Manoah’s recent lack of overall whiffs, McShane slides just above the two of them.
  • Even with his blow-up yesterday, Carlos Rodón still had his same ole repertoire. I’m not worried and would expect a bounce-back start.

 

  • We just gave Pablo López and Chris Bassitt their AGA labels this week, though I’m going to wait another week before I put them in the same tier as those in Tier 2. I see them closer to the rest of Tier 3 (who should be getting their labels across the next month!) than I do the elites of Joe Musgrove, Lucas Giolitoetc.
  • It’s been an interesting discussion of Sandy Alcantara vs. Pablo López since last season and today marks the first day in a long time Alcantara falls behind. I’m not sure it lasts long, but Sandy’s lack of control is a bit startling at the moment. Once he gets the slider working and nailing his heaters in the zone, he’ll climb up the ranks quickly.

 

  • It looks like I’m worse on Robbie Ray because of the “-1”, but honestly, I’m higher on him than last week – you can blame Pablo and Bassitt’s rise for the red next to his name. Ray allowed 5 ER, sure, but he sat 94.3 mph, the closest he’s been to his 94.8 mph mark last year, and had incredible pitch separation with his heaters up and sliders down. He looked more like peak Robbie Ray than any other start all year.
  • And honestly, I could say the same for everyone else in this tier, including Dylan CeaseHis 6 ER blowup against the Yankees was more of a product of the Bronx offense and not poor command from Cease. He’s still rolling.

 

  • Ignore Freddy Peralta’s drop – I’m encouraged by his recent performances, but the return of Zack Wheeler and the rise of others pushed him down. The number of the ranking doesn’t matter, it’s all relative.
  • That goes for Julio Urías as well, who falls to #23 in the rankings at the start of Tier 4. It seems like a dramatic “OH MY, NICK HATES JULIO” stain with his red “-8”, but it really isn’t Urías is a sold SP #2/#3 for your teams, he’s simply struggling to get whiffs with his four-seamer and isn’t dominating batters like the others above him. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, you’re still going to enjoy his outings. There’s a chance he reclaims it and jumps back up, but right now, the better bet are those in Tier 3 and above.

 

  • I want to see another start or two from Zac Gallen having his way with changeups and/or cutters before pushing him into Tier 3 and potentially awarding him an AGA label. It’s coming together nicely with his fastball as a fantastic foundation, we just need to see him do it consistently now.
  • Like the others, I did not move Shohei Ohtani – he’s the same to me and others are just passing by. Don’t worry about the shift.

 

  • The fifth tier is an interesting one, filled with haze. Inside you can find an array of disappointing April performers who I expect to bounce back as the season continues (even if their xStats say they deserved to do poorly in April, those are descriptive stats, not predictive. For example, I expect José Berríos – The Great Undulater – to perform as we expected him to in the preseason as he continues through the season).
  • A major fall came for Logan Webb as he fell eleven spots today. Sadly, Webb hasn’t reclaimed his slider of last season and it’s shrinking his strikeout rate dramatically. We only saw 140 frames of his success last season and a rank inside the Top 30 certainly values the possibility that it returns, but with so many performing well, it’s hard to favor Webb instead.

 

  • I should briefly mention the lack of fall for Luis Castillo as I imagine many are concerned as to what you should be doing in your leagues. Like last year, I’m holding everywhere as I imagine his 2-tick drop in velocity in his first pair of outings will be a forgotten memory in short time. He just needs a moment to shake off the rust and as The List is about today and the future, I’m keeping Castillo relatively high in my ranks.

 

  • Entering the tier this week is our featured pitcher, Nestor Cortes Jr. He’s a difficult one to rank given his value rests heavily on his command, less so on his raw stuff. We’ve seen a few starts this year where than command is pristine and he racks up double-digit strikeouts. We’ve also seen a few shakier ones that make me wrestle with what to expect for the full year. In short, you should hold and hope for the best as this could last all season after all – if you’re trading him, make sure you’re securing a legit player for the full season given Cortes’ ceiling of staying in rhythm for the year.
  • Lastly, the Trevor Rogers “-1” will set some off, but that’s really just Nestor getting in the way. Rogers had the best slider I’ve seen from him in ages last time out, with the changeup still lagging behind. If he can get the slow ball back and keep the slider, things will be gorgeous, and it’s hard to tell from one outing of legit putting it together.

 

  • I take one look at Tier 6 and smile before a few tears welt in my eyes. I adore all of these pitchers and hope to keep rising them through the year, but it’s missing Tylor Megill and Jesús Luzardowho both fell to injury on Sunday. I can understand all arguments for these pitchers to be in the higher ranks and the only thing holding them all back is time. Just keep on keepin’ on and they’ll get their dues.
  • Tarik Skubal gets a solid rise this week as he had both his slider and change working in his most recent start. Paired with his already great fastball, it opened the door for a dominant outing and hints at what could be if he keeps that skill through the season.

 

  • The seventh tier is where we get our last hurrah of arms you should be holding onto for their potential to rise up The List. Logan Gilbert fell nines spots as he once again failed to impress with his secondaries, making him closer to his peer George Kirby in ability – excellent fastball, cutter-esque slider, and not a whole lot else to get whiffs. It doesn’t mean I dislike Gilbert, but those in Tier 6 and above simply have more at their disposal to suggest a better outlook for 2022.
  • I’m glad to see Mike Clevinger sit closer to 95 mph while earning some whiffs with his slider, though he hasn’t had that dominant start quite yet to get us amped for what’s ahead.

 

  • It’s time to welcome back Blake Snell to The List. I’m not exactly sure what we’ll get from Snell, but if he’s able to go heavy on four-seamers/sliders again like the end of last year (he was featuring changeups a decent amount in the spring, though), he could enter the Top 30 before June.
  • I gave a small drop to Jordan Montgomery as his sinker fell back to Earth last time out – he had featured a 40% CSW on the pitch for his previous four starts before it fell to just a 20% mark last time out. That sinker paved the way for effective changeups and curveballs and without its dominance, it makes for a worse time on the bump.

 

  • Also inside Tier 7 is Michael Kopechwho tossed 41 pitches in the second frame of Sunday’s game and still managed to squeeze out a Quality Start. I’m a little worried that his overall velocity is around 94/95 (91/92 by the end of the game on Sunday, but he was likely heavily fatigued) & that his secondaries have been a bit lost through the year. He’s a prime sell-high for me, though that doesn’t mean he can’t figure this out and be a legit Top 40 arm. It’s all about weighing probabilities.
  • If you’re wondering what Triston McKenzie needs to do in order to rise on The List, it’s being able to be more of a pitcher than a thrower. He’s improved his control to find the zone more, but I worry about that he doesn’t have the ability to sequence effectively and features too many waste pitches to truly excel.

 

  • Tier 8 is where the cliff begins. Inside the Top 55 are all the potential pitchers you want to hold for their ability to become SP #4 or better, while Tier 8 contains a few stable arms I don’t expect to accelerate up the chart, but are a comfortable step above the waiver wire. Take Merrill Kelly for example, he has an improved changeup and in a good enough rhythm that you’re holding on in a 12-teamer. Will he boast a sub 3.00 ERA at the end of the year? Very likely not with some expected bumps in the future, but you’ll make that decision when you get there.
  • The same goes for Carlos Carrasco who didn’t have his changeup or slider over the weekend, leading to a tough start against the Mariners. Now it’s Coors + Giants and I’m crossing my fingers that at least one of those goes well. Up to you if you want to hold tight through them both.

 

  • I’ve been encouraged by Eduardo Rodriguez and Framber Valdez of late…for the most part. Eduardo finally had a good matchup and came through, though his changeup isn’t nearly as good as we’ve seen in previous seasons. As for Valdez, his last two games have been far better, but I’m still concerned he’ll hover a 10% walk rate and feature a WHIP comfortably over 1.20 without a stellar strikeout rate. Having a high groundball rate without a lot of whiffs has its costs.

 

  • Given that I’ve structured these Tiers as alternating Toby and ceiling, I elected to move Paul Blackburn up from Toby B to Toby A (Tier 10 to Tier 8), which just happens to be 14 spots. That large of a jump past #55 is far less meaningful than one inside the Top 55 as I consider so many of these players from Tier 8 and beyond as matchup dependent + in your best interest to grab hot hands and hope for the best. Don’t read a whole lot into it save for Blackburn being in a good groove right now (that cutter command is excellent!) and it could keep going.

 

  • Read that last point again. It’s incredibly important to understand that philosophy vs. where the numbers are actually ranked. Do you like a guy in Tier 9 more than Tier 8? Great! That may be the right move for your team.
  • Also, given the large number of quality streaming options out there (given opponent, of course), it means that those in Tier 8 are generally less valuable than usual as their lack of ceiling creates less separation from the potential waiver wire in a 12-teamer. It also means I have those in Tier 9 ranked higher than some would expect of those in Tier 10 and later. If you disagree, that’s 100% understandable, it’s simply how I see the SP Landscape in 12-teamers right now.

 

  • I wish I could rank Kyle Bradish higher after an eleven strikeout game, but he has a tough schedule ahead, including a date with the Yankees next on the docket. I won’t rule out possible success there, but it may take some time for us to get truly excited for him.
  • I elected to drop Garrett Whitlock from the Tier 7 tier to the Tier 9 tier (i.e. past the Toby tier) after his destructive outing against Atlanta + Houston up next. I’m not sure exactly what we’re going to see from him moving forward and while he’s still someone of note, it’s hard to put a proper value on him at the moment.

 

  • I still don’t know what to make of Tony Gonsolineither, as his slider is far from the pitch it was in 2020 – it was a major part of his struggles in 2021. I still see him as a worthwhile 12-teamer arm, but it’s complicated.
  • I’m still a fan of Josh Winder despite his poor outing against the Astros last week. He gets a cushy pair of starts against the Athletics and Tigers up ahead and I’m a fan of grabbing him for both.

 

  • Let’s welcome Chase Silseth to The List after he made his debut against the Athletics last week. He’s slated to get them a second time and with his 95+ mph heater & a legit splitter, he could succeed once again.
  • What are we going to get out of Spencer StriderHe’s expected to start on Tuesday for Atlanta and I hope it’s something close to his 4 IP, 8 K effort we saw over a week ago. It’s unclear and worth a shot with many backup options on your wire if it fails.

 

  • With Hunter Greene going heavy on sliders and pulling back on heaters, he’s turning into a new version of last year’s Huascar YnoaI wonder if that’ll make him a worthy starter through the summer as he figures out the majors.
  • And to go all-in on guys inside this tier, Jon Gray had a great slider against the Yankees last week before he was pulled with a knee injury. It looks like he’s still making his next start against the Angels, but it’s anyone’s guess how healthy he’ll actually be.

 

  • Just two tiers to go and they are awfully similar. Tier 10 leads off with Hyun Jin Ryu and Martín Pérez each returning to The List. Ryu is back from injury and looks like a proper Toby while Pérez is on a five-game Vargas Rule as his command has been stellar. I don’t anticipate it to stick, but sometimes you gotta shrug and start.
  • I gave a boost to Reid Detmers following the incredibly fortunate no-hitter (really, just two strikeouts?!) though I’m a bit worried about A) The lack of slider whiffs and B) an expected no-hitter hangover as he’d never gone nine frames before, even in college. Something to consider before jumping in.

 

  • I gave drops to Chad Kuhl, Tyler Andersonand Bruce Zimmermannbut only Kuhl was intentional as I think his run of succeeding despite Coors is coming to a close. As for Anderson and Zimmermann, they are both Tobyin my book – maaaaybe Zim breaks out of it with his changeup and slider, but we’ve yet to see it truly come together.
  • Ranger Suárez and Marco Gonzales have both looked far better as of late, deserving their pushes above the aforementioned Anderson and Zimmermann. I’m still missing Suárez’s changeup, though, while Gonzales feels like a Vargas Rule and not a long term play.

 

  • Let’s welcome Zach Logue to The List as he impressed mightily with his breakers last time out (despite being a changeup guy prior!). I’m not sold that Logue and his 90 mph heater are enough to endure a two-start week, but I get he could keep the magic going for a little bit.
  • JT Brubaker also entered The List as his slider has made him a decent streaming option as of late. Consider him as an option against the Cubs this week.

 

 

  • It’s been frustrating rostering Cristian Javier this year and after finally getting a proper chance in the rotation…he messed it all up. He’s still there and could return a strong outing against the Rangers, but it’s hard to consider him as a “must roster” after his latest misstep.
  • Finally, I added José Quintana and Daniel Lynch at the end of The List. Quintana has now gone three straight starts of production – shocking I know – as he’s commanding his arsenal effectively, while Lynch may have something working with his four-seamer and slider. Keep an eye out for Lynch.

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Corbin BurnesT1
Aces Gonna Ace
-
2Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
-
3Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
-
4Kevin Gausman
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
5Brandon Woodruff
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
6Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
7Joe Musgrove
Aces Gonna Ace
-
8Lucas Giolito
Aces Gonna Ace
-
9Carlos Rodón
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
-
10Max Fried
Aces Gonna Ace
-
11Shane McClanahan
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
12Alek Manoah
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
13Justin Verlander
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
14Pablo López
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
+7
15Chris Bassitt
Aces Gonna Ace
+5
16Sandy Alcantara
Ace Potential
-2
17Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
-1
18Zack Wheeler
Ace Potential
+UR
19Frankie Montas
Ace Potential
-1
20Aaron Nola
Ace Potential
+3
21Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
+1
22Freddy Peralta
Ace Potential
-3
23Julio Urías
T4
Ace Potential
-8
24Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
+2
25Shohei Ohtani
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
-1
26Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
+4
27Shane Bieber
T5
Ace Potential
-
28Logan Webb
Ace Potential
-11
29Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
-1
30Luis Severino
Ace Potential
+1
31José Berríos
Ace Potential
-2
32Luis Castillo
Ace Potential
-
33Kyle Wright
Ace Potential
-
34Nestor Cortes
Ace Potential
+11
35Trevor Rogers
Ace Potential
-1
36Nathan Eovaldi
T6
Ace Potential
-1
37Joe Ryan
Ace Potential
+1
38Eric Lauer
Ace Potential
+2
39Sean Manaea
Ace Potential
+2
40Patrick Sandoval
Ace Potential
+4
41Tarik Skubal
Ace Potential
+6
42Alex Wood
Strikeout Upside
-
43Alex Cobb
Strikeout Upside
-
44Mike Clevinger
T7
Ace Potential
+4
45Logan Gilbert
Ace Potential
-9
46Blake Snell
Ace Potential
+UR
47Jordan Montgomery
Strikeout Upside
-1
48Luis Garcia
Strikeout Upside
+2
49Noah Syndergaard
Quality Starts
+3
50Michael Kopech
Ace Potential
-1
51George Kirby
Ace Potential
-
52Triston McKenzie
Strikeout Upside
+1
53Sonny Gray
Strikeout Upside
+1
54Tyler Mahle
Strikeout Upside
+1
55Eduardo Rodriguez
T8
Quality Starts
+3
56Framber Valdez
Quality Starts
+5
57Merrill Kelly
Quality Starts
-
58José Urquidy
Quality Starts
+1
59Ian Anderson
Cherry Bomb
+3
60Miles Mikolas
Toby
+3
61Jameson Taillon
Toby
+3
62Carlos Carrasco
Quality Starts
-2
63Adam Wainwright
Toby
+UR
64Drew Rasmussen
Toby
+1
65Paul Blackburn
Toby
+14
66Michael Lorenzen
Quality Starts
+6
67Kyle Bradish
T9
Quality Starts
+2
68Jon Gray
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+3
69Tony Gonsolin
Strikeout Upside
-2
70Garrett Whitlock
Strikeout Upside
-14
71Spencer Strider
Strikeout Upside
+2
72Josh Winder
Quality Starts
-4
73Chase Silseth
Strikeout Upside
+UR
74Hunter Greene
Cherry Bomb
+20
75Hyun Jin Ryu
T10
Toby
+UR
76Martín Pérez
Streaming Option
+UR
77Ranger Suárez
Toby
+5
78Marco Gonzales
Toby
+7
79Reid Detmers
Streaming Option
+11
80Chad Kuhl
Strikeout Upside
-10
81Kyle Hendricks
Cherry Bomb
+5
82Steven Matz
Toby
+2
83Tyler Anderson
Toby
-9
84Bruce Zimmermann
Toby
-4
85Zach Logue
Streaming Option
+UR
86JT Brubaker
T11
Streaming Option
+UR
87Cristian Javier
Stash Option
+4
88Josiah Gray
Cherry Bomb
+4
89Cal Quantrill
Toby
-11
90Madison Bumgarner
Toby
-7
91Jakob Junis
Streaming Option
-14
92Jordan Hicks
Stash Option
+1
93Chris Flexen
Toby
-18
94Corey Kluber
Toby
-7
95Kyle Gibson
Toby
-7
96Jake Odorizzi
Streaming Option
+1
97Dane Dunning
Streaming Option
-21
98Brad Keller
Streaming Option
-
99José Quintana
Streaming Option
+UR
100Daniel Lynch
Streaming Option
+UR

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

 

Photo by Nick Wosika/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.

  • definitely not glasscobra says:

    RABBLE RABBLE
    WHY IS THE PITCHER I LIKE SO LOW
    WHY IS THE PITCHER I DONT LIKE SO HIGH
    RABBLE RABBLE YOU SHOULD ADD NOTES FOR PEOPLE TO READ

  • Kate Upton says:

    Im sorry Nick but every week you have Verlander outside of the top 10 the list loses credibility. He’s the betting favorite to win the AL Cy Young and for good reason.

  • J says:

    Strider isnt starting tomorrow

  • Oddball Herrera says:

    For what it’s worth Strider pitched a couple innings this evening – I have heard that despite all the speculation they aren’t really seriously considering moving him into the rotation

  • NickFolesMVP says:

    Who is Nick’s most overrated pitcher? For me it’s between Musgrove, Manoah, and Montgomery

  • Big Mike says:

    Why no love for Jeffrey Springs? Solid : pitch mix, should be fully stretched out now (85 pitches last time out), Tampa effect. To be seen what happens when Baz and Patino come back but by then this kid could have a spot locked up. They’ve indicated they plan to use him as a traditional starter. I think he at least warrants a spot on the consideration list.

  • rainmaker says:

    Sonny Gray at 53? Seems very low imo

  • alex J says:

    why the hate on wainwright? Just a toby?

  • Account / Login
    >