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The List 5/2: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 4

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. 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.

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.

 

  • Hey. I know you’re bored seeing the same top five on The List each week, but that’s on other guys, not me. But Nick! Kevin Gausman has fanned 41 without issuing a walk! Joe Musgrove is INSANE right now! Yep yep yep. And it hasn’t even been a full month yet. If it sticks, then wonderful.
  • I had to move Sandy Alcantara down a touch as his control isn’t quite where it needs to be, especially on the slider. The stuff is insanely good and I think the feel will be there across the next five months.

 

  • With a pair of starts under his belt, Lucas Giolito is looking like the workhorse we drafted, pushing me to raise him into the Top 10 starters, above Robbie Raywho despite a small increase in velocity (sweet!) didn’t have his best command over the weekend.
  • We’re a start away from giving a slew of starters the AGA label in the third tier, and with my anticipation of their coronation, Max Fried, Alek Manoahand Justin Verlander all rose above the likes of Shane Bieber, Logan Webband Julio Urías

 

  • With regards to Shane Bieberit was a joy to see his curveball regain its spin and become effective again, but the fastball velocity is still severely lacking. It’s not a suggestion that he isn’t good for your fantasy teams, it’s more that he’ll see a bit more trouble consistently that makes him not a Top 10 arm at the moment.
  • There isn’t much new about Logan Webbit’s more that the other arms are flexing the ability to be a “supreme SP #1”, while Webb will likely hover a 25% strikeout rate with a low 3s ERA and lots of innings. It’s far from poor, just not elite elite, you know?

 

  • Are you a McClanafan? I sure am because Shane McClanahan has figured out the perfect cocktail of fastballs & secondaries to soar in 2022. There’s still a bit of a fastball problem with its hard-hit rate (30% HC on the four-seamer) but he’s taking the strides we want to see.
  • As for Julio Urías, it’s the same for him as it is with Bieber – the decrease in velocity makes him a bit more fragile, but he’s still obviously worth your time.

 

  • In Tier 4, we have plenty of arms who could be making it to Tier 3 as soon as next week. Dylan Cease is lighting up the Angels as I type this and hopefully his command continues to excel with his four-seamer and curveball. Pablo López has been all kinds of dominant, doing work to quell my concerns about his lack of repertoire depth. And Clayton Kershaw is the TATIAGA – without a hint of injury risk at the moment, there’s less time now for it to appear than the start of the year.

 

  • It was great to see a step in the right direction for Freddy Peraltaand as long as he can throw his curveball and slider in the zone, he’ll be lovely.
  • I’m sad Frankie Montas didn’t have his splitter over the weekend, but you have to believe he’ll get right back on the horse and continue plowing through the season productively.

 

  • The fifth tier is the tier of misfits – the ones with oh-so-much potential who have taken up our thoughts far too much in April. It’s important for us not to get too emotional about early troubles and believe in their raw ability to carry them through the year, but I’m here to tell you that I understand your strife. Just remember that those in the later tiers can fall off in a heartbeat while these pitchers have higher chances to redeem themselves through adversity.

 

  • So that starts with Zack WheelerWheeler came out firing 96 mph last week, but it came back down again to 95 mph in his last start. It was a productive outing, though seeing him get pulled down again is a bit disheartening. He may be destined to live in the 20s through the year, and that’s okay.
  • Luis Severino hasn’t touched his ceiling in his last two starts, but I’m a believer in his 96 mph velocity and that the feel for his breakers will return in due time. Don’t lose faith, the ceiling is so dang close.

 

  • Oh Charlie MortonYou struggled through the middle of May last year to follow it up with a 3.35 ERA the rest of the way, can you please do the same again this year? Your velocity hasn’t dipped and your curveball is still good – its horizontal movement has dropped about an inch and I’m hoping it’s just an early feel thing.
  • It’s not all bad in this tier. I’ve raised Zac Gallen as he cruised through a start against the Dodgers. His fastball command is excellent and with that foundation, all that’s missing are the changeup and/or slider to return to its former state. I believe, Gallen.

 

  • Tier 6, now there’s the good stuff. Despite a start where Kyle Wright had his worst command all season, he still rises as he showed he can pitch through the tough days to success. Tylord Megill helped the Mets earn their second no-hitter in franchise history, and Jesús Luzardo simply can’t be stopped.
  • It’s great to see Mike Clevinger return to The List as he’s set to make his first start of the season on Tuesday. I’m not exactly sure what we’ll see, but with a pair of outings before next week’s set of rankings, I elected to slot him at #40 – right where I had him in the preseason.

 

  • The seventh tier looks rough, but I still adore these pitchers. Eric Lauer just had two double-digit strikeout games as his four-seamer boasts a 22%+ swinging strike rate. It’s glorious, though I do wonder if his whole approach truly speaks to consistency like what those in Tier 6 are hinting at.
  • I’m a little worried about Michael Kopech’s new approach with a 94/95 mph heater (not 96+) and questionable secondaries, while Alex Wood got banged up and may not be as stable as the other options – I still adore Alex and his 92/93 mph heater, but I can’t ignore the injury risk + how well everyone else is performing.

 

  • Welcome back Alex Cobb to The List, who didn’t have a rehab outing and pitched…like it was a rehab outing. I imagine he’ll bounce back next time out as he still carried his improved velocity in this one.
  • It’s sad to watch the struggles of Tyler Mahlebut I imagine with a better schedule ahead and with his strong fastball in his quiver, Mahle will rebound shortly.

 

  • I elected to make the ninth tier a “Step above the Tobys before the Tobys” tier, filled with guys who you will depend on through year, plus some fun options. Merrill Kelly and Miles Mikolas squared off against each other this weekend and while Mikolas held more strikeouts, I expect the opposite for the rest of the year. Both can be stable options to rely on for a decent while, but if things turn south, don’t hold for too long.
  • I gave a massive boost to Drew Rasmussen as his cutter/slider combo was filthy to say the least. I’m not sure he can go 17 whiffs between them for another start, but it was a clear shift that could be sustainable to some degree. With the Athletics next, I’m picking him up and taking it from there.

 

  • What are you doing with Eduardo RodriguezHe’s had a rough schedule to begin the year and all our off-season thoughts of being in a better situation in Detroit should play out in his favor through the full season. But of course he has to go through the Astros next because it’s just that kind of year. I don’t have any issues with you dropping Rodriguez, but it better be for something that assuredly helps now.
  • Marcus Stroman came out of the gate shaky, but he’s recovered since and had his slider on point last time out. He should be a stable play once again.

 

  • Tier 10 is the last hurrah for ceiling and is filled with pitchers who could escalate by June, or fall off completely. The MacKenzie Gore situation is confusing to say the least – we expected him to be out of the rotation by now and with Mike Clevinger and Blake Snell returning (Is Snell actually returning this week?), it seems like the most logical move is to move Gore to Triple-A and keep Nick Martinez on as the sixth man. But hey, nothing is confirmed and Gore is looking great with his fastball/slider combo.

 

  • We have to talk about Matt BrashHis breakers are ridiculous and he tosses fastballs comfortably over 95 mph, but there’s little command and it makes him the “Chery Bomb” poster child. We’ve seen a lot more of the rugged times as of late, but there is a legit chance Brash makes a small tweak and can become the overwhelming, jaw-dropping arm we know he can be.
  • I elected to push newly debuted Kyle Bradish all the way to #65 as a balance to some of the high ceiling plays here. I see Bradish coming with a higher floor, rooted in a solid cutter and three legit secondaries. If he gets a bit more command with those breakers and changeup, I can see him returning a fair amount of strikeouts. For now, I’d pick him up for his start against the Twins and take it from there.

 

  • You see some red and it’s easy to understand why. Ranger Suárez isn’t commanding his pitches like last year, Hunter Greene has lost three ticks of velocity, and Reid Detmers has yet to find his slider. All of these can change on a dime, though, so keep your eye out this week.
  • I moved up Garrett Whitlock as he’s seemingly taken over Tanner Houck’s rotation spot, while also introducing Chris Paddack back to The List. His four-seamer is being elevated well + he’s tossing curveballs around 20% of the time. I’m not sure if more breakers is a great thing from Paddack, but it seems to be working so far with some easy matchups ahead.

 

  • Tier 11 is a mash of worse upside plays and some Tobys we hope can stand out. Carlos Carrasco hit the wall in his Vargas Rule as he’s yet to have an outing where both his changeup and slider were pristine, while I’m not sure I can buy into Josiah Gray’s recent performances. His fastball is too susceptible and the breakers aren’t commanded well, but at least he is getting great pitch separation. We’ll see how he develops.
  • We have three new pitchers joining The List in Tier 11. Chad Kuhl is throwing more sliders and gets a start in Arizona. Dane Dunning’s slider was legit as he commanded his entire arsenal incredibly well. And Taijuan Walker sat 94 mph as he made his first start off the IL. I’d anticipate Walker becoming a stable Toby like Cal Quantrilland stuck them in the same tier.

 

  • Oh, right. Nick MartinezI imagine the Padres will keep him in the rotation as the sixth man, but until we get some clarity there, I think his stuff is good enough to excel against the Marlins this week. Monitor this one.
  • Sitting atop the 12th tier is Madison Bumgarnerwho boasts a 1.17 ERA through 23 frames thus far. His fastball is sitting 91 mph (not sub 90!) and could provide dividends as he faces the Marlins twice in a row.

 

  • Has the magic fully left Adam WainwrightIt’s hard to consider him more than just a streaming option at the moment, but hopefully he can look like his old self soon.
  • With Bruce Zimmermann sporting a studly changeup and an improving slider, he could be a strong two-start play this week despite his sketchy fastball.

 

  • Tier 13 is your last hope for something more. I actually do think Glenn Otto could be someone to note moving forward, but with tough matchups this week, his time may arrive in the future. I wouldn’t jump at this quite yet.
  • Despite doing well this past week, I’m very much not ready to go after Mitch KellerUntil I see some legit success from his secondaires and his four-seamer stops allowing a ton of hard contact, I’m calling this one a trap.

 

  • The final tier showcases why I have the guys in Tier 10 ranked so highly – take chances because there are so many options to stream and chase if you’re looking for an arm to attempt six frames of decent ratios. Seriously, Cole Irvin may be the most Toby of Tobys and has earned me streaming victories already this season.
  • In fact, there are a fair amount of other pitchers who didn’t make The List this week who easily deserve it. Ross Stripling may work out as he gets two starts, Jake Odorizzi just went six strong for the Astros, Patrick Corbin finally earned some slider whiffs, Ryan Yarbrough is returning from the IL, Daniel Lynch could be turning the corner to provide value in Kansas City, h*ck José Quintana won a Golden GoalThere are options if need them.

 

  • As far as the ones I went with here, take your pick. Dakota Hudson has relied on the St. Louis defense and given you a pair of six-inning gems, for example.
  • Just be cautious about Jameson Taillon – he has to face the Jays twice in a row and I’d rather avoid that completely. No need to hold through the rough matchups.

 

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Corbin BurnesT1
Aces Gonna Ace
-
2Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
-
3Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
-
4Brandon Woodruff
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
-
5Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
-
6Kevin Gausman
Aces Gonna Ace
+3
7Joe Musgrove
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
8Sandy Alcantara
Aces Gonna Ace
-2
9Lucas Giolito
Ace Potential
+3
10Robbie Ray
Aces Gonna Ace
-3
11Carlos Rodón
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
-1
12Max Fried
Ace Potential
+3
13Alek Manoah
Ace Potential
+3
14Justin Verlander
Ace Potential
+3
15Shane Bieber
Ace Potential
-2
16Logan Webb
Ace Potential
-5
17Julio Urías
Ace Potential
-3
18Shane McClanahan
Ace Potential
+4
19Frankie Montas
T4
Ace Potential
-1
20Freddy Peralta
Ace Potential
-1
21Chris Bassitt
Ace Potential
-1
22Pablo López
Ace Potential
+3
23Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
+5
24Aaron Nola
Ace Potential
-
25Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
+2
26Zack Wheeler
T5
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
-5
27Trevor Rogers
Ace Potential
-1
28Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
+5
29José Berríos
Ace Potential
-
30Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
-
31Luis Severino
Ace Potential
-
32Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
-9
33Shohei Ohtani
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
-1
34Nathan Eovaldi
T6
Ace Potential
+1
35Kyle Wright
Ace Potential
+7
36Logan Gilbert
Ace Potential
-
37Tylor Megill
Ace Potential
+1
38Joe Ryan
Ace Potential
+1
39Jesús Luzardo
Ace Potential
+4
40Mike Clevinger
Ace Potential
+UR
41Patrick Sandoval
T7
Ace Potential
-7
42Eric Lauer
Ace Potential
+5
43Michael Kopech
Ace Potential
-3
44Sean Manaea
Ace Potential
-3
45Alex Wood
Strikeout Upside
-8
46Nestor Cortes
T8
Ace Potential
-1
47Tarik Skubal
Ace Potential
-3
48Jordan Montgomery
Strikeout Upside
+2
49Noah Syndergaard
Quality Starts
+2
50Alex Cobb
Strikeout Upside
+UR
51Luis Garcia
Strikeout Upside
+UR
52Tyler Mahle
Ace Potential
-6
53Triston McKenzie
Strikeout Upside
+2
54Merrill Kelly
T9
Quality Starts
+3
55Miles Mikolas
Streaming Option
+24
56Drew Rasmussen
Streaming Option
+30
57Eduardo Rodriguez
Strikeout Upside
-9
58Marcus Stroman
Quality Starts
+11
59Ian Anderson
Ace Potential
+1
60José Urquidy
Quality Starts
+2
61Framber Valdez
Quality Starts
-2
62MacKenzie Gore
T10
Ace Potential
+6
63Matt Brash
Cherry Bomb
-14
64Cristian Javier
Strikeout Upside
+2
65Kyle Bradish
Quality Starts
+UR
66Michael Lorenzen
Quality Starts
+1
67Ranger Suárez
Quality Starts
-9
68Hunter Greene
Strikeout Upside
-12
69Reid Detmers
Ace Potential
-5
70Chris Paddack
Streaming Option
+UR
71Garrett Whitlock
Strikeout Upside
+12
72Carlos Carrasco
T11
Quality Starts
-11
73Cal Quantrill
Quality Starts
+2
74Josiah Gray
Strikeout Upside
-2
75Chad Kuhl
Streaming Option
+UR
76Dane Dunning
Streaming Option
+UR
77Taijuan Walker
Streaming Option
+UR
78Nick Martinez
Quality Starts
-7
79Madison Bumgarner
T12
Streaming Option
+14
80Kyle Hendricks
Quality Starts
-7
81Bruce Zimmermann
Streaming Option
+3
82Adam Wainwright
Quality Starts
-12
83Steven Matz
Quality Starts
-5
84Paul Blackburn
Streaming Option
+6
85Tyler Anderson
Streaming Option
+7
86Marco Gonzales
Streaming Option
-9
87Germán Márquez
T13
Strikeout Upside
-7
88Tony Gonsolin
Strikeout Upside
-7
89Glenn Otto
Strikeout Upside
-7
90Mitch Keller
Strikeout Upside
-2
91Dylan Bundy
Streaming Option
-6
92Elieser Hernandez
Streaming Option
-5
93Jordan Hicks
Stash Option
-4
94Corey Kluber
T14
Streaming Option
-3
95Chris Flexen
Streaming Option
-1
96Cole Irvin
Streaming Option
-1
97Dakota Hudson
Streaming Option
-
98Jameson Taillon
Streaming Option
-22
99Brad Keller
Streaming Option
-3
100Zack Greinke
Streaming Option
-1

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.

  • Bob the Team Builder says:

    Might want to remove the very first sentence and the section above “other pitchers I considered”!

  • Tarik F. says:

    Love the list, but Sandoval deserved to lose 7 spots after giving up his first runs of the season in a QS? I don’t get that, especially b/c you’ve loved the guy.

    • Shae says:

      I agree here. I can’t believe my eyes

    • Ben Pernick says:

      I would guess it’s less about the results and more about the realization that the 6 man rotation is really happening in LAA and it’s reducing his total volume for Ks and wins. Of course his last start after the publication being ho-hum probably doesn’t help, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays here unless he starts pitching more frequently as he’s already been “lapped” by many other starters. Still love the talent though.

  • Chucky says:

    Would you consider starting two start Zimmerman with both starts at the new spacious Camden yards or one start from No No Megill with a start at CitiField v Atl?

  • Will says:

    I don’t really understand Jordan Montgomery being so high, is it because of the lack of competition in the 50’s or is there an upside that I’m not seeing? Like if choosing between Montgomery and Greene for the rest of the season, what would you do?

    • JA Seabass says:

      Double click Jordan Montgomery in the list above to see all the red (above avg. metrics). Favors advanced stats like CSW%, xwoBACON (mmm bacon), x & y movement, and spin rate over record, RS/9, strength of opponent, WHIP, ERA

  • JA Seabass says:

    Solid list, although Gomber and Houser should be included at this point over “higher ceiling” rookies that are struggling (naturally) with control or highly volatile, including but not limited to Brash, Detmers, Greene, & Martinez. Gomber (QS with a 2.09 ERA at home/Coors last season) and Houser (Sinker/GB specialist with a solid D behind him), over strikeout upside/ace potential until these rooks can find some consistency…usually after their first big league season.

  • LeftyNation says:

    Could there be a case for dropping Kopech for Whitlock?

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