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The List 5/23: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 7

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.

 

  • You’re going to see a whole lotta green today. Not because I’m generous, well I am, but not for this. No, it’s because Max Scherzer, Freddy Peraltaand Mike Clevinger were all removed, granting an innate “+3” to all outside the Top 40. Congrats, you deserved it.
  • It means we only have three in the top tier this week. Back to the three amigos, I guess.

 

  • The second tier didn’t open up like last week, but I did some small shuffling. I elected to lower Max Fried and Lucas Giolitonot because they were lacking, but because Justin Verlander and Shane McClanahan are just that dang good. I don’t think my assessments of Fried and Giolito are any different than they were a week ago.
  • The third tier is interesting. I can see many wanting me to give sizeable jumps to my two favorite stalwarts Zack Wheeler and Sandy Alcantarathough I’m waiting for their grand ascensions to Tier 2 and an AGA label for next week. Just give me one more stellar start, you lovely, lovely people.

 

  • No, I’m not lowering Robbie RayHe’s pumping 94+ mph heaters with a ton of whiffs each start and two bad innings across two full starts do not dictate demise. His skillset is better than we’ve seen all year and I’m all for it.
  • I gave a small drop to Frankie Montas moreso because Aaron Nola and Dylan Cease are looking more consistent (despite Nola’s luck) than Montas’ splitter.

 

  • I have some concerns about Shane Bieber’s 90/91 mph velocity (it was nearly 94 mph in 2020!), but his breakers are missing a ton of bats to make it still worthwhile.
  • I expanded the fourth tier a bit to include Shohei Ohtani, Zac Gallen, and Julio Uríasthough they have some reasonable concerns that make them distant from the Top 15. Ohtani’s health brings me worry, Gallen’s infrequently changeup and slider is disheartening, and Urías doesn’t come with the same punch on his heater.

 

  • I didn’t do a whole lot to Tier 4, which means they all have wonderful boosts this week. Nathan Eovaldi joins the tier after having the best splitter I’ve seen from him in ages. I don’t trust it’ll be there forever, but hey, that’s a cool thing that could appear again.
  • The fifth tier starts with Eric Lauer and Nestor Cortesboth strong southpaws who are carving up offenses. I trust Lauer’s long-term outlook a touch more after Nestor earned just a pair of whiffs on his four-seamer. Lauer’s four-seamer’s 20% SwStr is the highest among all starting pitchers and you should care about that.

 

  • I gave a large drop to Charlie Morton and it certainly looks like it means I’ve lost faith in Morton. In actuality, it’s another week of the same question marks from Morton while Skubal, Sandoval, Ryan, etc. all keep proving that they are fantastic starters for your teams. The scales have tipped and Morton took a tumble.
  • Do note that Morton is still Top 40. Make this more of a celebration of guys like Tarik Skubal putting it together instead of a dismissal of Morton. Please.

 

  • I did a weird thing. Blake Snell, Michael Kopechand Logan Gilbert felt lost in this world between worlds. A bridge in the stars, standing between two doors. One leads to success and joy. The other is the land of the forgotten, full of despair and struggle. I feel as though this lost trio are all a step closer to the wonderous plane of existence than those below and felt they needed a tier to themselves. Let’s hope Snell makes his fastball adjustment, Kopech keeps his velocity, and Gilbert’s slider earns whiffs.

 

  • Tier seven is where things begin to get messy. Seriously, there’s such a shrug when it comes to #42-#73. I trust all of you reading this will not go nuts about someone ranked in the high 60s you like more than a guy in the low 50s…right? PLEASE UNDERSTAND.
  • I’ve given a sizeable raise to Framber Valdez this week. Among this sea of uncertainty, Valdez feels more stable than the rest. I don’t think you’ll see him any higher than this across the season – I feel like he’s firmly planted moving forward – and recognize that this rank is more representative of the skepticism I have for those below him than validation for Valdez.

 

  • Trevor Rogers has fallen down here as we’re another start further and he’s yet to capture the magic of his changeup and slider once again. If I were a betting man, I’d say his they both return before the all-star break, and it’s so hard to determine what you should do. I recognize the pain, do whatever you need to do and don’t feel bad about it.
  • Some may be surprised to see George Kirby still inside the Top 50, and the reasoning is simple. His four-seamer creates a high floor and I’m not letting 4 ER off a pair of Trevor Story homeruns suddenly change that. I wish his slider was a better whiff pitch, but his floor should be reasonably high moving forward.

 

  • Tier 8 is a struggle and I still don’t know if I did the right thing placing some of these guys above those in Tier 9 or not. It’s the point of The List where we’re up against the way of the premier Toby pitchers (Sup Miles Mikolas) and I’m determining if you’re better off chasing a higher ceiling or settling for a good floor.
  • I reluctantly gave a large drop to Alex Woodwhich doesn’t seem incredibly fair given a start in Coors last week + a matchup against the lefty-mashing Padres. That said, normally those in poor matchups come on top at least once, and Wood, despite sitting 92 mph, isn’t instilling confidence at the moment. Hold onto him for the Reds this week and pray the slider returns in full.

 

  • With Jon Gray healthy and facing the Athletics & rays next, I’m stoked for what’s ahead. His slider is looking great, he’s sitting above 95 mph, and can be a consistent producer for your squads moving forward.

 

  • We start to devolve a good amount into a weekly ranking here, where there are many pitchers you don’t want to hold onto if you’re not starting them that week – it’s simply not worth the roster spot to stash them as you bench them vs. the Dodgers. Keep that fluidity in mind from this point onward.
  • Among the solid Toby arms is the return of Marcus Stroman, plus Drew Rasmussenwho once again had an outburst of whiffs with his slider and cutter. I’m skeptical he can repeat it, but it may spell a massive rise on the next few weeks.

 

  • I made a small Tier 10 containing the upside plays in between Toby tiers. MacKenzie Gore is now starting for the Padres with Clevinger on the IL and could come into form. Tony Gonsolin finally had a wonderful night throwing strikes with his slider, and Cristian Javier overwhelmed the Rangers with his four-seamer. Let’s hope they all soar with their new hype.
  • I’m awfully shocked that Hunter Greene has suddenly shifted to being a slider-first pitcher, 98+ mph heater second. This could play out like peak Huascar Ynoa if he’s able to consistently earn strikes with the slide piece. Suddenly I’m back in on Hunter…?

 

  • I’m stoked to see Aaron Ashby firmly in the rotation for the Brewers moving forward with Freddy Peralta’s injury. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of his first start against the Padres, but I envision him taking strides once in rhythm of the rotation and becoming a legit arm through the year.

 

  • The 11th tier is bookended by Tobywith Roansy Contreras plopped in the middle. Contreras is making his 2022 debut against Rockie Road followed by a tough start against the Dodgers and my instinct is that he won’t be worth your time until after that second start. That said, he throws hard with a strong breaker and could be an impact play moving forward. Feel free to pick him up and see how he pitches on Tuesday.
  • As for the Tobys, it’s hard to deny the Vargas Rule that is Martín Pérez right now, while Hyun Jin Ryu is in a good position to steal some Wins for Toronto.

 

  • Sadly, I had to give a dip to Merrill Kellywho hasn’t had the 93+ mph velocity nor his new changeup we saw in early April. He is who he is.
  • Carlos Carrasco has gone through ups and downs this year and his last start was the first without either his slider or changeup giving him support. It’s a tough start ahead against the Phillies, and I see him more as a matchup play than a must-roster.

 

  • Keep in mind, Michael Lorenzen has performed well against the Athletics lately and I still question if he’s able to produce against stronger opponents, like the Blue Jays later this week. He’s not someone you hold on through gauntlets of opponents.
  • Lastly, Marco Gonzales has looked like the best version of himself and he slides comfortably inside the Top 75 because of it. Not sure this will last too long, though.

 

  • Instead of an upside tier, I felt there was another tier of Toby arms who were simply a step down from the others for Tier 12. Zach Eflinfor example, just exploded for 12 strikeouts against the Dodgers, but it was caused by a sudden start of 33% curveballs…and we can’t trust yet that he’ll have a similar approach moving forward.
  • Is there a more consistent Toby out there than Cal QuantrillYou’ll be hard pressed to find one, sadly he doesn’t play for a winning team like Tyler Anderson does.

 

  • I don’t see Paul Blackburn as a pitcher you need to covet on your teams, thus dropping him down to #78. Feel free to still roll with him, but he isn’t as solid as the others.
  • I hope Ranger Suárez can get consistent with his changeup – he’ll need to if he wants to soar like he did in 2021.

 

  • Finally, some upside. The next two tiers are your ceiling guys who have a shot at breaking above the boring floor guys above. Tier 13 is all about “yeah, but is this real?” with six new entries to The List. Yusei Kikuchi has been on a roll that I feel is a bit of smoke and mirrors, Nick Pivetta has allowed just 2 ER in his last three starts but we’ve seen this story before, Jeffrey Springs has a gorgeous changeup…and not much else (91/92), while Brady Singer had a changeup and now doesn’t, making him the same ole two-pitch guy from 2021.

 

  • Sadly, those who took stabs at Garrett Whitlock and Kyle Bradish are feeling the pain at the moment. It happens, and it doesn’t mean they are destined to struggle across the next 4.5 months. There’s a chance they turn it around as soon as next start.
  • Justin Steele just fanned ten Diamondbacks hitters…and I really don’t buy it. Feel free to take the chance if you like, but I don’t think it’s going to work out in the end. There just isn’t enough there + his command is far from precise.

 

  • To end the tier is Matthew Liberatorewho wasn’t all too impressive in his MLB debut over the weekend. He’s taking the place of Steven Matz and hopefully it’ll give him the chance to develop his heater further, backing up his excellent hook.
  • Tier 14 is a crew of guys who could be something, but I have lower expectations on them hitting it in the short term. Okay, save for Chad Kuhl and JT Brubaker who make for decent streams against weak opponents and face off against each other tonight. I’m curious how that one will play out.

 

  • It does mean I’m mostly out on Chase Silseth for now, as he was a guy to pursue with a start against the Athletics and take it from there. Now with the Jays ahead, I don’t see enough to warrant starting him there or stashing him for future outings.
  • really hope Reid Detmers can find his slider in the near future, but until then, I’d sit this out. His fastball/curveball combo relies too heavily on balls in play for my rosters.

 

  • And finally, we have the bottom tier, containing a few extra pitchers to consider if you need a stream, depending on the matchup. James Kaprielian could turn into a solid choice through the year, Dane Dunning may have his best command and carry him through starts, and Nick Martinez could take advantage of his time back in the rotation.
  • I like to feature an interesting name at #100 and this week it’s Alex Faedowho boasts a slider with a 23% SwStr rate. That pitch alone could return against a repeat matchup against the Guardians and appear on many fantasy managers’ radars.

 

  • There were a lot of questions about JP Sears in the chat today and I elected not to rank him as it’s a spot start. I generally don’t play guys making their first starts in the majors, and with the expectation of Sears going back to the minors after, I don’t think he’s worth your time.

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Corbin BurnesT1
Aces Gonna Ace
-
2Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
-
3Kevin Gausman
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
4Brandon Woodruff
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
5Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
6Joe Musgrove
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
7Carlos Rodón
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
+2
8Justin Verlander
Aces Gonna Ace
+5
9Shane McClanahan
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
10Lucas Giolito
Aces Gonna Ace
-2
11Alek Manoah
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
12Max Fried
Aces Gonna Ace
-2
13Pablo López
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
14Sandy Alcantara
Ace Potential
+2
15Zack Wheeler
Ace Potential
+3
16Chris Bassitt
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
17Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
-
18Aaron Nola
Ace Potential
+2
19Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
+2
20Frankie Montas
Ace Potential
-1
21Julio Urías
Ace Potential
+2
22Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
+2
23Shane Bieber
Ace Potential
+4
24Shohei Ohtani
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
+1
25Logan Webb
T4
Ace Potential
+3
26Luis Severino
Ace Potential
+4
27Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
+2
28José Berríos
Ace Potential
+3
29Luis Castillo
Ace Potential
+3
30Kyle Wright
Ace Potential
+3
31Nathan Eovaldi
Ace Potential
+5
32Eric Lauer
T5
Ace Potential
+6
33Nestor Cortes
Ace Potential
+1
34Joe Ryan
Ace Potential
+3
35Patrick Sandoval
Ace Potential
+5
36Tarik Skubal
Ace Potential
+5
37Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
-11
38Sean Manaea
Ace Potential
+1
39Blake Snell
T6
Ace Potential
+7
40Logan Gilbert
Ace Potential
+5
41Michael Kopech
Ace Potential
+9
42Framber Valdez
T7
Quality Starts
+14
43Alex Cobb
Strikeout Upside
-
44Trevor Rogers
Ace Potential
-9
45Triston McKenzie
Strikeout Upside
+7
46Sonny Gray
Strikeout Upside
+7
47George Kirby
Ace Potential
+4
48Jordan Montgomery
T8
Strikeout Upside
-1
49Luis Garcia
Strikeout Upside
-1
50Bailey Ober
Quality Starts
+UR
51Noah Syndergaard
Quality Starts
-2
52José Urquidy
Quality Starts
+6
53Jon Gray
Strikeout Upside
+15
54Tyler Mahle
Strikeout Upside
-
55Alex Wood
Strikeout Upside
-13
56Ian Anderson
Cherry Bomb
+3
57Miles Mikolas
T9
Quality Starts
+3
58Drew Rasmussen
Toby
+6
59Jameson Taillon
Toby
+2
60Marcus Stroman
Quality Starts
+UR
61Adam Wainwright
Quality Starts
+2
62MacKenzie Gore
T10
Ace Potential
+UR
63Tony Gonsolin
Strikeout Upside
+6
64Cristian Javier
Strikeout Upside
+23
65Hunter Greene
Cherry Bomb
+9
66Aaron Ashby
Ace Potential
+UR
67Carlos Carrasco
T11
Quality Starts
-5
68Martín Pérez
Streaming Option
+8
69Hyun Jin Ryu
Toby
+6
70Roansy Contreras
Strikeout Upside
+UR
71Michael Lorenzen
Quality Starts
-5
72Marco Gonzales
Quality Starts
+6
73Merrill Kelly
Quality Starts
-16
74Tyler Anderson
T12
Toby
+9
75Zach Eflin
Quality Starts
+UR
76Ranger Suárez
Toby
+1
77Cal Quantrill
Quality Starts
+12
78Paul Blackburn
Toby
-13
79Yusei Kikuchi
T13
Strikeout Upside
+UR
80Nick Pivetta
Strikeout Upside
+UR
81Brady Singer
Quality Starts
+UR
82Jeffrey Springs
Streaming Option
+UR
83Garrett Whitlock
Strikeout Upside
-13
84Kyle Bradish
Strikeout Upside
-17
85Justin Steele
Streaming Option
+UR
86Matthew Liberatore
Stash Option
+UR
87Chad Kuhl
T14
Strikeout Upside
-7
88JT Brubaker
Streaming Option
-2
89Chase Silseth
Strikeout Upside
-16
90Reid Detmers
Streaming Option
-11
91Jordan Hicks
Stash Option
+1
92Josiah Gray
Cherry Bomb
-4
93Kyle Gibson
T15
Toby
+2
94Madison Bumgarner
Toby
-4
95Kyle Hendricks
Cherry Bomb
-14
96Dane Dunning
Streaming Option
+1
97James Kaprielian
Toby
+UR
98Zach Logue
Streaming Option
-13
99Nick Martinez
Streaming Option
+UR
100Alex Faedo
Strikeout Upside
+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 Ken Murray/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.

  • Ben Chang says:

    How does it affect the way you value/view Ryu in a league where K/BB is a category (? I treat him like a Toby in that I don’t start him in unfavorable matchups (like his road matchup against the Angels this week), but I’m reluctant to cut him loose when he’s been such a K/BB asset even in his recent decline years.

    • Ben Chang says:

      I may be holding onto the past too much; I just remember the Ryu of 2019 and 2020 as an ol’ reliable who helped me to championships in 2019 and 2020 in the dynasty league where I own him.

  • Frankie says:

    I want to believe in advanced metrics. I want to buy in to your analysis and The List. But Alex Cobb is making all of that very difficult. I am a sane person. I am logical. And seeing the same thing happen over and over yet hoping for a new result is not working out — and it’s sinking my fantasy team.
    At some point we have to go with results over everything.
    Alex Cobb may not be who you want him to be.

  • Dirty Birdie says:

    I agree with Cobb. It’s insanity to see him in the top 50. I’d also rank Javier much higher (top 35-40) being that he’ll be in the rotation for the foreseeable future.

  • dimebolt57 says:

    Switch Andersons

  • roger says:

    what about cueto

  • James says:

    cortes is not getting the love he deserves, should be higher

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