The List 5/28: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Rank Change Pitcher Previous Best Worst
1 - Max Scherzer 1 1 2
2 - Chris Sale 2 2 3
3 - Corey Kluber 3 3 4
4 +9 Clayton Kershaw 13 1 15
5 -1 Luis Severino 4 4 6
6 -1 Justin Verlander 5 5 12
7 -1 Gerrit Cole 6 6 31
8 -1 Jacob deGrom 7 7 9
9 -1 Noah Syndergaard 8 5 9
10 -1 Stephen Strasburg 9 7 10
11 - Aaron Nola 11 11 14
12 - James Paxton 12 12 18
13 -3 Zack Greinke 10 9 13
14 +1 Charlie Morton 15 14 52
15 +1 Trevor Bauer 16 15 35
16 -2 Carlos Carrasco 14 10 16
17 +4 Madison Bumgarner 21 7 46
18 +2 Blake Snell 20 18 56
19 -1 Lance McCullers 18 18 37
20 -1 Carlos Martinez 19 13 20
21 -4 Shohei Ohtani 17 17 29
22 +12 Jose Berrios 34 19 38
23 +5 Alex Wood 28 23 44
24 +2 Michael Fulmer 26 24 40
25 +4 Miles Mikolas 29 25 63
26 -4 Patrick Corbin 22 16 55
27 +4 Dallas Keuchel 31 17 31
28 +8 J. A. Happ 36 28 71
29 +8 Jake Arrieta 37 23 37
30 +15 Nick Pivetta 45 30 69
31 +8 David Price 39 15 41
32 +12 Tyson Ross 44 32 73
33 +2 Luis Castillo 35 18 53
34 +4 Kyle Hendricks 38 34 44
35 +5 Gio Gonzalez 40 35 57
36 -3 Mike Clevinger 33 33 48
37 -14 Garrett Richards 23 23 37
38 +3 Dylan Bundy 41 18 50
39 -15 Masahiro Tanaka 24 21 39
40 +9 Andrew Heaney 49 40 95
41 -9 Zack Godley 32 16 41
42 +1 Chris Archer 43 17 44
43 -13 Yu Darvish 30 12 43
44 +4 Kenta Maeda 48 44 74
45 -18 Sean Manaea 27 18 53
46 -21 Rick Porcello 25 25 UR
47 +3 Walker Buehler 50 40 UR
48 -2 Jon Lester 46 34 48
49 +10 Alex Reyes 59 49 100
50 -3 Eduardo Rodriguez 47 35 76
51 - Caleb Smith 51 47 99
52 - Jameson Taillon 52 27 53
53 +4 Luke Weaver 57 28 72
54 +4 Michael Wacha 58 54 86
55 -1 Tanner Roark 54 54 94
56 -1 Jack Flaherty 55 55 85
57 -15 Jose Quintana 42 22 57
58 -5 Sean Newcomb 53 50 96
59 +6 Trevor Cahill 65 55 75
60 +25 Ross Stripling 85 60 85
61 +10 Jake Junis 71 50 95
62 +1 Fernando Romero 63 60 69
63 -3 Tyler Skaggs 60 60 93
64 +13 Nick Kingham 77 61 82
65 +2 Mike Foltynewicz 67 61 92
66 - Mike Soroka 66 51 66
67 -3 Luiz Gohara 64 64 UR
68 +2 Reynaldo Lopez 70 49 70
69 -13 Kevin Gausman 56 54 72
70 -9 Kyle Gibson 61 58 97
71 -9 Jon Gray 62 45 71
72 +9 Daniel Mengden 81 72 88
73 +7 Jake Odorizzi 80 61 98
74 +UR Joe Musgrove UR 66 91
75 -7 Chase Anderson 68 26 75
76 -7 Jeff Samardzija 69 30 76
77 -2 Cole Hamels 75 69 91
78 - Junior Guerra 78 78 93
79 -6 Sonny Gray 73 30 81
80 -1 Aaron Sanchez 79 50 80
81 +1 Mike Minor 82 53 92
82 -10 Joey Lucchesi 72 56 82
83 - CC Sabathia 83 79 96
84 +6 Vince Velasquez 90 73 97
85 +7 Kyle Freeland 92 85 92
86 -10 Tyler Mahle 76 64 86
87 +UR Zach Wheeler UR 67 87
88 -14 Domingo German 74 60 88
89 +UR Frankie Montas UR 89 89
90 +UR Jeremy Hellickson UR 90 90
91 -7 Matt Boyd 84 84 91
92 +1 Dan Straily 93 90 UR
93 -5 Jordan Lyles 88 88 93
94 -5 Zach Eflin 89 89 94
95 +1 Robbie Ray 96 16 98
96 +1 Johnny Cueto 97 34 99
97 +1 Marcus Stroman 98 41 99
98 +1 Jimmy Nelson 99 73 100
99 +1 Ervin Santana 100 99 100
100 +UR Anthony DeSclafani UR 66 UR

Welcome to The List – The weekly top 100 rankings of starting pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season. Use this list to help make choices on the waiver wire and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues. These rankings are made with 5×5 H2H standard 12-team leagues in mind.

Let’s talk about how the SP landscape has changed since last week:

  • Clayton Kershaw is coming back on Thursday, with Madison Bumgarner possibly returning on Friday. Carlos Martinez is supposed to return as soon as next weekend and Joey Lucchesi was supposed to be back by now. Injuries are annoying and I did my best to slot them right on The List.
  • There’s a tier drop right after James Paxton as Zack Greinke drops to #13, where he should have been two weeks ago.
  • I’ve talked about how the 20-50 ranks have always been super close and it was time for me to a do a massive overhaul as I feel more confident in risers and we have more data to abandon others.
  • Jose Berrios, Nick Pivettaand Tyson Ross are some of the biggest benefactors. Berrios has found his curveball again, Pivetta’s number dictate a Top 20 arm thus far and it’s surprisingly believable, and Ross has overcome each obstacle thus far to earn a Top 35 spot.
  • Masahiro Tanaka did improve his stock with a solid outing against the Angels Sunday, though his previous start against the Rangers reminded us of the shaky floor that has produced a 4.62 ERA and 1.73 HR/9 this year, forcing a sizeable drop.
  • It was also time for Zack Godley to take a fall as his curveball hasn’t gotten the results we’re used to.
  • The drops for Garrett Richards, Rick Porcelloand Sean Manaea is large, though I still favor them all over the waiver wire in 12-team leagues, save mostly for Andrew Heaney. They have struggled, but better times should be ahead.
  • I now give you full permission to drop Jose Quintanawho has been a massive headache this season. While he should turn it around this year, the players in front of him are producing now and could also be just as helpful through the summer.
  • There’s little reason not to chase Ross Stripling as he gets playing time in the Dodgers rotation. His 30%+ K rate and sub 5% walk rate is sublime.
  • Entering The List this week are Zach Wheeler (Excellent strikeout numbers), Jeremey Hellickson (on a roll and risky), Frankie Montas (upside but questionable playing time), Anthony Desclafani (Returning shortly and would be a Toby around the 70s), and Joe Musgrove (Tough schedule ahead, but looked great in his 2018 debut).
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.

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Comments


Lloyd

Kershaw has not thrown a MLB pitch in over a month and you bump him up +9 and knock Verlander back a spot?

How about letting Kershaw pitch a game or two for the Dodgers before saying that he is top tier again.

Nick Pollack

I mean, it’s one start and we’re talking about the best pitcher on the planet save for a one month span.

But okay, I understand that. Maybe I was a little too aggressive about it.

Ross Thomas

How do you feel about Jon Gray? ERA is abysmal yet his FIP numbers along with his SIERA going into just a few days ago were hovering around 3. I play in a league with scoring emphasis on Ks for pitchers. Should I expect a ERA regression back to a low-ish 4s or is there something else you’re seeing here? Thanks!

Scott

Would you cut manaea in a 10 team qs league and add either tallion or stripling? That home start vs a struggling AZ team who montas & mengden handled with ease was enough to make me pull the plug on him. Thx

Glenn

I know 2018 Fulmer is your 2017 Nola, but I can’t for the life of me understand why. His ERA is north of 4 (in line with FIP, xFIP), his K/9 is 8. He pitches for a crummy team so he won’t win many games. I know you like his arsenal, but that #24 ranking just seems sooooo optimistic. It’s like a private in-joke you and Sporer have with the rest of the fantasy community.

Oister

Very well said dude…feel the same way about the fulmer affair…I’ve invested a lot on him because Nick’s ranks…but neither buying this #24.

Manley Ramirez

Yes, this is well said. Continuing to rank Fulmer in top 40 is enough to make him “your guy” and get across the idea that K% has potential to increase based on arsenal. Don’t need #24.

Manley Ramirez

That said Wood at #23 may be even more baffling. You’ve pointed out that he’s wily enough to be effective despite decreased velo….that’s great for a nice floor, but ceiling is still capped is it not? Surprised to see him actually jump up this week.

Brad

Yes. How much longer does Fulmer have to be mediocre for him to drop in the rankings?

Nick Pollack

I mean, I know you’re kidding, but I want to make it clear that this ranking has nothing to do with Sporer’s feelings (I don’t even know where he ranks him).

I had some backlash on Fulmer on Reddit as well, so I hope it’s okay that I’m copying and pasting from there:

“Yeah, I totally get the problem with Fulmer.

Of course he hasn’t been a Top 25 starter thus far. One of the luxuries I have of running this site is that I get to follow my gut and not have someone else tell me I need to be more conservative at times.

My gut tells me that Fulmer is blossoming into the man he’s meant to be. Last six starts have returned a 3.44 FIP, 14% whiff rate, 1.18 WHIP, and 27% strikeout rate. That is the man I see coming to light from this point moving forward, finally recognizing how to properly wield his slide piece.

I could have placed him in the mid 30s, made everyone happy, and called it a day. But I felt uneasy about it and elected to go with what I’m feeling. I think that works better for everyone in the long run.”

Ryan

lol at all these Fulmer hating comments… but I totally agree with y’all. I love Nick’s work here and what he does for everyone in the fantasy arena, but Fulmer is way overrated on this (Nick’s) list. No hate towards Nick just certainly agree that the rank is way wrong.

Rollie Fingers’ Mustache

Nick, what’s your reasoning behind having Fulmer ranked so high? Him being at #24 seems crazy to me. I own Corbin and this list is technically telling me to drop him for Fulmer. But even with Corbin’s recent velocity issues, there’s no way that I would make that move.

Nick Pollack

I had some backlash on Fulmer on Reddit as well, so I hope it’s okay that I’m copying and pasting from there:

“Yeah, I totally get the problem with Fulmer.

Of course he hasn’t been a Top 25 starter thus far. One of the luxuries I have of running this site is that I get to follow my gut and not have someone else tell me I need to be more conservative at times.

My gut tells me that Fulmer is blossoming into the man he’s meant to be. Last six starts have returned a 3.44 FIP, 14% whiff rate, 1.18 WHIP, and 27% strikeout rate. That is the man I see coming to light from this point moving forward, finally recognizing how to properly wield his slide piece.

I could have placed him in the mid 30s, made everyone happy, and called it a day. But I felt uneasy about it and elected to go with what I’m feeling. I think that works better for everyone in the long run.”

aayush

nick pivetta, clevinger, castillo, weaver, happ and ross are all available, who would you pick up out of the list?

Matty B

I get your worry with Corbin…and I’ve been following the advanced stats throughout, but is it fair to continue to drop him weekly, while he’s making strides to continue to pitch well, even with lowered velocity? He’s 28 years old, in a walk year, and continuing to be the most impressive D’Backs pitcher this year. Top 20 shouldn’t be out of the question if he can continue to outsmart hitters.

With that said, who would you expect to move him for inside the top 30? I’ve tried 1:1 with pitchers like Manaea, Fulmer, in a dynasty league and got denied. Is there any upside names you’d flip him for that may be a bit lower on the list.

Nick Pollack

I think it’s super-optimistic to think that Corbin can sustain this with such a dramatic velocity drop. It’s rare thing for pitchers to not decline in production when this happens and we’ve seen enough starts at this valley to believe it’s not going to peak again. It makes for an excellent selling opportunity and by lowering him, I’m trying to get through the emotion of “while he’s making strides to continue to pitch well, even with lowered velocity.” I know where this comes from, and we need to overlook this belief for the probability of the situation. If we wait to see the performance decline, his price on the market will crater. Cash out now.

Mikolas seems like a solid target. Pivetta as well.

Greg

What’s this guy’s beef with Marco Gonzales? He hasn’t cracked the top 100 even after carrying a 2.08 era in his last 7 starts? Even when you include his clunkers to start the season he owns a 3.38 xfip. A 3.60 fip. A 3.78 sierra. A 3.38 DRA. He has a prospect background. He’s using two new pitches(a cutter and a sinker). Now I’m not saying Marco is the next Randy Johnson. I ain’t even saying he’s the next Freddy Garcia. But he’s gotta be better than an Anthony DeSclafani. No?

Nick Pollack

Greg, I’m curious why both times you elected to say “this guy’s beef” when you’re talking to “this guy.”

Anyway, here’s the response I gave you on Reddit if you haven’t seen it:

I will 100% concede that I thought Marco was already on The List so I didn’t add him to the people I needed to add and he got kinda lost in the whole “there are 100 starters here to keep track of” situation.

That being said, he’d probably be around #75-80. I don’t buy him long term at all, but I recognize he’s on a hot streak and I don’t have objections to rolling him out for now. His repertoire doesn’t speak to sustainability and I see this as 2017 Jason Vargas 2.0.

I know he’s performed well thus far and the DIPS numbers like him, but the underlying numbers and repertoire that those high level broad strokes of the brush dictate don’t sell me on a long-term arm.

The way I see it, let’s take that 3.78 SIERA thus far and acknowledge that Marco may be pitching better than his actual ability. There’s a 4.00 ERA pitcher hiding in here in my view.

I think we’ll see that sooner rather than later, but for now, go ahead, roll with him while he’s hot.

Steven

Hey Nick,
With guys coming off DL, need to drop a SP. Should I drop Kingham or Samardzija? Very deep league.
Thanks
Steven

Steven

I need to amend the question with Samardzija going on the DL. Would you drop Kingham or Sonny Gray?

Caleb

Can I ask why Robbie Ray is so low? Just started following this website/podcast. Is it because he is hurt or because you don’t he is a good pitcher?

Andrew

Hurt. If you look at the column to the right you’ll see he was as high as #16. He was #19 right before the injury. Here is what Nick said the list after the injury,

“An oblique injury took Robbie Ray out of his start on Sunday and I have to imagine he’s landing on the DL for a good while, forcing a massive drop.”

Justin

Cause he blows and his stuff is average, can’t strike people out. He has 12 strike outs all together in his last 4 games and a near 6.00 ERA, with a 1-2 record on a high powered offense.

Paul

Happy to see Stripling get a big jump. On your daily podcast you seemed low on him still. 22% hard contact allowed and a 27.8% K-BB and 2.22 FIP. .333 BABIP means he’s probably even been unlucky with all that soft contact. .296 career BABIP. Do you think he can continue climbing up the rankings or are you still not buying in? Thanks!

JV

Nick,

If Archer is OUT this week – who would you start? Hamels vs Hou, Aaron Sanchez vs Balt, or Lance Lynn vs LAA. Choose 1 of them. Thank you!

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