The List 5/30: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 8

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 (Not Ranked In Order)

 

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.

 

  • Yo. It’s me. The Notes. I’m here to tell you that Brandon Woodruff is on the IL with an ankle injury, which means everyone outside Tier 1 gets an innate +1It changes a lot so keep that in mind.
  • Tier 2 gets another innate boost as Walker Buehler fell down to #12 this week. I felt it was time for the Ace of Very Good to take a hit as others are flat-out dealing and look to stay that way. He’s not bad at all, just not elite like he used to be armed now with a whiff-less four-seamer.

 

  • Let’s welcome Sandy Alcantara and Zack Wheeler back to Tier 2 as they received their AGA labels this week. They’ve been pitching like the arms I expected them to be in the pre-season and it’s a glorious thing.
  • Meanwhile, I gave a slight dip to Lucas Giolitoplacing him behind Wheeler. He hasn’t been overwhelmingly dominant yet this year and while I expect it to come, I felt a little better slotting him at #11 for now.

 

  • In Tier 3…pretty much nothing has changed. I stared at it and didn’t see anything outlandish and outside of bumping up Wheeler and Sandy, it’s essentially stayed the same.
  • …expected for Luis Severino who steps in at the bottom of the tier. I’m loving the trajectory of Severino and feel confident his ability is only getting better with more time removed from his Tommy John Surgery. He deserves the push.

 

  • I did some shuffling in Tier 4, bringing Tarik Skubal, Eric Lauerand Nestor Cortes into the bunch. All three have been fantastic southpaws and continue to earn the trust of their fantasy managers with each start. There are still some slight concerns from each arm that we hope get resolved over time, but you could see all three continue their ascension in future weeks.
  • The back half of the third tier isn’t so lucky. I still consider José Berríos a solid (and actual) buy low candidate since his track record and repertoire speak to his underlying numbers improving (it’s not just what his xStats look like!) but I had to drop him a few spots. Meanwhile, I still like Kyle Wrightbut his command has been more volatile in the last month than it was in early April and I can’t shake the feeling he’ll struggle to hold onto it through the year.

 

  • Don’t freak out! Joe Ryan was removed from The List creating another innate +1 to Tier 5 and later. It means Patrick Sandoval and Charlie Morton didn’t change despite an urge of mine to lower them both this week. I’d give it one more week for each to see if they can lock into being the pitchers we know they can be.
  • I gave a bump to Triston McKenzie as his heater has done great things this year. I’m a little skeptical his breaking ball command is where it needs to be to continue his hot start, but you’re letting him fly constantly right now.

 

  • Tier 6 is the beginning of things getting a bit messy. I elected to raise the strong Toby types of Jameson Taillon and Marcus Stroman into the Top 50 as they’ve felt a bit more sturdy and reliable than those outside the Top 50. I could have had them at the start of Tier 8, but this felt right to do instead.
  • Otherwise, Tier 6 is a weird place to me. Guys like Jordan Montgomery, Noah Syndergaardand Luis Garcia aren’t inspiring confidence at an AGA run at any point this year, but I can’t ignore how they’ve helped teams and have decent enough stuff to hint at strikeouts as well. So here they are, just inside the Top 50 as you’re not going to let them go to the wire.

 

  • Tier 7 is a fun crew of young arms. It leads with MacKenzie Gore, Cristian Javierand Tony Gonsolin all getting raises as they have swooped up in all leagues by now. Gore is pitching at his peak with what seems to be a rotation spot, Javier is peppering the top of the zone with four-seamers, and Gonsolin is making it work – his slider has been better in his last two starts – for a winning team.
  • What do we do with Trevor RogersHis last start came with 52% changeup usage, which I’m encouraged by, but it didn’t come with his best fastball and his slider is still lacking. I ultimately felt he wasn’t worth the hold over the other excelling young arms and brought him down to 53.

 

  • Now that Aaron Ashby is locked into the Brewers rotation, he should be a part of rotations everywhere. Grab him if he’s still available, as I type this before he starts against the Cubs tonight.
  • I was tempted to slot Jeffrey Springs into this tier as well and still regret I didn’t push him up higher last week. Springs features a 91+ mph four-seamer he elevates effectively with an elite changeup and a solid breaker. He reminds me most of Patrick Sandoval at the moment (even if the changeup wasn’t great last time out…for both pitchers!) and there’s a chance the Rays let him go past the 80 pitch mark in future outings. Pick him up and see what happens.

 

  • You may be alarmed to see Tyler Mahle fall three spots after having arguably his best start of the season against the Giants at home. Thing is, I didn’t touch the guy – that’s all the other double-digit positive guys rising above him – as I’m skeptical he can earn 6 whiffs on each of his slider, splitter, and four-seamer moving forward. He’s traditionally just a four-seamer focused pitcher and I’m not buying 12 whiffs from his splitter + slider in the future.
  • There’s also Alex Wood dropping a few spots and it’s the same thing as Mahle. Let’s see Wood do it a second time before any jumps back up.

 

  • The rest of Tier 8 is mostly reserved for Toby types. At this point, you’re going to see a good amount of large numbered moves up & down, including Tyler Anderson jumping 15 spots to #59. While I’d be shocked if I had him inside the Top 40 at any point this year, I can’t deny how he’s taken full advantage of great matchups, earning Wins as he pitches for the Dodgers. There’s legit value there.
  • I wasn’t sure where to place Martín Pérez as he’s a must-start at the moment but it could last just another week or so. Whatever, pick him up, start him, and see where it takes you.

 

  • I gave a decent drop to Bailey Ober and Ian Anderson this week as both are simply not the consistent arms you want to be at the moment. I can see both demanding higher spots next week and for now, they get a bump.
  • And then there’s Roansy Contreraswho did well but not spectacularly across his first two outings. It’s hazy to me if Contreras will be a regular provider for your fantasy teams and while I’d roster him, I don’t expect him to push the needle as much as those in Tier 7.

 

  • After our main Toby tier comes another ceiling tier and leading the way are a pair of Red Sox arms in Nick Pivetta and Garrett WhitlockThe results have come Pivetta’s way in the last few weeks, while I think there’s something more to tap into with Whitlock. I’d heavily consider rostering both and seeing where they take you.
  • I’m sad to see Jon Gray fall this week but I didn’t have a choice – his slider was poor against the lowly Athletics. It doesn’t instill a whole lot of confidence moving forward, but I’d still roster him over your standard decent arms below – the ceiling still exists for a major impact arm.

 

  • To round out the ninth tier, I gave a bump to Brady Singer as he’s been doing great things with his sinker and slider. It’s not coming with an effective third pitch, sadly, making me skeptical he’ll perform at this level through the year. Still, I can see him helping in the short term.
  • We’re back to Toby pitchers in Tier 10, leading with Hyun Jin Ryu and Carlos CarrascoI don’t see them as major plays for the year, but you’re fine having both on your squads.

 

  • I dropped Miles Mikolas after he got roughed up as I think he’s more of the middling arm than an exceptional pitcher you have to hold. It was a fun opening run.
  • I also gave drops to Adam Wainwright and José Urquidy and I think their managers would agree. Waino’s 2021 magic seems to have…waned thus far in the season, while Urquidy isn’t quite doing enough in his arsenal – he sat a tick harder two starts ago and it faded last time out. It was difficult to justify their higher ranks and I lowered them.

 

  • Ah yes. Spencer StriderWhat are we to do with him? Is Atlanta actually allowing him to stretch out as a starter? Is that even a good thing? I think around #75 is where you might as well stash him if you have a spot, but don’t go after him instead of other pitchers who can actually go six frames this week. He’ll be on a short pitch count today, then gets Coors over the weekend, making this a proper stash play for next week’s games. Let’s hope he pitches well enough to make it worthwhile.
  • Despite the great outing against the Astros, I didn’t feel a need to raise Marco Gonzales this week. He only fanned two for a reason and it’s a risky proposition to throw him out there each time. I’m okay with it, he’s just not doing something so incredible that I need to start him.

 

  • If you’re still here, I’m proud of you. You, yes you, rock. You also get the added information that these pitchers are so dang close in value – if you like someone in Tier 11 more than someone in Tier 8, great! I honestly don’t feel super strong about it, it’s hard when you have 25 shades of blue and they all look like blue, you know?
  • Annnnyway, we continue to Tier 11 where Chris Flexen returns after looking strong against the Astros. It’s good to see him back on the horse and hopefully it means he’ll be a decent 12-team play moving forward.

 

  • There’s also Corey Kluber and Matthew Liberatore in tier 11 this week. Kluber had his cutter and breaker working well against the Yankees, while Liberatore is getting an extended stay in the Cardinals rotation with the injury to Jordan HicksI hope Liberatore can figure out how to make his fastballs work consistently as the curveball is a strong #2 offering.
  • Sorry Merrill KellyI haven’t seen your great changeup for a good while now, and even tossing 93/94 mph in your last start didn’t save you. I hope you rebound, but you’re not the hot commodity you were in April without that slowball.

 

  • Tier 12 is a whole lot of shrugging. I can see all of these pitchers acting as decent streamers, but they don’t have that element of “can they actually be something legit?” like Yusei Kikuchi does in Tier 11…even if I don’t buy into his hot streak. So ignore the major positive numbers here – jumping from 96 to 84 really isn’t a big deal in the slightest for Dane DunningSeriously Dunning, I don’t buy your schtick still.
  • Sadly, Zach Eflin’s curveball wasn’t enough against the Mets, even if he did toss it over 20% of the time for the second straight start. It’s hard to roster him at the moment with the Angels up next.

 

  • It’s been a horrid 2022 for Ranger Suárezwho is still missing his changeup. Move on if you haven’t already.
  • I had some hope that Hunter Greene could make his slider 1st, fastball 2nd approach work, but the dang heater is still too hittable. It’s just too risky now.

 

  • Welcome back to The List Jakob Junis as he gets more starts for the Giants with his slider looking great again. Let’s hope the changeup can also take form, too.
  • I wonder if Alex Faedo’s slider can be a double-digit whiff machine again, or if his early starts were more of an anomaly. Something to monitor moving forward.

 

  • In the bottom tier, Kyle Bradish is making it awfully hard to roster him and I’d be searching elsewhere. I still recognize the ability to whip together a double-digit strikeout game, but it’s hard to envision when that will happen again.
  • I thought I was going to remove Josiah Gray from The List this week, but he does get the Reds and Marlins this week and I could see him racking up enough strikeouts to make him worthy, if you need that.

 

  • Joining The List this week are Cole IrvinDavid Peterson, Edward Cabrera, Daniel Lynchand Graham AshcraftIrvin is a Toby with bad matchups, Peterson could be a streamer this week, and Lynch has a chance to earn a ton of whiffs with sliders once again. Keep an eye on the tall southpaw.
  • With Cabrera, he’s getting the call to start in Coors on Tuesday, then follows it up against the Giants. I wouldn’t start him for either game, but he could make for a stash option.

 

  • And at the coveted #100 spot is Graham Ashcrafta Cincinnati Reds right-hander who hurls upper 90s sinkers and cutters. He currently struggles with his slider control (sub 50% strike rate, blegh), but if he’s able to make an adjustment to get his breaker over the plate consistently, he could suddenly rack up the strikeouts. Keep an eye for him.

 

  • Finally, Ethan Small did look solid for two innings today before a tough third frame. I don’t expect him to get another start for a while – the Brewers have an off-day next week to cover Brandon Woodruff’s spot – so I wouldn’t consider him for my teams at the moment.
  • As for Grayson Rodriguezif he were to get called up this week, I’d likely rank him around Tier 7/Tier 8. Not a bad spec add to make right now.

 

  • Note: There’s word that Sonny Gray may hit the IL soon with a sore pectoral muscle. I would have Chase Silseth on The List in that case, hoping Silseth can get whiffs back on his splitter.

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

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

2 responses to “The List 5/30: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 8”

  1. Big Mike says:

    climb the ladder, Zac (Gallen). We believe in you.

  2. theKraken says:

    First time I have looked at these rankings this year. Tier 6 is where it is at.
    I have been saying this for years but these lists just keep getting younger and younger. I suspect that they are also going to be equally volatile. I would bet you that by the end of the year many of the vets will predictably pass many of the youngsters. I certainly have been getting beat up this year because I don’t have any of the young flukes and I expect that things will improve as the season progresses. For example, how is Nola not in tier 2 and how is Darvish in tier 4? I guess people pay to see their guys take a leap in the rankings and that chase for the next big thing is what the Internet is about. I have not looked at any rankings this year and this was an interesting read.

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