The List 5/6 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

The List

Rank Change Pitcher Labels
1 T1 - Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
2 - Justin Verlander
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
3 - Trevor Bauer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
4 - Jacob deGrom
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
5 - Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
6 - Blake Snell
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
7 T2 +1 Patrick Corbin
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
8 +3 Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
9 +1 Carlos Carrasco
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
10 T3 -1 Aaron Nola
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
11 +1 Noah Syndergaard
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
12 +1 Chris Sale
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
13 +4 Luis Castillo
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
14 +6 Zack Greinke
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
15 +4 Jose Berrios
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
16 +8 Tyler Glasnow
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
17 -3 Walker Buehler
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
18 -2 Jack Flaherty
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
19 -1 German Marquez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
20 +1 Zack Wheeler
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
21 +2 Stephen Strasburg
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
22 +4 Shane Bieber
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
23 T4 +5 Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
24 +10 Caleb Smith
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
25 +4 Matt Boyd
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
26 +4 Joe Musgrove
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
27 +9 Domingo German
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
28 +3 Hyun-Jin Ryu
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
29 +6 Chris Paddack
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
30 +12 Max Fried
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
31 +12 Mike Soroka
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
32 T5 -5 Mike Foltynewicz
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
33 - Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
34 +3 Chris Archer
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
35 +3 Madison Bumgarner
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
36 +4 Rich Hill
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
37 +4 Cole Hamels
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
38 +6 Eduardo Rodriguez
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
39 +9 Tyler Skaggs
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
40 -1 Masahiro Tanaka
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
41 -9 Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
42 +14 Luke Weaver
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
43 +15 Jerad Eickhoff
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
44 +2 Kyle Hendricks
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
45 +2 Marco Gonzales
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
46 +8 Jose Quintana
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
47 +13 Frankie Montas
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
48 +13 Mike Minor
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
49 +15 Matt Strahm
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
50 +39 Spencer Turnbull
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
51 +19 Griffin Canning
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
52 +3 Sonny Gray
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
53 -8 J. A. Happ
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
54 T6 -4 Miles Mikolas
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
55 -4 Jon Gray
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
56 -3 Collin McHugh
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
57 - Marcus Stroman
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
58 +15 Yusei Kikuchi
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
59 +9 Jon Lester
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
60 +14 Zach Eflin
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
61 +6 Kevin Gausman
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Streaming Option
62 +37 Anthony DeSclafani
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
63 +12 Pablo Lopez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
64 T7 +26 Rick Porcello
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
65 -16 Kenta Maeda
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
66 -3 Derek Holland
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Streaming Option
67 -2 Jake Arrieta
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
68 -9 Carlos Rodon
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
69 UR Martin Perez
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
70 UR Jonathan Loaisiga
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
71 UR Jake Odorizzi
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Streaming Option
72 UR Zach Davies
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
73 -21 Kyle Freeland
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
74 UR Lucas Giolito
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
75 +7 Yonny Chirinos
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
76 T8 +12 Brandon Woodruff
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
77 -15 Reynaldo Lopez
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
78 +1 Vince Velasquez
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
79 -8 Joey Lucchesi
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
80 -11 Brad Peacock
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
81 +3 Kyle Gibson
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
82 +3 Wade Miley
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
83 -6 Trevor Williams
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
84 -18 Trevor Richards
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
85 -13 Michael Pineda
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
86 -6 CC Sabathia
Injury Risk
Low Ips
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
87 -4 Merrill Kelly
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
88 -1 Jordan Lyles
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
89 T9 -11 Aaron Sanchez
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
90 UR Michael Wacha
Injury Risk
Toby
Ratio Focused
91 +3 Anibal Sanchez
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
92 +4 Jeff Samardzija
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
93 -7 Chris Bassitt
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
94 UR Felix Hernandez
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
95 +3 Tyler Mahle
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
96 -3 Jake Junis
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
97 -5 Trent Thornton
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
98 UR Julio Teheran
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
99 -23 Brad Keller
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
100 - Forrest Whitley
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option

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

 

Fringe Starters

 

Pitcher Why They Missed The Cut
Jimmy Nelson Nelson will be around the 50s when he’s back from the IL
Corey Kluber On the IL with a forearm injury
David Price On the IL with elbow tendonitis
James Paxton On the IL with a sore knee
Jameson Taillon On the IL with an elbow injury
Steven Matz On the IL with a forearm nerve issue
Clay Buchholz Isn’t cutting it as a Toby
Drew Pomeranz The last one off. K upside is interesting, but low IPS and too low of a ceiling.
Dereck Rodriguez A Toby who hasn’t helped enough to justify his ranking
Lance Lynn Too much of a Cherry Bomb with plenty of bombs
Nick Margevicius Looks more like a Cup of Schmo than a rosterable arm
Luis Severino The recent injury news sets him back to July 1st, hopefully. He’ll be Top 15 then.
Mike Clevinger His injury has Clev out until middle July. He’ll be Top 20 then.
Nathan Eovaldi Hit the IL with an elbow injury. When starting again, he’ll be 40/50s
Touki Toussaint Touki has been demoted to Triple-A
Nick Pivetta Pivetta has been demoted to Triple-A
Ross Stripling No longer in the Dodgers rotation
Julio Urias He’s now #7 on the block in L.A. Despite my love for him, he’s not worth the stash.
Alex Wood I’m just going to wait until he’s back to properly rank him. Most likely in the 50s.
Jhoulys Chacin Just hasn’t been able to capture the magic of 2018 yet.
Corbin Burnes Demoted to Triple-A
Justus Sheffield Good stash option, but I want to focus on guys in the majors now this week.
Dallas Keuchel He won’t be starting until May at the earliest and he’s not worth the stash on your roster.
Andrew Heaney Shut down again with elbow trouble. That’s scary and makes his expected return even later.
Trevor Cahill He may improve as April continues, for now, I’d wait and see.
Ivan Nova Just not enough upside and while he’s a decent streamer, it’s never for a high ceiling.
Sandy Alcantara He’s incredibly raw and the ceiling is not worth the destruction along the way.

 

What is happening!

It’s a new season and the weekly updates to The List have returned. I’ll be ranking the Top 100 Starting Pitchers every Monday from now until the end of the season.

Before I dive into the player notes, here are the new List features from last year’s editions:

  • Previous/Best/Worst columns removed
    • These took a heavy chunk of loading time and ultimately provided very little value. The change arrows themselves are all that’s needed
  • Tiers added
    • As much as I hate making tiers (When do they start and end? How big are the cliffs?), ya’ll have been asking for them and I’m here for all of you. Please understand how hard it is to accurately place them and don’t get too worked up about it.
  • Labels added
    • There’s often confusion as to why a pitcher is a spot or two above or below another. These labels should help understand what each pitcher brings to the table, showing that some pitchers may be better or worse for what you need.
    • Hover over them (or tap on mobile) to see each label’s name next to the pitcher.
    • Ratio Focused = Their value lies in you chasing their ERA/WHIP more than strikeouts and Wins.
    • TobyBoring arm that doesn’t excite you, but you stare at the waiver wire and accept that he just okay enough. You don’t like that he’s around the office, but he gets his work done.
    • Cherry Bomb = Volatile pitchers who are either “super sweet” or “blow up in your face.” Heed warning.
    • Ace Potential = I define an ace as: 3.40 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 24% K rate, 6.0 IPS. It’s why you see some surprising names as having the upside of an ace.
  • Fringe Starters added
    • There are always a handful of starters I badly want to add to The List but I don’t have enough room. I’ll always have this table at the end for a collection of starters – in no order – that I also heavily considered, as well as why they could be relevant
    • This will be where IL Players will land. I’ll mention where they would slot when healthy.

Please let me know how you feel about these changes and I’m looking forward to another fun year assessing the wonderful entity that is the SP Landscape.

On to the notes! Remember, these ranks are for 12-teamers in H2H leagues.

 

Player Notes

 

  • First and foremost, with four Top 25 guys falling to injury – Jameson Taillon, Corey Kluber, James Paxtonand David Price – There is a lot of green to be had. Keep in mind the inherent “+4” for a lot of players.
  • I also should have placed Clayton Kershaw last week at #9 (now #8 due to Kluber). This has been corrected.
  • Some big moves this week as I’ve pushed up a lot of the early performers. Tyler Glasnow deserved more love despite my skepticism of his mechanics, Caleb Smith bumped ahead a crew of Spice GirlsMax Fried and Mike Soroka rising the ranks to #30 and #31, and Domingo German’s swing-and-miss stuff with job security landing him inside the Top 30.
  • Major jumps were also abundant in Tier 5, where I found myself chasing arms off waiver wires in all leagues. Luke Weaver’s fastball/changeup command is tantalizing, Jerad Eickhoff’s slider is a great addition to his curveball, Frankie Montas is missing bats, Mike Minor‘s run is stupid good, Matt Strahm’s fastball getting work done even without a pristine slider, Griffin Canning looking impressive with three pitches in his debut, and Spencer Turnbull’s sparkling ERA returning possible value even when the regression hits.
  • I also had to rise the likes of Anthony DeSclafani and Rick PorcelloTony Disco has improved with his increased curveball usage, while Porcello is forming into a decent Toby for a winning ballclub.
  • Martin Perez, Jake Odorizzi, Zach Daviesand Lucas Giolito all join The List this week. Perez holds the #1 cutter in the majors and could be a stable arm through the year, Odorizzi is doing great things with his deuce, Davies is a clear Vargas Rule, but needs to be owned at the moment, and Giolito’s secondary stuff looked great against the Red Sox despite the bottom line.
  • Few expected drops came as well. Yu Darvish’s command is far from consistent and while I debated heavily on putting him farther, his ceiling makes him still a must own in 12-teamers. Trevor Richards and Michael Pineda are Cherry Bombs that need to be approached with caution. Brad Keller isn’t returning the Toby value we wanted, Kenta Maeda could be out of a job soon with Ross Stripling and Julio Urias accessible options for the Dodgers, and Kyle Freeland’s command is far from its 2018 self.
  • Finally, there’s Felix Hernandez and Jonathan Loaisiga entering this week. Loaisiga will be taking James Paxton’s spot in the rotation and could return dividends soon, though it may take a start to get there. Felix has become intriguing recently, featuring plenty more curveballs with success, earning 8 Ks in back-to-back games.

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

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


Syryn

I know this is minor but you consistently have Whitely at 100. Now I’m not going to ask why exactly 100 or anything like that, but more so why do you prefer Whitley over some other AAA arms? Whitley has struggled so far this year in AAA and might be there for a while, while other arms like Gallen, Cease also have a high pedigree, are doing well in AAA, and should be up sooner.

Nick Pollack

That’s a really good question.

I guess it’s a gut reaction that he’ll be up in about two weeks to replace Brad Peacock.

I have Whitley there as this reminder of “hey, if you have nothing to chase, sure, why not Whitley.” But you’re right, maybe he doesn’t deserve it over Gallen/Luzardo/Cease, I for whatever reason think he’ll be up first.

Jeff

Im genuinely curious why you have Nola as high as you do. He’s had a couple nice starts from an ERA perspective but his walk rate and whip numbers have me really concerned. Seems to me guys like greinke and sale and even Ryu (second best Siera in the league) should be easily ahead of him.

tigersharkz

Based on Stripling’s usage this past week (3 outings, back to back Sat/Sun) vs. Urias pitching only on 5/1, I’d say Urias is next up if a starter goes down, not Stripling. Everybody knows LA only “demoted” Urias to save his innings for later in the year anyway.

Frankie

I think Stripling is becoming a very important piece in MR. And you’re right, LA wants Urias to eventually be stretched out enough to become one of the their top SP. They are doing everything in their power to ruin this guy though, so from a fantasy perspective there is just no security in owning either Stripling or Urias at this point. If you have a really deep bench, I would stash Urias first in hopes of the next spot start to limit innings on one of the current SPs or when one of the glass guys cracks.

Mustache Johnson

Hey Nick, any thoughts on Jesus Luzardo? Maybe he’s outside the parameters for this list but just curious on your thoughts about stashing him?

Jim

Nick, you said you were not impressed by Strahm’s stuff last week, but he climbed +15? Is that a cumulative effect of those ahead of him that dropped, or is there something under the hood that you like right now with Strahm?

Greg

Why the Maeda hate? He has great soft contact and should have a higher K% with his swing% being 13%. Seems like an overreaction to a bad month.

Manley Ramirez

Agree, the Maeda panic seems overblown. It’s not like Stripling or Urias were models of consistency when they were in the rotation.

Yusei I’m a Dreamer

So what’s the move with Kikuchi? I really want to keep holding, and I’m sure part of that is the FOMO of letting another team pick him up. But with Weaver, Turnbull, and Canning on the wire, is it time to drop? I could use the spot for an RP too.
I liked that last start, a lot, but if Nick says he’s in T6 then maybe I’m ready to move on.

Peter

Nick – How much would you bid for Griffen Canning – AL Only Roto 5×5. $70 FAAB for the entire season.

sewerleague

love me some list. thanks, you do great work.
that being said…
Mikolas waaaay too low…
behind Spencer Turnbull??

Bob Sargent

Love your list and everything on it….until the very end on this one. Forrest Whitley is getting clobbered at Round Rock. Whitley was once a lock to be called up after Super Two service time issues were behind him, not so much anymore. I have lots of minor league pitchers ahead of him now, e.g., Luzardo, Cease, Mise, Manning, to name a few. Maybe you should too…

Moelicious

Funny/sad how 8 of the 9 SPs in tier 4 cost nothing at the draft this year. Pick 200 or later for all except Morton. Don’t pay for pitching?

Greg

Only elite pitching (tier 1 or 2). Having a Snell, Scherzer or Bauer is a game changer in this pitching landscape.

theKraken

Hindsight is worthless. That really isn’t much of a strategy as the entire league fights over those guys and you don’t know they are going to be somethign until everyone else does. Personally, I went heavy on SP right after the bats with elite potential dried up and it worked out OK.

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