The List 5/7: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Nick Pollack updates his Pitcher List ranking the Top 100 Starting Pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of 2018.

[pitcher_list list_id=”19240″ season=”2018″ include_stats=”1″]

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:

  • With Clayton Kershaw hitting the DL and Max Scherzer absolutely killing it, it was an easy move to dethrone the king. I have no qualms if you want to move Kershaw’s spot from #15, it’s always incredibly difficult those on the DL.
  • With that in mind, I elected to have a “DL” focus at the end of the List, where players that are far away from their return – Robbie Ray, Johnny Cuetoand Jimmy Nelson  will be automatically slotted if they should be owned. Madison Bumgarner is a different story as his return is only a few weeks away.
  • Other major moves include Miles Mikolas, Rick Porcello, J.A. Happand Mike Clevinger seeing significant leaps. Mikolas, Porcello, and Happ each have impressed mightily out of the gate and deserve more love, and seeing Clevinger’s breaking stuff return is exactly why I was looking for to bring him back in the Top 40.
  • Dylan Bundy, Yu Darvish, Jose Berrios, Jose Quintanaand David Price each saw dramatic falls. Bundy’s fastball has been abhorrent in his last two starts, a flaw I was starting believe was eradicated by his impressive opening run. While I think better days are ahead for Darvish, I have no choice but to recognize his value on the market now and lower him further. Price and Quintana are the same way, with talent that will most likely see rises in the future, but their current state has me favoring arms like Alex Wood and Michael Fulmer instead. Berrios is as lost as you’ll find a pitcher, though his innate stuff is still there, making him a decent buy low for owners thinking he’s destined for mediocrity the rest of the way.
  • The toughest part of The List this week was ranking the upside plays from 45-75. Please keep in mind that these rankings are incredibly fluid in this area as at this point in the rankings, it’s all about finding the hot hand that can stick through the year.
  • Walker Buehler and Caleb Smith get some of the most significant rises this week. With Kershaw’s and Hyun-Jin Ryu’s injuries, Buehler has secure innings for the Dodgers and sports a repertoire that speaks to a high floor. Smith has the outlines of a legit Top 30 ceiling with his excellent secondary pitches with a mid 90s fastball that he has commanded well in each of the last three starts. Still plenty of risk, but this is the lottery ticket I’d like to grab at this moment.
  • Mike Soroka deserves your love despite his tough outing against the Giants on Sunday. I see premier talent in the 20-year-old rooted in the command of his four-seamer and two-seamer. Given his security in the Braves rotation, I favor him over other options that have less stable foundations.
  • Trevor Cahill, Kevin Gausmanand Sean Newcomb also rose considerably, as all three have performed well above expectations in the early weeks.
  • It’s time to look elsewhere if you own Chase Anderson, Luke Weaveror Aaron SanchezThere’s no question that they can turn it around through the year, but at this point, you may be better off chasing other upside plays.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar Pink Koolaid says:

    If musgrove was healthy today, where would he be at? Was offered Loose Lips for him in a keep everyone league.

  • Avatar Bbboston says:

    Nick,

    I know it’s early, but what are your thoughts on Giolito bouncing back. His last start appeared to be awesome until the manager ran him out to start the seventh.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      He was one of the last names off The List as there are a surprising number of viable starters in the league these days.

      I didn’t see a velocity jump last time out, so I’m a little hesitant to buy into it. Still needs to polish the secondary stuff as well.

      Not a terrible flier in a deep league, however.

  • Avatar Ryan says:

    Do I go with Miles Mikolas or Garret Richards to hold me over while Kershaw is out?

  • Avatar Paul says:

    Hey Nick, how concerned are you about Reynaldo Lopez? In an AL-only 4×4, thinking it’s time to sell/dump. What’s the key with him? Thanks!

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I talked about it with Sporer in the fireside chat podcast last night if you want more detail on it, but the quick answer is I think Reynaldo has the tools to be a legit Top 40 arm with a fastball that is super good, but he hasn’t found the consistency yet with his slider + changeup.

  • Avatar griff says:

    I have a pending trade offer of trevor bauer and khris davis for kershaw in my weekly points league. I thought it was a great trade for me, but I see bauer barely behind kershaw on the list. If my team can stomach the loss until kershaw comes back it will still be a big win correct? I would pick up dexter fowler

  • Avatar Chris says:

    Hey Nick,

    I’m a bit torn on this trade offer: 12tm, H2H, QS, non-keeper
    Schwarber + Caleb Smith + Kiki (drop would be Pressly/Brock Stewart/Soroka)
    for
    Braun + Dahl + Heaney + Minor

    Seems too obvious not to not make the deal, yet I am hesitant for some reason…

    Thanks!

  • Avatar not says:

    Why has Minor dropped so much? Has only hasd a very hard start against the sox

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I’ve been expecting him to take his step forward and he hasn’t really yet. Meanwhile, there are a lot of other exciting arms that are improving and need more love.

  • Avatar The Prince says:

    Nick Kingham?

  • Avatar Michael says:

    Reading this list is so much fun every week, thank you!

  • Avatar Play Ball says:

    Anything you see from Syndergaard that causes you some concern? A hidden injury? Not punching batters out at a level we expect from him and overall he just looks off to me for some reason.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Honestly, not really. I think he’s just not as polished as “pitcher” than the other Top arms, but he carries arguably the best stuff in the game that let’s him still have massive success.

  • Avatar Josh says:

    Hi Nick, quick question about Alex Cobb. With his increased splitter usage and high whiff rate in his start yesterday, if that stays going forward, where do you see his upside? Top 50 like before TJS, or more in the 75-100 area?

  • Avatar Shark says:

    I watched Soroka’s start against SF, showed amazing poise for a 20 year old. He could have easily gone Brandon McCarthy in his bad inning, because he caught a couple bad breaks, plus his command was off for whatever reason. I thought Buehler came closer to imploding in his start against SF, but caught a lucky break in the form of a great catch from Puig in foul territory on the 35th pitch of the first inning (one batter away from being pulled in the 1st! to a mini no hitter against SD -that’s baseball LOL)

  • Avatar Steve says:

    Is carrasco over Paxton just an injury risk thing? I feel like the numbers are pretty decidedly in Paxtons favor when both are healthy.

  • Avatar O'Hooligan McGee says:

    I just got offered Carlos Carrasco and Vizcaino for my Aaron Nola in a roto 5×5 keeper league. You can keep players for however long you want with no penalty. Am I stupid to reject this deal? I kinda need the saves. Nola’s age and Carrasco’s injury concerns is making me hestitant. Any advice?

  • Avatar Earl says:

    Is Stroman turning it around? Or do I drop him for Castillo?

  • Avatar Joe says:

    Can you expand on Berries being lost? What does he need to do to be better and do you sense he will turn it around?

  • Avatar Jose says:

    Love the list. But why not just have a separate list of DL guys? By grouping them all at the bottom like that you’re just reminding us that they are there instead of giving us a RoS value relative to the other guys on the list (like you are doing with Bumgarner).

  • Avatar Ricky says:

    I love seeing Scherzer at 1, but why did de Grom stay unchanged when Kershaw dropped so far when they both went on the DL this week?

  • Avatar Ryan says:

    Weaver is breaking my heart. Really hope he can turn it around/

  • Avatar Ghost Of Ned Yost says:

    When there is blood in the streets buy property.
    Just traded a $26 Cole for $31 Kershaw in my dynasty league, fingers crossed it’s only one or two starts.

  • Avatar Sticki says:

    Nick, honestly, how sad are you that you had to declare Scherzer #1 by default. I, as the rest of us, are sad with you my friend.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Thing is, following Scherzer’s absurd performance, he would have gotten the spot regardless…

  • Avatar Cam says:

    Jake Junis
    Chad Bettis

    Just off or WAY off? Thanks!!

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      A bit off as Junis could turn into a very consistent starting option while Bettis needs a road game + favorable matchup.

  • Avatar J.C. Mosier says:

    Consider the unfortunate case of Zach Wheeler: from #67 to off The List, without so much as a “good riddance.”

  • Avatar Alden says:

    Any concern about Gohara now that the Braves have said he’ll be pitching from the bullpen?

  • Avatar Aaron Smith says:

    Huge jump for Caleb Smith! He’s ranking up fast.

  • Avatar Justin Dowling says:

    RIP Dylan Bundy May 8 2018.

  • Avatar Amanda Noble says:

    This season is going to be very interesting.

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