The List 5/8: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Every Monday during the season, I will be releasing “The List” where I rank the current value of the Top 100 pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the...

Every Monday during the season, I will be releasing “The List” where I rank the current value of the Top 100 pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season. Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from pitchers for 2017 and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues. Note: These rankings have been made with H2H 5×5 12-teamers in mind.

Let’s see how the SP landscape has changed:

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Notes

  • The big news today is that Jameson Taillon received surgery for suspected testicular cancer. Shocking news to say the least and I sincerely hope he recovers well. No idea what the timetable means fantasy wise and I’ve pushed him down the 60s for now, but that pales in comparison to the gravity of the news. Sometimes we forget that this is all just a game and I can’t imagine what he’s going through. Here’s to hoping it’s just a scare and he’s fully recovered shortly.
  • Luis Severino made another jump up to #22 after debilitating the Cubs. After him, it’s a major tier drop as there really isn’t a solid upside play or an arm that doesn’t come without major warts that has the same path to upside than the ones above him.
  • While it was against the Red Sox, Ervin Santana took a hit this week as I don’t expect his hot to start to continue. I’d rather take blossoming pitchers like Michael Pineda and Drew Pomeranz instead.
  • Despite all my outward distaste of Jeff SamardzijaI always give credit where it’s due. Loose Lips has the peripherals to perform better than he has and his last start earns him a big boost given the second half of The List is filled with questionable arms.
  • Robbie Ray also gets a major boost, though it was a very unnerving one. On one hand, his ERA and DIPS numbers all point to a 3.50 ERA pitcher, even with a poor walk rate. On the other that WHIP isn’t going to be favorable and his batted ball numbers are terrible. We’re talking 50% hard and 10% soft contact. Nevertheless, he has more tangible upside than the arms behind him and gets the boost.
  • Charlie Morton deserves the major rise in the ranks as he continues to produce a hefty amount of Ks with a 3.07 xFIP to boot. 40% hard contact is holding him back from a larger boost.
  • Even with Rich Hill returning soon, it’s difficult to believe he’ll eclipse 100 innings this season given how the Dodgers will be careful pushing him far in games and how clearly fragile he is. Still, there’s value when he does pitch and he remains Top 70.
  • Cole HamelsJ.A. Happ, and Ian Kennedy fell a bit due to injuries. Happ was ranked too high last week as I misread a source saying he’d return sooner than expected. Hamels’ oblique injury will keep him off the field for a considerable amount of time and Kennedy’s hamstring makes him a tough play when he was marginal add in a 12 teamer in the first place.
  • Joe Ross heads to the minors, docking him plenty of points. Even though he’s droppable, he’s one of the better N/A stashes around, outside of Jose Berrios.
  • Joining The List this week are a lot of TEEs arms that could be useful in deeper leagues while they are hot and while I don’t expect them to keep it up – Scott Feldman, Derek Holland, Miguel Gonzalez, Alex Cobb – you might as well favor them over comparable arms that aren’t performing up to snuff. Other new additions include Tyler Chatwood who is proving he could be a good stream under the right conditions, and a pair of upside arms in Trevor Cahill and Patrick CorbinThe former is going Curveball heavy and showing great strikeout potential in a small sample size, while the latter changed his arm slot and is getting better results (I’m willing to throw a start in Coors out the window).
  • Leaving The List this week are a good amount of names. Adam Wainwright has a ton of hard contact and even if his FIP/xFIP are below 4.00, it’s tough bet on any given night. Things haven’t gotten easier for CC SabathiaTrevor Bauer is too much of a coin toss, The Anderson – Chase Anderson and Brett Anderson – have lost their hot hands, Hyun-Jin Ryu got injured because he’s Ryu, and Amir Garrett was optioned to the minors.

Nick Pollack

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

  • Max says:

    Awesome stuff Nick. Got two questions for you if you would be so kind.

    1) What do you think of Luis Perdomo? Obviously a deep-league question. But, his xFIP was right at 4 last year. And this year he’s sitting at 3.28 xFIP with a 20.6% Hard Contact %. Nasty sinker. Seems enticing to me.

    2) How you liking AJ Griffin vs the Padres on Tuesday?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      It’s hard to put much faith in Perdomo. I’m intrigued, but don’t think he has the polish to trust just yet.

      Not the worst streamer, I understand rolling with him.

      • Max says:

        Thanks for the response Nick. Much appreciated. Yeah I think I see what you are saying with Perdomo. What do you look for when you look for “polish”? Command, control, and track record mostly?

        • Nick Pollack says:

          Mainly the ability to put his heater where he wants to and can throw secondary pitches for strikes. Don’t think Perdomo is there yet.

  • Dave says:

    How is Harvey still so high up despite his awful numbers? I’d take most of the next 15 guys on the list over him

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Totally get that, I’m waiting one more week as I saw a giant velocity spike last time out. I wonder if that will carry over again and give the momentum he needs for a rebound.

  • Manley Ramirez says:

    Not discouraged by Bundy’s poor peripherals and declining velo? He’s better than Duffy, Quintanna, but it’s generally a concerning trio.

    • Jon Mosier says:

      I’ve watched most of Bundy’s starts this season. His velocity is actually up appreciably over his past two starts. My biggest concern is his poor location, which, combined with the velocity roller coaster, makes me wonder if he is actively tinkering with his mechanics.

      • Nick Pollack says:

        I looked up the velocity charts and nothing is really all too startling over the past two outings that makes me reconsider his questionable velocity habits. It’s not sub 90mph in the later innings now, but I’m not sold we’re past that hump yet.

        But you’re right, Fastball command has always been the biggest factor with Bundy and he hasn’t made strides there just yet.

        • Manley Ramirez says:

          How come he gets a pass for his disturbingly low K rate though?

          • Jon Mosier says:

            I don’t know that he does. Plenty (including Nick) have pointed out that problem. The one thing that I will say on Bundy’s behalf is that his walk rate is down by slightly more than his K rate this year, resulting in a slightly improved K/BB.

  • Andrew says:

    Thoughts on Ray? If he keeps the walks down like he has recently (6 over the last 3 games, not bad not great) and missing bats like he has so far, how do you predict him finishing?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think I outlined my thoughts pretty well in the article as his batted ball profile is atrocious and I don’t believe he’ll ever get those walks down to acceptable levels.

      I see him being in the 40s/50s due to his strikeout upside all year, with a floor sitting as low as the 70s.

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks for the reply. His terrible batted ball profile almost certainly will stabilize, right? 50.6% hard to 10.6% soft contact is not only extreme polarization, but also way off his career norms (37%H & 14.9%S). His historically unlucky 2016 (.352 BABIP even as a fly ball pitcher) won’t be repeated and will likely stabilize around .300-.310. After giving up a home run and five walks tonight, his HR/FB is 16.7% (12.1% career) and BB/9 is 5.01 (3.65 career). I know you said you don’t see his walks coming down too much, but I think it may. His Zone% this season is only 38.7% (45.8% career) and overall Str% down to 59.4% compared to his 63.4% career average.

        Once all (or most) of these level out, would it be possible for, say, a 3.35 ERA and 1.30 WHIP? If not, what do you see holding him back from reaching the 10s/20s? Before he was predictably shelled by Detroit’s all-right-handed-lineup tonight at Chase, his FIP was a stellar 2.98 and carried a 1.27 WHIP.

  • tiwaniuk says:

    Hey Nick,

    I currently have a solid pitching staff consisting of Sale, Verlander, Fulmer, Tanaka, McCullers, Duffy, and Quintana, but I’m intrigued by the upside of Severino.

    Based on your​ rankings I should drop Quintana for Severino, but it would feel weird dropping a SP ranked 24th. Given the major tier drop off after Severino, would you recommend I make the switch?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ultimately, yes I’d be dropping Quintana for Severino, though I’d be looking to trade a 2-for-1 first with a bat and Quintana to try to get an upgrade, then pick up Sev.

  • Kyle says:

    Hey Nick,

    Where are this week’s rankings? I’m eager to see any changes as I’m looking to make some pitching moves. I just traded Eduardo Rodriguez + Brandon Belt to get Salazar. A couple quick questions for you:

    1) What are your realistic expectations from Price when he comes back? I drafted him way too high and am clinging on to some hope that he’s a beast upon return.

    2) What are some good buy-low pitching targets for this week? I’ve got solid infield depth and want to try and sell high on Gio before he starts to shit the bed (as a Nats fan I’m confident that he will). I was thinking Tanaka or Quintana.

    Appreciate any insight you might be able to offer.

  • Ryan says:

    Love the list, your work, and the cast. But how isn’t Sale #1 yet?!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’m actually a bit surprised how many people are asking for Sale to be #1.

      We’ve seen Sale go on these hot streaks before and we also know that Kershaw is the best pitcher on the planet. I think we would all agree it’s a better bet that Kershaw has a stud season rest of the way with few clunkers than Sale –> Kershaw is still #1.

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