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The List 6/13: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 10

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.

 

 

 

  • Tier 3 is, once again, a bit strange. It feels like the green room as they anxiously wait to be called into the second tier. Luis Severino is certainly banging on the door after two straight ten strikeout games and boasting a 21% SwStr slider. He’s a start away from his AGA label and I’d expect him to get it.
  • Meanwhile, Lucas Giolito isn’t performing up to his standards. I wonder if it’s luck not going his way or if he’s making too many mistakes that justify the hard contact. He’s still earning plenty of whiffs, though, making him a small tweak away from a dominant second half.

 

  • So let’s talk about the +6 of Aaron Nola and small drops of Pablo López and Frankie MontasFor the most part, Nola’s rise is a product of Bassitt, Ray, and Buehler falling, while I had to give a slight dip to López for his possible wrist injury (it looks like he’s fine, but it’s a question mark Nola doesn’t have) + Montas’ volatility. I believe in Nola’s ceiling a touch more than Montas’.
  • I wasn’t thrilled with Tarik Skubal’s outing against the Jays as it wasn’t just a product of a strong Toronto squad. Skubal tossed far too many pitches belt high, showcasing his worst command of the year. I’m willing to cough it up to a bad day, but we should keep an eye on it.

 

  • For those curious about the mix of AGA labels and “Ace Potential”, I’m ranking them as such with the anticipation of pitchers to earn their AGA labels, like Severino, Bieber, and Nola, in the coming weeks, while others are testing their limits and could lose it if things go south in the near future.

 

  • Tier 4 has expanded this week with Julio Urías leading the way. I loved seeing him record 20 whiffs on Sunday, though I’m not confident he can consistently return nine whiffs on his four-seamer, especially when its velocity fell to 91.8 mph. Still, he gets a small bump for his obvious step in the right direction.
  • Welcome back Lance Lynn to The List for the first time this season. It may take a start or two for him to get back to his 90+ pitch ways, and he could soar into the Top 15 if he showcases the same ability as last season.

 

  • I had to give a drop to Chris Bassitt as it’s been a rough month after I gave him his AGA label (since rescinded). It’s all my fault, I know. He’s still relatively high given my expectation of a rebound rooted in his ability to travel deep into games + a heavier slider & cutter usage this year that should spell a 25%+ strikeout rate.
  • Despite Robbie Ray finally giving managers a strong performance via seven frames of shutout ball, I’m lowering him on The List today. Crazy, I know. He suddenly changed his approach, moving away from a whiff-heavy four-seamer to nearly 50% sinker usage, limiting the longball at the cost of whiffs and strikeouts. It worked for a game, great, but it caps Ray’s ceiling while I’m not confident it means the ERA/WHIP are going to get massively better.

 

  • Tier 5 stays pretty much the same, outside of welcoming Sean Manaea into the group at #33. He’s been awfully steady and his sinker is once again missing bats. It’s pretty cool.
  • I will say, I would sell high on Kyle Wright at the moment. I know he’s currently at #31 and if I’m selling him, I’d sell him at that price. I’m a bit concerned his command isn’t all that great and could return some legit valleys through the final four months.

 

  • It was a terrible return for Shane Baz on Saturday and I imagine y’all expected him to fall. SIKEI watched this one and the story was clear – Baz cruised through the first two frames, allowed a baserunner with a flare single in the third, then lost his command as he pitched from the stretch for the first time with pitches flying too far up-and-armside. It led to two walks + a grand slam and that was essentially the story. I don’t think Baz’s innate ability is any different than what we expected and it was rust coming off that should be gone shortly. Steady the ship.

 

  • I gave a bump to Tony Gonsolin this week as he’s been far better than I’ve expected. Do I think it will last through the full year? Not really, but he’s become a must-start for many at the moment and he deserves his props for that.
  • I bumped up Charlie Morton as he’s earned a Golden Goal in each of his last two starts and the results just haven’t gone his way. I’d expect it to arrive soon.

 

  • Why should Blake Snell drop after a good start!? Because others need to go above him. I feel the same about him as last week, don’t worry about this.
  • MacKenzie Gore also dropped, which is pretty much the same as Snell, but a touch of “hey, your command was terrible, that was just a one-off thing, right? Cool.”

 

  • Tier start begins with Framber Valdez and Jordan Montgomery as two stalwarts of innings eating. Their floors are higher than the rest of the tier, though they don’t carry quite the same ceiling. Keep that in mind.
  • Tylor Megill has returned to The List after his start on Saturday where he pumped 96+ mph heaters with ease. You love to see it. He could climb further if he nails down his changeup and/or slider as plus secondary offerings, but I’m not sure they’ll get there soon.

 

  • I struggled mightily as to the order of the Milwaukee teammates Eric Lauer and Aaron AshbyLauer’s velocity has sat under 93 mph for the last two starts with worse breaker command and I simply don’t know if either will come back soon or not. Meanwhile, Ashby just allowed 13 hits and had a horrendous day at the park…though I don’t believe it’s a true indication of his ability. From this point moving forward, I think both are very much good 12-teamer plays, with Ashby still carrying the higher ceiling. Just my take on it.

 

  • Welcome back Sonny Gray from the IL as he dealt with a pectoral injury and is expected to start on Wednesday. While I worry his breakers aren’t consistent enough to vault him to the Top 30 SP, he should be a solid play for 12-teamers.
  • I loved what I saw last time out from Luis Garciasporting 95 mph heaters and his slider finally returning to early 2021 form. It was just one start, though, and I want to see both continue their success before pushing him hard up the list.

 

  • Tier 8 begins with Michael Kopechwho could hit the IL at any moment with a knee injury…or tough it out and make a start next Sunday. He’s a bit lower this week because of his hazy situation and if he were 100% healthy, I’d have him in Tier 6.
  • This is the tier of intrigue and I imagine some wanted a larger rise from Spencer Strider this week. The thing is, I ranked him where I did last week expecting him to do well against the Pirates. He did the thing we anticipated, now he needs to continue that success for him to keep traveling up the ranks.

 

  • I’m impressed with the growth of Hunter Greene across the last month. He’s gone from a “chucking heaters wherever” to “sliders first, four-seamers elevated second”. It’s worked in a major way and while I’m skeptical the fastball command is this real, he’s essentially become peak Huascar Ynoa and it’s hard not to love that.
  • I really hope Jon Gray isn’t just a Cherry BombHis last start came with his best slider and best fastball velocity, but it’s unclear if he’s able to hold it from start-to-start. I really hope he does.

 

  • Yes, you’re seeing a +1 for Roansy Contreras after his poor outing, but don’t read much into it. His overall ceiling across the next four months means more than a disappointing outing against Atlanta.
  • Tier 9 is where you can find the solid Toby arms mixed with a fair share of ceiling plays. For example, Carlos Carrasco is looking more dependable with his slider and changeup, which means I’m able to look past the damage allowed on his fastball last time out (he had 17 strikeouts across the last week).
  • Alex Wood rises a bit after being the man we’ve wanted him to be in a cushy matchup and now gets two more in front of him. Start him with confidence.

 

  • I gave a drop to Tyler Anderson and Jameson Taillon as they both expressed their floors this week. I’d still hold as they are better than their waiver wire counterparts, but don’t expect a surge into the Top 40 with their arsenals.
  • I also gave significant drops to Cristian Javier and Drew RasmussenJavier has been volatile with his four-seamer command, while Rasmussen’s BABIP luck is coming around to bite him while he hasn’t returned the whiffs that made him interesting.

 

  • The change numbers are going to get bigger overall now that we’re outside the Top 60 – we’ve reached the cliff and values shift week-to-week a whole lot more because of it. It’s why Miles Mikolas and Michael Lorenzen each got large raises for their recent performances.
  • It also means Martín Pérez falls a significant amount after one outing where his cutter and sinker command faltered. There’s a chance he rebounds – his changeup still looked great! – but typically this is the wall we see Vargas Rulehit that spell extended trouble.

 

  • I had to give a large drop to Edward Cabrera not just for his start against Houston, but also against the Nationals as his command was shaky across the board. It makes me concerned that he can’t be a consistent starter for fantasy squads with the weapons he currently holsters.
  • I’m not sure how to feel about Noah Syndergaard and Trevor Rogers right now. Syndergaard should be generally better than what you can find on the wire, but you’re destined to run into some bumps in the road as long as his slider and curveball fail to return whiffs. With Rogers, I’m encouraged to see his four-seamer and changeup each return whiffs last time, though he needs the slider to get strikes for him to truly blossom.

 

  • The eleventh tier is where the Tobyand the streamers begin to thrive. These ranks are highly volatile and shift constantly given who proves themselves as reliable or who has rougher schedules in the near future. It’s why Merrill Kelly, Cal Quantrilland Paul Blackburn all get raises despite not being a whole lot different.
  • Let’s welcome back Taijuan Walker as he pitched as well as I’ve seen him in ages, sporting a 94.6 mph heater and earning nearly double-digit whiffs on his splitter. And why not, his slider went 17/22 strikes – it’s everything that you want. It could just be a peak, though, so be careful trusting Taijuan.

 

  • I wish I were a bigger fan of Graham Ashcraft (don’t let the +1 fool you!), but he abandoned his sinker in his last start and disaster followed. I’m not entirely sure why he did that and I wish it returns moving forward as a cutter + slider approach just isn’t enough.
  • I gave a drop to Marco Gonzales as I’m not confident he’s anything more than a streamer at this point. Not a terrible play, just not the guy you want to covet.

 

  • Treat Alex Faedo like a coin flip if his slider is there – he’s able to make it work against poor teams even if the breaker doesn’t earn whiffs, but there’s legit production if it can miss bats on a given night. He’s someone to consider when making your streaming selections.
  • The 12th tier is a group of guys to consider instead of the ole boring folk if you’re chasing something interesting this week. Mitch Keller finally earned whiffs on his slider (10/30!) and gets an interesting two-start week ahead. I wonder if this is him turning the corner or just another one of those days.

 

  • The Cubs look to be adding Caleb Kilian to their rotation with Marcus Stroman and Wade Miley down for the count. Kilian didn’t massively impress in his debut, but there was enough there to suggest possible success against the Padres and Pirates across his next two outings.
  • Andre Pallante tosses a 96 mph four-seamer with cut action and a decent slider and should get the Pirates on Wednesday. That’s kinda cool to me.

 

  • The Red Sox are searching for starters and they may have something decent in Kutter CrawfordAs his name implies, he tosses an 88 mph kutter with a low-to-mid 90s heater and may be worth a look against the Cardinals.
  • Miami is searching for a proper Jesús Luzardo replacement and Braxton Garrett is the current option. I can’t say I adore his matchup against the Mets, but he could pull it off with his sinker/slider combo from the left side.

 

  • At the end of the tier, Josiah Gray and Matt Swarmer are other adds in case you’re searching for something. Gray maaaay have made strides with his command as of late, resulting in four-seamers preventing home runs and his slider missing many bats. I’m not banking on it against Atlanta and Philly, but I’ll be watching closely.
  • Meanwhile, Swarmer just allowed six HRs to the Yankees, but now gets a much easier time with the Padres and Pirates next. Don’t overlook it as he packs a plus slider that he leans on heavily.

 

  • And finally, we have the bottom tier, filled with your last-ditch efforts for starts. Rich Hill has two starts ahead against the Athletics and Tigers and despite my lack of love for what he does, I can see five productive innings in each outing.
  • With Mike Clevinger on the COVID-IL, it means Nick Martinez should get a start against the Cubs this week. He’s fresh off a nine-strikeout game and may strike again versus a weak offense.

 

  • I gave large drops to José Urquidy, Dane Dunning, Yusei Kikuchiand Chris Flexen this week. Urquidy’s repertoire is nothing that it used to be, Dunning’s command is finicky, Flexen has rough matchups ahead and Kikuchi got bounced in less than an inning (but gets the Orioles next). I don’t want to trust any of them.
  • I elected to add Devin Smeltzer and Jonathan Heasley this week to round out The List. Smeltzer could be a Toby moving forward as he faces the Diamondbacks next in the spot of Bailey OberHeasley just had a wonderful game, but didn’t carry the velocity improvement of his previous outing, sadly. I hope it can repeat against the Giants this week, but I wouldn’t chase it in most leagues. Just watch from afar instead.

 

  • I elected to leave Ross Stripling off The List solely because he faces the Yankees next. He’s not worth the stash past this week as you don’t want to start him there.

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

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

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