The List 6/6: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 9

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.

 

  • First and foremost, many pitchers returned to The List this week – Clayton Kershaw, Mike Clevinger, Joe Ryan, Shane Baz, Stephen Strasburg – which means you’re going to see a whole lot of displacement in the 40s and 50s that isn’t their fault. Keep that in mind when you see more red than you expect.
  • For real, “why did this player drop after a good start?” that’s going to be why unless I say so otherwise. And yes, there will be a lot of notes so strap in y’all.

 

  • H’ok. The Top 10 doesn’t change, even though the recent week would dictate some changes from, say Kevin Gausman or Carlos Rodón. Nope, not doing it. I didn’t see anything that warranted a shift in their abilities.
  • The thing I did do was move Lucas Giolito and move Walker Buehler far down (we’ll talk about him later). As for Giolito, I still think he’s fantastic, we just haven’t seen him have it all together like the Top 10 has. Giolito managers understand.

 

  • Tier 3 is where it starts to get spicy. I’ve lowered Robbie Ray, Aaron Nolaand Dylan Cease as the results have been more volatile than the rest of the crew. Do I believe in all three to eventually earn AGA labels? Absolutely. That doesn’t mean they deserve to be ranked above the others who could earn them next week.
  • Among that group is Tarik Skubal and Nestor Corteswho simply cannot be denied. I still have a few questions about their longevity, but Skubal’s slider has been great while Cortes’ command + results of his cutter and four-seamer are simply too amazing to hold outside of the Top 20.

 

  • I also gave a small bump to Shane Bieber and Luis SeverinoBieber’s slider has been ridiculous and while I have my hesitation believing he’ll avoid the disasters with his 90/91 mph heater, he’s still acting as a strong arm for any fantasy roster. Severino, meanwhile, is looking more polished as ever and could soar through the summer.
  • At the end of the tier is the first of the displacements in Clayton Kershaw returning from the IL. He gets his AGA label back (He is The Ace That Is Always Gonna Ace, after all), and is a comfortable start moving forward as he returns this weekend.

 

  • It also makes him the top-ranked Los Angeles Dodger as Walker Buehler falls into Tier 4 with Julio UríasI’ve made this the tier of “good but not top of the line quality”, which makes sense for Buehler, the Ace of Very Good (AVG). Some may be calling for a larger drop for Buehler, but at the end of the day, his secondaries are still excellent and it’s not a forgone conclusion that Buehler’s four-seamer is this rough the rest of the year.
  • Inside the same tier are Logan Webb, Zac Gallen, Shohei Ohtaniand Nathan EovaldiDon’t get too hung up on their red marks – Skubal, Cortes, and Kershaw gave this tier an inherent “-3”, while I gave a little bump to Shane Bieber and Luis Severino as well. You should still feel great about all of them.

 

  • I’m sure Tier 5 will be a controversial one. It begins with Yu Darvishwho has been underwhelming to say the least, especially after a rough 7.2 inning game against the Cardinals where he didn’t strikeout a batter until the seventh. I see Darvish as a premium Cherry Bomb and expect him to be a whole lot more sweet than sour through the weeks, though I have no issue with some placing him in the next tier instead.
  • Eric Lauer’s acceleration slowed down this week as he dropped to just 92.5 mph on his heater – the catalyst for his 2022 success has been added velocity to a 94 mph mark. I’m not ready to say the velocity won’t return, but it may mean the start of a fall down the ranks next week.

 

  • Tier 6 displaces many in Tier 7, beginning with the return of Shane Baz next weekend. He just fanned 10 in 4.1 frames of his rehab start and considering we had Baz in the 30s/early 40s in the pre-season with the expectation of diminished innings, he belongs in the mid-30s now that the innings limit has been removed. I’m excited to see him get regular starts for the Rays.
  • Also returning is Joe Ryan after his COVID absence. There’s little reason to believe he won’t pick up where he left off with his 92+ mph heater and solid slider.

 

  • Also in the sixth tier are MacKenzie Gore and Tony Gonsolineach rising at least 10 spots. I wonder how consistent Gore’s secondaries will be, but they’ve all impressed early in the year, and the Padres are locked in on Gore sticking in the rotation. You love to see it.
  • Meanwhile Tony Gonsolin is throwing strikes with his slider as the splitter earns whiffs as he constantly goes six frames for a winning team. It’s hard to deny their success right now.

 

  • And now for Tier 7. Ohhhhhh my Tier 7 is going to upset so many. I’m sorry in advance, truly. To me, from #42 through #55 is such a blob where you can argue one guy over another incredibly easily. As long as you grasp why I have it arranged in this way, do whatever you want with it.
  • For example, you’re going to see -16 for Michael Kopechbut that essentially pulls him from the top of the tier to the bottom of the tier. Not as huge of a deal as the number implies (he’s lower because we saw just one start of peak ability of 97 mph & stud breakers before it fell down again last time out. It’s hard to feel confident his best self will return).

 

  • With Mike Clevinger returning from the IL, it makes for an innate total of -6 to all inside the tier, and -7 for all past Aaron AshbyKeep that in mind when Jordan Montgomery and Framber Valdez have red marks yet have done nothing wrong.
  • The big drops here were served to Patrick Sandoval and Charlie Mortonwho haven’t been the pitchers you signed up for. Sandoval’s changeup has been gone, forcing more from his four-seamer that just isn’t there, while Morton can’t get on the right path. That said, I believe both are still capable of far better and should be still rostered on teams, especially with Morton facing the Pirates next. If you want to drop them more, go ahead, I get it.

 

  • Y’all know I adore Aaron Ashby and I couldn’t raise him into Tier 6 after allowing 4 ER. Still, his stuff is real and the Brewers are letting the man fly every fifth day. It’s a great time to have Ashby on your squads and strap in for a fun summer.
  • I gave a bump to Tyler Anderson and Martín Pérez as well, two overperformers who you’re not dropping in the slightest right now. It’s a fun ride, though I wouldn’t anticipate this to last a whole lot longer.

 

  • We’re getting to the point where the level of talent between “rostered” and “unrostered” is getting awfully small, meaning it’s in your best interest to chase ceiling instead of decent ratios. That means I’ve placed Edward Cabrera, Spencer Strider, Roansy Contrerasand Jeffrey Springs all in the same tier (remember, Springs rose given the new additions and the forced raises).
  • Each one of these arms provides their own glance into a possible game-changer for your team. Cabrera’s changeup is unreal, Strider’s four-seamer is elite, Contreras has a solid fastball/slider combo, and Springs carries a nasty changeup. They all come with risks, but their ceiling makes them a must-add in all formats.

 

  • Also, wear the rainbow, Springs. Come on man, there’s no place for this. Treat people well.

 

  • There’s also Alex Cobb taking a significant hit this week – a product of all the excitement for other guys + his hamstring injury that brings haze to his situation. If he were 100% healthy, I’d place Cobb likely at #53 where George Kirby is. The injury hesitation puts us in a weird place where you may be missing out and I’d rather have the bird in the hand.
  • Tier 9 contains Jon Gray and Nick Pivettawho have each proven themselves lately. Pivetta is on a roll that I don’t quite trust, while Gray sat 96 mph (!) in his last start. If that velocity sticks, his sweeper could propel him into legit Top 40 SP territory.

 

  • Here you’ll see the real ramifications of the previous tiers, with Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, Trevor Rogers, Tyler Mahleand Alex Wood all falling substantially. Simply put, I think the names I placed before are better plays to make than the rickety floors of Stroman and Syndergaard, the maddening 2022 of Rogers and Mahle (I didn’t move him, just others jumped up!), and wondering if Wood will actually come through with his 92/93 mph velocity.
  • At the end of the tier is Stephen Strasburgwho is expected to return this week. I figure this was the end of the ceiling arms, placing Strasburg at a spot where you’d still want to take the chance and don’t lose a whole lot from those in Tier 10 or below. Let’s hope he’s looking well in his Still ILL outing.

 

  • Tier 10 still has some excitement being filled with middling arms who could each go 6+ frames every time they hit the bump. Zach Eflin has featured his curveball over 20% of the time in each of his last three starts and while he suffered in one of them, you have to wonder if it’s the start of a real change that can make a large impact.
  • I gave a drop to Bailey Ober as I wonder if his elevated four-seamer with a middling slider is enough to be a consistent play in your leagues. He’s teetering with it at the moment and I want to believe he can be that guy, but we’re not there right now.

 

  • I really didn’t know what to do with Michael LorenzenIt’s awfully hard to drop a guy this much after striking out nine, but I personally don’t see that strikeout upside sticking around, while he feasted on easier matchups earlier in the season. I’m not suggesting he should be avoided in your leagues, but I think there are better pitchers to roster at the moment. Sorry bud.
  • Inside the eleventh tier Garrett Whitlock also fell considerably after finding a way to go six innings without striking out a single batter. It’s been a bit of a slog lately with Whitlock and while I’m still intrigued, I have no idea if he’ll turn it around to be a strong 12-team play.

 

  • There are a few other interesting names here. Brady Singer fell as he’s made it clear he’s still just slider/changeup, and while that isn’t bad, it’s not the path to being a must-roster in 12-teamers.
  • Two Cincinnati players rise up in Graham Ashcraft and Hunter Greeneeach sporting elite fastball velocity. Greene has showed himself to be a Cherry Bomb and good luck figuring out which starts his slider dominates as he prevents the longball. As for Ashcraft (I call him Smokey Cheese), his sinker and cutter make it tough to barrel. He finally showed a game where his slider landed for strikes and there’s legit promise if that’s a sticky skill moving forward.

 

  • Tier 12 and Tier 13 really aren’t all that different – if you’re looking for filler for your 12-teamers in a given week, this is where you’ll find it. Unfortunately, Miles Mikolas has run out of his early season magic, turning back in the standard matchup-dependent Tobywhile Dane Dunning is featuring improved overall command as of late. Worthy options if you need them.
  • The hot topic is Konnor Pilkington after fanning eight Royals last week. He nows has a luscious two-step against the Rangers and Athletics, making him a decent grab if you need some volume this week.

 

  • Otherwise, all the Red here is mostly a product of the injured arms return to The List and the likes of Cabrera, Greene, and Ashcraft deserving more attention in 12-teamers. Don’t worry about it.
  • Okay fine, Alex Faedo and Jakob Junis are better than expected, slightly, and could be good options here and there. Don’t go running to the wire for them, though. They each have a great slider and not whole lot else.

 

  • Yusei Kikuchi floundered against the Twins and I’m highly skeptical he’s on the path to excellence. That said, he gets the Royals and Orioles next and that should be okay.
  • In the bottom tier, I don’t like trusting Chad Kuhl as he still pitches his home games in Coors. Kyle Bradish is still here as he has an interesting two-start week against the Cubs and Royals, and hey, maybe Josiah Gray can avoid a home run and collect strikeouts against the Marlins.

 

  • The final two guys are a bit interesting. Zach Plesac not only has had his slider return lately, but he’s also been able to earn plenty of strikes with his changeup. I can’t help but wonder if he can be a solid stream against the Athletics because of them.
  • And finally, Mr. 100 is Matt Swarmerwho has flexed a strong vertical slider in his two starts so far for the Cubs. I wouldn’t test it against the Yankees this week, but keep an eye on him. Maybe that breaker does mask his middling four-seamer well enough to earn trust in future weeks.

 

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

12 responses to “The List 6/6: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 9”

  1. CB says:

    Hey Nick, I heard a rumor that you gave a bump (possible a “small” or “little” one) to Bieber and Severino. Any comment on that?

  2. cash miller says:

    (((Nick Pollack))) can’t help himself but to criticize Cristian beliefs.

    • walktall says:

      It’s Christian to love thy neighbor as thyself. Refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the LGBTQ community is definitely NOT Christian.

    • notgae says:

      Its trendy nowadays unfortunately, cash, you’re right. pitcherlist turned leftist

  3. CL says:

    Where would you rank Wacha after tonight’s game?

  4. EAA says:

    Drop Springs from the list. No room for hate on my squad!

  5. Mike says:

    I absolutely love this website. Been checking y’all out for 3-4 years now it feels like. With that being said, Walker B at 24 and Logey Gilbert at 38 is a criminal undervaluation.

  6. Dude says:

    How about keeping your soy boy politics out of your rainbow analysis, Nick?
    Springs is a class act and more of the Rays SHOULD have taken the same stand – for something beyond what the woke mob demands.

    • Fred says:

      Get your analysis elsewhere then, loser. There’s no place in this world for bigoted folks like Springs, and you’re showing your whole ass by supporting him.

    • Jeff Norkin says:

      Live and let live, redneck, and stand up for anything that stands for “All men are created equal.” I bet you love the part of thr Constitution that says that all men have the right to bear muskets, right. But that “Everyone’s equal” detail? That’s annoying, right? Go destroy another country with your utterly evil stupidity.

  7. Jeff Norkin says:

    I was offered Ashby for Baz in a H2H weekly league before Baz’s debut today. Any opinion??

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