The List 6/7: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2021 – Week 11

Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2021 - Week 11.

It’s the weekly tradition here at Pitcher List where I rank the Top 100 Starting Pitchers in fantasy baseball and it’s time for Week 11’s starting pitcher rankings.

Want an earlier update to The List? Join me on Mondays at 12:00pm EST as I live-stream its creation each week!

Have questions? My “office hours” are on Twitch 8:30am – 11:00am EST Monday – Friday + the aforementioned stream for The List.

As always, make sure to read the notes as there are many changes that have good reasons behind them, and please consider that these ranks are based on a 12-teamer, 5×5 roto format. Adjust accordingly to your situation.

For those unaware:

  • Cherry Bomb = A volatile pitcher who is either super sweet or blows up in your face. There are few middle grounds.
  • Toby = A middling pitcher who you can’t decide if they do enough to stay on your team and give you the itch to drop every single day. Named after Toby from The Office.

Here are the rules for those wondering why a pitcher is or isn’t ranked here:

  1. If a pitcher is on the IL or out of the rotation and not confirmed for a start this week, they are pushed into the Fringe table.
  2. If a pitcher is in a rotation and not confirmed to start but has not been placed on the IL or officially removed, they remain on The List.
  3. These rankings are made as if I am drafting a team today for the rest of the season.
  4. This means the Top 40-50 picks are more for ROS, while the rankings after are more short-term focused.
  5. I will only incorporate a game played on Monday if the pitcher’s performance is completed before 2:00pm EST.

 

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.

 

  • If you read one note, make it this one. John Means and Jack Flaherty both hit the IL, which means there is an innate “+2” for 80% of The List. If you see a “+1” for anyone after the Top 20, it means they actually dropped.
  • The doesn’t come into play for the Top 10, though, as I elected to bring down both Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish as they both haven’t been quite as sharp as their elevated ranks would suggest. Still defacto aces, of course.

 

  • In the third tier, Zack Wheeler takes the top spot, ahead of his teammate Aaron Nolawho has failed to flat-out dominate as his peers have. It has been one of the toughest schedules for any starter across the last month for Nola, though, and I’d expect him to recover across the final four months of the year.
  • Let’s all collectively welcome Kevin Gausman into the Top 15 as he’s allowed 1 ER or fewer in each of his last nine starts. Simply incredible.

 

  • Tier 4 has Freddy Peralta sliding just outside the Top 20 as he earned his AGA label this week. Despite my longterm concerns with his crossbody mechanics, he’s very clearly in a rhythm that could extend far into the season.
  • Carlos Rodón is showing no signs of slowing down – literally, as his fastball has sat 96+ mph in multiple starts. Keep in mind, Rodón averaged 93 mph and change across each of his previous seasons. As long as that velocity is there, he’s a stud.

 

  • We’re about one prevailed tough matchup away from Sandy Alcantara getting his AGA label and until then, he’s on the outskirts of Tier 4. If he develops legit consistency with his breaker, the sky is the limit with his ridiculous stuff.
  • I was concerned last week about Robbie Ray‘s fastball command dipping into the bottom third of the zone against the Yankees. However, he was back to the upper third against Miami, and while it may be unfair to raise him against such a weak opponent, the skills are what’s most important: his fastball command has recalibrated.

 

  • Tyler Mahle jumps back into the Top 30 as he was smooth as butter with his heater & slider last time out. It’s great to see a pitcher power through adversity and come back out the other end.
  • I’m not completely sold that Blake Snell is fixed – read Michael Ajeto’s great Snell piece to get a better understanding! – but where Ajeto mentions he’s lost his curveball, his slider may be taking its role in the repertoire as he axed the changeup. It clearly worked (albeit against the Mets) and we’ll see where he’s at next week.

 

  • I had a tough time ranking the top of Tier 6 as Alex Wood, Marcus Stromanand Framber Valdez each have valid cases to be in Tier 5. Wood struggled in his last outing, but should have his 92 mph velocity and fantastic slider back for his start against the Rangers and beyond. Stroman’s sub 3.00 ERA and near 1.00 WHIP have aided teams everywhere, though it has come against a slew of weak opponents. Meanwhile, Valdez looked like a proper ace in his second start back (over 100 pitches!) and I need to see him repeat it before I give him a leap to the Top 30.
  • I’m also a bit down on Ian Anderson and Sonny Gray at the moment. Both pitchers present Top 20 stuff, but their command hasn’t been on point as of late. I trust them on all my rosters as they could go on some ridiculous runs, but I trust the trio above a little more.

 

  • Look at the ascension of Rich Hill and Dylan CeaseHill has acted like he’s a spring chicken despite this 41-year-old age as the Rays have done a solid balance of letting him go deep into games and preserving him after five with a low pitch count to help keep him on the field for longer this year.
  • In the other direction is Cease, who has honed his slider command and can dominate if one of his changeup, curveball, or fastball can be spotted around the zone on a given night. The potential is there, and he’s proving more consistent than we thought. The slider is just that good.

 

  • Returning to The List this week is Kyle Gibsonwho wasted no time in his Still ILL start and looked just like the mad man we saw before his stint. I still question if it’ll last all year, but he’s certainly earned the Top 50 spot.
  • Adbert Alzolay has continued to prove himself as he dominated the Padres with just a slider and heater. The sweeper is fantastic and his heater is getting the job done at 94 mph. Keep starting him until he gives you a reason not to.

 

  • Tier 8 has today’s featured starter in Tarik Skubalwho has been ridiculous across his last four games, tallying 37 strikeouts and allowing just 4 ER. His slider has been the catalyst and I can imagine he can lower the walk rate as he continues to build off the four-seamer/slider approach. Hold on tight, there could be more ahead as we’re witnessing development first-hand.
  • I need to give a proper apology to Luis Garciawho I expected to struggle during his gauntlet of tough opponents (he excelled) and theorized he could be out of the rotation when McCullers, Odorizzi, and Urquidy returned (nope, too good for that). His cutter and slider have been tremendous and he should be held onto if y’all didn’t drop him…like I may have.

 

  • I know, I know, Kyle Hendricks didn’t perform that badly and now he’s down 15 spots. Still, it’s at #53, in the Land of the Holdables, and he should be helping you through the year. I do believe the times of Hendricks going 6-7 frames of 1 ER ball are fewer and farther between in the past, though, and his strikeout rate doesn’t push his value up like many others now ahead of him.
  • So Alek Manoah wasn’t as good in his second start, with a plenty worse changeup and lacking the overall command of the first game. He’s likely somewhere in the middle of the two starts, still carrying the upside of his debut. Keep holding.

 

  • Tony Gonsolin and Dinelson Lamet both return to The List this week for different reasons. The Dodgers have needed a proper fifth starter for a while with Dustin May on the IL and David Price far from the stud of the past, making Gonsolin slide in nicely as the #5 arm. It seems to be a stable spot and with his rehab starts, Gonsolin could be productive from the start, especially against the Pirates.
  • I removed Lamet from The List last week as I was getting frustrated at the limited usage. One week later, he has a start of 70+ pitches under his belt and hints at his first five-inning game of the season. It’s time to buy back in and hope he goes 5+ consistently with legit ace quality.

 

  • Staying in Tier 9, Luis Castillo and Dylan Bundy are still met with plenty of skepticism. Castillo averaged 98 mph last time out and had success, but his changeup wasn’t the whiff machine we reminisce of and without the slow ball at its peak, it’s hard to see Castillo reach the same heights.
  • Bundy hasn’t suggested his rebound yet, though he was a bit unlucky last time out + he could take that step forward on Monday against the Royals. Let’s hope it’s time for his redemption tour.

 

  • Nathan Eovaldi is a bit of a mystery to me, as he dances between an effective collection of secondaries one night and a dearth of options on another. Who is the real Nathan for me?!
  • Tier 10 is where the waiver wire cliff starts to hit. Marco Gonzales has returned from the IL and provided four solid innings, though his skills don’t suggest a repeat of his wonderful 2020 campaign. I’d play the matchups as he aims to be Spider-Man once again.

 

  • German Marquez has reflected his 2018 across the last few weeks, carrying an effective slider and curveball and making us question if Coors truly is undefeated. Yes. The answer is always yes. Feel free to take the gamble here, you’re putting yourself at a lot of risk trusting Marquez on a given night in Colorado.
  • Casey Mize has done plenty to push himself further up The List, though I question what his ultimate ceiling is. His fastball is solid – not elite – while his slider has performed at its peak lately. Meanwhile, his splitter is still a volatile offering (Mild shock) and it may not last through the year. Still, if his slider is this good (whiffs + called strikes both!), he’s worth the roster spot.

 

  • Because we’re right at the point of hovering the waiver wire, it’s in your best interest to take a chance on Jackson Kowar as he makes his MLB debut Monday evening. It’s a “wait and see” situation and hopefully he justifies the stash we’re taking.
  • Jake Odorizzi takes a small hit, but there’s a chance he’s rising this time next week. He sat 93 mph on his heater last time (92 mph earlier in the year & 2020), while commanding his four-seamer up in the zone ala his fantastic 2019 campaign. If he’s able to repeat the performance against the Red Sox this week, I’m game to start him after.

 

  • Dallas Keuchel gets a rude -15 as we enter the eleventh tier, a product of his scheduled shifted to face the Jays, Rays, and Astros across his next three starts. He’s a solid Toby for the season, but not a must-hold for now.
  • And that’s really the rest of the tier, with JT Brubaker, Steven Matz, Eduardo Rodriguezand Adam Wainwright demanding your attention when they get favorable starts, but not worth the squeeze if there are players with higher upsides on the wire.

 

  • Tier 12 is the fun tier of guys who have potential but could be out of our minds next week. It starts off with Alex Cobbwho had one terrible inning against the Mariners and was perfect otherwise – his splitter fully intact. With @ARI, DET, @TBR, and BAL ahead, this could be a fantastic stretch.
  • Nick Pivetta and Caleb Smith are nearly Top 80 and I can’t help but chuckle about it. Pivetta’s tossing 95 mph upstairs with a pair of solid breakers and it could spell high strikeout rates for a bit. Smith’s fastball sat 92+ mph on Sunday and while his slider and changeup were far from great, they could come along with more time.

 

  • Ryan Weathers continues to get more innings and as long as he continues to start, I believe he’ll refine his stuff to make him well worth your time in a 12-teamer.
  • Austin Gomber has shown an excellent array of secondary pitches, allowing him to throw sub 40% heaters and rack up the strikeouts. If only he didn’t call Coors his home…

 

  • Patrick Sandoval tallied 32 whiffs in Sunday’s affair and I still can’t get over it. No pitcher had earned 30 whiffs in a start all season prior. It could fade by his next start as his command wasn’t as precise as you’d imagine, but who knows. Maybe it sticks.
  • Logan Gilbert had his slider working opposite Sandoval and it could spell success moving forward. There are still more kinks to iron out, but this is development.

 

  • Another week, another drop for Patrick Corbin as he didn’t suggest a massive rebound in the near future. There’s always a chance he gets slider whiffs and sits 92-93 mph again.
  • In the final tier, we have a ton of pitchers who are simply only worth your time if they get a lovely matchup. Sorry Matthew Boydif you don’t have your slider, you’re just not the Boy man I want you to be.

 

  • Cole Irvin returns this week as he’s a decent arm who has the opportunity for volume on a given night. I don’t see a high ceiling for him, though.
  • Joining The List this week is Tucker Davidson at the special #100 spot. He’s appeared as the #5 starter for Atlanta with Huascar Ynoa out for an extended period of time and his stuff is better than your standard streamer. Nothing to get too excited about, but I can imagine us leaning on him for some streams across the next few weeks if he’s given the chance.

 

Fringe Pitchers I Considered

 

All right, now that the notes are at the top and you understand where I’m coming from, let’s get to The List:

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Jacob deGromT1
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-
2Gerrit Cole
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-
3Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
4Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
5Brandon Woodruff
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+2
6Yu Darvish
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-3
7Trevor Bauer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-3
8Corbin Burnes
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+2
9Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
-1
10Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-1
11Zack Wheeler
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
12Lance Lynn
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
13Lucas Giolito
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
14Tyler Glasnow
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+2
15Kevin Gausman
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+3
16Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-5
17Hyun Jin Ryu
T4
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-
18Trevor Rogers
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
+4
19Carlos Rodon
Aces Gonna Ace
Quality Starts
+4
20Julio Urias
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
-1
21Freddy Peralta
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+5
22Max Fried
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-1
23Sandy Alcantara
T5
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
24Joe Musgrove
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+1
25Pablo Lopez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
26Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+5
27Tyler Mahle
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
+7
28Blake Snell
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
+5
29Alex Wood
T6
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+1
30Marcus Stroman
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+7
31Framber Valdez
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+12
32Ian Anderson
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
-4
33Sonny Gray
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
-4
34Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
35Aaron Civale
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-3
36Sean Manaea
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
+6
37Zack Greinke
T7
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
+4
38Jose Berrios
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-2
39Yusei Kikuchi
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+5
40Shane McClanahan
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
-1
41Rich Hill
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+8
42Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+9
43Chris Bassitt
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-3
44Adbert Alzolay
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+8
45Domingo German
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
-
46Kyle Gibson
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
47Frankie Montas
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
-1
48Taijuan Walker
T8
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+5
49Tarik Skubal
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+13
50Shohei Ohtani
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+5
51Alek Manoah
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
-4
52Luis Garcia
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+31
53Kyle Hendricks
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-15
54Jose Urquidy
Injury Risk
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
-6
55Zach Eflin
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-1
56Luis Castillo
T9
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Stash Option
+2
57Tony Gonsolin
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
58Dinelson Lamet
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
+UR
59Michael Pineda
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
-3
60Jordan Montgomery
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Ratio Focused
-
61Wade Miley
Injury Risk
Toby
Ratio Focused
-
62Anthony DeSclafani
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+1
63Nathan Eovaldi
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+10
64Dylan Bundy
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Stash Option
-7
65Chris Paddack
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
-
66Marco Gonzales
T10
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+6
67Jameson Taillon
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
-3
68German Marquez
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+19
69Andrew Heaney
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+5
70Casey Mize
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+8
71Jake Odorizzi
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
-4
72Justin Dunn
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
-2
73Jackson Kowar
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
+UR
74Dallas Keuchel
T11
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
-15
75JT Brubaker
Toby
Ratio Focused
+1
76Steven Matz
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
+1
77Eduardo Rodriguez
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
+3
78Adam Wainwright
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+6
79Alex Cobb
T12
Streaming Option
+9
80Nick Pivetta
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+UR
81Caleb Smith
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
Stash Option
+UR
82Ryan Weathers
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+16
83Logan Gilbert
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
Stash Option
+8
84Austin Gomber
Streaming Option
+UR
85Patrick Sandoval
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+UR
86Patrick Corbin
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Stash Option
-20
87Ryan Yarbrough
T13
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
-1
88Griffin Canning
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-7
89Matthew Boyd
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
-7
90James Kaprielian
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
+6
91Brady Singer
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
-6
92Dane Dunning
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+2
93Cole Irvin
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+UR
94Mike Minor
Streaming Option
-5
95Tyler Anderson
Toby
Streaming Option
-5
96David Peterson
Strikeout Upside
Streaming Option
-3
97Joe Ross
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+2
98Garrett Richards
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-3
99Ross Stripling
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+1
100Tucker Davidson
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
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 Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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 logan says:

    I know this is a pitcher-centric weekly rank, but hitter-for-pitcher trades are hard to value and your pitcher wisdom would be very helpful…is Kebryan Hayes for either Robbie Ray or Framber a slam dunk?

  • Avatar Mike Honcho says:

    Would you drop E-ROD or Tucker Davidson for the Irish Panda?

  • Avatar pedro says:

    Drop Gibson, Bundy, LuisGarcia, or McClanahan?
    For
    Kikuchi or Skubal or Gonsolin?

    10 team points league

  • Avatar BB says:

    Re the Jefferies note – he came off the minor-league IL on May 21 (was optioned to AAA on May 6 before the assignment) and has since made three starts for Las Vegas.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    The Rays deserve no credit for Rich Hill. Rich Hill is doing exactly what he always does and he would be doing it for any team.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    If I had to make a six man staff from T10 and below it would be: Taillon, Heaney, Mize, Waino, Corbin, Boyd. IMO there are so many scrubs mixed all throughout the list that there are a lot of cheap veterans near the end that probably produce. I feel like this has become more of a list of who might be the the next big thing than about production. I guess that is social media fandom for you. I still think it is a great list but I can’t really use it in the same way that I used to.

  • Avatar Tim Burton says:

    Bubic not even on your radar? He’s been damn solid in five of six starts with a couple of QS’s, carrying a 2.12 ERA.

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