The List 7/18: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 16

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.” It’s difficult to update this week-to-week and I apologize if the ranking is different when the player actually returns from the IL. 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.

 

  • As is tradition, I need to tell you about the guys who were removed and added from the Top 60, so you have context for the ranking shifts.
  • Added: Nathan Eovaldi (40),
  • Removed: Luis Severino (13), Shane Baz (26), Chris Sale (31)
  • Net Gain Inside Top 60: (+2)

 

  • Before I begin, there are a few pitchers who may be making their return after the All-Star Break, but because we don’t have 100% confirmation, they’ll be added next week instead. That includes Jacob deGrom, Tyler Mahle, Rich Hill, Josh Winckowski, and George Kirby.
  • There’s also the question of David Peterson in the Mets rotation and I’ve elected to remove him – he wouldn’t start during the weekend before the next edition of The List, and if deGrom isn’t ready, they have a Monday off-day – they can simply skip his rotation spot.

 

  • H’ok, to the actual ranks now. The top tier has just one change this week as Max Scherzer has just been so dang good. He deserves to have that featured image and to jump over Zack Wheeler one spot. Does it matter? Not really but I see all of you rooting for Mad Max to jump up the ranks.
  • We had a fun discussion in the Twitch chat about Justin Verlander potentially being Tier 1 and I’ve kept him in Tier 2 for a fair reason – his four-seamer is getting hit far harder than it used to and has returned a paltry 9% swinging strike rate. I worry his sparkling ERA and WHIP will slip in the second half.

 

  • Speaking of the second tier, Clayton Kershaw gets a sizeable bump as he’s been a stud throughout the season, flirting with perfection in his last outing. Baseball feels right with Kershaw dominating once again.
  • I gave a slight drop to Kevin Gausman under Manoah after not looking quite right against the depleted Royals offense. It makes sense why (he was returning from an ankle injury) but it doesn’t change the fact he’s a bit off at the moment.

 

  • I shifted around Tier 3 a bit, including a promotion for Aaron Nola out of the tier and Robbie Ray Dylan Cease climbing the ranks. Their strikeout rates have exploded over the past month with Ray adding his sinker and Cease leaning on his slider more than ever.
  • Max Fried and Logan Webb each saw a small dip, but they haven’t changed. This was a promotion for the other arms listed.

 

  • I’ve raised Frankie Montas a decent amount into Tier 4 as he should be good to go after the break after never hitting the IL. All arms in here are flirting with an AGA label and let’s hope Montas makes a great case early, gets dealt to a contender, and carries your team to a championship.
  • Luis Castillo is a start or two away from entering Tier 3 as he sat nearly 98 mph on his fastball in his last outing against the Yankees. Hot weather Castillo truly is a step above.

 

  • I had to dip Charlie Morton into Tier 5 after walking at least three batters in three of his last four starts. He’s still tallying the punchouts and may settle in for the final 2+ months, but I’m not as confident as the tier four arms.
  • I gave lifts to Jon Gray, Logan Gilbertand Luis Garcia this week as you can count on this trio of stable arms week-to-week. I’m really digging the current trajectory of Gray, though, and could continue to raise him as long as we see slider whiffs + 96/97 mph on the heater.

 

  • Tier 6 sees major rises for Triston McKenzie and José BerríosEach arm took full advantage of their luscious matchups, reinforcing the concept of a Top 20 SP second half. The potential is there for both, let’s see if they can do it.
  • I wish I could have kept Spencer Strider in the fifth tier, but he’s showcasing more of a Cherry Bomb nature than we’d like. His last start was more on the unfortunate end, though, and he should bounce back.

 

  • Let’s welcome back Nathan Eovaldi to The List. I would love to have him higher up than this, but he returned tossing about two ticks softer and may need another start or two to get back into his groove.
  • I wanted to give a little bit of appreciation for Jordan Montgomery as he entered the Top 40 starters. The Bear has been surprisingly consistent and took down the Red Sox twice across the last few weeks. Props to him and that sinker coming through this season.

 

  • I took the “stable arms” tier that I normally put in the 50s and elevated it into the 40s as Taijuan Walker, Miles Mikolasand Tyler Anderson have kept up their end of the bargain into the middle of July. Astounding, really, and as we get closer to the end of the year, if they continue to hold up, they’ll creep higher and higher. I still have my skepticism, but they are clearly in a rhythm.
  • There’s also Zac Gallen at the end of the tier as I felt he relates to the “not exercising a high ceiling but generally help your team” notion these pitchers provide.

 

  • Tier 8 takes the hit to allow Tier 7 to rise. Here we have all the guys we hope can push into Tier 6 or higher but are making us a bit uneasy at the moment. Lance Lynn, Cristian Javierand Patrick Sandoval each have top-of-the-line potential and haven’t come through for managers (well, just lately for Javier as his ratios have been rough). I have no qualms with managers wanting to have anyone inside this tier further down the ranks, and the subjectivity of The List hits the most right around here. Personally, I favor the ceiling more at this point as those below get closer and closer to what you can find on the wire – it’s in your best interest to chase those who can truly push the needle in your favor rest of season.

 

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  • Also inside Tier 8 is Blake Snellwho fanned 23 batters before stumbling inside Coors – a product more of his fastball command than the nature of the stadium. We saw him flourish in the second half of last season as he axed the changeup and tossed plenty of four-seamers over the plate. After seeing the same approach return similar results for two straight games, he took a step back in Colorado. The potential for a league-winning stretch is still there, though the risk may be too great in your situation. Play this one the way you need to.

 

  • The ninth tier is a weird one. It’s an entangled mess of guys who don’t have quite the same realistic ceiling as the previous tier, but have intriguing stable upside and could realize it in the second half. Guys like Tarik Skubal, Alex Woodand Sonny Gray reside here, mixed with the ole reliables Carlos Carrasco, Adam Wainwrightand now stretched out Marcus Stroman.
  • A quick word on José Urquidy – I’m a bit skeptical that he’s been this good with his four-seamer and I do expect a step back in the near future, but as long as he keeps getting results (regardless of how), I’ll continue to raise him despite my own armchair-manager analysis.

 

  • Tier 10 could be swapped with Tier 11 – it’s all about your needs, once again. Here we have a crew of “will they break out in the second half?” starting with Michael Kopech’s constant yo-yo of velocity and command and finishing with Eric Lauer having moments of bliss with his four-seamer. I really hope both of these guys can make it work.
  • The combo of Aaron Ashby, Nick Lodolo, Max Meyerand MacKenzie Gore is an interesting one. Ashby has the highest long-term ceiling to me, Lodolo could make it work the soonest, Gore is still in the rotation post-ASB and may provide the most value, and Meyer is the biggest wild card after his MLB debut over the weekend. Meyer surprisingly tossed 50% sliders with a fastball I’m a bit iffy on (a little too much cut action, like Kyle Bradish or pre-breakout Corbin Burnes) but I want to still hold in the leagues I have him.

 

  • As promised, the eleventh tier is the last crew of “stability”. Corey Kluber and Merrill Kelly have shocked me and while I don’t believe they’ll maintain their ERA totals through the end of the season (i.e. don’t expect them to be Top 250 overall picks next year), it’s hard to turn away from Kelly’s 3.26 ERA at the moment. Just be careful against tough matchups ahead.
  • I was a skeptic, but Ross Stripling has carried a better-than-expected changeup and it has propelled him inside the Jays rotation. I think he’s destined to run into trouble in the second half, but I absolutely understand many leaning on him instead of those in the later tiers.

 

  • Tier 12 is a collection of names I’ll be watching closely in the second half. I have less hope that Josiah Gray, Hunter Greeneand Ian Anderson will develop in the way we want them to, but these Cherry Bomb types could be more sweet than sour.
  • Reid Detmers and Luis Patiño– now those are some fun young arms who could blossom. Detmers is throwing his slider more often and it could turn into the whiff pitch he’s been searching for, while Patiño just returned from the IL and will finally get consistent innings for the Rays. Put them on your watch lists.

 

  • Tier 13 is where you’ll be diving for some help. Steven Matz was set to return Sunday before the rainout and may be a steady Toby through the end of the year. Braxton Garrett just earned over 20 whiffs in his last outing and while I’d be shocked if his low 90s sinker continued to collect nine whiffs a game, he could be a useful innings-eater on your roster. And Jake Odorizzi is hinting at the Odorizzi of old with high four-seamers as he pitches for a winning team.
  • Sorry Nick Pivettathe wall has been hit and it’s very likely your Vargas Rule is over, turning you, at best, into a Cherry BombI’m avoiding unless I’m desperate for strikeouts.

 

  • Don’t take the red marks next to Kyle Gibson and Marco Gonzales literally – they are the same guys I assessed last week and it’s a product of others shifting around.
  • Let’s welcome back Ranger Suárez who may surprise you with his 4.07 ERA. There’s still time for him to go on a second-half run like last season…he may need to find his whiff-heavy changeup to do so, though.

 

  • Still need a TobyWhy not Johnny Cueto or 91+ mph Madison BumgarnerI’m not a fan of these arms as a long-term solution, but hey if you can sneak them into your lineup against a weak team, by all John means.
  • Welcome back Michael Wacha to The List, let’s hope your fastball/changeup is still serviceable as you steal us some Wins.

 

  • Still need…something? Well here’s the final tier containing a pair of Royals in Brady Singer and Kris BubicI don’t expect Bubic to carry 92+ with a low changeup again, but it worked against the Jays and hey, it could happen.
  • Jakob Junis should be taking the fifth spot in the rotation for the Giants and I won’t rule out success against the Diamondbacks if he’s carrying a wicked slider and a sinker + changeup that earns strikes.

 

  • I wish I could buy more into Graham Ashcraft and Keegan Thompson but neither one is doing enough with their stuff to warrant a 12-teamer pickup save for weak matchups. At least Thompson should get the Pirates on the horizon.
  • And why not, at #100 this week is Spenser Watkins as he’s been a small run as of late. Let’s hope that recent Baltimore magic lasts a little longer.

 

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Corbin BurnesT1
Aces Gonna Ace
-
2Shane McClanahan
Aces Gonna Ace
-
3Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
-
4Sandy Alcantara
Aces Gonna Ace
-
5Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
6Zack Wheeler
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
7Justin Verlander
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
-
8Joe Musgrove
Aces Gonna Ace
-
9Carlos Rodón
Aces Gonna Ace
-
10Shohei Ohtani
Aces Gonna Ace
-
11Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
+6
12Alek Manoah
Aces Gonna Ace
-
13Kevin Gausman
Aces Gonna Ace
-2
14Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
-
15Brandon Woodruff
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
-
16Robbie Ray
Aces Gonna Ace
+3
17Dylan Cease
Aces Gonna Ace
+3
18Max Fried
Aces Gonna Ace
-2
19Logan Webb
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
20Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
21Pablo López
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
22Tony Gonsolin
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
23Luis Castillo
T4
Ace Potential
+6
24Julio Urías
Ace Potential
+1
25Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
+3
26Frankie Montas
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
+8
27Chris Bassitt
Ace Potential
-
28Framber Valdez
Ace Potential
+2
29Charlie Morton
T5
Ace Potential
-5
30Kyle Wright
Ace Potential
+2
31Lucas Giolito
Ace Potential
+2
32Jon Gray
Ace Potential
+5
33Logan Gilbert
Ace Potential
+5
34Luis Garcia
Strikeout Upside
+5
35Triston McKenzie
T6
Strikeout Upside
+7
36Spencer Strider
Ace Potential
-1
37José Berríos
Cherry Bomb
+11
38Nestor Cortes
Ace Potential
+3
39Jordan Montgomery
Ratio Focused
+6
40Nathan Eovaldi
Ace Potential
+UR
41Taijuan Walker
T7
Quality Starts
+9
42Miles Mikolas
Quality Starts
+9
43Tyler Anderson
Quality Starts
+10
44Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
+5
45Lance Lynn
T8
Ace Potential
-9
46Mike Clevinger
Ace Potential
-
47Cristian Javier
Ace Potential
-7
48Patrick Sandoval
Ace Potential
-5
49Joe Ryan
Ace Potential
-2
50Blake Snell
Ace Potential
-6
51Tarik Skubal
T9
Ace Potential
+10
52José Urquidy
Toby
+17
53Alex Wood
Cherry Bomb
+10
54Carlos Carrasco
Quality Starts
-
55Adam Wainwright
Quality Starts
-3
56Marcus Stroman
Quality Starts
-1
57Sean Manaea
Ace Potential
-
58Sonny Gray
Strikeout Upside
-2
59Michael Kopech
T10
Ace Potential
-1
60Alex Cobb
Cherry Bomb
+4
61Aaron Ashby
Ace Potential
-2
62Nick Lodolo
Strikeout Upside
-2
63Max Meyer
Ace Potential
+UR
64MacKenzie Gore
Ace Potential
-2
65Eric Lauer
Strikeout Upside
+2
66Corey Kluber
T11
Quality Starts
+8
67Merrill Kelly
Quality Starts
+8
68Martín Pérez
Quality Starts
+2
69Noah Syndergaard
Toby
+2
70Jameson Taillon
Toby
+2
71Ross Stripling
Streaming Option
+7
72Josiah Gray
T12
Cherry Bomb
-6
73Hunter Greene
Cherry Bomb
-8
74Ian Anderson
Cherry Bomb
+11
75Reid Detmers
Stash Option
+12
76Luis Patiño
Stash Option
+UR
77Paul Blackburn
T13
Toby
-4
78Drew Rasmussen
Toby
+1
79Steven Matz
Toby
+UR
80Braxton Garrett
Streaming Option
+UR
81Jake Odorizzi
Streaming Option
+13
82Kyle Gibson
Toby
-6
83Marco Gonzales
Quality Starts
-6
84Nick Pivetta
Strikeout Upside
-16
85Trevor Rogers
Stash Option
+1
86Zach Plesac
Toby
-5
87Ranger Suárez
Streaming Option
+UR
88Johnny Cueto
T14
Toby
-
89Madison Bumgarner
Streaming Option
-
90Cal Quantrill
Toby
+1
91Michael Wacha
Streaming Option
+UR
92Tyler Wells
Toby
-
93Chris Flexen
Toby
-3
94Graham Ashcraft
T15
Stash Option
+1
95Keegan Thompson
Streaming Option
+2
96Jakob Junis
Streaming Option
+UR
97Brady Singer
Streaming Option
+UR
98Kris Bubic
Streaming Option
+UR
99Patrick Corbin
Cherry Bomb
-3
100Spenser Watkins
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 Andy Lewis/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.

3 responses to “The List 7/18: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 16”

  1. Hawks says:

    David Peterson?

  2. DJ says:

    Don’t see Andrew Heaney in this article… Curious if you would rate him or Dustin May higher when they return…?

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