The List 7/27 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Nick's weekly update of the top 100 starting pitchers.

We’re back in the regular groove of Monday afternoon updates of The List! As always, make sure to read the notes as there are many changes that have good reasons behind them.

 

Ranking Notes

 

  • It feels weird to make so many changes so early in the year, but given that each game is 2.7x as valuable as previous seasons, there’s less time to wait for pitchers to settle into a groove and more of a necessity to embrace pitchers who are already in mid-season form
  • For those initiated, a Toby is a middling pitcher who is borderline a waiver wire arm. A Cherry Bomb is a volatile arm who is either super sweet or blows up in your face.

 

  • Some major innate (+4) jumps for everyone as Justin Verlander, Stephen Strasburg, Clayton Kershawand Corey Kluber were all removed due to injury. There are a lot of 50+ ranked arms that made leaps as well, so keep this in mind instead of just seeing the # changes!
  • If you’d like to see a more in-depth outline of my ranks, I live-streamed my process on Twitter today. It doesn’t get everything as I didn’t have Jesus Luzardo and Yonny Chirinos (they’ll be off the IL this week!), but it should help you get an understanding of how I’m ranking players
  • What are these ranks rooted in? Mostly overall ability in the first 50 players, then their upcoming schedule + upside is heavily weighted in the back half. It’s why I’d love to raise Garrett Richards higher but his upcoming trip to Coors followed by a date with the Dodgers forced me to hold him back

 

  • Prospects are a big part of the discussion right now and the three big names are Spencer Howard, Nate Pearsonand Forrest Whitley.
    • Howard will be debuting on Friday and I’m very curious about how he performs. He’s worth a stash now.
    • It’s unclear if Whitley will get to call to jump into the rotation to take Verlander’s spot. Be cautious considering Whitley has been considerably shaky since the start of 2019.
    • We believe Pearson will get the call this week, but with Ken Giles getting injured, it could be in the closer’s role instead of the rotation.

 

  • Zack Wheeler gets a major boost as our concerns of him missing time dissipated, further cementing his floor with a solid start against the Marlins.
  • I’m a little worried about Yu Darvish and Lucas Giolitowho each failed to impress in their first starts. I dropped them more than I normally would this early in the year since we have less time to allow them to figure it out.

 

  • Yes, I gave a major boost to Kyle HendricksI could see myself slotting him closer to #35, but to be at his prime this early in the year deserved some bonus points above the shaky Madison Bumgarner and pitch-limited Mike Soroka.
  • With James Paxton‘s diminished velocity at 91/92, it’s hard not to be concerned that he’s still affected by his back injury, forcing him to fall dramatically.

 

  • Dinelson Lamet and Robbie Ray are vastly similar pitchers at the end of the day and I can see either one skyrocketing up The List this year. Ray’s new mechanics make me wonder if there’s another gear to reach, while Lamet’s overall stuff prevents his erratic command from destroying his outings.
  • I am concerned about the lack of breaking balls from Matthew Boyd‘s first start of the year, but I have to respect that his slider and curveball could be better as soon as his next outing, erasing our concerns.
  • The same goes for Caleb Smith‘s fastball command as his overall stuff was still impressive.

 

  • Ross Stripling and Sandy Alcantara each saw big gains as well. I doubted the trust the Dodgers would put in Stripling, which proved foolish after seven strong innings over the weekend. Alcantara’s increased velocity is all kinds of tantalizing, while his improved changeup and excellent sinker command make me excited for future outings.
  • I also shot Spencer Turnbull up the ranks for removing his sinker in favor of four-seamers and sliders. It spoke to success yesterday and could continue.

 

  • It may be strange to see many names who haven’t even pitched yet to be pushed down The List, but the reasoning is simple. Those I propelled in front of them performed at a level I don’t expect from those who haven’t pitched. I hope they prove me wrong (I’m looking at you, Aaron Civale and Josh Lindblom).
  • Alex Wood‘s velocity sat at 90 mph yesterday, two ticks lower than the 92-94 we heard about all spring. It’s unfortunate, really.

 

  • Hats off the Dallas Keuchel for looking like his prime self against the Twins, nibbling the edges and forcing weak contact.
  • And let’s give some praise to Dylan Bundy for looking nothing like his former self against the Athletics, featuring sub 50% heaters and dominating with curveballs and sliders. You love to see it.

 

  • Two more fallers came from Shohei Ohtani and Sean Manaea
    • Shohei looked like a pitcher not quite ready to return from Tommy John, needing a few more tune-up starts to get his velocity & timing back. I hope it returns, but it may take a few weeks.
    • Manea also struggled with his velocity, which wasn’t high in the first place. It’s something to monitor as Manaea could be effective without 90+ mph heat, but there’s a lesser chance of it.

 

  • Some fascinating names make up Tier 10, including Tyler Chatwood, Yusei Kikuchi, Alex Cobb, Wade LeBlanc, and Matt Shoemaker
    • Chatwood featured his cutter at a higher rate than ever at 30% yesterday and it came with success. I won’t rule out completely that it was a fluke
    • Kikuchi held 96 mph velocity against the Astros – two ticks higher than expected.
    • Cobb and LeBlanc were able to dampen the Red Sox offense and could be used as streamers in the future.
    • The Cobbler known as Shoemaker should be considered as a streaming option, but nothing more.

 

  • We have many other names joining The List this week:
    • Jesus Luzardo is likely to jump into AJ Puk’s rotation spot after his missed time with COVID-19. It’ll likely be a start or two before he truly gets back up to speed, though.
    • Brady Singer made his MLB debut and held a 40% CSW rate. Be sure to read my 2,800 word GIF Breakdown outlining why I’d be chasing him wherever I can.
    • I was pleasantly surprised by Steven Matz‘s increased velocity and he’s forced his way onto many 12-teamers because of it
    • With Anthony DeSclafani hurt, Tyler Mahle will get chances in the rotation that could pay dividends.
    • I’m not sure he’ll go long into games, but I do like seeing Yonny Chirinos jumping back into the rotation right away. Don’t chase for Atlanta, but he’ll be solid after.
    • Jose Urquidy has been cleared for action, but I placed him last as we just don’t know when he’ll be truly ready to go.

 

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:

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Gerrit ColeT1
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-
2Jacob deGrom
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-
3Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-
4Mike Clevinger
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
5Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
6Jack Flaherty
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+3
7Patrick Corbin
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+4
8Luis Castillo
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+6
9Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+6
10Charlie Morton
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-3
11Blake Snell
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
-1
12Chris Paddack
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+5
13Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+6
14Sonny Gray
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+6
15Zack Wheeler
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+28
16Yu Darvish
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-3
17Lucas Giolito
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-1
18Lance Lynn
Aces Gonna Ace
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+3
19Carlos Carrasco
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+3
20Trevor Bauer
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
+6
21Frankie Montas
T4
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+3
22Tyler Glasnow
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+7
23Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+4
24Zack Greinke
Aces Gonna Ace
Quality Starts
+1
25Jose Berrios
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+5
26Kenta Maeda
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+5
27Kyle Hendricks
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+18
28Madison Bumgarner
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-
29Mike Soroka
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
+4
30Brandon Woodruff
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+4
31Luke Weaver
T5
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
+5
32Lance McCullers
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+8
33Mike Minor
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+8
34Dinelson Lamet
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
+15
35Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
+13
36James Paxton
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-13
37Julio Urias
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+7
38Max Fried
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
-
39Joe Musgrove
T6
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
-
40Carlos Martinez
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
41Hyun-Jin Ryu
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
-4
42Matthew Boyd
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-7
43Andrew Heaney
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+10
44Sandy Alcantara
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+15
45German Marquez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+9
46Shohei Ohtani
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
-14
47Ryan Yarbrough
Playing Time Question
Toby
Ratio Focused
+18
48Ross Stripling
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+40
49Caleb Smith
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-2
50Spencer Turnbull
T7
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+19
51Jesus Luzardo
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+UR
52Jordan Montgomery
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
Stash Option
+5
53Mitch Keller
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
-1
54Garrett Richards
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+6
55Griffin Canning
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+7
56Sean Manaea
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Ratio Focused
-10
57Mike Foltynewicz
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-1
58Rich Hill
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+5
59Brady Singer
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
60Steven Matz
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+UR
61Dylan Bundy
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+32
62Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
-7
63Josh Lindblom
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+3
64Corbin Burnes
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+18
65Josh James
Ace Potential
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-1
66Adrian Houser
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
+9
67Pablo Lopez
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+1
68Spencer Howard
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
+17
69Nate Pearson
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
+15
70Dallas Keuchel
T8
Toby
Ratio Focused
+25
71Zach Plesac
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
-1
72Aaron Civale
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
-1
73Kyle Gibson
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
+1
74Homer Bailey
Strikeout Upside
Streaming Option
+5
75Dustin May
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
+14
76Tyler Mahle
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
+UR
77Chris Bassitt
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Streaming Option
-
78Alex Wood
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
Stash Option
-20
79Joey Lucchesi
T9
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-3
80Carlos Rodon
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+7
81Austin Voth
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+15
82Yonny Chirinos
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
+UR
83Wade Miley
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
-3
84JA Happ
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
-6
85Nathan Eovaldi
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-12
86Asher Wojciechowski
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+4
87Forrest Whitley
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
+UR
88Jon Gray
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-5
89John Means
T10
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
-22
90Jordan Lyles
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+1
91Tyler Chatwood
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+UR
92Anibal Sanchez
Toby
Ratio Focused
+5
93Freddy Peralta
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-12
94Yusei Kikuchi
Toby
Streaming Option
+UR
95Alex Cobb
Toby
Streaming Option
+UR
96Wade LeBlanc
Toby
Streaming Option
+UR
97Matt Shoemaker
Injury Risk
Toby
Streaming Option
+UR
98Michael Fulmer
T11
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
-
99Chad Kuhl
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
-
100Jose Urquidy
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash 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 (@freshmeatcomm 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 ShoheiTheMoney says:

    You’re holding on Ohtani?

  • Avatar Tim says:

    Hey Nick,

    Curious about Gallen here. He didn’t move at all. Are you concerned at all given the walks in the first game of the year?

  • Avatar John says:

    How bout a Kyle Wright flyer Nick?

    Your writing is the most entertaining on baseball out there BY FAR. Love the glossary of terms and how you can actually make it fun to read about box scores.

    Cheers bro!

  • Avatar Agnier says:

    Mike Foltynewicz because he is not within 100

  • Avatar ESB says:

    Hey Nick, always look forward to these very Monday. Quick question ROS would you rather roll with Turnbull, Singer or Howard?

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