The List 7/8 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Week

Nick Pollack released his weekly update, ranking the Top 100 Starting Pitcher rankings for fantasy baseball.

[pitcher_list_new list_id=”33621″]


Fringe Starters


PitcherWhy They Missed The Cut
Jesus LuzardoI’ve moved stashes to Fringe Pitchers. Luzardo would be Top 50 if up now.
Danny DuffyNot the worst option and one of the last off The List
Daniel NorrisThere isn’t enough upside to chase this
Gio GonzalezOn the IL with “dead arm” – He’s a Toby
Jake OdorizziOn the IL with a blister issue – Top 45 SP
Carlos CarrascoOn the IL with leukemia, likely out all year (get well soon) – Top 20 SP
Corey KluberOn the IL with a forearm injury – Top 10 SP
Jameson TaillonOn the IL with an elbow injury – Top 25 SP
Tyler GlasnowOn the IL with forearm strain – Top 25 SP
Luke WeaverOn the IL with a forearm strain – Top 35 SP
Brad PeacockOn the IL with a shoulder injury – Top 60 SP
Rich HillOn the IL with flexor strain – Top 40 SP
Pablo LopezOn the IL with back injury – Top 60 SP
Spencer TurnbullOn the IL with a shoulder injury – Top 60 SP
Cole HamelsOn the IL with an oblique injury – Top 45 SP
Jake ArrietaLikely to hit the IL with a bone spur – He’s a fringe Toby in the first place
Daniel MengdenOne of the last cut – he’s a Toby at best
Frankie MontasSuspended 80 games
Mike FoltynewiczDemoted to Triple-A – Top 60 SP
Mitch KellerDemoted to Triple-A – Top 60 SP
Jimmy NelsonDemoted to bullpen
Trent ThorntonThe strikeout upside is interesting, but it’s too low of a floor
Jake JunisToo volatile to trust despite a tinge of strikeout upside
Luis SeverinoThe recent injury news sets him back to mid-August hopefully. He’ll be Top 15 then.
Alex WoodI’m just going to wait until he’s back to properly rank him. Most likely in the 50s.
Danny SalazarNot sure when he returns, he’d be a Top 60 SP when he starts again
Jhoulys ChacinEven his recent stretch isn’t worth the floor
Ivan NovaJust not enough upside and while he’s a decent streamer, it’s never for a high ceiling.


What is happening!

It’s another week and another edition of the Top 100 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball.

Before I dive into the player notes, here’s an outline of how I’m handling The List this season:

  • Previous/Best/Worst columns removed
    • These took a heavy chunk of loading time and ultimately provided very little value. The change arrows themselves are all that’s needed
  • Tiers added
    • As much as I hate making tiers (When do they start and end? How big are the cliffs?), ya’ll have been asking for them and I’m here for all of you. Please understand how hard it is to accurately place them and don’t get too worked up about it.
  • Labels added
    • There’s often confusion as to why a pitcher is a spot or two above or below another. These labels should help understand what each pitcher brings to the table, showing that some pitchers may be better or worse for what you need.
    • Hover over them (or tap on mobile) to see each label’s name next to the pitcher.
    • Ratio Focused = Their value lies in you chasing their ERA/WHIP more than strikeouts and Wins.
    • Toby = Boring arm that doesn’t excite you, but you stare at the waiver wire and accept that he just okay enough. You don’t like that he’s around the office, but he gets his work done.
    • Cherry Bomb = Volatile pitchers who are either “super sweet” or “blow up in your face.” Heed warning.
    • Ace Potential = I define an ace as: 3.40 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 24% K rate, 6.0 IPS. It’s why you see some surprising names as having the upside of an ace.
  • Fringe Starters added
    • There are always a handful of starters I badly want to add to The List but I don’t have enough room. I’ll always have this table at the end for a collection of starters – in no order – that I also heavily considered, as well as why they could be relevant
    • This will be where IL Players will land. I’ll mention where they would slot when healthy.

Please let me know how you feel about these changes and I’m looking forward to another fun year assessing the wonderful entity that is the SP Landscape.

On to the notes! Remember, these ranks are for 12-teamers in H2H categories leagues.


Player Notes


  • This might be the least significant edition of the year, with very few changes overall, especially in the Top 50. Caleb Smith returned from the IL and deserves a Top 20 spot and with both Patrick Corbin and Mike Clevinger properly getting adjusted, David Price gets an unfortunate and undeserved drop.
  • It’s time to serve Noah Syndergaard some punishment for his lack of execution, falling to #34 despite his Top 10 upside. I can see Zack Wheeler getting into a more consistent groove, giving him the slight edge, while Kenta Maeda, Madison Bumgarnerand Domingo German each seemingly stronger plays
  • I elected to shove all other “must own” arms into Tier 5 and as I sat trying to find a good place to end the tier, I eventually let it go until Eflin, who doesn’t present Top 35 upside.
  • It gets really dicey beginning in the 50s and honestly, if you believe that someone in the 60s or 70s deserves more love, I don’t blame you. Tier 6 is all about trying to find someone who could theoretically demand a Top 50 spot, with the names after getting much less convincing quickly.
  • Bryse Wilson is one of borderline Tier 6 names as he has the stuff to make a larger impact, but hasn’t flexed his muscles yet in the bigs. There’s talent there, but it may not be worth your time to chase while he figures it out.
  • With Michael Pineda showcasing 94 mph velocity, we have to start considering him again. Matt Strahm actually pitched plenty better than his recent shellacking, if you can believe it, and there’s still time for J.A. Happ to provide for your team.
  • I had to give a drop to Jordan Lyles who really hasn’t looked good since coming off the IL. It could change soon, but for now, he gets a drop.
  • CC Sabathia, Andrew Cashner, Adam Wainwrightand Yusei Kikuchi are all far away from being dependable assets, but they each have a hint of being something decent at the moment, so sure, why not, welcome to The List.
  • The magic surrounding Trevor Richards and Chris Bassitt is beginning to fade. Look for other options on the wire if you’re still holding on.

(Photo by Justin Paradis – @FreshmeatComm)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Rotographs contributor. Worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, Washington Post, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

  • Avatar chris says:

    Why the continuous love for Andrew Heaney? The K rate is nice but his peripherals seem in line with how he’s pitching with an era around 5.00. Am I missing something?

    Also any indicators on this strange breakthrough for Lance Lynn, any reason in particular he suddenly looks like a top 30 SP this season with the 9+ k/9

    Love the work you guys do. Keep up the good work and thanks in advance.

  • Avatar Firtree Baseball says:

    Where is the love for Alex Young?

  • Avatar Frankie says:

    Does Wheeler’s ranking have any of the trade rumors baked in? Or is this strictly based on him finishing the year with the Mets?

  • Avatar King Donko of Punchstania says:

    Incredible how pedestrian Syndergaard has become.

  • Avatar John says:

    In your notes on Carrasco you state he is likely done for 2019, so you feel it is safe now to drop in redraft? Not worth the hold just in case?

  • Avatar Ed says:

    Someone in my dynasty league (keep as many as you want w/contracts) dropped Carrasco. I have been sitting on #1 waiver priority. Should I use it on him. Contract is through 2022. Thanks.

  • Avatar rainmaker says:

    Was Logan Allen intentionally left off the list?

  • Avatar rainmaker says:

    Also, what does ratio focused mean? I always imagined it meant someone like Keuchel who pitched to weak contact but I see it combined quite often with K upside. Why does Pomeranz and Cashner get the label but not Lyles or Musgrove?

  • Avatar Haddy says:

    Trevor Williams at 81 seems about 60 spots too low to me. Or at least that’s what I will keep telling myself since I recently traded Yordan Alvarez for him straight up in a dynasty league.

  • Avatar Brad R says:

    I’m curious each week why you continue to give the Cherry Bomb label to Chirinos.

    Five guys on my team I have zero quibbles with where you rank them and with my staff overall, but this just does not feel accurate.

    If we are defining a “bomb” as a start with a 6+ ERA he’s had 2 all year. He’s had 6 straight quality starts, with the lowest Gsc being 51. 10 of his 12 starts are above 50.

    Isn’t this the profile of a Toby and possibly reaching Spiderman levels? Ratio focused QS machine that has a low ceiling (will never be much past 8 k/9) on Ks sounds exactly like a Toby

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