Every Monday during the season, I will be releasing “The List” where I rank the current value of the Top 100 pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season. Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from pitchers for 2017 and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues.
Let’s see how the SP landscape has changed:
- The toughest rank today was Clayton Kershaw, who is expected to miss 4-6 weeks on the DL. He’s the best pitcher in baseball, but if he’s missing half of the season, his rank has to take a toll. He’s currently in the mid 20s as he’ll make a major impact for a playoff run, but you’ll need other arms to get there in the first place, and his value dwindles mightily in roto. I have no qualms if you want to raise/lower him from this spot – we all know who he is. And yes, this does mean that Max Scherzer is #1. I hope he feels good about his new rank by default.
- I’m a little worried about Stephen Strasburg’s quick removal from Sunday’s game, which makes me think he might miss some time through the end of the year with the Nationals sitting pretty in the NL East. He’s still Top 10, but I had to drop him a few spots.
- Zack Godley’s biggest knock has been a K/9 rate under 8.50, which has been eradicated after fanning 19 in his last two starts. He held a 2.14 xFIP and .393 BABIP in those outings as well, making me all in favor of the second half to come as he sits at #20.
- I know you’ve heard me endorse Luis Castillo a ton already, but consider the fact his schedule thus far has consisted of the Nationals tiwce, Diamondbacks twice, Coors, and the Brewers. Thankfully, his schedule the rest of the way is nearly all bottom tier offenses, setting him up for a massive breakout. His month of July has a scFIP (Statcast FIP, think a better version of xFIP) of 2.64 against those tough opponents with a near 30% K rate. Um, yes please.
- A few pitchers took massive hits this week, including Steven Matz and Jeff Samardzija. Matz has struggled not only to get whiffs, but also find the zone consistently, which is a terrible sign given that these were two of his strengths last season. Meanwhile, Samardzija has showcased worse command as of late and it’s more difficult to believe that he’ll become the stud K/BB man without the harmful ratios.
- Jordan Montgomery also took a large dent as he simply hasn’t performed as well as expected. I do think The Bear can work his way back in the final months, but a possible shutdown and a somewhat tough schedule in the near future have him sitting a bit lower than I imagine he’ll be at the end of the year.
- Two major benefactors this week are Danny Salazar and Patrick Corbin. Salazar returned from the DL to put on a show on Saturday, and while I don’t think he’s going to be consistently productive, he’s certainly worth your roster spot and his ranking at #50. Corbin has been mightily impressive lately and has a good schedule ahead, making him worth your pickup above other options past #60 that are on short leashes.
- German Marquez makes another appearance as he’s fanned nine batters in back-to-back starts. I don’t expect it to be a consistency, but you can find worse on your wire.
- Another surprise has been Mike Fiers who has been on a tear, with a 2.51 ERA, 9.29 K/9, and 2.89 BB/9 over his last 12 starts. Still, I don’t expect this to carry on through the end of the year, but he’s worth your roster spot as he finds his way in the mid 60s.
- A pair of unexpected pitchers make their debut this week with Brent Suter and Sal Romano. I wouldn’t say that either of them are on the Spice Girl level as we’ve discussed this year, but Suter could be an interesting flier for the next month while Romano will miss some bats with high velocity and deceptive mechanics.
- At the end of The List we have a good amount of names making a new or returning appearance. Parker Bridwell, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Cobb and CC Sabathia are far from stable arms but could provide decent outings if you pick your spots. Reynaldo Lopez might be on the verge of starting for the ChiSox. Tyler Skaggs, Garrett Richards, and Chase Anderson are all presently on the DL, but could be decent stashes, with Skaggs returning very soon and Richards/Anderson acting as arms to hold for a playoff run.
- Leaving The List this week are a good amount of names. Zack Wheeler, Tyson Ross, Joe Ross, and Michael Pineda all were struck with injuries, with the latter two out for the year with TJS. Matt Shoemaker’s recovery isn’t going as fast as ideal, pushing him off the end. Luke Weaver returned to the minors and Ariel Miranda, Mike Montgomery, JC Ramirez, Blake Snell, Junior Guerra simply aren’t worth your time.
Thank you Mr. Pollack. I appreciate the time you put into this.
Whats the effect of the Cahill trade to the AL C and away from Petco ( NL W)?The ERA at Petco was 0.72. Unable to duplicate that in Kaufman for sure.
Excuse me for being lazy, but let me quote my answer on Reddit:
“Doesn’t change my ROS outlook much at all, there are a lot of factors to consider – DH added, slightly higher Win chance, great FB park in Kauffman, rough ROS schedule for KCR but also out of AL West with LAD, COL, ARI, etc – and I think it somewhat evens out.”
Lester or McCullers ROS?
I’m leaning Lester for the easy schedule, and McCullers has been downright awful the past handful of starts.
Yes he has. He simply hasn’t been able to find the zone lately.
I’m still favoring McCullers (as is apparent here), but they are clearly trending in opposite directions. I suggest reading today’s roundup for more in-depth McCullers talk, but he’s been a bit unlucky lately as well and you have to believe he’ll come out of it.
Love the list, but I really can’t understand the Taijuan Walker ranking. The guy has a top 40 xFIP, a top 20 (!!!) FIP, consistently goes deep into games, and is ranked 70th? How? You’d really prefer Vince Velasquez over him ROS? Help me understand that thought process. And thanks so much for all the content! Awesome work.
I’m not sure where you’re getting your numbers from on Taijuan walker as a 3.87 FIP and 4.41 xFIP are far from impressive and nowhere near Top 20/40 as you quoted. IPS is well under 6 across his last ten starts.
Chase Field is far from ideal for Walker, who has a history of giving up the longball, six of last nine starts have been with 4 Ks or fewer, and six of his last 10 starts have been with at least three walks.
That’s not a guy I want to have faith in.
Im not sure if you have looked at rick porcello recently, but he only gave up 3 runs. his ranking rose from 71 to 91! was it really that for of a performance. (plus one of the three HR he gave up was to mike trout, so take it with a grain of salt)
Here’s to quote yesterday’s SP Roundup: “You might think Porcello is turning it around allowing 5 ER in his last three games. Nope, his Hard Contact is at 37.3% with just 13.4% soft in that time.”
He fell more as he’s not showing major signs of improvement, making his fall from grace more and more convincing.
he seems to really struggle with locating his changeup down in the zone, because he’s given two homeruns in back to back games with it. What do you think he needs to focus on to improve?
Should the Cardinals trade one of their starters, as is the rumors, where would Luke Weaver rank?
He’d probably show up around the late 60s, 70s. Not the worst flier to take but not someone to instantly add in all 12-teamers.
Sad to see everyone at the top with an up arrow. Hopefully Kershaw comes back healthy.
Love reading this as always, Nick. Where do you get your scFIP numbers?
scFIP is part of xStats! Head to xStats.org
Robbie Ray outside for the top 30 SP? Not seeing the logic behind that one.
Yep! He holds a 4.41 ERA, 5.72 FIP, 5.71 BB/9, sub 6.0 IPS, and 41.8% hard contact through his last six starts. He had a great run against super weak teams away from Arizona, and now that he’s against decent teams he’s pitching poorly. It’s kinda what I’ve been preaching about him all year.
I didn’t pick up Clevinger when I had the chance because I didn’t want to drop Castillo. Did I make a mistake with that ROS?
No, I think you made the right move.
Great thank you
Who is Patrick Bridwell? I think you mean Parker Bridwell.
Sure did, thanks for catching that. Fixed!
Any insight on Vince Velasquez? For me he is unstartable for every possible reason. Pitch counts, walk rate, bad team, ips. I would peg him as zero value in a re-draft but still an asset in a keeper. Why am I wrong? If I am not, then why is he climbing the list?
Would you deal Michael Brantley for Luis Severino? I see you have Severino high in your ranks but ROS I’m a little concerned about an innings limit……
I think I would make that swap. Even if you miss one start from Severino, it’s still worth it.
What’s up with Taillon? Can I cut him now (14 team h2h) after this horrid start in San Fran?
It’s one bad start! Too soon to cut him.
In deeper leagues, would you rather stash Honeywell of Tampa or Lamet? Who has more upside ROS?
As a stash for next year, Honeywell easily. I wouldn’t call Lamet a stash at all…
How about the rest of this season . Honeywell or Lamet?
Lamet as he’ll have more starts and you can pick and choose the starts that should help.
Mr. Pollack great stuff. With regards to Salazar if you were an owner would you hold or try to sell high for someone in your top 30?
Definitely sell! I’ts hard to believe that Salazar has suddenly become a consistent arm after just one start.
Rest of season, deep league, whom would you want on your team D Lamet or Reynaldo Lopez