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.