Every week, 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 the rest of 2016, and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues.
Let’s see how the SP landscape has changed since last week:
– The Top 8 had a major shuffle as aces all over the play have struggled to be the kings of the castle. The biggest blow was Clayton Kershaw heading to the DL, but even him missing a month of ball isn’t worth dropping him out of the Top 10 – he’s simply too valuable in the 7 weeks or so he’ll give you when he returns (probably mid August).
– After much debate, Max Scherzer claims the top spot due to his recent success, strikeout upside, high win potential, and easy schedule.
– Matt Harvey takes a huge tumble as he clearly has problems not named “velocity” that he simply can’t shake. Joining him is Sonny Gray who is having troubles finding his groove as well.
– There hasn’t been a word on Drew Pomeranz’s expected Innings Limit, which was the last straw for me to raise The Dirty Cheerleader all the way to #22. He’s been on top of his game and would most likely be Top 20 if it weren’t for a possible shutdown. There are also trade talks, which would further reinforce the idea that he will be starting all the way through September. Monitor the situation closely, and it the meantime don’t hesitate to start him.
– I still love Aaron Nola to dominate in the second half with a super easy schedule and one more start to figure out the kinks in his delivery + less bad luck in his way.
– There are a bunch of pitchers nearing return, like Felix Hernandez, Yu Darvish, and Gerrit Cole, but the ones to focus on are Alex Cobb and Zack Wheeler. If you’re beginning to structure your team for a playoff run, they are a pair of the best buy lows out there as they will be pitching in September and could easily provide Top 50 – if not higher – value.
– The injured list grows, however. Joe Ross was struggling mightily regardless of his shoulder stiffness, and who knows when that will fully recover, giving him the boot. Jordan Zimmermann follows the same tale of disappointment and health, though it’s not as drastic and he’ll probably see play first. Jameson Taillon has a sore shoulder that doesn’t at first glance seem major, and not accumulating innings for most of July could end up helping owners as the Pirates would be able to stretch him into September. Zack Greinke is forced to fall outside the Top 20 – a sad event since he was starting to sit comfortably inside the Top 15. Expect him back within the next three weeks.
– I’m loving what I see out of a bunch of Dodger pitchers. Kenta Maeda looks to be the sturdy floor he was advertised to be as he signed in the winter. Brandon McCarthy came back from his TJS stint and killed it with a heavy reliance on hooks, which looked excellent – normally the hardest element to bring back after TJS. Bud Norris is focusing on using a Cutter and it’s working incredibly well (this isn’t just luck), while even Brock Stewart who was moved to the minors has a lot of promise and should been considered if he were to make a return in the near future.
– No Hyun-Jin Ryu isn’t added yet. I’ll have to see him pitch in the majors first before he gets a chance of making The List. He’s been “a week away” too many times to count since 2014.
– CC Sabathia has had a sore ankle and it is clearly impacting his performance leading to a major drop.
– Meanwhile, teammate Nathan Eovaldi is moving to the pen to make room for Chad Green, who has the upside to be on 12 teamers everywhere. Who knows how long he actually stays inside the Yankee rotation, but ride it out as long as you can.