The List 8/1: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 18

Updated Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2022.

Welcome to The List, where I rank the Top 100 SP for Fantasy Baseball every single Monday of the year.

Want an earlier update to The List? Join me on Mondays at 1:00pm ET as I live-stream its creation each week!

Have questions? My “office hours” are on Twitch 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday – Friday + the aforementioned stream of The List.

For each edition of The List, I have a set of rules to outline my thought process and how to best use these rankings. Please take note:

  1. This is 5×5, 12-teamer, H2H format focused. It generally is the same as roto as well, but make sure you adjust accordingly.
  2. We have two tables to review before the notes and rankings. First is an injury table that outlines where players would be relatively ranked if fully healthy. It’s the best way to tackle how to value players on the IL.
  3. If a player is on the IL or not confirmed inside the rotation, they aren’t on the List. That includes injuries and guys in the minors, but there are exceptions for players who are expected to be in the rotation but are being skipped this week.
  4. Second is a table of pitchers outside the Top 100 I considered. Please read this if you can’t find your guy.
  5. Since this is a 12-teamer, I heavily weigh upside in the back-half of the rankings. Tier 10 is likely going to underperform those in Tier 11 across a full season, but it’s in your best interest to chase Tier 10’s ceiling vs. settling for Tier 11’s floor.
  6. I’ve made a decision to remove all the labels that I struggle to maintain through the season to instead give each player just one label at a time. It streamlines the process much better and hopefully gives you a more targeted understanding of the player.
  7. The notes outline oh-so-much to help your team. Please read the notes if you can instead of just scrolling to the bottom.

 

Let’s get to the tables. First are all of our injured compatriots:

 

Injured Players Table

 

I made a decision this year: I’ve removed the “Preseason tiers” and changed “tiers” to “Relative Rank” as it’ll be more consistent week-to-week — Tiers change while their relative rank does not.

Please understand that “70-80” does not guarantee the player will be exactly in that range when they return. Rankings are 100% relative to the landscape and while this table reflects where they would sit in a vacuum, it’s a fluid creature. Sometimes there are oh-so-many options, sometimes I want to see them healthy and stretched out again, and others we’re starving for pitchers and they jump higher than “70-80”. It’s a loose reference point and why it’s called “relative ranking.” It’s difficult to update this week-to-week and I apologize if the ranking is different when the player actually returns from the IL. I hope it helps!

One last point about that – often times pitchers need an extra week or two to ramp up once they do return to the majors. It’s why Still ILL exists and the “relative rank” you see is when those guys have shaken off their rust. Will they be back to normal in their first start or will they need a few? I have no idea! Those ranks are to show what I’d expect once they are fully back to normal.

Now let’s take a look at the pitchers I considered for the Top 100 but didn’t quite make the cut:

 

Other Pitchers I Considered (Not Ranked In Order)

 

Lastly, I heavily recommend you follow my daily SP Roundup that outlines all pitcher performances through the season, or if you want a primer on most of these pitchers, you can check out my 40,000 words from the pre-season via my Top 224 Starting Pitchers for 2022 from February. Both will help you get a grasp of my general thoughts on most of these guys (especially the roundup!) as I simply can’t detail everything about 100 pitchers in these notes each week.

 

 

Ranking Notes

 

  • This is your reminder to please read these notes as they’ll tell you plenty about why “someone moved up” or “why is he at #X?!”
  • Seriously. Read the notes.

 

  • As is tradition, I need to tell you about the guys who were removed and added from the Top 60, so you have context for the ranking shifts.
  • Added: Jacob deGrom (5), Freddy Peralta (34), Jesús Luzardo (56)
  • Removed: None
  • Net Gain Inside Top 60: (-3)

 

  • Before we begin, we have some important elements to nail down. First, I finished updating this at 6pm ET on Monday, 8/1. I’m telling you this because I’m sure trades are going to be made and mess up a lot of this stuff, from expected matchups to rotations getting all mangled. I will not be updating The List until next Monday.
  • The day hath FINALLY arrived. Jacob deGrom has returned to The List, and so has Freddy Peralta and Jesús Luzardocreating a whole lot of red. Please keep in mind that innate -3 listed above.

 

  • So about those injured guys. I had a fun discussion with Twitch chat about where to place Jacob deGrom and settled on #5. Give him some time to properly display he’s the #1 pitcher on the planet again + there is some risk to see if he’s actually able to pitch through to the end. This is the toughest placement on The List this week and I understand all the opinions on this one.
  • For Freddy Peralta and Jesús LuzardoI tried to place them a tier lower than where I expect them to be in a week or two. For Peralta, as long as he doesn’t have massive command issues and his fastball/slider are still hard to hit, he’ll soar. With Luzardo, look for ~97 mph heaters and heavy curveball usage.

 

  • Okay, now to the regular flow of these notes. Nothing else new inside Tier 1 outside of Justin Verlander sitting inside it at #8 now. He hasn’t slowed down and deserves that love.
  • The second tier has expanded as well and has Brandon Woodruff rising to #13 after another start of dominant fastballs. Let’s hope it carries him through October.

 

  • The third tier has three major changes. First, Kevin Gausman and Robbie Ray each took hits as Gausman’s WHIP sits around 1.30 and Ray has struggled to earn whiffs across the board. Gausman’s BABIP should fall dramatically from its absurd .386 clip and Ray is sure to miss more bats, but I needed to ding them for problems other pitchers aren’t experiencing.
  • The third affected pitcher was Yu Darvishwho earned his AGA tag and flirts now with the Top 20 (stupid deGrom…). His 3.24 ERA and 0.97 WHIP have made managers thrilled through the season as he’s gone at least seven frames in each of his last four games.

 

  • Tier 4 kicks off with the newest man in Seattle, Luis Castillowho I elected not to raise yet given his move out of Cincy for a few factors. He’s destined to face the Yankees twice this week, his hit rates, BABIP, and HR/FB rates were already low and I don’t believe we’ll see a dramatic difference in Seattle, and lastly, I’m not sure how the move will affect Castillo. I want to give him his AGA label soon and propel him behind Darvish, and hopefully he forces the issue this week.

 

  • I opened up the tier a bit this week, adding Jon Gray, Charlie Mortonand Spencer Strider to the mix. All of them could be incredible plays down the stretch and make a sizeable impact, especially with Gray sitting 98 mph last time out. Let’s hope they all thrive.
  • Frankie Montas was dealt while writing these notes and I elected not to change his ranking based on his departure to New York. I imagine they feel fine about his shoulder, but I want to see how he performs for a start, too.

 

  • In the fifth tier, don’t be alarmed by the red – that’s just the new additions + love for Strider. Otherwise, it’s business per usual as I’m not seeing anything that dramatically shifts my views of these guys.
  • I really do hope Logan Gilbert finds something in his curve or slider (and keeps it!) before too long, though. I don’t think he can sustain his ratios without better secondaries.

 

  • Tier six and Tier seven are all about searching for the next big wave of success. The likes of Lance Lynn, Mike Clevingerand Blake Snell are hinting at phenomenal months ahead, but each do come a wart or two that holds that back from a spot in Tier 5 or higher.
  • Then there’s Miles Mikolas and Martín Pérezwho have been incredibly solid for managers all year. I hope they can keep this up, but it’s hard not to have doubts given their heavy reliance on stellar command.

 

  • The end of the tier is a small step above those in the next tier, but deservedly so. José Berríos tumbles a bit – the other arms here are safer and carry the same ceiling – and even after performing well against the Tigers, I’m not sure his stuff is in the place I wanted to see at this point of the year.
  • I’m not sure if Andrew Heaney is the guy we saw at the beginning of April just yet and I may be raising him into Tier 5 by next week if we simply see more of the same. As for Tarik SkubalI can’t quite decide if I’m buying into a second-half rebound or not. His arsenal itself has the potential, but the command undulates more than I like.

 

  • Hey, thanks for reading the notes. If you want more info, consider getting PL+ where you can chat 24/7 on our Discord with 1,000 members of the fantasy community + our wonderful staff, and get access to my morning PL+ exclusive The Plus Pitch Podcast. Sign up for PL+ Yearly today at 25% off ($96 $70) using promo code TRADENOTES pitcherlist.com/plus

 

  • The seventh tier begins with Lucas Giolito sitting just outside the Top 50 – a wild sight, I know. His velocity has been down for a good while now and I’m worried we’re running out of time before he can properly recover.
  • Outside of the grim reality of Giolito, we have a ton of fun names here. It’s a fun discussion about where to place the likes of Reid Detmers, Nick Lodolo, Aaron Ashbyand Jesús Luzardoand I’m favoring Detmers of the bunch. His new slider just impressed with 10/28 whiffs, while the four-seamer is benefiting along with it. Lodolo is clicking as well, and I’d favor both as “must adds” right now.

 

  • I’m not as excited for Aaron Ashby as his command is a bit more in question, but I’d still be grabbing him in all leagues. I elected to place Jesús Luzardo under these names (and Tyler Mahle as I expect him to be dealt) as we need to wait and see what he brings to the table.
  • At the end of the tier are two underperforming arms who could turn it around. Patrick Sandoval did earn eleven changeup whiffs over the weekend and if he keeps that up, he’ll be back in Tier 6 shortly. Joe Ryan allowed 5 Hrs (lol) to the Padres and while he won’t do that, he still doesn’t have a dependable secondary offering yet. Let’s hope that slider gets going soon.

 

  • In Tier 8, I gave Merrill Kelly more love for his season, which looked a bit pedestrian just a few starts ago (WHIP at 1.22), but his last three starts have returned just one earned run and lowered his ERA about 40 points. I don’t buy that it’s going to stick around for the final two months. Keep riding it, but I’d rather take my chances with Tier 6 and 7 instead.
  • The ton of red below is because of the new additions + the rise of the young arms. It feels weird to lower Sean Manaea after he finally took a step in the right direction (92 mph heater, axing the slider, lots of changeup whiffs), but as of now, it’s just a Dennis and not something to lean on.

 

  • I took no joy lowering Jordan Montgomery 25 spots, and it’s a product of having so many high-ceiling arms to chase instead as he’s pitching closer to the ability of Toby types. It’s the time to chase others instead of settling and The Bear hasn’t been in rhythm lately.
  • I debated with the spot of Jeffrey Springs plenty and ultimately I’m leaning into his command improvement in his last start that will outline successful weeks ahead. He’s teetering between Tier 7 and Tier 11 at this point, so I slotted him in the middle.

 

  • I don’t love placing both Alex Wood and Alex Cobb this far down after they both took care of business against the Cubs and are trending in the right direction, but I also don’t feel comfortable starting them against the Dodgers. They are in the land of purgatory, which is the theme of Tier 9 as they sit right before this week’s “Wandy Line” – the moment where you drop your pitchers for streamers instead.
  • The likes of Braxton Garrett, Josiah Gray, Hunter Greene, and Brady Singer are all worthy gambles at the moment – will Garrett continue to get slider whiffs? Can Gray iron out his breaking ball command and keep his heater up? Is Greene ever going to stop being volatile? And is Singer’s current Vargas Rule here to stay? Each can win you your weeks…or burn them to the ground.

 

  • Tier 10 is my acknowledgment of these pitchers who y’all aren’t dropping. I get it, they do their thing and get out. Do we believe them to be Top 40 arms down the stretch? Nah, but they are better than the waiver wire and that’s fine. Good ole Toby types.
  • I can’t help but wonder if Noah Syndergaard gets dealt or not. He’s on a one-year deal and if the Angels eat some of the contract, they should be able to deal him somewhere that needs SP depth. Just a thought.

 

  • In Tier 11, we begin with two major names that may surprise many to be nearly outside the Top 80. Nathan Eovaldi’s velocity has been sub 95 mph for three straight starts since returning from the IL and I can’t tell you it’s going to be corrected in the near future. It’s not a fun time to roster the man.
  • The other arm is George Kirbywho may be displaced by the Luis Castillo deal. He gets a solid outing against the Angels this week in a double-header (start him there), but his time in the rotation may be coming to a close.

 

  • Don’t ignore what Ranger Suárez has been doing with his changeup and cutter. His ERA is comfortably under 4.00 these days and may be on the verge of another second-half string of dominance.
  • I’ve underrated the excellence of Cole Irvin and he’s nestled into a proper Vargas RuleFeel free to pick him up and start him as it lasts against all but the top offenses.

 

  • I’m sad to see Eric Lauer’s velocity dip to 92 mph in his last outing as this magic of his 21-whiff evening has faded in the distance. There’s a chance it returns, but I don’t want to chase it…outside of the Pirates this week. It’s the Pirates, y’all.
  • José Quintana and Johnny Cueto are making it work and I completely understand managers chasing them in the short term as well. Jake Odorizzi has had his old command recently and may keep it going against the Guardians, as well.

 

  • The bottom tier is larger than usual, but it’s the same feeling as always – if you need something, here are a few names who could make it work.
  • The Jays have the first two names. Ross Stripling hasn’t had his changeup lately, while Yusei Kikuchi’s command was as good as I’ve seen it all year in his previous outing. I wonder how both will look in the week ahead.

 

  • Joining The List this week are James Kaprielian, Justin Steeleand Andre PallanteKap is becoming a possibly TobySteele’s slider prevents a ton of hard contact, and Pallante just fanned eight in as many innings. I’d prefer not to lean on them at all in my 12-teamers, but they may force the issue in the coming weeks.
  • And finally, the #100 arm this week is Bailey Falter as I’ll recognize his four-seamer doing work against the Pirates this weekend. It seems awfully precarious, but who knows. Maybe it sticks around.

 

  • Daniel Lynch was activated from the IL to start on Monday night just as I was finishing up The List – let’s see how his blister has healed and how he performs before making a pickup, but there could be something there. Watch his start tonight closely (or just read my SP Roundup at 2am ET).
  • One final thought: The Athletics received JP Sears and Ken Waldichuk in their haul for Frankie Montas and I imagine one of them (likely Sears) will get a chance for regular starts moving forward. I can’t rank them as they aren’t confirmed, but I wouldn’t be shocked if one becomes a considerable add or streamer in the near future. Keep an eye out.

 

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

FOR REAL

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Corbin BurnesT1
Aces Gonna Ace
-
2Shane McClanahan
Aces Gonna Ace
-
3Sandy Alcantara
Aces Gonna Ace
-
4Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
-
5Jacob deGrom
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
+UR
6Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
7Zack Wheeler
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
8Justin Verlander
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
9Joe Musgrove
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
10Carlos Rodón
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
11Shohei Ohtani
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
12Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
13Brandon Woodruff
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
14Alek Manoah
Aces Gonna Ace
-2
15Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
16Dylan Cease
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
17Max Fried
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
18Logan Webb
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
19Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
20Kevin Gausman
Aces Gonna Ace
-7
21Yu Darvish
Aces Gonna Ace
+4
22Robbie Ray
Aces Gonna Ace
-6
23Pablo López
Aces Gonna Ace
-2
24Tony Gonsolin
Aces Gonna Ace
-2
25Luis Castillo
T4
Ace Potential
-2
26Julio Urías
Ace Potential
-2
27Kyle Wright
Ace Potential
+2
28Framber Valdez
Ace Potential
-1
29Frankie Montas
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
-1
30Chris Bassitt
Ace Potential
-4
31Jon Gray
Ace Potential
-1
32Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
-1
33Spencer Strider
Ace Potential
+3
34Freddy Peralta
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
+UR
35Luis Garcia
T5
Strikeout Upside
-3
36Triston McKenzie
Strikeout Upside
-3
37Nestor Cortes
Ace Potential
-3
38Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
-
39Logan Gilbert
Ace Potential
-4
40Cristian Javier
Ace Potential
-
41Taijuan Walker
Quality Starts
+1
42Tyler Anderson
Quality Starts
+1
43Lance Lynn
T6
Ace Potential
+1
44Mike Clevinger
Ace Potential
+1
45Blake Snell
Ace Potential
+2
46Miles Mikolas
Quality Starts
+4
47Martín Pérez
Quality Starts
+8
48José Berríos
Cherry Bomb
-9
49Tarik Skubal
Ace Potential
-3
50Andrew Heaney
Ace Potential
+1
51Lucas Giolito
T7
Ace Potential
-3
52Reid Detmers
Ace Potential
+11
53Nick Lodolo
Strikeout Upside
+12
54Aaron Ashby
Ace Potential
+8
55Tyler Mahle
Strikeout Upside
+5
56Jesús Luzardo
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
+UR
57Patrick Sandoval
Ace Potential
-5
58Joe Ryan
Ace Potential
-17
59Merrill Kelly
T8
Quality Starts
+11
60Marcus Stroman
Quality Starts
-6
61José Urquidy
Toby
-8
62Jordan Montgomery
Ratio Focused
-25
63Sean Manaea
Ace Potential
-5
64Sonny Gray
Strikeout Upside
-8
65Carlos Carrasco
Quality Starts
-6
66Jeffrey Springs
Strikeout Upside
+1
67Michael Kopech
Ace Potential
-1
68Alex Wood
T9
Cherry Bomb
-7
69Braxton Garrett
Strikeout Upside
-5
70Josiah Gray
Cherry Bomb
+4
71Hunter Greene
Cherry Bomb
+4
72Brady Singer
Cherry Bomb
+8
73Alex Cobb
Cherry Bomb
-5
74Corey Kluber
T10
Quality Starts
-5
75Adam Wainwright
Quality Starts
-3
76Noah Syndergaard
Toby
-5
77Jameson Taillon
Toby
-1
78Nathan Eovaldi
T11
Ace Potential
-29
79George Kirby
Ace Potential
-22
80Ranger Suárez
Streaming Option
+14
81Cole Irvin
Streaming Option
+UR
82Eric Lauer
Cherry Bomb
-9
83Jake Odorizzi
Streaming Option
-6
84Johnny Cueto
Toby
-2
85José Quintana
Streaming Option
+4
86Ross Stripling
T12
Streaming Option
-8
87Yusei Kikuchi
Streaming Option
+UR
88Zach Plesac
Toby
-9
89Drew Rasmussen
Toby
-8
90Mitch Keller
Streaming Option
-
91Ian Anderson
Cherry Bomb
-
92Kyle Gibson
Toby
-9
93Marco Gonzales
Quality Starts
+5
94Chris Flexen
Toby
+3
95James Kaprielian
Streaming Option
+UR
96Keegan Thompson
Streaming Option
-4
97Jakob Junis
Streaming Option
-11
98Justin Steele
Streaming Option
+UR
99Andre Pallante
Streaming Option
+UR
100Bailey Falter
Streaming 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 Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

2 responses to “The List 8/1: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 18”

  1. John says:

    Nick you seem like a great, genuine person who loves baseball. This site in all facets feels like it has been moving away from that in a way that is pushing away a certain audience in my opinion.

    First, the “read the notes bit” is fine, whatever, but we’re at the point where you have to scroll halfway down this page to even get to the notes let alone the pitching ranks. I can only assume that pushes away casual readers. Same goes for the daily streamer articles. I’m not sure sure what the rationale is, personally I think you’re just overly hedging all your comments with this additional context instead of letting it rip. I can appreciate that the context is important, but I think it’s getting taken way, way too far.

    Second, as someone who has mainly used the site for the SP roundup, those have dropped significantly in quality. The number of starts you watch prior to the write-up has clearly dropped (which is fine! I just think someone else from staff should be allowed to write up a start if they happen to watch someone you hadn’t.) So instead of getting that good anecdotal comment that adds important context to a start, we just get generic, automated comments after you look at a savant pitch chart. And, final comment, not too important, but personally the writing tone you’ve taken recently is just getting tired and to me, only appeals to a tiny, fan-boy section of your audience that love the inside jokes. I think you can maintain your voice without turning off people who aren’t fervent followers of the Roundup and Streamer picks, but that’s just a personal perspective/opinion.

    This is one man’s opinion and I’ll be shocked if you read the whole thing, I just hope it’s taken in the well-intentioned way it was meant to come off.

  2. CEO, Robert Ray Fan Club says:

    Hey Nick

    I understand dropping Robbie Ray based on lack of strikeout production, but I’m not sure there is much to be concerned about there. He only seems to struggle against the Astros, and the Mariners have *ZERO* remaining games against the Astros this year.

    Consider this:
    His K/9 against the Astros this year: 5.9. Bad.
    His K/9 against the rest of baseball: 10.61. Good!

    ERA/WHIP against Astros : 10.97/2.81. Bad.
    ERA/WHIP against the rest of baseball: 3.46/1.04 Good!

    With this in mind, should we expect Ray to jump back up the rankings if he dominates the Angels tonight, as he should?

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