The List 8/12 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

The List

Rank Change Pitcher Labels
1 T1 - Justin Verlander
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
2 - Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
3 - Jacob deGrom
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
4 - Walker Buehler
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
5 +3 Chris Sale
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
6 UR Hyun-Jin Ryu
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
7 T2 -2 Luis Castillo
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
8 -2 Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
9 -2 Zack Greinke
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
10 -1 Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
11 -1 Mike Clevinger
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
12 - Charlie Morton
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
13 +1 Patrick Corbin
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
14 -3 Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
15 - Trevor Bauer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
16 - Lance Lynn
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
17 -4 Stephen Strasburg
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
18 +3 Lucas Giolito
Aces Gonna Ace
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
19 T3 +1 Noah Syndergaard
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
20 +10 Jack Flaherty
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
21 -2 Caleb Smith
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
22 +1 Sonny Gray
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
23 -6 Matt Boyd
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
24 +2 Madison Bumgarner
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
25 -7 Jose Berrios
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
26 -4 Domingo German
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
27 +6 Mike Minor
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
28 -1 James Paxton
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
29 -1 Zack Wheeler
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
30 -1 Yu Darvish
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
31 -7 Kyle Hendricks
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
32 T4 -1 Chris Paddack
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
Stash Option
33 -1 Mike Soroka
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
34 - Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
35 - Cole Hamels
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
36 - Brendan McKay
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
37 +4 German Marquez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
38 +1 Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
39 +5 Jake Odorizzi
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
40 +5 Dinelson Lamet
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
41 -1 Kenta Maeda
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
42 UR Andrew Heaney
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
43 T5 -5 Wade Miley
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
44 +4 Max Fried
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
45 -8 Eduardo Rodriguez
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
46 +1 Zach Plesac
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
47 UR Griffin Canning
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
48 +14 Mike Foltynewicz
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
49 +3 Aaron Sanchez
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
50 - Chris Archer
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
51 +4 Mike Fiers
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
52 +12 Reynaldo Lopez
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
53 -7 Anthony DeSclafani
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
54 +5 Joey Lucchesi
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Toby
55 +10 Dustin May
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
56 T6 +21 Ryan Yarbrough
Playing Time Question
Toby
Streaming Option
57 -15 Marcus Stroman
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
58 -2 Alex Wood
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
59 +15 Julio Teheran
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
60 -17 Kyle Gibson
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
61 -12 Jon Gray
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
62 -1 Jose Quintana
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
63 -12 Masahiro Tanaka
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
64 T7 UR Adrian Houser
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
65 UR Mike Montgomery
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
66 -9 Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
67 UR Mitch Keller
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
68 +26 Chris Bassitt
Strikeout Upside
Streaming Option
69 -11 Brad Keller
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
70 +2 Jake Junis
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
71 +10 Cal Quantrill
Playing Time Question
Toby
Streaming Option
72 +6 Elieser Hernandez
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
73 UR Aaron Civale
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
74 -4 Steven Matz
Strikeout Upside
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
75 +7 Jordan Yamamoto
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
76 -5 Jordan Lyles
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
77 -14 Devin Smeltzer
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
78 T8 +8 Gio Gonzalez
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
79 -26 Dallas Keuchel
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
80 -26 Anibal Sanchez
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
81 -21 Jon Lester
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
82 -16 Drew Smyly
Playing Time Question
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
83 -15 Miles Mikolas
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
84 -5 Jeff Samardzija
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
85 -12 Alex Young
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
86 -17 Joe Musgrove
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
87 -12 Merrill Kelly
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
88 -12 J. A. Happ
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
89 T9 -9 Vince Velasquez
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
90 -6 Spencer Turnbull
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
91 -6 Chase Anderson
Low Ips
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
92 UR Joe Ross
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
93 UR Kolby Allard
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
94 -27 Asher Wojciechowski
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
95 -4 Adam Wainwright
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
96 -6 Tanner Roark
Toby
Streaming Option
97 -14 Tyler Beede
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
98 UR Brett Anderson
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
99 -6 Marco Gonzales
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
100 UR Hector Noesi
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option

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

 

Fringe Starters

 

Pitcher Why They Missed The Cut
Max Scherzer On the IL with a back injury – #1 SP contender when he returns
Yonny Chirinos On the IL with a finger injury – Top 45 SP
Tyler Mahle On the IL with a hamstring injury – Top 70 SP
Michael Pineda On the IL with triceps injury – Top 80 SP
Carlos Carrasco On the IL with leukemia – Top 20 SP
Corey Kluber On the IL with a forearm injury – Top 10 SP
Zach Davies On the IL with back injury – Top 90 SP
Jameson Taillon On the IL with an elbow injury – Top 25 SP
Tyler Glasnow On the IL with forearm strain – Top 25 SP
Luke Weaver On the IL with a forearm strain – Top 35 SP
Brad Peacock On the IL with a shoulder injury – Top 60 SP
Rich Hill On the IL with flexor strain – Top 40 SP
Pablo Lopez On the IL with back injury – Top 60 SP
Brandon Woodruff On the IL with an oblique injury – Top 30 SP
Danny Salazar On The IL with a groin injury – Fringe Top 100 when pitching
Frankie Montas Suspended 80 games
Matt Strahm Demoted to bullpen
Michael Wacha Demoted to bullpen
Zach Eflin Demoted to bullpen
Nick Pivetta Demoted to the bullpen
Jesus Luzardo In Triple-A – Top 50 SP
Jose Urquidy Demoted to Triple-A – Top 70 SP
Jimmy Nelson Demoted to bullpen
Kevin Gausman Expected to head to bullpen after acquired by Reds from Braves
Daniel Mengden He’s a Toby at best
Tommy Milone Too risky over the other options
Jake Faria Called up to replace Davies, if he starts and looks solid, could be on List soon
Daniel Poncedeleon I wonder if he can really put it together instead of being a major liability
Trent Thornton The strikeout upside is interesting, but it’s too low of a floor
Luis Severino The recent injury news sets him back to mid-August hopefully. He’ll be Top 15 then.
Jhoulys Chacin Even his recent stretch isn’t worth the floor
Trevor Williams The ratios nor strikeouts are there to chase him
Jason Vargas The Vargas Rule is no more
Mike Leake The reward is too little for the low floor in 12-teamers
Ivan Nova Just 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.
    • TobyBoring 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

 

  • With Hyun-Jin Ryu not only back from the IL, but dominating in the his return means I’m finally allowing him to be in Tier 1. I still have stamina questions deep into September, but with weeks to go, the idea that he can pull off these ratios for a full year is within reach. Chris Sale’s return to fame in his last start has him one spot higher still, though. That 50% extra strikeout production is just too much to ignore. Understand the innate (-1) assigned to everyone outside Tier 1 because of Ryu’s return.
  • Major boost this week to Jack Flaherty who has been unreal across his last six starts. This is the stretch we’ve been waiting for all year and while it could fade, the rest of Tier 3 is failing to put together a strong case for a Top 20 ranking. Flaherty deserves to be the focus.
  • Tuesday marks the return of Griffin Canning, which is a slight DLH, but it may return five strong frames. His ceiling is a Top 25 stud, so take a shot where you can.
  • Mike Foltynewicz’s slider has returned paired with 95+ mph velocity. While his immediate next start against the Dodgers may bring a bit of disappointment, this could be a fantastic few weeks to end the season.
  • The Dodgers may be looking to Dustin May plenty in the final weeks of the season and while I’m skeptical of how high he can climb, he provides solid volume and Win chances every time he starts.
  • Tier six features plenty of questionable arms that could soar and become darlings of the off-season, or find themselves pushed out of the final rounds of drafts. Ryan Yarbrough is getting chances as a true starter for the Rays and capitalizing, Marcus Stroman’s shift to the Mets doesn’t do him favors, Masahiro Tanaka is more volatile than ever, and the headache of Jon Gray continues.
  • If you’re looking for the fun stuff, Tier 7 is your friend. Adrian Houser and Mike Montgomery enter the fray with incredibly impressive starts over the weekend and could provide value in the short term with the chance of lasting for weeks. Chris Bassitt is getting whiffs on heaters again and deserves your attention, especially if his secondary stuff follows suit. Aaron Civale has a rough schedule ahead, but if he’s still in the rotation in September, he can provide valuable innings, while Mitch Keller is returning to start tonight against the Angels and may provide dividends instantly.
  • Tier 8 is the Toby tier, with the surprise of Gio Gonzalez leading the fray above boring options like Dallas KeuchelJon Lester, Anibal Sanchezand the rest. In some leagues, these arms are more valuable than plenty in Tier 7, though in standard 12-teamers, I’d prefer to chase the upside plays as the wire is full enough these days to find similar arms to these Tier 8 pitchers if the upside doesn’t come through.
  • At the bottom of The List, a few new names show up as dark horses to provide value. Joe Ross is surprising with his sinker as of late, Kolby Allard had two ticks extra velocity, Brett Anderson is beating the odds and could be a decent streamer, and Hector Noesi – yes, Noesi – pitched a shockingly good game on Sunday. Maybe it turns into something, likely not.

(Photo by Justin Paradis – @FreshmeatComm)

Nick Pollack

Founder of PitcherList.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

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Comments


SJ

Been waiting all day for this! Thanks, Nick. Quick question. Why drop Kenta Maeda a spot after the strong start recently? I’m on the verge of giving up on him for Gallen ROS and have been struggling to get a good read on what’s been going with Maeda lately.

rainmaker

At worst, it’s a big loss. Maeda could start going more innings and rack up the wins while Gallen could fall apart as rookies sometimes do. I’d go with Gallen as well but Maeda has the higher floor imo

Wes

So glad to see Canning ranked so highly. Just dropped Tanaka for him in a dynasty league. Not looking back on Tanaka. However, Heaney is available as well, but Griffin is the preferred hold in keeper formats right?

Stan

Trying to decide between Lyles and Houser for H2H playoff run where wins count big. I was thinking Lyles until Houser’s last start. Houser more GBs…I see the ranks but who do you think is the better bet for next 6 weeks?

Bill from Jersey

Nick, is it possible that the List overvalues K’s relative to other pitching stats like wins and ERA? And what about intangibles like reliability and team strength? Cause why are Yarborough, Fiers and Miley ranked behind Lamet, Gallen and Heaney? The first 3 I mentioned have all been highly successful for last 2 months and are on playoff chasing teams, that last 3 are pitchers with significant question marks, the only difference I see for the higher ranked 3 is the swing and miss factor… they may have innings limits too, so if I was to be looking at ROS, wouldn’t I want the first 3 over the second 3?

high_changeup

Agreed, Caleb Smith, Paxton, and Matt Boyd are too high as well. They all happen to be lefties. Nick has had too much of a love boner for lefties on bad teams. I’m an Angels fan and Heaney just has massive issues this season. Smith just gives up too many homers with a not so impressive fastball. I could see Caleb turning it around but he’s been bad lately, had to drop him since he’s a Marlin.

rainmaker

Ks and BBs have a lot less to do with luck than BABIP suppression. Fiers in particular has been leading a charmed life whereas Heaney has a much higher ceiling. That being said, I would personally have Miley over all 3 because he has been doing a great job at suppressing hard contact which is a stat that generally isn’t given enough credence.

Also, it does seem neither Wins or QS’s are considered. I have Lamet and Tanaka in a 16 team league with both CATs. I understand why Nick has Lamet higher on the list but to my team, Tanaka is unquestionably the more valuable player for me because of all his W’s and QS’s. Also, Tanaka is more valuable in a 16 team league than he is in a 10 team league.

rainmaker

Also the 3 of Lamet, Gallen, and Heaney would be more valuable in shallower leagues because of their upside. However, in my 16 teamer, Miley is a more coveted pitcher because the best SP on the waiver wire is Cashner making the floor more important.

Ben Thomas

Hey Nick,

What are your thoughts on Miley vs. Lamet? I am honestly not quite sure of the differences in their profiles but wanted your perspective on who you would support rest of season?

Nick Pollack

Lamet is only going to get more innings, which will increase his value through the end.

Miley has inherent value pitching for the Astros, though I do wonder if he’ll take a step back in the final weeks.

If you just need Wins/QS/Ratios, Miley is your guy. If you need a balance with Ks, I favor Lamet.

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