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The List 8/17 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Nick's weekly update of the top 100 starting pitchers.

We’re back in the regular groove of Monday afternoon updates of The List! As always, make sure to read the notes as there are many changes that have good reasons behind them.

As always, these ranks are based on a 12-teamer, 5×5 roto format. Adjust accordingly to your situation.

The List was accidentally published early while I was still drafting the notes, sorry about that! This is the correct List with notes.

 

Ranking Notes

 

  • As always, don’t look at the # changes, look at the players around them. Stephen Strasburg and Mike Clevinger were removed, giving many innate positive trends, while I had to do plenty of shuffling in the middle that pushed up names I had little intention of moving (Yusei Kikuchifor example).
  • And for those wondering about Sandy Alcantara, who is supposed to return this week, I’ve elected to wait until he starts before adding him back to The List.

 

  • I know some of you wanted Shane Bieber as the #1 arm, but with Gerrit Cole doing wonderful things with his fastball again, I simply can’t push Bieber ahead right now. Both are dope and that’s cool.
  • I’m crossing my fingers that Jacob deGrom pitches this week and is back to normal. Since he’s not on the IL and hoping to make his start this week, I haven’t removed him from the ranks.

 

  • I’ve lowered Walker Buehler a little as he’s not quite up to speed yet. If it’s not in his next start, the final month of the year should still be definitive Top 15 production, which makes me slot him above other successful arms like Lance Lynn and Clayton Kershaw.
  • Look at Kenta Maeda and Zac Gallen rise the ranks to tier 3. It’s hard not to at this point with Maeda’s excellent offensive support and schedule, while Gallen’s repertoire makes many jealous.

 

  • I considered dropping Tyler Glasnow further, but given his 84 pitch count last time out and volatility that comes with the ceiling, I still have ahead of other arms that aren’t without their own warts.
  • Glasnow’s teammate Blake Snell joins him in the same tier, though at a lower rank as Snell’s pitch count isn’t nearly as elevated. Given a 90-pitch start, I certainly prefer Snell, but he’s just not quite there yet. Hopefully in a game or two.

 

  • Tier five is a mix of young excitement and disappointing names. Chris Paddack’s fastball isn’t nearly as effective as it was last year, Zack Wheeler isn’t adapting the strikeout approach we hoped for, and Patrick Corbin’s velocity is down a full two ticks. It’s all a bit concerning and I had to drop them dramatically.
  • I know some of you wanted me to raise Dylan Bundy further up the ranks, but it’s been just four games so far. The floor is still very much there with his questionable heater.

 

  • It’s a small Tier 6 and it’s the calm before the storm. I’d be throwing each of these pitchers out there save for the most extreme of starts and yes, that includes Spencer TurnbullI believe so strongly that he just needs to remove his sinker in favor of a strong four-seamer/curveball/slider approach. It’s doing him no favors.
  • Sadly, Dustin May doesn’t carry the ceiling of an ace as long as he is still sinker heavy without a signature whiff pitch. He’s worth your time, definitely, just not the legit ace some are buying him as.

 

  • Tier seven is a bit…dicey. You have your fair share of solid-but-not-sexy names like Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Bassitt, Dallas Keucheland Randy Dobnakwhile I don’t know quite what to do with Jose Berrios. He should be better than that near 6.00 ERA, but he’s running out of time to tip the scales. I’d stick with him but understand the ceiling may never arrive in this short season.
  • The back-half of the tier is filled with upside options that may be a better choice for your situation – hence why they are all in the same tier. Kevin Gausman is flexing 95-97 mph velocity as he exercises the BSB to its fullest effect, while Pablo Lopez earned 21 whiffs and may have found his groove with a new cutter. Exciting times!

 

  • Staying in Tier 7, I’m thrilled to see Andrew Heaney’s velocity come back to normal this week, though he still needs to work a bit on getting his fastball elevated. If he can do that, he could push into Top 35 quickly. There’s also Josh Lindblom who is on the fringe on being a legit fantasy arm. His new slider is wicked while he’s found a good groove with his cutter. Pick him up if he’s out there.
  • I think I was a bit too high ranking Ryan Yarbrough and Griffin Canning last week. Yarbrough is a little safer than Canning but his margin of error is small and can lead to disappointing outings a bit too frequently. Canning is in a bit of a rough patch and if he doesn’t come through in a good matchup against the Giants, he could be falling further. Love his stuff, though.

 

  • Tier 8 is a quick but exciting one. The main name here is Casey Mize, who is making his MLB debut Wednesday evening. Yes, I’ll be writing a GIF Breakdown of that start that will be published before the game’s end – go pick him up now and we’ll talk later.
  • The other big name here to me is Chad Kuhlwho is finally stretched out for a proper start this week. He brings mid 90s velocity with one of the better sliders you’ll see from a starting pitcher. The upside makes him very much worthwhile as we begin to approach the cliff for high ceiling starters.

 

  • Tier 9 is the stashing tier. It’s great to see Corbin Burnes back in the Brewers rotation, but an add now is for his next start as he gets the Twins this week. That’s an easy pass. Tarik Skubal got the call, though he’ll be on a pitch count and needs a few starts to get to a place where he could dramatically affect your teams. Add these arms only if you’re shooting for September.
  • Robbie Ray and John Means are sadly not pitchers to add for the short term, with Ray still struggling with his command and Means a few starts away from being stretched out properly again. It’s too bad, but we have to sit on our hands here.

 

  • Tier 10 is where we see pitchers that are bordering being a Toby or something more. I’m amazed the Dodgers are allowing Tony Gonsolin to get yet another start (and over 80 pitches!), but he’s a great short-term add for his start against the Mariners. Elieser Hernandez also joins The List after his nine strikeout effort, but be careful against the Nationals next – Elieser is a two-pitch arm without a strong fastball. There’s a low floor there.
  • Matt Shoemaker has been impressive on the CSW front and is making me consider him as a surprise for the full 2021 season. He may be worth the add along with Merrill Kellywho has been stealing strikes with his curveball, getting whiffs with changeups, and spotting heaters effectively.

 

  • Tier 10 also has the introduction of Ryan Castellaniwho has gotten Max Scherzer comps for his windup. While he doesn’t have nearly the same ceiling, I’m slowly becoming a fan of his schtick. It may be too hittable of a fastball without consistent secondary stuff, but he’s an intriguing add at the moment.
  • I’m incredibly sad to see the fall of Luke Weaver here, but unfortunately, the Diamondbacks are even letting him go deeper into games as his fastball is getting crushed. He’s a drop who has been given the TIARAso don’t ignore him when he does well in the future.

 

  • Dakota Hudson makes his first 2020 appearance on The List after yesterday’s start, where he featured a curveball alongside his slider – a hook he didn’t throw in 2019 and it performed well. I wonder it’s a sign of things to come from Hudson that could speak to more consistency than ultra reliance on his defense. Yonny Chirinos also returns to The List after being reinstated from the IL. Good to have him back.
  • I lowered rookies Brady Singer and Spencer Howard to Tier 11 for two different reasons. Singer will be facing the Twins for the third straight start this weekend and it’s just not worth your time. Poor guy. Howard is on a short leash in his outings for the Phillies and while he did have a better fastball, his secondary stuff is far from where it needs to be to turn him into a consistent starter.

 

  • I need a moment to express my sadness to see Matthew Boyd down at #85. It’s just…sigh. His command is way off and he’s working to get back to the spot he was in 2019, let alone the development we believed he was making back in March. Maybe one day he’ll rise. One day.

 

  • The final two tiers are filled with possible streamers given the right circumstances. Zach Eflin and Alex Young could fit the bill as Eflin is fresh off a 19 whiff performance that’s likely not to stick but could resurface at some point. Young displayed a solid streamer in 2019 and now with Bumgarner hurt, he may be getting the innings to help once again
  • I’m not a major fan of what Steven Matz is doing and while I expect him to rise in future weeks, he’s not in a good place at the moment. Framber Valdez had a solid start against the Mariners, but given an average matchup, I don’t believe his sinker/curveball combination is enough to warrant a spot in your rotation.

 

Fringe Pitchers I Considered

 

All right, now that the notes are at the top and you understand where I’m coming from, let’s get to The List:

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Gerrit ColeT1
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-
2Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
3Jacob deGrom
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-1
4Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-1
5Sonny Gray
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
6Luis Castillo
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
7Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+5
8Carlos Carrasco
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+1
9Trevor Bauer
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
+1
10Walker Buehler
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
-5
11Lance Lynn
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+4
12Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+4
13Yu Darvish
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+4
14Jack Flaherty
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
-
15Kenta Maeda
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+4
16Zac Gallen
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+6
17Tyler Glasnow
T4
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
+3
18Frankie Montas
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+5
19Brandon Woodruff
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+5
20Dinelson Lamet
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
+5
21Aaron Civale
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+5
22Germán Márquez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+5
23Blake Snell
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+7
24Jesús Luzardo
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+4
25Zack Greinke
Aces Gonna Ace
Quality Starts
+6
26Chris Paddack
T5
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-5
27Julio Urías
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+5
28Max Fried
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
+5
29Dylan Bundy
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+5
30Lucas Giolito
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-12
31Patrick Corbin
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-18
32Zack Wheeler
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-3
33Lance McCullers Jr.
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
+9
34Kyle Hendricks
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+2
35Dustin May
T6
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
+2
36Ross Stripling
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+2
37Hyun Jin Ryu
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+7
38Spencer Turnbull
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-3
39José Berríos
T7
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
40Dallas Keuchel
Toby
Ratio Focused
+5
41Masahiro Tanaka
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+6
42Chris Bassitt
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Streaming Option
+6
43Jake Odorizzi
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
+6
44Jordan Montgomery
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
Stash Option
+8
45Nate Pearson
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Stash Option
-2
46Garrett Richards
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+7
47Randy Dobnak
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
+10
48Adrian Houser
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
+3
49Pablo López
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+16
50Andrew Heaney
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
+9
51Kevin Gausman
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+36
52Josh Lindblom
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Toby
Ratio Focused
+9
53Ryan Yarbrough
Toby
Ratio Focused
-14
54James Paxton
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-4
55Griffin Canning
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Cherry Bomb
-14
56Casey Mize
T8
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
+28
57Yusei Kikuchi
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Streaming Option
+12
58Chad Kuhl
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+22
59Touki Toussaint
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+8
60Mike Minor
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-2
61Corbin Burnes
T9
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+9
62MacKenzie Gore
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
+21
63Tarik Skubal
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+UR
64Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
-9
65John Means
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-19
66Tony Gonsolin
T10
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
+UR
67Anthony DeSclafani
Strikeout Upside
Toby
-11
68Sean Manaea
Injury Risk
Ratio Focused
-6
69Kyle Freeland
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+2
70Elieser Hernandez
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+UR
71Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
+8
72Matt Shoemaker
Injury Risk
Toby
Streaming Option
+24
73Cristian Javier
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+5
74Merrill Kelly
Toby
Streaming Option
+20
75Luke Weaver
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
-21
76Ryan Castellani
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+UR
77Kyle Gibson
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
-17
78Jon Gray
T11
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-12
79Dakota Hudson
Toby
Streaming Option
+UR
80Brandon Bielak
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+5
81David Peterson
Playing Time Question
Toby
Streaming Option
-8
82Brady Singer
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
-19
83Nathan Eovaldi
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Streaming Option
-2
84Spencer Howard
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
-20
85Matthew Boyd
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-9
86Yonny Chirinos
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
87Zach Eflin
T12
Toby
Streaming Option
+UR
88Steven Matz
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-16
89Alec Mills
Toby
Streaming Option
-3
90Alex Cobb
Toby
Streaming Option
-2
91Patrick Sandoval
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-1
92Framber Valdez
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-10
93Asher Wojciechowski
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-4
94Brad Keller
Toby
Streaming Option
-1
95Alex Young
Playing Time Question
Toby
Streaming Option
+UR
96Taijuan Walker
T13
Toby
Streaming Option
+2
97Zach Davies
Toby
Streaming Option
+2
98Kris Bubic
Toby
Streaming Option
-21
99Justus Sheffield
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-8
100Marco Gonzales
Toby
Streaming Option
-5

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 Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm 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.

20 responses to “The List 8/17 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday”

  1. Nick says:

    Lots of movement this week. Notes would be awesome…

  2. Don says:

    I dont see any notes on here. Also no musgrove not on the fringe list, does that mean hes not top 100?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey this article accidentally published early and was just last week’s table back then. He’s in the Fringe table now as Musgrove is dealing with a triceps injury.

  3. Matt says:

    Brad Keller kinda low, isn’t he? Has had a couple of good starts under his belt since returning..

    • Nick Pollack says:

      The upside for more than just being a Toby isn’t there as his velocity is just 93 mph instead of the 95+ we saw for a moment last year.

      His last start was fueled by a bit of luck with his fastball not commanded well and relying heavily on his average slider to get by.

      Considering the Royals have a generally rough schedule as well (Reds this week), I’m hesitant to suggest Brad Keller in 12-teamers.

  4. Play Ball says:

    Clev may not pitch for the Indians again this year. Big rift in clubhouse. If he does pitch again he could struggle mentally from the backlash as well as with his mechanics from the time off. Remember, he was having issues with his control walking 10 in his last two starts and giving up the long ball. I’m looking to trade him.

    • Big Joey says:

      What if he comes back pissed off and focused as ever and dominates? I don’t think you can get a respectable return on Clevenger at the moment.

  5. Reginald Denton III says:

    Why the big increase for Gore? Any news on when we might see him?

  6. Rocket says:

    Things have become pretty rough for SP’s the last few weeks with injuries and the ball flying off bats. Hitters are no longer missing mistakes like they were at the start of the year. For example, ChiSox’s back to back to back to back bombs yesterday.

    Nick my question is there any extra value this year for craftsman style pitchers? Guys who do not throw very hard but move the ball all over the zone. From an arm safety perspective and keeping hitters off balance or do we need K throwers even more to make up for all the “dingers” on the SP’s bottom line. I am specifically think there are not a lot of guys that can handle 3HRs on their stat line and offset it with 10 punchouts like Scherzer. By craftsman style I mean guys like Keuchel, Hendricks, Mills, Dobnak, etc.

  7. Elliot says:

    Been offered Bauer and Correa for Franmil Reyes and Corey Seager. Do I buy into the notorious cherry bomb?

  8. Yankees Nut says:

    Thanks for all the hard work! Wow, you’re much higher on Montgomery than I am. If he does well enough today I’ll have to look at him again.

  9. Firtree baseball says:

    I’m baffled that you are higher on Javier and Bielak compared to Framber. Framber seems to be the only real starter of the 3. The other 2 barely can get through 5 innings.

  10. Broseph Goebbels says:

    How many times do you think Pollack took that incredibly ghey selfie before he settled on one he liked?

  11. Gary says:

    Brad Keller: 2020 MLB Percentile Rankings
    Exit Velocity
    86
    Hard Hit %
    89
    xwOBA
    52
    xERA
    52
    xBA
    44
    xSLG
    76
    Barrel %
    84
    K %
    52
    Whiff %
    21

    He seems to have reinvented himself. Fastballs up, breaking pitches down. Clearly in the 60-70 range.

  12. Brian Voss says:

    I could be blind, but it doesn’t look like Danny Duffy is listed? Is there a reason why? He seems to be having a decent year. Thanks in advance.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Huh. He definitely should have been! Thanks for pointing it out, I think I’ll have him around the 70s or so as a Toby come Monday.

      • Brian says:

        Thanks Nick, very much appreciated. I’m trying to figure out if he’s the Toby that could fill in my SP5. The BABIP gods will catch up at some point, but his K/9 is a career-high and if he can run into a few more Wins he might be serviceable at the end of a decent rotation. His peripherals seem ok (other than BABIP/LOB), and but there’s nothing too drastic in his pitch mix over last year that points to the uptick in K’s… so I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking at with him. He’s pitched against the Twins three times, Cubs, Indians, and Tigers – so not the easiest schedule. I’m just hoping his regression isn’t drastic and can keep the ERA under 4.00/WHIP under 1.25.

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