The List 8/22: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 21

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: Max Fried (15)
  • Removed: Tyler Mahle (42), Carlos Carrasco (46) 
  • Net Gain Inside Top 60: (+1)

 

  • Would you look at that, the top tier hasn’t changed at all. My hands were tied here as the Top 4 seemed locked in step, while the final four all had their issues, making it tough to shuffle them around in any way.
  • Yes, that includes Sandy Alcantara’s difficulties against the Dodgers, Gerrit Cole not quite dominating like he should, Zack Wheeler’s struggles dealing with the Mets, and Justin Verlander allowing 3+ run in back-to-back starts.

 

  • The second tier has a few changes, first with the return of Max Fried at #15. Keep in mind how this affects everyone below him, dealing out a -1 all the way to the early 40s.
  • The other shifts were Julio Urías jumping over Brandon Woodruff (I dig Urías’ velocity returning!) and Joe Musgrove falling to #14. He hasn’t been the same with his breakers for a little while now and I regretted not lowering him a touch this time last week. Still an ace, of course.

 

  • You’re seeing a sea of red in tier three, but nothing has changed. That’s all Max Fried’s doing, blame the man for being healthy and really good.
  • The fourth tier is a little tricky. I had to raise the likes of Charlie Morton and Zac Gallen as they look more like their ideal selves – Morton’s higher curveball usage is paying off while Gallen is finally earning whiffs with the curve – which made it hard to elevate Triston McKenzie for his stellar 14 K start and Kyle Wright for regaining his velocity. All of these guys are really good and I envision a whole lot of rubbing elbows.

 

  • The fifth tier leads with Nestor Corteswishing he we were back in the other tier. I don’t trust Cortes as much as the other names to ride into the sunset of the regular season, but we can’t deny how effective he has been for fantasy managers this season.
  • Reid Detmers takes a tumble not just for failing to capitalize on a start against the Tigers, but for how he did it. My enthusiasm has stemmed from an improved slider + fantastic command on both the breaker and heater. We saw neither in this start – the first hiccup for Detmers since returning from the minors. It could be just a single game bump in the road or it could be a fall out of rhythm that takes time to recover.

 

  • On the positive side, Jordan Montgomery and Adam Wainwright have done enough to pull out of the Toby tier to become stellar arms on the Cardinals. Their defense and easy schedule make for strong starts most of the time, with The Bear getting the nod with his greater strikeout rate.
  • Dustin May also took a leap as he looked awfully good in his season debut against the Marlins. That said, there’s still work to be done with his command, but the stuff is phenomenal and I see him as a must-roster through the end of the year.

 

  • It brings me no joy to lower Pablo López (especially with a date against the Athletics soon) but it had to be done as he opens a tier filled with “solid but not great” arms …plus Pablo. Here’s to hoping Pablo can get the feel for his four-seamer/changeup approach in the near future.
  • His teammate Edward Cabrera is sitting right behind him, though, raising eight spots as his changeup, breakers, and heavy heaters are working well in the majors. That said, he needs to work a bit on efficiency (91 pitches in just four frames), but it seems like it’ll all come together in due time.

 

  • I elected to place George Kirby and Logan Gilbert back-to-back as they form one unit known as “Girby”. They each have a great four-seamer without the proper support in their arsenal to ascend the ranks. They should help more than hope, but I’ll always be left wanting more.
  • At the end of the tier sit Jeffrey Springs and José Urquidywho have become stable arms across your pitching staffs. Springs’ changeup and slider have been great, while Urquidy’s full repertoire is in motion and mixing with his four-seamers effectively. Let it ride, let it ride,

 

  • The seventh tier begins the same way as the sixth, with a disappointing pitcher failing to live up to their potential. Frankie Montas hasn’t looked the same since his shoulder injury in July and Yankee fans have been incredibly disappointed with his displays. Once the splitter gets going, though, I can see Montas returning to the 6+ inning stud, but you may have to wait another few starts to get there.
  • In the same vein, Lucas Giolito resides at #56 as he hasn’t had the same fastball/changeup approach of seasons past. I still believe the skill is in there, though we may have to wait until 2023 to see it blossom once again.

 

  • I know what you’re thinking. Nick, HOW COULD YOU LOWER MERRILL KELLY 14 SPOTS?! First of all, no need to yell. Second, I’m worried about the schedule ahead for Kelly, including Coors, the Dodgers, and the Padres. He’s been a Vargas Rule all year and while I’m glad it’s gone well, it has always seemed too good to be true. I think the reckoning is around the corner.
  • The same goes for Martín Pérezthough for a different reason – his changeup. The pitch has carried him through the year and has looked awfully questionable across his last two starts. He’s still inside the Top 60 as I may be overreacting, but it does seem as if the magic is beginning to fade.

 

  • Back to the positives. Sonny Gray and Jesús Luzardo each jumped a bit as they’ve shown signs of life. Sonny had his curveballs on point while Luzardo’s changeup is still elite since returning from the IL. I’m heavily questioning if my skepticism was warranted about Luzardo, even if his curve and four-seamer are exactly up to snuff – that changeup is so hot right now.
  • And there’s also Joe Ryan and Brady Singer getting small bumps this week. Ryan’s command up in the zone with four-seamers mixed well with low secondaries (even if I don’t love those secondaries) and Singer did more of his same called strike brilliance.

 

  • The eighth tier is where you’re still chasing ceiling. Andrew Heaney is a bit of a mystery to roster given his lower pitch counts, but he’s destined for a five-inning start any day now – just don’t take a liner to the arm, okay?
  • Nick Lodolo and Patrick Sandoval all glistened in their last start and may be latching onto something for a hot stretch ahead.

 

  • Speaking of hot stretches, Justin Steele has allowed just 2 ER total across his last five starts….against the Giants, Nationals (x2), Cubs, and Brewers. That said, he’s earned a bevy of strikeouts along the way and may continue to do so without the toughest schedule in his sights.
  • And I was absolutely floored to see Michael Wacha boasting an ERA south of 2.30 this week. I don’t buy that he’s akin to Merrill Kelly or Miles Mikolas moving forward, but I’m down for seeing how this plays out now that he’s healthy and regularly starting once again.

 

  • At the bottom of the tier are Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea – Two Padres starters who haven’t come through in the ways we hoped in March. Clevinger’s breakers have dramatically taken a step back from his pre-TJS days and after a dismal outing against the Marlins, it’s hard to expect a whole lot better moving forward.
  • As for Manaea, his easy schedule gives up hope for fantasy production, though he’s fluctuated with his velocity + failed to carry pristine command across the board. It’s not nearly as exciting as it should be.

 

  • The ninth tier are your mix of boring and volatile options. José Quintana falls after displaying the worst command I’ve seen from him in months, while Corey Kluber, Noah Syndergaardand Jameson Taillon are the same ole Toby types you’re still holding onto.
  • Joining them this week is Eduardo Rodriguezwho could take a step ahead with more time on the bump after being away from the game for three months. He was unimpressive in his successful outing against the Angels over the weekend and unless he reclaims his four-seamer velocity or changeup whiffs, he’ll stick around in Tier 9 for the foreseeable future.

 

  • The second half of the tier are your shrugs of starters who you want to chase, but it may be too dangerous. For example, Luis Garcia falls eighteen spots as he’s struggled across his last five starts, possibly a product of fatigue akin to last year’s decline.
  • José Berríos took care of business against the Yankees and I hope it’s the start of a last-minute recovery from his disaster 2022 campaign. Aaron Ashby is a Cherry Bomb in every sense, though there’s a clearer path to the Top 50 than any pitcher below him with the stuff he possesses.

 

  • The final two names here are newcomers this week but have been here before. Roansy Contreras is back with the Pirates and should be through the end of the season, boasting an improved slider that returned double-digit whiffs over the weekend. I didn’t love how he wielded his fastball, though, and I worry he’s still working out the kinks.
  • As for David PetersonI’m slightly cheating here as I’m anticipating he fills in for Carlos Carrasco as the #5 in the Mets’ rotation, though it isn’t fully confirmed yet. I’m bending the rules as I’d be adding him in all leagues with a start set up against Rockie Roadwhere Peterson has a chance for 7+ strikeouts. I’m doing this for you.

 

  • The tenth tier begins with Ranger Suárez, Ross Striplingand Drew Smylya trio of arms who could be picked up now and possibly started through the end of the year…or dropped next week. Suárez is hinting at his 2021 end-of-season run with a solid schedule ahead, Stripling was magnificent against the Orioles and could have that changeup through September, and Smyly is working the BSB well with sinkers and nasty curveballs.
  • The second half of the tier took a massive hit. Taijuan Walker’s condition is up in the air and even if he did return this week, you wouldn’t want to start him. Michael Kopech is an absolute headache, leaving today’s game in the first with an injury and failing to get into any dependable routine this season. It’s maddening.

 

  • The pair of Giant Alexes are set to endure a rough schedule through the rest of the season, though they will have moments of respite you’ll want to jump in for. Keep an eye out for good matchups for Alex Wood and Alex Cobb and seize them where you can only at those moments.
  • There’s a sense Domingo Germán can find a groove with his curve and change, but be patient and wait for the right matchup before jumping in.

 

  • The eleventh tier is a slight step up from the twelfth, providing some decent options if you’re still searching. Johnny Cueto is likely gone in your league as he’s carried a 2.22 ERA across his last six starts…but he’s done so with a sub 9% strikeout rate in that time. His success is astonishing, to say the least.
  • Dean Kremer, Jakob Junisand Nick Pivetta each rejoin The List this week, though I wouldn’t want to put a whole lot of faith in them. Kremer’s velocity shot up to 95 mph over the weekend and there’s a chance a four-seamer/cutter combo can be fruitful. Junis has a pair of strong starts in his belt now, including a survival inside Coors, and Pivetta was able to return 17 whiffs and nine strikeouts on Sunday.

 

  • In the bottom tier, there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. James Kaprielian, Marco Gonzales, and Graham Ashcraft can be decent options against weak teams. Austin Voth has been making it work across the last couple of weeks, including a takedown of the Jays, and Zach Plesac struggled against the Tigers due to some unfortunate moments. All can be serviceable.
  • The #100 pick this week is Matt Manningwho has turned heads with two solid starts across his last three, the latest featured a harder fastball and leaning on a four-seamer/slider approach. I’m not jumping to grab him, but he could produce against the Giants later this week. (Keep in mind, I think I’d rather have him above Voth or Plesac, but he makes for a more interesting #100 pick as that slot is always saved for an “intriguing” pitcher).

 

 

YOU SHOULD READ THE NOTES

 

(You are the best)

 

RankPitcherBadgesChange
1Jacob deGromT1
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
-
2Corbin Burnes
Aces Gonna Ace
-
3Max Scherzer
Aces Gonna Ace
-
4Shane McClanahan
Aces Gonna Ace
-
5Sandy Alcantara
Aces Gonna Ace
-
6Zack Wheeler
Aces Gonna Ace
-
7Justin Verlander
Aces Gonna Ace
-
8Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
-
9Carlos Rodón
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
10Shohei Ohtani
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
11Dylan Cease
Aces Gonna Ace
+1
12Julio Urías
Aces Gonna Ace
+2
13Brandon Woodruff
Aces Gonna Ace
-
14Joe Musgrove
Aces Gonna Ace
-5
15Max Fried
Aces Gonna Ace
+UR
16Alek Manoah
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
17Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
18Logan Webb
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
19Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
20Yu Darvish
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
21Robbie Ray
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
22Luis Castillo
Aces Gonna Ace
-1
23Chris Bassitt
Ace Potential
-1
24Framber Valdez
T4
Ace Potential
-1
25Tony Gonsolin
Ace Potential
-1
26Kevin Gausman
Ace Potential
-1
27Charlie Morton
Ace Potential
+7
28Blake Snell
Ace Potential
-1
29Lance Lynn
Ace Potential
-
30Spencer Strider
Ace Potential
-
31Triston McKenzie
Ace Potential
+2
32Kyle Wright
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
-
33Zac Gallen
Ace Potential
+7
34Nestor Cortes
T5
Ace Potential
-3
35Tyler Anderson
Quality Starts
+1
36Cristian Javier
Ace Potential
-1
37Reid Detmers
Ace Potential
-9
38Freddy Peralta
Ace Potential
-1
39Jordan Montgomery
Quality Starts
+4
40Adam Wainwright
Quality Starts
+7
41Dustin May
Ace Potential
+10
42Lance McCullers Jr.
Ace Potential
-4
43Pablo López
T6
Ace Potential
-17
44Edward Cabrera
Ace Potential
+8
45Miles Mikolas
Quality Starts
-
46Marcus Stroman
Quality Starts
+2
47George Kirby
Quality Starts
+6
48Logan Gilbert
Quality Starts
+1
49Jeffrey Springs
Strikeout Upside
+7
50José Urquidy
Quality Starts
+16
51Frankie Montas
T7
Ace Potential
-12
52Sonny Gray
Strikeout Upside
+13
53Jesús Luzardo
Ace Potential
+9
54Joe Ryan
Ace Potential
+6
55Brady Singer
Strikeout Upside
+4
56Lucas Giolito
Ace Potential
-15
57Drew Rasmussen
Toby
+10
58Merrill Kelly
Quality Starts
-14
59Martín Pérez
Quality Starts
-9
60Andrew Heaney
T8
Low Ips
+8
61Nick Lodolo
Cherry Bomb
+2
62Patrick Sandoval
Cherry Bomb
+10
63Justin Steele
Cherry Bomb
+10
64Michael Wacha
Toby
+11
65Mike Clevinger
Ace Potential
-10
66Sean Manaea
Cherry Bomb
-5
67José Quintana
T9
Toby
-9
68Corey Kluber
Toby
+8
69Noah Syndergaard
Toby
+9
70Jameson Taillon
Toby
+7
71Eduardo Rodriguez
Toby
+UR
72Luis Garcia
Cherry Bomb
-18
73José Berríos
Cherry Bomb
+7
74Aaron Ashby
Cherry Bomb
-10
75Roansy Contreras
Cherry Bomb
+UR
76David Peterson
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
77Ranger Suárez
T10
Streaming Option
+13
78Ross Stripling
Streaming Option
+UR
79Drew Smyly
Streaming Option
+9
80Josiah Gray
Cherry Bomb
+1
81Eric Lauer
Cherry Bomb
+2
82Taijuan Walker
Injury Risk
Toby
-25
83Cole Irvin
Toby
-4
84Alex Cobb
Cherry Bomb
-13
85Alex Wood
Cherry Bomb
-3
86Michael Kopech
Injury Risk
Cherry Bomb
-16
87Domingo Germán
Cherry Bomb
-3
88Johnny Cueto
T11
Toby
-3
89Dean Kremer
Streaming Option
+UR
90Jakob Junis
Streaming Option
+UR
91Aaron Civale
Toby
-5
92Jake Odorizzi
Streaming Option
+2
93Nick Pivetta
Streaming Option
+UR
94Kyle Gibson
Toby
-1
95James Kaprielian
T12
Streaming Option
+1
96Marco Gonzales
Toby
-5
97Graham Ashcraft
Streaming Option
-
98Austin Voth
Streaming Option
-3
99Zach Plesac
Toby
-12
100Matt Manning
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 Ric Tapia/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 8/22: Top 100 Starting Pitchers For 2022 – Week 21”

  1. Pete says:

    LOL at Verlander having “issues” for allowing 3 runs in back to back (Quality) starts. Meanwhile McClanahan has done the same thing recently but continues to get a free pass despite being a completely different second half pitcher.

    Verlander last 5 starts: all QS, 8ER, 30K. McClanahan last 5: 4QS, 15ER, 26K, including back to back starts of 5 and 4 ER allowed.

    Love the List but this seems really off.

  2. Pete says:

    **McClanahan: 3QS not 4

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