Every Monday, 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 2015, and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues.
Let’s see what has changed in the SP market since last week:
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– It’s been a long time coming for Chris Sale, but given his unreal strikeout proficiency and Max Scherzer’s recent shortcomings, there is a new #2 in town. It would take a major collapse or injury to pry Sale from the #2 spot before season’s end.
– Carlos Carrasco keeps his 2nd half success alive while his under-the-hood numbers come out from hiding. He slides into the Top 15 with Matt Harvey, who looks to be stuck in the rotation without limitation the rest of the way.
– The Nationals have to be happy with the way Stephen Strasburg has performed since returned from the DL as all three starts have been well above-average, including a masterful outing deep in Coors. He returns to the Top 20 and could stay there the rest of the year.
– Owners can rejoice as the Yankees are bringing Michael Pineda back into the rotation on Wednesday. While it was originally planned to go to a six-man rotation, CC Sabathia’s recent injury will force the team to continue with a only five starters, slightly raising Pineda’s value further.
– Lance McCullers returned to the rotation swifter than originally expected, and he looked on point as he dismantled the Dodgers. Given that the Astros are in the mix of a heated playoff race, I wouldn’t expect much limitation moving forward.
– Flamethrower Yordano Ventura has expressed much of his ceiling since his “demotion,” striking out 21 batters and allowing just 3 ER across 19 IP in three starts. It may not last forever, but he deserves to be hinting at the Top 50 with his ability.
– Reds rookie Raisel Iglesias has been lighting up the strikeout column and makes a big bump to the Top 55. He would be lifted higher, but there are concerns that the lowly Reds will be slowing him down near the conclusion of the season.
– While he will not flash the consistency of his golden days, Justin Verlander has earned himself a solid bump into the Top 60 after a series of great outings for owners.
– The Pirates have to be excited with the way Charlie Morton has produced on the field lately, striking out 17 batters in his last two games alone and featuring a Curveball that’s generating a significant increase in O-Swing rate. There’s obvious risk involved, but he has the upside to lift a struggling team entering the playoffs.
– Rookie John Lamb has impressed with his Cutter during his first few starts for the Reds and gets a sizeable bump as he continues to gain confidence.
– Chris Heston has been moved to AAA, resulting in a major fall. He will not be making any starts away from the Giants, as the sole purpose was the limit his innings for the year. He should return again in early September.
– has had a resurgence as of late, capped off with a 10 K shoutout performance this weekend. There is a lot of concern – a 4.87 FIP leading the way – but a spot in the Top 90 is well deserving.
– Entering The List are a pair of Minnesota rookies, Jose Berrios, and Tyler Duffey. Berrios’ callup seems imminent, especially with the Twins somehow only 1.5 games back from the final Wild Card spot. Duffey has expressed decent strikeout upside with a history of a low walk rate in the minors, making him a possible add for deeper leagues.
– Four players have found their ways off the rankings this week. Anibal Sanchez is out for an extended period of time after injuring his rotator cuff, which is a near death sentence for his 2015 season. Mark Buehrle’s spot was hanging by a thread, and his recent performances we just enough to break the camel’s back. Matt Shoemaker has been demoted to AAA, and while he could return to the Angels, he will most likely enter a bullpen role. Finally, Edinson Volquez has allowed at least 5 ER in two of his last three starts, proving that his limited upside isn’t worth his low floor.