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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– Outside of Jose Fernandez and Felix Hernandez swapping places, there’s nothing to report in the Top 20. There were a bunch of guys that I’ve been more encourage about (Jon Lester, Noah Syndergaard), but it’s not enough to disregard the guys in front. There is definitely a tier drop after Lester, though.
– The only change in the Top 40 is Michael Pineda dropping significantly as he heads to the DL with forearm issues. The consensus is that he’ll be returning in September, which means he only has a handful of starts left for the season. He has much more value in a H2H league as it sounds like he’ll be healthy for your playoff run, but it’s a big hit for those in roto leagues. Note your situation and make your moves accordingly.
– Most of the action came later. Eduardo Rodriguez dropped a dime after a shaky performance against the Rays that wasn’t the result of just one bad inning. While he still has the stuff, it may take longer than I expected for him to fully turn on the jets.
– Taijuan Walker had a dazzling performance over the weekend, earning him a couple moves up. He’ll have some of these moments the rest of the year that resemble a Top 20 stud, but it will be saturated with many clunkers, creating a large gap between his ceiling and floor. Proceed at your own risk.
– Loose Lips, i.e. Jeff Samardzija can’t seem to get on the right path and heads out of the Top 50 once again.
– Andrew Cashner and Anibal Sanchez have continued to disappoint, causing a major drop in their rankings. There is still upside, but I’d hate to be relying on them each week.
– In addition to Pineda, there were some other major drops from big names, such as A.J. Burnett and Mike Bolsinger. Burnett has a strained flexor tendon and will be missing a significant chunk of the remaining 2015 season, while Bolsinger was surprisingly nudged out of the Dodgers rotation after L.A. shockingly added two quality arms in Mat Latos and Alex Wood. It really is a shame given how well Bolsinger was performing.
– More names that were removed this week include C.J. Wilson, Cody Anderson, J.A. Happ, Jeremy Hellickson, and Brian Johnson. Wilson is out for the year, which raises the stock of both Matt Shoemaker and Andrew Heaney given their job security in the Angels rotation. Anderson/Happ/Hellickson have all struggled, and their spots were on thin ice to begin with. Johnson, while the talent is definitely there, was demoted to AAA and may need to wait a little before getting another shot in the bigs.
– Matt Moore has struggled mightily since returning from TJS, and owners should shy away from trusting him in the short term. There is upside to be had, but wait this one out.
– The nature of James Paxton’s finger strain is still up in the air, and the possibility looms that the big lefty may not be starting again this year. He could make it back in time for the beginning of September, but the future is cloudy, causing a drop to the 80s.
– Chris Tillman has been on a roll in the second half, and his schedule is pretty for the next few weeks, creating a big rise for the O’s “ace”.
– Highly touted Yankee prospect Luis Severino headlines a group of young pitchers making their debuts on The List this week. Severino starts at home against the Sox on Wednesday, and is a solid upside play for those needing to jump up in the standings quickly.
– Jon Gray and Henry Owens are both set to make their debuts on Tuesday night, and are interesting options to consider. While I have made it clear that I’m not a fan of any Colorado pitcher, if Gray pitched for any other team, there would be significant interest. Playing him in away games could provide sneaky value. At first glance, Owens looks to be a risky call given a 4.12 BB/9 this season, but he’s lowered it to an elite 2.17 BB/9 across his last nine starts. It’s not a great opening matchup in Yankee Stadium, but he could be a solid add rest of the way.
– Returning to the list are a pair of Tigers, Justin Verlander and Daniel Norris. Verlander finally showed his upside with a 10 strikeout performance, establishing the reward for the ever apparent risk. Norris had a solid debut for his new ball club, but there are still questions if he can maintain his command through the closing months. Monitor the situation closely, but feel free to stash in the time being.
– After trading Alex Wood to the Dodgers, the Braves could be keeping Mike Foltynewicz in the rotation. He has Top 40 stuff that could propel him to an excellent 2nd half, but his command has always been in question. Both him and Raisel Iglesias are great Hail Mary additions if you’re struggling mightily.
– Closing out the rankings is Joe Ross who’s future is bleak in Washington given Stephen Strasburg’s expected return this weekend. Ross has one final start left in Arizona, but it is possible that he will return in September as the rosters expand. Given Ross’ dominance at the major league level, that possibility keeps him on The List for now.