The List 9/1 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers ROS

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.

 

Ranking Notes

 

  • It’s come too soon. This is the final week of The List as we know as it as next week shifts to a full-on outline of expected rotations and schedules for the rest of the season. It will be massively flawed given the flurry of double-headers and postponements we’ve seen this yet, let alone callups, rotation changes, and injuries, but it’s more important to analyze strength of schedule at this juncture of the season
  • To replace the weekly Livestream I do on Twitter as I craft The List, I’ll be doing a one-hour Livestream on Twitter answering all the questions you have. Tune in next week on September 8th at 1:00 pm EST and let’s talk baseball. You’re all super cool and it’s the least I can do for your support.

 

  • Okay, okay, Jacob deGrom is now #1 on The List. Gerrit Cole just isn’t commanding his heater and slider consistently enough at the moment.
  • I understand if you wanted Shane Bieber at the top of The List, but deGrom’s track record and overall dope-factor gives him the edge. Can the Mets please get him a Win though?

 

  • Tier 2 is super long. Yes, Walker Buehler would be at #6 if he does return on Thursday, though he may be on a pitch count, so keep that in mind. Yu Darvish and Lucas Giolito each take leaps as they have been the Kings of Chicago as of late, while Jack Flaherty’s pitch count is back up to 85+ pitches and that should excite many of you.
  • I wasn’t sure where to put Mike Clevinger as he makes his first start for San Diego later this week. It’s a full Tier 2 of high-quality arms and Clevinger may have a tough time climbing the ranks again. Let’s hope he earns it.

 

  • Tier 3 gets hit hard with Clevinger, Flaherty, and Giolito all suddenly hitting Top 20, but not for Carlos CarrascoHe’s fresh off a 94 mph start with a filthy slider and I’m believing he’s back. Yessssss.
  • Sadly, Patrick Corbin’s velocity sat 89 mph again. It’s frustrating and without a solid fastball, his slider takes a hit. He’s worth your time, just not as much as the other names.

 

  • Staying in Tier 3, I imagine some wanted a larger drop for Aaron CivaleI believe his skill set with excellent cutters for strikes, a curveball with a 25% SwStr rate and 50%+ zone rate (absurd!), not to mention a sinker that earns called strikes all day. He’s had just two starts this season with slightly off command and I think he’s certainly worth your trust.
  • Chris Paddack didn’t get the rise that some likely expected (his rank change is a product of others rising), and it’s rooted in his fastball approach – the pitch still isn’t jamming batters like 2019 and has instead sat away to left-handers and right-handers alike. He’s not quite back yet.

 

  • It’s a small Tier 4 this week with arms that could climb the ladder quickly…or fall down next week. I believe Julio Urias can make the necessary tweaks to get back on track, Dylan Bundy’s impressive changeup nullifies a start where his slider was missing, and Sixto Sanchez is looking like a future ace. The only element missing from the resume is experience.
  • Charlie Morton and Zach Plesac leave the fringe table as they return this week. Both are capable of being spotted in Tier 3 or above, and I wanted to see another start before giving them each a major jump. Keep in mind, Morton could be on a pitch count and still featuring depreciated velocity, while Plesac may not have the same command we saw earlier in the season.

 

  • Tier 5 has a smattering of ratio-focused arms fighting to be the Spider-Man of the year and upside arms that haven’t quite turned the corner yet.
  • I hope to feel more and more confident in Jordan Montgomery and Pablo Lopez in future weeks, though they each have to prove that their non-electric stuff is capable of pushing a 25% strikeout rate with ratios you care about.

 

  • With Tier 6, we have a list of pitchers that should be owned in all leagues or come with a major scheduling wart that has me wondering if their ability is good enough to overcome the matchups. The latter label belongs to both German Marquez and Kevin Gausman and it makes for some tough decisions. Do you trust Marquez’s excellent breakers to overcome against the Dodgers in LA? How about Gausman’s fantastic BSB approach inside Coors tonight? They would be in the fifth tier or even higher if not for their rough situations.
  • I cannot stress enough how much I’m on the Dakota Hudson bandwagon now. His improved breakers are allowing him to earn more strikes and not rely so heavily on sinkers to get the job done. His BABIP is certainly going to regress negatively, but his new arsenal makes him highly relevant in your 12-teamer.

 

  • There are a ton of new names inside this tier as young arms are getting their opportunities. Tony Gonsolin has stepped in to seize Ross Stripling’s former spot in the rotation and he’s worth the start in almost all matchups. Ian Anderson holds a great floor with his three-pitch mix and should be trusted in most situations.
  • Deivi Garcia may have a rotation spot the rest of the year for the Yankees and at the very least, gets a start this weekend against the Orioles in a double-header. Dane Dunning has looked strong for the Chicago White Sox with excellent breakers and an affinity for the BSBAnd why not, keep applying the Vargas Rule to Framber Valdez.

 

  • Let’s not ignore Tyler Mahle’s excellent performance over the weekend with the best slider I’ve seen from him all year (and likely all of 2019). This could very much work inside the Reds rotation for the rest of the year.
  • Then there’s Sandy Alcantara who returned over the weekend for his first start recovering from COVID-19. He didn’t have his changeup, but I expect the pitch to return in future starts.

 

  • Seth Lugo and Zach Eflin are the huge gainers in Tier 7 and let’s hope they pull off a fantastic September. Lugo is getting stretched out for the Mets and has a repertoire that could play well across 90+ pitches, while Eflin featured an improved curveball that would transform his ability if it sticks.
  • It’s painful to see Frankie Montas fall this far, but there wasn’t much of a choice. His command has been lost for three straight starts and you have to wonder when it’ll return or if an injury is hiding underneath. Let’s hope he can get back on track right away.

 

  • Tier 8 is the flier tier. Andrew Heaney and Matthew Boyd have each performed well in the short term, but who knows if that is here to stay. Boyd still doesn’t have his slider and is hyper reliant on his changeup, while Heaney’s curveball was unreal and unlikely to be as dominant in follow-up outings.
  • Ross Stripling gets a new chance in Toronto and he’s been cured of #Dodgeritis. Still, there are problems inside that repertoire with an inconsistent changeup and a curveball that has struggled to earn whiffs.

 

  • Tier 9 and 11 are each filled with Toby arms, with T9 coming with more secure arms than the latter. It’s tough to see Chris Bassitt fall this far, but his sinker is in desperate need for another pitch to help him earn outs. Until he finds it, he’s not as safe a bet as he used to be.
  • Marco Gonzales has been cruising as of late and while I don’t expect his fastballs to perform this well, I understand applying the Vargas Rule until then. You can do the same from Adam Wainwright and Zach Davies if you like.

 

  • Between the two Toby tiers is a sea of stash options. I don’t expect any of them to instantly reward trusting managers, but hey, it could happen. Casey Mize elected to avoid his cutter altogether in his last start – what I’d personally call his best offering. Anthony DeSclafani got rocked for yet another start, Griffin Canning did surprisingly well but who knows if he can repeat it, Robbie Ray may turn into a reliever in Toronto after his double-header start this week, and Garrett Richards threw nearly just fastballs in his last start. So much confusion here.
  • It doesn’t end with the return of Michael Pinedawho makes his first start for the Twins today against the White Sox. He’s been the poster boy for Cherry Bombeverywhere and it’s hard to expect anything different today.

 

  • The bottom of The List features many familiar names, though the fall of Brad Keller may be a major surprise. Despite his successful line Monday evening, I’m terrified to see 92 mph velocity and a breaking ball that was nothing like what got me excited in the first place. Proceed with caution.
  • Returning to The List this week we have JA Happ, Danny Duffyand Mike FiersEach can be decent on a given night but make sure to play the matchups wisely.

 

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
1Jacob deGromT1
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
2Shane Bieber
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-
3Gerrit Cole
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-2
4Max Scherzer
T2
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
5Yu Darvish
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+4
6Sonny Gray
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-
7Trevor Bauer
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
-
8Aaron Nola
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-
9Clayton Kershaw
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
10Lance Lynn
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+1
11Kenta Maeda
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
12Zac Gallen
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+2
13Lucas Giolito
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+11
14Luis Castillo
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-2
15Blake Snell
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
-
16Tyler Glasnow
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
+3
17Mike Clevinger
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
18Jack Flaherty
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+8
19Dinelson Lamet
T3
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
-3
20Jesús Luzardo
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
-2
21Aaron Civale
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-4
22Carlos Carrasco
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+8
23Chris Paddack
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-3
24Zack Wheeler
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+3
25Zack Greinke
Aces Gonna Ace
Quality Starts
+3
26Max Fried
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
-1
27Patrick Corbin
Aces Gonna Ace
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-6
28Brandon Woodruff
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-6
29Julio Urías
T4
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-6
30Charlie Morton
Aces Gonna Ace
Injury Risk
Playing Time Question
+UR
31Dylan Bundy
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-2
32Sixto Sánchez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+11
33Zach Plesac
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+UR
34Lance McCullers Jr.
T5
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
-
35José Berríos
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-2
36Hyun Jin Ryu
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-1
37Jordan Montgomery
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Streaming Option
Stash Option
+3
38Pablo López
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+3
39Kyle Hendricks
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
-3
40Dustin May
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
-3
41Randy Dobnak
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
-3
42Dallas Keuchel
Toby
Ratio Focused
-3
43Corbin Burnes
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+1
44Triston McKenzie
T6
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+1
45Masahiro Tanaka
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
+2
46Dakota Hudson
Toby
Streaming Option
+12
47Ian Anderson
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
+UR
48Sandy Alcantara
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Playing Time Question
+UR
49Framber Valdez
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+10
50Tony Gonsolin
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Ratio Focused
+UR
51Kevin Gausman
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
-5
52Elieser Hernandez
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-2
53Germán Márquez
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-22
54Tyler Mahle
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
+19
55Dane Dunning
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+UR
56Deivi García
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
+UR
57Seth Lugo
T7
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
+UR
58Dylan Cease
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
-9
59Frankie Montas
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
-27
60John Means
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
+7
61Zach Eflin
Toby
Streaming Option
+32
62Adrian Houser
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Streaming Option
-11
63Yusei Kikuchi
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Streaming Option
-7
64Cristian Javier
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
-9
65Andrew Heaney
T8
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-1
66Matthew Boyd
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-1
67Ross Stripling
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+11
68Spencer Turnbull
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-5
69Rich Hill
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
+1
70Sean Manaea
T9
Injury Risk
Ratio Focused
-16
71Chris Bassitt
Strikeout Upside
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
-23
72Chad Kuhl
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
-12
73Zach Davies
Toby
Streaming Option
+12
74Mike Minor
Ace Potential
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
+3
75Marco Gonzales
Toby
Streaming Option
+25
76Adam Wainwright
Toby
Streaming Option
+11
77Kwang Hyun Kim
Toby
Streaming Option
+12
78Taijuan Walker
Toby
Streaming Option
+5
79Spencer Howard
T10
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
-
80Casey Mize
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Stash Option
-38
81Griffin Canning
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Cherry Bomb
-5
82Michael Pineda
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
+UR
83Anthony DeSclafani
Strikeout Upside
Toby
-30
84Luke Weaver
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Cherry Bomb
Ratio Focused
-23
85Robbie Ray
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Cherry Bomb
-19
86Tarik Skubal
Ace Potential
Strikeout Upside
Low Ips
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
-18
87Jon Gray
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
-16
88Garrett Richards
Ace Potential
Injury Risk
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-26
89J.A. Happ
T11
Toby
Streaming Option
+UR
90Josh Lindblom
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-21
91Danny Duffy
Toby
Streaming Option
+UR
92Alex Young
Playing Time Question
Toby
Streaming Option
-12
93Brad Keller
Toby
Streaming Option
-36
94Brady Singer
Strikeout Upside
Quality Starts
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
-10
95JT Brubaker
Playing Time Question
Toby
Streaming Option
-7
96Kyle Freeland
Cherry Bomb
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
-24
97Johnny Cueto
Toby
Ratio Focused
Streaming Option
+1
98Justus Sheffield
Strikeout Upside
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-17
99Ryan Castellani
Strikeout Upside
Playing Time Question
Cherry Bomb
Streaming Option
-9
100Mike Fiers
Toby
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 Randy Litzinger/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.

18 responses to “The List 9/1 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers ROS”

  1. Bill says:

    The Fratty Pirate says “Arrrghhhhh did you forget about me?!”

    Great work as always, Nick.

  2. NickFolesMVP says:

    Really harsh drop on Brad Keller, he wasn’t that bad on Monday, was he?
    Any thoughts on Clarke Schmidt?

  3. Jay says:

    Do you think John Means is a good hold in a 16 team dynasty? Pitching is thin in this league

  4. MIKE G.... says:

    Is Triston McKenzie stretching his arm out in hopes of throwing more innings? He has a low ip his first two starts.

  5. Rocket says:

    Sixto at #32 already? What do you think his ceiling will be for 2020? Should I be all in right now? Buying up S. Sanchez, Plesac, and Ian Anderson in that order where I can find them.

  6. Rocket says:

    Looking at #57 Seth Lugo. I really like him as an SP or closer role but, makes me wonder if the Mets have any idea about what they are doing with their staff. I know they are desperate to finish in the money with the expanded playoff but why on earth didn’t they do this when Thor went down? I know they had no clue that Stroman get injured and later opt out but there needs to be some accountability in NY for some of their terrible decisions. This team has too much talent. I watched one of their games against the Marlins where they melted down in defeat. The Marlins players were laughing at them in the dugout. Tough to watch.

  7. Concerned citizen says:

    Mike Clevinger at 17??? Max Fried at 26 BEHIND Chris Paddack and Carlos Carrasco?? Cmon guys, don’t overthink the list. I love this site, and I’ve been on here for a few years now, I’m not new to this. These ranks though are a shade on the not making any sense side right not for me.

    • Greg says:

      Yeah List has really gone off the rails lately…I mean look at Valdez too. Every metric is in tune with that but he keeps getting the “Vargas Rule”??

      • Nick Pollack says:

        Hey Greg!

        It would be super easy for me to raise Framber up and call it a day. Thing is, I don’t believe his sinker is anything but mediocre and I don’t believe his curveball will hold a .113 BAA through the year.

        Pretty nuts it’s a sub 20% FB rate and just a 0.47 HR/9. Even with SIERA sitting under 3.30, I don’t think that’s what we’ll see the rest of the way. His repertoire just isn’t enough for me to believe.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey man!

      No hard feelings whatsoever, I imagine you know by now that I’m down to discuss our differences if you are!

      Fried had a super weird start last time out – his slider was terrible – 0/10 CSW – and needed to throw 37% curveballs to eek out a start. It’s kinda the story of Fried as he hasn’t shown the ability to be a true overwhelming ace from start to start.

      Clevinger was a consensus Top 10 SP before the start of the year and he’s barely thrown this season. The skill set is still the same and he could cruise in San Diego.

      Carrasco’s velocity is back up to its highest of the season + his slider is back. I’m a fan of that and I think he’s returned to being super consistent down the stretch.

      Paddack, I understand more about and could have put Fried above him. He’s looked better as of late, but he still has to get his fastball inside to batters more often.

    • Rocket says:

      I like Clevinger and no doubt he will move back up the list as the season progresses. Three things to keep in mind looking at Clev and his current spot on the list. 1) Some inconsistency coming back from his knee injury has created some up and down outings. Not sure if he has produced a dominate outing we were familiar with last year. Top K game in 4 starts produced 6 punch outs. 2) Long lay off in Cleveland from the designation to the alternate training site. Probably did not help his psyche. 3) In the long run, the move to the Padres should help him moving forward but is still another change and adjustment to make to a new environment.

  8. Big Joey says:

    If Gonsolin or Deivi Garcia had assured playing time, would you rank either above McCullers or Montgomery? Thanks!

  9. Ryan says:

    Pick 2
    – Chris Paddack
    – Zach Plesac
    – Pablo Lopez
    – Aaron Civale

    If going by rankings it’s going to be Civale and Paddack, but I’m concerned both of them are overrated right now and baseballsavant backs that up with their profiles of all 4.

    I’m leaning towards Plesac and Lopez or maybe Paddack but I’m not confident in that decision and I need convinced.

  10. Triumph the Dog says:

    Would love to know what’s really wrong w Castillo?
    Is he attacking too much at the heart of the strike zone?
    And not enough high/inside…low/outside?
    Is his stuff lacking movement?
    Bad luck?
    So frustrating that he can’t figure it out

  11. djo162@gmail.com says:

    Randy Dobnak has 1 QS this year, and 2 total for entire career. Why does he have the QS logo? Seems like a Low IPS guy looking at all his starts.

  12. Trader Bob says:

    Margevicius!

  13. cc says:

    the disrespect to greinke and fried…yikes. nick, would love to hear your case for why they’re #25 and 26?

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