The List 9/26 – Analyzing Every Starting Pitcher’s Final Starts of the Year

Nick Pollack ranks all ROS fantasy baseball starting pitcher matchups.

Every day of the 2022 baseball season, I’ve been looking at today and tomorrow’s slate of scheduled starting pitchers and ranking their matchups for your fantasy baseball streams.

With just about ten days left of the season, I decided the most helpful thing I could do is expand my daily rankings to look at each remaining day of the season in one massive reference article. There are many problems with doing this

There’s a lot that goes into this and you can hang out with me on Twitch.tv/pitcherlist to talk about the specific ranks as I make them every weekday morning from 10am – 12pm ET. If you have questions about these ranks, please ask during the morning Twitch AMA. Those are my office hours as I generally don’t answer comments on the site.

 

HUGE thanks to Dave Swan for helping put together this week’s tables. Made the process so much faster than usual.

 

My Ranking Process Outlined

 

There are four tiers to these rankings with 12-teamers in mind (Updated 9/10):

Auto-Start – Just do it. Don’t overthink this, start the man. This includes “if I have them rostered, I’m starting them” pitchers.

Probably Start – I’m likely starting these arms, though I recognize there is more risk than we’d like there to be. Either it’s a tough matchup for a good-not-elite pitcher or a weak lineup for a volatile arm. These pitchers have a 50% or greater chance of performing well in my view.

Questionable Start – Think of this tier as “I don’t want to start these pitchers in a vacuum, but you could do worse.” Streamers found in this tier are not pitchers I’m targeting and are only if you are in dire need of one. To play it safe with streaming, just start the Probably Start streamers.

Do Not Start – The reward is not worth the risk. Don’t do it. Seriously, these pitchers have a very slim chance of success or sometimes none at all.

Obviously, there will be circumstances where pitchers should move between teams for your situation specifically and these new tiers should act as a little more help than the straight table from last year.

 

These schedules are going to change. It’s the biggest concern I have investing the time into a massive article like this as we all know rotations change, injuries happen, starters are pushed back, and rainouts are a thing. It means to take these with a grain of salt, but I believe it’s best to have a plan and adapt rather than starting with no plan at all.

Also keep in mind that my feelings toward some of these starters will be altered by their progression through the rest of the year – take Sonny Gray’s velocity dip in Monday’s game, which affects our view of him for his next start (hamstring issue). The rankings are fluid through the end of the year and I can only make my best estimate now. Make sure to check out my daily rankings for more help in the final weeks.

 

Make sure to read the notes if you’re wondering why I’m favoring certain pitchers over others – I won’t get to everyone and hopefully I answer what questions you will have.

(Opener) – Outlines that a pitcher is being opened for that day & the pitcher listed will follow the opener.

As I do my rankings, I thought it would be helpful to showcase a table of how we’re ranking offenses:

Nick’s Loose Team Offense Rankings (Updated 9/12)

 

H’ok. Buckle in, the rest of this article is 16 tables for each remaining day of the year (Monday 9/19 not included as games have already started). I’ll have a few lines of notes for each, but much more detail in my daily today/tomorrow streaming articles when the time comes.

I’ve also elected to highlight potential streamers in Green and Yellow colors to outline who my favorite targets are down the stretch. Green = Absolutely, Yellow = if you’re in need of something.

 

Tuesday 9/27 Starting Pitcher Rankings

I’ve been pretty down on Mitch Keller, but this is a game in Pittsburgh hosting the Reds. I think it’s the safest I’ll feel streaming Keller all year. I really don’t like the rest of that third tier, by the way.

I’m expecting Bailey Ober to be more stretched out for that start against the White Sox + Kyle Bradish was phenomenal last week against the Astros with his reduced four-seamer usage. Could make for more success against the Red Sox.

Kyle Muller is a super sneaky play here as he fanned nine in his last minor league start. There’s a chance he comes through here, but the ratios could be shaky.

 

Wednesday 9/28 Starting Pitcher Rankings

Don’t count out Dean Kremer after his nine inning affair last week, nor Michael Lorenzen being servicable against the Athletics. Not my favorite streams, but it could work.

I’d prefer to stay away from Matt Manningwho may have earned your love recently. He’s too volatile without enough of a ceiling.

Jake Odorizzi just got roughed up by the Phillies but could come through against the Nationals. His stuff is still intact.

Hayden Wesneski is an interesting option, though the Phils could give him a rough time and a short outing.

You may be tempted by Luis Cessa against the Pirates, but be cautious – his slider has been out frequently and disaster usually follows.

Finally, you see Tyler Glasnow in the bottom tier and you raise an eyebrow. He faced just nine batters in his final rehab start and I’m anticipating 2-3 frames for the former Tampa Bay ace in this one as he makes his return from TJS.

 

Thursday 9/29 Starting Pitcher Rankings

Our streaming option is Braxton Garrett after his slider returned last start and he’s claimed Trevor Rogers‘ rotation spot with ease. Go for it.

It’s the second start back for Eric Lauerwho would be ranked higher if I expected him go to more than 80 pitches. He tossed 66 over the weekend and that may set him enough for five frames against a weak squad.

The other tier three options are rough, though. I don’t know what to expect from Ranger Suárezand Javier Assad has a chance to squeeze 5+ against the Phils with his cutter…or fall off the table.

I have no idea what the Red Sox are doing with Nathan Eovaldi and it makes it awfully hard to rank him. At the very least, he’s likely a Still ILL and I’d rather just not deal with it.

 

Friday 9/30 Starting Pitcher Rankings

I’m liking a pair of options here. With Bailey Falter sticking in the rotation, he’ll be around to face Natty Lite and could give you six quality frames at the cost of free.

The Cubs may be doing some weird things with their rotation with Keegan Thompson possibly taking over for an injured(?) Wade Miley, and I’d monitor this situation closely. That’s one h*ck of a matchup against Cincy.

I loved what I saw from Johan Oviedo last Friday, but it’s hard to latch on and expect the same each start moving forward. He has a chance, at least.

Zach Plesac is returning from the IL and gets a pair of starts against the Royals. I’m being cautious with the first one, but I’m likely in for the second as a possible Toby down the stretch.

After tossing 99mph cutters over the weekend, Graham Ashcraft could make it work against the mediocre Cubs offense in Wrigley. There’s a chance.

 

Saturday 10/1 Starting Pitcher Rankings

October first is an interesting day. You have the Phillies heading to D.C. for a doubleheader and I’m assuming Noah Syndergaard gets brought back into the rotation for the day, which could work out if you’re in need of a start…though he may not be stretched out enough. I’d be awfully careful.

You also have Aaron Civale in his third start back from the IL and facing the Royals. His curveball usage went up against the Rangers and we’re back on track.

I’m sad to see Shane McClanahan go through injuries in the final month as he faces quality offenses. It makes for some tough choices as a fantasy manager and do what you need to do. He could stumble hard here.

I don’t care if it’s just a few outings, I’m starting Luis Ortiz against the Cardinals. His stuff is just too dang good.

Oritz is one of three intriguing options for Saturday. The Dodgers are keeping Michael Grove in the rotation and his fastball/curve could make easy work of Rockie Road.

There’s also Adrian Sampson who gets another lovely outing against the Reds. It’s hard to turn that down.

Sadly we watched Edward Cabrera get an ankle sprain on Sunday and I’d be surprised if the Marlins let him start again this year.

The Brewers elected to pair Freddy Peralta and Aaron Ashby on Sunday and I’d imagine you’ll see it again in this start. You may be better off going Ashby for the Win chance as he’ll likely be the follower.

 

Sunday 10/2 Starting Pitcher Rankings

Get excited – the Diamondbacks have kept Drey Jameson in the rotation and I’d grab him everywhere. He’s legit, y’all.

So is Roansy Contreras and he deserves your love against the Cardinals, even if he allowed 6 ER to the Yankees. Doesn’t matter, start him.

Otherwise, the third tier is a whole lot of meh without the volatile ceilings we normally chase. Be thankful for Drey and Roansy.

 

Monday 10/3 Starting Pitcher Rankings

Atlanta has added Bryce Elder to the rotation and despite his stuff failing to get me excited, he’s shown he can take down poor offenses. I’m comfortably starting him against the Nationals.

Another option is Hayden Wesneski against the Reds as his hook and heater give him the chance for 5/6 frames.

In the third tier, Mitch Keller’s magic could continue, Zach Davies as he may have his vintage changeup working, and Tyler Glasnow may be stretched out enough to make an impact.

There’s a chance Tony Gonsolin returns from the IL to face Rockie RoadIf he does, try to figure out how long he’s expected to go for – I can see a five inning outing here, but don’t chase it without confirmation.

 

Tuesday 10/4 Starting Pitcher Rankings

This may be the start to target for Jake Odorizzi facing the Marlins. See how the game goes against Natty Lite and if it’s secondaries low, four-seamers up, I’d roll with it.

I don’t know what the Red Sox are doing with Nathan Eovaldionce again, but if he comes back the previous week and excels, I’ll likely put him in the second tier instead.

Once again, Michael Lorenzen gets the Athletics and it could be a boring play that works out for you.

There are a few doubleheaders on the final Tuesday. Who knows who goes for Detroit and Texas, but you’re not going for those matchups and starters. The Yankees could toss out Clarke Schmidt and I’d avoid it as I don’t expect a full 5+ inning effort. As for the Mariners, it may be Chris Flexenwho gets the same analysis…except it’s the Tigers. ~60 pitches could mean five frames there.

Frankie Montas may come back in this doubleheader for the Yankees and I imagine they want to get him up to speed quickly before the playoffs hit.

If Eric Lauer is looking great in his second start, I may be inclined to raise him toward the top of this tier if he’s expected for 85+ pitches.

 

Wednesday 10/5 Starting Pitcher Rankings

It’s the last day of the season and I’d be shocked if 1) I didn’t have to redo this entire table because so many are wrong and 2) If all these aces actually are still pitching. There’s a good argument for each of these teams needing their studs to go, but you may see plenty limited by this day, with some random starting instead. Don’t overplan for this Wednesday and expect your aces to not get this extra start.

For example, I listed the Mets, Atlanta, and Toronto as all TBD as they could start Chris Bassitt, Max Friedand Alek Manoahbut then they’d be poorly set up for their potential Wild Card games over the weekend.

If Zach Plesac looks good in his first start against the Royals, I’d let him fly with confidence in his second bout with Kansas City.

The same goes for Jack Flaherty – are the Cardinals going to toss him in the Wild Card weekend or do they want to get a full start out of him so he’s ready for a potential second round of the playoffs start?

It’s tough to chase streams on the final day, though you may see some weaker offenses around the league. That could be Brayan Bello feasts on the Rays, or even Austin Voth cruising against the Jays.

Graham Ashcraft is another to consider with his high-velocity cutters, while what are the Cubs going to do with Wade MileyMonitor who starts that game as they could provide value against the Reds.

 

Photo by Rich Graessle/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.

One response to “The List 9/26 – Analyzing Every Starting Pitcher’s Final Starts of the Year”

  1. Joe Momma says:

    The Giants offense should be average, not weak, no? On the season they have a 101 wRC+. In terms of runs scored, they are in 15th place (right smack dab in the middle). If the “weak” rating is supposedly due to recent performance, well, in the last 30 days that wRC+ is still 98, and in runs scored, they are…still exactly in 15th place. Seems pretty clear cut.

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