The List 4/1 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Nick Pollack released his weekly update, ranking the Top 100 Starting Pitcher rankings for fantasy baseball.

[pitcher_list_new list_id=”28890″]


Fringe Starters


Pitcher Why They Missed The Cut
Jordan Zimmermann Great first start, but it was against the Jays. I need to see him do it again before giving him a spot
Bryse Wilson I’m worried his bad start will make him to first one out to make room for Kevin Gausman and Mike Foltynewicz
Wade Miley Great for a gamble at a cheap win, I worry about his low IPS and lack of strikeouts.
Martin Perez Spring Training velocity reports are definitely interesting but I need to see it during the season first.
Dallas Keuchel He won’t be starting until May at the earliest and he’s not worth the stash on your roster
Vince Velasquez A massive Cherry Bomb without the clear path to working out of it with inconsistent secondary options.
Tyler Mahle I’m waiting to see if we can trust his new curveball + Alex Wood should return shortly.
Carlos Rodon Still too volatile and wasn’t all too impressive against a poor Royals offense.
Mike Minor Really didn’t look sharp against the Cubs. Not enough upside to risk at this point.
Sean Reid-Foley Could be on The List next week after today’s start against the Orioles.
Andrew Heaney Shut down again with elbow trouble. That’s scary and makes his expected return even later.
Spencer Turnbull I was hoping for a strong performance against the Jays, but it’s not there yet.
Trevor Cahill He may improve as April continues, for now, I’d wait and see.
Ivan Nova Just not enough upside and while he’s a decent streamer, it’s never for a high ceiling. Just not enough there.


What is happening!

It’s a new season and the weekly updates to The List have returned. I’ll be ranking the Top 100 Starting Pitchers every Monday from now until the end of the season.

Before I dive into the player notes, we added new elements last week that I’m going to remind everyone once again

  • Previous/Best/Worst columns removed
    • These took a heavy chunk of loading time and ultimately provided very little value. The change arrows themselves are all that’s needed
  • Tiers added
    • As much as I hate making tiers (When do they start and end? How big are the cliffs?), ya’ll have been asking for them and I’m here for all of you. Please understand how hard it is to accurately place them and don’t get too worked up about it.
  • Labels added
    • There’s often confusion as to why a pitcher is a spot or two above or below another. These labels should help understand what each pitcher brings to the table, showing that some pitchers may be better or worse for what you need.
    • Hover over them (or tap on mobile) to see each label’s name next to the pitcher.
    • Ratio Focused = Their value lies in you chasing their ERA/WHIP more than strikeouts and Wins.
    • Toby = Boring arm that doesn’t excite you, but you stare at the waiver wire and accept that he just okay enough. You don’t like that he’s around the office, but he gets his work done.
  • Fringe Starters added
    • There are always a handful of starters I badly want to add to The List but I don’t have enough room. I’ll always have this table at the end for a collection of starters – in no order – that I also heavily considered, as well as why they could be relevant
    • This will be where IL Players will land. I’ll mention where they would slot when healthy.

Please let me know how you feel about these changes and I’m looking forward to another fun year assessing the wonderful entity that is the SP Landscape.

On to the notes! Remember, these ranks are for 12-teamers in H2H leagues:


Player Notes


  • Moving forward, I’ll be mentioning those that were removed from The List in the “Fringe Players” section, so you can see direct reasoning for why they’re off this week.
  • Nothing changed in the Top 43. It’s been four days of games y’all. Yes, even Chris Sale and Yu Darvish didn’t move. I just can’t make a move right now until we find out more about Sale, while Darvish seemed more like shaking off rust than an underlying issue.
  • Since the mid-40s / early 50s is the tipping point for chasing arms, it’s where I had the most trouble ranking this week. There are a ton of exciting arms that could pan out or fizzle, but it’s hard not to love Corbin Burnes‘ strikeout flair, Pablo Lopez and Brandon Woodruff each looking strong in their season debuts, and both Collin McHugh and Matt Boyd surprising with high K games as well.
  • Popular late round grabs in Derek Holland, Merrill Kellyand Jeff Samardzija took a hit. Holland and Samardzija didn’t pitch as well as anticipated, with the later struggling to miss bats with his secondary stuff. Kelly hasn’t started yet, but his final ST tuneup came with heavily diminished velocity and I’m concerned it’s going to stick today. I hope I’m wrong and he’ll jump up a bit next week.
  • Cole Hamels and Kyle Wright took significant hits as well. Hamels was far the sturdy arm you wanted in his opening start, making the distance between him and the other Tobys (Porcello, Arrieta, Lester, etc.) plenty closer. Wright’s fastball command is lacking and while he could suddenly break out in a blink of an eye, he could also be out of a job in a week or two.
  • The pair of Sonny Gray and Luke Weaver also looked far from ideal in their opening starts, forcing a sizeable drop in the ranks. They both could be given the TIARA (Turn It Around Right Away) and perform well on a dime, but for now, you’re safer going elsewhere and waiting until they perform.
  • We have a good amount of players joining The List this week. Sandy Alcantara impressed with his eight shutout innings, looking more polished with his heater than expected. Marcus Stroman showcased whiffability – finally! – as he jumped into mid-80s with his teammate Aaron Sanchez (who is sporting increased velocity himself!). Trevor Williams continues to defy everything I know about pitching, Lucas Giolito had a small tick more heat with secondary pitches inside the strikezone, and Frankie Montas‘ new splitter could hint at an increase in strikeouts.
  • At the very end, Matt Shoemaker and Jake Odorizzi each got a spot as possible streamers for their stellar performances. Maybe it clicks in the near future against weaker opponents, maybe not. A decent option to consider now.

(Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)

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.

16 responses to “The List 4/1 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday”

  1. Rusty says:

    What are your feelings on Yonny Chirinos? He had an impressive start yesterday against the Astros. 13.6% swstr! Do you just not consider him a starter?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I considered him!

      I’m waiting another start or two before he gets a spot. I expect him to be used as a False Starter with an opener and we’ve seen how his skills can diminish quickly.

  2. Dan says:

    What do you think about Josh James chances of making the rotation in season from the bullpen ? Is he a guy you would consider for the list or for rostering in 12 team standard mixed leagues?

    • Barrett says:

      fwiw, I’m rolling with James in both 10 teams I’m in (Restart and Dynasty) just for the fact that he’s going to be dominant out of the pen and it never hurts to have good RPs especially in a holds league (both of mine are). That and he’s the first man up into the rotation if McHugh or Peacock get injured or blow up. Pure upside with James and not that much downside if you get his draft value right. Even better if he’s sitting on the wire…

  3. Chucky says:

    How about two front end SPs ( at least on their respective teams) Keller, KC’s OD SP and Newcomb, who certainly looks like he’s going to at least get a chance to hang himself, with that starved Braves staff?

  4. Adam says:

    Curious what kind of batter do you think could be a good trade for Buehler? In a 10 team points league with settings that favour pitchers and doesn’t count strikes, would you consider Votto for Buehler an even trade pending positional needs? Thanks!

    • Ross says:

      I am also curious about Buehler trade value. I have a deal in the works to acquire Buehler, Darvish, and Stripling for Freddie Freeman and Quintana. I am deep at 1B and in need of pitching depth but don’t want to overpay.

  5. James Hoelscher says:

    Got Eduardo Rodriguez on my squad with little forethought as to why I would want to, and his first outing was real blegh. IS there reason to hold out hope and hold tight?

  6. theKraken says:

    I actually really like best/worst a lot. This should be a database-driven site where that is just a simple SQL query and it is automated. I am certain that it isn’t based on the workload you describe and the previous incorrectness that I now understand the source of. Best/worst provides accountability for previous rankings and I think it is worthwhile. Its what theoretically makes overrating a player a discussion point as opposed to just dismissing it – where that happens there is a learning opportunity or at least a great discussion point. Heck, you could write an off-season article on each player that finishes 30 spots below his peak and it would be interesting – you would have flawed players that we got too excited about (Collin Moran is a hilarious example from 2018 – must draft haha) and a bunch of injury rebounds. I would prefer it to tiers – users have to make their own arbitrary decisions about tiers – you put them in order which is the hard part! My question for you – you are already the best in the world at this without any serious competition. You sure you want to change? I wouldn’t be too worried about what people want… you’ve already made it.

  7. Night Hawk says:

    Why no mention of Eric Lauer? It looks like he’s carrying over his strong finish from last year. Ny the way, love the list.

  8. Walter says:

    On what site can I find CSW (or separate called and swinging strikes)?

  9. Eric says:

    Ignoring concerns about total number of starts, Paddack and Glasnow are both top 30 pitchers for me. Paddack has WHIP upside that only pitchers in the first 4 tiers have, and Glasnow has the K floor to absorb a few bad starts, with the upside of ending the year a top 15 SP.

    Of course, both could have their innings managed, which depresses their value. Where would you put Paddack and Glasnow if an oracle told you they were both getting 180 innings?

  10. Dan Butcher says:

    No hope for Zack Godley?

  11. Michael Langseth says:

    Hey Nick–just a heads up that the “The List” link on the homepage redirects to the 3/25 list, not the 4/1 list. Keep up the great work. You’re a gift.

  12. Justin says:

    Strahm is still that high for you? He walked a pitcher and had a fastball of 89 mph. I doubt he is going to gain 5 mph on his fastball and suddenly have enough control to not walk the pitcher. He was even balking, dude looked lost. No statistical evidence he can be effective as a starter either.

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