The List 4/23: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Nick Pollack updates his Pitcher List ranking the Top 100 Starting Pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of 2018.

[pitcher_list list_id=”18199″ season=”2018″ include_stats=”1″]

Welcome to The List – The weekly top 100 rankings of starting pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season. Use this list to help make choices on the waiver wire and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues. These rankings are made with 5×5 H2H standard 12-team leagues in mind.

Let’s talk about how the SP landscape has changed since last week:

  • The biggest event was Luis Castillo falling 31 spots – a massive move fueled by a huge downward trend in his declining velocity. Some are arguing it’s weather based, others mechanical, I’m inclined to believe there is something else we don’t know about affecting Castillo. Is he a straight up drop? No, not like Lucas Giolito or Jon Graybut if there are good options on the wire and you don’t have the luxury to wait for him to improve – my guess would be end of May we’ll start seeing the man we know and love – it may be time to cut bait. Analyze your situation and do what’s best for you.
  • I couldn’t help but continue raising the likes of Dylan Bundy, Patrick Corbin, Sean Manaea, Charlie Mortonand Blake SnellEach are taking noticeable steps forward and look plenty sustainable as long as they are on the field.
  • Robbie Ray, Chris Archer, Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish, and Jose Quintana are all better than their current selves, the question is when they will produce for your squad. Give them a TIARA for now and tough it out.
  • I’m loving the new Nick Pivetta who is focusing more on breaking balls and not letting himself get beat by his fastball thus far. Additionally, Rick Porcello is locked in with his teammate Eduardo Rodriguez getting a ton of whiffs. They need to be owned in all 12-teamers and possible 10-teamers as well.
  • With Kenta Maeda and Hyun-jin Ryu getting their time on the bump, they are certainly worth a spot on your roster. Don’t get too comfortable with them, give them short leashes, but if you’re hurting at the back end of your rotation, they could both help.
  • I didn’t have a choice but to drop Danny Duffy, Sonny Grayand Marcus Stroman this week, each showcasing different areas of failure early on. With Stroman’s lack of massive upside, Sonny’s dramatic velocity dip, and Duffy’s flat-out bad performances, it’s hard to imagine a quick return to form forcing them farther than a sea of upside plays.
  • Zach Wheeler, CC Sabathia, Matt Wisler and Matt Boyd all earned their spots on The List this week. Wheeler seems secure in the rotation as Matt Harvey heads to the bullpen and while I don’t trust his longterm success, he’s an intriguing flier for now. Sabathia is a decent occasional streamer, Boyd’s success shouldn’t last, but you can follow the Vargas Rule, and though I don’t think Wisler is legit, you may as well take the chance.

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.

53 responses to “The List 4/23: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday”

  1. ESB says:

    Good stuff Nick, what are your thoughts on Flaherty’s ability to stick this time around(assuming he’s called up to start Saturday)? And would you advocate dropping Maeda for him in a 5×5 QS league? I see you have them ranked 58 and 59. Thanks as always!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d hold Maeda for now as he has 3 excellent outings lined up against the Pads, Reds, and Marlins.

      I’d imagine if Flaherty performs well, the Cards will find a way to keep him in the rotation.

      • ESB says:

        Thanks as always Nick, forgot to mention Mikolas is out there as well, just saw he’s ranked a bit higher for you than Maeda or Flaherty. Still holding Maeda for this week though?

  2. theKraken says:

    Fun to see lots of movement!

  3. Devin says:

    my new team name potentials:
    Cast-away, Cas-tease-o, Catastraphio, Lose-weak Castillo

  4. Michael says:

    Nick – great stuff as always. With Castillo falling out of favor, who’s your current darling you are higher on than most?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      That’s a great question, I honestly don’t know. Believe it or not, I purposefully don’t look at other SP ranks in order to avoid crowd bias. It messed me up a little back in the day and I avoid it completely now.

      My guess would be a few guys around 45/55, or one of Bundy/Manaea/Corbin/Richards/Bauer

      • Michael says:

        I think Godley and Bundy stand out to me fron other sources I read, but your logic is sound, they look great. Keep up the great work. Love the daily pods.

  5. Bbboston says:

    Is there any hope for Giolito?

  6. VORP Speed says:

    Nick, curious to hear your thoughts on Luke Weaver. He obviously had to be dropped this week because of his implosion vs. the Cubs, but how do you feel about him ROS?

    Bundy is on the waiver wire in my 8 team H2H league and I’m thinking about dropping Weaver for him. My only hesitation is that you’ve said in the past that you prefer to chase upside in smaller leagues. Would you make this switch?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Definitely get Bundy for Weaver.

      I think Weaver will recover, it comes down to his curveball landing for strikes and getting comfortable with his fastball/changeup combo. The latter wasn’t there last time, though it’s his shtick and should return.

  7. Martin says:

    Thanks for the good work! One question I have: You advocate dropping Jon Gray, who you have ranked #65, yet you say that Ryu, ranked #82, “certainly deserves a spot on my roster.”

    What gives?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ryu is the ultimate short term play. Gray is a better longterm play.

      Just different circumstances. Less overall value in Ryu but could be better for the next week or two.

  8. Seth says:

    A lot of movement today and yet pretty conservative bump for Ross. Is he ahead of ERod and/or JMont in a K/BB league?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I wouldn’t say so even with the low walk rates thus far. He has a history of poor walk rates that I’m not sure has fully been eradicated. He also has a tough matchup in Coors now and I wonder if his 127 Pitch Count from his last outing with have a residual effect.

  9. Let's Play Two says:

    Hey Nick.

    What’s the bbFIP for Q, Pivetta and E-Rod?

  10. Let's Play Two says:

    Your reasoning on why you ranked Bundy one spot higher than Corbin?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      You gotta get in the channel LPT :)

      I think his approach speaks slightly more to sustainability than Corbin + tougher schedule thus far.

  11. DC21 says:

    Thoughts on Ivan Nova? Drop him for Mikolas?

  12. Let's Play Two says:

    My staff currently includes Klub, Sevvy, Bauer, Corbin, Godley, Weaver, Pivetta, Q. I want to deal for a more “sure thing” from a ratio risk standpoint that also checks the counting stats boxes. Would a 2 pitcher combo of either Q/Weaver/Pivetta be a fair offer for Nola?

  13. puiglo says:

    Thanks for all the great content Nick. I’m a recent follower of this list and am curious to know if I’m analyzing it correctly. Is this a rest of season (ROS) projection type of list? Snapshot ranking at this point in time? Is it safe to say one should exchange a lower ranked pitcher for a higher ranked one when possible?

    I’m considering dropping Trevor Williams (#95) and picking up free agent Mike Minor (#53). According to the list it should be a no-brainer but I’m hesitant because of the contrast in stats: 2.15 vs 3.86 ERA, 1 vs 4 QS, respectively. What do you think?

    12 team | H2H | 6v6 | SV, HLD, ERA, WHIP, K/9, QS

    • Michael says:

      “Welcome to The List – The weekly top 100 rankings of starting pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season.”

      • AJ says:

        Trevor Williams has a 5.2% K-BB%. That’s putrid. The only reason he’s been viable is because he’s rocking a .228 BABIP and a 3.3% HR/FB. Safe to assume that will not hold.

        • Nick Pollack says:

          Yeah, I don’t buy it at all myself, still I felt his performance regardless of the under the hood numbers at least warranted a Top 100 spot.

  14. Kurtis says:

    Surprised Teheran doesn’t make the top 100, he’s performed pretty well last 3 outings

  15. Grind Crunch says:

    I’m all in on Samardzija based on the high praise he has been getting on this site, here’s to hoping he delivers

  16. Blezcherbum says:

    Trade Newcomb for Velazquez in Dynasty?

  17. Manley Ramirez says:

    Congrats on a great week for Pitcherlist. Ross and Maeda were your guys that the industry has been sleeping on. And while everyone else was getting super hyped on Lucchessi, you adopted a wait and see approach which appears to be vindicated after his last start. Keep doing your thing!

  18. Mjolnir says:

    McCullers and Pivetta are both out there as FA. Drop Luke Weaver for one of them?

  19. Ryan says:

    Nick thoughts on the following…

    Do I drop Fulmer and/or Tanaka for Snell and/or Garret Richards? Or keep them ROS?

    H2H yahoo

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Drop Fulmer for Richards, Tanaka vs. Snell is super close. Anyone else to drop instead of Tanaka?

  20. The Dude says:

    Love love LOVE the List!
    Hate hate HATE that it comes out on Mondays!

    My 16-Team League’s weekly FAAB auction is Sunday night, which makes each previous List “6-day old news” and the current List a day late and a dollar short. Since most ESPN H2H Leagues start on Mondays, I have to imagine MANY of your readers face the same Sunday Blues trying to guess what the list will look like while making their weekly bids.
    I do read every Daily Roundup, trying to take cues from the recaps for each free agent in hopes of bidding the smartest on those who will be your new entries or the highest risers. But that’s actually been harder to predict than it sounds.
    Q1 – would you consider ever changing to Sundays instead of Mondays? (I know you’re committed this year, but next?)
    Q2 – absent that change, would you consider tipping your hand even more when a less-than-household name grabs your attention enough to warrant a major move onto or up the board?

    Examples – I’d have bid a whole lot more on Pivetta & Ross two Sundays ago if I’d have known you thought enough of them to go from NR to 69 and 73 (and now they’re 48 and 61!). A week ago Sunday I’d have not guessed Lucchesi would debut at 63 and he could’ve been had for a small investment. And last night I could have bid less to secure Wheeler (debut at 67) than I did to score Boyd (at least he’s 91?).
    In a competitive 16-team league with high IP Limits, finding non-rostered guys even twice a season who are capable of cracking the Top 45-70 are pure gold.
    Not that I’m unappreciative! But boy if there was any way you could feed the need a bit earlier, it sure would be awesome.
    Thanks for all of your work, Sir!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey man!

      Sorry to say, I don’t have much of a choice but to put this out on Mondays. I take a lot of the day creating it and I simply can’t do that on Sundays :-/

      I also purposefully wait to make declarations until Monday as that’s when I take a decent amount of time to establish “this guy vs. this guy”. There are also a lot of things that can happen in just a day or two, surprisingly.

      The best I can offer is to reach out here or on Twitter when you’re debating choices and hopefully I can get back to you quickly to help your decisions. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

      • The Dude says:

        Sux for me, but totally understand.
        Current conundrum: Keep M Boyd? Or drop for any of these available (in perceived order of “List Worthiness” and ROS upside):
        Cahill, Marco Gonz, Wisler, CC, Gibson, Liriano, Jarlin, Biagiani, Caleb Smith, Heaney, Koch, Freeland.

  21. WW Towns says:

    The Stratton Strangler strikes again!

  22. Mike says:

    I am among those who don’t quite understand the lack of appeal for Stratton, and him being so low on your list. He’s delivered in each of his starts so far this season, including above-average performances in his last 2 against Washington and Arizona. Is it his 0.00 HR rate? Is is FB% too high? He seems to get a decent amount of ground balls but maybe he doesn’t strike out enough guys? What am I missing here? I’m hanging onto him and starting him every time but only out of necessity and that in our league, virtually all of the top 100 (and then some) SP’s are owned.

  23. Steven says:

    Rodon – Where will he rank once he is off the DL?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I can’t answer that as I’m not sure how he’ll perform when he arrives back. He’ll gradually move up as he gets closer.

      Maybe around the 50s?

  24. Mike E says:

    I need to drop either Jack Flaherty, Jakob Junis, Reynaldo Lopez or Aaron Sanchez. I’m guessing you’ll say Sanchez as I don’t see his name on the list. I love Lopez but was leaning towards him (walk rate/unsustainable avg), am I crazy?

    If I drop 2 of the above, I can scoop up a red hot Yoan Moncada, thoughts?

  25. Michael says:

    Is Tyler Skaggs really outside of your top 100 or was that an accidental omission? His advanced metrics look good (SwStr%, Contact%, Z-Contact%, SIERA etc.) and after pitching very well against the Astros and Yankees this week, he would definitely be in my top 100.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Not an accidental omission.

      Now after surviving Houston and NYY I’ll bring him back, though believe it or not, I still don’t have much longterm faith in him. Not a fan of his arsenal and walk history.

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