The List 5/13 – 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=”31259″]


Fringe Starters


Pitcher Why They Missed The Cut
Jimmy Nelson Nelson will be around the 50s when he’s back from the IL
Corey Kluber On the IL with a forearm injury – Top 10 arm
David Price On the IL with elbow tendonitis – Could return this weekend, would be ~#15
James Paxton On the IL with a sore knee – Top 15 SP
Jameson Taillon On the IL with an elbow injury – Top 25 SP
Steven Matz On the IL with a forearm nerve issue – Could return this weekend
Tyler Glasnow On the IL with forearm strain – “4-6 weeks”
Clay Buchholz Isn’t cutting it as a Toby
Drew Pomeranz The last one off. K upside is interesting, but low IPS and too low of a ceiling.
Dereck Rodriguez A Toby who hasn’t helped enough to justify his ranking
Lance Lynn Too much of a Cherry Bomb with plenty of bombs
Nick Margevicius Looks more like a Cup of Schmo than a rosterable arm
Luis Severino The recent injury news sets him back to July 1st, hopefully. He’ll be Top 15 then.
Mike Clevinger His injury has Clev out until June/July. He’ll be Top 20 then.
Nathan Eovaldi Hit the IL with an elbow injury. When starting again, he’ll be 40/50s
Touki Toussaint Touki has been demoted to Triple-A
Nick Pivetta Pivetta has been demoted to Triple-A
Ross Stripling No longer in the Dodgers rotation
Julio Urias He’s now #7 on the block in L.A. Despite my love for him, he’s not worth the stash.
Alex Wood I’m just going to wait until he’s back to properly rank him. Most likely in the 50s.
Jhoulys Chacin Even his recent stretch isn’t worth the floor
Corbin Burnes Demoted to Triple-A
Justus Sheffield Good stash option, but I want to focus on guys in the majors now this week.
Dallas Keuchel He won’t be starting until May at the earliest and he’s not worth the stash on your roster.
Andrew Heaney Shut down again with elbow trouble. That’s scary and makes his expected return even later.
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.
Sandy Alcantara He’s incredibly raw and the ceiling is not worth the destruction along the way.


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, here are the new List features from last year’s editions:

  • 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.
    • Cherry Bomb = Volatile pitchers who are either “super sweet” or “blow up in your face.” Heed warning.
    • Ace Potential = I define an ace as: 3.40 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 24% K rate, 6.0 IPS. It’s why you see some surprising names as having the upside of an ace.
  • 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


  • Remember, it’s the number relative to the field. Guys like Tyler Glasnow and Carlos Rodon were removed due to injury, granting innate positive bumps to everyone outside the Top 20.
  • You wanted some changes in the Top 20, you got them. Chris Sale and Luis Castillo are Top 10 arms now, with the former entering the mega-top tier as these arms are all carrying teams week-by-week. Castillo has been doing the same, though his track record pulls him back into the second tier, where Zack Greinke gets a jump with a sub 2.20 ERA following his first start of the season.
  • A major congrats to Caleb Smith for his first entry into the Top 20 SP. What a time to be alive.
  • The landscape of SP keeps shifting and it’s time to give more praise to Luke Weaver and Jerad Eickhoff who keep passing tests against strong opponents.
  • Jon Lester hosts the lowest ERA in the majors, demanding a boost despite obvious regression incoming, though it means all five Cubs starters are currently sitting in the fourth tier. Wild.
  • After the past two disasters from Joe Musgrovehe took a reasonable drop, though I expect the production to return shortly.
  • The fifth tier is the fun tier. Lucas Giolito leads the way, which I didn’t expect but given how all of these names could fall outside the Top 60 or farther in a heartbeat, I’d prefer to chase the arm that still has room to grow (i.e. his curveball) with a solid schedule ahead.
  • Corbin Martin had an incredible debut on Sunday and impressed with a phenomenal fastball and two strong secondary pitches. It could fizzle quickly, but he’s a must-add in all formats, forcing his way above the trio of Twins arms – Martin Perez, Kyle Gibsonand Jake Odorizzi who don’t have the same ceiling.
  • With two poor outings returning from the IL, we have to be skeptical that Tyler Skaggs can return to the formidable arm he was in most of 2018. Still worth a roster spot, but his decline is warranted.
  • Tier 6 is a long one as I began to shrug with a ton of names. I didn’t want to punish Pablo Lopez so much for his cataclysmic outing and nine spots seemed right given the arms around him. Chris Bassitt is a clear standout with his recent strikeout ability, but he’s still at #70 given its likely regression. Sonny Gray has been lost recently, Anthony DeSclafani has a tough schedule ahead, and Kyle Freeland’s command is a far cry from last year’s exhibition.
  • Names joining The List this week are Felix Pena (not a bad False Starter for strikeout upside), Gio Gonzalez (could be a Toby), Nick Kingham (could he find the magic we saw last year?), Lance Lynn (a complete Cherry Bomb with K upside), Wilmer Font (A decent add in deeper leagues), Jefry Rodriguez (Vargas Rule?), and Dylan Cease (replaces Forrest Whitley as Cease is the better stash).

(Photo by Jimmy Simmons/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.

19 responses to “The List 5/13 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday”

  1. Nick says:

    Awesome. Thank you for putting this out every week, your readers appreciate it.

  2. Sean says:

    John Means doesn’t even get a callout in the “why they missed it” section? Seems a bit … mean, wouldn’t you say? ;)

    Seriously, though, what’s the deal with Means?

  3. White Sox fan says:

    What are your thoughts on trading Corbin Martin for Lucchesi in a dynasty league?

  4. Big E says:

    Love the list. Heaney is making strides. I think you’ll be back by June 1. Any thoughts on that?

  5. Mike says:

    Hi Nick- like the pod and the site. Respect that you do a list every week but the Flaherty ranking in particular seems a bit overly reactive. Are you telling me if you were a Flaherty owner that you would honestly accept 1-1 offers on guys like German, Fried, or Sroka? I know I definitely would not. I like all of those guys but I definitely still trust Flaherty more. Same goes for Ray and Bum but I understand those more.

  6. Datguy8 says:

    Jon Gray, Skaggs, or tony disco in a 12 team points league

  7. Strat Mahm says:

    Matt Strahm has a 3.00 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Since he got shelled in his first start, he has an ERA of 1.96 and a 0.87 WHIP. He’s also getting about 9 K/9. Why so low on me (I mean him)?

  8. Darren says:

    No Cole Irvin love on the list this week? Looks like he’s getting another start against Colorado this Friday. Was he just overshadowed by Corbin’s dominance?

  9. J says:

    Confused to how Kikuchi went down this week after the week he had.

    Is be being penalized for the pine tar?

  10. Brett says:

    Nick Kingham at 97, yet no John Means???

  11. J says:

    Kind of funny that the whole Cubs rotation is tier 4. There really isn’t any other team like it. Pretty much an entire team of number 2 guys.

  12. Ryan says:

    Man Ryu has been the best pitcher in the leauge so far this year and he cant even crack the top 20. Harsh.

  13. MookieBestt says:

    I’d rather have Ryu than most of the guys in the low teens. He is among the league leaders in xFIP (tied with Snell, behind only Cole), and other than his strand rate, everything looks sustainable. If it’s solely about health, how is Strasburg higher? And what are Nola and Kershaw doing significantly above Ryu?

  14. Jeff says:

    No love for Danny Duffy even in fringe? Seems like a potential comback is in store but who knows. Thanks!

  15. Kevin Siefering says:

    I picked up Jon Duplantier in a 15-team NFBC league when someone dropped him last week after being sent back to the minors. I keep thinking that he will be stretched out to a starter and will be really good. Do you agree? If he follows that path, would he make this list? If I’m bidding FAAB on Corbin Martin this weekend, should I drop Duplantier or Sabathia? (My other SPs are Degrom, Price, Tanaka, Smith, Soroka, Archer and Eovaldi.)

  16. Firtree Baseball says:

    I wish the list was published on Sunday. I wouldn’t have gone after Freddy Peralta.
    I’m in a 13-team league and my 6 starters
    are 1 Tier 2, 3 Tier 4, and 2 Tier 5 starters.
    Should I be exploring trading 2 starters for 1? If so, who should I target?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’m sorry! This is a often requested change and unfortunately I just don’t have the time on Sundays to get it out.

      I can’t answer the second part of your question (you just have to shoot high and start talking to managers!) but I do recommend doing a two-for-one if you’re getting the far-and-away best arm in the deal.

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