The List 5/21: 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=”20307″ 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:

  • Some small shifts in the teens with Carlos Carrasco taking a small dip as other arms are performing better and more consistently. Meanwhile, the Carlos Martinez injury looks a little more severe + he was due for plenty of regression without the massive K rate, forcing me to drop him a little.
  • Charlie Morton, Shohei Ohtaniand Lance McCullers are major injury risks, however their performances justify a lofty rank despite it. If you can cash out at this price, I’m all for it, but given the dearth of quality options starting near the #20 mark, I’m forced to rank them highly.
  • Sean Manaea and Dallas Keuchel take a bit of a stumble as their relatively low strikeout rates aren’t being supported by strong ratio performances. I think better days are to come for both, but they deserve less love at the moment.
  • I heavily regret dropping Nick Pivetta as much as I did last week and have reinstated him in the mid-40s. Won’t happen again, I promise.
  • I’m loving what I’m seeing from Andrew Heaney and Michael WachaHeaney has looked stellar across the board while Wacha is holding a 2.06 ERA across his last six starts.
  • A lot of people will react strongly to the -12 drop for Eduardo Rodriguez despite having a fantastic outing last night. I admit that I was ranking him a bit too high without considering his massive injury risk given the consistency of his knee injuries. I’ve baked in risk among plenty other “injury prone” players and needed to do so with Erod as well. Still love him, don’t worry.
  • Don’t look at the big red number for Walker Buehler and think I view him any differently. The players in front of him are simply more stable to provide for a longer amount of time through the year and I should adjust my season-long expectations slightly.
  • The Spice Girls had plenty of adjustments this week. Nick Kingham and Freddy Peralta were each sent back down, forcing Peralta to leave The List, though I believe in Kingham more and believe he’s one of the better stashes around. Mike Soroka takes a hit as he hit the DL. He should pitch this week, but there is a little more haze to his status, despite being one of my favorites of the lot.
  • Joining The List this week are Jordan Lyles (upside play but most likely not going to work out), Matt Boyd (On a roll that is probably not sustainable), Jake Odorizzi (best fastball I’ve seen from him!), Ross Stripling (Not a bad add as the Dodgers are hurting), and…
  • Ervin Santana was added to the designated “DL stashes” at the end of The List as he’s a few weeks away from returning. Remember, this isn’t a direct ranking, but a list of notable DL plays, as Robbie Ray would be slotted around the middle of The List in most leagues.

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.

37 responses to “The List 5/21: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday”

  1. omar says:

    Looks like Rodon will be back in the next couple of weeks. What’s your outlook on him? How high can he climb the list, assuming his shoulder is healthy?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Rodon has always been a Cherry Bomb and I worry that the shoulder injury will affect him.

      I’m hesitant to sign on but it’s not the worst stash in a 12-teamer.

  2. Jpr says:

    Any thoughts on Carlos Rodon?

    My weakness is SP depth. My 1-4 are strong (Verlander,Greinke,Nola,McCullers) but the backend is full of question marks: CSmith, Weaver, Gibson, Faria, Minor, Musgrove.

    The type of guys on the WW are Mengden, Sabathia, Stripling etc.

    Does Rodon have the upside to take the flyer on over those others?

    Thanks Nick!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d swap Faria with a stream play now, see how Musgrove looks and swap him out for Rodon if it’s not a solid display.

  3. Joe says:

    What is Alex Reyes ceiling, how high do you see his potential ranking on here if he does stick to the rotation? Chasing upside here….great list as always Nick!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      He’ll be capped innings wise, which means he has a lower floor than the skill set dictates.

      He’s always had walk rate issues and I wonder if that will show up, especially as he’s still on the mend.

      I can see him in the 40s, maaaaybe 30s but Top 30 seems a little too much with his walk history + IP limit.

  4. careagan says:

    Excellent list as always! I noticed the jump for Gohara, do you think he has a good chance to stick in the rotation following his start this week? His cameo last season has me excited for his potential but it seems like the team has some frustrations with him that could hold him back from the starting role.

  5. Upton Funk says:

    Could you see Mengden being a mustachioed Hendricks rest of year? High floor, low ceiling due to lack of big K numbers…

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I see your point, but I trust Hendricks’ consistent command over Mengden’s, and it isn’t a far way from Hendricks’ production to the waiver wire.

  6. JPR says:

    Thanks for the great list Nick!

    What are your thoughts on Carlos Rodon? I am in a 12 team 34 man roster league. My front line starters are great (Verlander, Greinke, Nola, McCullers) but my back end is full of question marks (CSmith, Weaver, Gibson, Minor, Faria, Musgrove).

    The type of pitchers available on the WW are Mengden, Sabathia, Boyd, Stripling, Lyles etc.

    What do you think of taking Rodon over some of these guys for an upside play?


  7. Toska says:

    I’m curious how you’d rate some of the underperforming young guys in a dynasty league. I know you’re pretty low on guys like Faria, Giolito, and Weaver right now compared to where you thought they’d be before the season, but do you think it’s just a waiting game before they realize their potential or are there long term concerns?

  8. Toska says:

    I’m curious how you’d rate some of the underperforming young guys in a dynasty setting. I know you’re pretty low on guys like Faria, Giolito, and Weaver right now compared to where you thought they’d be before the season, but do you think it’s just a waiting game before they realize their potential or are there long term concerns?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      With Faria, yes it’s a waiting game. His stuff is good enough and he has plenty of time and runway to develop.

      Weaver is the same way, though I don’t think the wait is nearly as long.

      Giolito…that’s a lot tougher as I really want him to succeed, but he’s been through so many twists and turns so far that it’s harder to believe it will eventually come together.

  9. Danny Doherty says:

    Hey Nick, I just grabbed Ross Stripling in my league (dropped Peralta to do so). What do you think his ceiling is?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Not too high, definitely check out my thoughts on him from the SP roundup over the weekend to get more specific, but generally he’s okay in the short term but nothing to invest heavily in.

  10. JH says:

    These lists are so helpful!! Fulmer surprised me.. not because i don’t rate him but his ratios haven’t been great so far and he’s not guaranteed many wins so 26 seemed high. Are there better days ahead? i don’t have him anywhere – is he a good buy low?


    • Nick Pollack says:

      I love buying low on Fulmer as he’s finally starting to use his slider to get whiffs, which is evidenced by his 28% K rate over his last five starts.

      It’s a case where I see the breakout happening in front of us, even if the ERA isn’t following suit…yet.

      If you wanted to slot him at #30 instead, I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but I think legit changes have been made and Fulmer is on the path of a stud.

  11. Eric says:

    Would you move Marcell Ozuna for Sean Manaea or is that selling too low on Ozuna?

  12. Eric says:

    Marcell Ozuna for Sean Manaea or is that selling too low on Ozuna. Love your stuff

  13. Eric says:

    Marcell Ozuna for Sean Manaea? Or is this selling too low on Ozuna. Love your stuff. Great debate on the last fireside chat.

  14. Franko Tanko says:

    Thanks for the update! I have have to wonder…

    Castillo up six spots after that start? I don’t get it.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Well, it was raining in Chicago causing the rise in walks, while I loved that he had success using more sliders than changeups.

      There’s also the fact that as long as Castillo isn’t killing your weeks, he should be moving up the ranks as his upside dictates a Top 20 – if not higher – arm.

      Not to mention other pitchers falling under Castillo instead of directly him getting the bump.

  15. Manley Ramirez says:

    I like how you usually penalize for low IPS but you seem to be making an exception putting Richards in Top 25.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I mean, a 1.2 IP start will kill IPS.

      He’s looking locked in right now, fresh off a 7.0 IP outing and another 6.2 IP start on May 4th. I don’t really see a Maeda/Pomeranz low 5 IPS moving forward.

      Also, just so we’re on the same plage, I want to make sure there isn’t this idea that I have an agenda to favor certain pitchers and perpetually hate on others. There is absolutely 0 value in me over-ranking some guys and under-ranking others. It’s not like I gain anything from raising Richards over someone more deserving.

      I think you already understand that, and I wanted to ensure that was understood among all.

  16. Fletch.F.Fletch says:

    It’s been a rough season. I own Yu Darvish. Luis Castillo. Chris Archer. Jon Gray. Eduardo Rodriguez. Jameson Taillon. And their healthy underlying stats are not helping my roto ratios. That’s all. No question.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ouch, sometimes that’s just how it goes.

      We’re not even out of May just yet, though. Hopefully the final four months have more in store for you.

  17. Steven says:

    Hey Nick,
    Stashing J Nelson and S Miller on DL. Where do you think you’ll rank them when they are back?

  18. Steven says:

    Hey Nick,
    Stashed J Nelson and S Miller on DL. Once healthy and pitching, where do you think you’ll rank them on your list?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I can’t give you an answer because we just don’t know who will show up when they are back on the field. Both a torn labrum and TJS are serious injuries that often affect pitching performances upon return.

      I have more faith in Nelson providing an impact, but it’s likely he hovers around the 60s/70s when he comes back.

  19. NH says:

    14 team league, H2H , would you make this trade.
    Corbin and Hangier for Sale

  20. theKraken says:

    If I were you, I wouldn’t react to Sporer’s opinions on these rankings much.. it feels a bit like you are – I am not mad at ERod as a nice upside arm in a stacked lineup.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I don’t think I adjusted my rankings much at all based on the debate with Sporer, save for a very good point about Erod.

      I’m actually kinda surprised about the backlash of moving Erod down. He’s pretty much on the same level as the other guys + he has a larger injury risk. And it’s not like I’m still not high on him.

  21. David C. says:

    Any thoughts on Jalen Beeks? Worth the stash in 12 teamer? Reading some awesome stuff on him.

  22. Ryan S says:

    Alright. Got a blockbuster trade in the works right now, and need an outside opinion lol.

    12 team. H2H points. Keep 3

    Was offered JD and Snell for Trout.

    Usually I’d lean no, but their keeper prices are Trout ($66), JD ($22), Snell ($1).

    If accepted, next year’s keepers might look like Arenado (21), JD (22) and then maybe Nola (20) or snell (1)

    What’s your take?

  23. Jared says:

    Hey Nick! Thanks for all the great work you r my go to guy for pitchers now. Contemplating dropping k Gibson to pickup Jaime barria. What say you?

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