The List 5/28 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Week

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

[pitcher_list_new list_id=”31838″]


Fringe Starters


Pitcher Why They Missed The Cut
Merill Kelly The literal last cut. I debated this one heavily and figured prospect stashes were better
Corey Kluber On the IL with a forearm injury – Top 10 arm
Jameson Taillon On the IL with an elbow injury – Top 25 SP
Tyler Glasnow On the IL with forearm strain – “4-6 weeks”
Luke Weaver On the IL with a forearm strain – would be around the low 30s
Trevor Williams He’ll be back around the 50s/60s when back from the IL with a side strain
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
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
Michael Pineda On the IL with a sore knee
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.
Michael Wacha Moved to the bullpen
Vince Velasquez Moved to the bullpen
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.


What is happening!

It’s another week and another edition of the Top 100 Starting Pitchers for Fantasy Baseball.

Before I dive into the player notes, here’s an outline of how I’m handling The List this season:

  • 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 categories leagues.


Player Notes


  • A lot of shuffling in the Top 20, with Jacob deGrom taking a hit as his changeup and slider just aren’t working right now. This wasn’t a product of one start, it’s been coming for a bit.
  • I didn’t move Trevor Bauer as I truly believe he’s making the changes to return to the top tier of starters.
  • Now that we’re two months in, I’m lifting the weight of negativity toward Hyun-Jin Ryu’s history. He’s earned the AGA label, let’s just hope he avoids the injury bug.
  • Noah Syndergaard, Jose Berrios, and Aaron Nola were all handed significant drops. We’re coming on June and to see Thor looking lost on the hill, Berrios still not have his curveball back, and Nola’s fastball command out of whack has me favoring other steadily excellent arms ahead (even Caleb Smithwho I’m not going to pull down after his first and only misstep of the season).
  • The end of Tier 5 is where it gets fun. I had to bump up Lucas Giolito and his new mechanics, Mike Minor is cruising, Jake Odorizzi is pitching better than ever, and it’s wonderful to see Andrew Heaney return and hit the ground running.
  • I’m loving where Tyler Skaggs, Brandon Woodruff, Kyle Gibson, and Sonny Gray are at the moment, forcing me to elevate them ahead of other Spice Girls that have struggled recently. Specifically, with Gray, I was most likely a bit too negative last week and this is a correction.
  • The biggest hits were handed to Tobys – Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Yusei Kikuchi, J.A. Happand Marco Gonzales included. My approach is to chase a full staff by summer without middling arms in 12-teamers, and these rankings follow that approach.
  • Jerad Eickhoff and Chris Bassitt also took hits as these upside arms are going through rough patches. Hopefully they each recover, though they deserve the drop in the meantime.
  • There are a handful of strong stashes at the moment, electing me to list them all at the end in favor of questionable streaming options. Alex Reyes is my current favorite as the Cardinals are preparing him for the rotation and could jump in quickly with Michael Wacha heading to the bullpen. Jimmy Nelson should return soon, while Dylan Cease, Zac Gallenand Jesus Luzardo could all make instant impacts during their calls…which may not be until the end of June. UPDATE: I heard the Mitch Keller news right when I was finishing this list. He would be right in the mix of this around Cease.
  • Zach PlesacDanny Duffyand Daniel Norris round out the additions this week. Plesac makes his MLB debut tonight and could stick around after, while Duffy and Norris could turn into decent streaming options with their recent runs.

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/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.

23 responses to “The List 5/28 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Week”

  1. Syryn says:

    I know you spoke briefly on Mitch Keller and liked him. But don’t you think he is back sooner than those 3 other stashes you named? Cease isn’t due till late July, Luzardo till August. And how do you view Kellers stuff? As in how high would he be on the list if he was in the majors ROS

    • Nick Pollack says:

      You’re completely right. I had The List essentially done when I got the Keller news and moved him to the bottom because of it.

      I’ll add a note about it, while I wouldn’t stash him above Reyes, maybe right at Cease. Thanks!

  2. Nick says:

    Thanks for the update and content! Maeda 9th in fangraphs Swinging Strike rate among qualified SPs, pitching in front of a Dodger defense with 4th best defensive efficiency in MLB and a great offense, yet I can’t disagree with the low ranking give the innings limit concerns.

  3. Eric Marcus says:

    First of all, love the site, Nick. The List is just about the only good thing about the start of the work week.

    Feel like Peacock deserves a little more love than #62, no? I know he’s not the most established starter and doesn’t have a conventional arsenal, but he has nearly a 20% K-BB% and his Statcast numbers show he’s pretty legit. Am I far off thinking he should be in Tier 6?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Not at all! I wrestled with that one myself.

      I don’t really love Peacock’s schtick. Nothing up, only two pitches he trusts, and it seems like he’s on the brink of getting kicked out of the rotation if he has two bad outings.

      But it could definitely work out well moving forward, so I get the love!

      • Tom says:

        I was actually going to make the opposite comment. 3 weeks ago he was “Bad Peacock.” Now he’s up to #62 after a series of (mostly) easy matchups? If you don’t think he’s going to work out long term, I’d say keep him in the 70’s.

  4. Jaybird934 says:

    I know I know…it’s way early for this…but, I’m wondering if you’ll give us any guidance about young guys with inning restrictions and when they might be shut down. I realize it’s a nearly impossible task with not much info, if any, available publicly about what a team plans to do with guys like Soroka. But if we had a site link with best guesses that could update as new info becomes available and it would help tremendously when evaluating trades and making plans for the playoffs. Either way, thinks for the List!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      We honestly don’t know about this stuff quite yet.

      We do an article around the end of June each year that highlights all of the shutdown possibilities, I’ll let people know when we’re going to release it soon!

  5. Frankie says:

    Ouch, Mahle. He was climbing the ladder so nicely…
    Is this a case of you reconsidering your stance on Mahle over the past month, or is this merely a case of a negative schedule in the short term.

  6. Reginald says:

    Looking down the road a bit and trying to assess my team’s future…

    In a keep forever league, no penalty, would you prefer Thor or Paddack? If I fall out of it for this season, I may try to pull the trigger, as the guy in first place obviously won’t have Paddack for the playoffs, and I may just be able to swing a trade like this…

  7. Chief says:

    I have some legitimate concern about Bauer right now, obviously the ceiling is way too good to pass up but the control looks awful.

    When he gets ahead in the count he’s missing by a lot with all of his secondary stuff which is forcing him to go back to the high heat in 3 ball counts and is hardly getting any swings and misses because of how bad the curveball is missing.

    It seems like it could all come back any minute now, but for the most part he looks confused.

    My other big issue is the pitch counts, my god are they high. He currently leads the majors in pitches thrown by a good deal and he’s one start shallow of the following names on the list.

    TLDR; Bauer can’t put away hitters (control) is throwing way too many pitches (111.3/g), can’t trade him because of his track record and poor current value.


  8. E says:

    I’ve been offered Bauer for Ryu, I know you said you think he’s gonna turn it around but I’m hesitant. Any extra help?

    • MrSox says:

      Accept it quickly. That’s the definition of buy low/sell high.

    • BG says:

      I would keep Bauer. Upside is so high. With Ryu you have a Dodger Pitcher IL stint coming up as well as possible inning issues come playoff time

  9. DS says:

    What the heck are the Dodgers doing to poor Ross Stripling? Should he be dropped in 15 teamers?

  10. Clark griswold says:

    How do we feel about a points league that’s W/L. I would be trading for pitchers on better teams.

    My Paxton/Caleb Smith(Or Paddack Or Soroka)



    8 team 3 keepers points league.

    I have a concern with my inning limit pitchers as well.
    Caleb Smith

  11. DonJuan says:

    If he got a starting gig, where would Urias rank?

  12. Micah says:

    Any idea where Keuchel would land on your rankings if he signed within the next two weeks or so? QS league FWIW.

  13. Kevin Siefering says:

    I know Yarbrough is often a follower, but how would you position him on this list? Should I drop him or Sabathia to pick up Plesac or Keller?

  14. Mark says:

    Does Aaron Sanchez even exist?

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