The List 5/15: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday

Every Monday during the season, I will be releasing “The List” where I rank the current value of the Top 100 pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the...

Every Monday during the season, I will be releasing “The List” where I rank the current value of the Top 100 pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season. Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from pitchers for 2017 and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues. Note: These rankings have been made with H2H 5×5 12-teamers in mind.

Let’s see how the SP landscape has changed:

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  • I want to address a common misconception about this List. It’s easy to look at people getting change arrows one way or another and think each move is a direct result of that pitcher’s performance. More often than not, it’s a product of the arms around him moving heavily. Great example is Dylan Bundy getting a boost this week simply because I’m not liking how the names that were around him – Jose QuintanaDanny Salazar, Masahiro Tanaka – have been performing. I’m still selling high on Bundy, but given the circumstances, he gets a bump.
  • Some big moves this week, especially with new adds. First up is Alex Wood, who is absolutely dominating. Best xFIP in the majors, 60%+ groundball rate, 12+ K/9…I’m all aboard this hype train.
  • Nate Karns also gets a ton of love as he’s changed his approach to throw more Knuckle-Curves, which are getting nearly 30% whiffs. The heavy reliance on breaking balls is working in a bit way and he should be an instant add in all 12-teamers.
  • Two others enter The List in a big way – Joe Biagini and Zack GodleyWith the Jays so hurt, Biagini is getting plenty of time as a starter and his groundball numbers with low walks play up well. Not the same upside as other names but definitely worth a flier. Godley bumped up his velocity since last year and is getting results. Two great starts ahead could propel his value further and is worth the add given how desolate plenty of owners’ staffs are.
  • Jose Berrios has arrived and is worth the add everywhere. It’s definitely possible he falls off just like last year, but for now he’s worth the spot in case he avoids the collapse.
  • Justin Verlander, Jon Lesterand Jake Arrieta each took hits this week, while the likes of Zack Greinke and Carlos Carrasco keep performing well. Don’t give up on the former trio, but it’s hard to favor them over other options that show little signs of slowing down.
  • While I expect an improvement from Jose Quintanahe takes a sizeable drop as I would rather have more consistent ratio pitchers or arms with bigger upside at this point.
  • Ivan Nova’s magic is wearing off as he’s starting to look like the pitcher we all pinned him for in the preseason.
  • Some of the names that fell off this week are TEEs pitchers that aren’t worth the flier above better upside candidates: Derek Holland, Miguel Gonzlaez and Scott FeldmanWith Francisco Liriano’s health in question, he falls off the list and both Robert Gsellman and Daniel Norris fall off for not being worth a roster spot while they figure out their problems.

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.

36 responses to “The List 5/15: Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Monday”

  1. Kyle says:

    Great stuff. The list gives me a key way to think about the relative valuations of these pitchers. I moved ERod + Belt to get Salazar last week (still convincing myself I came out on top despite his most recent poor performance). A few quick questions:

    1) What are your realistic expectations from Price when he comes back? I drafted him way too high and am clinging on to some hope that he’s a beast upon return.

    2) What are some good buy-low pitching targets for this week? I’ve got solid infielders who consistently sit on my bench and want to try and package them with a high sell on Gio before he starts to shit the bed (as a Nats fan I’m confident that he will). I was thinking Tanaka or Quintana.

    3) I’ve got pretty solid pitching (Darvish / DeGrom / Stras / Salazar / Pomeranz / Gonzalez / Berrios, Price/Hernandez on DL), and was considering selling high on DeGrom or Stras while they’re still healthy. Do you think this would be a solid move given my pitching depth?


    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey Kyle, I addressed the first two in your previous comment…

      I think I’d hold deGrom and Stras, honestly. Not much depth there and I don’t trust Salazar much.

      • Kyle says:

        Woops! Was typing this one up as you’d responded to the other one. Appreciate your advice.

        I went in on Salazar because of his high K rates and low FIP. Did I overpay in ERod + Belt?

        Also why did you drop Gio after a solid outing? Is this just a case of making room for others to move up?

        • Nick Pollack says:

          Gio also had a poor outing as well in the past week, but as you said, yeah it’s more that I’m excited for the other arms instead.

          It’s pretty even, I would have liked to have ridden the Eduardo train a little longer. Wouldn’t be incredibly shocking if Edu outperforms Salazar overall this year.

  2. Max says:

    Ayyyy Perdomo!! Told you!

  3. Scott says:

    Good enough hitting that I should be able to stay in first with a good SP staff. Is Hendricks/Bundy/Duffy/Nola/Hill/Maeda/Berrios enough or deal for an available (but hurt) Kluber?

  4. Joe says:

    Cobb bounced from the list after his defense screwed him over? Not a completely awful start…

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Moreso that I haven’t seen Cobb throw his classic Changeup and he’s still giving up plenty of hard contact.

      Doesn’t have a clear path to upside while others are either more stable or are a better risk/reward type arm.

      Cobb is Top 110, though.

  5. Josh Bresser says:

    Is this rotation “good enough”?

    1. Kluber
    2. deGrom
    3. McCullers
    4. Aaron Sanchez
    5. Lackey
    Bench: Berrios/McCarthy/Gausman

  6. Shane Murphy says:

    As always, you guys do amazing work. Love love love this site and the cast!

    Do you think the Diamondback’s ball humidor will boost Ray’s HR/FB rate (currently 18.4%)?

    I want to buy but I might have to give up Felix and AJ Griffin. Could get Wade Miley and Pomeranz along with Ray. What do you think?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks man!

      Ehhh, I don’t want to put too much stuck in the humidor and I don’t think it’s the answer to Ray’s struggles.

      I’d hold Felix there, don’t care much for Griffin, though.

  7. Ryan says:

    Love the list, started listening to the cast and love it. Awesome work man. But, even as a Yankees fan, how is Sale not #1 yet?!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Because Clayton Kershaw exists!

      It’s been a great run from Sale, but we can’t expect 10+ Ks every time out there, while Kershaw is still the #1 pitcher on the planet.

      • Ryan says:

        Yeah maybe I’m just looking at the list as a season by season type list, versus an overall list…

        • Nick Pollack says:

          I’m not sure what you mean by that…

          I’m trying to say that we have a ton of data suggesting that Kershaw will still be the better pitcher overall than Sale. The List is all about ROS who I want to own.

          • Ryan says:

            Ah, gotcha. Misunderstood. Well for my fantasy team’s sake, I hope he proves otherwise! Keep up the awesome work

  8. Andrew Kovacic says:

    You keep talking about selling high on Bundy, but he keeps on rising. At this point I don’t know who I could be selling for higher up on the list!

    Not sure if i would do Bundy for Arrieta, and he seems like one of the few attainable buy-lows up there.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ha! As I mentioned in the notes, blame the guys around him for not being anything close to what they should be.

      When I suggest trades, I often mean swapping a pitcher for a bat. It’s a lot easier to get proper value as the two players aren’t being compared so heavily.

  9. DMoney says:

    I’m curious about Price as well – I scanned a few threads but can’t find your comment back to Kyle. Thoughts?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Here’s what I said about Price:

      I think a Top 25 arm is what we should expect with the clear upside of being Top 15. Keep low expectations for now.

      It’s hard to tell exactly what we’ll get from Price, but given the thinning of SP, he’s a valuable commodity.

  10. John Wood says:

    How can you justify deGrom as the #4 best pitcher? ERA over 4 and has been very inconsistent…would take most of the pitchers listed at 5-15 over him….

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Because he has a 2.88 xFIP, 12.39 K/9 and a .345 BABIP that is sure to fall.

      It’s a definitive tier drop after Scherzer and I won’t put up much of a fight if you’d rather have Darvish or Carrasco or Strasburg. I’m a believer in deGrom and think he’ll pitch like a 2.75 – 3.00 ERA guy rest of the way with elite strikeouts and not holding the same injury risk that Darvish has.

  11. dodizzle says:

    Hey Nick,

    Just curious what you think of my SP staff for a 14 team H2H:


    Can you tell I’m a big fan of your rankings? haha

    What moves might you make with this line-up?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think you’re pretty solid in a 12-teamer. I’d consider moving Teheran and seeing what the market is out there for him.

      • dodizzle says:

        I appreciate the vote of confidence! Now if I could just get some healthy bats to go with them.

        I actually just got Julio in multi-player trade where Gio Gonzalez was my SP going back, so I’m hoping Julio can turn things around.

        Keep up the great work!

  12. Rick B says:


  13. Wolle says:

    Do you think Carlos Martinez can lower his BB/9 and HR/9?

    What is your take on Aaron Nola?

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