The List 6/17 – 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=”32661″]


Fringe Starters


Pitcher Why They Missed The Cut
Jesus Luzardo He’s at #101 for stashes. Still a few weeks away to get stretched out.
Alex Reyes He’s at #102 for stashes. I really didn’t want to cut anyone else this week.
CC Sabathia The legit last one off. Just isn’t doing enough in a 12-teamer.
Anthony DeSclafani He couldn’t even handle the Pirates. The magic is gone.
Danny Duffy Not the worst option and one of the last off The List
Daniel Norris There isn’t enough upside to chase this
Marco Gonzales His repertoire isn’t working right now, there just isn’t enough to chase
Gio Gonzalez On the IL with “dead arm” – He’s a Toby
Noah Syndergaard On the IL with a hamstring injury – Top 30 arm
Kyle Hendricks On the IL with a shoulder injury – Top 30 arm
Caleb Smith On the IL with hip injury – Top 20/30 arm
Domingo German On the IL with hip flexor injury – Top 30 arm
Jordan Lyles On the IL with a hamstring injury – Top 60/70 arm
Carlos Carrasco On the IL with a blood issue – Top 15/25 arm
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
Clay Buchholz Isn’t cutting it as a Toby
Drew Pomeranz K upside is interesting, but low IPS and too low of a ceiling.
Jake Junis Too volatile to trust despite a tinge of strikeout upside
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.
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
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
Justus Sheffield Good stash option, but not as good as the others
Dallas Keuchel I’ll add him when he’s confirmed to start – ~Top 70 arm
Michael Wacha Not sold yet that he’s worth your time now that he’s back in the rotation
Vince Velasquez Moved to the bullpen
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


  • Before I begin, I have to note how poor the SP Landscape is. Don’t look at the number, look at the pitchers relative to the ranking. It’s why guys like Joe Musgrove, Miles Mikolas, Max Friedand Matt Strahm are ranked higher than I believe their current ability would speak to in a vacuum.
  • Alright, alright. Hyun-Jin Ryu is now Top Ten, even with his ridiculous injury history. The man hasn’t given me a choice.
  • Mike Clevinger returns and I’M SO HAPPY. It also means 85% of pitchers got an automatic -1…but also a +1 for now being ahead of Chris Paddackwho I’ve placed as the #1 stash. I’ll keep him down there until he returns, where he’ll be Top 40 again, if not higher.
  • With the fastball command of Patrick Corbin eluding him, I have to lower him to the fourth tier as it’s everything to his approach. There’s obviously a chance he gets it back, but for now I need to bake in the possibility he fights it for a while.
  • Frankie Montas continues to climb with a strong pair of secondary pitches and an overpowering fastball. I couldn’t find a reason not to make him finally Top 25.
  • I served some hits to quite a few arms this week. Mike Soroka, Max Fried, German Marquez, Masahiro Tanaka, and Mike Foltynewicz all fell inside the Top 50. Nothing unexpected there save for Soroka, who showed us a look of what happens when his fastball command is off. I was hoping to see him get through the outing without it, but without elite secondary pitches, it lowers his floor a bit.
  • Seeing Yonny Chirinos get a locked rotation spot and not have an opener is a wonderful thing. He’s taken advantage and I have no choice but to raise him in the ranks.
  • Anibal Sanchez should have been here last week in the mid-70s and concluded a strong two-start week to elevate himself to Top 60. Here’s to hoping the Cutter sticks around.
  • I question his longevity, but I have to reward Framber Valdez for his strikeout ability and attacking batters in his two starts thus far.
  • Joining The List this week are a few surprises. Tommy Milone (six strikeouts or more in four of his five games!) and Sandy Alcantara (three strong starts in a row prior to the middling outing on Sunday) could be options in the short term, while Elieser Hernandez and Jordan Yamamoto have chances – slim chances, but still chances – at turning into decent 12-teamer value.
  • Yes, I too am shocked to see teammates Lance Lynn and Adrian Sampson rise. Lynn has been defying the odds with his fastball and cutter combination, while Sampson’s slider has been stupid good – ignore the start against the Sawx, you wouldn’t have started him there anyway. His ranking at #68 is surrounded by other arms who are matchup dependent as well.

(Photo by Justin Paradis – @FreshmeatComm)

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.

33 responses to “The List 6/17 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Week”

  1. Ryan says:

    I’m keeping an eye on Fedde. I’d say there is a 50% chance he is on your list at the end of the season

  2. Patrick says:

    Would you trade Lo Cain for Pivetta? Or what tier could I target for him? I don’t like his peripherals and would be able to put Senzel in the OF when Scooter comes back.

  3. Joe says:

    Should I keep S Gray or Darvish now that Clevinger is back; with WHIP, Ks, total bases, Wins & Losses counting

  4. Bane says:

    If you needed pitching help and had an excess of hitting, who in the top four tiers would you be most aggressively trying to get in a trade? Conversely, who in the top four tiers are you selling before their value tanks?

  5. Chip says:

    I didn’t see Sean Manaea in the notes. Is he roughly in the same boat as Alex Wood?

  6. Scott says:

    Is strahm worth holding in a 12 team league (6 or 7 sp per team)? I gave him a pass for the Coors start, but Miami before did a number on him. He has mil next and then a 2 decent matchups if he stays on regular rest. I have some guys returning from the dl and need to make room over next week or so. Thx

  7. Joshua Iannuzzi says:

    What about Carlos Martinez?

  8. Steven Corrado says:

    Crazy that 9 out of the 18 AGA are injury risk.

    Also I think you should take away “low IPs” for Lynn. He’s been going 6+

    • Steven Corrado says:

      also I think Brad Keller needs some Pitcher List love. He’s been really good over the last month. He’s showing why he was the 5th pick overall in ’17.

      • Geo says:

        Keller has been marginal over 4 of his 5 last starts, while his 5 starts before that were pretty awful. He’s sporting a 6.10 K/9 and a 4.45 BB/9 to go with a 4.12 FIP despite a pretty lucky .274 BABIP. To be honest, he’s showing why he was an 8th round pick in 2013, not the 5th overall in 2017. That was Kyle Wright of Atlanta.

        • Mike says:

          he was a rule 5 pick in 2017, that might be the confusion. He’s been better in his 3 June starts though. His walk rate is way down during those starts at least. I agree he doesn’t have much though.

          • Dean says:

            What is interesting is back in February this site in the “Going Deep” section there was an article about Keller as a potential breakout because of his ability to tunnel pitches. If he can get his walks back to where it was last year he could be effective again as a pitcher. He will never have strikeouts but can be a source of Quality Starts, and ratios

  9. Queen City Bombers says:

    You know that Wheeler is your new Darvish right?

  10. Derek says:

    No innings limit on Montas?

    • Guest says:

      He threw 136 innings last year between MLB and AAA and is 26. Plus the A’s plan to be competitive. I don’t think innings limits play into it much.

  11. Ryan says:

    Having some trouble deciding who to let go when Caleb comes off the DL. Pick one to let go. I’m actually leaning towards Caleb but extremely hesitant to do so.

    – M Soroka
    – R Hill
    – M Minor
    – C Smith

    • Mike says:

      Great problem to have. If trading isn’t an option I’d lean Hill b/c of the injury history. Can also wait and see on Smith if the others have preferable matchups.

  12. Perfect Game says:

    How many innings do you see Ryu realistically throwing – even in absence of injury? He’s already passed last years’ total and hasn’t thrown more than 120 innings in years.

  13. Bonds Was Framed says:

    Where’s Cal Quantrill?

  14. Mike says:

    The format and frequency of these rankings might be the best I’ve seen on the internet. Love this.

    Thinking of trading for Matt Boyd – does it bother anyone else that he’s essentially a two-pitch pitcher? I get that his slider is fantastic and the spin on his fastball makes it play faster than its sub-average velocity but until he develops a better change or trusts his curve more, I’m a little reticent to slap the ace tag on him. The SP landscape is littered with guys whose reliance on two pitches made them just a little too easy to figure out. What does everyone else think?

    • Derek says:

      I think he could have the exact same season Patrick Corbin did last year. Their repertoires are exactly the same

  15. Mike says:

    That’s definitely a great comp, Derek. And thanks for the reply.

    But Corbin threw curveball ~10% of the time last season. He’s since cut the use of it in half but nevertheless it’s there in the back of hitter’s minds. Plus, it was a slower version of his very excellent slider so it’s a good pitch that acts like a changeup but for his slider. Boyd doesn’t have that (not that he can’t develop a third pitch).

    But let’s assume for a second that Corbin didn’t even have that curveball. If you play the numbers, I’m guessing you’ll find Corbin is the exception to the rule and that more often than not guys with 2 elite pitches and no 3rd are lucky to end up more like Chris Archer – and, at least in reality baseball, he’s a good pitcher.

    • Derek says:

      Matt Boyd throws both a curveball and a change up more than 5% of the time. He throws pitches that aren’t his fastball or slider more than Corbin does. While it would be nice for him to expand on a tertiary pitch, and that might be keeping him out of the top 10 pitchers, I don’t see any reason why his formula can’t keep him around the top 25.

  16. Jim says:

    M Keller at 61. Well, that didn’t go according to plan.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I mean, a 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 6 Ks ain’t bad for a kid that had 12 ER in his first 7 IP.

      The upside is there, I think that’s worth chasing inside the Top 65 given the lack of options starting in the seventh tier.

  17. Warren Shinnamon says:

    I need to drop someone to make room for Zac Gallen. Who would you drop?

    Jon Gray
    Tyler Mahle
    Matt Strahm
    Joe Musgrove
    Spencer Turnbull
    Tyler Skaggs

  18. Jack bob says:

    I have Bieber and Morton. Would you trade them both for Bauer? My playoff chances are slim this year so keep in mind this will mainly be for 2020, with an outside chance of making it in this year.

  19. Robert says:

    And Dakota hudson? Not top100?

  20. Ryan says:

    Heaney a sub 20 ranking and above Soroka and a bunch of others?
    Was that a joke?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ha, obviously not Ryan,but his recent command certainly was.

      I don’t believe that Heaney’s recent game is who he is the rest of the way, but that definitely stung. He’ll take a step back in the ranks a little on Monday, but don’t expect a massive fall.

  21. Mike says:

    That’s a great point. He’s also doubled the usage of his changeup over his last 4 starts which is something I’m keeping an eye on.

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