The List 6/3 – 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=”32095″]


Fringe Starters


Pitcher Why They Missed The Cut
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
Gio Gonzalez On the IL with “dead arm” – He’s a Toby
Zach Eflin On the IL with a back injury – Top 60/70 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
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 I’ll add him when he’s signed and there’s a timetable for his first start – around the 60s
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


  • UPDATE: I meant to add Dylan Bundy and somehow he got lost in the fray. He should be there around #85.
  • It looks like a severe slap on the wrist, but Walker Buehler’s stock drop really isn’t much of anything as he stays in the same tier. The guys in front of him have simply continued to make a better case as Buehler’s progress of breakers for strikes and heaters up is still a little fragile.
  • I had to lower Robbie Ray a bit this week as it’s been seven straight starts tossing fewer than seven frames, with his last coming with just 4.2 innings and four walks. I still think he’s a bit undervalued in the open market, but I had to pull him down.
  • Major jumps we given to Lucas Giolito (ahem), Kenta Maeda (I ranked him too low last week), Joey Lucchesi (He’s been more consistent than expected), Wade Miley (he’s suddenly returned a hefty amount of Ks with better secondary stuff), Zach Davies (he’s the biggest Vargas Rule of them all), and Felix Pena (25% strikeout rate and high Win chance as a False Starter).
  • Devin Smeltzer jumps in at #69, though I don’t anticipate that he’ll be in the bigs for too long. Thing of a Toby who should have success in the early goings as batters are unfamiliar with his mechanics and solid curveball/changeup combination. The eighth tier is filled with questionable waiver arms and Smeltzer is a slight step above them.
  • Matt Strahm lost the slider whiffs he had last week, looking like the arm we had all year – the same that we anticipated plenty of regression. Here’s to hoping the slider feel comes back next time out.
  • Jon Duplantier and Jose Suarez also got their first chances at starting in the bigs and while I don’t love their skill sets, it’s not the worst spin of the wheel to see if they can produce in the upcoming weeks.
  • Tanner Roark, Merrill Kelly, and CC Sabathia all join The List this week. Roark has been producing plenty more than anticipated this year, Kelly just put together a phenomenal outing against the Mets, and CC returned from injury for six strong frames against the Sawx. None of these are strong 12-teamer options, but aren’t the worst out on the wire.
  • There were a plethora of major fallers this week. Corbin Martin and Reynaldo Lopez are bombing a lot more than acting sweet, Martin Perez’s dwindling velocity is pushing him into the land of Tobys, while Yusei Kikuchi and Marco Gonzales are holding on to dear life as they hope to be at least mediocre for your squads.
  • The big story this week is Jimmy Nelson returning on Wednesday to pitch for the first time since 2017. I wasn’t sure where to place him exactly, but he should be owned in all 12-teamers as we wait-and-see what we get.

(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.

35 responses to “The List 6/3 – Ranking The Top 100 Starting Pitchers Every Week”

  1. Robert says:

    No love for Sampson and Jurado.. guess beating the Royals doesn’t say much.. but I’m holding just in case.

  2. Jim says:

    Holy smokes! Gausman’s last few weeks has only cost him a few spots in the rankings.
    I wish real life was more like this.
    Past 30 days: 6.56 ERA (5GS), despite 3 QS, he is a negative earner in most Points formats.

  3. David Jansson says:

    You seemed really excited by Lucas Sims’ start last week but I know he is currently blocked in the Reds’ rotation. If he somehow had a rotation spot for the rest of the year, would he make the list? If so, which tier?

  4. Donjuan says:

    You do a great job with this. This is the most looked-forward-to piece of the week.

    People would visit it every day if you updated it daily.

    • J says:

      Daily would be madness. We’re spoiled with the weekly updates as it is.

    • J says:

      Daily updates just wouldn’t make sense. It would either be too volatile, or there wouldn’t be much movement happening at all between lists. I know that I would be less interested in the rankings if they shifted that often.

      • Donjuan says:

        The weekly updates are a reflection of changes after one or two starts per pitcher. Weekly updates are not much different. This the volatility or whatever would still be there. The benefit of the daily updates is that breakout guys who move 15-20 spots would show up a few days sooner.
        We are spoiled with weekly, this column is the best. But I think overall viewership would increase meaningfully with daily.

  5. Joe says:

    Is Nelson a must-own at this point for 10 team mixed leagues?

    • theKraken says:

      Absolutely not.

      • Donjuan says:

        Nelson was the #21 SP in 2017 even though he missed some time. I’m not sure what he is right now, but the proven upside is interesting. I’m adding before his start just to see what happens.

  6. Doug says:

    Griffin Canning – Best-case scenario is like 7 more starts then to the pen, right? More realistically 5-6 starts? He pitched 59 innings last season and has 48.1 total (AAA/MLB) so far this year.

    • Donjuan says:

      104 for Canning last year

    • Kevin says:

      Including all milb stops Canning threw 113 innings last year. Projections at Fangraphs and a few other places show anywhere from 65-80 for the ROS. Currently averaging 5.33 innings per start. So if he bumps that up to 6 innings looking at 10-13 more starts before they shut him down for the year.

      • Doug says:

        Don’t know how I got my numbers so wrong, but thanks for the correction and the reason to be a bit more optimistic.

  7. Frankie says:

    According to this List, I should drop Lynn for Bassitt.
    As you predicted, Bassitt was dropped after the Houston start.
    Do I drop the white hot Lynn for the cooling Bassitt though?
    QS, K/9 league. Ty!

  8. WhoKnowsTho says:

    Gausman or Hudson on Wed?

  9. Damian says:

    No Mike Fiers, even on fringe starters? He has 5 QSs out of the last 7 times he’s started with a no hitter.

  10. J says:

    Mondays I visit this site like 10 times waiting to see The List.

    Appreciate it Nick!

  11. HMW says:

    Where do you project Tyler Glasnow coming in at, ranking-wise, after he’s back in action

    • theKraken says:

      Health is not even close to a given. It would probably be wise to see him get a few rehab starts under his belt before projecting anything.

    • Ryan says:

      Previous weeks were 50, 47, 31, 31, 16, then hit the IL

      So I’d guess top 25.

  12. theKraken says:

    Luis Castillo at 8 is too high. There are better floors, track records and supporting casts below him.

  13. theKraken says:

    I wouldn’t have Jimmy Nelson in the top 100. With as much time as he missed, you have to consider that his career may be close to over as a starting pitcher or that he could have massive command issues or crazy pitch count limitations. He wasn’t a model of consistency in the first place.

  14. David says:

    I have these names on my waiver wire & I need to finally add 1, maybe 2… and I keep reading your comments & looking at the list ROS & I can’t make up my mind… they go up & down too often that I’m uncertain…


    After these 6, there’s not much to look at on my list. Any names there you must have? I am looking at it as a start to start, I’m looking for the best pitcher on that list, today, tomorrow, next start and by season’s end… from your list, it’s Skaggs?

  15. Kevin says:

    Shall I just cut Shaun Anderson and Anibel Sanchez? both of them weren’t even mentioned in the fringe category… so they both must be very bad….

  16. Eric says:

    Is Kirby Yates and Mikolas too much for Boyd? 5×5 Roto with QS instead of wins.

  17. Tom says:

    Sent a trade, trying to get snell in a points league, offered the guy Votto, Archer and Happ. He countered with archer and Paddack for snell. Obviously I take that but the only reason I didn’t is because I get to keep Paddack in the 11th round next year. Right call? Or anyone thinking I shoulda snagged snell.

  18. Jim says:

    Maybe I’m completely bias, but I would take Buehler over Strasburg, Paxton and Boyd. All. Day. Long. Strasburg and Paxton especially are injury risks. And Boyd is playing for one of the worst teams in baseball. Meanwhile, Buehler has shown us more upside over the past 5 starts and the LAD are one of the best teams in baseball. Is this not a no brainer? Same tier, yes. But some readers will see a -6 as more than a slap on the wrist especially after Walker’s last start.

  19. Dustin says:

    Walker Buehler last week, 7IP, QS, 11.57 K/9, 0.00 ERA, 0.85 WHIP.

    Drops 6 spots in List.

    Isn’t this list supposed to be a reflection of the most recent week in baseball?

    Are results not enough? I’m confused.

  20. Don says:

    Im so confused. This list says updated on June 3rd, but Mon was the 10th. Is this the list from last week? Comments also seem to be from last week

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