Here’s everyone’s favorite post delivered to you on Valentine’s Day so you can make love to it. I pardon your grotesque actions, and will allow a one-time hump-a-roo fest on your computer while this post is open on it. Go ahead. Hump-a-roo. Okay, done? Good, sicko! What, I never said I would have no judgments. Okay, did you ever think we’d get to the end of the 2023 fantasy baseball rankings? You did? Wow, you had more faith than me. Some time around the top 60 outfielders for 2023 fantasy baseball, I thought we were gonna have to pack it up and start ranking something else, like the top 20 Reasons Why We Weren’t Finishing The 2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings. 1. Lazy. Then a new tier for 2. Winning the lottery. Never the hoo! Here we are now! So, from the 2023 fantasy baseball rankings, specifically the starter rankings, comes a need for this post: The 2023 fantasy baseball pitchers’ pairing tool. This is where things get interesting! And by ‘interesting’ I mean massively confusing. If what you’re about to read were found scribbled in a notebook, the FBI would be watching me. If The Green River Killer stood up and read this at the next prison Meet N’ Greet, no one would blink an eye. Because, well, his company would prolly be all murderers too. Moving on!
For these pitcher pairings, I’m going to be using our (my) 2023 fantasy baseball rankings. Notably, the top 20 for 2023 fantasy baseball, the top 20 starters for 2023 fantasy baseball, top 40 starters for 2023, top 60 starters for 2023, the top 80 starters for 2023 and top 100 starters. You can also just get Rudy’s downloadable War Room by signing up for the Subscriptions. Okay, formalities out of the way. *rolls up sleeves, makes farting noise with hand under armpit, rolls down sleeve* Let’s get busy! Now, what is a pitcher pairing? It’s your plan for putting together a fantasy pitching staff. A course of action, of course — of acoursion, naturally. If you have A pitcher, which B, C, D, E and F pitcher goes with him? Which is different than ‘F this pitcher,’ that’s what you say by end of April after one of your starters gives up five earned in two-thirds of an inning. You should have six starters. The sixth starter is, well, Bailey Ober comes to mind. Or Hunter Brown. Justin Steele also comes to mind. Edward Cabrera anyone? By the by, I use this opening every year, except change the names, and last year the names I told you to grab with your 6th starter were Cristian Javier, Triston McKenzie, Tony Gonsolin and Bailey Ober. Not a bad track record and here’s Ober going around that track one more time! I’m going to assume you’re in a 12 team, 5×5 and some variation of 9 pitcher leagues like the Razzball Commenter Leagues, which are now in the process of filling up. Put on your pants and look presentable! Anyway, here’s pitcher pairings for pitching staffs for 2023 fantasy baseball drafts:
Psyche! Before we get to the pitchers’ pairing tool, just wanted to announce we’re doing a new Draft Champions league at NFBC. It’s a slow draft, four-hour time limit, so it could take a few weeks, and you might only get one or two picks per day. So you don’t need to be “available” to draft, but it starts this Friday at noon EST. It’s $150 to enter, 50 rounds, draft and hold (no waivers), and the prizes are all listed there, I think it’s like $40,000 for overall and $1000 to winner of the league, $350 to 2nd place and money back to 3rd. Here’s the link to join. Anyway II, the pitchers’ pairing tool:
If your first pitcher is from the tiers: Fritos feet, and Hanging out with Neil, Patrick, Harris
These tiers are from Corbin Burnes to Woodruff (and other non-Brewers starters). If you draft someone from these tiers, you’ll probably lose your league or get lucky with your hitters. If you do draft one, I wouldn’t take another pitcher until the tiers, “Bon varyäge” and “Get fitted for a tuxedo shirt now.” Take one pitcher from one of those two tiers, then grab another starter from one of those two tiers or, “Sideways bosom.” Then grab another starter from, “Sideways Bosom,” “Bosom buddies,” or “Dorf on Golf Presents: Fore!” or “Broken emergency anchor glass.” Then one starter from Anchor glass or “I’m using the milkrowave.” Finally, draft one more starter from the milkrowave. So, you’d have a rotation something like Corbin Burnes, Hunter Greene, Chris Bassitt, Charlie Morton, Martin Perez and Edward Cabrera. Or you could have Gerrit Cole, Joe Ryan, Jordan Montgomery, Charlie Morton, Zach Eflin, and Bailey Ober. Either of those staffs will probably net you 13’s in every pitching category in a 12 team league.
If your first pitcher is from the tiers: Fill my holes with dry rice to reduce moistness.
This tier is from Spencer Strider to Aaron Nola. I’d pair any of them with anyone in their same tier or the tier, “Eat your ideal lover’s weight in cookie dough,” “Bon varyäge” and “Get fitted for a tuxedo shirt now,” but it’s not mandatory you grab two in the first two tiers. In other words, if I drafted Aaron Nola, I could see taking Max Scherzer or Joe Ryan or anyone from any of those tiers, but I wouldn’t reach either. If you do take two guys from those first two tiers, then move to “Bon varyäge” and “Get fitted for a tuxedo shirt now,” and take one guy. You will also be fine taking Nola and moving right to Bon varyäge or the tuxedo shirt. If you skip a 2nd starter in the tier “reduce moistness” and “cookie dough,” then draft two guys in the Bon varyäge and/or the tuxedo shirt. So, you could have either something like Nola, Scherzer and Greene or Nola, Framber Valdez and Triston McKenzie. Either way, you then move along to Sideways bosom, Bosom Buddies and a Dorf and grab a guy, then onto another Dorf, anchor glass or a milkrowave. Finally, one guy from the milkrowave. So, you’ll have something like Nola, Scherzer, Greene, Chris Bassitt, Nick Lodolo and Hunter Brown. Don’t mind if I do! Or you could have something like Aaron Nola, Zac Gallen, Tyler Glasnow, Chris Bassitt, Brady Singer, and Reid Detmers. That’s straight gorge. As in engorged.
If your first pitcher is from the tier: Eat your ideal lover’s weight in cookie dough.
This tier is from Alek Manoah to Yu Darvish. This is likely the way I’m going in 12-team leagues and shallower. This would be ideal (and just as convoluted. Anyone that actually reads AND understands this post deserves a gold star and a head exam. “You, sir, are fit for the looney bin.”) My first pitcher will be from Cookie Dough, then two starters bon varyäge and getting fitted for a tuxedo shirt, then one starter from sideways bosom, Bosom Buddies, a Dorf and one starter from a Dorf, anchor glass and milkrowave. Finally, a milkrowave. So, you could have something like Manoah, Hunter Greene, Tyler Glasnow, Chris Bassitt, Jeffrey Springs, Charlie Morton, and Justin Steele. You just won your league and games haven’t even started. You’re welcome. Could this post become more confusing? Short answer: no. Long answer: nooooooooooo. But let’s try…
You can’t go wrong with a lot of different sets of pitchers. You probably could do fine with drafting only 3 starters and 3 great relievers and streaming. (Razzball Subscriptions are now open with the Streamonator.) If you stick to the pitchers I like, then you’ll do well matching them up any way you see fit. For unstints, I could see a lot of people saying Tyler Glasnow is being drafted closer to a number two vs. a number three, so do I reach for him? Sure. If you draft only pitchers that I like, then I have no quarrel with you. Wanna reach for Glasnow in the area when bon varyäges are coming off the board and he’s a tuxedo? That’s cool with me. Just know you’re adding risk to your rotation.
WHIP Issues – For every pitcher who is projected over a 1.23 WHIP, take one below. The quicker you do this, the better off you’ll be. For unstints, if you take Andrew Heaney, who I have projected for 1.26, you need to pair him with someone I have projected below a 1.23. Don’t pair Heaney with Steele. Pair him with someone like Edward Cabrera. Remember, the further you get into the rankings, the harder it becomes to find lower WHIPs. Side note: WHIP can be helped by closers and MRs… Or hurt by them.
What about the tier “Saying romance into a glass bottle, then tossing it into the sea,” or any starter listed in the top 100 starters who are in tiers not listed above. They are 7th starters or IL, minors or bullpen-bound. I wouldn’t count on any of them for anything. I like me some David Peterson or a bunch of those guys, but are you really starting any of them every time out in April and risking a huge blow up or them just not being in the rotation, which would lead to a crushing April that leaves you in your fantasy baseball basement and a chance to start trading for keepers in May? You take a flyer on someone like Drey Jameson, hope he works out and if he doesn’t, you decide whether to drop him in redraft leagues. He’s not your 6th starter.
K ISSUES – For drafters who follow my lead, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. You’re shooting for around 150/starter.
Overall Pitching Issues – Just about everyone, including yours truly, drops at least one of their starters by May 1st. Obviously, you want the best team coming out the draft, but it’s a marathon not a sprint. Starters always come out of nowhere on waivers to become productive. Always. Even in deep leagues.
Because we both know everything above this point was the gibberish of a mad mind, here’s an easy to use shortcut. Just click the pitcher you draft, then you’ll get a short list of the next pitcher you’re supposed to draft. Frank Voila, snitches! Now, have at it:
So grabbing Castillo, Gallen and Kirby along with Iglesias, Duran and Diaz with Cincy, maybe I could not draft any more SP and stream when needed?
I usually like to draft 8-9 SP for depth but maybe maybe I have been wrong
In a 15 team NFBC style format with FAAB, are you still OK taking your first starter from the “Cookie dough” tier, or would you feel more comfortable with someone from the “Moistness” tier?
I am fine with Cookie Dough, but I’m fine going Moistness if you prefer…About your level of comfort, but if you went none of them in those tiers last year and went Javier, Shane Mc, Bassitt and others way later you would’ve be more than fine
love the pitcher pairings! Such a helpful tool! I play in a 10 team h2h dynasty league and want your opinion on my rotation going into the draft. Right now I’m looking at going in with Cease, Castillo, McKenzie, Severino, Wright, Peralta, and Grayrod. I know I’ve got some guys you wouldn’t draft, but I got them when you told us to get them lol. How am I looking going into the draft? Do I need to invest in pitching or am I ok?
5×5 10 team roto keeper league with $5 annual inflation.
A. Judge ($35) and O. Cruz ($12) for J. Soto ($28) and C. Sale ($11). Who do you like?
Amazing as always and another fun year ahead!
What group would you put Kyle Wright in? He’s 33 in your rankings but does not seem to make these groupings (unless I missed it). I have him as a $1 keeper so I’m curious your thoughts.
Thank you again!
He’s a number two to three that I don’t like
The trade has been altered slightly. The current offer is:
I trade Yoshida $5, and D. German ($6)
I get: Montgomery ($6) and Kwan ($6)
Would you make that deal?
Love this every year! Only problem is: I’m in a keeper league and the first two groups of pitchers will not be available in my league…
Morning! Today is a good day to recall that Bobby Valentine made a pass at my Mom at the liquor store in 1977 while 8 year old me was with her.
There’s no noon draft champs listed on BFBC, by the way. Tom! Greg!
With just a little bit different timing, you could’ve been Oaktown Valentine
Ugh, sorry, man, the league filled up super fast…
Thanks for the insight, as always. I have a question I hope you can help me with. My league is 12 team, head-to-head. We use QS rather than W. We have five keepers at no cost. I am keeping four hitters and one pitcher, and because I won the consolation bracket, I get the first pick. My keeper options for pitching are Rodon, Javier, or McKenzie. Call me crazy, but I am leaning towards keeping Javier and drafting McKenzie with my first pick (which is really like round 6), or perhaps keeping McKenzie and picking Javier. Keep in mind that there is no long term cost for keepers in this league (we’ve been going since 2003), so young players are more highly coveted. Plus, I don’t trust Rodon to not get injured. WWGD?
I’m in a 10 team 7×7 league where you can keep 10.
Hitter stats are usual 5 plus Hits and Walks.
I’m having trouble deciding on the last keeper.
Who would you choose out of: Vaughn, Suzuki, McCarthy and Hoskins.
I could also reach further down the rankings to go with Grissom or Abrams for some MI help.
My other nine are:
BTW, I wanted to say Hoskins, but I’m correct in thinking you have a few 1B already, right?
Yes, Vinnie and Olson.
Grey, two questions.
1) He finally told me what he wanted for D. Williams, Miranda and Harris,He wants Urias and 2 of my starting bats (Realmuto, Freeman, Altuve, J. Ramirez, Bo, Vlad, Grissom, Bets, J-rod, Robert, Trout, Alvarez, Witt, Edman, Tucker, and Ohtani. are any two of them with Urias worth trading to get that package?
2) got a trade offer
I get: Jordan Montgomery P STL ($6)
I give up: Masataka Yoshida / OF / BOS ($5)
Would you make the deal or hold?
3) the other offer i got was
I give up Jose Altuve ($22)
I get: Jordan Montgomery ($6) and Steven Kwan ($6)
they made a third offer:
I trade: Tommy Edman ($20)
I get: Jordan Montgomery ($6) and Steven Kwan ($6)
montgomery would be a nice add with buehler most if not all year
Makes sense, I like that for Yoshida
so which trade would you do?
1) I give up: Masataka Yoshida / OF / BOS ($5)
I get: Jordan Montgomery P STL ($6)
2) I give up Jose Altuve ($22)
I get: Jordan Montgomery ($6) and Steven Kwan ($6)
3) I trade: Tommy Edman ($20)
I get: Jordan Montgomery ($6) and Steven Kwan ($6).
This is my starting picthing:
SP Sandy Alcantara (MIA) $13.00
SP Walker Buehler (LAD) (+) $34.00
SP Kevin Gausman (TOR) $18.00
SP Max Fried (ATL) $21.00
SP Domingo German (NYY) $6.00
SP / RP Cristian Javier (HOU) $20.00
SP Clayton Kershaw (LAD) $26.00
SP Robbie Ray (SEA) $15.00
SP Chris Sale (BOS) $22.00
SP Max Scherzer (NYM) $35.00
SP Luis Severino (NYY) $13.00
SP Julio Urias (LAD) $14.00
SP Justin Verlander (NYM) $15.00
SP Brandon Woodruff (MIL) $21.00
Good morning Grey trade offer 20 team standard 5&5 league 275$ salary auction
McClanahan 9$ m/l Daniel Espino 3$ for Gunnar 3$ and Logan Webb 8$
which side do you like
We’re back baby! After a disappointing finish in my H2H league I went radio silent until just this week when I started my draft prep by downloading the top 20 pod. Great work as usual, but I have a keeper question for this season. I can keep 2 of the following guys and if I choose 2 that have a 10th round value one becomes a 9th rounder. It’s a daily transaction H2H 12 team mixed league with R, HR, RBI, SB, TB, and AVG and W, L, K, ERA, WHIP, and SV+H. How would you rank them keeping in mind value vs current ADP?
Trea Turner: 1st round
Juan Soto: 4th round
Michael Harris II: 10th round
Spencer Strider: 10th round
Jacob deGrom: 10th round
Luis Castillo: 10th round
Good to see you!Shame only two of them…I guess Soto and Harris
Love it. I usually say F pitching but for some reason this year I’m sitting on Verlander, Gausman, Javier, Cobb, Hunter Brown
Question is for my #4 should I keep Lynn for $19 or Kershaw for $38?
Yea!!! This usually doesnt follow any drafts i had made because i devalue pitching too much. For the dirst time in like 10 years, i put my pitchers into here and had a pitcher i drafted in NFBC be a selection each round and the final “draft one of these guys with your final pick” was actually a guy I drafted!!!
Thanks for the post. Pick 5 keepers AL only roto:
J Ramirez 44
MJ Melendez 7
Vinnie P 7
A Gimenez 1
A Vaughn 6
Greyson Rod 7
Leaning J Ramirez, Semien, Gimenez, McClanahan not sure for the 5th
J Ramirez, Semien, Gimenez, McClanahan, and coin flip…Tough call…I guess Altuve
You hafta keep glassnow for a $1, right? And J ryan for $3 seems crazy good too.
Great post Grey! I love the pitcher pairing post!
Have a big offer in my keeper league and wanted your thoughts. Our draft is next month and each team keeps 10 players forever. It’s a 10 team H2H 7×5 (R, Hits, RBI, HR, BB, AVG, SB). My current keepers are:
C – Kirk
3 – Witt Jr
SS – Trea
OF – Acuna
OF – Jrod
OF – Tatis
Util – Luis Robert
SP – Nola
Another manager has offered me Oneil Cruz, Sandy Alcantara and Carlos Rodon plus a draft pick for Luis Robert and Albies.
1) I love Oneil and Robert and Albies have been frustrating to say the least. This also effectively gives me 11 keepers vs 10 before the draft which is nice and also upgrades my arms substantially. Would you take this or hold? I’m pretty sure I can get Gleyber Torres or Andres Gimenez post draft for a reasonable cost.
2) If I do take this deal the owner has great arms including Alcantara, Strider, Rodon and Cease. Noting it’s a keeper how would you rank these 4 pitchers as I probably have some flexibility which 2 arms to take.
Thanks! I think you have to take it….Forget Gleyber 2. Strider, Cease, Sandy
Ok so I have Alcantara as my top guy but he’s not listed. Obviously a glitch Razzball Matrix but wanted to point it out.
This tool is the best. Thanks Grey. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Not a SP that Grey likes.
True but there are a bunch he doesn’t “like” at the top of the draft. I also have Bassitt, Ryan, and Montgomery behind Alcantara but I still like using the tool to round out my rotation. For the sake of the exercise I can pick any of the top 5 listed.
I didn’t list guys I wouldn’t draft at all
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Bahhhhhhh, cripes! To the trade block he goes.
question: How differently do you draft for H2H vs. roto? Do you do anything different with pitching v. hitting or in drafting steals/saves? just wondering!
I wait on SPs even more in H2H…Quantity over quality…Saves and steals are pretty much the same, look at saves around 100-120 overall
What a great vday present thanks! 12 team 5×5 h2h. I’m keeping Cease 7th rd and Valdez 15th rd. What tiers would you target for 3rd and 4th SP? Thanks!
You have a #1 and #2…So to Greene or Bassitt’s tiers
I can’t seem to find Bieber anywhere.
I wouldn’t draft him as I say in the top 20 starters — this is only pitchers I would draft
Aha! Tha explains the lack of Stoney Tony Gonsolin…
Greeeeeyyyyy!!!!, The Burritos are gladly filling one of your holes(eww) in the New DC…, defend their “Middle of the Pack ” Title…. cheers to Drafting!!!!, Good Luck!!!! Friday can’t come soon enough….
Nice! Good to have you!
Good luck Burritos, missed out…ugh
I’ll see if I can do another in March
No worries, love those DC’s
Man, it filled super fast with a lot of DC regulars, lol, guess I’ll donate to your fund raiser in 2024….
a. I love this post for three reasons.
1 You can evaluate rotations from already-drafted teams.
2 You can use it for upcoming drafts, like CIA agents use ‘hip pocket informants’.
3 You can identify pitchers that should be in one’s rotation, like a fine-tuning mechanism to roster and utilize the best pitchers.
b. My rotation from a drafted 5×5, 10-team league, 1000 IP minimum and 200 GS maximum. This is the order I drafted them.
Strider (round 4, pick 38)
Manoah (round 5, pick 43)
Triston (round 10, pick 98)
Severino (round 12, pick 118)
Kirby (round 19, pick 183)
Singer (round 20, pick 198)
Sandoval (round 22, pick 218)
My thoughts were to have a stable of seven great pitchers. If you do the math, 7 SP @ 30 GS per starter then you get to 210. So don’t start NL pitchers in Coors, oops I have none. Start Triston, Singer and Kirby for EVERY home start.
Your thoughts on the rotation? Any generic advice on when and where to start SP throughout the season? Use up more GS before the ASB or less? My guess is that there will be MORE offense after the ASB, in general.
c. I know you’re not a fan of tinkering before the start, but EdCab available in the league in ‘b’ above. Swap out Sandoval (aka the last SP I took) for EdCab? Y/N?
Thanks! B. You have a ton of pitching…Kirby and Singer and Sandoval that late is crazy…It’s rock solid…Hopefully your hitting is okay
C. Nah, I like Sandoval
ah PPP time of year
I drafted McClanahan first, you have him ranked 6th, but he’s not an option on your pairings for first pitcher taken?…….did I miss something?
I guess the Cease/McClanahan tier should be ignored????
Bc in my top 20 starters I say I wouldn’t draft him in any league