Baseball is over!  Wait, um, what World Series?  My Brewers aren’t in it, so I’m not watching…  i.e. I never watch the World Series…

2015 was a very interesting year for pitchers with a lot of unique things – guys coming out of nowhere, a lot of TJ surgeries, a crazy amount of Ks…  Wait, OK, never mind, it was about the same!  Hopefully with the doldrums of winter upon us for fantasy baseball, you hopped into some fantasy basketball leagues and can join us for an indoor fantasy sport!

Recapping February ranks can be pretty eye-opening.  As in, seeing my Chris Archer rank makes me want to gouge my eye out!  Maybe that would be eye-closing then…  Anywho, for the second straight season I went through my top 100 from Spring to see what went right and what went Chien-Ming Wang.  I think I did a little better than last year, especially when you consider James Paxton was easy to drop and didn’t just pitch bad all year…

You’ll find below in this War and Peace-esque recap SP sorted by my initial SP ranks in February, Grey’s SP pre-ranks in the top-400 sortable ranks post, ESPN’s SP pre-ranks based on whenever that list came out (I tried to find their most standardized ranks), then compared them to their Razzball Player Rater finish amongst SP.  I also mention a few times my ranks edit right before the season, since it’s not really fair to grill me on Yu Darvish.  No, Yu’re injury prone!  With all those numbers thrust together to showcase best and worst calls, I review each pitcher and include which top-40 pitchers I failed to rank.  I cut it off at 40 to make me look better, there were like 7 I didn’t rank between 40-50 and I’m lazy!  Haha.  And I promise, no more hyperlinks in the open!  Here’s the recap to 2015’s starting pitching ranks:

Razzball Baseball

JB’s Top 100 SP Recap

(pitchers listed on opening day team)

SP, Team JB’s RANK Grey’s Rank ESPN Rank Final Rank NOTE
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers 1 1 1 2 Another season of “not much to say here”, and even with an iffy start, was the best pitcher in baseball down the stretch.  Well, at least 1B to 1A…  The 1A pitcher down the stretch is already getting me excited for this recap!
Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox 2 7 4 10 Wow, unlike last season, after Kershaw things got a lot more willy-nilly.  Or is it spelled wily-nily? That just makes me think of Wily Peralta…  Anyway, Sale’s redonkulous Ks made up for some inconsistency – mainly a few blowup games – but as we discussed on the last couple of Pods, a few of his metrics were actually BETTER than 2014 (2.17 ERA 0.97 WHIP vs. 2015 3.41 ERA 1.09 WHIP yet more Ks, less BB, .43 higher BABIP, and a 2.60 xFIP in 2015 vs. 2.83 in 2014).  Nuts.
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners 3 2 2 15 Well, at least I had this one closer to right than anyone else!  Hah, I can’t really claim to be “down” on F-Her, but I thought Sale could best him with the K-rate.  And it was true!  Both were similar – both prone to some blowup games – but Sale’s Ks carried him higher on the Player Rater.
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals 4 3 3 5 “Grey and ESPN, sitting in a tree!  Ranking so sim-il-ar-ly!”  Same top 3 for Grey, but everyone liked Scherzer and he didn’t disappoint.  Although he did have a rough stretch in the second half that kept him from pushing for #1 pitcher overall.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants 5 9 6 6 Grey seemed to hate his teams getting in the Bum, but everyone else was happy with it in the Bum.  Just so friggin’ consistent, and Grey’s concerns over post-season innings seemed unwarranted.
Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians 6 4 7 16 Damn, THAT was annoying!  Like Sale, had dynamite metrics get blown up by some horrible games.  Had a minor injury late that made him inconsistent in September, but he ended on a fantastic 8-inning shutout, and on the eye level, looked great again last year.  I’ll be investing around this range again in 2016.
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals 7 5 5 30 Woooooooo, look at me owning this one!  Damn, the Strasburg love was nuts coming into the season…  Of course injuries riddled most of his 2015, but he went on a crazy run over his last 5 starts including 4 straight 10+ K games that will have fantasy owners crawling back for more.  Around 10ish I’m guessing for me next season.
David Price, Detroit Tigers 8 6 8 7 Like Bumgarner, about as consistent as they come.  I will admit I moved him down a few spots moving to TOR worried about the HR rate, and he was even better north of the border.  Unless you count the playoffs!
Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs 9 10 11 18 Nothing too egregious here, a little bit of a rocky start hurt, and man does he have to work on holding baserunners…  Should be a teens pick again in 2016.
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds 10 12 9 28 It was going just fine until he got to the Royals, but apparently he just was keeping his arm ready for one good playoff game.  Then torched again…  Then right as this was set to publish, he has a historic WS game!  Most inconsistent playoff run from a SP pitcher in the history of the MLB, don’t fact check that though…  I’ll be pretty unenthusiastic with Cueto next year.
Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs 11 15 26 1 YEZZIR!  Dammit, I wanted to be a good 10 ahead of Grey…  I think he copied my ranks and moved him up some more…  Don’t fact check whose ranks came out first!  I bought into the crazy run that was the majority of 2014, but of course didn’t quite see this.  Top-5 next season after his Bob Gibson-esque run.
Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers 12 8 10 3 Hmmm, weird, I don’t remember feeling low on Greinke…  In my original blurb I said that pitching was deep so I’d roll the dice on upside with Arrieta.  At least that decision was right!
Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals 13 11 12 31 Ouch.  It hurts looking back sometimes!  At least I was marginally the lowest!
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies 14 17 13 20 Luckily with this one, no one really won or lost.  Not much changed with the numbers moving to Texas except he actually had some support to win some games.  Probably a mid-teens guy again next year.  A tween.
Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels 15 41 27 27 Eesh.  Yeah this was poor form – at least the injury concern coming off the knee didn’t keep him from missing any time…  But on the same token, maybe it cost him his numbers, as his K and BB numbers took major steps backwards after a breakout 2014.  Nothing in his peripherals suggest he was unlucky, I might still hesitantly buy in 2016 as maybe that knee had him lacking a little confidence.
Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers 16 N/A N/A N/A Huh, so I guess Grey updates his rankings at some point.  Darvish got the ol’ TJ in March, and obviously was dropped out in my updated rankings right before the start of the season.
Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians 17 19 24 14 Who DIDN’T like Carrasco last year?!  And what’s amazing, is even with a lot of inconsistencies, ended up 14th on the Razzball Player Rater.  Certainly didn’t feel like a 14th overall finish owning him in several leagues!  Wait, I was the high guy, I should be showering golden praise!  Oops, bad phrasing there…
Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates 18 18 19 8 Wow, consistent rankings and an even better season.  Nice work everyone!
Alex Wood, Atlanta Braves 19 20 33 69 Man, somebody take Grey and I out back and shoot us…  This did not go well, even though everything in Wood’s 2014 seemed very replicable.  The metrics and everything looked pretty bad in 2015, I will not be buying next year.  SEPTEMBER 7 PITCHER PROFILE
Jeff Samardzija, Chicago White Sox 20 13 14 92 Hell yeah!!!!!!  Didn’t get him anywhere, and I shall quote myself from Feb due to narcissism: “Look I get his control was fantastic, but after 3 years of striking out a batter per 9, the K rate fell to 8.28 and he had a 2.99 ERA on a .283 BABIP.  Win potential since he goes deep should be nice, especially with the nice O, but not overly investing.”
Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves 21 28 16 58 Oh lord, ESPN, what happened here?!  I remember talking with Grey about Teheran in the offseason on the Pod, and I will forever be enamored with his call on this one, citing a velocity loss and dropping K rate. Nice one Grey!
Matt Harvey, New York Mets 22 25 20 11 To be fair, in my updated ranks right before the season, I moved him up to 9th and that looks pretty saucy now.  Before seeing him in Spring Training, there obviously were the post-TJ doubts, but Harvey was all-in-all great and still looks good in the postseason.
Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays 23 45 28 N/A Certainly feels like Grey had an update here as well!  I still can’t believe the Rays took so long to figure out he needed TJ, wouldn’t that just be the first thing you look for these days?!
Collin McHugh, Houston Astros 24 33 42 25 Almost on the nose!  A roller coaster season for McHugh, whose ERA was McHuge early, but he turned it around in the second half and stayed healthy with a decent K rate all year.  All you need to finish with a top-30 value.
James Paxton, Seattle Mariners 25 61 107 177 Welllllllll, that didn’t go so well…  To be fair, it was another season plagued with injuries (it’s officially a trend), and before doing something funky to a finger tendon, was on an absolute roll his 4th-9th starts, with a 1.63 ERA over that span.  The K:BB still wasn’t pretty during that time (29:18 in 38.2 IP), but he started throwing a ton of fastballs and getting consistent weak contact.  He continued to show flashes when off the DL in Sept.  Lord help me, I’ll be a buyer again next year, although obviously with a much lower rank.  SEPTEMBER 14 PITCHER PROFILE
Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres 26 14 22 32 At least I come back with another win!  I shall once again quote myself from February: “I know I won’t get him, but can’t put him any lower.  K rate was great, walk rate was fine but still pretty bad, yet I still hate his side-step quick release mechanics.  Seems so prone to control issues, and his final 9 starts he had multi-walks in all for a 52:25 K:BB in 53 innings and a 3.23 ERA.  Minus the WHIP that’s still usable and all, but even as an elite groundballer I think he’ll be a WHIP liability.  Even with a 2.81 ERA last year, 1.21 WHIP.”  Despite great Ks, all he did was lead the Majors in walks.  Score for JB!
Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees 27 23 25 26 Whoa, look at that ranking and result!  Everyone wins, beers on me!
Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics 28 30 15 13 I thought Grey loved Gray!  Turns out, only ESPN loved Gray…  At least they got something right!
James Shields, San Diego Padres 29 39 18 34 Then ESPN does THAT to you!  Shields perfectly split the difference of Grey and I’s ranks (USED WRONG AGAIN), with a very odd homer-prone and K-heavy season.  A decent finish just by attrition.
Matt Shoemaker, Los Angeles Angels 30 26 73 105 Yikesssssss.  ESPN gets a W with their very low Shoe rank, kinda like Reebok.  Does anyone really wear Reebok?!
Drew Smyly, Tampa Bay Rays 31 36 57 98 Obviously we’ll never really know, but it’s telling that he finished top-100 on the player rater in 12 starts.  Crazy Ks and nice ERA/WHIP will do that, now just needs a healthy 2016…
Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals 32 32 43 46 There’s CG, QS, then I think there should be IS.  “Inconsistent start”.  Would be virtually every outing for the fireballer/F-bomber.  Maybe it works out at some point and he had a few nice stretches at the end, but I will be ranking him right around 30-40 again next year.
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets 33 29 23 9 Ewwwwww, the F did I have deGrom so low?!  To be fair, I realized the fallacy of my ways and had him up to 23 in my update.  Just a fantastic season as the Mets are looking really dangerous the next decade.
Michael Pineda, New York Yankees 34 37 45 49 The metrics sure made this one look good for a while!  But like the Indians guys, Pineda was just too prone to blowup starts, even with a crazy-good K:BB.  xFIP was sub-3.00, compared to a 4.37 ERA.  I’ll like him for 2016.
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals 35 24 17 154 I can’t gloat here, he looked pretty good and his injury was a fluke Achilles.  BUT I’M RIGHT AND EVERYONE ELSE IS RONG!
Brandon McCarthy, Los Angeles Dodgers 36 75 68 182 And now to flip that logic, I think this could’ve turned out right and we’ll never know!  Had 29 Ks in 23 IP, with a – wait for it – 37.5% HR/FB.  THAT was bound to go down!  Then his UCL gave out.  Womp womp.
Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners 37 16 31 50 Given he had a nice little run to wrap it up with a no-hitter in there, but my injury concerns here made the rank correct.  Me in Feb – “…the injuries on Iwakuma’s medical sheet are lengthy… It goes front and back!  Had injury issues in Japan, and is already 33 and will be 34 most of the 2015 season.”
Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics 38 85 52 48 Grey hates the Kazmir family!  And he was wayyyyy wrong most of the season, but then Kazmir went winless over his last 8 starts and the ERA ballooned.  If he had more than 7 wins – something like 11 or 12 -he’d be right at my rank.  Cha-ching!
Phil Hughes, Minnesota Twins 39 22 47 97 That might be Grey’s worst-ranked SP this year…  I mentioned in my blurb that at the eye level his stuff just didn’t look that good, and hitters agreed!
Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals 40 40 32 37 Grey cheated off my paper!  We both get an A+ on this rank.
Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros 41 47 46 4 Dammit, I thought I was much higher than the consensus on this one!  I guess I just have to take a marginal victory…  Like that time they told me I had crabs and it wasn’t Hep C…
Mat Latos, Miami Marlins 42 21 36 162 Eesh, not to be outdone with the Hughes rank, Latos happened…  Another win for me!  But dayum, I did not see him virtually pitching himself out of baseball…
Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers 43 58 38 93 At least ESPN was higher…  Nice work Grey!  Bad, Anibal, bad…  Go to your cage!
Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles 44 67 86 123 I moved him down to 73 in my update, as the Orioles seemed to want to Joba him.  Waffle me back and forth, baby!  Raw stuff still seems there, they gotta figure out how to extract it.
Zack Wheeler, New York Mets 45 N/A N/A N/A Obviously fell out of the ranks in the update.  Was too bad…  Glad the Brewers trade for him fell through, the Astros deal was sooooooo much better.
Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers 46 103 97 293 This looked awesome for 3 starts!  Then he was horrific.  But in my defense, after showing some signals in 2014, he had hand numbness all year and needed surgery for added bloodflow.  i.e. a Viagra injection.  His hand kept turning SUPER GREEN!  APRIL 20 PITCHER PROFILE
Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves 47 71 102 N/A I dropped him to 79 in my updates, with a swift omission afterwards.  Shoulder issues turned into an exploratory surgery that turned into a torn labrum.  Likely outside the top 100 next year unless he does something dramatic in Spring Training.
Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals 48 38 21 65 Back in the winner’s column!  In pre-ranks I said “he is starting to abandon the curveball and the fastball has lost 0.5 MPH the past two seasons.  Slower fastball with more change-ups… Not loving it.”  FB velo didn’t change at all, but change-up went up 1 MPH.  No bueno. Cha-ching!
Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays 49 48 49 39 Wow, look at that consistent rank! And Odorizzi ended up with a really surprising 2015, dropping ERA and WHIP by a good margain and maintaining a solid K:BB.  He needs to drop the HR rate, but if he does that, 2016 could be a real breakout.
Mike Fiers, Milwaukee Brewers 50 27 56 57 The Fiers Kool-Aid hath been drunken by Grey!  That sentence may have all sorts of syntax issues…  Grey went bold here and it didn’t pay off, except that one no-no.  Made Grey have an explosion of payoff!
Homer Bailey, Cincinnati Reds 51 55 30 254 Tried to bounce back from injuries and ended up tearing his UCL.  Doh!
Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians 52 99 103 17 The only reason I wanted to use my initial ranks!  Admittedly, I fell off the bandwagon when he was assigned to the Minors, but initially I killed it!  Maybe Grey and ESPN had their final changes after the news to the Minors too…
Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays 53 N/A N/A 138 Ohhhhhhh, look at me, I was the only one to rank him!  Not my fault it was pre-injury!  Had a ridiculous recovery off an ACL tear to put up a few solid starts, and he had some crazy good-lookin’ pitches.  I wish he pitched in a better park, but I’ll like him a lot next year.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers 54 46 48 N/A Shoulder issues ended up costing him the season.
Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays 55 34 34 12 F it, I’m not doing any more of this post!  That’s me when I saw this…  I cited his walks and low HR rate as issues, and not only did he cut over a walk a game, HIS K RATE JUMPED BY 2.7 PER 9!!!  Even after a ton of professional innings indicating control might be elusive, and a big backtrack from 2013 to 2014, he proved everyone wrong.  Tip of the arch – er.  APRIL 27 PITCHER PROFILE
Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals 56 63 29 21 Whoa, for a guy who had some rough stretches and lost the Ks at times, pretty impressive finish.  Perhaps more impressive is his broken shoulder thing didn’t cause any major issues this season.  Still a little risky to me in 2016.
Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates 57 31 39 24 Three straight whiffs right there!  I got a golden sombrero. Liriano had probably his most consistent season since, I dunno, Guitar Hero was cool.
Ervin Santana, Atlanta Braves 58 N/A 142 115 My initial ranks are certainly the oldest since this was before the suspension, then Ervin wasn’t that great anyway when back. At least the PED suspension saved any bad-ness of this pick!
Doug Fister, Washington Nationals 59 74 35 171 There we go!  Grey and I were vehemently against Fisters, and supporters took it in the rear.
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies 60 N/A 239 N/A The adverb might have ended his career, sadly.
Jose Quintana, Chicago White Sox 61 43 44 43 I mean, fine…  Was Quintana a permanent staple on any team in 10 or 12’ers though?  He’s great mid-range value in deeper leagues, but I think I’ll rank him around here again.  Just no upside.
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels 62 44 40 136 I think what you should take away from this season is that 2015 was the year Grey loved Samardzija and Weaver.
Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres 63 49 37 133 Wow, I hated Cashner!  And boy oh boy, cha-ching!  Gimme da cassshhhhhhh!  You gotta push the little red button to load it!
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers 64 72 53 73 The ranks had Grey and I in the correct range, but that run Verlander went on from July 24 to the finish was maybe the most surprising thing to happen this year for me, across all pitching.  91 K:20 BB in 99.2 IP, with a 2.27 ERA.
Derrick Holland, Texas Rangers 65 N/A 66 179 Is it just me, or was there a ridiculous amount of Spring injuries this year…?
J.A. Happ, Seattle Mariners 66 N/A 126 45 Better late than never!  A crazy run on the Pirates inflated his season-long value.  Long live Searage!
Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs 67 N/A 95 53 Surprised Grey did rank Jimi!  It was low end, but usable.
Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres 68 70 41 68 Grey and JB fa life!  ESPN loved the presidential pitcher, but his continual shakiness and awful HR rate kept him from being rosterable all year.
Jason Hammel, Chicago Cubs 69 56 77 35 Nice one Grey!  I thought I had him a little higher, and indeed moved him up to 60 in the re-rank.  It’s always interesting looking back, since I was the one defending him after his hamstring injury, and you were right Razzball Nation!  He never really got it back in the second half.
Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds 70 N/A 75 51 Grey had a Leake in his ranks!  Had some must-own stretches with the Reds, and after a salivating park change to the Giants, never really got into the same groove.
Jake Peavy, San Francisco Giants 71 42 83 78 Hmmmmm, interesting boldness there Grey!  But in Grey’s defense, injuries were the biggie.  In defense of me and ESPN, injuries were the biggie.  Was solid when he got healthy in the second half.
Drew Hutchison, Toronto Blue Jays 72 35 65 125 I knew this one was gonna make me feel warm & fuzzy!  Here’s me in February!  “I watched a few of Hutch’s starts, and my takeaway was he relies on pinpoint fastball command without it being an overpowering pitch.  Sure he had a K per 9 and a BB rate under 3, but I think there in Toronto the HR rate goes over 9.7% and I’m not a huge believer on the stuff.”  He had some unlucky metrics, but the K rate fell and the HR rate went up.  Cha-ching!
CC Sabathia, New York Yankees 73 73 71 158 Hah, look at those similar ranks!  I’d pour one out for Sabathia’s career, but he’d yell at me for being wasteful…
Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals 74 68 74 23 Crazy breakout for the porn king of twitter, and another one where I admittedly cooled off after it looked like he might be going to the bullpen.  Then of course, Jaime got hurt again.  APRIL 13 PITCHER PROFILE
Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers 75 64 91 64 Pinpoint control from Grey!  A Phil Hughes-ian amount of control right there!  Had a few good runs, was maddeningly inconsistent overall.
Kyle Lohse, Milwaukee Brewers 76 N/A 88 269 When it falls apart, it REALLY falls apart.
Chase Anderson, Arizona Diamondbacks 77 108 129 126 I thought this one turned out a little better than that!  But yeah, the K rate really fell and he only allowed 2 HR through April and May, which regressed harrrrrrd.
A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates 78 52 84 63 Of all people, I wouldn’t have expected Grey to be all about a vet in his final season!  It certainly paid off though, as he was must-own the first half before injuring his flexor.
Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians 79 66 94 70 After one game my rank looked awful!  Then Bauer went back to his inconsistent ways…
Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers 80 51 85 218 Grey is all 90s and likes it big Wily style!  That one didn’t work out, as Wily continued to struggle to get Ks and had a long-term oblique injury.  Dem some big obliques!
Chris Tillman, Baltimore Orioles 81 57 64 124 Remember when I was all about some Tillman as it looked like he was about to go on his typical 2nd half run?  No?  My February self is glad you don’t listen to the Pod!  My Feb hate paid off!
Jesse Hahn, Oakland Athletics 82 60 69 102 Was awful out of the gate, started to get a little better, then TJ.  Hope he has a speedy recovery and gets back to being a curveball maestro.
Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins 83 88 50 87 If in a very limited moves league, Grey and JB win!  Of course JoFer was awesome when he got out there, but had another injury.  Yikes, is he top-10 next year?!
Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox 84 N/A 109 86 One of my best calls on the back end here.  Both in liking him in seasonal stats, and I had to defend him like crazy for continual high weekly ranks while he was walking everyone.  I said something to the effect of “all he needs to do is cut 1 BB per/9”.  68:41 K:BB in the first half, 71:30 in the second half, with an unbelievable August and September.  I’m going to be the highest on Rodon in all the land next year.  MAY 11 PITCHER PROFILE
Daniel Norris, Toronto Blue Jays 85 105 98 153 Crazy he was pitching with a tumor all year.  Doctors said he could pitch through it, and he still showed flashes.  With a tumor and playing through it and with the living in a van in the offseason thing, it’s tough to not be a big Norris fan.  AUGUST 3 PITCHER PROFILE
Rubby De La Rosa, Arizona Diamondbacks 86 102 185 74 Wow, ESPN hates to get all Rubby!  Attrition was the big thing having Rubby finish top-75 as he stayed healthy, as he was only usable as a streamer.  About a month in, I thought I saw a big run coming, but he just doesn’t have the finer points of command in his arsenal – leaves too many hittable pitches in the middle of the zone.
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets 87 95 146 29 JB wins all of Thor’s hammers! MAY 18 PITCHER PROFILE
Shelby Miller, Atlanta Braves 88 50 63 52 I hated on him a little too much, but dayum if you had him all year and somehow had a decent score in W!  A lot of his value was in the first two months.
Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants 89 78 58 258 Like Lohse, when it falls apart, it REALLY falls apart.
Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals 90 101 67 128 Continues to have inexplicably bad K numbers with power, good looking stuff.
Jon Niese, New York Mets 91 N/A 79 119 Everyone’s favorite streamer against the Phillies was good enough for NL-only, and that’s about it.
John Lackey, St. Louis Cardinals 92 120 60 19 Look at that range on Lackey!  About as wide a spectrum as his belt line.  Honestly though, would it have surprised anyone if he fell apart like Cain or Lohse?  Anyone who took the super-boring flier got a very nice ROI.
Drew Pomeranz, Oakland Athletics 93 111 99 107 A couple saves helped boost the value!  Hah!
R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays 94 83 54 59 Stays healthy and pitches a ton of innings.  Was he really a #4 or #5 pitcher for you all year on a winning 12 team league?  Didn’t think so.
Matt Garza, Milwaukee Brewers 95 79 59 272 Thank God, as soon as I saw I had Garza ranked at all, I almost threw up on my keyboard.  Luckily I was by far the lowest!
Tom Koehler, Miami Marlins 96 N/A 138 84 Everyone’s favorite kitchen sink pitched a lot of innings, and that’s about all you can say.  Didn’t improve from 2014 at all.  That said, LOOK HOW RIGHT I WAS!
Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners 97 62 62 56 Damn, I thought I was going to look realllllly bad on this one, but Walker had his inconsistent stretches as well.  I mean, he barely finished higher on the player rater than Dickey!  I don’t feel so bad now…
Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore Orioles 98 59 92 36 Grey gets the final home run ball!  Dropped the ERA, dropped the WHIP marginally, and added Ks.  If he had won 16 games like 2014 (11 in 2015), he would’ve pushed top-30, which is crazy.  Just shows how barren the pitcher landscape can be with injuries.
Tim Hudson, San Francisco Giants 99 N/A 90 150 Happy retirement, Timmay!
Tony Cingrani, Cincinnati Reds 100 N/A 175 257 On March 16th they said they were converting him to a reliever, and he was dropped out of my updated ranks.

Top-40 (per Razzball Player Rater) SP Unranked

  • Marco Estrada (22) – As a Brewers fan, and well – a fantasy player – all I have to say is, WHAAAAA?!  Holy crap, he ended up with a 3.13 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 181 innings?!  This isn’t tongue-and-cheek, you’re reading my actual response to this, I had no idea he stayed that strong all year!  I know he had those no-no flirts, but dayum!  The most frustrating thing as a Brewers fan is he cut his horrid 13.2% HR/FB rate to 8.7% in an even worse home park and against AL competition with DHs.  Hah, he had a .216 BABIP, nearly 80% left on base, and a 4.93 xFIP.  Yeah, let’s go ahead and call him a top-25 pitcher next year!
  • Jaime Garcia (33) – Lord, the ONE time he stays kinda healthy.  Still didn’t even get to 130 innings…  But was good while out there – his modus operandi – except in more innings than I/most people expected.
  • Dan Haren (38) – Back in the ‘Zona days, he was one of my favorite pitchers.  Wait, did he finish 38th in the ranks or is he 38 years old?!  He’s retiring, nice to do it off a decent season.  Slow clap.
  • Edinson Volquez (40) – Looks decent in the postseason!  Easily outside of draftable in standard 12ers next year…

And there you have it!  Hopefully your ERA and WHIPs stayed low all year and you had a nice 2015 of pitching.  Can’t wait to get back out there in 2016, and have to justify a high rank of James Paxton yet again!  Happy Winter, Razzball Nation!

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6 years ago

Lotta work here. Much appreciated JB.

Reply to  JB Gilpin
6 years ago

@JB Gilpin: Labor of love indeed. If still checking this post JB (or anyone jonesin’ enough to be catching up on old posts!), I’m having an issue setting free one of the best arms in Arrieta. It’s a H2H 12 Team league where we can only Keep 3 players (in the draft slot selected). The league also has a pretty low move allowance that all but prevents streaming. So pitching is at a premium. My bat options and values just seem too solid to keep Arrieta, but what do you think? Which 3 would you keep from: HARPER (Rd.2), ABREU (Rd.3), ARENADO (Rd.7), ALTUVE (Rd.7), ARRIETA (Rd.8), and BRANTLEY (Rd. 18)? Thanks for any feedback & happy offseason!

Reply to  JB Gilpin
6 years ago

@JB Gilpin: I concur. Thanks again JB.

6 years ago

Great, now you make me feel like a slacker for not doing a hitter recap…thanks a lot JB. I’m thinking Grey told me not to so he can call me a slacker

Reply to  JB Gilpin
6 years ago

@JB Gilpin: If you weren’t such a lovable 12 year old looking fool I’d want to chop you down….but instead I’m pondering my own recap, I love making fun of myself

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

JB need advice. This is my roster:

C,1B Buster Posey (SF)
C Russell Martin (TOR)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)
1B David Ortiz (BOS)
1B Joey Votto (CIN)
2B Jose Altuve (HOU)
2B Devon Travis (TOR)
3B Josh Donaldson (TOR)
3B Mike Moustakas (KC)
SS Carlos Correa (HOU)
OF Jose Bautista (TOR)
OF Lorenzo Cain (KC)
OF Shin-soo Choo (TEX)
OF Andre Ethier (LAD)
OF Matt Kemp (SD)
OF Starling Marte (PIT)
OF Mike Trout (LAA)
SP Gerrit Cole (PIT)
SP Johnny Cueto (KC)
SP Matt Harvey (NYM)
SP Raisel Iglesias (CIN)
SP,RP Carlos Martinez (STL)
SP Max Scherzer (WAS)
SP Luis Severino (NYY)
SP Justin Verlander (DET)
SP Michael Wacha (STL)
RP Greg Holland (KC)
RP Antonio Osuna (TOR)
RP Francisco Rodriguez (MIL)
RP Joakim Soria (PIT)
RP Drew Storen (WAS)
RP Shawn Tolleson (TEX)

This is my opponents roster:

C Devin Mesoraco (CIN)
1B Prince Fielder (TEX)
1B Freddie Freeman (ATL)
1B Eric Hosmer (KC)
2B,3B Matt Carpenter (STL)
2B,SS,OF Odubel Herrera (PHI)
2B Jason Kipnis (CLE)
2B,3B Anthony Rendon (WAS)
3B Nolan Arenado (COL)
3B,OF Joey Gallo (TEX)
SS Orlando Arcia (MIL)
OF Charlie Blackmon (COL)
OF Rusney Castillo (BOS)
OF Jason Heyward (STL)
OF Adam Jones (BAL)
OF Carlos Gonzalez (COL)
SP Mark Appel (HOU)
SP Homer Bailey (CIN)
SP,RP Carlos Carrasco (CLE)
SP Jose Fernandez (MIA)
SP Lucas Giolito (WAS)
SP Francisco Liriano (PIT)
SP Michael Pineda (NYY)
SP David Price (TOR)
SP,RP Carlos Rodon (CWS)
SP Danny Salazar (CLE)
SP,RP Marco Stroman (TOR)
SP Masihiro Tanaka (NYY)
SP Julio Teheran (ATL)
SP Adam Wainwright (STL)
RP Dylan Bundy (BAL)
RP Glen Perkins (MIN)
RP Trevor Rosenthal (STL)

He wants to do a trade of me giving up Votto, Severino and Moustakas for Carpenter, Stroman and Hosmer. Should I make it or pass

Reply to  JB Gilpin
6 years ago

@JB Gilpin: I agree with holding. Although, Votto seems like a good sell high player for the right value. Not because he’s not that good; but because he seems very injury prone to me.

6 years ago

tl;dr — jk jk jk jk — winky, smiley, emoji!

Reply to  JB Gilpin
6 years ago

How dare you emoticon me!

Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: :p! ‘s up, Grey? Thanks for your kind words on the top 20 pitcher article. The interview was conducted by three very high-ranking women in the Iraqi operation. Hopefully I didn’t shoot myself in the foot like Plaxico Burress. I answered every question I hope all the answers were good ones, they seemed to be positive in response but you never know. The first question of the interview…What’s your motivation for applying for the job? I was honest about everything except the $$. Can’t always tell the truth, right? That’s like a pitcher throwing only strikes, if he does that and the opposition finds out well …you what happens next.


Reply to  Ante GALIC
6 years ago

Great news! Yeah, you can’t say all positive things, it comes off as phony…

6 years ago


Fantastic stuff, man! Looking forward so much to next year’s rankings.

I was on the Smyly / Cobb bus for most of the season. Didn’t help. Hopefully they’ll both be better.

Hope married life is still good. Got to put in the work and effort into it.

Good luck to the Brewers next year.


6 years ago

Yeah, I thought Dallas Keuchel was a Sell High in my RCL this year. Le sigh…