If only I had a top performing pitcher to highlight that was the son of an ex-pitcher to really drive home my title. I guess I could discuss Dereck Rodriguez, but his daddy was a catcher. I could change the title to “Son of a Catchter”, but it doesn’t have the same ringtone. While I am here, however, let’s give him a quick shout. Over eight starts Pudge Junior is averaging 16.50 points per start. That sandwiches him in between Lance McCullers (16.42)  and Mike Clevinger (16.37). Ignoring the small sample size factor, that puts him inside the top 30. And the list of pitchers ahead of him reads pretty much like a who’s who of who you’d expect the top starting pitchers to be. One surprise on that list is Ross Stripling, whose last name sounds like a little person (midget for you less PC readers) that takes their clothes off for money. Stripling has a 2.43 ERA, is averaging more than 20 points per start and is striking out more than ten batters per nine. His numbers (xFIP of 2.83) say he’s the real deal. And guess what, he’s got RP eligibility. He could end up being the waiver wire pick of the year. I haven’t given that much thought, but his name would certainly be up there. Given his year-to-date performance I’m willing to forgive him for hanging that curveball to Rhys Hoskins Monday night and costing me about ten points, but I would like a complimentary lap dance in the champagne room the next time he’s in town.

Last week I said I would focus on pitchers next week. Well this week is now next week. Did we just jump into the future? I feel like Bill and Ted when they are discussing going back in time to steal Ted’s dad’s keys. For those of you living in a cave and that haven’t heard the most excellent news… Bill and Ted 3 is in the works. Ok, back to this week. I promised pitchers, so I’ll give you pitchers.

Let’s start with my top twenty starting pitchers for the rest of the season.

  1. Chris Sale – 21.92 PPS
  2. Max Scherzer – 21.14 PPS
  3. Corey Kluber – 19.01 PPS
  4. Justin Verlander – 18.81 PPS
  5. Carlos Carrasco – 18.56 PPS
  6. Clayton Kershaw – 18.40 PPS
  7. Gerrit Cole – 18.36 PPS
  8. Luis Severino – 18.31 PPS
  9. Jacob deGrom – 17.77 PPS
  10. Aaron Nola – 17.56 PPS
  11. Charlie Morton – 17.21 PPS
  12. Zack Greinke – 17.01 PPS
  13. Noah Syndergaard – 16.96 PPS
  14. James Paxton – 16.89 PPS
  15. Stephen Strasburg – 16.88 PPS
  16. Jon Gray – 16.80 PPS
  17. Ross Stripling – 16.52 PPS
  18. Masahiro Tanaka – 16.42 PPS
  19. Trevor Bauer – 16.39 PPS
  20. Patrick Corbin – 16.19 PPS

Here are a few pitchers that just missed: Jose BerriosLance McCullers, Zach EflinJ.A. Happ, Robby Ray and Chris Archer.

I think the biggest WTF name in my top twenty would be Jon Gray. Wasn’t he just sent down to the Minors for sucking something awful. I’m not sure what they were thinking in the Rockies front office. Instead of attempting to reinvent the wheel, I am going to repeat myself verbatim from last week.

I have always been a big fan of Jon Gray. I own him just about everywhere. His 2018 season has been disappointing to say the least and his recent demotion to AAA was quite the bummer. However, looking at his numbers, it seems he’s not pitching all the bad. His 5.44 ERA is not very user friendly, but his FIP is 3.03 and xFIP is 2.83. Gray’s K/9 of 11.33 is in the top ten amongst starters. The pedigree is there, and so are many of the stats. In his first start back from AAA he scored 24 points. If he can build on this start he’s going to a valuable fantasy asset going forward.

As I think Grey would say, that’s me quoting me. Gray’s next start at home against the Astros will be very telling of what the rest of season might have in store.

I was very unsure as to how to rank Clayton Kershaw. I have legitimate concerns about his durability. Not to mention the fact that his strikeouts are down, his walks are up, his hits allowed are up and his ERA is up. All of his stats are trending in the wrong direction. But, and it’s a big but (think Dascha Polanco), he’s Clayton effing Kershaw.

How about a few pitchers I expect to improve moving forward.

Marcus Stroman averaged 8.38 points over his first 13 starts. That’s just awful. If he played in Colorado they would have sent him to Double A for sure. Stroman’s ERA is 5.42, but his xFIP is 3.80. His strikeouts are normal, but his walk rate is elevated and his strand rate is down. Two of his last three outings have been seven-inning quality starts. The third was against the Red Sox and it wasn’t all that bad considering his opponent.

I think/hope we are going to see some improvement from Luis Castillo. He was nearly everyone’s preseason darling. Well so far he’s in the running for biggest bust. I wouldn’t make any moves to obtain him, but if he happens to be sitting on the waiver wire, it might not hurt to pick him up. Perhaps he can offer some value on his two-start weeks like this week. He earned me 14 points for his no decision on Monday. If he can do that again on Sunday, he will have pieced together a respectable week in points leagues.

Next up is Robbie Ray. This one feels like I’m just naming a guy that everyone expects to be better than he’s been. Any time you have a pitcher that strikes out batters at the rate of Ray (12.58 K/9), there has got to be hope for success. Those strikeouts certainly help rack up the points in points leagues and help mitigate the damage done elsewhere. Considering he spent several weeks on the disabled list with an oblique injury and last year he averaged an impressive 19 points per start, I’m will to give him a partial benefit of the doubt. If things don’t work out he can always become a mascot in Tampa.

Can someone tell Obi-wan Kenobi to deliver his go-to pep talk to a struggling Cardinals pitcher. Weaver is managing just 9.8 points per start. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that he’s striking out less than a batter per inning.

Corey KluberBartolo Colon and Ivan Nova are the only three pitchers to have thrown at least 100 innings and issued less than 20 free passes. Kluber has 18 in 137.7, Colon has 18 in 111.3 and Nova has 19 in 109.3 innings pitched. As for their points per start, Kluber is about 20 and the other two are at 11.

Here’s an F, marry, kill for you all. Yu Darvish, Chris Archer and Carlos Martinez?



Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney

  1. The Scrant Dog

    Potent Skittles says:

    No love for Snell?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @Potent Skittles: Not enough to put him in the top twenty. He does fall in the top 30 however. I’ve got him at 14.78 points per start ROS…

  2. Thatguy says:

    Good stuff Mal! Fun read. Need help with a trade. H2H points league. Was offered Machado, Altuve, Hoskins, Eduardo Escobar, and Posey for Goldy, Encarnacion, Yelich, Dozier, and Hand. Thoughts?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @Thatguy: What is the scoring system? What are the keeper rules?

      Before knowing that here’s my preliminary breakdown.

      Machado and Altuve > Goldschmidt and Encarnacion
      Hoskins == Yelich
      Posey > Dozier
      I don’t care about Hand.

      So I’m want the Machado side of this deal…

  3. Thatguy says:

    Keeps are as follows

    Edwin (3rd)
    Hand (4th)

    Manny (7th)
    Hoskins (12th)
    Altuve (1st)
    Escobar (14th)
    Posey (7th)

    Scoring system is normal fairly normal points league

    Single 1
    Double 2
    Triple 3
    HR 5
    XBH 1
    Run 1
    Rbi 1
    BB 1
    Steals 2.5

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @Thatguy: No penalty for strikeouts? How many players can you keep?

  4. Thatguy says:

    Knew I’d forget something.
    K’s are -0.1.

    We can keep 5 guys
    From rds 1-14(guys drafted in rds 15-25 are considered 14th rd keeps

    Feel like this trade would help me improve my team this year and next because I would definitely keep Hoskins and manny

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @Thatguy: I’d make the trade. Who else would you keep?

  5. Thatguy says:

    Well. Altuve just left the game with knee discomfort. I better hold for now. My other keeps will probably end up being Hoskins/manny along with marte in rd 6 and Bogaerts in rd 7. Not sure on my last keep. hopefully altuve is ok

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @Thatguy: I’d hold until we get a clearer picture of his injury…

  6. thorbs says:

    Marry Martinez’s stuff, F Archer because for a one-nighter he can be all-world, and kill Darvish….he’s broken.

    How far are guys like Maeda off the list? I feel like he’s quietly outperforming guys like Tanaka (I own both and feel Maeda has been way more solid).

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @thorbs: I’ve got Maeda at about 36 on the list with a 14.69 points per start going forward. His current PPS is 15.38 and Tanaka is 15.2, but I’m going with Tanaka ROS…

  7. B. Rabbit says:

    Hey Mala,

    I’ve been running Kyle Seager out as my third basemen all year and finally, my patience is wearing thin. Someone just dropped Eduardo Escobar. Is he worth a waiver claim in place of Seager? Scoring system is:

    Singles 1
    Doubles 2
    Triples 3
    Home Runs 4
    Walks 1
    Runs Scored 1
    Runs Batted In 1
    Stolen Bases 2
    Strikeouts -1
    Caught Stealing -2
    Ground into Double Plays -1

    Seager is not someone that I would keep so this is a move for this year only.


  8. Kari Rice says:

    Love this site. Funny and close to accurate than any other sport writer’s site.
    I am in a 10 team h2h points league and with j. turner coming off dl I need to drop a player. Suggestions – Bellinger, Ohtani , Buchholtz or J. Turner.
    In my other league I picked up Rodriguez, Stripling and J. Gray.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:

      @Kari Rice: Thanks. Probably Buchholz. Put it this way. I’m in a 10-team H2H points league in its 18th year and our scoring system is skewed towards starting pitchers and Buchholz is on the waiver wire…

      • Kari Rice says:

        Thank you, appreciate your advice. J.Turnerhit a hr and Bellinger a grand slam tonight. Good thing I didn’t hit thar drop button. Ohtani sits on my bench most weeks. His status is so unpredictable, hit, pitch, dl, benched etc

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