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A new week, a new group of players to rank!

Welcome to this week’s edition of 2023 Top Keepers. The focus this time around is on starting pitchers.

As a group, I like starting pitchers more than relievers. At least with starters you don’t get the wild inconsistency that you get from relievers. Yes, a starter can have a bad year or one can come out of nowhere to have a great season. But as a whole, there is a little more projectability with this group.

Sticking with Youth

Unlike my top reliever’s list, where talent is the top factor in determining who the top keepers are, age plays more of a factor in these rankings. When it comes to keepers, I am giving a little more weight to dynasty leagues, and age plays a huge factor in that. If 27-year-old Zac Gallen is comparable to 31-year-old Kevin Gausman, then give me the 27-year-old Gallen.

Injuries also knocked pitchers down a little more than they do in my position rankings. I’m always a little weary of pitchers coming back from injuries. I probably shouldn’t since they always seem to bounce back these days. But nevertheless, I am not one to easily change my ways. So sorry, Jack Flaherty, for being in Tier 5. But perhaps you should stop getting hurt or at least post great numbers when you return from an injury.

A quick note: ages are as of now and obviously the team is who they played for this past season. Teams may change for 2023, ages certainly will.

Anyway, enough of the banter. Let’s get rolling with the Top 2023 Keepers – Starting Pitchers edition.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’ve gone over the final 2022 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters. This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15. That’s hardcore nerd shizz! This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left. You’re welcome. I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2023 rookies. Let’s boogie to the next year, boogiers! Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Shh…That was what I was saying yesterday. I was like a librarian with my index finger pressed to my collagen-filled lips. I was lowering the shades of my house hoping no one passing by would see how well Luis Severino was pitching. My phone rang; it was a telemarketer, and I talked to them for 45 minutes because I knew if they were talking to me, then they couldn’t be watching Luis Severino and getting excited for him for 2023 fantasy. One less person who’s going to be get all Jazzy Jeff’d for Luis Severino. I don’t need people seeing that! Yesterday, Luis Severino went 7 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, 1 walk, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.18, as he was throwing speedballs by everyone, just peppering 98 to 100 MPH fastballs into the 7th inning, like it was nothing. For 2023 fantasy, Luis Severino will be going around the number three fantasy starters, and be on my short list for guys who can be an ace. I’m already thinking about the Luis Severino sleeper. I wrote a Jordan Montgomery sleeper last year, so being on the Yankees won’t preclude that possibility. Severino’s going to get all that 2023 shine! Now, that you’ve read this, set fire to your computer so no one else can read this and know how good Severino was yesterday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hey, let me ask you something, are we shipping Roger Maris Jr. and Aaron Judge‘s mom? What? Why are you booing me? Okay, serious-serious question, how many changes of clothes does Roger Maris Jr. have with him in Toronto? Okay, serious-serious-serious question, isn’t Roger Maris Jr. actually just Roger Maris but with an asterisk? Stop throwing tomatoes at me! I can’t use all my Roger Maris Jr. material anywhere else. So, Aaron Judge (1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) hit 61, becoming, what, the seventh most prolific home run hitter in a season? Honestly, when you really stop to think about what Barry Bonds did, it’s truly remarkable. I don’t care if he was sticking Babe Ruth’s DNA in his butt and Ted Williams’s DNA in his male sack, it’s freakin’ impressive! Aaron Judge? Also, incredibly impressive. I’m not going to lie, when I hear stuff like, “He becomes the first player to have 130 runs and 130 RBIs in the same season since 2007,” and how he’s almost 20 homers higher than anyone else in the majors, I get extreme FOMO for any teams of mine that don’t have him. His 60/20/.315 with 130/130 might be the best fantasy season any of us witness. Or at least until Barry Bonds returns at the age of 58 with Hack Wilson’s DNA in his arm, Ruth’s in his butt and Williams’s in his sack. Let’s go! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And thus the Gunnar Henderson Era begins, not with a whimper but with a cocking of a ballpoint pen, and the cursive of a signature by the 108-year-old Peter Angelos, signing the contract to bring Gunnar up to the majors. “Gunnar, bend down to hear what Mr. Angelos wants to tell you!” His agent yells to him. Gunnar obliges, and Peter Angelos just blehs like Dracula. It’s a fantastic scene, and one Gunnar shouldn’t soon forget. Gunnar won’t be forgotten by fantasy baseball people either, i.e., Us! (Jordan Peele’s second best film. Though, after Get Out, I think they’re all tied, if we’re being honest. Any hoo!) Gunnar Henderson is everything you want — speed, power, contact. He’s Bobby Witt Jr., but better. Call him Better Witt Jr. Actually, call Bobby Witt Jr., a poor man’s Gunnar Henderson. Call him Slingshot Henderson. Itch had Corbin Carroll way above Gunnar Henderson in his top 25 prospects, and, honestly, I don’t know why. You can ask him. Gunnar’s not even particularly high on his top 10 Orioles prospects. Perhaps Itch was once bullied by a 23-year-old who was balding and looked like Cal Ripken Jr. Who’s to say? I’m grabbing Gunnar in every league. With only a month left, he might do nothing, but Gunnar also might immediately click click boom. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBIs with his 32nd and 33rd homer. Au Shizz twizz! Paul Goldschmidt leads the NL in batting average; Goldy leads the NL in RBIs; Au Shizz is two behind the NL league leader in homers (The Schwammer). That’s right, Goldy could be the first NL Triple Crown winner since Ducky Medwick in 1937. Since Ducky Medwick won that Triple Crown, MLB has changed the baseballs five times in the last six years; Rob Manfred has invented something called ghost runners, and they’re not wearing full-body sheets; there were 7-inning doubleheaders that everyone hated except Rob Manfred, and Cheez Whiz was invented. That’s all the major things since 1937. That’s all of them. Don’t try to do a google for more. *rips Google out of hands* I said no more googling! Usually by mid-August, I make these ledes slightly geared towards 2023 fantasy, but I don’t know what there’s to say on Paul Goldschmidt other than he was incredible in the 1st half (.330/.414/.590), and he’s actually gotten better in the 2nd half (.350/.425/.728). If you thought Au Shizz was Old Shizz, you misread the shizzuatation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Went over the top 25 last week and the comments reminded me to point something out about these rankings. In an effort to be as objective as possible, I am presenting them in the exact order of their projections. One of the great things about points leagues is how straightforward they are. That being said, the exact ranking that an individual player has next to his name isn’t important. In many cases, players are clustered together with four or five guys separated by only a couple points. This basically groups everyone into tiers, afterall, a single homerun one way or the other could shift a guys projection up or down multiple spots in the rankings. The moral of the story is, don’t read too much into what rank a guy holds on this list. Best of luck in the second half and may you bring home that championship. And now, on to the best of the rest.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to PBMs and decided if you can’t beat them, join them! Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post. Here, enjoy some coffee. Oops, you just drank rat poison. I should’ve used different mugs. Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than rostering Jonathan India in the 1st half. Oh, you rostered him, and that’s why you drank the poison? Now, I’m following! Hey, I’m supposed to be leading! *does a teapot with both hands on hips and shakes head* Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2022 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up! But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest! So, as with all of the other 2022 fantasy baseball rankings, slop this up with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Aaron Judge number one, and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with the top players after we lost Tatis this preseason. As I say about the Giancarlo underwear I bought off eBay, why soil a good thing? This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Juan Soto did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because, well, we have to believe in miracles — my 12-year-old self would want that, and to sleep with Cher. 12-year-old Grey loved Cher. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2022. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do. It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2022:

Please, blog, may I have some more?