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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?

“Hello, Sharks! I’m here today with a lip balm like you’ve never seen before. It only needs to be applied once, and it lasts forever. It’s called…It’s Da Balm! And it’s made out of napalm. On the tables in front of you, you will find a sample of the product. We have had no complaints! Try it please, and I think you’ll be left, as most, completely speechless, lips falling onto the floor.” Mr. Wonderful mumbles as his bottom lip falls off. “Another happy customer!” So, Alec Bohm (3-for-5, 6 RBIs, and his 9th and 10th homer) and Mark Canha (3-for-5.5 RBIs and his 9th and 10th homer) had a dueling two-homer game, both for their 9th and 10th homers. Elias Sports Bureau about to concoct some trivia out of that shizz! Mark Canha’s homers ended up being more important, but you know him. Alec Bohm or Alec Bohm for 2023 fantasy baseball? Do you know him? Maybe, but let’s see. He’s corrected what was hurting him last year in a big way. His Launch Angle (10.7) almost doubled this year, and his flay ball rate, while no one would consider it elite, it’s much better (28.7%). Don’t love that his HardHit% has come down, but it’s still top 50-ish in the league and his exit velo (90 MPH) is solid. Bohm’s 2023 price will be interesting to see, and a buying opportunity might be present. Not sure if a sleeper is in the works, though. He doesn’t feel on the precipice of being jaw-droppingly great. Or lip-droppingly. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Stands from a folding chair, and clears throat. I’m in the back of a church. Around me a group of people who look like they need a cigarette. The group leader asks me to introduce myself. “Hi, I’m Grey, and it’s my first time here.” Everyone murmurs hi to me. I force a smile. Then, I continue, “Yesterday, I not only thought about a perfect game happening while it was in the process of happening, but I also mentioned it to my wife, Cougs. It was me, who jinxed Drew Rasmussen.” Everyone nods their head. One guy who’s wearing a Steel Panther shirt says, “I did the same during Armando Galarraga’s.” Reactions from the group members, they can’t believe he jinxed Armando. I continue, “That makes me feel better, actually. Armando’s jinx is much worse than mine.” Steel Panther Guy screams, “I jinxed it, but I inadvertently caused instant replay to be adopted!” As he stormed out of the room. The leader swallows hard, “Um, thanks for sharing, Grey.” So, I turned the TV onto Drew Rasmussen (8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.80), and his Maddux perfecto just in time to jinx him. Sigh, my bad. The trade of Willy Adames for Rasmussen has ended up working for both teams, and for all involved in fantasy. Rasmussen has been mostly Yesmussen with a 7.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, and 3.68 xFIP as he throws a slider that’s mostly unhittable (.212 BAA), and not just by the O’s. His 38.6% HardHit% would be around Sandy Alcantara, Gerrit Cole and Kevin Gausman. I blame myself for yesterday’s perfect game lost in the 9th, but, in 2023 fantasy, Rasmussen is going to be undervalued, even though the Rays haven’t had a bad pitcher in, like, ten years. (Hyperbole to make a point; don’t tell me about Yarbrough.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Guess what, y’all?! A new Spencer Torkelson dropped! No, he’s nothing like that old Spencer Torkelson! For one, he’s not young! He’s more like a new older Spencer Torkelson! For two, the Tigers are calling up Kerry Carpenter because they have no conceivable reason to keep him down anymore, because of the stats he was putting up in the minors — .316/.384/.653 with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs in 96 games between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. That’s the Mecca of Ohio. It’s why it’s called Holy Toledo. He was on a recent prospect stash list by Itch, and I say stop stashing and start doing! Comerica Park sucks. More like Crummica! Owned it! But someone making that good of contact with that sorta power is worth a look in deeper mixed leagues. Let’s see if Carpenter can drum up some offense and make the Tigers’ stop feeling like Rainy Days and Mondays. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Engine revs. It’s the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. Only instead of a Oscar Mayer hat on its front hood, it’s wearing a Padres cap. It’s staring down a lonely country road. Directly, a mile down, aimed right at it is the Dodgers’ team bus. The Dodgers’ team bus revs.

A half mile in front of each of them, at the midpoint is “1st place in the NL West.” What we have here is a game a chicken. Who will get there first? Behind the Dodgers’ team bus wheel is Magic Johnson. Behind the Padres’ pimped-out Weinermobile is the San Diego Chicken. “You’re going mano a chicken? With the Chicken?! This is not a game you want to play, Magic?” That’s the actor who played Magic in the Showtime series on HBO shouting at Magic. “A Showtime series on HBO? Are you talking riddles, Albright?!” That’s the voice inside my head. Back to the white hot asphalt! The San Diego Chicken guns it towards the Dodgers’ team bus! Magic slams down the gas!

Careening down the road, the Chicken bawks, “They need to lose some extra weight!” To get up to speed, the Padres throw out MacKenzie Gore, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III, James Wood and Jarlin Susana. For Magic to get the Dodgers to increase speed, he throws out an anecdote about him hugging Isiah Thomas at half court. “You need more speed, Magic!” The actor who played Magic in the Showtime HBO series screams. Magic says, “Have you heard about the one of me and Clyde the Glide?” It’s not enough! The San Diego Chicken is the type that drives right towards a big trade and waits for the other team to swerve. It ain’t afraid — it accepts that Gore is sometimes necessary.

So, Juan Soto goes to the Padres. They have Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Sexy Dr. Pepper? Um…

Seriously…

Like seriously seriously…

Fun the Jewels, Macho Manny and Sexy Dr. Pepper. Guys and five lady readers, I am doing a horny. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ah, the smell of a new clubhouse! This week marks our favorite time of year: where winning MLB teams acquire great players to make their championship runs, and where losing teams sell their top players for minor leaguers nobody will see until 3 years from now [stares at Simeon Woods-Richardson]. If you’re a fan of a team that’s buying, congrats! I hope you get a Juan Soto in your “Christmas in July” stocking that hangs over the fire pit. For the rest of us that sing the praises of teams who are classic “selling” teams, may your up-turned cocktail glasses bring you solace.

Let’s check in on the deals and rumors!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH.)

Leody Taveras reminds me of how Marshall Applewhite, the co-leader of the Heaven’s Gate cult, made everyone change their name so it ended with -ody. Too bad he had his entire cult leave behind their earth skins, like they were dry potato skins at TGIF’s that was lacking some sour cream, because Marshall Applewhite would be walking around right now gleefully, “Whody on First? Whatody on 2nd? I don’t knowody on third? Becausody is supposed to be in center, but Leody has replaced him.” That’s Marshall Applewhite, known Hale-Bopp comet and fantasy baseball lover. He called himself Bo and his co-leader called herself Peep (or vice versa, I don’t know), but it’s funny to think about the one guy in the cult who was prolly like, “Hey, uh, guys, Little Bo Peep is one character, and you’ve separated the names into two. It would be like two people renaming themselves Michael and Vincent after Jan-Michael Vincent.” Any hoo! Leody Taveras was a sleeper of mine last year; loved him because of his ability to hit for power and steal some bags, while having great contact, but that fish got flushed when he didn’t pan out. Hows’ever, Leody’s still only 23 years old, has 70-grade speed, surprising power, and he’s currently hitting. That’s right, he’s returned from the dead! (Like those Heaven’s Gate people anticipated.) Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For what it’s Cronenworth, I wrote this prior to the news the Yankees were acquiring Andrew Benintendi:

Let’s make it 2-for-2 off the bat and DFA Joey Gallo! That would also be a better hitting line than Gallo’s ever had. The Mets got the Yanks so shook after a walk-off win they went out and acquired a guy who can’t even play in Toronto in the playoffs. Doesn’t seem like the smartest of trades, but I’m sure Cashman did his research. So, the assumption is Hicks goes to the bench (finally!), and Benintendi goes out to left field. Then what happens when Giancarlo returns, and they trade for David Peralta and Matt Carpenter hits 6 homers in a week and the sky is falling! I don’t know. Benintendi is clearly helped by this move, due to the stadium and lineup, but he does have a very flat Launch Angle and kinda makes baby contact, so I don’t think this boosts Benintendi to, say, a top 20 outfielder. He’s around a top 40 outfielder now, and I’d say he’s top 30 now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Poor Red Sox fans. After being subjected to Mookie Betts game winning home run and his game ending diving catch only a night before, Friday night the Blue Jays completed a historic Beantown beatdown at Fenway scoring 28, yes, TWENTY EIGHT runs on the Sawx hapless pitching staff like it was CFL game. Boston Massacre, […]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Max Meyer is being called up. *does a highly-choreographed handshake with self that ends with me miming putting food in my mouth* We eating tonight! Three of the last four on Itch’s prospect stash list was Esteury Ruiz, Vinnie Pasquantino and Max Meyer. With Meyer’s promotion, they’ll all be up. Where you at, Miguel Vargas?! I already gave you a Max Meyer fantasy when it appeared like he’d be called up in May. Then he was sidetracked with an injury, but he’s healthy now and, like I said, we’re eating! Will he stay up if Edward Cabrera or Luzardo get healthy? If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d be diabetic squirrels. Meyer might be good for another 50-60 IP, which is nearly a full 2nd half, I grabbed him in my 15-team mixed league immediately, then hemmed-and-hawed for fifteen minutes, and finally grabbed him in my 12-team mixed RCL, too, but we’ll see if I hold him there. Pitchers are pretty plentiful to be holding a possible roofie. He could be the best starter call-up we see this year. *mimes filling a dog bowl, puts it by feet, gets on knees and sticks face in bowl* We eating! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?