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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.

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All the final 2022 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball. This is NOT for next year (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts). This is a recap. Will these affect next year’s rankings? Sure. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. Not entirely. Yes, entirely. Like when you had a knee replacement, this is a recap! To recapitulate the recap, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Well. This is it.   You’ve been thinking And I’ve been drinking We both know that it’s just so right Now you’re pretending That it’s not ending (The season) You’ll say anything to avoid a fight Grey don’t lie, and tell me that you need me Grey don’t cry, and tell me nothing’s wrong I’ll […]

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“Hey, yo, long-time listener, first-time caller, this is Jimmy from Dyker Heights. The Mets, guy, are killin’ me with the freakin’ James McCann, guy. I said to my ma, “Ma, what are the Mets doing, guy, they’re throwing away everything they’ve built this year to have this stunod behind the plate. Why don’t they try callin’ up what’s-his-face Francisco Alvarez. He’s the future, right, guy? The right guy, guy? You know what I’m sayin’ here, guy. Jesus effin Christ, ma, lower your freaking Dean Martin, I’m on the phone with WFAN! I read on Razzball dot com this Prospect Itch guy said a few months ago, and I quote, ‘A rare backstop in that Francisco Alvarez features plus athleticism and foot-speed, Alvarez stands alone atop minor league catcher mountain after Adley Rutschman joined the Orioles. Alvarez generates easy loft from a strong natural uppercut. After demolishing A ball for 15 games, Alvarez got the quick bump to A+ and struggled a bit before surging to finish with 22 HR and 6 SB in 84 games. That’ll play. His 12/24.6 BB/K rate ain’t too shabby either, especially considering he was 3.9 years younger than his average competitor.’ Badda bing badda boom, call this guy up, guy!” So, Jimmy from Dyker Heights got his wish, and Itch’s words speak to the excitement we should have for Francisco Alvarez next year. For this year? Well, if you wanna try to catch lightning in a bottle by all means, guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hey everybody! This article will wrap up my 2022 starting pitcher analysis. I’ll explain my rankings process, highlight some notable successes, and highlight the deficiencies. Along the way, I’ll teach you how to build your ranking sheet from Razzball data! If you’re the kind of person that thinks managing an Excel sheet with 3,000 data points is fun, this article is for you!

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Julio Rodriguez (2-for-3, 2 runs) slammed (26) and leggsed (25) his way to history. Arod once went 40/40 for them, which begs the question, “Why don’t the Mariners sign more Rodriguezes?” Didn’t they learn from Baltimore when they stopped signing Robinsons? So, Julio Rodriguez becomes the fastest to 25/25 in just 125 games, beating Mike Trout (128 games), and Julio Rodriguez becomes the fastest to be the apple of my eye. The bounce in my step. The who in my ha. The cha-ching on my register. The Chachi on my Happy Days. The hill in my soap box derby. The wind beneath my Barbara Hersey wings. The TV without the motion smoothing. The cooler that holds a backup kidney if I need one. Belting at the top of my lungs, “You are my sunshine. My only sunshine!” BDon and I talk in the video at the top of the page about where do Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani fall in the 2023 fantasy baseball drafts, but Julio Rodriguez in 2023 fantasy? Is he any later than top 5? Before or after Judge? Ohtani? I’m not trying to commit just yet, but they’re all gonna be in that general vicinity. “General vicinity” is a fantasy baseball ‘pert’s greatest hedge. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Hola, fellow español speakers! Today’s word is Triston Casas (1-for-4)! Let’s break it down into parts! Triston is pronounced Tris like a Tris Speaker. Not the old-timey baseball player, but like a speaker who is saying the word Tris. Next part is ton like, “I ate a ton of churros and now I am sneezing cinnamon sugar.” Say the last name with me now…Ca-thathss. The last part you say like a Spanish snake. Like a snake you find in the desert outside of Barth-a-lona. A snake with a lisp. Try the whole thing now, Triston Cathathss. Bueno! *maracas around room* Cathathss! Cathathss! Cathathss! So, yesterday or today or last week doesn’t really matter for when the Red Sox called up Triston Casas, but if you think he was called up on Sunday simply because now he’s earned his place, like he got the ring from Gollum and deposited in the mouth of some volcano or whatever that quest was of those hill trolls, you’re sadly mistaken. Triston Casas has been ready for a while, but baseball is still broken for when prospects are called up. Rather than change the world’s problems today, let’s look at Triston Casas. Hey, what do you know, I already gave you my Triston Casas fantasy! So ridiculous that I figured (correctly) he’d have 300+ ABs this year. Because he’s been ready! If you don’t care what I say, here’s what Itch said, “Triston Cases has learned late at-bat traits to help him hang against a variety of experienced pitchers, and perhaps he’s carried some of those hang-in-there strategies to early-count situations against pitchers he’s never seen before. Whatever it is, I like it. Unlike Grey, who I hate.” Really not cool! I’d grab Triston Casas in every league. He’s got elite approach and power. For what he will do the final month? No one knows, because it’s a small sample, but worth finding out. Finally, Casas is home. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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First thing you do in Cincy? Eat some spaghetti with chili. Second thing you do, take a picture by the Harambe statue in front of the Cincy Zoo. Third thing you do, make a wager with Pete Rose’s bookie. Fourth thing, tell people that like Johnny Bench used to hold seven baseballs in his hand, your daddy used to hold eight. Then, when asked, you show your father’s picture, which is Jimmy Connors. Fifth thing you do, is go to Great American Park and hit some homers. Tyler O’Neill (2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 11th and 12th homer) knows what’s up; Albert Pujols (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer) knows how to hit the special baseballs marked by Manfred “Easy Fly” as he marches towards 700; Corey Dickerson (3-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 5th homer as he stays about as hot as anyone; TJ Friedl (1-for-4 with his 3rd homer) goes bang-zoomie, and is challenging Corey Dickerson as one of the hottest schmotatoes in fantasy; Stuart Fairchild (2-for-4 with his 4th homer) has three homers in four games as he keeps pace with Dickerson and Friedl; Chuckie Robinson (1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer)…well, who the fu*kie is Chuckie Robinson? Is he What We Do In The Shadows’s Colin Robinson’s child that he had with that doll? So, Tyler O’Neill has been a real Richard Chamberlain in the side of his owners. Ya know, Chamberlain played a Thorn and O’Neill plays for the Cards, who are birds, so he’s a Thorn Bird. Are y’all following or do you need more crumbs? Honestly, I think O’Neill’s been hurt this year. This was supposed to be the year he cemented himself in the top 20 overall. Instead, he fit our fantasy teams for cement boots. His Launch Angle is down; his HardHit% is down; ground balls are up; listen, nothing’s working. If he has been hurt, then 2023 Tyler O’Neill could be a nice bounce back candidate next year. His price will definitely be much cheaper — “barely at all” is my guess. Can he bounce back? Absolutely. If the price for Tyler O’Neill in 2023 fantasy is where I think it might be, Tyler O’Neill is going to find himself on quite a few sleeper lists. For this year, I like him if he’s hot, but I stopped holding my breath. *lowers head, barely audible* Because I’m wearing a snorkel! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you’re anything like me, you’re currently in grass-stained covered sweatpants trying to eek out an extra minute of summer before the kids go back to school. Or, apparently, for most of you southerners, your kids have been in school for like two weeks. Somewhere out there, there’s SouthernwhereBlair who writes for RassBalls and discusses tight-pantsed pitchers. Or maybe that’s just me projecting my best self. Thanks, therapy! ENYWHEY. Let’s spend the next 1800 words discussing our favorite pitchers and why they make our pants tight.

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Justin Verlander (6 IP, 0 ER, no baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 1.87) is built different. At 39 years of age, he is dominating like he’s in his 20s. He’s doing things that have never been done before, while just coming back from Tommy John surgery. He truly is remarkable. I have an idea about how he’s performing so well, but to test my theory, I need to sleep with Kate Upton. I will talk to my wife, Cougs, and I will need to get Justin and Kate’s permission, as well. For science is how I will pitch it, and I’ll need to pitch better than Justin to get this to fly. I believe this is a sacrifice all four of us can make. I will be making perhaps the biggest sacrifice. For 2023 fantasy, what will Justin Verlander do as an encore after this season? His peripherals (8.9 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 3.36 xFIP) look basically the same as his first Cy Young award that he won back in 2011, and, he should win his third this year. There’s no way I’m betting against Justin Verlander next year, not until everyone involved lets me sleep with Kate Upton to see if that has magical powers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I know it’s stone fruit season, but check out the plums on the Diamondbacks! They called up Stone Garrett (2-for-3). Mean’s while, Corbin Carroll remains a stone’s throw away. What’s that all about? This guy may be Stone, but it’s still Rock and Carroll to me! Garrett’s numbers are goofy, and goofy is good. 28/15/.278 in 385 ABs should definitely get the berries tingling. Here’s what Prospect Itch has said, “(Diamondbacks’) AAA numbers are always inflated, but Garrett’s plus power and .375/.430/.764 slash line look good enough to mix in with that lineup, at least. Garrett’s a guy with big raw power, who gains a little value in an environment where it’s harder to clear the fence. He’s looking at near-term playing time and has enough speed to help us in roto leagues if he gets the time. If only I had time to beat up Grey.” Dude, cmon! In an NL-Only league, I’m absolutely interested. In mixed leagues, I’m kinda wait-and-see for now, but that could change very quickly. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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