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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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I know what you’re all doing. Counting down a New York slugger to home run immortality. Great! Me too! Pete Alonso (4-for-5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 39th homer) moves to within 34 of tying Barry Bonds. That is so laughably funny. You can have an insane year and still be almost half away from Bonds. That’s like Aaron Judge vs. everyone else this year. Almost. Still not quite as ridiculous, but close. Wait, Pete Alonso secured an even more important record — the new Mets’ RBI record (128). So, it’s been truly a fantastic year for Albombso, as he hits .270, and has a legit shot of a top five slot on the Player Rater. A lofty status for a guy who runs like he’s an insect in molasses, though, he does have five steals. For 2023 fantasy, I could see Pete Alonso still being underrated because there is no real speed, and his average this year might be considered fluky-ish, as he’s more of a .255 guy. Think you are selling him short though. For hitters with the most homers in his 1st four seasons, only three guys have more than Alonso: Ralph Kiner, Pujols and Eddie Mathews. 40 homers is the new 60 homers, and do you want a guy who is as much a lock for 40 homers as anyone? Then Albombso! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I’m going to do something completely crackers in the cabeza today, but we’re kind of at that point in the season anyway, and today’s slate of starting pitchers isn’t getting me tingly in the nether regions. Streamonator has Lucas Giolito as its top pick for the day, but I don’t hate myself nearly enough to […]

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“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:

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It’s actually as in Brett “Beatty” — not “Batty,” because I know in your head, you see Brett Baty and think Batty. Oh, yeah, I know what is going on in your head. You’re thinking I also pronounced it Brett “Batty.” Wrong, Slick Rick, the Ruler! I’m in your head, but you’re not in my head! In my head, I like to pronounce Brett Baty’s last name “Bat-Why,” and with a flourish like it’s Pad Thai. I’ll tell you Bat-Why! Bat-Why because just last week he landed on Itch’s top 25 prospects for dynasty leagues, where he said, “Brett Baty has no business in AA. He’s repeating the level after posting a 118 wRC+ in 40 games last year, and he’s slashing .355/.427/.655 with eight home runs in his last 26 games. Who’s in charge of this stuff? What’s happening here? This is dumb, so I think somehow Grey’s behind it.” Okay, not cool. Bat Why’s numbers at Double-A ended up 19 HRs, .312/.406 in 89 games, as he was finally promoted to Triple-A after Itch’s insistence, and he’s continued to hit there too. The Mets need a third baseman with Eduardo Escobar IL’d and Baty is being called up. I Bat-Why’d on all my teams where I too need a third baseman. He could be the last big call-up. By the why, who doesn’t need a 3rd baseman? The one team who drafted Jo-Jo-Ram in your league? Cool, not me, which is why I Bat-Why’d and that’s Bat-Because. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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From Trade Deadline insanity with Juan Soto to a new Royals’ middle infielder. Is that a sad trombone playing Narco by Blasterjaxx, the come-out music for Edwin Diaz? Not cool! By the way, if you don’t know Narco, you should. It’s trumpetilicious. So, with Whit Merrifield shipped off, uh, shipped towards Toronto, not sure if he can get in there, Michael Massey (2-for-3) was called up, and could see at-bats at 2nd base for the Royals. Why do we care, am I right? “Give it to me straight, Grey, I don’t have time for too much jibber-jabbering!” That’s you. Fair enough, Massey was a top 100 prospect for Itch, and he said, “Can argue for Michael Massey higher than this (in the rankings), especially if you’re seeking short-term help. He’s been a successful hitter his whole baseball life: something I always like to see. It’s rarer than you might think. Much rarer than Grey saying something dumb.” That’s not nice, man! In 33 Triple-A games, Massey went 7/4/.325 with a 24.5% strikeout rate, but he’s a high hit tool guy. Kinda reminds me a young Benintendi. Call him Youngintendi. For now, just 15 team mixed league worthy or deeper, but the monocle is on the cyclops. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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.

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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:

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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, […]

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Two homers apiece for Jesse Winker (2-for-8, hitting .226) and Juan Soto (2-for-6, 4 RBIs, hitting .245). 7th and 8th homer for Jesse Winker; 18th and 19th homer for Juan Soto. Both guys, dreadfully disappointing 1st half. For Winker, it’s kinda wild how a trade to a giant-dumptruck-on-the-ass-crack-of-bad-stadiums-for-hitters can completely derail a career. Now I know why he’s named Winker, he hoodwinked us into thinking he was a .280+ hitter. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, kazoo, Winker sucks! Neutral luck, Winker might not hit .245. Speaking of .245 said Captain Segue, Sexy Dr. Pepper is in a better place today than he was last year at this time. I’m also sick of him being in a 1st half slump every year. Is The Pepper Man disinterested? Can they trade him anywhere? Well, except to Seattle. Is he always going to be a 2nd half guy, because, while I like how he turns the Home Run Derby into a three-month thingamaderby, I wouldn’t mind if he did that for six months vs. three? How about before each game he has a coach toss him some lobs and smacks them into the upper deck? Can I be the only one ever to think of this? Why is this not going on if he keeps “needing” the “derby” to get “fixed?” I got questions, y’all! Toss Soto some 60 MPH fastballs pre-game and let’s go! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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