Please see our player page for Jack Flaherty to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

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?

WooWeeWooWaa.mp3. HolyCow.wav. Sound of eyes popping from Sylvester the Cat. Kyle Bradish did what? Kyle Bradish did:  8 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 10 Ks vs. the Astros. I’m sorry, but I’m gonna sue somebody for making my heart pitter-patter too fast. Who do I contact for that? Oh, no, I’m…*puts handkerchief to forehead, faints into a beanbag that’s wearing Giancarlo jersey and pasted-on magazine face of his* Oh my goodness, I’m talking like a Southern belle. So, Streamonator‘s got steam rising from its robot ears that was so gorgeous. Looking at Kyle Bradish big picture, long-term, for 2023 fantasy baseball, and, well, he’s got four pitches — 95 MPH fastball, 87 MPH slider, 83 MPH curve, and 90 MPH change. His command is kinda atrocious, though better in his 100+ IP in the majors than it was in the low minors. Maybe he’s figured out something here as he turns 25. Not going to write him off completely, because Camden is now one of the best pitchers’ parks, and his stuff was solid in search of command. If the command’s there, I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s a name we go back to next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Frequent commenter, PK, said the other day, “We have Hunter Greene, and now Hunter Brown in the big leagues. Just need a Hunter Orange to complete the redneck trifecta!” And I haven’t stopped thinking about that, so now you also have to think about it. Hey, PK, save the genius stuff for me! Or, Hunter Brown (6 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, 1 walk, 5 Ks), as was the case yesterday in his MLB debut. At some point, the Astros have to stop creating top flight arms, don’t they? Wait a second! You know how the A’s went from attracting fans with OBP to allowing fans to have sex in the bleachers (sorta true, google it, if you don’t believe me), from Moneyball to NoMoneyball to Hornyball. Maybe the Astros are going from the Cheaty Cheaty Bang Bang Scandal to some other scandal we don’t know about yet that turns guys like Framber into aces. Mentioned this on the podcast the other day, which is on Youtube, and will be out on our regular podcast channel today, when discussing Hunter Brown. Astros get so much more from their starters than anyone expects. Why? Is something suspicious going on? Sorry, cheat once and I always think you’re cheating. With Hunter Brown, people actually expect nasty stuff, and with good reason. He has a filthy 85 MPH curve, 96 MPH slider — that’s right, 96 MPH! That’s the fastest slider in the majors this year, outside of deGrom — and a 97 MPH fastball. If you didn’t watch him, all the pitches looked devastatingly good. Now’s the time when I turn this back into the here and now and for this year, you’re likely better off with the Streamonator than holding Brown. Also, holding Brown is how one gets sepsis. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

About a month ago, we joined hands in a prayer circle and prayed to the Ghost of Tommy John that he wouldn’t claim the elbows of any of our fantasy starters. So far, so good. Tommy John must have approved of our sacrifice of Coolwhip and offerings of Orange Julius! Thank you for your service to Razzball, Whip, and please don’t haunt us. We were just trying to win! But for real, Whip is alive and kicking and that Orange Julius in fresh in my hand, ready for slurping through a hot dog straw.

The majority of y’all who are still attending my weekly starting pitcher therapy sessions are here because you’re in the fantasy playoffs. If so, drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you need, friend! For everybody else, I assume you’re here either because of inertia, my jokes, or you just want to see if I somehow lose my sanity and tell you to spend all of your dynasty bucks on Sandy Alcantara. The latter will never happen. 

Let’s jump in and see what we can do for your fantasy playoffs! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to another week of Ambulance Chasers, your Razzball fantasy baseball injury report. I am beginning to wonder about my job security because the number of MLB injuries has dropped off significantly in the past two weeks. However, this job in injury is normal. There was a study that found most MLB shoulder injuries occur […]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Have you ever been to Staten Island? Shame if not. It’s one of the best boroughs. Imagine if they built a pizzeria on top of a garbage dump. That’s Staten Island. On Staten Island, there’s a Mother Mary statue on every lawn, as far as the eye can see. On each Mother Mary statue, there’s garland and Christmas lights. All year around. If you were to turn on all those Mother Mary Christmas lights statues together, you could see them from the moon. The electric bill would be a fortune too, about as much to cover the gabagool expenses for the entire borough. Anyway, you take all those Mother Mary Christmas lights statues’ electrical power, and you still don’t have the power of Vinnie Pasquantino and the sheer electricity he brings. In 69 games — hey now! — of Triple-A, he had 18 HRs and a 12.2% strikeout rate. What is he, a power hitter that’s gonna hit .280? Mama mia, that’s Italian! His walk rate (12.5%) was over his strikeout rate! *pinching the cheeks of Vinnie Pasquantino’s player page* You’re so handsome! With Carlos Santana being traded to the Mariners — figured Carlos Santana would’ve went for a last hoorah in Philly with Rob Thomson, but oh well — Vinnie Pasquantino is worth a flyer for power in all leagues. It’s Vinnie Pasquantino PaiSZN! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve been staring at the sun, wondering when the hydrogen will be exhausted and if I have enough time for my crypto 401K to return to profitability before we all end up in a black hole. Maybe that’ll put the current global milieu in perspective. Everything we own, all that we do, will turn to dust and ash as the sun enters a red giant phase and envelops the earth in its helium-fueled delirium. Maybe by then I’ll understand the appeal of BTS. Maybe by then pitchers will be predictable.

In the meantime, we keep rolling — you, me, the guy down the street. We roll week after week, thinking that we armchair astrologers of baseball have some sort of seance equipment that tells us — accurately — the future performance of a player. Yet every time I consult my crystal ball, all I hear is “variance.” Same as it was last year, same as it is this year. People forget, Alec Mills and his 62MPH curveball was a top 20 pitcher through half of 2020. Last year’s #1 SP, Max Scherzer, had a 3.00 ERA / near 4.00 FIP through the first month, followed by a lackluster July where he had a 5.32 ERA and FIP (take that regression!) and a Robbie Ray-esque 2.3 HR/9. Again, this is the #1SP of 2021 and future first ballot Hall of Famer Max Scherzer we’re talking about. Being a good fantasy pitcher isn’t about being good every day. Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt didn’t become A-listers by being perfect in every single role. Amazon — the company — didn’t make a profit for nearly a decade after its founding. Same thing goes for pitches — being status quo is fine, but aces just tend to perform a bit better when they’re successful. Which brings me to the ol’ quote that should hang above your fantasy mantle: Being a good fantasy pitcher, is about being a better pitcher than other pitchers more often than not. If every pitcher in the league has a 4.50 ERA, the pitcher with a 4.49 ERA is the best in that category.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Sunday, Jose Urquidy went 7 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 3 Ks, ERA at 4.36, which, honestly, is kinda whatever, until you hear this one. The Giancarlo homer (his 17th) in the 7th was the first hit by the Yankees in 16 1/3 IP, and nearly 41 hours. *letting out the longest woof known to man* On Saturday, Cristian Javier didn’t come up short (7 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, one walk, 13 Ks, ERA at 2.73). Well, he kinda did, since the Astros needed two more pitchers for the combined no-hitter in Yankee Stadium. After the game, there was an interview with Cristian Javier where he thanked God multiple times, so as we thought, God hates the Yankees. It’s a brutal way to lose a game, but it’s gotta be demoralizing to hear the Big Man Upstairs hates your guts. Listen, no-hit me, talk that trash, but thank God afterwards proving God hates me? That’s soul-crushing. Actually, I’m a bit scared to write about the no-hitter. The Clay Holmes’s official scorer might go in and change a ground ball to a hit just to feel something. Welp, we got ourselves a top 100 starts of the year page, and you can see for yourself where Javier landed with that gem. If you got sonavabenched by that one, well, God might not like you either. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Takes off Hello Kitty headphones, places head on the train tracks. Faintly off in the distance, I can hear the very subtle call of exuberance. A very, small yay. That’s the sound of the one fantasy baseball owner who has Isaac Paredes in their lineup for his three-homer night (3-for-3, 4 RBIs, 6th, 7th, and 8th homer). I’ll be real with you, I was sweating this one for Mark Whiten. Back in 1993, Whiten glued four baseballs to his hand back, and he ain’t trying to get a new member of the club. For those of you singing, “I love a Paredes,” I know. This would’ve been Ethel Merman’s best day in fantasy baseball. RIP, you bussin’ Queen. Any hoo! Hard to hit three homers and not be a schmotato, so I could see grabbing Paredes, but Cash is there. Cash’s favorite movie? Platoon. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?