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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:

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Bargains…Bargains…Bargains!  Today, we’re all about bargains.  I’m all about supporting small businesses and we’re going to extend that philosophy to DFS today.  Why pay up for a name brand when the local brand is as good, or better, at a much more reasonable cost?  Don’t overlook these players because they are making the MLB minimum […]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rocco Baldelli asked to see James Karinchak’s hair this past weekend to see if he had any foreign substance in there, to see if he was cheating, and I said, in my head, “Karinchak is getting a call from the manager, so that makes Baldelli a Karencheck,” and now Karencheck pulled Joe Ryan (7 IP, 0 ER, 2 walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.83) from a no-hitter in the 7th with 106 pitches thrown. Karencheck! You wanna make new rules, MLB? (By the way, in the video at top of this post, it’s this week’s podcast, where BDon and I discuss the new rules — it’s about 10 minutes in.) How about this new rule, no matter what, if the player is healthy, they have to pitch if there’s a no hitter? Make that a rule, you sissies! *puts chew in bottom lip, accidentally swallows chew, vomits up chew and vomit spells out “THAT’S WHAT REAL MEN DO”* My vomit is calling you out, Karencheck! Joe Ryan’s peripherals are 9.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 4.40 xFIP and a hilariously terrible ground ball rate (26.6%), so he’s very susceptible to homers, and that burned him at times this year. How’sever, Joe Ryan for 2023 fantasy, I’m still a believer, as long as he doesn’t show up at camp with a dead arm (lots of IP this year). He’s a rookie, who had excellent command in the minors, and hasn’t scratched that surface yet. Joe Ryan for 2023 fantasy will be an ace or need to be shutdown in the spring with arm issues. Roll that dice, you momma’s boys, and don’t make me spell out things in my vomit anymore! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rangers have called up Josh Jung. Heads over to Amazon to order a megaphone; sits by door to wait three to five days for shipping; argues with Cougs about how we should get Prime; being told we do have Prime, it’s just I don’t have Prime; we argue more, and, finally, the megaphone arrives after five days. I rip apart the packaging, and push button, but I need batteries. I beg Cougs for our Prime password, so I can get batteries quicker, she acquiesces, and the next day, when the batteries arrive, I load them into the megaphone, press the button and scream, “LET’S F***ING GO!” The asterisks were megaphone feedback. So, Josh Jung finally gets the call, and he’s a immediate add in all leagues. He’s got 60-grade power, and shouldn’t struggle to hit for a decent average. Has no speed, and you never know what a guy is going to do in only a month of time, but I’m here for the Rangers’ Ponce De Leon’ing to get Jung again, and so should you. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Itch and I were having a discussion yesterday and I’m going to paraphrase it here:

Itch, “I know the Cubs are not good. I just cannot remember a trade as weird as the Jordan Montgomery thing. Why would the Yankees trade Jordan Montgomery for Harrison Bader? Like, you find out the guy (Bader), is hurt you cancel the trade, you don’t trade for him on purpose. They (the Yankees) had a deal in hand for someone, is the story Cashman is leaking?”
Me, “Yeah, but it’s not why. We’re missing a piece of the details. People being told, ‘The Yanks had a deal in place’ or ‘Jordan Montgomery wasn’t making the playoff rotation, and the Yankees need defense because Aaron Hicks is awful’ are not real reasons. That’s just what they’re feeding people. We do not know the real reason. We’re missing a piece that makes the trade make sense, and, without that reason, we will never know.”
Itch, “I meant to text my brother. Who is this? Grey? I want to punch you so bad.”

We may never know why the Yankees traded Jordan Montgomery (9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.08), but it wasn’t because he’s a bad pitcher. He was a sleeper last year for me, and I think people still underestimate him. He won’t blow you away with strikeouts for 2023 fantasy either. His ground balls are up (not literally) going from 42.7% to 47.1%. His command is immaculate (1.7 BB/9), down almost a full walk per nine. That is my one concern about him for 2023 fantasy. When you have a 7.8 K/9, you kinda have to be perfect with your command. You lose a fraction of that command and your ERA goes from 3.30-ish to 3.85+. Usable, but not nearly as lovable for this JoMosexual. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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

“Hey, I’m Guy Frieri shouting from a cherry-red car and we’re rolling out to some of my favorite Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives! Today, we’re going to Red Bank, New Jersey to visit a little hole in the wall called Aunt Flow’s, where Joey Meneses has established his special take on Italian food. This puttanesca red sauce? You’re not gonna wanna miss!”

After Guy Frieri parks his car; high-fives a patron; randomly runs into a retired NFL player who is still wearing his jersey; tries a deep-fried seafood platter; does the “hunch,” and remarks about how many items are on the well-laminated menu, he gets to the back kitchen, and addresses Joey Meneses, “You’re gonna drop in that mirepoix and let it develop nice color, is that right?”

Meneses looks at Guy then the camera and shouts, “Leave me alone! It’s that time of the month and I didn’t invite you back here! Get out! Aunt Flow’s is closed to business for three to five days!”

So, Joey Meneses has left Aunt Flow’s for 28 days a month to hit for power on our fantasy teams. I did some conjecture on the podcast this week — available to watch now on Youtube! — about Joey Meneses’s hot hitting and Josh Bell’s slump. My thoughts were punctuated with some um’s, but the gist was: If there’s no one in Washington to hit, pitchers will challenge Meneses, not pitch around him, and just let him hit solo homers. On the reverse, Bell now has a good lineup, and pitchers are being more exact with him. It’s conjecture, but con makes a ject out of U R E. Okay, that makes no sense, but you hear me. Meneses was a 20 homer guy with a .286 average in Triple-A this year, but he was about seven years too old for that level. He’s a Quad-A player but a Quad-A player with power is exactly the kind of guy that could excel in the final weeks when pitchers are like, “Meh, what the eff, just pitch him some meatballs.” Did someone say meatballs?! I’m gonna meatball you! Get out of my kitchen! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?