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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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Just yesterday, Prospect Itch featured Corbin Carroll as the number one prospect to stash, and now he’s called up. Maybe Itch can make things happen with his words, which is why I’m worried when he talks about locking me in the trunk of a car and driving me into the desert. Also, driving into the desert is Corbin Carroll! Hashtag nailed it! He’s not looking for holes though, and he’s got no holes in his swing. He was also number one on Itch’s Top 25 for Dynasty Leagues. I don’t know if Gunnar Henderson is called up this year, my guess is no, but I wasn’t sure on Corbin Carroll either. I did give you a buy on him about six weeks ago, where I said, “Corbin Carroll has to be on the short list of 2023 ROY candidates if he stays down. Yeah, yeah, keyword: Short. Hardy har har! You tall guys think you’re so cool! ‘Hey, look at me, I can get cereal down without standing on a chair!’ Aren’t you fantastic?! Sounding like an alien who is just discovering old HBO shows, Corbin Carroll is under six feet. Much like Mookie Betts with both power, speed and average. He is the total package like Paul Orndorff.” And that’s me quoting me! I grabbed him in my shallowest league, and I would grab him in any league.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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To say Paul Goldschmidt is locked in right now is an understatement.  Dude has delivered 9 HRs, 27 RBIs and 23 Rs in August.  That’s only 23 games folks.  For the season, that’s a slash of .338/.419/.633 with 33 HRs and an RBI total already north of triple digits.  Unless the gold-digging descendants of Lewis […]

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Remember last year’s trade deadline spectacular? It was more entertaining than about 90% of the baseball games I watched this year or last. There was drama, there was betrayal and there was probably some families displaced from their homes but it sure was a lot of fun to watch unfold. Last year’s deadline fell on a Friday so maybe that’s why but it seemed more suspenseful. It’s still early sure, but all had been quiet, dot dot dot…(you know I’m gonna say something good cause I used the past participle!) until late Friday night the Seattle Mariners swung their Ds back in Astros general direction acquiring Ace flamethrower Luis Castillo from the Ms for an impressive package of prospects including Noelvi Marte, Levi Stoudt, Edwin Arroyo and Andrew Moore. I’ll leave the prospect gushing to The Itch but I know Marte and Arroyo are tippy-top talents with the Noelvi (.270/.360/.46, 15 HR, 55 RBI and 12 SB at High-A) considered one of the top 50 in the country. It’s the first big (sorry Benny) trade of the deadline and who many thought was the best pitcher available for trade. That’s because Castillo and his 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 90/28 K/BB would be a number one starter on any team. He’s been especially flames lately with a 1.93 ERA in July and batters hitting just .176 against him. The Mariners haven’t made the playoffs in over 20 years, and they’re hoping adding Luis to a rotation that includes Robbie Ray and Logan Gilbert will give them one of the more formidable staffs in the league. As for Castillo’s fantasy value, he moves to a better team and a pitcher-friendly park so LC should be able to improve upon the measly four wins he was able to muster in Cincinnati. With a postseason drought like Seattle’s I think we’re all rooting for the Ms, but only time will tell if this move will do anything to stave off the Astros. Now if only Kyle Lewis could stay healthy! Good luck with that!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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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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This weekend Wander Franco hit the IL, and will see a doctor on Monday for his wrist and hamate bone and I want to die. Put me in a grave, shovel dirt on my head, and say your farewells. To be less histrionic and more just that down-home Grey that you’ve come to know and love, I want my woobie! Here’s Kenneth Cashman, the man behind Rotowear, mocking me:

Okay, Wander Franco was barely a top 250th overall player this year on the Player Rater, so, while I expected more, if you’ve survived this long with (aka without) him, you’ll be fine moving forward. I have faith in youse, my large adult sons, and five adult daughters. Taking his place will be Jonathan Aranda, who was recalled. I will say this about Rays prospects, they roll right off the fingertips. Aranadaadadadadadadada, McClanahananananananananananan…Though Lowe’s a hard stop. Aranada was tearing up Triple-A. Hey, kinda like Brujan! And Josh Lowe! And literally every Rays prospect who comes up and fizzles. Aranda is a decent power guy with a solid hit tool. Think a young France. Call him Tintin. In most leagues, you can prolly find better guys on waivers. Now, get lost while I try to cure my Wander lust. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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A sheet attached to a building is covering something in front of the Sears sign on a storefront. The closer we look we see I’m standing on the letter S of Sears. I wave like Forrest Gump. Screaming now, “Okay, when I jump, make sure you film this reveal, because it’s going to be spectacular! …and 1…2…3!” Holding onto the end of the sheet, I jump off the S and Tarzan down the side of the building. Then, the sheet gets to its natural conclusion and, rather than revealing under the sheet the big surprise, it leaves me dangling ten feet off the ground. “Um, a little help.” Cougs puts down the camera and yanks on my feet, and I scream, “Yanks! Perfect!” I fall to the ground, and the sheet covers me, but now it’s revealed that the sheet was covering a spraypainted JP in front of Sears. So, JP Sears (5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks) had his major league debut. It was vs. the Orioles, so the salt is out to count grains, but he looked fantastic. He has a 93-95 MPH fastball, decent slider and change, and elite command. That’s the JP Sears catalog of pitches. Yanks also have five starters in the rotation, so, with those going out of business sales on Sears, don’t expect refunds. Whether he stays in the rotation or not, he’s someone to keep an eye on, because elite command plays everywhere. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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After completing a dramatic extra innings comeback win Friday night, capped off by a Rougned Odor walk-off home run in the 13th inning, the Orioles were not done making headlines just yet. Hours later, the O’s had purchased the contract of top prospect slash phenom slash heart throb slash savior Adley Rutschman from Triple-A. Great […]

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Welcome to week 4 — the week where all the data finally makes sense and the futures of every player become written in stone! Not really — that’s kind of the wonky thing about baseball — it might take years to make effective predictions about player performance (see Greinke comma Zack). For me, May is where I start to vaguely pay attention to baseball again because the stats are meaningful again. DFS becomes a bit more predictable, and the rest of us fantasy ballers (Grey’s mom’s word) are ready to spew out meaningful and actionable takes. Like, “Sit that clown Lucas Giolito! I kid, I would never bad-mouth a White Sox player [stares at Dylan Cease]. 

Let’s learn about some interesting players! 

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