Please see our player page for Justin Steele 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.

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Tis the season to watch the scoreboard. My own teams are fighting down the stretch, and I’m looking their way more often than necessary. I’m hoping to write a postseason piece on my processes and outcomes, but I don’t want to jinx anything by starting early. 

For fantasy tweeters, it’s victory lap season. You might’ve seen a few threads already, typically in a shape like “What’d you get right and wrong this year?” Always worth our time to review the roads that brought us here, so I’ll be hopping back to March 30 to revisit my early season Brash Predictions 2022: Prospects Edition

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Last week was bizarre. My pitching recommendations were downright terrible, but my hitting streamers went nuts. That has given me mixed feelings about that article, but the process has been on point for a month now. This is the time of the year when we need our pitching streamers to step up, though, and I […]

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The MLB playoffs are still a month away, but your fantasy baseball playoffs are practically here! Your starting pitching philosophy changes dramatically when the stakes are high and time is limited. If you’re a strong team in the playoffs, you’ll want to use pitchers with confident outcomes. If you’re a weak team, you might need to make some risky pitcher plays to stay in the running — but nobody expected the #6 seed to advance anyway, right? When the expected outcome is “lose,” you should take every risk you can to put variance in your favor and win. 

Let’s jump right in to the actionable items. As mentioned last week, I am no longer providing the hierarchical ranks — the data window of remaining MLB games is insufficient to move the ranking needle on up-and-coming pitchers. 

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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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Clink. Clink. Clink. The sound was mesmerizing as the blacksmith expertly smushed his hammer down onto the glowing piece layed before him. Clink. Clink. Clink. It’s an arduous process to turn a raw piece of steel into a weapon of extraordinary magnitude. Heat it up so that it becomes malleable, dump it in water to strengthen it, then repeat the process until a sword emerges, blings, mesmerizes, then slices and dices as it’s intended to do. Unfortunately, the proliferation of weapons powered by gunpowder made swords obsolete, but swords could still have utility in the right situation. At the end of the day, in close quarters, they can still slice and dice. Justin Steele of the Chicago Cubs has taken time to be forged, and doesn’t have the explosive nature of some of his contemporaries. That said, he has been useful and could be employed in the right situation. Let’s dig in to see how potent this Steele truly is.

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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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I’ve been crushing these streamers since the All-Star break but last week was terrible. It was easily one of my worst weeks of the year, and that’s simply going to happen at times with the volatility of baseball. I was a bit hesitant picking streamers last week, but that’s certainly not the case here. Those […]

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Orlando Arcia went down with a hamstring strain and some teams would’ve just cobbled together a makeshift shortstop out of available major league pieces. A Frankenshortstop, so to speak. And it might’ve been fine, might’ve ran into a hot day or three from whoever they Ehire’d. That’s the kind of shizz other teams do! Not the Braves! I love the Braves for this, by the way. They promote their prospects like they’re Tim McGraw singing Live Like You’re Dying. They’re on a bull named Fu Manchu, and they promote their guys! Love it! Of course, sometimes with pitchers, they come up, surprise hitters for three to six months, then fade into obscurity, unable to handle setbacks. But who cares about that now? Their sticks come up and stick. Yesterday, they promoted Vaughn Grissom from Double-A, where he was 3/7/.363 in 22 games, after going 11/20/.312 in High-A. He appeared in Itch’s Top 50 prospects, and now appears on all of my teams, because I love me some rookie nookie! Plus, he got a slam (1) and legs (1) in his major league game (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), and the homer was an absolute moonshot over the Green Monster. Haven’t been that impressed by a Braves’ rookie debut since Jason Heyward’s! Okay, that’s not fair, but trying to put things in perspective. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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