Please see our player page for Kevin Gausman 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?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Major League Baseball isn’t supposed to look this easy this deep into a guy’s career. Miguel Cabrera’s got five homers on the year! Albert Pujols now has more homers than everyone in the league since August 14th, except for Aaron Judge, and he doesn’t have less homers than Judge, he has the same amount! All the hype about Judge and Pujols has same number of homers as Judge over the last six weeks! Pujols is 78 years old, and has 15 homers since August 14th! I don’t care if they’re meatballing him and Rob Manfred is sticking a PEDs needle in Pujols’s butt after he exits the shower. This is incredible. This isn’t supposed to be possible by a guy heading to the grand sunset over the bleachers. Yesterday, Albert Pujols went 2-for-2, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 23rd homer, as he hits .268. He’s having a better season than Eloy Jimenez! On top of everything yesterday, Pujols tied Babe Ruth for 2nd on the all-time RBIs list with 2,214. That is such an absurd number of RBIs. Go ahead, and average 110 RBIs for 20 years, and you get close! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Before we get to the action, as Jerry Bruckeheimer would say, I just want to point out how MLB schedules are the most ding-dang-dopey things. That’s right, Triple D, but not as in Guy Frieri. It’s almost like they held yesterday for any games that were rained out all year, then, during the year, they forgot they did that, so they had teams in August play nine games a week, and now we have a day with four games. Just gotta tip your hat to MLB’s stupidity. Don’t even get me started on them ending the year on a Wednesday. Um, are you dumb, MLB? Any hoo! The Elder Gods have spoken, the Lord of the Rings new show on Amazon has sponsored the Braves, and the Gnats suuuuuuuuuuuuuck with twelve U’s. Bryce Elder went 9 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.76 vs. the Gnats, and not even Joey Meneses, the Greek God of “Now’s Not A Good Time To Bother Mom” could get him. Braves are hilarious with how they just call-up guys, and they’re the best pitchers ever for a season, then disappear as quickly. Hopefully not Spencer Strider, but I’m not ruling out TTS, The Touki Syndrome. Elder is a 8 K/9, 4+ BB/9, 4.30 xFIP guy, who I wouldn’t trust in most circumstances, but, for this year in fantasy, all that matters is what the Streamonator says. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The White Sox have been homer-less all season. Not literally. But it’s been bad. Andrew Vaughn (1-for-3) hit his 16th homer. It is so wild that he leads the White Sox in homers. White Sox all went to the offseason seminar at the Ramada titled, “Arraez and Shine,” hosted by Luis. This September Eloy Jimenez (0-for-3, 1 run) became the first White Sox player in a month with five or more homers. On the reals, that’s awful. Is it the humidor? Tony La Russa muttering, “Bunt” from the hospital bed he’s had them tow into the dugout? Or something else? I’m not sure, but it’s comically bad. Though, yesterday was a reprieve. Yasmani Grandal (2-for-3) hit his 5th homer. Yasmani is generous, more like Yasbarelyani. Yoan Moncada (4-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 10th homer. I’m not joking when I say it looked like the White Sox were taking batting practice vs. Hunter Gaddis. Gaddis sounds like gibberish for “Got his ass,” and they did, indeed. Elvis Andrus (1-for-5) hit his 14th homer, and will once again be in this afternoon’s Buy column, because otherwise would be malpractice, and you’d sue me, and I’d have to relocate to Mexico under an assumed identity, and get mixed up with a bunch of anarchists. Finally, Gavin Sheets (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) hit his 13th homer. Fun fact! I call my toilet, “Havin’ Shits.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fresh goes better in life with Vientos, fresh and full of life! Ahh…The Metsmaker! Sorry, that was stuck in my head. Now, hopefully, it’s stuck in your head too. Mets called up their next great hitting prospect, Mark Vientos, after Starling Marte went to the IL. Can Vientos play outfield? Absolutely not. Can Vientos run? His speed has been described as “an 80-year-old baby crawling with tennis balls on its knees.” Can Vientos hit bombs? To the freakin’ moon! He kinda reminds me of a young Evan Longoria. Now take everything you’ve thought about Longoria over the last seven years, scrub it from your brain, and think about Longoria as if this is 2016. Your brain in 2016, “Rays should lock this Longoria guy up for another ten years! He’s amazing! Wait! They let Longoria go? Wow, what a mistake! They just let a perennial 30+ homer, .270 hitter go! Rays will be in last place for the next decade. What a bunch of losers!” So, your 2016 brain is kinda remembering correctly. Longo was good at that point. Mark Vientos can be good too. Prospect Itch has more concerns about his batting average in his top 100 prospects. For this year, do I want Mark Vientos in a redraft league? No, I’d want Eduardo Escobar. Or maybe even Evan Longoria. Anyway. here’s what else I saw this weekend 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?

Triston “Dr. Sticks” McKenzie is so skinny, he hula hoops with a Cheerio. McKenzie is so skinny he uses floss as toilet paper. I have a dad bod but want to identify as skinny–am I trans-slender? Triston McKenzie may get his nickname from his lack of girth, but last night McKenzie left no meat on the bone for the White Sox, as he fired 7 innings of two-ER ball while striking out a career-high 14 batters, lowering his ERA to 3.11 in the process. This wasn’t just a good game for McKenzie; it’s the continuation of at least the last month, as he’s got a 2.95 ERA over his last 33 IP, with a 28/8 K/BB. Pay no attention to the xERA of 4.04 and xFIP of 4.08, or the K% that’s has dropped 2 Ks per 9 IP from 2021, and enjoy the fantasy goodness Dr. Sticks is currently giving fantasy owners as the Guardians chase the AL Central division title. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Engine revs. It’s the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile. Only instead of a Oscar Mayer hat on its front hood, it’s wearing a Padres cap. It’s staring down a lonely country road. Directly, a mile down, aimed right at it is the Dodgers’ team bus. The Dodgers’ team bus revs.

A half mile in front of each of them, at the midpoint is “1st place in the NL West.” What we have here is a game a chicken. Who will get there first? Behind the Dodgers’ team bus wheel is Magic Johnson. Behind the Padres’ pimped-out Weinermobile is the San Diego Chicken. “You’re going mano a chicken? With the Chicken?! This is not a game you want to play, Magic?” That’s the actor who played Magic in the Showtime series on HBO shouting at Magic. “A Showtime series on HBO? Are you talking riddles, Albright?!” That’s the voice inside my head. Back to the white hot asphalt! The San Diego Chicken guns it towards the Dodgers’ team bus! Magic slams down the gas!

Careening down the road, the Chicken bawks, “They need to lose some extra weight!” To get up to speed, the Padres throw out MacKenzie Gore, C.J. Abrams, Robert Hassell III, James Wood and Jarlin Susana. For Magic to get the Dodgers to increase speed, he throws out an anecdote about him hugging Isiah Thomas at half court. “You need more speed, Magic!” The actor who played Magic in the Showtime HBO series screams. Magic says, “Have you heard about the one of me and Clyde the Glide?” It’s not enough! The San Diego Chicken is the type that drives right towards a big trade and waits for the other team to swerve. It ain’t afraid — it accepts that Gore is sometimes necessary.

So, Juan Soto goes to the Padres. They have Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Sexy Dr. Pepper? Um…

Seriously…

Like seriously seriously…

Fun the Jewels, Macho Manny and Sexy Dr. Pepper. Guys and five lady readers, I am doing a horny. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?