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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I know what you’re all doing. Counting down a New York slugger to home run immortality. Great! Me too! Pete Alonso (4-for-5, 3 runs, 5 RBIs and his 39th homer) moves to within 34 of tying Barry Bonds. That is so laughably funny. You can have an insane year and still be almost half away from Bonds. That’s like Aaron Judge vs. everyone else this year. Almost. Still not quite as ridiculous, but close. Wait, Pete Alonso secured an even more important record — the new Mets’ RBI record (128). So, it’s been truly a fantastic year for Albombso, as he hits .270, and has a legit shot of a top five slot on the Player Rater. A lofty status for a guy who runs like he’s an insect in molasses, though, he does have five steals. For 2023 fantasy, I could see Pete Alonso still being underrated because there is no real speed, and his average this year might be considered fluky-ish, as he’s more of a .255 guy. Think you are selling him short though. For hitters with the most homers in his 1st four seasons, only three guys have more than Alonso: Ralph Kiner, Pujols and Eddie Mathews. 40 homers is the new 60 homers, and do you want a guy who is as much a lock for 40 homers as anyone? Then Albombso! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This fall on Disney+ It’s LoGi! A Seattle Mariners pitcher,  Logan Gilbert (6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.13) discovers his worst case scenario is still better than 95% of pitchers and decides to show them suckas. Critics rave, “He really shows them suckas.” “Suckas be shown,” another critic pronounced. “Showing suckas isn’t easy, but It’s LoGi makes it seem effortless.” The thing with starting pitchers is there’s just too many of them. In 2023 fantasy, the Scherzers, Coles, deGroms whoevers will be drafted early, but at a certain point, all those schmohawks drafting starters early will let up on the gas and draft hitters. While those hitters are being drafted, guys like It’s LoGi will just be sitting there, and you’ll be like, “Did I really just draft a starter who had a barely-3.00 ERA last year at pick 75?” And the answer is, as always, yes. There’s just so many pitchers that guys always fall through the cracks. Then next year It’s LoGi is again a 2.95 ERA guy and everyone like, “Damn, I can’t believe I drafted Gerrit Cole in the first 15 picks when I could’ve waited for It’s LoGi.” Yeah, no kidding. It’s always like this. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“With that trade, the Giants will now be seeing if they can turn a Harry Styles Chia Pet into a halfway decent 2nd baseman. We just now he’s not gonna wanna ride the pine!” Announcers laugh, but, before they can finish, the Harry Styles Chia Pet slaps a ball over the fence for a three-run shot. “I’ll tell ya what, Jon, that Harry Styles Chia Pet has got some pop!” Okay, so Lewis Brinson (1-for-4 and his 3rd homer, and 3rd homer in two games) isn’t quite turning a Chia Pet into a major league All-Star, but it’s not that far off. As Jesse would scream in Breaking Bad, “The Giants can’t keep getting away with this!” ‘This’ being turning cast-offs from other teams into bona fide major leaguers. Of course, Giants turning Lewis Brinson into something would be their “making the Statue of Liberty disappear” of player reclamations, but they did it with Wilmer Flores, J.D. Davis…They got someone named B. Johnson in right field, and I half expect it to be Boris Johnson, after losing 10 Downing. Do I think Lewis Brinson is fixed for 2023 fantasy? I’m not sure he’s fixed for this week! but he’s clearly hot and show be rostered until further notice. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Not since Rollie Fingers’s mustache left his face in the middle of the night in July, 1979, and impregnated my mother, during one of her weaker moments, after being told her ravioli wasn’t as good as her mother’s, has a mustache had such a remarkable evening. Yes, I’m saying that to you today. The mustache that impregnated my mother that usually laid on the upper lip of Rollie Fingers was not as great as Spencer Strider‘s. Do you know how hard it is for me to admit this? Spencer Strider (8 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 16 Ks, ERA at 2.67. ) is having such a ridiculous season his ERA is 2.67; his xFIP is 2.33. That’s right, he’s been unlucky! Spencer Strider came into the year with a 45-grade from Fangraphs. Itch ranked Strider behind Langeliers and Cristian Pache in the Braves’ system. This is not to disparage either. This is to say, no one saw this coming. For 2023 fantasy, Spencer Strider can’t get better, can he? I just told you, he’s been unlucky! His command could get better; his strikeouts are prolly maxed out. I don’t see Strider getting better, maybe staying similar for 2023 fantasy. That’s still really good! I wouldn’t be shocked to see Spencer Strider as my 1st pitcher selected in some leagues in 2023 fantasy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A young boy pulls on his grandfather’s sleeve. “Will you please read me a bedtime story, Paw-Paw?”
“Sure, Timmy, I’d be happy to. From the same book as always?” Off the child’s nod, the old man picks up the storybook, and reads the title, “The Dismantling of a Dream by Peter Angelos.” The old man opens the storybook, and begins to read, “In the summer of 2022, millions of people clamored for my Orioles to win. ‘Win!’ they shouted. And ‘Bleh,” I said. I wasn’t a vampire, per se, but I had been taking blood transfusions of millions of caterpillars right before they turned into a butterfly…” Dissolve to later, “…the bullpen was a point of contention. My underlings said we should keep our late-inning arms. At 93 years young, this might be the last chance I could see a good team. I told them, ‘A good team is one that is losing enough money for a healthy write-off.” Any hoo! The Orioles keep winning, which is somewhat hilarious since they’re seemingly trying to lose. Yesterday, the home run barrage began in the 1st with Ramon Urias (1-for-4, 3 RBIs), who hit his 12th homer. He’s had a great year because the expectations’ bar is so low, and I’m not talking the Royals or Rangers’ closers. Next up, hitting batting practice off Yusei Kikuchi (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.13) was Anthony Santander (2-for-3) and Ryan Mountcastle (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) in the 3rd. Surprised to see Santander’s home run total that far in front of Mountcastle. If only we had a BBC detective show that could look into that…Wait a minute! That’s Mountcastle on BBC at 9 PM GMT. Finally, Austin Hays (2-for-4) hit his 13th homer, and I was very happy to see this, because I put him in my weekly lineup at the last moment, and he pulled this home run over the left field fence that one can barely see from home plate, which is a great sign for his oblique injury that had sidelined him last week. Just another night in Baltimore, ending happily, like the O’s bottom line yielding subsidized financial reimbursement for a billionaire! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?