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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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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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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:

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You’re going to be hearing a lot about Ezequiel Tovar this offseason, so why not get started now? *phone rings* One second, sorry. “Hello? Yes, this is Grey. Yes, Grey Albright. Yes, the one with the luscious mustache and full head of hair! Yes, the only person who is five-seven but looks at least six-one! Yes, you’re talking to him! This is Future Me? Grey? I thought your voice sounded familiar. What’s up, Future Me, if I may call you that…Call you Mr. Albright? Uh, okay. What’s up, Mr. Albright? Ezequiel Tovar is hitting .350 with power and speed next year? That’s awesome! What do you mean it’s not awesome? Why? Because Bud Black’s playing the 32-year-old Scott Schebler at shortstop? Is Scott Schebler hitting well? Should I pick him up in eight months? Hello…Hello…?” I think he hung up. So, sounds like the Rockies will be calling up Ezequiel Tovar now. Grab Ezequiel Tovar in all keepers, absolutely. He’s a 20/20/.300 hitter that will call Coors home. For this year? Prolly wait and see, but if the Rockies are playing him, I could be interested shortly. How shortly? Like 5′ 7″ but appears 6′ 1″ shortly? Maybe. Did I just give you my first 2023 fantasy rookie? P to the erhaps. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Gnats are bringing up their 1st rounder from 2020, Cade Cavalli, who sounds like someone from Laguna Niguel who is on The Hills: Rebooted. “Hey, Cade, I know you drove my Ferrari last night into our pool, and your father and I are not mad, but Dad is disappointed, and I’m too zoinked on quaaludes to really care.” Kristin Cavallari’s new boy-toy, Cade Cavalli will make his MLB debut on Friday. He made the top 100 fantasy baseball prospects for dynasty leagues. Does that mean his pitches dy…*pinkie to mouth*…nasty?! Die nasty? No? Yeah, I don’t know either. Here’s what Itch said previously, “A late convert to full-time pitching, Cavalli brought some untapped upside to the MLB draft and landed at 22nd overall to the Nationals, who are never afraid to snag a first-round arm talent with question marks. Cavalli thrived as a pro and climbed three levels, dominating in A+ and AA before getting knocked around in his first tour through Triple-A. Cavalli suppressed home runs and induced ground balls all year, striking out 175 batters in 123.1 innings along the way. He’s a thick 6’4” 235 and looks like a linebacker on the mound. Love to see him flatten Grey.” Not cool, man! That was from the preseason, and Cavalli has looked much better this year in Triple-A. With all that said (here’s where I reveal I just wasted your time), I’m not grabbing Cavalli in any mixed leagues, but I will be cyclops’ing him. Especially if he’s hanging with Heidi, Spencer and Lauren. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Remember when it was July and we were all watching Stranger Things for the first time and getting Covid for the fourth time and I mentioned that a lot of fantasy baseball leagues were a matter of weeks away from the playoffs? Hey Siri, tell me what I said a few weeks ago. Weird thing is, Siri could actually do that, but Siri just doesn’t want you to know they could do that. Just like I could tell you that Grey has been wearing the same pair of “lucky” socks since 2007, but he doesn’t want you to know that. ENYWHEY.

As we look into crystal ball that reveals the pitchers of the future, let’s take a special look to see which pitchers might take a breather along the way and become less useful for fantasy managers in the playoffs. Before we get too far, it’s worthwhile to note — this kind of discussion isn’t an exact science. However, there are factors that clue us in to which pitchers will be less or more useful to fantasy managers in the playoffs.

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So, the Trent Grisham/Luis Urias trade is still being sorted it seems. If you’re the Brewers and Padres, do you think you won or lost the Urias/Grisham trade? Or do you think it’s a push and decide to go back to the well like Baby Jessica and try one more? How you answer that decides whether or not you make the Josh Hader trade, right? Since that Hader trade was made, it must mean both teams thought they won the Grisham/Urias one. Right? You don’t trade with a team that just fed you an L, do you? Well, I’m here to say the Brewers won that trade, and I think they won this trade too, but I’m a big fan of trading away closers, so I am biased. Yes, even top tier ones. With that said, I do think it’s odd the Brewers made this trade — appearing like sellers — as they are leading the NL Central.

The trade in full:  Josh Hader to the Padres for Taylor Rogers, Robert Gasser, Esteury Ruiz, and Dinelson Lamet. Do the Brewers just have such a “We can fix him” mentality they just have to take on messes? Oh man, the Brewers are Kate Hudson. That makes Taylor Rogers Matthew McConaughey; Dinelson Lamet is Paul Rudd and Esteury Ruiz is John Krasinski. What an All-Star cast of lovable losers that the Brewers, excuse me, Kate Hudson, er, I mean, Brewers need to fix! Looking at this from the other side, is the move from Taylor Rogers to Josh Hader worth the multiple players being sent away? Who’s the buyer here? Who’s the seller? Who’s the Boss!? Kinda like the Josh Hader trade because if you look at it at first, you’re like, “Brewers got hosed,” but then you look at it more and you’re like, “Padres got hosed,” but then look at it more and you’re like, “No, the Brewers definitely were hosed.” The Josh Hader trade is the Mona Lisa smile of trades.

So, Josh Hader is clearly the new closer in San Diego. Truly hope Devin Williams gets a chance to be the Brewers’ closer, but it’s been floated that the Brewers might like him in setup and roll Taylor Rogers out there for saves. Floated by whom? Me, right now, in these last few sentences. As for Esteury Ruiz, he was sent down, and Lamet is likely to be used in a similar role as in San Diego, for now, at least. Unless Kate Hudson can work her magic! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Poor Red Sox fans. After being subjected to Mookie Betts game winning home run and his game ending diving catch only a night before, Friday night the Blue Jays completed a historic Beantown beatdown at Fenway scoring 28, yes, TWENTY EIGHT runs on the Sawx hapless pitching staff like it was CFL game. Boston Massacre, […]

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Is it just me (it’s not just me) or do you also think a guy who isn’t great in the majors, then goes to Triple-A and tears it up is a Quad-A player? I can’t help, but think that. It’s almost like I’d prefer a guy struggle a bit in the minors so I can just think of them as bad vs. Quad-A. That label, the Quad-A label, is the kiss of death. Like being on a boat with Robert Wagner or a marriage with OJ. You ain’t getting out of that. That doesn’t mean Akil Baddoo (2-for-4, 1 RBI) is Quad-A. Yabba Dabba Baddoo tore up the minors this year, and was recalled. That can be all that was. He was not as good as he was last year, which is why I told you to avoid him in the preseason, but he’s also not as baddoo as he was this year. How about something in the middle? That would be nice. Can’t be worse than what the Tigers were getting in the outfield. That’s just Grossman. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Back to back days of DFS with The Great Knoche this week. Currently watching the defense behind the Braves take some points off the board for Max Fried in the third inning of my main card on Monday night. Hoping those are the only blemishes on the night for my pitching staff. (Edit -It wasn’t, […]

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