Please see our player page for Robbie Ray 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:

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m going to do something completely crackers in the cabeza today, but we’re kind of at that point in the season anyway, and today’s slate of starting pitchers isn’t getting me tingly in the nether regions. Streamonator has Lucas Giolito as its top pick for the day, but I don’t hate myself nearly enough to […]

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Justin Verlander (6 IP, 0 ER, no baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 1.87) is built different. At 39 years of age, he is dominating like he’s in his 20s. He’s doing things that have never been done before, while just coming back from Tommy John surgery. He truly is remarkable. I have an idea about how he’s performing so well, but to test my theory, I need to sleep with Kate Upton. I will talk to my wife, Cougs, and I will need to get Justin and Kate’s permission, as well. For science is how I will pitch it, and I’ll need to pitch better than Justin to get this to fly. I believe this is a sacrifice all four of us can make. I will be making perhaps the biggest sacrifice. For 2023 fantasy, what will Justin Verlander do as an encore after this season? His peripherals (8.9 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 3.36 xFIP) look basically the same as his first Cy Young award that he won back in 2011, and, he should win his third this year. There’s no way I’m betting against Justin Verlander next year, not until everyone involved lets me sleep with Kate Upton to see if that has magical powers. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?