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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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All the final 2022 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done. For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball. This is NOT for next year (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts). This is a recap. Will these affect next year’s rankings? Sure. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. Not entirely. Yes, entirely. Like when you had a knee replacement, this is a recap! To recapitulate the recap, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings. Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Welcome back to our year-end awards show! If there’s any issues with the award ballots, don’t look at me. These were all tabulated at the accounting firm of Fried, Tellez and Bregman. Stop giving them the evil eye, German Marquez! You might be wondering why I’m hosting. Well, at the last minute our other host had to back out. Sadly, Joe Buck couldn’t be hair. I mean here. HAHA…Wait a second! Why is Will Smith, the catcher, coming on stage? *smack* Ow! It was a joke about Joe Buck’s hair. Damn! Now, before we get to our first award, I just want to thank everyone. I appreciate all of you, except Jonathan India. Okay, now onto the awards, without which you’d have no idea who was the best and worst hitters and pitchers this year, and you’d be left giving out your own awards and no one cares if your “Low sodium tomato soup in a sourdough bowl” won your “Whitest Lunch Of All-Time” award. Stop making up fake awards! Leave that to me. Anyway, here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of 2022 fantasy baseball:

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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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Hey everybody! This article will wrap up my 2022 starting pitcher analysis. I’ll explain my rankings process, highlight some notable successes, and highlight the deficiencies. Along the way, I’ll teach you how to build your ranking sheet from Razzball data! If you’re the kind of person that thinks managing an Excel sheet with 3,000 data points is fun, this article is for you!

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Yesterday, Aaron Judge went 4-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs with his 58th and 59th homer, hitting .316, as he tightens his claim on the AL MVP. I’m Team Ohtani, but I will say that the Yankees are so bad outside of Aaron Judge — Giancarlo’s hitting .209! Judge for MVP is a perfectly reasonable argument to make. He truly is having an amazing season. On the Player Rater, he has about twice as much home run value as the third best home run hitter in the league, Yordan Alvarez. That is truly remarkable. But, just because that’s remarkable doesn’t mean he’s going to get to 74 homers for the home run record. National sportswriters counting down Aaron Judge homers like he’s not 14 away from the record with 16 games to play are just trying to generate clicks. Also, anyone saying Maris’s record is the real record is having a break from reality, let them be. It’s dangerous to wake them from their dream state. By the by, the case for Ohtani is quite simple — he’s a top 5 starter and a top 10 hitter. It will be Aaron Judge though, I’m not living in denial. Too much heat on Judge this year. For 2023 fantasy, Aaron Judge is gonna be so fascinating. Wouldn’t be shocked if we see him at number one overall for some, and as late as ten overall if he signs with a lesser team. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Corbin Burnes (8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA 2.93) held the Giants to one run as he struck out 14. The last guy to hold down the Giants like that was David in the Bible…*Starts sobbing* I’m sorry! I can’t go on! The Queen! She’s gone! What a way to ruin the end of The Crown! No one even gave a spoiler alert! Maybe rather than mourning the Queen’s death, we should be celebrating that Reggie Jackson finally succeeded. Hope someone was filming it, hate to miss out on a Naked Gun sequel. So, Corbin Burnes is once again the best pitcher in baseball or what? In 2023 fantasy, there’s gonna be a lot of pitchers drafted first, I imagine. Corbin Burnes might be one of them, but I bet he’s not the majority’s choice. Of course, I won’t be interested in a starter that early, but I also don’t see anyone else I trust as much as Corbin Burnes for the top 2023 fantasy baseball pitcher. Definitely not Gerrit Cole; maybe Dylan Cease; possibly Shane McClanhananananannanannananananan if he were healthy, but he’s not. Corbin Burnes has the 6th best K-BB%, 7th best xFIP, 5th best K/9 and is remarkably durable and youngish. For 2023 fantasy, it seems hard to twist myself in enough knots to look at anyone else as the best starter. Though, I’d love to Cease up Dylan. Oh, well, long live King Burnes. Anyway. here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you’re anything like me, you’re currently in grass-stained covered sweatpants trying to eek out an extra minute of summer before the kids go back to school. Or, apparently, for most of you southerners, your kids have been in school for like two weeks. Somewhere out there, there’s SouthernwhereBlair who writes for RassBalls and discusses tight-pantsed pitchers. Or maybe that’s just me projecting my best self. Thanks, therapy! ENYWHEY. Let’s spend the next 1800 words discussing our favorite pitchers and why they make our pants tight.

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Just yesterday, Prospect Itch featured Corbin Carroll as the number one prospect to stash, and now he’s called up. Maybe Itch can make things happen with his words, which is why I’m worried when he talks about locking me in the trunk of a car and driving me into the desert. Also, driving into the desert is Corbin Carroll! Hashtag nailed it! He’s not looking for holes though, and he’s got no holes in his swing. He was also number one on Itch’s Top 25 for Dynasty Leagues. I don’t know if Gunnar Henderson is called up this year, my guess is no, but I wasn’t sure on Corbin Carroll either. I did give you a buy on him about six weeks ago, where I said, “Corbin Carroll has to be on the short list of 2023 ROY candidates if he stays down. Yeah, yeah, keyword: Short. Hardy har har! You tall guys think you’re so cool! ‘Hey, look at me, I can get cereal down without standing on a chair!’ Aren’t you fantastic?! Sounding like an alien who is just discovering old HBO shows, Corbin Carroll is under six feet. Much like Mookie Betts with both power, speed and average. He is the total package like Paul Orndorff.” And that’s me quoting me! I grabbed him in my shallowest league, and I would grab him in any league.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?