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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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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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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:

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Jerry Tomato Realmuto (5-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer, hitting .278) is leading the pack for catchers once again on the Player Rater. Jerry Tomato, just sitting on the top of the heap, telling everyone to ketchup. The cream of the crap hasn’t smelled this bad in a while. Salvador Perez flew so close to the sun last year, that Sal Icarus made us forgot what good catchers are actually capable of when they’re being nice, good little catchers. J.T. Realmuto reminding us that 20-something homers and a .275 average is all you can hope for. Ha, that sounds so nihilistic. German accent, “Das nein else to hope for. Das boot catchers. Excuse me, not boot, how do you say in English das punt. Yes, dat one.” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday 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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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:

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Well folks (leaving the comma out makes it sound like you live in a well and you’ll emerge like The Ring and I like that aesthetic) — you’re either in the fantasy baseball playoffs, or you really love reading me week in and week out. Probably the former, but I’ll pretend it’s the latter. Some leagues have already finished, like the Tout Wars Daily Fantasy League that our own MattTruss claimed second place in this year. Congrats Truss! Other leagues are entering their first (or second!) round of playoffs right now. RCLs and best ball leagues go until the last day of the season. So, let’s put it this way: as long as you’re here asking questions, I’ll keep posting. Sound fair?

That said, as we’re down to less than a month of MLB baseball, it’s less and less useful for me to tell you how a pitcher might regress. So, just as we did away with the rankings about a month ago, we’re going to continue shifting the format of this column to help everybody with their pitching plans throughout the fantasy playoffs. We’ll combine some news, some pitcher pickup options, and cover some matchups to target or avoid. As always, toss your questions down in the comments, and I’ll do my best to not embarrass myself or yourself or Greyself. Grey’s elf? What is this, The Lord of the Rings?

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“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:

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About a month ago, we joined hands in a prayer circle and prayed to the Ghost of Tommy John that he wouldn’t claim the elbows of any of our fantasy starters. So far, so good. Tommy John must have approved of our sacrifice of Coolwhip and offerings of Orange Julius! Thank you for your service to Razzball, Whip, and please don’t haunt us. We were just trying to win! But for real, Whip is alive and kicking and that Orange Julius in fresh in my hand, ready for slurping through a hot dog straw.

The majority of y’all who are still attending my weekly starting pitcher therapy sessions are here because you’re in the fantasy playoffs. If so, drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you need, friend! For everybody else, I assume you’re here either because of inertia, my jokes, or you just want to see if I somehow lose my sanity and tell you to spend all of your dynasty bucks on Sandy Alcantara. The latter will never happen. 

Let’s jump in and see what we can do for your fantasy playoffs! 

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Welcome to your weekly edition of your Razzball fantasy baseball injury report, friends. There is only about one month of regular season baseball left, and quite frankly, this is no time for shenanigans if you want to move up the ranks in your leagues. You know who does have time for shenanigans? Aroldis Chapman who […]

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Corbin Carroll sat yesterday against the historically significant southpaw, Bailey Falter (6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.08). Torey Lovullo, fantastic on MTV’s The Challenge, benches Corbin Carroll after two games is such big-brain’ing. Never underestimate the dumbness of any of this. Oh, and if this is because the new CBA says a guy who starts the year with the team, and wins the ROY can get the team a draft pick, then the thing that was supposed to reduce service time manipulation, is actually manipulating it further HAHAHAHAHAHA–falls over, fainting. A nice man dressed like Colonel Sanders waves a fan on me to awaken me. “Colonel Sanders, is that you?” “Looks like you can KF-see straight,” and he snaps his fingers, disappearing. What was left was the hottest bat in the majors, Jake McCarthy (1-for-4) and his 6th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. I was worried about Carroll taking McCarthy’s job, but now I think McCarthy’s locked into everyday at-bats, and Carroll might sit here there. Carroll’s still worth rostering everywhere, but absolutely the same for McCarthy. On the 30-day Player Rater, Jake McCarthy is a top 10 guy. Overall! My goodness. He’s also barely rostered in any leagues. He’s got power (3 HRs in the last month), speed (8 SBs), and is hitting near-.330 over the last 30. Get in on McCarthy, before the Reds win. Not the Cincy Reds. I’m talking Commies. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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