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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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Let’s check in on some fantasy baseball championship celebrations:

That is the best encapsulation of the joy of winning a fantasy baseball league. I’m sick it’s so on point. I hope everyone got to feel that “very dorky dancing while very white music plays surrounded by middle-aged men” joy yesterday. Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great! That’s if you won your league, if you came in 2nd or worse, you get an A for effort. A big, shiny make-believe A.

So, another fantasy baseball season is in the books, and, with a baseball season in the books, it means Jonathan India’s 2022 season is now in the books, and, in conclusion, that is why we should burn books. Any questions? *calls on a guy who looks zonked* Yes? “If I’m going to IHOP is it MeHOP, MyselfHOP or IHOP, or does it depend on usage?” God damn it, is that you, Cody Bellinger?! Stop smoking so much weed! *Cody lowers his head, kicks a rock and walks out of the room* Okay, if there’s no more questions, I have one:  How long until next year’s rankings come out?! Wait, I have to write them. When I’m done, I’ll start to put them on our Patreon. Now, one more question, what do I do for the next three months? Oh, yeah, write the rankings! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“Hey, yo, long-time listener, first-time caller, this is Jimmy from Dyker Heights. The Mets, guy, are killin’ me with the freakin’ James McCann, guy. I said to my ma, “Ma, what are the Mets doing, guy, they’re throwing away everything they’ve built this year to have this stunod behind the plate. Why don’t they try callin’ up what’s-his-face Francisco Alvarez. He’s the future, right, guy? The right guy, guy? You know what I’m sayin’ here, guy. Jesus effin Christ, ma, lower your freaking Dean Martin, I’m on the phone with WFAN! I read on Razzball dot com this Prospect Itch guy said a few months ago, and I quote, ‘A rare backstop in that Francisco Alvarez features plus athleticism and foot-speed, Alvarez stands alone atop minor league catcher mountain after Adley Rutschman joined the Orioles. Alvarez generates easy loft from a strong natural uppercut. After demolishing A ball for 15 games, Alvarez got the quick bump to A+ and struggled a bit before surging to finish with 22 HR and 6 SB in 84 games. That’ll play. His 12/24.6 BB/K rate ain’t too shabby either, especially considering he was 3.9 years younger than his average competitor.’ Badda bing badda boom, call this guy up, guy!” So, Jimmy from Dyker Heights got his wish, and Itch’s words speak to the excitement we should have for Francisco Alvarez next year. For this year? Well, if you wanna try to catch lightning in a bottle by all means, guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Well folks, it’s time for a look back on the fantasy season. I am very much looking forward to the post season and October baseball even if my beloved Giants may not be involved in the quest for a trophy (they’re not eliminated yet and still hold out eternal hope). I hope that you are closing in on a championship. At this point, your team is pretty dang good if you’ve made it this far and you’re ready to roll. So what better time to look back at some standout performances from this season. I have thoughts on these guys for next season but as of right now, they’re just that, thoughts, and I will take my sweet time before ranking them in drafts. Lets look back on a few of my preseason guys. It’s football time but baseball is yet to make a thrilling finish. Fantasy baseball country, let’s ride.

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The good folks at Razzball seem to believe Shohei Ohtani > Aaron Judge when it comes to MVP (or at least most do, anyway, without taking a formal poll). It’s possible to recognize Judge’s ridiculous/fantastic/phenomenal/etc season while also believing that the things Ohtani has done this season and last are historical outliers that still trump […]

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As the season prepares to head into its final week everyone is fascinated by Aaron Judge and his quest for the AL home run record. It certainly adds a layer of intrigue and has lead to some rousing discussion in the Razzball Writers chat as to whether Judge is more deserving of the MVP award than two way star Shohei Ohtani. So who is the fantasy MVP? If you’re in an ESPN standard league, there’s no debate at all. Shohei’s two way status has him a shocking 247 points ahead. Case closed then. Well not so fast if you’re in a CBS league where Judge finds himself with a 200 point lead. Then it’s not so clear cut because Shohei gives you great hitting and great pitching at the cost of only a single roster spot. And that’s the gist of the debate. Judge has been incredible at the plate but Shohei has been damn good at the plate and damn good on the mound at the same time. We’ll dive more into fantasy MVPs once the regular season has wrapped up but for now there’s still a championship to chase and that means you might find yourself in need of a last minute replacement. Now is the time to take full advantage of your league’s pitching limits, especially in daily formats. It may feel wrong but once your pitcher has made his last start for the season it is good strategy to drop him for a streamer. Of course make sure to balance your streaming against whatever pitching starts or innings limit is in place. Whatever that limit is, make sure you hit it. Take full advantage of the Streamonator to help you pick the best options. Now on to the hitters, options are a bit more limited but there are still options out there.

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Oakland called up 3B Jordan Diaz after the 21-year-old slashed .348/.383/.545 with four home runs and a 12.5 percent strikeout rate in 26 games at the level. I love to see it and don’t think we would’ve in previous seasons. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement ain’t perfect, but it’s changing the way teams operate, and I’m feeling oddly thankful right now that we wound up with a full 2022 season that felt mostly like baseball. He started at first base in his first game, and he’ll likely stay there as long as the club keeps Dermis Garcia around. It’s an interesting set of corner men for 2023 redraft leagues. They’ll be starters in their fantasy lineups coming out of the auction in the real deep leagues. 

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