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.
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:
Welcome to another week of Ambulance Chasers, your Razzball fantasy baseball injury report. I am beginning to wonder about my job security because the number of MLB injuries has dropped off significantly in the past two weeks. However, this job in injury is normal. There was a study that found most MLB shoulder injuries occur […]
And-Gim isn’t just Pam from The Office’s requested guest list plus one. And-Gim isn’t just someone remembering late their favorite characters on Taxi. “And-Gim And-Gim number nine, on the New York Transit Line, if my train goes off the track, pick him up, pick him up, pick him up! Back on the scene, crispy and clean, still 23 with an outside chance for 20/20/.300!” Okay, that last part didn’t rhyme. Yesterday, Andres Gimenez went (4-for-8, 5 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homer, hitting .312) in the doubleheader. Gimenez is averaging about four homers a month, and has seven steals already this month. If he gets ten steals in a month, well, I don’t want to wake up Mr. Prorater — “Did you know your uncle spends more time on Facebook than Jonas Salk spent on polio?” — Oh, shut up, Mr. Prorater! Andres Gimenez is in that delicate area where if he loses just a little power and speed in 2023, then he becomes a 15/15 guy and that’s a little yawnstipating, but he’s also on the precipice of becoming a 20/30/.300 guy, and that’s top 25 overall guy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
“–Breathe, Grey! Come back to us! We’re losing him!”
“Someone put out a cape, I think I’m going to faint like a damsel.”
Granted, I don’t know much about basketball, but he compared himself to LeBron? Yo, has Jeimer Candelario had a break from reality? I guess tying Aaron Judge with the most homers in the 2nd half with four can play tricks on your ego. Yesterday, Jeimer Candelario (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit his 10th homer, and 4th in the last week. He was a sleeper of mine this past offseason — not great, Bob! — but he is hot now. By the way, his ten homers leads the Tigers in homers, and that is so freakin’ funny to me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Friends, I have no polite way to put it: last week in baseball injuries was a shit show. While some of the early season injuries are out of the way, the Tommy John surgeries, thoracic outlet syndrome, and other various fractures and tears are TEARING ME APART. Hyun Jin Ryu. Andrew Kittredge. Daulton Jeffries. Casey […]
It sure does seem like pitchers are dropping like flies. It’s probably the same every year, but this year it’s just affecting me more than others. And you know what, I don’t like it. Not one bit. Call me cold-hearted, but I don’t care if pitchers hit the IL, as long as they aren’t on […]
Good afternoon, everyone–don’t panic, you’re in the right spot. You’re used to coming here for EverywhereBlair’s outstanding rankings and coverage of MLB starting pitchers, but our guy needs a fill-in this week and next. I’ll do my best to bring you my iteration of SP rankings while hopefully not disappointing those of you who come […]
I don’t know how Kutter Crawford‘s parents immediately knew he was going to be a pitcher, but there’s no other way to explain him being named Kutter. Unless they promised the doctor to name the baby after him, and they failed to get his name, but it was a Cesarean. Any hoo! Since Nathan Eovaldi hit the IL with back inflammation — I prefer Nathan’s hot dogs vs. Nathan’s hot back — and Whitlock hit the IL, Kutter Crawford (5 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 4 walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 5.74) could be in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Crawford had elbow issues for most of his professional career, which accounts for his low inning totals in the minors. His velocity touches 95 with two breaking pitches and appears to be an up-and-down arm, that would stick if he commands his pitches, which he seems unable to do, so he’s very risky. Guess he should be glad his parents didn’t name him, Intentionalwalk. Though, would’ve been nice if his folks just named him, Immaculateinning. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
“He’s a Mormon like a wolf!” That’s me singing about Ezequiel Duran (2-for-4 and his 1st homer) as he was called up by the struggling-to-get-offense Rangers, who are only spending $500 million this year. Whatever the case, circle July 8th on your calendar as the first day we can get the long-awaited matchup of Duran/Duran. Her name is Edwin Rios and she is dancing on the sand! In the Itch’s top 25 2nd base prospects, Ezequiel got some shine, “Acquired from the Yankees in the Joey Gallo deal, Duran is a twitch factory who logged 19 HR and 19 SB in 105 games in High-A this year, slashing .267/.342/.486 between the two organizations. He also went to the fall league and slashed .278/.333/.611 with another three home runs in 16 games. I’ve been into this guy’s baseball actions since the first time I saw video of him way back in 2017. He’s a stout right handed hitter at 5’11” 185 lbs, who swings like he’s killing snakes. Grey better watch out, since he’s a snake.” Not cool! In deeper leagues, where you’re struggling for everything — wouldn’t be me! (Absolutely is me!) — I could see grabbing Duran. “Just like that river twisting through a Dusty land!” Me singing about Duran when he faces the Dusty-led Astros. Unlike the Phils’ defense, that shizz is catchy. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
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Riley Greene is 21. He was 20 last year. That’s how age works. Next year, he’ll be 22. Guess what he’ll be in two years. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Wrong! 23. *marks test with a D* It’s a passing grade, but I expected more from you. I am passing you because I didn’t want to see you again next year. As a 20-year-old in 124 games at Double and Triple-A, Riley Greene went 24/16/.301 with 25 doubles, eight triples and a 11.5% walk rate and 27.6 K%. That last rate worries me a tad. He was the youngest guy at Double-A, so I’m not writing him off as a guy who can’t make contact, but when a guy with a 27% strikeout rate comes up, here’s what happens: The strikeout rate balloons to 32%, then people are like, “Damn, I wanted to like Riley but he comes with a .230 average, and I can’t afford that. Maybe some other time!” Then his strikeout rate falls back to 27% and people are like, “That’s better, but he’s still a .250 hitter, and I already have Mark Canha.” Finally, when Riley’s forgotten, his strikeout rate drops to 20%, he hits .285 and people are like, “Wow, where did that come from? He’s breaking out late in his career,” and he’s really only 23 years old. That’s obviously a trend I’ve seen happen more than once. So, he might hit .230 this year. Everything else? Well, kinda beautiful. Five tools gets a bad rap because it’s tossed around with hyperbole, but Riley Greene is five tools without the hyperbole. It’s literal. Riley Greene wears his underwear like a glove because he’s got five tools. On Prospect Itch’s top 100 fantasy baseball prospects, I watched the top 20 or so, and from what I’ve seen, Riley Greene has earned his 6th overall ranking, while also getting short shrift because the guys in front of him are so good. Guess Riley is Greene with envy. *falls down a staircase, sits up* Tah-dah! There’s nothing Riley Greene can’t do. He might’ve broke camp with the Tigers, but he broke a foot instead. Now that he’s healthy, he will be up in a matter of weeks. I’d put the date at June 15th with a plus or minus five days. Also, here’s me talking about Riley Greene on our Youtube channel. Please click that and click subscribe so I can stop asking.
Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Yesterday, Nick Pivetta went 9 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.22 vs. the Astros who put an absolute beating on the Red Sox on Tuesday like they were a garbage can lid. Yes, that Nick Pivetta aka The Stopper aka If The Red Sox Turn Their Season Around This Feels Like The Moment It Happens aka The Nick Pivetta of Every Fantasy Baseballers’ Dreams For The Last Five Years aka I Was Not Expecting That aka I Honestly Don’t Even Believe The Box Score And I Watched Five Innings Of This Game aka Nick Pivetta F*cks aka Should You Fall For The Nick Pivetta Tailpipe Again? aka That Means You aka Are You Following What I’m Putting Down? It’s Breadcrumbs To Nick Pivetta On Your Waivers aka Or Not But His Peripherals (8.7 K/9, 3 BB/9) Are Usable As Long As He Keeps The Ball In The Park aka Likely Streamonator In Shallower Leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: