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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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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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Rocco Baldelli asked to see James Karinchak’s hair this past weekend to see if he had any foreign substance in there, to see if he was cheating, and I said, in my head, “Karinchak is getting a call from the manager, so that makes Baldelli a Karencheck,” and now Karencheck pulled Joe Ryan (7 IP, 0 ER, 2 walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.83) from a no-hitter in the 7th with 106 pitches thrown. Karencheck! You wanna make new rules, MLB? (By the way, in the video at top of this post, it’s this week’s podcast, where BDon and I discuss the new rules — it’s about 10 minutes in.) How about this new rule, no matter what, if the player is healthy, they have to pitch if there’s a no hitter? Make that a rule, you sissies! *puts chew in bottom lip, accidentally swallows chew, vomits up chew and vomit spells out “THAT’S WHAT REAL MEN DO”* My vomit is calling you out, Karencheck! Joe Ryan’s peripherals are 9.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 4.40 xFIP and a hilariously terrible ground ball rate (26.6%), so he’s very susceptible to homers, and that burned him at times this year. How’sever, Joe Ryan for 2023 fantasy, I’m still a believer, as long as he doesn’t show up at camp with a dead arm (lots of IP this year). He’s a rookie, who had excellent command in the minors, and hasn’t scratched that surface yet. Joe Ryan for 2023 fantasy will be an ace or need to be shutdown in the spring with arm issues. Roll that dice, you momma’s boys, and don’t make me spell out things in my vomit anymore! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Bro…bro…bro…I’m not saying bro…Bro…bro…bro…I’m trying to say broke! I’m emotional devastated that Lucas Giolito (3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 5.34) is so broke. Does Lucas Giolito look at a pile of garbage and think he’s looking in a mirror? I’ll be honest with you, I’ve seen piles of trash that have more redeeming qualities. Get a good pile of recyclables and maybe they can turn into something worthwhile. A Coke can might have another life as a bulk 10,000 count thing of paper clips. Lucas Giolito has no future as a paper clip. Was looking at Lucas Giolito’s stats for 2023 fantasy, and he seems like he should be much better, but also there’s a point where, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” Speaking of juice, the God of Minute Maid, Alex Bregman went 4-for-6, 4 runs, 6 RBIs and a double slam (17, 18) and legs (1). Something that was mentioned on the Mets game the other night, that I haven’t mentioned nearly enough. Big power hitters who can hit 40 homers weren’t that affected this year (they were talking about Pete Alonso). Players who hit wall-scrappers? They were absolutely affected, and, unless the ball is altered, we’re never seeing a 30+ homer year from Bregman again. Looking at his 41-homer year now in 2019 stands out like Waldo in a Where’s Waldo cartoon, when being looked at by Waldo’s mom. A mother knows. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Went over the top 25 last week and the comments reminded me to point something out about these rankings. In an effort to be as objective as possible, I am presenting them in the exact order of their projections. One of the great things about points leagues is how straightforward they are. That being said, the exact ranking that an individual player has next to his name isn’t important. In many cases, players are clustered together with four or five guys separated by only a couple points. This basically groups everyone into tiers, afterall, a single homerun one way or the other could shift a guys projection up or down multiple spots in the rankings. The moral of the story is, don’t read too much into what rank a guy holds on this list. Best of luck in the second half and may you bring home that championship. And now, on to the best of the rest.

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For what it’s Cronenworth, I wrote this prior to the news the Yankees were acquiring Andrew Benintendi:

Let’s make it 2-for-2 off the bat and DFA Joey Gallo! That would also be a better hitting line than Gallo’s ever had. The Mets got the Yanks so shook after a walk-off win they went out and acquired a guy who can’t even play in Toronto in the playoffs. Doesn’t seem like the smartest of trades, but I’m sure Cashman did his research. So, the assumption is Hicks goes to the bench (finally!), and Benintendi goes out to left field. Then what happens when Giancarlo returns, and they trade for David Peralta and Matt Carpenter hits 6 homers in a week and the sky is falling! I don’t know. Benintendi is clearly helped by this move, due to the stadium and lineup, but he does have a very flat Launch Angle and kinda makes baby contact, so I don’t think this boosts Benintendi to, say, a top 20 outfielder. He’s around a top 40 outfielder now, and I’d say he’s top 30 now. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Poor Red Sox fans. After being subjected to Mookie Betts game winning home run and his game ending diving catch only a night before, Friday night the Blue Jays completed a historic Beantown beatdown at Fenway scoring 28, yes, TWENTY EIGHT runs on the Sawx hapless pitching staff like it was CFL game. Boston Massacre, […]

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