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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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hey, let me ask you something, are we shipping Roger Maris Jr. and Aaron Judge‘s mom? What? Why are you booing me? Okay, serious-serious question, how many changes of clothes does Roger Maris Jr. have with him in Toronto? Okay, serious-serious-serious question, isn’t Roger Maris Jr. actually just Roger Maris but with an asterisk? Stop throwing tomatoes at me! I can’t use all my Roger Maris Jr. material anywhere else. So, Aaron Judge (1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) hit 61, becoming, what, the seventh most prolific home run hitter in a season? Honestly, when you really stop to think about what Barry Bonds did, it’s truly remarkable. I don’t care if he was sticking Babe Ruth’s DNA in his butt and Ted Williams’s DNA in his male sack, it’s freakin’ impressive! Aaron Judge? Also, incredibly impressive. I’m not going to lie, when I hear stuff like, “He becomes the first player to have 130 runs and 130 RBIs in the same season since 2007,” and how he’s almost 20 homers higher than anyone else in the majors, I get extreme FOMO for any teams of mine that don’t have him. His 60/20/.315 with 130/130 might be the best fantasy season any of us witness. Or at least until Barry Bonds returns at the age of 58 with Hack Wilson’s DNA in his arm, Ruth’s in his butt and Williams’s in his sack. Let’s go! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

WooWeeWooWaa.mp3. HolyCow.wav. Sound of eyes popping from Sylvester the Cat. Kyle Bradish did what? Kyle Bradish did:  8 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 10 Ks vs. the Astros. I’m sorry, but I’m gonna sue somebody for making my heart pitter-patter too fast. Who do I contact for that? Oh, no, I’m…*puts handkerchief to forehead, faints into a beanbag that’s wearing Giancarlo jersey and pasted-on magazine face of his* Oh my goodness, I’m talking like a Southern belle. So, Streamonator‘s got steam rising from its robot ears that was so gorgeous. Looking at Kyle Bradish big picture, long-term, for 2023 fantasy baseball, and, well, he’s got four pitches — 95 MPH fastball, 87 MPH slider, 83 MPH curve, and 90 MPH change. His command is kinda atrocious, though better in his 100+ IP in the majors than it was in the low minors. Maybe he’s figured out something here as he turns 25. Not going to write him off completely, because Camden is now one of the best pitchers’ parks, and his stuff was solid in search of command. If the command’s there, I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s a name we go back to next year. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fresh goes better in life with Vientos, fresh and full of life! Ahh…The Metsmaker! Sorry, that was stuck in my head. Now, hopefully, it’s stuck in your head too. Mets called up their next great hitting prospect, Mark Vientos, after Starling Marte went to the IL. Can Vientos play outfield? Absolutely not. Can Vientos run? His speed has been described as “an 80-year-old baby crawling with tennis balls on its knees.” Can Vientos hit bombs? To the freakin’ moon! He kinda reminds me of a young Evan Longoria. Now take everything you’ve thought about Longoria over the last seven years, scrub it from your brain, and think about Longoria as if this is 2016. Your brain in 2016, “Rays should lock this Longoria guy up for another ten years! He’s amazing! Wait! They let Longoria go? Wow, what a mistake! They just let a perennial 30+ homer, .270 hitter go! Rays will be in last place for the next decade. What a bunch of losers!” So, your 2016 brain is kinda remembering correctly. Longo was good at that point. Mark Vientos can be good too. Prospect Itch has more concerns about his batting average in his top 100 prospects. For this year, do I want Mark Vientos in a redraft league? No, I’d want Eduardo Escobar. Or maybe even Evan Longoria. Anyway. here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hola, fellow español speakers! Today’s word is Triston Casas (1-for-4)! Let’s break it down into parts! Triston is pronounced Tris like a Tris Speaker. Not the old-timey baseball player, but like a speaker who is saying the word Tris. Next part is ton like, “I ate a ton of churros and now I am sneezing cinnamon sugar.” Say the last name with me now…Ca-thathss. The last part you say like a Spanish snake. Like a snake you find in the desert outside of Barth-a-lona. A snake with a lisp. Try the whole thing now, Triston Cathathss. Bueno! *maracas around room* Cathathss! Cathathss! Cathathss! So, yesterday or today or last week doesn’t really matter for when the Red Sox called up Triston Casas, but if you think he was called up on Sunday simply because now he’s earned his place, like he got the ring from Gollum and deposited in the mouth of some volcano or whatever that quest was of those hill trolls, you’re sadly mistaken. Triston Casas has been ready for a while, but baseball is still broken for when prospects are called up. Rather than change the world’s problems today, let’s look at Triston Casas. Hey, what do you know, I already gave you my Triston Casas fantasy! So ridiculous that I figured (correctly) he’d have 300+ ABs this year. Because he’s been ready! If you don’t care what I say, here’s what Itch said, “Triston Cases has learned late at-bat traits to help him hang against a variety of experienced pitchers, and perhaps he’s carried some of those hang-in-there strategies to early-count situations against pitchers he’s never seen before. Whatever it is, I like it. Unlike Grey, who I hate.” Really not cool! I’d grab Triston Casas in every league. He’s got elite approach and power. For what he will do the final month? No one knows, because it’s a small sample, but worth finding out. Finally, Casas is home. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Stands from a folding chair, and clears throat. I’m in the back of a church. Around me a group of people who look like they need a cigarette. The group leader asks me to introduce myself. “Hi, I’m Grey, and it’s my first time here.” Everyone murmurs hi to me. I force a smile. Then, I continue, “Yesterday, I not only thought about a perfect game happening while it was in the process of happening, but I also mentioned it to my wife, Cougs. It was me, who jinxed Drew Rasmussen.” Everyone nods their head. One guy who’s wearing a Steel Panther shirt says, “I did the same during Armando Galarraga’s.” Reactions from the group members, they can’t believe he jinxed Armando. I continue, “That makes me feel better, actually. Armando’s jinx is much worse than mine.” Steel Panther Guy screams, “I jinxed it, but I inadvertently caused instant replay to be adopted!” As he stormed out of the room. The leader swallows hard, “Um, thanks for sharing, Grey.” So, I turned the TV onto Drew Rasmussen (8 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 1 hit, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.80), and his Maddux perfecto just in time to jinx him. Sigh, my bad. The trade of Willy Adames for Rasmussen has ended up working for both teams, and for all involved in fantasy. Rasmussen has been mostly Yesmussen with a 7.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, and 3.68 xFIP as he throws a slider that’s mostly unhittable (.212 BAA), and not just by the O’s. His 38.6% HardHit% would be around Sandy Alcantara, Gerrit Cole and Kevin Gausman. I blame myself for yesterday’s perfect game lost in the 9th, but, in 2023 fantasy, Rasmussen is going to be undervalued, even though the Rays haven’t had a bad pitcher in, like, ten years. (Hyperbole to make a point; don’t tell me about Yarbrough.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A young boy pulls on his grandfather’s sleeve. “Will you please read me a bedtime story, Paw-Paw?”
“Sure, Timmy, I’d be happy to. From the same book as always?” Off the child’s nod, the old man picks up the storybook, and reads the title, “The Dismantling of a Dream by Peter Angelos.” The old man opens the storybook, and begins to read, “In the summer of 2022, millions of people clamored for my Orioles to win. ‘Win!’ they shouted. And ‘Bleh,” I said. I wasn’t a vampire, per se, but I had been taking blood transfusions of millions of caterpillars right before they turned into a butterfly…” Dissolve to later, “…the bullpen was a point of contention. My underlings said we should keep our late-inning arms. At 93 years young, this might be the last chance I could see a good team. I told them, ‘A good team is one that is losing enough money for a healthy write-off.” Any hoo! The Orioles keep winning, which is somewhat hilarious since they’re seemingly trying to lose. Yesterday, the home run barrage began in the 1st with Ramon Urias (1-for-4, 3 RBIs), who hit his 12th homer. He’s had a great year because the expectations’ bar is so low, and I’m not talking the Royals or Rangers’ closers. Next up, hitting batting practice off Yusei Kikuchi (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.13) was Anthony Santander (2-for-3) and Ryan Mountcastle (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) in the 3rd. Surprised to see Santander’s home run total that far in front of Mountcastle. If only we had a BBC detective show that could look into that…Wait a minute! That’s Mountcastle on BBC at 9 PM GMT. Finally, Austin Hays (2-for-4) hit his 13th homer, and I was very happy to see this, because I put him in my weekly lineup at the last moment, and he pulled this home run over the left field fence that one can barely see from home plate, which is a great sign for his oblique injury that had sidelined him last week. Just another night in Baltimore, ending happily, like the O’s bottom line yielding subsidized financial reimbursement for a billionaire! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?