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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?

We’ve gone over the final 2022 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters. This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15. That’s hardcore nerd shizz! This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left. You’re welcome. I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2023 rookies. Let’s boogie to the next year, boogiers! Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Usually start writing these posts after the game has concluded, but for the Orioles game yesterday, I started working on the Anthony Santander lede about five hours before the game ended. The game was like: Run, run, five runs, seven runs, eleven runs, then fifteen pitcher changes. Has the game ended? I don’t know, and, at this point, it’s no longer my concern. Anthony Santander (3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 32nd and 33rd homer) is my concern. He now has four homers in the last two games; six homers in four games; 33 homers in 153 games–Wait, that becomes less impressive again. Santander becomes the 2nd player in MLB history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game four times in a season, joining Ken Caminiti, who did it during his MVP year. Six homers in a four-game span hasn’t been done since the hottest schmotato of all-time, Luke Scott. During Luke Scott’s run, he actually went on Fallon with a schmotato that resembled him. Crazy times. Lucky the season’s gonna end soon or Anthony Santander would pass Judge in…*does quick math*…twelve days. For 2023 fantasy, I bet Santander is still underrated even though he has a 18.6% strikeout rate (excellent for a power hitter), 14.5% HR/FB (not at all obscene), and expected stats that back up just about everything he’s doing. Is he Anthony Santander or Anonymity Santander? Damn, Guy Fawkes, don’t be so Anonymous. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You’re going to be hearing a lot about Ezequiel Tovar this offseason, so why not get started now? *phone rings* One second, sorry. “Hello? Yes, this is Grey. Yes, Grey Albright. Yes, the one with the luscious mustache and full head of hair! Yes, the only person who is five-seven but looks at least six-one! Yes, you’re talking to him! This is Future Me? Grey? I thought your voice sounded familiar. What’s up, Future Me, if I may call you that…Call you Mr. Albright? Uh, okay. What’s up, Mr. Albright? Ezequiel Tovar is hitting .350 with power and speed next year? That’s awesome! What do you mean it’s not awesome? Why? Because Bud Black’s playing the 32-year-old Scott Schebler at shortstop? Is Scott Schebler hitting well? Should I pick him up in eight months? Hello…Hello…?” I think he hung up. So, sounds like the Rockies will be calling up Ezequiel Tovar now. Grab Ezequiel Tovar in all keepers, absolutely. He’s a 20/20/.300 hitter that will call Coors home. For this year? Prolly wait and see, but if the Rockies are playing him, I could be interested shortly. How shortly? Like 5′ 7″ but appears 6′ 1″ shortly? Maybe. Did I just give you my first 2023 fantasy rookie? P to the erhaps. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Corbin Burnes (8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA 2.93) held the Giants to one run as he struck out 14. The last guy to hold down the Giants like that was David in the Bible…*Starts sobbing* I’m sorry! I can’t go on! The Queen! She’s gone! What a way to ruin the end of The Crown! No one even gave a spoiler alert! Maybe rather than mourning the Queen’s death, we should be celebrating that Reggie Jackson finally succeeded. Hope someone was filming it, hate to miss out on a Naked Gun sequel. So, Corbin Burnes is once again the best pitcher in baseball or what? In 2023 fantasy, there’s gonna be a lot of pitchers drafted first, I imagine. Corbin Burnes might be one of them, but I bet he’s not the majority’s choice. Of course, I won’t be interested in a starter that early, but I also don’t see anyone else I trust as much as Corbin Burnes for the top 2023 fantasy baseball pitcher. Definitely not Gerrit Cole; maybe Dylan Cease; possibly Shane McClanhananananannanannananananan if he were healthy, but he’s not. Corbin Burnes has the 6th best K-BB%, 7th best xFIP, 5th best K/9 and is remarkably durable and youngish. For 2023 fantasy, it seems hard to twist myself in enough knots to look at anyone else as the best starter. Though, I’d love to Cease up Dylan. Oh, well, long live King Burnes. Anyway. here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

First thing you do in Cincy? Eat some spaghetti with chili. Second thing you do, take a picture by the Harambe statue in front of the Cincy Zoo. Third thing you do, make a wager with Pete Rose’s bookie. Fourth thing, tell people that like Johnny Bench used to hold seven baseballs in his hand, your daddy used to hold eight. Then, when asked, you show your father’s picture, which is Jimmy Connors. Fifth thing you do, is go to Great American Park and hit some homers. Tyler O’Neill (2-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 11th and 12th homer) knows what’s up; Albert Pujols (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 15th homer) knows how to hit the special baseballs marked by Manfred “Easy Fly” as he marches towards 700; Corey Dickerson (3-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 5th homer as he stays about as hot as anyone; TJ Friedl (1-for-4 with his 3rd homer) goes bang-zoomie, and is challenging Corey Dickerson as one of the hottest schmotatoes in fantasy; Stuart Fairchild (2-for-4 with his 4th homer) has three homers in four games as he keeps pace with Dickerson and Friedl; Chuckie Robinson (1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer)…well, who the fu*kie is Chuckie Robinson? Is he What We Do In The Shadows’s Colin Robinson’s child that he had with that doll? So, Tyler O’Neill has been a real Richard Chamberlain in the side of his owners. Ya know, Chamberlain played a Thorn and O’Neill plays for the Cards, who are birds, so he’s a Thorn Bird. Are y’all following or do you need more crumbs? Honestly, I think O’Neill’s been hurt this year. This was supposed to be the year he cemented himself in the top 20 overall. Instead, he fit our fantasy teams for cement boots. His Launch Angle is down; his HardHit% is down; ground balls are up; listen, nothing’s working. If he has been hurt, then 2023 Tyler O’Neill could be a nice bounce back candidate next year. His price will definitely be much cheaper — “barely at all” is my guess. Can he bounce back? Absolutely. If the price for Tyler O’Neill in 2023 fantasy is where I think it might be, Tyler O’Neill is going to find himself on quite a few sleeper lists. For this year, I like him if he’s hot, but I stopped holding my breath. *lowers head, barely audible* Because I’m wearing a snorkel! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well Razzfolks, I spoke too soon in last week’s edition of Razzball Ambulance Chasers. In this edition, we are chock full of injuries. So, Grey cannot lay me off yet, right? RIGHT? Last week, the Cincinnati Reds descent into madness continues as five Reds, including Joey Votto, hit the IL. Across the country, the Padres […]

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-4, 3 runs, 5 RBIs with his 32nd and 33rd homer. Au Shizz twizz! Paul Goldschmidt leads the NL in batting average; Goldy leads the NL in RBIs; Au Shizz is two behind the NL league leader in homers (The Schwammer). That’s right, Goldy could be the first NL Triple Crown winner since Ducky Medwick in 1937. Since Ducky Medwick won that Triple Crown, MLB has changed the baseballs five times in the last six years; Rob Manfred has invented something called ghost runners, and they’re not wearing full-body sheets; there were 7-inning doubleheaders that everyone hated except Rob Manfred, and Cheez Whiz was invented. That’s all the major things since 1937. That’s all of them. Don’t try to do a google for more. *rips Google out of hands* I said no more googling! Usually by mid-August, I make these ledes slightly geared towards 2023 fantasy, but I don’t know what there’s to say on Paul Goldschmidt other than he was incredible in the 1st half (.330/.414/.590), and he’s actually gotten better in the 2nd half (.350/.425/.728). If you thought Au Shizz was Old Shizz, you misread the shizzuatation. 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?

Guess what, y’all?! A new Spencer Torkelson dropped! No, he’s nothing like that old Spencer Torkelson! For one, he’s not young! He’s more like a new older Spencer Torkelson! For two, the Tigers are calling up Kerry Carpenter because they have no conceivable reason to keep him down anymore, because of the stats he was putting up in the minors — .316/.384/.653 with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs in 96 games between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. That’s the Mecca of Ohio. It’s why it’s called Holy Toledo. He was on a recent prospect stash list by Itch, and I say stop stashing and start doing! Comerica Park sucks. More like Crummica! Owned it! But someone making that good of contact with that sorta power is worth a look in deeper mixed leagues. Let’s see if Carpenter can drum up some offense and make the Tigers’ stop feeling like Rainy Days and Mondays. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

From Trade Deadline insanity with Juan Soto to a new Royals’ middle infielder. Is that a sad trombone playing Narco by Blasterjaxx, the come-out music for Edwin Diaz? Not cool! By the way, if you don’t know Narco, you should. It’s trumpetilicious. So, with Whit Merrifield shipped off, uh, shipped towards Toronto, not sure if he can get in there, Michael Massey (2-for-3) was called up, and could see at-bats at 2nd base for the Royals. Why do we care, am I right? “Give it to me straight, Grey, I don’t have time for too much jibber-jabbering!” That’s you. Fair enough, Massey was a top 100 prospect for Itch, and he said, “Can argue for Michael Massey higher than this (in the rankings), especially if you’re seeking short-term help. He’s been a successful hitter his whole baseball life: something I always like to see. It’s rarer than you might think. Much rarer than Grey saying something dumb.” That’s not nice, man! In 33 Triple-A games, Massey went 7/4/.325 with a 24.5% strikeout rate, but he’s a high hit tool guy. Kinda reminds me a young Benintendi. Call him Youngintendi. For now, just 15 team mixed league worthy or deeper, but the monocle is on the cyclops. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?