Does anybody else remember the Adventures of the Gummi Bears? It was on the Disney Channel back in the day and it was THE Saturday Morning jam. Medieval, personified bears, that bounce like kangaroos. Where do I sign up, right? In one of the sloppiest and more unconnected openings in Razzball history, starting pitchers are nothing like Gummi Bears. No, they are not my Saturday Morning jam. They’re my Saturday Morning job, digging into numerous deep dives, for hours on end, trying to figure out which players are trending where. The results of these Saturday Morning exercises are below. As a reminder these rankings are for 5×5 roto with value focused on rest of season value for 2018. So, a player like Michael Kopech is ranked for his value over the entirety of the 2018 season. Not just the next month. In previous seasons, this post was a weekly ranking with a pitching profile included. This year we will continue the weekly pitching profile, but once a month we will update the rankings. Because honestly, how much can happen in a week? One or two starts? So there’s changes coming for 2018, but they’re slight, and you’ll still get the same quality profiles, notes, and ranks. You might also get a cupcake or a venereal disease, but no telling which one. The expiration dates will just be a little longer. On the rankings not on the cupcakes or your fresh batch of herpes.

Here’s my Top 100 Starting Pitchers for 2018 Fantasy Baseball.

1 Chris Sale
2 Clayton Kershaw
3 Max Scherzer
4 Corey Kluber
5 Luis Severino
6 Madison Bumgarner
7 Jacob deGrom
8 Noah Syndergaard
9 Justin Verlander
10 Carlos Carrasco
11 Stephen Strasburg
12 Carlos Martinez
13 Robbie Ray
14 Yu Darvish
15 Zack Greinke
16 James Paxton
17 Aaron Nola
18 Jose Quintana
19 Chris Archer
20 David Price
21 Dallas Keuchel
22 Luis Castillo
23 Gerrit Cole
24 Masahiro Tanaka
25 Lance McCullers
26 Zack Godley
27 Jose Berrios
28 Trevor Bauer
29 Johnny Cueto
30 Jake Arrieta
31 Jon Gray
32 Charlie Morton
33 Garrett Richards
34 Rich Hill
35 Kyle Hendricks
36 Michael Wacha
37 Luke Weaver
38 Jon Lester
39 Jameson Taillon
40 Kevin Gausman
41 Sonny Gray
42 Alex Wood
43 Shohei Ohtani
44 Jordan Montgomery
45 Chase Anderson
46 Taijuan Walker
47 Marcus Stroman
48 Michael Fulmer
49 Danny Duffy
50 Patrick Corbin
51 Blake Snell
52 Kenta Maeda
53 Gio Gonzalez
54 Lucas Giolito
55 Jacob Faria
56 Danny Salazar
57 Dylan Bundy
58 Julio Teheran
59 Dinelson Lamet
60 Sean Manaea
61 Tanner Roark
62 Tyler Chatwood
63 Lance Lynn
64 J.A. Happ
65 Mike Clevinger
66 Rick Porcello
67 Jeff Samardzija
68 Sean Newcomb
69 Aaron Sanchez
70 Miles Mikolas
71 Chad Kuhl
72 Luiz Gohara
73 Ervin Santana
74 Alex Reyes
75 Michael Kopech
76 Steven Matz
77 Cole Hamels
78 Carlos Rodon
79 German Marquez
80 Marco Estrada
81 Daniel Mengden
82 Joe Musgrove
83 Jake Odorizzi
84 Jack Flaherty
85 Drew Pomeranz
86 Trevor Williams
87 Matt Shoemaker
88 Sandy Alcantara
89 Trevor Cahill
90 Mike Minor
91 Nick Pivetta
92 Hyun-Jin Ryu
93 Tyler Mahle
94 Jake Junis
95 Eduardo Rodriguez
96 Felix Hernandez
97 Jhoulys Chacin
98 Reynaldo Lopez
99 Zach Davies
100 CC Sabathia
101 Bryan Mitchell
102 Nate Karns
  • I’m back for another season of ranking Alex Wood in the top 10. He may not be there now, but two good games, and it’s coming.
  • We here at Razzball helped get the engine started on the Luis Castillo Hype Train this off-season. Both Grey and I have covered Castillo, here I discuss him on my Fantrax Video series, while Grey wrote a riveting sleeper post. It’s easy to see what we like; Castillo already had elite velocity, a plus changeup, and a swing and miss breaking ball. But it was the addition of a two-seam sinking fastball that put him over the top for me. If you don’t know the story of the two-seamer, read Grey’s post or watch the video. As it stands, Castillo has two pitches with SwStr% rates of 15% or higher in his slider and change, a four-seam fastball that averages 98 MPH, and a a sinking fastball with a 76% ground ball rate. Wins will be hard to come by, but I sincerely believe that Castillo has the skillset to navigate the treacherous waters of his home park.
  • Of course, I’m yet another Trevor Bauer fan from the world of fantasy writers. He’s a favorite of our Imperial Leader Sénor Albright, and has generated buzz around his transition from a cutter to a slider over the final 12 starts of the 2017 season. Upon making the change to his repertoire, Bauer’s Bb% dropped 50% over that period, to a more than acceptable 6%. He still maintained his K% north of 25%, and for the first time in his career, outpitched his peripherals. He’s had solid control this spring, but has also allowed 5 homers. Not something I’m going to read into too much. Shutup, and draft Bauer.
  • One of the more unexpected breakouts of 2017 was the BrewersChase Anderson. The veteran righty had always hinted at mid-rotation upside, but homer issues long plagued Anderson. Following a rough beginning to the season, Anderson changed his sequencing and what followed was a great run in his final 16 starts. While there was a significant amount of luck involved in Anderson’s line (.228 Babip, 87.5% strand rate, 4.00 xFIP), he did a great job of utilizing his greatest strength, his 5 pitch arsenal. Over that time, Anderson started to elevate his four-seamer, as well as throw his curveball and cutter more, which lead to usage rates of 10%+ on all five of his offerings. The ability to change speeds, eye levels, and generate swinging strikes with three different pitches make me optimistic Anderson can limit some of the forthcoming regression.
  • Is it the “late-career” Jered Weaver-esque fastball velocity that leads many of us to write off the CubsKyle Hendricks? This is one of those times, where you ask a question you already know the answer to. We as a community tend to not value players with Hendricks’ skillset of contact suppression. Every year we question when he’ll come back down to earth, but every year he turns in a strong ERA. There’s other factors at play boosting Hendricks value for me as well. First he’s on a good team, so those Ws that might be elusive for a player who’s skills we like better, like say, the aforementioned Castillo, won’t be so elusive for Hendricks. The other factor is the Cubs strong defense, this is the perfect complementary group to back a pitch to contact type. BTW despite low velocity, Hendricks’ fastball has earned pitch values on Fangraphs of 13.8 in 2016, and 10.8 in 2017. Meaning his FB actually graded out higher than Max Scherzer’s, Luis Severino’s, and Gerrit Cole’s to name a few. So perhaps, Velo ain’t everything.
  • Are you worried about Shohei Ohtani yet? Rooting for his demise? Either way you’re overreacting.
  • Were the blisters to blame for Johnny Cueto’s awful 2017? Or are the skills deteriorating? I tend to fall into the former and not the latter, and here’s why. Not only did Cueto try and pitch through blister issues until he couldn’t, he also had possibly the worst outfield defense in baseball. ON the other side of the coin, Cueto’s fastball betrayed him, his changeup lost movement, and his slider didn’t find the zone with the same regularity. It’s tough to prove that a loss of feel due to blisters is behind Cueto slippage last season, but it’s obvious he was struggling with command, and there’s a logical explanation. Perhaps the blisters are just masking a drop in ability year over year, and there’s always the strong chance the blisters return. So Cueto ain’t out of the woods just yet. Regardless of those factors, Cueto is one gamble I’m willing to take this year.
  • Sound the alarm because I am back in on Lucas Giolito. After watching two of Giolito’s recent spring starts, it’s obvious with the newly adjusted arm slot, has led to a rediscovery of the movement on his fastball. The results have been great this Spring, as he boasts a 17-4 K/BB, a .169 BAA, a 2.04 ERA, and a 0.85 WHIP. Granted it’s Spring, but it’s a positive sign, and my first hand scouting gives me reason for optimism.

Find all of the 30 Minor League Previews, and Offseason Rankings on the Minor League Index
On Twitter as @ProspectJesus

 

  1. Inspector BABIP says:
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    Carlos Martinez?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Inspector BABIP: Sorry, must have added an old version after I moved Shark down.

  2. Jim Bergmann says:
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    Bouncing here and there and everywhere
    high adventures that are beyond compare
    They are the Gummy Bears!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jim Bergmann: The song is stuck in my heard for eternity.

      • Steve Stevenson says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: yeah it gets me at random times too. Nobody understands except you guys.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Steve Stevenson: Sometimes I’m in the shower and I just yell “here, and there, and eeeeeverywhere! They are the Gummi Bears!”

  3. Marti says:
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    You missed carlos-martinez

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Marti: He’s there, quick editing mistake. Thanks!

  4. phennore says:
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    No Carlos Martinez?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @phennore: Thanks! Quick editing mistake.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Excellent work, Ralph! I’d say hats off, but I don’t wear hats bc I have gorgeous hair.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Grey: Can confirm, your hair is gorge.

  6. OaktownSteve says:
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    Nice. Also enjoyed cartoon Ralph but wonder why they made you purple.

    My dynasty league starters include Castillo, Giolito, Kopech, Gohara and Mahle, all acquired last year.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @OaktownSteve: Must be all the sizzurp or it’s my sweet tooth for flowers high in myrcene.

      You’re building a formidable staff IMO. Love the corner Giolito seems to be taking, his fastball was straight the past few years.

      Mahle looks like he’s going to earn a job out of camp.

  7. Cram It says:
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    I was partial to Zoobilee Zoo.

    Nice to see someone as high on Price as I am, especially considering he’s my 4th SP in ‘Perts RCL ;) Feel like he’s been an afterthought thus far.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Cram It: I remember buying one of those weird nose things when I was on vacation once around 1987. Think I got a dog’s snout.

      Maybe it’s the Boston homer in me, but I don’t see why he can’t have his best season in Boston? He actually pitched well last year, and changed some of his sequencing, leaning more on the sinker, and almost eliminating his fourseamer. Threw the cutter more too. I’m encouraged and he seems to be back at full strength.

      • Cram It says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Seriously, he’s been a consistently great pitcher for like his whole career. I guess an injury shortened season 2 of the last 3 years have scared people off, but even with those, he was pitching really well. Don’t think he’s losing anything yet.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Cram It: This is very true. Still love his changeup too.

  8. Milarky says:
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    Hey Ralph, love your articles and the podcast! Will you be putting out a top 25 rookies for 2018 this year? I think you did one last year and it really helped me in my prep.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Milarky: Sometime before opening day for sure.

      • Milarky says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Beauty! And thanks for solidifying that I made the right choice in keeping Severino instead of deGrom!

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Milarky: I think you did!

  9. Randy says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    Are any of these SS prospects in your top 150 overall prospects:

    Cole Tucker, Lucious Fox, Jeter Downs, Gabriel Arias

    I am particularly wondering about your opinion on Fox, another Mateo? Thanks.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Randy: Fox has a longways to go to get to that level. I would rank them Arias, Downs, Tucker, and Fox. Likely Fox is outside the next hundred and into the next 100.

  10. Chucky says:
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    Teheran seems to be reinventing himself this year, no? Not a big swing and miss guy…but learning to be more of a pitcher. If he can keep batters off balance , will his improved? ERA and WHIP and possibly wins with an upstart Braves team offset his lack of K’s?
    Also, no King Felix? He’s 31, can’t we cut him some slack already, afterall, he is the KIng?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Chucky: He’s 96, and could move up, his age is deceiving because he has more miles on that arm that guys 7 years older. He’s not a player I’m targeting personally.

      I don’t dislike Teheran, he was actually great on the road last year, but got destroyed by hitters at home. If he can figure out his SunTrust struggles we might unlock some of his upside.

  11. Duke says:
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    Gummy Bears was totally my Saturday morning Jam! Also, Ducktales completely slayed in the afternoons.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Duke: Agree in both!

  12. Elliot Smith Stabbed Himself...SAD!!! says:
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    Severino #5? I have a hard time believing that possible for a Yankees pitcher. You could be right, but that really surprised me when I saw it.

  13. Mole man says:
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    Good afternoon Ralph! I know you are the prospect guy; I just read this on the NH fishercats this in regards to the top prospects with the Jays

    “Toronto Blue Jays prospects Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette will open the 2018 season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
    Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro confirmed to TSN’s Rick Westhead on Friday that the two prized youngsters will head to the Eastern League squad after travelling north with the Jays for their final exhibition games in Montreal next week.”

    I may have to go up to Manchester NH to catch them play

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mole man: I will be going to a lot of Fishercats games. Only an hour away from me.

      • JP says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Ralph season ticket holder here let’s do a game this summer

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @JP: Gladly! I was already looking at the schedule last night. I’m hoping the two Legacy Kids are there for Star Wars night in July. I need to own a Han Solo Vladito Star Wars Jersey.

  14. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    Nice list, Ralph. I agree with you on a bunch of these guys. Actually have Hendricks about a dozen spots higher. Solid GB rate, plus command, and the Cubs still have that lovely defense. Has that sweet changeup to go with that underrated fastball that you mentioned. Nice WHIP asset. Think Cueto bounces back as well.

    Is general durability the main reason that you have Strasburg outside of the top 10? Or is it something more specific? I would say the same in regards to Syndergaard, but his ranking is completely reasonable coming off of what was mostly a lost season.

    The one player that I have much lower is Gausman. Walks, homers, and the AL East. Oh my!

    Have you seen/read anything on Sanchez this spring? Saw that his velo was back up into the 95-96 range. AL East is a negative, and his K-rate has lagged behind his stuff in the past. Think he takes a step forward or do you see more of the same?

    • Sport says:
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      @Big Magoo:
      I could listen (or read) Magoo and Ralph talk starters all day.

      Big Magoo- Who is your Robbie Ray this year?

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Sport: If you’re looking for a potential top 15 SP, I think that Castillo, Godley, McCullers, and Weaver look like the most likely candidates to make the jump. All of those guys can be had at a reasonable price.

        If you’re looking for a late rounder who could make a big jump, Snell is the guy that I’m highest on. HIs stuff is nasty and he should strikeout at least a batter per inning. If he keeps his walks down like he did in the 2nd half of last season, he’ll return a nice profit. Taillon, Clevinger, Wacha, and J. Montgomery are some others with breakout potential.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Big Magoo: Thanks for dropping by Magoo. Yeah, I’ve been able to buy both Hendricks and Cueto at a nice discount in dynasty and keeper leagues this offseason. Always like to target the unsexy names with unappreciated floors. Cueto’s not 100% in that boat, but the blister issue explains some of it. Not to mention Denard Span’s CF defense was atrocious. That’s tough in such a cavernous home park, and division.

      It is, I never own him, because the durability is such an issue for me. On stuff and production alone he should be Top 5, but I always feel his arm is going to fall off. Now, I understand all of these guys arms are going to fall off, but I just can’t see him hitting 180. Lance was urging me to move him up last night. But I’m a stubborn bastard. It’s not skill based because it’s all there.

      Kevin Gausman cannot be quit. He’s like the mafia. The trick is, you don’t draft him or own him before July 1st, then you trade for him, spend peanuts, and relax to the smooth sounds of second half Gaus. For some reason the sinker doesn’t work until July. He’s an enigma.

      I worry about Sanchez’s ability to stay healthy. The stuff from what I’m heard is back, and seems like a guy that could move up in this list come May 1st.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Good point on Span’s defense. He was atrocious in the field last year. Jackson/Duggar/anyone should be much better by default.

        Strasburg is definitely a durability risk, but with most SPs throwing fewer innings these days, I’m more willing to take a chance on skills and hope that the health is there.

        Think that high-end relievers are more valuable for the similar reasons. The inning gap in going from SP to RP isn’t quite as large as it used to be, and the K-rate and ratios are likely to be much better, not to mention the potential vulture wins and saves from those guys. Drafted Syndergaard/Godley/McCullers/Wacha with a reliever core of Jansen/Morrow/Bradley/Miller in one league as an example of this strategy. Pretty risky, but could yield nice dividends (and a solid ratio foundation for streaming). That being said, I don’t advise anyone to take that much risk. I’ll probably end up streaming my ass off in that league.

        Thanks man. Awesome post!

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Big Magoo: Damn, I like the way that staff looks, I’m intrigued by high end closers closers this year for that reason. If I don’t get Kenley or Kimbrel, I’m getting Rivero. I have a ton of Chad Green and Hader too. Love those guys as ratio boosters, particularly, as you said, in streaming formats.

          I’m in a keeper points league and the two top closers seems to be the top two pitchers I’ll get. So I’m left with a choice of taking Bauer, Kimbrel, or Kenley with the second and sixth picks in the draft. I’m taking Kenley at 2, and hoping Kimbrel makes it back to me at 6. Usually everyone goes for starters, but elite closers score as much as they do. Little more consistent for H2H too.

          Yes, by the way I hate myself for playing head to head, but it’s a home league. It’s a good league too, just H2H is sooooo frustrating. Particularly points, as us old dogs are used to chasing categories.

  15. RICE says:
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    Excellent stuff Ralph!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @RICE: Thanks Rice! You’re a great addition to any meal!

  16. GrassyKnollRedding says:
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    Great stuff as usual, Ralph! Are you buying Amir Garrett’s strong spring at all? Curious if he’s worth snagging off the wire? Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @GrassyKnollRedding: Not me, but if the league is deep enough and you need a flier, fly away.

  17. Mark says:
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    I love Razzball.

    I think the A’s staff is a mess.

    The KC staff has tremendous value. I think Junis and Kearns are real gems this year. Junis might be something…but despite what I see, I need more inside data so I can confirm why he’s succeeding. He was a okay to good prospect, but what I see is a top quality prospect or starting pitcher who is no longer a prospect.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Mark: Agree on those points.

      So much of pitching is figuring it out.

  18. Eric says:
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    YES!!!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Eric: YES!!!

  19. Bryce Krispie Treats says:
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    Hey Ralph,

    I asked Grey today what he thought, and Id like your opinion, too.

    5 year keeper league. I always draft and stash one prospect. Im deciding between Eloy and Vlad Jr. Any thoughts? What are the odds that they get the call this year? Obviously, it will have to be monster performers. IF they go nuts, do they see the MLB?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Bryce Krispie Treats: Odds are about equal between the two, though likely later. Vladito is your huckleberry.

  20. Sport says:
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    How you had time to master this list with all the prospecting you do is amazing. How is this staff for a ten team dynasty? Robbie Ray, Bauer, Wacha, Gio, Manaea, and the Jordan Montgomery. I feel I need one more SP2 or 3. Jimmy Nelson, Gohara, and Puk are in the shadows waiting too.

    Also, I couldn’t find an ETA on Morejon in your top 100 prospect list. Is it late 2019? And does he have SP1 upside?

    Thank you!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sport: Master might be a stretch. Lol.

      A little thin, you could use another big arm.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Sport: Likely 2020 on Morejon.

  21. Eep says:
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    Ralph,

    Great stuff as always! I could use some help deciding which 5 players to keep in an ESPN 10 team 5×5 weekly H2H. Keepers can be kept indefinitely with no penalty.

    Rendon
    T. Turner
    Devers
    Betts
    Springer
    Stanton
    Moncada
    Darvish
    Carrasco
    A. Nola

    T. Turner, Betts and Stanton are obvious choices. The other two players I’m leaning towards keeping are Devers and Nola. What do you think?

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Eep: I’d keep Springer and Devers.

  22. Randy says:
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    The threesome of Andy, Grey, and Ralph was very entertaining on the Fantrax show!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Randy: Hahaha! Seriously, I was laughing like Ed McMahon the whole time.

  23. Eric says:
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    Excellent work! What are your thoughts on these 4 pitchers in comparison to your bottom 25ish?:

    Velasquez
    McCarthy
    Tyson Ross
    Marco Gonzales

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Eric: All need to either stay healthy or prove it for me.

  24. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    Did I leave my sleep apnea machine in here ~ Nick

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Smokey: I’m dead!

  25. Ronald says:
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    I’m in a SVs/Holds league. I’m looking for SPs w/RP eligibility with decent ratios to get saves. Not many sites mention SPs who are RPs, but I was able to roster 7 bullpen guys last year. Devenski, Green lost their SP status. I’m loving the idea of Zack Wheeler and Matt Andriese. Thoughts?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Ronald: I like both of those guys if that’s what you’re looking for. Good fliers.

  26. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    Madison Bumgarner just fractured his left hand. I will adjust the rankings tonight.

  27. BJ says:
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    Ralph – NL Prospect question:
    If you had to guess on a few NL guys who will be the Giolito’s and the Acuna’s of 2020 who are outside of your top 100 right now, name them. Looking for your deep cuts! :-)

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @BJ: I have a top 200 and 300 coming out over the next few weeks. You’ll know all about them.

      But I’m not going to leave you in suspense, Luis Garcia is one, Yasel Antuna is another.

  28. green monstah says:
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    Uh oh!!! Well not too happy at the moment with the news surrounding bumgarner, typically how long are hand/wrist fractures recovery times, or should I expect it to be a season ender? Im hoping for a speedy recovery but man it stings going into the season; Mad Bum was supposed to be the ace of my staff. Now my ace will be darvish or keuchel.

    I know it’ll hurt but here’s my SPs

    SP: bumgarner
    SP: darvish
    SP: keuchel
    SP: berrios
    SP: mccullers
    SP: Jon gray

    Bench: Blake snell, Jameson taillon.

    Once Mad Bum goes on DL which SP to add :
    – dinelson Lamet
    – Patrick Corbin
    – matt Harvey
    – Sean Maneana
    – Odorizzi
    – Marco estrada
    – Sean newcomb
    – Mike folty

    Next,since I’m behind the ball now by losing mad bum would you in addition to placing mad bum in my DL slot to add one of the above SP’s, what about also dropping Jackie Bradley jr on my bench or willie Calhoun for another SP?

    Or drop Bradley jr for either Aaron altherr, Carlos Gonzalez, chris owings (2b/SS/OF), brinson, or schebler.

    My bench bats are JBJ, willie Calhoun, acuna, josh Harrison (2b/3b), Brandon belt, grichuk

    Thanks man!!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @green monstah: I’m hearing it’s 4-6 weeks after surgery, then he has to get the pins removed. He expects to pitch before the All-Star break, apparently. Looks like half a season is best case.

      I’d add Corbin, and hold your bats.

      • True and Correct says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: I’ll take the under on my 2nd pick (#26) because: 1) He’s beast; 2) He’s stayed off his bike; 3) He’s my #2 pick.
        Not quite the same losing him in a 15 teamer, as opposed to 12 and 10 teamers. Have to make due with Kershaw, Price, Snell, Gausman, Manaea, Musgrove, Mengden, and A.J. Cole (30th and my last pick).

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @True and Correct: Think you’ll be okay with that group.

  29. Laura Holt

    Laura Holt says:
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    Dang, that is an about-face on Giolito! Color me intrigued. Also, FYI, I need some serious minor league assistance with my upcoming farm drafts in my crazy deep AL and NL-only keeper leagues. It is the one part of my game that I just don’t have the patience/interest to follow as closely as I should for some reason, and both of my farm teams are a freaking mess heading into 2018. So consider yourself warned that you may be receiving an email from me begging for help!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Laura Holt: Anytime Laura, happy to help.

  30. Team Studer (I traded judge for locain) says:
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    I hate to have my first razzball comment be completely ignorant, but am I correct in assuming no more leagues will be created? A little late to the party this year..

  31. Jeremy says:
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    I see Shark is well below Michael Fulmer. Would that still be the case in a points league where QS=7 and W=3? In malomoney’s spreadsheet the vet was ranked higher, but not sure how much this changes things. Or if you would have agreed with him to begin with.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Jeremy: It’s the injury that moves Shark below him, he’s missing two month.

  32. 1. Gummi Bears? I did not plug in and open this machine to listen to baby-talk.

    2. My draft is tomorrow a.m.

    3. I knew you were working on your Treasure (i.e. your Top 100) but I didn’t really expect to see it before my draft!

    4. I was just going to be happy to see it.

    5. I think you should be called Boy Scout Ralph as a compliment: A. If Grey is Batman, you are the Boy Wonder (Scout). B. You are reliable and C. You are true.

    6. You got a problem with that?

    7. I don’t have a problem with that.

    8. Thanks for all your extra work on this and I know I am not the only one in Radioland–or Gotham City–who considers your work and insights very much: MVP–and we thank you!!!

    FANTHEAD

    (My name is FANTHEAD. So BOY SCOUT RALPH is not so bad. In fact, it’s good.)

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @FANTHEAD: I actually pushed it out after your request, you were my muse Fanty!

      1. Goo-goo
      2. Go get ‘em
      3.its here
      4. Happy happy
      5.If Grey is Batman can I be the Joker?
      6. I want watch the world burn tho…
      7. See above
      8. Thanks Citizen!

  33. Bryce Krispy Treats says:
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    Quick personal questing Ralph, do you collect baseball cards? Specifically bowman prospects? I feel like you’d make some $. You told us about buehler last year, so I invested in him. I haven’t sold what I bought yet, but at this point, he has bright me good return!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Bryce Krispy Treats: Yes, I bought a Bowman draft jumbo pack for my son this Christmas, and have been buying him some heritage and topps 2018 stuff. Need to run to the Worcester comic store to grab the new Bowman stuff. It’s hard to come by. Target has a lot of good stuff.

  34. Tweak says:
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    Happy with how my RCL draft went last week. I got plenty of names from this list. SPs are:

    Stroman
    Berrios
    Bauer
    Wacha
    Fulmer
    Manaea
    Shark

    I even threw in a Vince Velasquez as a just-in-case. Funsies!

    I hope my draft on Sunday goes as well as this past one. I got Miggy in the 8th round.

    Is your Stroman rank here lower because of his shoulder, or have you lost some faith? I’m a big fan of his, but I thought he’d be ranked higher with his repertoire.

    • Tweak says:
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      @Tweak: Whoops! Jordan Montgomery, too.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Tweak: You have too many starters for an RCL, Trade some of those guys for relievers. I only carry 3-5 starters in an RCL team.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: Stroman thing is health, his big boost is the innings, if I don’t get 200+ IP from him the rest is a little underwhelming.

  35. Trammel says:
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    Just inherited a keeper team… is it worth keeping Giolito for $9, or set him free and get him cheaper in draft?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Trammel: Keep him, he’s a mover right now.

  36. Nick says:
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    Ralphy :)

    great rankings, a bit different from what we can see , and WELL updated!

    i inherited a dynasty team 1 year ago.

    Batting staff is good , Young and rebuilt, thanks to a Corey Seager trade ( i have Lindor already!)

    but i have HARD time with my pitching: oldies but goodies, and unproven Youngsters

    SP1 : Tanaka is my ACE !!! and grey’s sleeper
    SP2: Cuetos “Doritos’ Blisters” “32yold !
    SP3: Rich Hill “38
    SP4: Cooled Hamels “34
    SP5: Chase Anderson “31
    SP6: Dinelson Lamet
    SP7: Mike Miolas – both prospect picks for the future

    and lost Honeywell for the season

    OK my ERA will sits around 4.00, but i have Ks potential

    don’t know what to do with Hamels, maybe i can hold a little before dropping him

    avalaible pitchers on the wire ;
    Newcomb is the best ranked on your list
    Trevor Williams , grey’s sleeper
    Mahle is looking good in spring

    then others of consideration : Pivetta / Mengden/ Ureña / Eovaldi / AJCole

    What should i move ?

    Nick

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Nick: I like the three you mentioned to replace Newcomb, but your area of need is ratios, so keep that in mind.

      • Nick says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz:
        to replace Hamels!?

        ratios : ERA / Whip ?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Nick: Yes, Hamels, and si on the ratios.

  37. Chud says:
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    Great post Ralph!

    Any names in your bottom 30 range that you could see skyrocketing into the top 30/40?

    I guess I’m looking for a little word called “potential”…ha.

    Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Chud: Sanchez, Alcantara, Mitchell, Newcomb, and Kuhl.

      If he gets the time the best will be Kopech.

        • Chud says:
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          @Chud: So based off of your rankings (SP and prospect) u like Puk and Muehler long term but not for this year?

          Thanks

          • Chud says:
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            @Chud: I meant (Walker) Buehler….

  38. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Great stuff man!

    1. How much would you bid on Bum in a 12 teamer this weekend? I’ve never thought about drafting him (ever), but want to be ready if the room overreacts about his pinky boo boo…

    2. Same league, my 1 pitcher keeper is $10 Robbie Ray. What sort of guy would you look to pair with Ray as your SP2? Nola is my number 1 target, but your notes on Price peaked my interest too. Quintana is interesting but will be overpriced. Is doing a Godley / Bauer combo as my dual-SP2 getting a little too cute? Trying to ID guys who will balance out the potential rough outings of Ray.

    3. Luuurve the J. Gray and Jormont love. Gray’s been more and more interesting to me.

    4. Glad to see I’m not the only one with a Chatwood curiosity. Easy Wins and idk…just seems like the guy that could randomly finish in the top 20/25 with a mid 3 era and solid ks.

    5. Am I crazy for valuing Maeda similarly to Morton/Richards/Hill tier? He’s locked the #3 spot – why not?

    Thanks.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: I’d cap it at $15-$16 you have to expect you’re getting back half a season.

      This is funny, I’d try and pair Hendricks. All my Ray teams have Hendricks.

      Gray is awesome, no not that Grey.

      I trust the Theo investment, hopefully he’s more Arrieta than Matt Clement.

      He could, I’m not sure if the upside, and you KNOW the Dodgers aren’t going to let him see over 25 starts.

      • Duda want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: great suggestion re Hendricks! Alas, he’s being kept. Who else might fit that mold…taillon? Or dare I say, arrieta?

          • Duda Want to a Build a Snowman? says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: sounds good! Yeah, if I go Godley/Bauer up top, should be able to snag taillon later.

  39. Big League Wood says:
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    Great list. You and Gray are doing a fantastic job on the Podcast.
    Are you partial to any of these guys? Deep diving for a Sunday PM FAB.
    Heaney, Skaggs, Vincent V. ???

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Big League Wood: Skaggs would be my target from that group.

  40. Dongs for Days says:
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    Cahill snuck into your list, might take him a while to get stretched out and ready to start games for Oakland but what is his upside as a starting pitcher? He was fantastic prior to injury/2nd half last year.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Dongs for Days: I loved the K upside we saw last year, and he’s still in a good park.

  41. Trammel says:
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    Thanks for the Giolito tip. Here’s a follow up…

    Keep Giolito for $9 or Travis Shaw for $7

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Trammel: Oohh, I think you have to go Shaw there. The value is just too good!

  42. Steve Stevenson says:
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    What do you like about Mengden to have him that high? I need a DL replacement for Pomeranz in my AL-only keeper (where you can only make adds if someone gets DL’d or demoted, so not a lot of movement). Was gonna go Skaggs, but Mengden is the highest on your list. Also considering O’Day since Brach and Greene are my only closers, but my SP is truly atrocious in that league.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: I’m the high guy on Mengden. Something about his control plus his ability to limit hard contact. He also has a very deceptive delivery, and decent fastball velocity. If you go and read his Fangraphs blurb, I’m wondering if Zimmerman got mugged by the guy. He trashes Mengden. Time will tell.

  43. pumpedbutnotreally says:
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    12t H2H 6×6 + K/BB
    My SPs: Bum, Archer, Sev*, Bauer, Fulmer, Clevinger, Jon Gray, Faria
    On the waiver: Marquez, Gohara, Matz, Rodon, Musgrove, Garret,

    I’m thinkin DL Bum, grab Jimmy Nelson and DL him and grabbing someone. Who’d you bet on? Garret with his stellar KBB and ST stats?

  44. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Great work my man. 12 team h2h category league where sp is way overvalued. Cobb is my sp11, would you drop him for stratton or just wait? Qs and wins are both categories, and it’s my sp11. Thanks.

  45. RobPopp says:
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    Trade my G-Gonz for his Cueto? I like Gio as a contract year player on a good team, but with Bum and Shark out, Cueto seems in line for massive innings in first half…

  46. Birrrdy! says:
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    Making me feel great about my Pivetta $1 pick in an NL only keeper. Straily for $2, not so much…

    Nice work, Ralph!

  47. Rob says:
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    bryan mitchell = the colin moran of SPs. no it doesn’t make sense but I’ve planted my flag all up in them both. great list.

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