I’m writing this lede as Tristan McKenzie comes off a near-perfect game with 11Ks. As fans — like, baseball fans who spend their time watching games and maybe even attending them — this is cool as hell, right? A rookie throws a no-hitter in his first appearance on Saturday night and then another near-rookie throws a near-perfect game the next day. Each pitcher is on a bombing team that is in a race for draft picks in the 2022 lottery. Yet, the players refuse to give up. They see the lights, the contracts, the ability to overcome their past mistakes. But we as fantasy players, sometimes we’re just puzzled. Do I like McKenzie in a real-life setting? Oh hell yeah, I named him the “Cardiac Kid” last year after his desire to be a cardiologist. But in fantasy? He struck out as many batters on Sunday as he had struck out in his previous 3 starts combined (he also had a 6.00 ERA / 6.00 FIP / 5.8 K/9). The reason we play fantasy sports is just because wild stuff like this happens. The unexpected happens every week, and we can’t predict who will throw a no-hitter or who will get blown up. With that, I bid everybody a great week as we round the corner into the last weeks of the fantasy baseball season.

Corbin Burnes

Original image found The Dynasty Guru

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Starting Pitchers

Tyler GilbertTell me if you’ve heard this story before: an electrician turns the lights on and then goes lights out as a starting pitcher. Because that’s the Tyler Gilbert story. Deal is, Tyler Gilbert had a 5.37 xFIP in AAA ball this year before hitting the majors as an innings-eater on a tanking team. Do you wonder what’s going on in the front office as Gilbert is making history and having the world cheer for him. Do you think the guy in charge of the 2022 draft is sipping from his bourbon (neat, smoke flavor added) thinking, “Damnit, this rookie is gonna make us draft from the 4 spot!” To you, anonymous front office worker with a bad taste in alcohol, I say celebrate the small things. Actually, Gilbert had a ton of defensive help in this one, so it really was a team effort. Gilbert’s kind of an 8 K/9 guy with not a ton of upside — maybe he just really thrives when the pressure is on? — but for fantasy purposes, you don’t really need to chase him.

Also, if you don’t follow Razzball on Twitter, you’re really missing out:

Chris SaleAre you sick of me talking about him yet? But really, we’ve got a former Cy Young award winner who is capable of K’ing 11+ per 9 joining a potent offense against a bunch of teams that haven’t seen him pitch in 2 years…this is an absolute recipe for the fantasy playoffs. And you know what he did in his 2021 debut? 5IP, 8Ks, 0 BB, 2 ER on 6 hits. The Red Sox ended up tagging the Orioles for 16 runs on Saturday — so Sale really didn’t need to strain himself whatsoever. We’ll likely see Sale work his way up to 6IP before season’s end, so he’ll be a monster –the good kind, like Sully from Monsters, Inc. —  in K/9 leagues while being just a classic Mike Wazowski in redraft due to his lack of IP ceiling.

Marco GonzalesWe’ve got the evidence that Marco Gonzales has gaining velocity on his fastball and it’s effective again. His swinging-strike rate is up above 10% again over the past month, and his ERA is about 1.30. Sure, the advanced metrics suggest that he’s going to have some blowups, but Gonzales’ famed weak-contact rate (5% barrel rate, 30% hard-hit rate over the past month) — which led him to a top 10 SP finish on the 2020 fantasy player rater — could be golden to finish out the year. Relievers are in shambles right now (are they ever not?) and Gonzales is rostered in only 50% of leagues (with good reason — his start of the year was horrible). But! We’re looking at everything trending in the right direction, and Gonzales would be a nice pickup to finish out the fantasy year. Obviously, don’t start him against monster bats (and if you’re in the top of your fantasy standings, you should be avoiding all of those matchups right now), but otherwise let him get that soft contact.

Madison BumgarnerAnother kind of pitcher that I’m not particularly thrilled with, but if you’re desperate to make the playoffs, then you should know that he’s available in 70% of leagues and I’m not responsible for only blowups he has along the way. MadBum famously stopped training during Covid (but didn’t we all?) and he never really caught up to his old form. He’s only 32! The Diamondbacks have him under contract for another three years, which means they really want him to figure out his issues, and I can tell you, he’s not quite doing that right now. Over the past month, he’s got a 2.00 ERA with a 3.65 FIP, which is OK, but not thrilling given his 6.0 K/9. The Diamondbacks are really playing some solid defense recently, eh? What’s weird is that the D-backs are actually in the bottom third of the league in DEF WAR. So…maybe my recommendation of MadBum should be taken very, very lightly.

Kyle FreelandOK, I missed this guy, but so did everybody else. See, I’m finding all these wildly overlooked pitchers to help you in your fantasy quest! So, over his last 60 IP, Kyle Freeland has an 8 K/9 to a sub 2 BB/9, with a 2.53 ERA and a 3.70 xFIP. But Coors Field! You shout, and I hear you. Do you want to win your fantasy league or just finish 7th? You need to take advantage to win, not sit idly in the dugout chewing sunflower seeds (like I did throughout my youth). Yeah, he’s SP 150 on the year because he’s got a whopping 4 wins on a tanking Rockies team. But the Rockies have the 2nd best DEF WAR as a team and most of the damage done against him is via singles/doubles (with a minuscule 0.68 HR/9 rate over the last 50 IP). It’s time to get aggressive and win your league: add Kyle Freeland. And if I’m wrong, of course I was: I told you to take a Coors Pitcher, which is way worse than a pitcher of Coors.

Griffin Jax: Cal Quantrill 2.0 right now. Yeah, 10K game where he gave up 2 dingers (shades of Gerrit Cole?), but for the most part, he’s been blown out more than he’s been blowing by batters this year. If you roster him, you might be the mouse getting eaten by the griffon.

Space:X Rankings

Corbin Burnes takes the top spot after his ridiculous 60% CSW performance this week, but really, he’s always been one of the top guys. Our biggest worry about Corbin Burnes was that he might hit an IP cap, but he’s surpassed the 6IP mark in 5 out of his last 7 games, so we’re likely seeing that Burnes will anchor the team’s playoff run and might get a rest once the Brewers secure their place in the postseason. Chris Sale debuts around #20, due in large part to Rudy’s top 10 ROS score for Sale. Told you to get him months ago! As always, I rank pitchers based on confidence based on if they pitch. Jacob deGrom is obviously not starting right now, and we’re hearing he might be shut down for the year. He was also supposed to be “ready to go” weeks ago. So, in case deGrom or whoever starts, you’ve got my confidence ranking ready.

Let me know which pitchers you’re trusting for the playoff race on your teams!

Week 24 Pitcher Data.xls

NameConfidenceIPK-BB%SIERACSW%Rudy ROS
Gerrit Cole3.95158.229.20%2.832.50%38.9
Max Scherzer5.815429.80%2.832.00%27.9
Corbin Burnes5.915230.50%2.5934.10%21
Charlie Morton8.2516521.00%3.531.20%21.7
Aaron Nola9.2157.224.00%3.3230.80%21.5
Kevin Gausman9.7517022.40%3.4630.90%18
Yu Darvish11.0514623.80%3.3830.50%21.9
Robbie Ray11.45170.125.90%3.1430.00%18.3
Joe Musgrove12.3154.220.70%3.632.00%16.5
Brandon Woodruff12.4163.123.30%3.3429.80%21.5
Lucas Giolito15.9158.120.80%3.730.10%21.2
Julio Urias17163.121.60%3.5830.30%9.9
Carlos Rodon17.6124.228.50%2.8930.20%16.3
Walker Buehler18.118619.50%3.7529.30%19.2
Zack Wheeler18.75195.123.50%3.228.10%20.2
Jose Berrios19.1166.119.80%3.7129.10%17.5
Freddy Peralta20.112523.00%3.5130.70%9.7
Sean Manaea21.45156.220.90%3.6129.10%10.6
Nathan Eovaldi21.55163.220.80%3.6329.90%7
Frankie Montas21.7163.219.70%3.7529.30%11.3
Logan Webb22.55118.120.30%3.1831.50%6.2
Dylan Cease22.6151.121.20%3.6930.10%8.5
Lance McCullers Jr.22.85138.116.00%4.0531.50%16.6
Luis Garcia24.313320.30%3.7230.30%9.2
Sonny Gray25.1113.219.50%3.7230.50%10.6
Tyler Mahle25.7159.119.70%3.7829.70%7.3
Clayton Kershaw26.75106.125.60%3.0832.40%
German Marquez28.616716.10%3.9528.70%9.2
Blake Snell29.0512818.40%4.0129.30%15.9
Jacob deGrom29.29241.70%1.7435.80%-2.6
Adam Wainwright29.95184.116.30%3.9930.30%3
Shohei Ohtani30.65115.120.10%3.7128.70%9.2
Shane McClanahan31.2110.120.20%3.6331.50%
Trevor Rogers31.95118.219.40%3.8130.50%3.8
Max Fried33.15136.217.20%3.8428.10%15.8
Hyun-Jin Ryu33.8157.215.00%4.1728.50%12.8
Eduardo Rodriguez33.85136.120.50%3.6528.10%6.7
Sandy Alcantara35.15180.217.70%3.7427.80%5.7
Shane Bieber36.690.225.30%3.1833.90%-5.8
Collin McHugh36.78.235.70%2.1339.50%
Andrew Heaney36.912019.60%3.8528.30%9.1
Marcus Stroman3816315.70%3.9528.50%2
Luis Castillo38.317014.30%4.0727.40%15.1
Chris Sale38.62522.00%3.3832.10%
Framber Valdez38.611611.90%3.8128.50%9.6
Yusei Kikuchi38.714615.00%4.1729.00%5.7
Jordan Montgomery38.75138.115.70%4.1828.60%8.1
Alex Cobb39.277.217.70%3.6630.50%
Huascar Ynoa39.671.220.70%3.5731.10%-3.8
Chris Bassitt40.6515119.50%3.7728.20%
Patrick Sandoval42.4579.216.70%3.9731.00%
Alex Wood44.4125.218.00%3.7632.00%-9.2
Lance Lynn44.45135.219.70%3.825.80%18.4
JT Brubaker45.2124.116.90%4.0428.60%
Brady Singer45.4120.213.20%4.3530.40%1.5
Rich Hill45.6513614.60%4.3830.60%-1.7
Austin Gomber45.65115.114.80%4.2930.40%
Tarik Skubal46.05130.119.30%3.8427.50%2.9
Alek Manoah46.158517.10%4.0827.80%11.2
Jakob Junis46.227.120.40%3.6830.20%
Domingo German489116.60%4.1429.70%
Chris Paddack48.1106.116.30%4.1127.20%11.3
Adbert Alzolay48.1106.116.90%4.0228.70%-2.6
John Means48.25126.118.10%4.1427.50%6.2
Steven Matz48.812915.40%4.1327.80%3.7
Mike Minor48.95158.216.10%4.226.80%7.4
Jose Urquidy49.1584.216.70%4.2928.30%7.6
Corey Kluber49.46515.20%4.329.50%6.3
Zac Gallen49.79817.20%4.0527.60%6.3
Bailey Ober50.3578.219.80%3.8528.30%-0.2
Anthony DeSclafani50.414616.40%4.0927.20%2.5
Taijuan Walker50.5514014.10%4.4128.70%-0.8
Dane Dunning50.9104.113.80%4.1128.60%0
Tylor Megill51.5577.221.10%3.6327.70%-2.2
Triston McKenzie51.6599.217.40%4.1727.90%3.9
Logan Gilbert51.9595.120.80%3.7326.70%4.7
Michael Pineda52.159015.70%4.2328.70%0.2
Jon Gray52.2131.114.00%4.3128.20%1
Zack Greinke55.15159.212.10%4.5626.60%12.5
Cristian Javier55.2548.219.10%3.9927.40%6.7
James Kaprielian56.25101.215.00%4.428.70%-2.2
Danny Duffy57.456016.90%4.1828.40%
Jameson Taillon58138.216.20%4.327.10%
Joe Ross58.7510316.90%4.0530.40%-12.2
Jack Flaherty59.37618.40%3.9228.10%-4.9
Pablo Lopez60.310121.00%3.5127.70%-10.1
Carlos Carrasco61.0533.217.80%3.9325.90%14.9
Sam Long61.1522.116.80%4.1428.40%
David Price61.2541.113.40%4.2528.40%1.1
Patrick Corbin61.614810.80%4.6326.30%11
Kyle Hendricks62.2166.211.40%4.6827.30%0.4
Ian Anderson62.35109.212.90%4.3927.10%4.2
Nick Pivetta62.6513515.30%4.3326.80%-0.6
Madison Bumgarner62.75129.113.90%4.5628.00%-2.7
Zach Eflin63.9105.218.80%3.8128.30%-13.1
Kyle Gibson65.3155.210.30%4.5827.00%0.7
Michael Wacha65.5591.117.40%4.0225.80%0.8
Matthew Boyd65.678.213.10%4.5627.30%6.3
Drew Smyly65.75115.214.20%4.4127.60%-4.2
David Peterson66.366.213.90%4.2727.40%
Ryan Yarbrough66.911113.60%4.5728.20%-4.4
Tyler Anderson66.9514814.20%4.527.00%-4.2
Ross Stripling68.2586.115.80%4.3226.40%2.2
Aaron Civale69.6102.114.40%4.2825.60%3.5
Zach Plesac70.9125.111.30%4.6926.30%4
Jose Quintana71.33514.10%4.5227.10%6.6
Luke Weaver72.355114.40%4.3627.60%-3.9
Casey Mize73.05140.111.90%4.526.90%-5.8
Spencer Howard73.1531.210.90%4.8328.80%
Paolo Espino7467.115.20%4.3628.00%-7.3
Touki Toussaint74.84513.00%4.4428.50%-6.7
Bruce Zimmermann75.055411.60%4.6727.60%
Martin Perez76.7510011.70%4.6226.50%
Kyle Freeland77.4510213.30%4.4426.70%-5.5
Griffin Canning77.660.111.90%4.7226.90%1.8
Wade Miley77.9155.211.60%4.4425.40%-4.3
Merrill Kelly79.35142.114.30%4.3226.70%-13.2
Tucker Davidson79.752012.00%4.6427.40%
Kwang-hyun Kim79.7596.210.00%4.826.60%
Jorge Lopez80.15113.19.20%4.826.20%
Trevor Cahill80.2535.211.30%4.326.20%
Dallas Keuchel81.3140.15.50%4.9125.80%0.6
Cody Poteet81.3530.212.10%4.7827.30%
Anthony Kay81.6520.116.50%4.0525.00%
Trevor Williams81.7568.213.80%4.3426.60%-6.1
Marco Gonzales81.8118.111.00%4.9625.80%1
Johnny Cueto81.9112.113.80%4.4524.40%
Nestor Cortes82.0553.216.20%4.4825.60%
Jose Suarez82.755.111.70%4.5127.80%-8.4
Josiah Gray83.354411.70%4.927.70%-4.2
Eric Lauer83.484.113.60%4.4825.20%-0.7
Alec Mills83.781.212.50%4.2626.30%-8
Jake Odorizzi83.890.213.30%4.5923.60%7
Eli Morgan84.0571.215.70%4.5226.60%-6.5
Brad Keller84.05133.29.10%4.8425.40%
Cal Quantrill84.3101.212.90%4.4824.90%-2.3
Kyle Muller84.835.210.80%4.9128.50%-6.5
Chris Flexen85.3156.211.30%4.723.70%-1.1
Mike Foltynewicz86.613010.50%4.9425.10%
Kris Bubic87.178.110.00%4.8126.60%-4.1
Erick Fedde87.3511713.10%4.3724.60%-5.9
Brett Anderson88.3588.18.00%4.3524.00%
Antonio Senzatela88.413810.90%4.4224.90%-7.7
Caleb Smith88.7579.50%5.2326.90%
Chad Kuhl89.4678.00%5.127.70%-6.2
Vladimir Gutierrez89.55104.19.90%4.9126.80%-7.1
Jordan Lyles89.6142.211.40%4.825.90%-10
Kolby Allard90.1591.212.40%4.725.60%-5.6
Cole Irvin90.45158.111.10%4.8324.70%-5.9
Vince Velasquez91.9576.110.70%4.926.20%-4.5
Tony Gonsolin9235.210.10%5.0727.00%-3.9
Ranger Suarez92.237.213.00%4.224.60%-4.8
Matt Peacock93.85347.70%4.5827.20%-8.6
Mitch Keller94.38311.10%4.7424.60%-3.3
Michael King95.324.27.00%5.1827.50%-5.4
Zach Thompson96.2562.211.70%4.6826.70%-11.8
Stephen Strasburg96.3521.27.40%5.3228.70%-10.2
Chase De Jong9743.210.20%5.0625.50%
J.A. Happ97.1132.210.30%5.0122.60%-2.4
Tony Santillan97.916.212.20%4.7525.80%-5
Justin Dunn98.2550.19.20%5.1825.40%
Luis Patino98.455512.30%4.7925.50%-6
Garrett Richards98.5110.17.70%5.0324.70%-4.4
Jake Arrieta98.6594.28.80%4.9425.60%-6.8
Adrian Houser100120.16.90%4.823.30%-4.9
Zach Davies100.1141.26.20%5.3226.00%-10.5
Taylor Widener100.96111.70%4.8126.30%-11.6
Josh Fleming101.3556.17.60%4.6924.00%-3
Matt Shoemaker101.5550.25.60%5.3625.70%-1.3
Luis Gil101.951912.20%4.9627.20%-11.3
Matt Harvey102.2127.210.00%4.8524.10%-8.6
Kohl Stewart103.4512.28.60%4.824.10%
Wil Crowe103.5100.19.90%4.925.10%-9.8
Chi Chi Gonzalez104.9876.50%5.3123.50%
Daniel Lynch105.05578.50%5.0925.70%-7.8
JC Mejia105.242.16.90%5.1524.10%
Griffin Jax105.551.29.30%5.1826.90%-12.6
Ryan Weathers106.566.18.70%4.9925.40%-8.3
Deivi Garcia106.98.17.90%5.6528.10%-12.4
Keegan Akin107.4567.28.00%5.2625.90%-9.9
Aaron Sanchez108.430.19.80%4.5625.40%-11.8
Jeff Hoffman108.6454.30%5.725.60%-4.3
Hyeon-jong Yang109.15157.50%5.224.10%
Justus Sheffield110.5573.26.90%5.1625.30%-9.8
John Gant111.05823.60%5.6525.70%-9.6
Lewis Thorpe111.8514.1-3.20%6.2824.90%
Carlos Martinez112.3582.15.80%5.1825.70%-15
Jon Lester112.5119.14.50%5.4723.70%-7.9
Matt Moore113.756.16.80%5.3625.00%-7.5
Dean Kremer113.7553.29.00%5.2223.60%-5.6
Kohei Arihara114.6536.26.40%5.3525.40%-7.9
Johan Oviedo115.7557.24.40%5.4926.20%-14
Bryse Wilson117.0564.28.20%5.1824.60%-12.1
Edward Cabrera117.5512.2-3.70%6.3424.00%-1.3
Jake Woodford118.417.211.10%4.7424.20%-13.5
Chase Anderson119.236.16.00%5.4825.90%-14.7
Wily Peralta120.168.25.80%5.1124.20%-14
Carlos Hernandez120.349.17.70%5.2123.30%-8.4
Matt Manning120.7666.00%5.3424.30%-11.1
Sam Hentges121.05414.50%5.5924.90%-9.9
Logan Allen121.8540.26.70%5.2223.90%-9.8
Randy Dobnak123.134.13.30%4.8120.90%-10.6
Riley Smith123.1251.70%5.924.10%-7
Jose Urena123.15834.50%5.2323.50%-13.3
Tyler Gilbert125.2316.50%5.3723.60%-9.2
Jon Duplantier125.75135.70%5.324.40%-10.9
Thomas Eshelman12718.1-2.30%6.8725.60%-19.6
Spenser Watkins129.9467.00%5.3322.80%-15
Daniel Castano131.9517.13.80%5.6322.10%-10.2
Seth Frankoff136.5513.22.90%5.6919.80%-13.3
Joe Ryan
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ray
ray
11 months ago

I am so sick of seeing Nola near the top of everyone’s list when gives up like 4-5ER every start…….dude has a penchant for giving up hard contact at the worst possible times in game.

Nightpandas
Nightpandas
11 months ago

EWB

WW Marco Gonz or my Kyle Hendricks?

W L era whip k k/9 qs

Kyle went on a great run for a few months but rough last start and the team is brutal.

Only got 5 moves left though, 15 team roto keep 11, I’ve got about a 9 pt lead on the 2nd place team

My staff is Gausman Buehler Rogers Eovaldi TonyDisco Ynoa Maeda Hendricks

Thanks man

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Nightpandas
11 months ago

Marco

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Grey
11 months ago

Oops, sorry Blair, wrong post

Nightpandas
Nightpandas
11 months ago

EWB

WW Marco Gonz or my Kyle Hendricks?

W L era whip k k/9 qs

Kyle went on a great run for a few months but rough last start and the team is brutal.

Only got 5 moves left though, 15 team roto keep 11, I’ve got about a 9 pt lead on the 2nd place team

My staff is Gausman Buehler Rogers Eovaldi TonyDisco Ynoa Maeda Hendricks

Thanks man

Canha Feel Me?
Canha Feel Me?
11 months ago

I get Nola’s high rating due to Ks, but I have zero confidence in playing that guy down the stretch, particularly in points leagues. Much more confident in a Robbie Ray or even a Tarik Skubal giving me a QS.

Jr
Jr
11 months ago

Is Lance Lynn really rated #49 or am I misreading the process?

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Jr
11 months ago

Lance Lynn took Lou Gehrig’s old nickname of Biscuit Pants and gets dinged for that

toolshed
toolshed
11 months ago

Carrasco is definitely not ready or still hurt. Do you think he will hurt more than help the rest of the way in 12 team leagues?

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
11 months ago

And if Baltimore loses out (I guess you can win by losing), they’ll have some great bats in their lineup in the future with Green, Rutschman, and Kjerstad (if he can get healthy).

As this is a pitching article, I’ll also add that Rodriguez and Hall could be good on the mound.

It pains me to say, but Baltimore might look good in a few years (I dislike the Orioles a lot).

Keep up the great work! Thanks EWB,

Jolt

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
11 months ago

EWB! Thanks for the write-up as always.

As I love your analysis, I hope I can get your take on a side note, on a topic that I thought was decided two weeks ago. Then Baltimore decided to implode and lost 11 straight. Pittsburgh didn’t want to feel left out, so they’ve been absolutely miserable lately. And since the trade deadline (or near it), the Cubs have gone on a losing tear (11 losses in a row currently). Arizona may no longer be the frontrunner; they seem too (gulp)… talented.

In your estimation, who ends up winning the Elijah Green sweepstakes this year?

I have never been this excited to follow last place. But I’m more intrigued this year more than ever before. Especially to find out if he goes AL or NL (obviously, big implications for AL or NL only fantasy leagues).

I think the favorite for worst record in the league right now: 1) Baltimore, 2) Pittsburgh, 3) Cubs, 4) Texas, 5) Arizona.

Agreed? Thanks EWB,

Jolt

Bamabterry
Bamabterry
11 months ago

Thoughts on tanner Houck?

speill
speill
11 months ago

Same here I dropped Yue. Nobody picked him up. McCullers or Greinke ros. Thanks

Martin Rostoker
Martin Rostoker
11 months ago

Hi Blair,

Thanks for all your assistance!

I just waived Alzolay and picked up Tuijuan Walker of the Mets. His next two starts are on the road at LA and then home against SF. what are your recommendations about start or sit him?

2. I was going to sit Gomber home at CO against SD. Thoughts?

Thanks!!

Martin

Krinks
Krinks
11 months ago

Darvish top ten? Have you seen his stats since the “sticky stuff fines” started? 7 starts: 0-5 with an ERA over 6. He even got battered around by the Rockies at home. I dropped him and no one else will go near him.