“Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.” — Tony LaRussa, probably.

The thing about being a historian is you carry the past with you. Like Tim O’Brien wrote in his most famous novel, Tomcat in Love…wait, is that the right book? Or was it that other Vietnam-themed book where it was all a dream? Oh, sorry, The Things They Carried. Yes, this one is for Lemon, who’s floating in the breeze out there. ENYWHEY. We carry the burdens of the past with us, etched upon our hearts, weighing heavy on our souls. As the immortal poet collective, Papa Roach once taught us, “The scars remind us that the past is real.” Funny, how that works for fantasy baseball. What you did in the past is both predictive of what you do in the future, but also completely detached from what’s going on in the present. “He’s changed,” we all whisper. “Velocity is down.” What, exactly, was the normal velocity? Do we all run 4-minute miles every year of our life? Or is it good enough to run 4.5 or 5-minute miles? Does it matter if we throw 96 or 94 or 25 or 6 to 4? And on and on it goes. Let’s jump over to the news and notes and find out which pitcher has me thinking so nostalgic.

News and Notes

Dallas KeuchelDFA’d by the Chicago White Sox. You wanna know the fleetingness of prime talent? The 2015 Cy Young Award Winners were Dallas Keuchel (now unemployed) and Jake Arrieta (retired due to unemployment in early 2022). That said, these guys don’t need to work a day in their lives again — each of them brought home about $100 million over the course of their career. In 2022, Keuchel walked as many batters as he struck out and sported an ERA of nearly 8 with true skill stats above 5.00. We all like to joke that you or I could go out there and generate some whiffs, but after watching Andrelton Simmons freeze batters with a 45-MPH fastball, it does make us wonder how pitchers like Keuchel fell so far from the Cy Young tree. This is sort of a fantasy obituary for our dear Keuchel, who was last relevant in 2020 when he finished 5th in the Cy Young race (and maybe deep-league relevant in 2021). Can we learn anything from Keuchel’s decline? The closest comparison on the K/BB/HR-allowed chart is Ian Anderson. Yeesh. At least Anderson has a fastball that’s 6-7 MPH faster than Keuchel. Best wishes to our legacy fantasy lothario as Keuchel looks to revive his career, likely on the Rockies as a closer or something.

Robbie RayCan I go three weeks without mentioning my man? No, no I cannot. Last time I raised Ray’s name, it was in response to Coolwhip wondering if our man Jordache had given up the ghost. And to Whip I replied with nothing. Because I ghosted him! HAR HAR HAR. ENYWHEY. Since Whip last asked me if I was concerned about Ray and I said “no” and he said “prove it,” Ray has unleashed for a 14+ K/9, 3 BB/9, and a 2.52 xFIP, which I only mention because of the 5.32 ERA in the same period. Ugh. 12 readers, you know how I feel about ERA. None of the “runs responsible for” metrics are truly “the best,” but when you see the metrics in massive disagreement, you know there’s something un-lucky happening. In fact, Ray is one of the few pitchers who is generating more strikes by whiff than by called strike, and his big ERA is caused by an unexpected level of homers allowed over the past month. I mean, Ray is always a homer-magnet. Always has been. But when you’ve got a guy who is top 10 in the league in whiff rate (and indeed, has a 22% swinging strike rate since May 10, which is extraordinary) and is generating nearly 38% of his outs by himself, you’ve gotta pay attention to that. If Ray’s current repertoire continues through June, the ERA will normalize and we’ll be seeing Ray compete for his second consecutive Cy Young Award. Take that Keuchel!

Name L30$/G wK/9 wPABIB wL30FIP
Robbie Ray -12.3 -7.48% 2.39% 7.64%

Sonny GrayHere’s a list: Gerrit Cole, Clay Holmes, Keegan Akin, Sonny Gray, Aaron Nola, Spencer Strider. That list is the 13th-18th best CSW% generators in 2022. Cole and Nola are stalwarts, Holmes and Strider are newcomers, and Akin is the guy who kinda figured it out this year. Gray? He’s always been a good strike generator, but he struggles to put up lengthy runs of health due to his bad back. After the Twins acquired Gray from the Reds earlier this year, Gray spent time on the IL (expected) before coming back and pitching in short spurts as he recovered (also expected). But Gray’s 12.6 K/9 over the last month? Unexpected, my friends. His ERA and true skill stats align, and we’re looking at a crafty vet who is at the top of his game going into June. Problem is, we know Gray will miss some more time. He hasn’t topped 200 IP in 7 years, and the main projection systems view him as having 100 IP left in the tank for 2022. Enjoy Gray while he’s healthy, and let him start every matchup until he gets hurt again.

Name L30$/G wK/9 wPABIB wL30FIP
Sonny Gray 24.5 4.35% 2.69% 53.43%

Hyun-Jin RyuCame back! And then left again. Fresh off the IL, Ryu is dealing with elbow tightness…right after forearm tightness. Pitchers can be effective while dealing with those injuries (see Jacob deGrom in 2021), but we’re looking at a ticking timebomb with the usually reliable Ryu. In the pre-season I wrote about how Ryu had become a reliable option over the past few years as he neared the top of the charts in overall IP. Then, the lockout happened. Reports indicate that Ryu struggled with conditioning during the lockout and wasn’t fully ready for the reason, and now we’re seeing him pitch through the precursor injuries to Tommy John surgery. So, keep an eye on his health, and start him in favorable home league matchups and DFS. But you high stakes mavens? I’d find anybody other than Ryu right now.

Freddy PeraltaGonna miss “significant time” but there’s no timetable on his return from a shoulder strain. These kinds of injuries go with the territory of the “reliever becoming a starter.” Flash backward (what am I, a tachyon?) to pre-2021. Peralta’s pitching career featured spot starts, but about 70% of his appearances were non-starters (hmmm, sounds sus). In 2021, Peralta made 27 starts and threw 144 innings, which was about 40% more than his career previous highs. Say what you want about modern pitchers, but the recent emphasis on spin and grip can take their toll on young pitchers who are still building strength year after year. Last year, Tyler Glasnow burned his elbow out in the matter of 3 starts while prepping for the sticky substance ban. Peralta’s high K rate (11+ in 2022, 12+ in 2021) shows that he’s worth stashing in dynasty leagues, but for those of you in best balls or 12 team formats, you might want to move on. Milwaukee is already indicating they’re going to be careful with Peralta — he’s only 26! He’s got a team option on his contract until 2026! Like, holy crap, what agent did that to Peralta? Best wishes to our favorite pitcher who saved everybody’s team in 2021, and maybe he’ll be back for a 2022 fantasy (or MLB?) playoff run. Also, it’s worth noting that his high ranking on the confidence scale is due to Rudy’s algorithm not yet adjusting for the “significant time missed” news; it will catch up next week once it’s updated.

Aaron AshbySupposedly, Ashby’s coming back to a starter role to replace Peralta. Ashby’s been all over the place this season, and he’s not really usable at this point for 12-teams unless you’re one of the bold players who doesn’t care about blowups (that’s me). There are some games where Ashby K’s everybody. There are some games where Ashby walks more than he Ks — and K’s a lot! Maybe I’m being too conservative here. Let’s think about the best possible outcome: Ashby has the ability to K over 11 per 9, which is all any fantasy manager can ask for in an elite starter. If a starter can K 11 per 9, a 3.5+ BB/9 becomes somewhat tolerable. Low IP becomes tolerable. My questionable usage of singular vs plural nouns becomes tolerable. So, logic friends: IFF Aaron Ashby continues a 10+ K/9 (and preferably 11+) as a starter, he’s rosterable everywhere. However, if we see Ashby dial back his repertoire as a starter — because starters need to pitch more IP and more IP means more efficiency with pitches and a guy who walks a lot of batters may need to resort to contact rather than trying to K everybody — then he sits on your bench. QED. Almost wrote “queso” there.

Sandy AlcantaraSomething’s changing! Flash backward to the pre-season, and I was one of the more critical analysts on Alcantara, with good reason: over his career, his fantasy efficacy was very similar to Hyun-Jin Ryu. Alcantara had nearly 500 IP of sub-8 K/9 performance with a 3+ BB/9. Let’s pause here to comment: those are not the kinds of numbers that make you a fantasy champion. You know which pitchers had similar comps? Reynaldo Lopez, Chase Anderson, Jorge Lopez, Jordan Lyles, and Yusei Kikuchi. A veritable murder’s row! So, don’t come yelling at me about Alcantara — even mediocre pitchers can have hot streaks [stares at Martin Perez]. That said, Alcantara is changing his pitch mix a lot, and the results are 20%+ swinging strike rates over his last few games, with a 14K performance this past weekend. Those 14 strikeouts? Twice as many as any performance he’s had this year. Tied for his career-high — and he’s only K’d more than 10 batters in a game like 5 times in his career. I’m not trying to knock Alcantara because we’re seeing him make adjustments that could lead to him becoming elite. But, just like we can’t look at a high-strikeout performance from Kyle Hendricks and call it a renaissance, analysts can’t sit here and proclaim Alcantara as reborn. Even with the recent K success, Alcantara’s K/9 on the 2022 season stands at…8.4. Prior to the hot streak, his K/9 was 7.4 on the season with a 3.55 BB/9 with a pedestrian whiff rate of 11%. Best of luck to Sandy and I hope whatever he’s doing will stick. I’d love to be wrong about Alcantara. But right now, two games of performance isn’t sufficient to overturn years of data that describe him as a status quo pitcher.

The Rankings

Updated this week to add the team for each player. I think it’s worthwhile to add my usual addendum: ranking players over each other is kind of meaningless. Like, I’ve said this for two years while also topping the FantasyPros weekly football ranks four times in 2021. I understand why ranks are needed (TL;DR: To organize our thoughts) while similarly, I don’t actually use rankings myself. I’ve said this probably 100x over the course of my industry fantasy career. The point of the Confidence Score is to give players a shorthand, simple, quantifiable statement: this guy should be better than everybody below him. That’s it. In other words, I am more confident in this guy than everybody below him. But, like, a confidence score of 2.8 vs 2.6? That doesn’t really matter. 3.5 vs 3.4? Yeah, doesn’t matter. 3.5 vs 2.6? Yup, that matters. At a certain point, there’s decision paralysis when all the players are basically the same ranking. The takeaway is that, Somebody from the general range of scores is acceptable. Hope that helps clarify things.

Here’s how to use the list:

  • Tier: 1=best, 2=everybody else for 12 team consideration, 3=deep league/dynasty/best ball/tournaments/DFS.
  • Name/Team: Player name, player team
  • Confidence: The overall score my system outputs. The higher the score, the more confident I am in using the player in the near term.
  • Own%: This is the rostership % of the player in Razzball Commenter Leagues, run on Fantrax. This % may vary depending on site and format for readers.
  • L30$/G: This is how valuable the player has been over the past month. Players with high confidence who have low or negative $/G are “buy low” candidates.  Spot starters/Roleless Robs will have a lower $/G because they play in more games.

 

Tier Name Team Confidence Own% L30$/G
1 Shane McClanahan TB 4.258 100 43.3
1 Shohei Ohtani LAA 4.249 100 12.7
1 Freddy Peralta MIL 4.131 100 23.6
1 Michael King NYY 4.102 -8
1 Gerrit Cole NYY 4.101 100 27.4
1 Aaron Nola PHI 3.997 100 5.4
1 Carlos Rodon SF 3.986 100 -42.9
1 Cristian Javier HOU 3.977 100 11.3
1 Dylan Cease CHW 3.837 100 -9.3
1 Kevin Gausman TOR 3.597 100 23.2
1 Jesus Luzardo MIA 3.574 84 -3.2
1 Brandon Woodruff MIL 3.499 100 6
1 Alex Cobb SF 3.467 86 -39.7
1 Tarik Skubal DET 3.366 100 17.9
1 Zack Wheeler PHI 3.324 100 41.3
1 Lucas Giolito CHW 3.297 100 10.8
1 Nestor Cortes NYY 3.271 100 32.4
1 Frankie Montas OAK 3.256 100 -5.6
1 Kyle Wright ATL 3.201 100 -3.6
1 Max Scherzer NYM 3.178 100 8.4
1 Max Fried ATL 3.168 100 -0.3
1 Clayton Kershaw LAD 3.150 100 31.2
1 Pablo Lopez MIA 3.076 100 -6.3
1 Carlos Carrasco NYM 3.067 100 5.1
1 Corbin Burnes MIL 3.029 100 9.9
1 MacKenzie Gore SD 3.020 100 0.1
1 Zac Gallen ARI 3.019 100 21.4
1 Joe Musgrove SD 3.004 100 27
1 Drew Rasmussen TB 2.947 100 28.8
1 Martin Perez TEX 2.946 98 37.1
1 Tylor Megill NYM 2.922 95 -40.5
1 Shane Bieber CLE 2.896 100 -22.3
1 A.J. Minter ATL 2.861 20 -2.7
1 Yu Darvish SD 2.857 100 6.4
1 Sean Manaea SD 2.853 100 -20.3
1 Michael Kopech CHW 2.853 100 12.2
1 Kenley Jansen ATL 2.850 100 6.3
1 Zach Eflin PHI 2.844 27 -40.1
1 Kyle Gibson PHI 2.837 77 -31.4
1 Spencer Strider ATL 2.833 57 8.2
1 Garrett Whitlock BOS 2.831 100 -38.6
1 Alek Manoah TOR 2.831 100 22.7
1 Robbie Ray SEA 2.824 100 -12.3
1 Justin Steele CHC 2.813 2 -35.8
1 Logan Gilbert SEA 2.807 100 -16.6
1 Eric Lauer MIL 2.803 100 32
2 Sandy Alcantara MIA 2.795 100 30
2 Jeffrey Springs TB 2.795 50 4.1
2 Patrick Sandoval LAA 2.795 100 -2.6
2 Tyler Anderson LAD 2.782 100 19.2
2 Tony Gonsolin LAD 2.781 100 43
2 Logan Webb SF 2.773 100 -10.4
2 Paul Blackburn OAK 2.759 100 3.7
2 Jameson Taillon NYY 2.758 100 21.8
2 Joe Ryan MIN 2.752 100 -9
2 Marcus Stroman CHC 2.752 82 35.4
2 Corey Kluber TB 2.747 55 -11
2 Tyler Mahle CIN 2.744 84 -35.8
2 Justin Wilson CIN 2.737
2 Justin Verlander HOU 2.731 100 40
2 Dane Dunning TEX 2.726 48 -7.2
2 Merrill Kelly ARI 2.724 61 -28.5
2 Ryan Helsley STL 2.717 100 12
2 Keegan Akin BAL 2.704 3.6
2 Scott Effross CHC 2.701 -4.9
2 Nick Pivetta BOS 2.698 86 35.1
2 Alex Wood SF 2.697 84 -43.1
2 Miles Mikolas STL 2.692 100 9.5
2 Walker Buehler LAD 2.650 100 -5.6
2 Devin Williams MIL 2.643 91 2.6
2 Framber Valdez HOU 2.638 100 12.6
2 Jason Adam TB 2.630 16 -1.1
2 Enyel De Los Santos CLE 2.610 -20.6
2 JT Brubaker PIT 2.609 14 -19.5
2 Steven Matz STL 2.605 32 -21.4
2 Alex Vesia LAD 2.603 2 -7.2
2 Tanner Houck BOS 2.600 34 -21.2
2 Hunter Greene CIN 2.588 55 -39
2 Triston McKenzie CLE 2.579 100 38.4
2 Aaron Ashby MIL 2.577 100 -16.9
2 Luis Severino NYY 2.572 100 0.5
2 Wil Crowe PIT 2.563 7 -6
2 Alex Lange DET 2.560 1
2 Eli Morgan CLE 2.543 -2.5
2 Sam Hentges CLE 2.537 -1.1
2 Victor Arano WSH 2.536 -9.7
2 Jose Quintana PIT 2.531 7 7.1
2 Ron Marinaccio NYY 2.528 -10.6
2 John Brebbia SF 2.526 -3.2
2 Parker Mushinski HOU 2.526 11.6
2 David Bednar PIT 2.524 100 6.3
2 Jordan Montgomery NYY 2.522 100 -23.1
2 Matt Strahm BOS 2.515 2 -3.3
2 Jon Gray TEX 2.511 36 -32
2 J.P. Feyereisen TB 2.498 30 7.5
2 Clay Holmes NYY 2.488 100 7.7
2 Zach Jackson OAK 2.486 -4.9
2 Penn Murfee SEA 2.478 -2.9
2 Josh Hader MIL 2.474 100 7.5
2 Giovanny Gallegos STL 2.474 100 1.6
2 Kyle Nelson ARI 2.469 -2.8
2 Luis Garcia HOU 2.469 100 5.8
2 Luis Garcia HOU 2.469 100 5.8
2 Trevor Stephan CLE 2.455 2 -6.6
2 Dylan Bundy MIN 2.450 32 -67
2 Jordan Lyles BAL 2.449 5 -11.9
2 Jimmy Herget LAA 2.439 2 2.9
2 JT Chargois TB 2.433
2 Jovani Moran MIN 2.432 1.4
2 Andrew Heaney LAD 2.429 75
2 Kyle Freeland COL 2.427 9 -22.6
2 Taylor Rogers SD 2.424 100 5.8
2 Chris Paddack MIN 2.421 2 -10.7
2 Keegan Thompson CHC 2.421 23 1.9
2 Jared Solomon CIN 2.418 -6.4
2 Erik Swanson SEA 2.416 -6.4
2 Daulton Jefferies OAK 2.415 5 -70.9
2 Adam Ottavino NYM 2.414 -6.8
2 Hector Neris HOU 2.414 2 -6
2 Edwin Diaz NYM 2.411 100 1
2 Bryan Abreu HOU 2.410 -7.9
2 Evan Phillips LAD 2.404 -7
2 Cody Stashak MIN 2.398 3.4
2 Noah Syndergaard LAA 2.397 100 -9.9
2 Sam Selman OAK 2.396
2 Dany Jimenez OAK 2.390 100 -1.4
2 Jordan Romano TOR 2.388 100 0.8
2 Chris Bassitt NYM 2.386 100 -35.8
2 Seranthony Dominguez PHI 2.378 2 -3.5
2 Brady Singer KC 2.370 48 43.7
2 Will Vest DET 2.366 2 0.5
2 Raisel Iglesias LAA 2.361 100 -4
2 Eduardo Rodriguez DET 2.359 68 -22.8
2 Adrian Houser MIL 2.349 36 -19.6
2 Daniel Bard COL 2.345 100 1.1
2 Andrew Chafin DET 2.341 -5.5
2 Josh Staumont KC 2.340 20 -3.4
2 Tyler Kinley COL 2.328 -3.6
2 Daniel Hudson LAD 2.326 9 -0.6
2 Liam Hendriks CHW 2.325 100 5.6
2 Cole Sands MIN 2.324 -7.8
2 Jake Odorizzi HOU 2.322 5 43.8
2 Sonny Gray MIN 2.319 100 24.5
2 Jhoan Duran MIN 2.317 100 2
2 Austin Gomber COL 2.309 16 -43.9
2 Chad Kuhl COL 2.307 25 -28.6
2 Jakob Junis SF 2.304 7 -11.7
2 Daniel Lynch KC 2.301 7 -39.7
2 Colin Holderman NYM 2.300 4.1
2 Joel Kuhnel CIN 2.300 -2.8
2 Brooks Raley TB 2.299 59 -4.5
2 Zack Greinke KC 2.298 27 -52.5
2 Yusei Kikuchi TOR 2.297 80 6.7
2 Collin McHugh ATL 2.288 2 -8.6
2 Patrick Corbin WSH 2.285 11 -30.5
2 Emmanuel Clase CLE 2.285 100 2.5
2 Nathan Eovaldi BOS 2.284 100 -12.5
2 Pierce Johnson SD 2.275 2
2 German Marquez COL 2.274 61 -54.7
2 Anthony Bass MIA 2.256 7 -5.6
2 Tyler Wells BAL 2.254 -14
2 Brandon Hughes CHC 2.253 -2.3
2 Charlie Morton ATL 2.250 100 -13.9
2 David Robertson CHC 2.249 100 -3.9
2 Sean Doolittle WSH 2.246
2 Rafael Montero HOU 2.242 36 -3
2 Erick Fedde WSH 2.237 2.9
2 Aaron Civale CLE 2.232 27 -28.2
2 Craig Kimbrel LAD 2.232 100 -3.9
2 Bryan Baker BAL 2.226 -10.2
2 Duane Underwood Jr. PIT 2.224 -5.8
2 Alexis Diaz CIN 2.224 18 1.4
2 Tanner Rainey WSH 2.224 95 -4.3
2 Bruce Zimmermann BAL 2.217 -22.1
2 Joe Jimenez DET 2.215 -6.6
2 Nick Martinez SD 2.213 5 0.1
2 Seth Lugo NYM 2.210 -5.1
2 Adam Wainwright STL 2.208 100 7
2 John Schreiber BOS 2.206 9 3.3
2 Joe Mantiply ARI 2.194 5 -1.3
2 Julian Merryweather TOR 2.190 -11
2 Amir Garrett KC 2.189 -10.9
2 A.J. Puk OAK 2.189 18 -1.6
2 Michael Lorenzen LAA 2.189 64 11.6
2 Rich Hill BOS 2.179 2 -5.8
2 Bryse Wilson PIT 2.178 -85.1
2 Brock Burke TEX 2.174 25 -7.1
2 Chris Martin CHC 2.172 -8.7
2 Joely Rodriguez NYM 2.172 -7.3
2 Mitch Keller PIT 2.166 -39.2
2 Dillon Peters PIT 2.164 -11.1
2 Rony Garcia DET 2.163 -8.7
2 Carl Edwards Jr. WSH 2.156 -20.7
2 Trevor Rogers MIA 2.156 91 -19
2 Cal Quantrill CLE 2.155 36 -25.8
2 Paul Sewald SEA 2.153 98 -0.2
2 Reid Detmers LAA 2.149 18 3.1
2 Trevor Gott MIL 2.149 -6.1
2 Reynaldo Lopez CHW 2.147 2 0.4
2 Ryan Feltner COL 2.145 -6.6
2 Jackson Stephens ATL 2.133 2.5
2 Josiah Gray WSH 2.129 73 -31.3
2 Brad Keller KC 2.124 23 -38
2 Kyle Bradish BAL 2.122 -49.7
2 Chasen Shreve NYM 2.122 -12.1
2 Sam Moll OAK 2.121 0.3
2 Kyle Finnegan WSH 2.120 2 -8.2
2 Cole Sulser MIA 2.116 16 -5
2 Matt Foster CHW 2.114 -7.1
2 Aaron Loup LAA 2.114 -12.3
2 George Kirby SEA 2.113 82 -28.7
2 Jalen Beeks TB 2.107 5 -3.4
2 Kervin Castro SF 2.106 -58.8
2 Jose Berrios TOR 2.104 100 -23.8
2 Luis Castillo CIN 2.100 100 -13.9
2 Bailey Ober MIN 2.096 86 -32.3
2 Mike Clevinger SD 2.094 77 -2.5
2 Jeff Hoffman CIN 2.093 -2.4
2 Phillips Valdez BOS 2.091 -27.1
2 Ranger Suarez PHI 2.086 45 -24.7
2 Chad Green NYY 2.080 7 0
2 Nick Vespi BAL 2.079 28.1
2 Ian Anderson ATL 2.078 100 -18.8
2 Julio Urias LAD 2.070 100 1.9
2 Jordan Hicks STL 2.068 9 -42.4
2 Trevor Williams NYM 2.067 -11
2 Jake Walsh STL 2.067 -15.3
2 Vince Velasquez CHW 2.061 -12.7
2 Corbin Martin ARI 2.061 -24.4
2 Matt Moore TEX 2.059 -3.7
2 Camilo Doval SF 2.055 100 -2.3
2 Joan Adon WSH 2.052 -53.1
2 Lou Trivino OAK 2.048 14 -9.9
2 Phoenix Sanders TB 2.041 2.9
2 Taylor Hearn TEX 2.040 -11.5
2 Humberto Castellanos ARI 2.039 -34.6
2 Chris Stratton PIT 2.039 2 -7.5
2 Brett Martin TEX 2.039 -8
2 Jose Urquidy HOU 2.038 -6.1
2 Tim Mayza TOR 2.037 -4
2 Jhon Romero MIN 2.036
2 Konnor Pilkington CLE 2.035 2 -64.9
2 Steven Okert MIA 2.032 -7.4
2 Kyle Barraclough LAA 2.032 -3.5
2 Dominic Leone SF 2.030 -3
2 Josh Winder MIN 2.028 11 -9.2
2 Jackson Kowar KC 2.028
2 Cole Irvin OAK 2.017 16 -27.1
2 Stephen Nogosek NYM 2.016 8.3
2 Roansy Contreras PIT 2.016 75 10.5
2 Taijuan Walker NYM 2.012 23 -11.4
2 Ross Stripling TOR 2.010 -37.1
2 Zach Thompson PIT 2.001 -7.8
2 Anderson Severino CHW 2.000 -6.4
3 David McKay NYY 1.997 0.6
3 Corey Knebel PHI 1.993 100 -2.7
3 Nabil Crismatt SD 1.983 -6.8
3 Noe Ramirez ARI 1.981 -6
3 Caleb Thielbar MIN 1.975 2 -2.6
3 Rowan Wick CHC 1.967 20 -7.9
3 Tanner Scott MIA 1.964 -7.7
3 Archie Bradley LAA 1.963 -0.1
3 Glenn Otto TEX 1.962 -44.9
3 Jorge Lopez BAL 1.960 100 0.1
3 Hunter Harvey WSH 1.957
3 Jesse Chavez ATL 1.955 -13.5
3 Tyler Duffey MIN 1.951 9 -5.6
3 Brad Boxberger MIL 1.951 2 -9.9
3 Garrett Cleavinger LAD 1.947 2.8
3 Nick Nelson PHI 1.945 -30
3 Zach Davies ARI 1.944 -25.5
3 David Phelps TOR 1.940 -8.6
3 Michael Wacha BOS 1.940 39 -23.3
3 Lucas Luetge NYY 1.927 -11
3 Zach Plesac CLE 1.927 30 -63.2
3 Davis Martin CHW 1.924 -1.8
3 Anthony Kay TOR 1.923
3 Chris Flexen SEA 1.919 7 -40.6
3 Joel Payamps KC 1.918 -5.7
3 Andrew Bellatti PHI 1.916 -5.3
3 Elieser Hernandez MIA 1.910 14 -28.8
3 Austin Davis BOS 1.907 -1.8
3 Robert Dugger FA 1.903 -18.6
3 Adam Cimber TOR 1.898 45 -4.6
3 Steven Wilson SD 1.897 -3.2
3 Diego Castillo SEA 1.890 20 -18.2
3 Dennis Santana TEX 1.890 2.6
3 Kyle Hendricks CHC 1.889 61 -45.3
3 Andres Munoz SEA 1.889 5 -14.1
3 Drew Smyly CHC 1.883 -36.3
3 Blake Treinen LAD 1.882 16
3 Daniel Norris CHC 1.879 -7.1
3 Hoby Milner MIL 1.879 -5.6
3 Kendall Graveman CHW 1.861 7 -8.1
3 Justin Lawrence COL 1.859 -20.1
3 Joe Kelly CHW 1.855 -15.4
3 Robert Suarez SD 1.843 2 -2.1
3 Steve Cishek WSH 1.840 -6.1
3 David Peterson NYM 1.839 20 26
3 Yency Almonte LAD 1.834 -3.9
3 Zach Pop MIA 1.832 -27.6
3 Anthony Banda PIT 1.825 -15.3
3 Jose Alvarado PHI 1.822 -15.8
3 Tyler Rogers SF 1.822 -20.5
3 Michael Rucker CHC 1.818 -9.2
3 Jake Cousins MIL 1.816 -3.9
3 Madison Bumgarner ARI 1.816 25 -20.1
44 Comments
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Bill Buckner
Bill Buckner
2 months ago

We’re lost without week 9 from everywhereblair! All the witty quips and and finally tuned statistics! Hope everything is ok and all is well.

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
2 months ago

Hi Blair,

I so enjoy your help and details. I can’t wait for your analysis and assistance!

1. I picked up Konnor Pilkington and waived Merrill Kelly. Would you try and get back Kelly of waivers? If the answer is yes, who would you cut from the list below?

2. There is a lot of fantasy chat about pro and con about Cinns Graham Ashcraft, His next two starts are against AZ and the Cards. Would you pick him up and if you say yes, who would you waive from the list below? Would you start him against both the Diamondbacks and the Cards?

3. The next two starts of the Cards’ Mikolasis at TB and home against Pitt. I was going to sit him against TB and start him against Pitt. Do you agree?

Corbin Barnes  
Pablo Lopez    
Cristian Javier  
Tyler Anderson 
Freddy Peralta  (IL)
Paul Blackburn
Mike Mikolas    
Aaron Ashby    
Mike Cleavinger
Nick Pivetta    
Jeffery Springs

Thanks so much for taking your time!

Bill Buckner
Bill Buckner
Reply to  martinrostoker
2 months ago

I know you didn’t ask me, but just an outside opinion. I wouldn’t drop any of those guys for Ashcroft. But I would drop Pilkington to get Kelly back.. but if you’re set on keeping him my next pick would be Clevinger for Kelly. But would definitely consider reversing that original move of dropping Kelly for pinkington. Hope that helps and I’m not stepping on anyones toes. But my opinion is based on Blair’s confidence list. Hope you and your team are doing well this week. And good looking pitching staff.

Brian M.
Brian M.
2 months ago

Sorry to add one more question on here. I know you don’t like to compare players that have limited or no stats, but… I have Baz on the IL and I’ll have to drop someone very soon when he comes back. Just ballparking, do you think he’s worth a gamble. The guys on the chopping block are Blackburn, McKenzie, possibly Pivetta (but not the way he’s performing at the moment) and Bassitt. Gore is also available. (It’s a smaller league) I’m guessing you’d recommend I drop one of those for Gore also, probably Bassit? So to sum it up Gore is available, and I got Baz coming off the IL. With those guys on the bottom of my rotation, what are your thoughts? My apologies for another long message . I just can’t make a decision and pull the trigger on this. Thanks for your all of help.

Brian M.
Brian M.
Reply to  everywhereblair
2 months ago

Like always, extremely helpful. Thank you very much. Made things much easier for me. Thank you again for all you do.

Brian M.
Brian M.
2 months ago

Thanks again for your rankings and advice and all the time you put into them. I know you’re big on Whitlock. I don’t know if you remember me from a month ago I traded too high a price for him with Alcantara. Boy is that stinging now! But right now I can’t trust starting him, he’s my weak link in my rotation. My question is I am really considering adding Pivetta with his 5 straight very good outings but it would have to be for Whitlock. I’d like to know your thoughts. Thank you

Brian M.
Brian M.
Reply to  everywhereblair
2 months ago

I knew I came to the right place for sound advice! Thank you very much. And thanks again for the time you put into this and your replies.

Dude
Dude
2 months ago

And I would love to hear your thoughts on the Cardinals’s Zack Thompson

Dude
Dude
2 months ago

SVHLD League
Michael King and Matt Strahm are available. Would you add over Chris Stratton and Trevor Gott?

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Dude
2 months ago

King over Stratton

KailuaBoy
KailuaBoy
2 months ago

Peralta shouldn’t be on your list?
Might want to get current to what’s really happening in the pitching world.
Sorry!

KailuaBoy
KailuaBoy
Reply to  everywhereblair
2 months ago

You do a great job EverywhereBlair. Just our “Title” throws off the list

LG Baseball
LG Baseball
2 months ago

Great stuff EWB – really enjoy your posts!

Jolt In Flow
Jolt In Flow
2 months ago

To the other readers. Just a comment on the approach that I take regarding this article.

Before looking at this article, I do a search of available pitchers, going back 30 days and then 14 days (that helps me find current trends I might miss otherwise). Starters, but if all terrible options (crazy bad ERAs or bad WHIPs), then Relievers.

Then I compare to see if the pitchers I pinpointed are found within Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the most up to date version of EWB’s article.

Afterwards, I also do a quick comparison on pitchers I hadn’t seen in my league’s free agent list, but found in Tier 1 and Tier 2 of EWB’s list. There always seems to be a few diamonds in the rough that I would have otherwise missed.

This method has really worked well in the one serious league I use it in. I’ve got a really strong pitching staff, but even better, I’ll be able to trade away some pitching for better hitting when some of my injured pitchers return shortly. In some cases, I’ll be keeping the players I picked up through this process.

Just my way of doing it. But put in some effort if you’re serious about winning. And winning is always much more fun than having an average middle of the pack team.

Thanks for the write-up as always, EWB.

Jolt

Pcolaprime
Pcolaprime
2 months ago

Blair,

Thank you for the article and the thorough rankings. Your work is much appreciated. So, question for you. I am looking to move a solid batting piece for a pitching upgrade. Do you think sending Justin Turner in return for Triston McKenzie would be a good move? Thanks brother!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
2 months ago

Hi Blair,

thanks for your help and detailed responses.

1. Thoughts on Blackburn and when to use him?

2. Thoughts on Mikolas and when to use him?

3. thoughts David Peterson?

4. The following pitchers are available:

Spencer Strider of the Braves, Matt Swarmer of Cc, Mike Clevinger of SD and Glenn Otto.

would you drop Blackburn, Mikolas or Peterson and who would you pick up?

thanks so much!!

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  everywhereblair
2 months ago

I so appreciate these detailed answers!

I was going to go with Clevinger. Among Blackburn/Mikolas/Peterson, who would you waive?

Thanks again!

We all appreciate your table and the work that goes into preparing it.

Martin

D'arnaudoubt
D'arnaudoubt
2 months ago

What do you think Mike King’s greatest strength for fantasy moving forward? ratios, saves, holds, vulture wins?

bigbear
bigbear
2 months ago

Would you take away Kopech for Ray?

Dude
Dude
2 months ago

What is your take on Jeffery Springs? He’s been looking pretty good.

Brant
Brant
2 months ago

This is probably the most frustrating fantasy article to read. Just such weird rankings. HUGE tiers. Random relief pitchers,etc. Not sure how anyone would use this better themselves at fantasy baseball (and isn’t that the point?).

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
2 months ago

I was (a little) surprised how your rankings are fairly stable. For example, Whitlock and King had problems with past week yet each has still retained its high Tier-1 rank.

Also why isn’t Helesly ranked near the top? No one’s been more effective so far. He’s averaging about 15K/9, his WHIP is 0.35, and he has not yet given up a run. I assume his limited innings (16. ~ 0.3/game is the reason).

chrisrayl
chrisrayl
2 months ago

Can someone explain why there are so many non-starters listed??

Confused
Confused
2 months ago

How is Kershaw tier 1? He isn’t coming back this week as far as I can see

Weird Fishes
Weird Fishes
2 months ago

Can you explain the Luzardo ranking? Is his tier one ranking only taking into account YTD stats without consideration of the uncertainty of his return?

Rudy Gamble
Reply to  everywhereblair
2 months ago

16 GS for Kershaw ROS seems about right to me. He isn’t due back until late June and that would give him close to 5 starts per month.

Don’t think Dodgers will need to push Kershaw at all to make the playoffs.

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
2 months ago

Hi Blair,

i so look forward to these rankings and your comments!

1. i am starting Miami’s Lopez on the road at Colorado? Do you agree?

2. i am sitting Paul Blackburn against Houston. Do you agree?

3. i am sitting the Mets David Peterson at home against Wash. Do you agree?

4. would you still keep Mike Mikolas? His next start is Wrigley Field. would you start him?

Thanks so much!!!

martin

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  everywhereblair
2 months ago

thanks!!