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Happy Monday, Razzball faithful! It’s your favorite fantasy baseball dad back with another installment of the Top 100 Starting Pitchers. Do I provide a foolproof article of perfection with cold, hard facts? Maybe not entirely, but I will attempt to save you a couple of extra clicks when you’re trying to line up your pitching research this preseason and give you some things to consider along the way.

Speaking of ‘the way’…Let’s get some of this out of that right now. 

As always, I like to lead with the link to Rudy’s Razzball subscriptions. The tools, ad-free-browsing, Streamonator, and War Room access make it well worth the price of admission.

Also, the Razzball Commenter Leagues are filling up fast. Come play against the frequent commenters in our RCLs, or jump into a league with yours truly (League 4 – drafts Thursday night at 10:00 PM ET!). Who knows, you might also be able to take home the overall RCL title. 

Now that we’ve addressed the bookkeeping part of this week, I wanted to draw your attention to an analogy of sorts that’s been bouncing around in my overfilled brain for a few weeks. I’m sure you’ve all realized at some point that Razzball’s baseball HQ is set up much like those Chicago Bulls dynasties of the 1990’s. 

But MarmosDad, we’re not quite sure where you’re headed with this. I wish you would shed some more light on your analogy.

Allow me to explain.

First, and foremost, our superstar hall of famer is considered by some to be the true GOAT of fantasy baseball rankings. Our Michael Jordan, so to speak. 

You may be wondering, “But isn’t one’s success measured by championships? Title runs? Golden digital trophies?”

Hero of the Roto-Men (and five Roto-Women), and defender of the Roto-Realm, Mr. Grey Albright. 

With apologies to the Chunichi Dragons’ main attraction, Aristedes Aquino, the GGOATOAT (Greatest ‘GOAT’ Of All TIme), is none other than our Fantasy Master Lothario. Grey’s presence is akin to scoring 60 points a game, and is the most obvious parallel to M.J.

If that’s the case, who’s our Scottie Pippen? I assume not many of you would argue that Matt Truss slides in as the best comparable to the Bulls’ legendary small forward. Which one of our team members is supremely vital to the continued success of this dynasty but still manages to fly below the radar when it comes to photo ops and Nike endorsements? Yep, that’s Truss. Our editor keeps things running smoothly, and is happy to provide supplemental statistics and assistance whenever our superstar is on the bench.

Yes, I can almost hear you now. “That’s all pretty awesome and quite obvious, but what about our newest Top 100 SP writer? You’re not going to try to tell me you’re Steve Kerr, are you?” 

Upon further inspection, and after running through a few names from those old rosters, the parallel seemed pretty obvious…

I…am…Dennis…Rodman.

 

Notorious Motor City Bad Boy – Dennis Rodman (twinsies version)

I know what you’re thinking. This mirror image is nearly flawless. I’m basically him. Well, with less colorful hair. And no tattoos. Or piercings. And no red hats with acronyms on them. Or physical altercations with cameramen. And without the ability to consume multiple cigars in one sitting. Or to be called on to wrestle in a tag team match with Hollywood Hogan against Karl Malone in ‘Bash at the Beach’.

But, yes, other than those minor details, I’m basically Dennis Rodman. 

Let’s look at these cold, hard facts.

Are we both taller than 6’1”? Check.

Has each of us attended at least one Raptors/Bulls game at the Skydome in Toronto since 1995? Check

Do both of our first and last names begin with a consonant? Check

Have we either played for the Orange County Crush OR consumed Orange Crush sodas at our Grandmother’s house as a child? Check

Have we both been the unofficial ambassador for the NBA in the Far East and became BFFs with the supreme leader of North Korea…?

Uh…I guess 4 out of 5 ain’t bad. But for the record, I know that Dennis Rodman didn’t finish 7th overall in the 2023 Razzslam, so let’s mark that one down as a dub for yours truly.

As for production from our dynasty roster at Razzball? I will admit straight away that I won’t be leading the team in scoring anytime soon, but I will promise to be a defensive force, collecting as many rebounds, and dishing as many assists as I can all while providing some courtside entertainment along the way.

If we’re counting bonus points, I can also say that I have managed to stay married to my version of Carmen Electra for longer than 9 days. (Although I do have a buddy whose first marriage lasted for 35 days, which was coincidentally also his baseball jersey number, but I digress). 

Plus, IMHO, Marmo Electra is much better looking than that Roxanne from the movie, “Good Burger”.

Ok. Now that I’ve managed to alienate most of our ‘baseball first’ fan squad, I can promise that I’m probably more mentally stable and reliable than “The Worm”. I realize locking down an achievement like that might be as difficult as throwing a baseball in a chocolate factory and hitting an Ooma Loompa, but I will promise you that I know my role on this team: To provide a good amount of hustle and tenacity, while also busting my tail to entertain our fans and help pitch in as we look to add another title to the dynasty.

I’ll also promise to not jump into the stands, throw hands, and start a war if any of the fans criticize from the sidelines. 

And just know that if Hollywood Hogan comes calling, be confident that I’ll remain loyal to the brand and resist the temptation to join the New World Order.

Too Sweet

For the SELL icon this week, I’ll be incorporating an image of my Chicago Bulls twin. Let me be perfectly clear, though! First and foremost, the Dennis Rodman NWO storyline was pure perfection for everyone involved…EXCEPT for the people who relied on him to be focused on fulfilling his NBA responsibilities and putting 100% effort into helping his team win a championship. That’s why Rodman is our SELL image. “Rodzilla” is awesome. So are some of these pitchers. But if they’re not able to focus, improve on their weaknesses, or give teams their full effort then they certainly qualify as sells.

Have a peek at the list below, and have a look out for appearances by both the BUY and SELL icons. 

THE TOP 100 STARTING PITCHERS

  • Based on 5X5 SP Player Rater projections from 2024 15 team (Standard/NFBC) auction values/rankings (as of Saturday, February 24)

 

SP

RANK

(overall)

Name R$ NFBC 

ADP

FANTRAX ADP GREY 

RANK

(SP)

ROUND

(AVG)

BUY

Or

SELL

1 Spencer Strider 37 8.61 7.03 1 1
2 Gerrit Cole 29.5 14.22 11.85 2 2
3 Kevin Gausman 27.4 30.84 25.89 5 1
4 Framber Valdez 27.1 62.41 52.84 20 4/5
5 Zack Wheeler 25.8 28.74 28.93 4 2
6 Pablo Lopez 24.9 41.92 37.61 9 3
7 Aaron Nola 24.4 54.91 44.79 16 3/4
8 George Kirby 23.9 40.39 42.10 8 3
9 Luis Castillo 23.2 32.59 31.96 6 3
10 Corbin Burnes 21.9 25.01 23.50 3 2 Up 1
11 Zac Gallen 21.8 40.52 29.38 10 2/3 Down 1
12 Logan Gilbert 21.2 70.57 60.37 13 4/5
13 Blake Snell 20.8 66.42 52.21 17 4/5
14 Yoshinobu Yamamoto 20.5 53.87 53.53 15 4 Up 1
15 Freddy Peralta 20.3 60.72 55.59 7 4 Up 1
    16 Tarik Skubal 20.3 54.41 48.16 14 4 Down 2
17 Max Fried 19.6 64.14 56.70 19 4/5
18 Logan Webb 19.5 63.35 40.49 11 4/5
19 Tyler Glasnow 19.3 44.68 43.64 18 3
20 Zach Eflin 17.8 88.74 81.52 21 6 Up 1
21 Joe Ryan 17.8 95.45 78.33 25 6/7 Up 1
22 Grayson Rodriguez 16.4 71.85 70.51 27 5 Up 11

23 Carlos Rodon 15.6 164.37 200.69 62 12-14
24 Jose Berrios 15.4 170.43 127.98 43 9-12
25 Jordan Montgomery 15.3 149.62 160.78 40 10/11
26 Justin Verlander 15.1 127.78 124.30 38 9
27 Jesus Luzardo 14.6 88.98 70.46 12 5/6
28 Cole Ragans 14.5 110.77 95.58 35 7/8 Up 3
29 Sonny Gray 14.4 124.53 95.68 24 7-9
30 Justin Steele 14.4 106.34 76.29 22 6/7
31 Chris Sale 14.3 160.43 160.20 57 11/12 Down 3

32 Bobby Miller 14.2 81.72 84.73 28 6
33 Chris Bassitt 13.4 137.63 120.04 37 9/10 Up 1
34 Hunter Greene 13.4 139.69 117.46 33 8/9 Up 1
35 Merrill Kelly 13 152.22 118.63 41 8-13! Up 1
36 Joe Musgrove 12.8 110.09 100.07 34 7/8 Up 1
37 Shane Bieber 12.1 171.58 140.46 59 10-12 Up 1
38 Eduardo Rodriguez 11.5 191.88 152.59 39 11-13 Up 1
39 Dylan Cease 11.5 111.50 75.87 32 6-8 Up 1
40 Hunter Brown 11.2 187.56 147.15 45 10-13 Up 1
41 Yu Darvish 11 209.35 177.36 93 12-15 Up 1
42 Shota Imanaga 11 217.72 171.18 75 12-16 Up 1
43 Tanner Bibee 10.9 116.88 108.37 29 8 Up 2
44 Mitch Keller 10.8 169.52 123.73 30 9-11
45 Eury Perez 10.6 80.41 81.52 23 6 Up 1
46 Nick Lodolo 9.9 248.10 210.45 64 14-17 Up 9

47 Charlie Morton 9.6 238.24 203.37 51 14-16 Up 1
48 Lance Lynn 9.5 310.06 312.69 103 20 Down 1

49 Nestor Cortes 9.3 273.17 238.21 68 16-18
50 Lucas Giolito 8.9 218.60 157.42 60 11-15
51 Bailey Ober 8.7 161.09 159.99 42 11
52 Gavin Williams 8.4 166.03 147.49 56 10/11 Up 1
53 Reid Detmers 8.3 243.39 196.96 77 14-16 Down 1
54 Cristian Javier 8.2 179.28 156.88 55 11/12 Up 2
55 Yusei Kikuchi 8 247.15 301.71 63 17-20 Up 1
56 Nathan Eovaldi 7.8 206.97 159.42 50 11-14 Up 1
57 Braxton Garrett 7.6 195.76 180.90 26 13 Up 1
58 Jon Gray 7.2 348.16 252.90 89 17-21 Up 1
59 Andrew Abbott 7.2 267.29 281.63 76 18/19 Up 4
60 Griffin Canning 7.1 297.98 257.05 94 17-21
61 Nick Pivetta 6.8 185.31 175.42 53 13 Up 1
62 Aaron Civale 6.4 210.85 213.02 52 14/15 Up 3
63 Marcus Stroman 6.3 278.64 311.08 72 19-21 Up 1
64 Brayan Bello 6.1 230.28 197.53 79 14-16 Up 2
65 Kenta Maeda 6 253.14 233.25 65 16/17 Up 2
66 Bryce Miller 5.7 187.70 171.37 44 12/13 Up 2
67 Bryan Woo 5.4 190.23 183.90 47 13 Up 2
68 Ranger Suarez 4.9 409.91 280.81 98 19-29 Up 2
69 Miles Mikolas 4.7 502.77 326.42 102 22-35! Up 3
70 Kyle Gibson 4.6 503.81 307.80 126 22-35 Up 1

71 Emmet Sheehan 4.5 265.77 315.33 131 18-21 Up 2
72 Michael King 4.3 151.15 211.96 49 11-15 Up 12

73 Sean Manaea 4.2 429.17 343.10 101 24-32 Up 1
74 Kyle Harrison 3.9 275.09 255.97 82 18/19 Up 1
75 JP Sears 3.6 477.08 315.28 113 22-33! Up 1
76 Reese Olson 2.9 275.84 261.04 78 18 Up 1
77 Andrew Heaney 2.8 463.32 333.73 117 23-33 Up 1
78 Dean Kremer 2.8 381.65 260.00 70 18-27 Up 1
79 Dane Dunning 2.5 467.05 348.6 71 24-32 Up 4
80 Seth Lugo 2.4 273.02 241.75 54 17-19 Up 2
81 Walker Buehler 2.4 131.17 100.83 31 7/8 Down 1
82 Brandon Pfaadt 2.4 213.78 209.73 80 15 Down 1
83 Steven Matz 2.1 469.10 379.57 99 26-33 N/R (me)

84 Triston McKenzie 2.1 238.58 173.46 67 12-16 Up 2
85 Taj Bradley 2 262.39 233.39 83 16-18 Up 3
86 Cristopher Sanchez 1.9 250.92 238.77 66 16/17 Down 1
87 Edward Cabrera 1.8 311.57 276.84 81 19-21 N/R
88 Frankie Montas 1.7 408.40 353.86 105 24-29 Down 1
89 Jose Quintana 1.2 504.41 339.64 100 23-35
90 MacKenzie Gore 1.2 307.49 314.85 74 21 Up 1
91 Tanner Houck 1.1 528.40 393.38 135 22-37 Up 1
92 Brady Singer 1.1 533.96 359.30 N/R 24-37 Down 2
93 Luis Severino 1 335.11 314.10 92 22-24 Up 4
94 Patrick Sandoval 0.9 526.53 351.51 127 24-36 Down 1
95 Louie Varland 0.9 347.54 331.74 88 23/24 Down 1
96 James Paxton 0.7 409.52 349.73 119 24-31 Down 1
97 Logan Allen 0.6 429.73 316.19 85 22-30 Down 1
98 Kutter Crawford 0.4 285.51 312.28 73 20/21 N/R
99 Jameson Taillon 0 336.48 292.26 96 20-23 Up 1
100 Trevor Rogers 0 427.13 332.47 121 22-31 Down 1

 

A few notes from the list before we deep dive into some names…

  • I mentioned the last couple of weeks that I would be using our Preseason Player Rater as a base for all of my rankings. I wanted to add in here that a lot of the moves from week to week are based on Steamer/Rudy’s observations and will move on their own (almost daily) when certain factors are…uh…factored in. Examples of these factors might be an increase/decrease in playing time, official injury announcements, incorporating potential time (and stats) missed, and tweaking things based on new information that we get from spring training games or announcements from team officials on player roles or lineup plans.

I did want to throw another nod out in this week’s article to highlight another big news point (if anyone missed it).

 

  • Essentially this means that the NFBC is including all of the player projections from Razzball in their player profiles. In short, (never the case with me), that means I’m going to tweak some rankings based on my own gut feel or any information that I may uncover in my own research, but I’ll try to mostly follow our own Player Rater projections here. I suppose you could deduce that If you’re down with NFBC, then you know me. And that’s not just because Other People’s Projections are just naughty…by nature.
  • As I mentioned last week, these ADPs may be off by a couple hundredths of a point. Round up or down accordingly.

 

BIGGEST DUMPERS : With apologies to Cal Raleigh, these are some of the biggest dumpers (in value, not pants size).

Kodai Senga – “Don’t worry. Everything will be just fine.” That’s what I’m sure a bunch of us were optimistically thinking or praying to the Roto-gods for…until we remembered that Kodai Senga will be getting health advice and guidance from the Mets medical staff…

The Mets medical staff when someone from their rotation questions why their arm has fallen off.

Speaking of optimism, I’m certainly glad that this news came out before I had to lock keepers in for leagues, or before I drafted some of my other more important leagues. At ADP 29, I’d targeted Senga as my SP1/2 from my own personal plan or potential builds in draft season. Now with both Senga and Bradish looking like they’re not going to return value due to injury, I’m fading both in redraft and maybe even some keeper league. It sounds like Grey had some similar thoughts on Friday. You can check his Senga breakdown here. Also worth noting, Rudy let us know that he removed about a month of innings and stats from Senga’s projections on Thursday after the injury news broke. Senga dumps all the way down from #20 last week to off our list at #104 for this week.

 

Kyle Bradish – I mentioned it briefly last week, but I think it bears a bit of repeating. The Orioles on MASN ran a story Friday and led with a quote from Bradish that read, “No pain, no soreness when I’m throwing. Recovery has been good. So Yeah, feeling pretty normal.” 

I’m not saying that Bradish would intentionally mislead anyone or that he should be at fault for being optimistic, but a UCL tear qualifies as news that is kind of…Bad-ish. I have Bradish in multiple keeper leagues, so don’t fault me for the negativity here as I would love to see him throw a full season for the juggernauts that are the Orioles. I’m not a doctor, but I’m fairly sure that UCL tears do not heal quickly by themselves. If you doubt my experience with injuries, you can always watch my Ambulance Chasers debut with Keelin’ for the AL East preview where she shares my source of injury credibility. 

Bradish’s dump of 26 spots last week is followed by another plummet to SP113 on our preseason player rater this week.

 

Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson – Uh oh. The other two heads from the three headed monster of doom that will be toeing the rubber in St. Louis this season. I mentioned last week that I’d include these two in my fades, but I don’t want to go into too much detail when I think this graphic can probably sum it up better than a paragraph ever could.

Two Top 100 SP that should return positive R$, but whom I will still not be drafting.

Chris Sale – This one shows up as a Rodzilla SELL as well. I mentioned it earlier in February on one of our pods but Chris Sale’s physical makeup worried me a long time ago. A tall pitcher who is built like a coat hanger should not be relying on throwing a slider 37% of the time. The 2019-2023 injury report was pretty ugly. He spent exactly 500 days on the IL over that five year span. High (or Low) lights from that half-decade included: Tommy John Surgery, a stress fracture of the right ribcage, a fractured right wrist, and left shoulder inflammation.

Heading to pitch in front of the offensive beast that is Atlanta is ideal for any pitcher. Another plus is that Sale’s K% did go up in the second half last year. That said, though, I’m not trusting a 35 year old starting pitcher with this kind of injury history who hasn’t thrown more than 103 innings since 2019. Sell.

BIGGEST JUMPERS : Who’s got hops? These are some of the biggest jumpers in value this week.

Grayson Rodriguez – I mentioned Cole Ragans last week and I feel like the Grayson Rodriguez observations are pretty similar as far as a tale of two halves of the season are concerned. Like Ragans, Rodriguez had a pretty atrocious first half of 2023 (27% HR/F rate, 10% BB rate, 5.32 ERA, 1,51 WHIP). Also like Ragans, this kid flipped a switch in the second half and didn’t look back. After ditching the cutter, (his worst pitch), and improving his velocity and command, Gray-Rod corrected all of the aforementioned problems and showed why he’s been touted by some as the next big ace in the American League. Be prepared to pay up for him in drafts, but things are looking good at Camden if you’re hunting for talent these days.

Nick Lodolo – A 26 year old pitcher who stands 6’6” tall, has the first round pedigree (7th overall in 2019), a SWK of 13.6%, a K-BB of 22%, and an elite 6% BB rate? Ya, sign me up. The unfortunate thing with these kinds of pitchers is what I mentioned above with Chris Sale. Taller guys are more prone to injury, and Lodolo is no exception. He missed 69 days with a strained lower back in 2022 and another 142 days in 2023 with left calf tightness. He sounds excited and healthy in the clip here, but keep an eye on how he gets stretched out over the spring. If he has to push back any starts with soreness or tweaks, he could go from a sneaky breakout to a sell pretty quickly.

 

Michael King … again – Rudy must have agreed with my add of Michael King to our list here last week as not only is he here again but has moved up from my initial ranking of SP84 to his current SP72 slot. Have a peek at my blurb on him from last week’s article!

 

OOF!

The following pitchers dropped off the Top 100 this week (former ranking in parentheses) : 

Kodai Senga (20) and Kyle Bradish (61) are have company on the OOF bench thanks to Alex Cobb’s ommission (98).

WHEE!

The following pitchers moved up to crack the Top 100 this week : Edward Cabrera continues his yo-yo-ing on and off the Top 100. This week he hits the SP87 spot. Diamond Dallas Page’s cousin Kutter Crawford appears for the first time this year at SP98.

That’s all for this week! I hope enjoyed, and that you’ve got something to add to your BUY or SELL lists in keeper leagues or in your planning for redraft. Have fun perusing the chart, and come back next week when I give you a little treat that I have planned based on ADP data and some comparisons.

Drop some comments in the chat if you’re feeling extra fired up about some of the names I do (or don’t) have here, too. Have a great week and for those of you drafting leagues already, good luck!)

Follow me @marmosdad on Twitter/X and Bluesky @marmosdad.bsky.social

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Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Do you think Estuery Ruiz for Civale is fair? I own Ruiz but have a crowded OF and need SP.

keelinbillue
1 month ago

I’m a little obsessed that Marmo is represented in your chart.

Ezdoesit1974
Ezdoesit1974
1 month ago

So Im trying to decide my final 2 keepers in a 12 team, 5×5, OBP/QS, 4 keeper auction league with a $260 budget and 24 roster spots.

I was hoping to get your take as a few of the guys I’m debating on keeping are mentioned here in your article.

Im definitely keeping Acuna $52, and Matt Olson $35. I want to balance having $ to play with in the auction draft while keeping the best 4 players possible.

I’ve narrowed the last 2 spots down to the following players: Skubal $7, Grayson Rodriguez $5, Ragans $3, Altuve $13, Royce Lewis $10, or Josh Lowe $6.

Which 2 guys would you choose to add to Acuna and Olson (who will cost me $88 of my $260)?

Ezdoesit1974
Ezdoesit1974
Reply to  MarmosDad
1 month ago

Thanks we can keep a player from the previous year as long as we choose to but we use a 1.25 multiplier for each season kept. So Matt Olson cost $28 last year, so he’s $35 this year, etc. I know Acuna and Olson would go much higher than my keeper values in the auction, plus I’m a Braves homer, so I can’t bring myself to part with them lol.

Pitching goes quickly in the auction but not usually before impact bats. My goal is to enter the auction with the ability to make some competitive bids, so I was leaning toward Skubal $7, and Gray Rod $5 for a total of $100 of my $260 budget.

However I usually do a 3:1 bat-to-SP keeper but with Royce having an extensive injury history and Altuve now 34 years old, I thought the better value would be between Ragans, Skubal, and Gray Rod but I’ve gone back and forth between keeping one of Altuve $13 or Royce $10 and choosing one SP from Skubal, Gray Rod, or Ragans.

So which do you think is the better strategy…keeping Grayson and Skubal or Altuve and one of Grayson or Skubal? Thanks for the feedback!

Ezdoesit1974
Ezdoesit1974
Reply to  MarmosDad
1 month ago

Thanks man, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. Only being able to keep 4 guys is tough lol.

Ezdoesit1974
Ezdoesit1974
Reply to  MarmosDad
1 month ago

Auro correct is seldom my friend either ?

Old School Brother
Old School Brother
1 month ago

All due respect… I feel like Tehol is the Rodman of the Razz

Last edited 1 month ago by Old School Brother
everywhereblair
Reply to  Old School Brother
1 month ago

I knew Tehol (via the internet) for a while and was quite impressed with his duality of yoga/fitness/meditation and his favorable fascination with authoritarian regimes.

Scott
Scott
1 month ago

Quick keeper question- in 12 team $260 5×5 roto who would you keep between these two
Kelenic $4
Story$1

steve stevenson
steve stevenson
1 month ago

I’m the sad owner of both Senga ($21) and Bradish ($3) in my parallel NL- and AL-only keeper leagues. Would you hold either of them? 6 IL slots. Opportunity cost as of today is looking like a $1 Meneses and $1 Canning, respectively, so nothing too great.

everywhereblair
1 month ago

If Grey and Dennis Rodman went head to head in a fantasy baseball contest, who would win?

Grey
Admin
1 month ago

Number one ranker for fantasy baseball? Damn, can’t do much better than that, can ya?

Grey
Admin
Reply to  MarmosDad
1 month ago

Haha