What a disgusting tease of a week that was. Some people like to be teased I suppose, but in this very important fantasy baseball circumstance I’m not all about it. Just as I was all set to toss Clayton Kershaw back into the fold, he leaves his first start with back tightness and it’s back to the DL dungeon for at least a month. Same story with Alex Reyes, who I was all set to gush about this week. Sadly, he left his first start with the Cardinals after just four innings and is lost to the DL for a long, long time with a “significant” lat strain. The loss of Kenta Maeda is sad since he was pitching so well, while the loss of Jeff Samardzija is less so since he’d been horrendous. Addition by subtraction? Perhaps. We also lost Noah Syndergaard, although hopefully this will be the only week he drops from the rankings since his finger injury isn’t considered to be serious. Because of all the injuries and a general lack of blow-ups from mid-tier starters, there weren’t a lot of fallers this week. So rather than nitpick a few minor laggards, let’s look at a bunch of new entries to the Top 100, and a couple risers as well. I feel like such an optimist!

The Newcomers:

  • Carlos Rodon, CHW (SP54) – I’ve been a sucker for Carlos ever since the day he was drafted, so let me get that out of the way right off that bat. He’s shown us glimpses of what he’s capable of, which is ace-like numbers. Unfortunately he’s spent a good portion of his MLB career on the disabled list. What we can definitely expect is a strikeout per inning thanks to a 93-MPH heater from the left side and a wipeout slider. He was also getting more comfortable with his changeup last year – not that it was a great pitch – but it serves as a third piece to help turn over a lineup, and 12% usage was the highest of his young career. The walk rate ticked back up though, which has been is other main issue behind health. He is set to make his final rehab start Sunday at Triple-A and if all goes well he’ll be back with the White Sox this week. He’s looking good with 20 K’s over 12.2 IP in his rehab starts, so stash away if he’s available in your league.
  • Nathan Eovaldi, TB (SP83) – Eovaldi might have flown under the radar in his return to action as a less prominent name on the tanking Rays. He blew that notion to smithereens with six no-hit innings against the A’s in his debut, walking one and striking out four. Despite being one of the hardest throwers in baseball among starters (97 MPH FB) he has only a career 6.56 K/9. He has solid control, but without swing-and-miss stuff his ceiling isn’t too high. To frame that further, he hasn’t posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2013. Don’t get overly excited.
  • Anthony DeSclafani, CIN (SP95) – I have always loved DeSclafani because I can use his name to rhyme with Gwen Stefani in my rap battles. He’s my secret weapon. He is also another pitcher in addition to Eovaldi who hasn’t given you meaningful MLB innings since 2016. He’s been far less dominant in his rehab starts than Rodon, and his upside is also much lower since he doesn’t feature overpowering stuff. He has much better control though, and despite his homer-proneness (is that really a word?) in his rehab starts, he’s typically been very good at limiting the long ball (career 0.98 HR/9). I wouldn’t bother to look at him as anything more than a stream in standard mixers, but in 15+ team leagues he could be a regular contributor.
  • Frankie Montas, OAK (SP97) – It’s about time I rankie Frankie. What the hell is going on in Oakland? Are they building a real team there? Last week saw meteoric rises up the list for Daniel Mengden and Trevor Cahill, trying to catch Sean Manaea who is already just inside the top 30. Now we’ve got Frankie Montas up from the minors and trying to get in on the action. He tossed eight shutout innings in a 16-0 shellacking of the Royals last week, and now has just one earned run over his first 14 IP with the team. Time for the wet blanket. As with Eovaldi and DeSclafani, he doesn’t have the type of stuff to miss a ton of bats and is more of a control guy. There isn’t a ton to be encouraged about so far unfortunately aside from the ERA, with a 25% line drive rate, 40% hard contact rate, and 5.79 K/9. I’d only be looking to stream him in the friendliest of matchups, but you may be best avoiding him altogether.

 

The Risers:

  • Caleb Smith, MIA (SP38) – Despite the best efforts of the Marlins, it looks like they actually have a good pitcher here. Perhaps, a very good pitcher. Smith uses his slider nearly 30% of the time, and it’s a good one. He also throws 93 MPH from the left side with 12% changeup usage. Sound familiar? It’s a similar skillset to Carlos Rodon. Smith has also suffered from a lack of control with a 4.15 BB/9 on the year, but it’s been better since his first four starts. In seven starts since, he has a 2.21 ERA/0.84 WHIP over 40.2 innings with a 10.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. That’s quite the run. I’d be looking to grab him anywhere I can.
  • Zach Eflin, PHI (SP76) – Last year I titled an episode of the Nasty Cast “No Eflin Way” because of how disinterested I was in Eflin when he strung together a few deceptively nice stats. You might have noticed that I used it again for the title of this article. Don’t judge me! Good titles are hard to come up with! Anyway, last year he posted a 4.90 K/9. That’s almost impossibly bad. This year? 10.04 K/9. Insert shocked face gif here. The results haven’t come just yet with a 4.50 ERA over 26 innings, but the 18.6% K-BB% has me watching. His ERA indicators are all well under 4.00, and his swinging strike rate is up to 9.6%. That’s about league average, so I do see the strikeouts regressing, especially with a really bad 22.7% reach rate on pitches outside the zone. He’s throwing his slider 11% more than last year at 24% and so far the results are fairly positive. He’s not a standard mixed league guy just yet, but keep an eye on him.

 

The Top 100 Starting Pitchers

Rank Name Prev Rank
1 Max Scherzer 1
2 Chris Sale 2
3 Corey Kluber 3
4 Luis Severino 5
5 Gerrit Cole 4
6 Justin Verlander 6
7 Jacob DeGrom 10
8 James Paxton 8
9 Stephen Strasburg 9
10 Aaron Nola 12
11 Zack Greinke 13
12 Blake Snell 14
13 Charlie Morton 15
14 Trevor Bauer 16
15 Carlos Carrasco 11
16 Madison Bumgarner N/A
17 Carlos Martinez N/A
18 Lance McCullers 17
19 Alex Wood 19
20 Jose Berrios 20
21 Patrick Corbin 18
22 Nick Pivetta 21
23 Shohei Ohtani 22
24 Walker Buehler 27
25 Rick Porcello 23
26 Gio Gonzalez 29
27 Dallas Keuchel 25
28 Eduardo Rodriguez 33
29 Sean Manaea 24
30 Luis Castillo 28
31 Chris Archer 30
32 J.A. Happ 31
33 Tyson Ross 40
34 Kyle Hendricks 32
35 Jon Gray 26
36 Jack Flaherty 35
37 Miles Mikolas 38
38 Caleb Smith 55
39 David Price 47
40 Garrett Richards 34
41 Sean Newcomb 36
42 Jake Arrieta 37
43 Michael Fulmer 43
44 Jose Quintana 39
45 Kevin Gausman 42
46 Daniel Mengden 58
47 Jameson Taillon 52
48 Mike Clevinger 56
49 Tanner Roark 45
50 Tyler Skaggs 49
51 Joe Musgrove 50
52 Andrew Heaney 48
53 Nick Kingham 51
54 Carlos Rodon N/A
55 Michael Wacha 57
56 Dylan Bundy 53
57 Fernando Romero 44
58 Trevor Cahill 59
59 Zack Godley 54
60 Mike Foltynewicz 63
61 Jeremy Hellickson 68
62 Cole Hamels 61
63 Ross Stripling 72
64 Vince Velasquez 65
65 Jon Lester 60
66 Kyle Gibson 66
67 Matt Boyd 67
68 Reynaldo Lopez 62
69 Marco Gonzales 78
70 Luke Weaver 64
71 Jake Odorizzi 76
72 Jordan Lyles 74
73 Masahiro Tanaka 69
74 Kyle Freeland 70
75 Jakob Junis 73
76 Zach Eflin 91
77 CC Sabathia 75
78 Junior Guerra 77
79 Zack Wheeler 84
80 Sonny Gray 85
81 Jose Urena 94
82 Nick Tropeano 92
83 Nathan Eovaldi N/A
84 Steven Matz 95
85 Julio Teheran 79
86 Sam Gaviglio N/A
87 Wade LeBlanc N/A
88 Danny Duffy 83
89 Chad Kuhl 88
90 Mike Minor 82
91 Dennis Santana N/A
92 Chase Anderson 87
93 Trevor Williams 90
94 Aaron Sanchez 80
95 Anthony DeSclafani N/A
96 Tyler Mahle 93
97 Frankie Montas N/A
98 Brent Suter N/A
99 Chris Stratton 98
100 Clay Buchholz N/A

 

 

You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken.

 
  1. Don'tBeAHader says:
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    Not much love for Tanaka. If I need saves would a Tanaka for Iglesias make sense??

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Don’tBeAHader: Absolutely. I wrote last week on the Top 100 about giving up on Tanaka as a #2/3 SP. He’s just a guy at this point.

  2. Whatsup says:
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    Sit Wood at Coors?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Whatsup: I think it would depend on league depth. If I’m in a 10-12 team mixer I’d try to get away from him, but anything deeper I’d take the risk since you’re less apt to have better options. It’s not the Rockies lineup that’s very scary these days, just the altitude and ballpark.

      • Whatsup says:
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        @Dokken: Thanks!!!

  3. Bobby-Hot-Rocket says:
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    Nice write up Dokken!

    Big trade advice needed involving Stud SP’s!!
    I was just offered Trea Turner & Mad Bum for Pax, Sal Perez, and Acuna
    I currently sit:

    C Perez / Barnhart
    1 Freeman / Hosmer
    2 Jo Ram / Moncada
    3 Shaw / Devers
    SS Peraza/Swanson
    OF Hanniger / Yelich / Acuna / Jo Mart (schwarber / Olson)

    SP Thor / Pax / Corbin / Burrios / Taillon (start 3)
    Treinen / Knebel

    Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Bobby-Hot-Rocket: Mercy, that’s pretty close. When it’s that close I typically lean to the side with the best overall player, which would be Turner. If you need the steals in the standings I’d take that side, otherwise I’d stand pat.

  4. JB2 says:
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    Where does Ray land once he’s back?

    Who’s a realistic OF to deal Ray for? Just got offered Dickerson but it feels low.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @JB2: C-Dick has actually made some nice adjustments this year and is making a TON more contact. A .300 hitter helps you more than you might realize these days. Also, Ray was hot garbage before he hit the DL and he still won’t be back for quite a while yet so selling him now you’re gonna take a loss no matter what. When he comes back I’ll probably have him around SP35. You could try to buy low on someone like Ozuna, who I think will bounce back from his slow start.

  5. foul balls says:
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    Seems like no one believes in wacha and his 7-1 record and his 2.41 era to have him 55 on the top 100 list. Any particular reason why?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @foul balls: Man, I get a comment about Wacha every. Single. Week. He’s gotta he the most overrated player among the fantasy community this year. I’ll bump him up some more next week just because his last start on Sunday was so good, but he is really overachieving. His strikeout rate is mediocre, his walk rate is worse than mediocre, and if anyone thinks his .242 BABIP is gonna hold all season while he gives up 41% hard contact they’re nutty. He’s a good solid starting pitcher, but people seem to think he’s a fantasy superstar. I’d be selling hard if I had him right now.

  6. your mom says:
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    Hi. Trade shaw and mikolas for castellanos? 20 tm keeper league.
    Thanks!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @your mom: Travis Shaw? I think I’d just as soon have him as Castellanos and keep Mikolas.

  7. Re-Pete says:
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    This week at my flex pitcher spot, I unfortunately must start one of:
    -Eovaldi for 2 terrifying starts (@WAS/Scherzer and SEA/Paxton),
    -Velasquez (MIL/Chacin), or
    -an extra RP — Hirano (6 games but 3 @COL) or Oh (6 home games, NYY/BAL)

    Actually leaning toward the RP given those matchups. H2H points league. Thoughts?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Re-Pete: I’d definitely go with VV. Milwaukee’s offense hasn’t been as dynamic as we’d thought it would be (yet) and facing off against Chacin gives him a good enough shot at a dub.

  8. RICE says:
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    Hey Dokken!

    Any downward movement on Castillo after last night’s disaster at Petco?

    Thanks!!!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @RICE: “Disaster” is strong, but he’s not helping his case any. He’s been better recently after his atrocious start but this start undoes a lot of the good. He’ll probably drop a couple spots, and depending on how he looks in his next start maybe quite a few more.

      • RICE says:
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        @Dokken: agree… “disaster” is likely strong. I live in SD and have the “pleasure” of watching the Padres on a regular basis. If you can’t come out of Petco with a quality start = “disaster”, haha.

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
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          @RICE: Ha!! That is a good point. Just be happy that you live in sunny San Diego and not North Dakota like me.

  9. Ozzie Smith says:
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    Folty deserves a closer look, he’s been outstanding and certainly better than at least a dozen of those names above him and his matchups have not been cakewalks.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Ozzie Smith: I figured I’d get a comment on Folty after his last start. I haven’t been enamored with a lot of what he’s going. He’s still pretty much a two pitch guy with a bad walk rate, and he doesn’t get a lot of swinging strikes or reaches out of the zone which makes me think the K’s will come down quite a bit. Like you said though, the results have been there so I do have to give him some credit.

  10. holthud321 says:
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    12 tm 5×5 H2H w QS…would u rather have felipe vazquez or carlos rodon? Would be dropping samardzija. My current pitching:
    Starters-

    Scherzer
    Pivetta
    Taillon
    Castillo
    Happ
    Jon Gray
    Folty
    Tanaka
    Maeda
    Cueto
    Shark

    Closers- Greene and kela

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @holthud321: I’m terrified of Vazquez right now so I’d go Rodon.

  11. Christian Herman says:
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    Caleb Smith against SD or J.A. Happ vs Baltimore

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Christian Herman: That should be a win/win option but I’d go with Happ. The Orioles swing at evvvvverything so he should be able to pile up some solid strikeouts.

      • Chris Herman says:
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        @Dokken: I’m gonna start both & bench pivetta Castillo newcomb & chacin. They all have good matchups minus Pivetta, but he’s the best of the bunch. Little nervous about this one but I love C Smith

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
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          @Chris Herman: You’re usually safe banking on a start against the Padres.

          • Chris Herman says:
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            @Dokken: Rich Hill or Chacin ROS?

            • Dokken

              Dokken says:
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              @Chris Herman: I would rather roster a middle reliever than either of those starters but if I had to pick one I’d go with Chacin.

  12. Chucky says:
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    Godley with 2 starts on the road, @ SF & Coors. His home numbers are decidedly better than his road game. Is anyone starting him in a weely 2 start lock?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Chucky: Godley at Coors sounds ungodly gross. Breaking balls break less in Coors and that’s where his strikeouts come from so I’d stay far away from him this week.

  13. Kingslayer says:
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    I think it’s time you reevaluate Fulmer. I know it’s time for me.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Kingslayer: It’s so weird that he’s been walking so many. I knew he wouldn’t be a high K pitcher and he started off alright but he’s been frustrating for sure. 39% hard contact allowed too, woof. Another bad start and he’ll drop a good half dozen spots at least.

  14. Dave D. says:
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    I agree with many of your rsnkings, but I suggest you replay Folty’s start from the weekend during which he hit 99mph on the radar against Harper in the 9th. He is foung way better than a 60th ranking (Kingham above him?) He appears to have turned the corner into an ace and sone have missed it.

    If you truly think Folty is #60 could I have a league invite to play against you next year ;-)

    Btw, who was a better band, Dokken or Iron Maiden?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Dave D.: I bunch of guys in that range are pretty interchangeable, but I wouldn’t move him up much higher. I already responded to a comment on him so you can check that out for further thoughts, but it’s important to keep the process in mind and not just the results. I’m not sold on him turning a corner.

      Believe it or not I haven’t listened to too much Dokken! And Iron Maiden is legendary so I’ve gotta give them the nod there.

  15. iifish Horton Heat says:
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    Vazquez, 10ER, geez!, ouch! what do you think – Marco Gonzales or Carols Rodon ROS?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @iifish Horton Heat: Hey man, sorry for the delay on this. Was out of state all weekend, deep in the boonies. I’m going Rodon ROS for sure. Gonzalez definitely has a lower ceiling, although Rodon is infuriatingly inconsistent.

  16. hotmilk8 says:
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    Look forward to the weekly pitcher rankings. Any idea if a Week will be released?
    Thanks for the hard work

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @hotmilk8: Thanks man, appreciate it. If it’s a Week 11 post you’re asking about, I’m afraid there won’t be one. I was on vacation last week out of state and couldn’t get it done. The Top 100 will be back next week with authority though!!

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