Not your Grandfathers Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

These baseballs are juicy. Juicier than Grandpa-Donk’s drawers the first time he visited Méjico. The juicy balls are causing some major volatility among our starting pitcher ranks this year. Few pitchers are exempt from the pitcherocalypse. Carlos Carrasco has suffered from severe constipation each of his last three outings, Tyler Bauer ate some questionable China-Buffet during May, and Patrick Corbin’s Gatorade was spiked with laxatives in Cincinnati this past Friday. Even the mythical Yusei “The Kooch” Kikuchi has required adult diapers for his two recent explosions.

As the driver of the Kikuchi Razzwagon, I do apologize for crashing us into a Porta-John these past two weeks. There’s been talk of The Kooch tipping his pitches; I like the narrative, it makes me feel a little better, but I’m not sure it’s true. His command was flat out awful in those two blow ups, as hitters teed off on his hanging off speed pitches. It was also his third time facing the A’s and second time facing the Angels; his funk may suffer from the law of diminishing fantasy returns once teams have gotten a good look.

Regardless, I can’t blame anyone for moving on in 10-12 teamers, but I might give a reach around thru this buy-window in deeper leagues. Is that a buy-window or a guillotine? Just leave me alone random italicized voice! The Kooch is a crafty veteran who will benefit from some extra rest this week, a trip to the laundromat, and a heavy dose of prune juice. Don’t be surprised if there’s another dominant run in store as we get the Kikuchi Razzwagon back up running, and deodorized, this summer.

 

During these scary times, a few brave men have been slurping the prune juice and keeping themselves regular…

Lucas Giolito (+28) – Two weeks ago I said, “Giolito seems to be breaking out. We profiled him on the most recent Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports: A Fantasy Baseball Podcast. Not to be confused with the Ditka, Sports, and Fantasy Sausage Podcast, which I recommend as well.” Since then Giolito has only gotten better. Even I didn’t expect him to be this good. He isn’t the sub-2.00 ERA pitcher he was in May, but he’s quickly blossoming into a fantasy ace. The regression fairies will have a much tougher time tickling Giolito’s groin with their fairy feathers since he takes refuge in the weakest division in all of baseball.

Joey Lucchesi (+32) – Grey’s preseason darling is finally delivering all of the authentic pasta and meatballs we were promised. The good kind of meatballs, not the ones he was serving up in April. Across 30 1/3 May innings pitched, Don Lucchesi of the Gambino crime family posted a 2.97 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP with 28 strikeouts while walking only 5.  I wouldn’t be comfortable taking a loan from him, but I would be comfortable starting him everywhere but Coors right now.

Griffin Canning (+24) – We broke-down Canning’s funk on the most recent Sausage Pod thingy. He has “Rookie that comes in and baffles the league his first time thru” written all over him in permanent Sharpie. Let this be a lesson, kids, never be the first one to pass out at a party.

Zach Plesac (N/A) – Plesac is the latest in the line of 1,000 second generation players to be called up. I’m most looking forward to Bartolo Colon Jr’s debut in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest later this summer. Like most shady rookie pitchers who you pick up late at night off the wire, Plesac is probably going to roofie you at some point. But I’ve ranked this under the radar prospect aggressively at #64 because there’s decent strikeout upside and a reasonably high floor due to plus command. The Indians also have a history of getting the most out of their pitchers.

Nick Pivetta (N/A) – Apparently all of our fearless Fantasy Master Lothario’s preseason sleeper pitchers just needed a month to warm up and/or an extended demotion to the minor leagues.  Since rejoining the big league squad last week, Nicky Pee-Pants has given up only 6 hits and 2 walks in 11 innings against the Cardinals and Dodgers while recording 15 strikeouts. He was also very good in his six weeks down at AAA. I think I might have Battered Fantasy Manger Syndrome, but I’m ready to crawl back into bed with Pivetta. What could possibly go wrong?

Jake Odorizzi (+22) – What’s that smell? Did Odorizzi also have an accident in his trousers? Nope, that was me when I saw that Odorizzi is currently the #4 ranked pitcher this season according to the Razzball Player Rater. The regression fairies are coming for Odorizzi but, like Giolito, he takes refuge in the AL Central and he doesn’t even have to face the best team in the division (because, ya know, he pitches for them). Continue to follow this Latter-K Saint until he touches you inappropriately.

Pablo Lopez (-11) – I mentioned in the comments a month ago that I wouldn’t start P-Lo against good offenses on the road. Following up on that point: Lopez now has a 1.84 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 9.51 K/9 at home and a 8.26 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 7.62 K/9 on the road. Own Pablo, start him at home, don’t even think about it on the road.

Jon Duplantier (N/A) – The D-Bags have yo-yo’d this kid up and down from the minors more times than the masseuse when Robert Kraft visits. There’s a chance Dup might be up to stay this time and they’re letting him start. While he has nice strikeout potential in a good pitchers park, he’s also struggled a bit with walks this year. Duplantier is a streamer/deeper league option for now, but his upside means he should be solidly on your radar in all leagues.

Genesis Cabrera (N/A) – Has Genesis done anything to deserve a player blurb? Nope, the youngster has yet to discover the prune juice. But he has a great name and I was impressed with what I saw from the flame throwing lefty when I observed him live two weeks ago in Nashville. I believe he may have turned a corner in his last couple AAA starts, and the Cardinals seem to agree as they’re giving him one more chance to prove himself against the Reds on Tuesday. I elaborated on what I saw from Cabrera down in Nashtown, here. He’s strictly an NL-Only add for the time being.

 

These guys have been changing their undies several times per start…

Chris Archer (-14) – A lot has been made of Ray Searage ruining Chris Archer and being the worst pitching coach since Jesus’s cousin Lonny butchered the Bethlehem staff back in the year 23. I have no idea if Searage has anything to do with Archer’s recent struggles, but he’s lost two miles per hour on his heater over the past two seasons and he’s walking way too hitters to be successful. Just to play Devil’s Donkey, Archer’s most recent outing vs the Brewers was encouraging as he struck out seven and walked only two across seven innings. His velocity was also crept back up a little in that game. There could be a decent summer on the horizon for Mr. Archer.

Carlos Carrasco (-10) – Carrasco has been tough to own this year, trust me. On the plus side, if he hasn’t been destroying your ratios for the past two weeks, I think you’re getting a great buying opportunity. He’s a notoriously streaky pitcher and, though he is injury prone, nothing’s jumping out at me screaming he’s injured at this time. When Carrasco sauce gets on a hot streak, he’s as good as anyone in the league.

Anthony DeSclafani (-50) – Woof. Who recommended this guy a month ago? It was Donkey Teeth. Dang, what was I smoking? It was mushrooms. Ah, thanks for reminding me random italicized voice. Looking at DeSclafani’s May numbers (29 IP, 5.59 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) it seems he may have been smoking mushrooms also. Reading back I did say, “Another guy here that we shouldn’t fully trust since he hasn’t reached 125 IP in any of the past three seasons.” Pretty good hedging there, but really, it has nothing to do with why DeSclafani has been so bad. He’s been a little unlucky in his easier match ups and he’s been hit pretty hard in his tougher match ups, but still, I wouldn’t touch him right now even with your team.

 

Anyway, here’s my updated Top 100 Starting Pitchers for 2019 Fantasy Baseball…

Rank Name Previous Rank
1 Max Scherzer 1
2 Justin Verlander 5
3 Blake Snell 2
4 Jacob deGrom 4
5 Chris Sale 3
6 Gerrit Cole 6
7 Walker Buehler 9
8 Trevor Bauer 7
9 Hyun-Jin Ryu 10
10 German Marquez 13
11 Stephen Strasburg 15
12 Jack Flaherty 16
13 Lucas Giolito 41
14 Clayton Kershaw 14
15 James Paxton NA
16 Patrick Corbin 11
17 Aaron Nola 20
18 Carlos Carrasco 8
19 Zack Greinke 17
20 Shane Bieber 19
21 Charlie Morton 22
22 Luis Castillo 12
23 Noah Syndergaard 18
24 Frankie Montas 32
25 Zack Wheeler 21
26 Matt Boyd 28
27 Mike Soroka 36
28 Madison Bumgarner 24
29 Caleb Smith 23
30 Jose Berrios 25
31 Rich Hill 38
32 David Price 29
33 Chris Paddack 26
34 Brad Peacock 56
35 Joey Lucchesi 67
36 Matt Strahm 34
37 Brandon Woodruff 42
38 Kyle Hendricks 35
39 Yu Darvish 46
40 Domingo German 31
41 Robbie Ray 30
42 Masahiro Tanaka 37
43 Mike Foltynewicz 62
44 Jake Odorizzi 66
45 Griffin Canning 69
46 Mike Minor 63
47 Eduardo Rodriguez 43
48 Kenta Maeda 53
49 Andrew Heaney NA
50 Jon Gray 58
51 Yusei Kikuchi 27
52 Max Fried 40
53 Miles Mikolas 49
54 Jose Quintana 47
55 Yonny Chirinos 57
56 Julio Teheran 65
57 Steven Matz 52
58 Chris Archer 44
59 Pablo Lopez 48
60 Spencer Turnbull 60
61 Kyle Gibson 70
62 Wade Miley 79
63 Lance Lynn 93
64 Zach Plesac NA
65 J.A. Happ 61
66 Trevor Richards 90
67 Nick Pivetta NA
68 Sonny Gray 80
69 Cole Hamels 33
70 Jordan Lyles 50
71 Rick Porcello 64
72 Martin Perez 51
73 Chris Bassitt 54
74 Joe Musgrove 45
75 Tanner Roark 99
76 Mike Fiers 83
77 Tyler Skaggs 82
78 Jon Duplantier NA
79 Tyler Mahle 73
80 Marcus Stroman 81
81 Corbin Martin 68
82 Jake Arrieta 85
83 Zach Davies 72
84 Jalen Beeks 74
85 Jon Lester 55
86 Jerad Eickhoff 75
87 Kevin Gausman 76
88 Merrill Kelly 77
89 Eric Lauer 110
90 Felix Pena 96
91 Adrian Sampson 132
92 Jose Urena 117
93 Trent Thornton 101
94 Tyler Beede NA
95 Jake Junis 95
96 Dakota Hudson 107
97 Marco Gonzales 78
98 Erick Fedde NA
99 Michael Pineda 97
100 Danny Duffy 89
101 Aaron Sanchez 86
102 Anibal Sanchez NA
103 Dylan Bundy 113
104 Tommy Milone NA
105 Devin Smeltzer NA
106 CC Sabathia 100
107 John Means 111
108 Ryan Yarbrough NA
109 Brett Anderson 123
110 Daniel Mengden 119
111 Sandy Alcantara 98
112 Shaun Anderson 106
113 Jason Vargas NA
114 Steven Brault 139
115 Ryan Carpenter NA
116 Ariel Jurado 133
117 Jeff Samardzija 103
118 Genesis Cabrera NA
119 Chase Anderson 104
120 Brad Keller 114
121 Anthony DeSclafani 71
122 Adam Wainwright 115
123 Cole Irvin NA
124 Nick Margevicius NA
125 Reynaldo Lopez 88
126 Ivan Nova 129
127 Antonio Senzatela 125
128 Daniel Norris 122
129 Trevor Cahill 116
130 Gabriel Ynoa NA
131 Jose Suarez NA
132 Andrew Cashner 109
133 Jefry Rodriguez 105
134 Ryan Weber NA
135 Mike Leake 118
136 Dylan Covey 131
137 Jhoulys Chacin 92
138 Clayton Richard NA
139 Jeff Hoffman NA
140 Manny Banuelos NA
141 Drew Smyly 108
142 Homer Bailey 126
143 Taylor Clarke NA
144 Wade LeBlanc 136
145 Nick Kingham 124
146 David Hess 138
147 Drew Pomeranz 84
148 Glenn Sparkman NA
149 Edwin Jackson 130

Injured: Corey Kluber, Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon, Luis Severino, Mike Clevinger, Jimmy Nelson, Trevor Williams, Luke Weaver, Alex Wood, Jonathan Loaisiga, Nate Eovaldi, Zach Eflin, Gio Gonzalez, Felix HernandezMatt Harvey, Jordan ZimmermanJeremy HellicksonTyson Ross, Marco Estrada, Danny Salazar, Taijuan Walker, Ryan Borucki, Edinson Volquez

On the Farm: Jesus Luzardo, Alex Reyes, Zac Gallen, Forrest Whitley, Matt Manning, Mitch Keller, Lucas Sims, Casey Mize, Justus Sheffield, Brent Honeywell, AJ Puk, Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson, Kyle Freeland, Erik Swanson, Tyler Anderson

Unsigned: Dallas Keuchel

Out of the Pen: Josh James, Ross Stripling, Collin McHugh, Carlos Martinez, Zack Godley, Touki Toussaint, Vince Velasquez, Freddy Peralta, Sean Newcomb, Aaron Brooks, Derek Holland, Luis Cessa, Framber Valdez

 

 

Find Donkey Teeth on Twitter @DonkeyTeeth87. Subscribe to his podcast: Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports on Itunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.
All statistics courtesy of Fangraphs & Baseball Savant.

  1. Dude at Dudes says:
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    Do I take this offer? 16 team keeper, $260 budget, salaries rise $5/year (except AAA players)

    my Mize ( $5 AAA) Bichette ($5 AAA) Clevinger ($25) 2020 9th Round (Benjy)

    his JD Martinez ($34) Zack Wheeler ($20) Charlie Morton ($25) Sean Doolittle ($25)

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      If you’re contending this year then I’d make the move. You can find more exciting prospects later….

      • Dude at Dudes says:
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        Thanks, I am contending I think this is the over the top move and my prospects are still prettty good.

        Appreciate the reply!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          No problem, good luck!

  2. prestige says:
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    Damn, really like this Genesis kid? I was thinking of stacking against him tomorrow, he’s been getting lit up..

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I think he might have a bright future, but he could absolutely get lit up tomorrow. That’s a valid strategy, he’s still young and developing…

  3. CTFDU says:
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    Hi DT, which is the number in the list that more or less you´ll take to divide the holds vs stream in a 12 team 5×5 h2d (ERA, K, Win%, QS, Saves)?

    Thanks

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Hey CTFDU,
      How many bench spots?

      • CTFDU says:
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        Total roster is 21 players with 2DL and 2NA. Right now I am managing with 8 to 9 SPs in total.

        • CTFDU says:
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          21 plus 2DL and 2NA

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          But of those 21 roster spots, how many are bench spots?

          • CTFDU says:
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            5

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:
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        And do you have a moves limit? Do you have an innings pitched/games started limit? All important factors…

        • CTFDU says:
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          25 moves per week which is huge. 30 innings minimum per week.

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:
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            Wow. That league must be a stream fest.

            I’d say don’t get too attached to anyone outside of the top 40. Even then, hold on loosely…

  4. Do you think Heaney will work his way up into the top 25 / 30 or am I thinking he can be better than he really is? I suppose there is injury concerns as well. I’m just trying to gauge what his ceiling might be. thx!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Sure I think he could creep into the top 25, maybe even the top 20 as his ceiling. Injury is a concern for sure but really there isn’t a ton of separation between the guys in the late 20s and the guys in the 40s right now.

  5. Edgar Gonzalez says:
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    Got a potential for Justin Verlander going but this guy wants Kris Bryant, Stephen Strasburg and Max Fried for Verlander and Jean Segura.
    I have Degrom, Castillo, Strasburg, Fried, Lucas Giolito, Maeda, Glasnow (DL), Heaney, Darvish, Miley and Foltynewicz. On a normal league my pitching staff would be just fine but there’s a guy on my league that has G. Cole, Carrasco, Buehler, Corbin, Nola, Bumgarner, Marquez, Clevinger, Canning and C. Smith.
    Watta hell do I do??
    Is Verlander worth the risk considering I’d trade away Strasburg, Fried and Bryant?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’d pass. It’s not bad but feels like a little too much…

      • Edgar Gonzalez says:
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        What if it was Luis Castillo, Fried and Bryant. I still feel like it’s a bit much but idk

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          It’s better but still don’t love it. Can your offense afford to lose Bryant?

          Bryant and Verlander are pretty close in value to me. I prefer both Strasburg and Castillo over Segura so it kinda seems like you’re throwing Fried in for nothing…

          • Edgar Gonzalez says:
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            I do believe I can afford to lose Bryant since I have G. Sanchez, Rizzo, Mondesi, Riley, Betts, Yelich, Blackmon, K. Davis, Voit. And Keston HIURA and Robinson Cano on bench.

            • Edgar Gonzalez says:
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              But giving up Bryant and Castillo and Fried is a bit much.

              • Donkey Teeth

                Donkey Teeth says:
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                Agreed

                • Edgar Gonzalez says:
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                  Thanks for the assistance.

                  • Donkey Teeth

                    Donkey Teeth says:
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                    No problem

  6. Don't Be a Hader says:
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    How long of a leash for Martin Perez in a 14 teamer?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Depends on bench size, but pretty short. Any interesting options available on the wire?

  7. Ozzie Smith says:
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    Thanks for the list DT, thank goodness I snagged Giolito, Soroka, and Smith off the FA or I would be hurting.

    Not a pitcher question but what kind of expectations do you see for Nelson Cruz the rest of the way?
    My OF is Acuna, Soto, Eloy, and Judge (DL)
    I would have to drop Eloy to pick Cruz up off waivers, what do you think?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      No problem, nice work grabbing all those arms.

      I’d keep Eloy, I think he’ll have a huge summer. I could see Cruz and Eloy putting up similar number ROS, but I expect a higher average from Eloy and less injury risk…

  8. Lubes says:
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    Drop any of these guys for Keuchel?
    Lucchesi
    Happ
    Darvish
    Wheeler
    Hendricks

    League is capped at 180 starts, we’re already trending to 196 (so we’ve been benching selectively as is)

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      You could try him over Happ if you want, that’s about the range I expect to rank him depending where he lands…

  9. Jose says:
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    Where would you rank Jimmie Nelson? He cones off the IL on Wednesday.

  10. Snacks Zillion says:
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    Long live the KOOCH. Bullpen question, could you please rank these guys ROS.
    D. Castillo, Gant in Stl, Kelley in Texas and Neris. Thanks!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      THE KOOOOOOCH.

      Neris, Kelley, Castillo, Gant for me.

      No problem.

  11. LennyDykstraIsJustMisunderstood says:
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    Think it is worth picking up Kecheul in either of these leagues. looks like he will sign soon

    my pitchers in h2h league
    beiber, montas, price, soroka, flaherty, clevenger

    iglesias , treinen, kimnbrel

    RCL Roto League

    Player Team Eligible
    Yonny Chirinos TB SP
    Lucas Giolito CHW SP
    Mike Minor TEX SP
    Brandon Woodruff MIL SP
    Steve Cishek CHC RP
    Shawn Kelley TEX RP
    Brad Peacock HOU RP
    Hansel Robles LAA RP
    Sergio Romo MIA RP
    Martin Perez MIN SP
    Tyler Glasnow TB SP
    Luis Severino NYY SP

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Nah I’d take the wait and see approach on Keuchel, not overly excited for him.

      • LennyDykstraIsJustMisunderstood says:
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        Thanks DT

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          Sure anytime

  12. RICE says:
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    Hey DT!

    What range would Jimmy Nelson be starting off on this list?

    Thanks!

    Rice

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Hey Rice!

      I actually should have included him on this list, didn’t realize he was starting this week.

      I’ll say just ahead of Happ at #65 but he could be a quick riser depending on how he looks…we know he has big upside.

      No problem.

  13. LG Baseball says:
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    Nice work DT!

    Kris Bryant or Snell in a keeper if I’m relatively solid on both bats and pitching?

    Thanks,
    LG

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Thanks LG!

      Snell for me.

      No problem.

  14. LenFuego says:
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    As a Bauer owner, I really am not feeling like a top 8 ranking is justified.

    Bauer has been downright bad for a month – he went winless in May, and has given up 26 earned runs in his last 43 innings. Watching him pitch, he has completely lost command over his breaking stuff.

    He faces the top offense in baseball this week (Minnesota) and is not making it into my 9 pitcher weekly lineup. (I am starting Paxton, Bieber, Ray, EdRod, Montas, Lucchesi, Gibson, AChapman and Neris.) Based on his recent performance and the matchup, can anyone convince me that is a mistake?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Nah I wouldn’t try to convince you. I’d start him over Gibson personally but waiting for him to right the ship is reasonable.

      I expect him to be his dominant self sooner rather than later….

  15. JB says:
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    Always look forward to these! Thanks Donkey!

    This list actually looks like you watch baseball unlike some SP rankings on other sites.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      No problem, JB!

      I spend a lot of time messing around with this list, glad you guys enjoy it.

  16. Pousse-Pousse says:
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    Hey, Donk. Did you write this before or after Matt Strahm got lit up by the worst offense in baseball? I cut that sumbitch before the game even ended.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Hey Pousse,
      After. I had him a bit higher prior to that Marlins bump in the road. He was on a pretty good run there so felt like he’d earn himself a bit of leash…

  17. prestige says:
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    Any thoughts on these matchups tomorrow:

    Pena home vs A’s (Mengden)
    Mengden @Angels (Pena)
    Hudson vs Reds (Desclafini)
    Vargas home vs Giants (Beede)

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Vargas and Pena are both good options

  18. Harley Earl says:
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    DT,

    Looks like Pablo read your comments and didn’t like them. Haha!! That”ll teach you!!!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I shoulda known Pablo was a Razzballer! I didn’t mean it Pablo!!

  19. Pousse-Pousse says:
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    German Marquez, Top 10 Starting Pitcher!!!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I swear that was Kikuchi out on the mound in the 6th inning last night. F me.

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