Whew! It turns out taking a week off from ranking these guys makes for a lot of work the next time out. As you might imagine, there is a bit more moving and shaking than normal this week. Surprise surprise, we’ve also had a slew of injuries that continue to take it’s toll on the top 50. We’ve lost Stephen Strasburg, Walker Buehler, and Garrett Richards most notably, with Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard looking lost for extended periods. The aces that are left continue to dominate though, and Trevor Bauer has worked his way into the top 10. We did get Madison Bumgarner back, but he hasn’t looked very sharp and I’m wondering if he belongs in the top 20 at this point. Carlos Martinez has been killing his owners since his return from the DL himself, yet his upside makes it hard to drop him too hard just yet. On the brighter side of things, Tyler Skaggs, with whom we planted flags several weeks ago, continues to climb the list in glorious fashion. Also, I still have no idea how Ross Stripling is suddenly an ace, but he keeps shoving and I keep ranking him higher. I’d consider selling depending on what you’re getting in return, but I’m probably just enjoying the ride if I have Stripling. Let’s go in depth on a half dozen other Risers, Fallers, and Newcomers of interest this week.

 

The Newcomers

  • Dylan Covey, CHW (SP62) – We’re still waiting on higher end pitchers getting the call from the minors, such as Michael Kopech, or maybe Mitch Keller. Instead we get…Dylan Covey. I’d be lying through my teeth if I said I was excited about Covey coming back to the majors, and the only thing I do through my teeth is suck soup. It’s relaxing. Covey is surprising us all though, posting a 2.29 ERA/1.30 WHIP over his first six starts. His success can be chalked up largely to an improved sinker, which he is now tossing 64% of the time while scrapping his fourseam. It has a nice 69% ground ball rate, and opposing batters have just a .322 slugging percentage against it. He doesn’t get a ton of whiffs on his main breaking ball, the slider, but it’s been a solid second offering overall. His changeup gives him a third pitch that should help turn the lineup over, adding up to a decent back-end pitcher. The K/9 will fall quite a bit, but he’s firmly in the group of mixed league streamers.
  • Jonathan Loaisiga, NYY (SP93) – Why would the Yankees call up Chance Adams when they could call up a guy no one has ever heard of whose name is hard to pronounce!? Truth be told, Adams hasn’t fared too well at Triple-A and Loaisiga had been torching the minors with a 58:4 K:BB over 45 innings. He’s had a myriad of injury woes including Tommy John, limiting his innings greatly over the years. These 50 innings in 2018 are the most he has tossed since his debut in 2013…when he tossed 68.2. Yeah, it’s that bad. He’s on the smaller side as well, making it less likely he’s a starter in the long run. That said, I’d be grabbing him in 14 team leagues and deeper just in case this is a lightning in a bottle type of deal. He flashed good stuff in his debut, with a fastball, breaking ball, and changeup that all looked good. He’s worth a stream in standard mixers as well.

 

The Risers

  • Mike Foltynewicz, ATL (+27) – It turns out people get cranky when you have a guy allow two runs over four starts and you rank him at 60. It didn’t help that immediately after I finished that week’s list, Folty tossed a 2-hit shutout with 11 K’s. He’s been solid since then as well, so he gets a big 27 spot bump. I’ve had trepidation pushing him too high since he had relied heavily on just the fastball/slider combo, but he’s been using his curve more lately as well and it’s been fine, so that’s good enough for me. He still walks more guys than I’d like to see, but you can’t keep a guy with a 2.16 ERA too low.
  • Kyle Gibson, MIN (+23) – As a Twins fan I have seen plenty of ol’ Gibby over the years. More than I’d have liked to, to be honest. It’s been pretty painful. The second half of 2017 he did something strange, however…he was good. He put up a 3.76 ERA with an 8.22 K/9 and 2.58 BB/9, and guess what? He’s still good! 14 starts in he has a 3.27 ERA with a 8.82 K/9, although the walk rate has spiked back up to 3.92. Strange as it may seem, he has a 15%+ whiff rate on each of his changeup, slider, and curveball!! It’s actually pretty nuts that he doesn’t have more strikeouts. He has been fortunate on balls in play though, with a .248 BABIP despite a 38% hard contact allowed. He’s creeping up on top 40 value.

 

The Fallers

  • Luis Castillo, CIN (-26) – Oh, Luis. I’ve given you a lot of rope, and you keep making me regret it. We’re 15 starts in now and you have a 5.77 ERA. Good lord. At least there’s the strikeouts, but you’re officially droppable even in 15 teamers. I’d still have a hard time doing it in that deep a league, but I can’t blame anyone for trying to find better luck fishing in the stream. His xFIP is 4.00, if you’re looking for a silver lining, but he has had this homer issue even when he was successful last year, and pitching in Great American Small Park isn’t doing him any favors. I don’t believe that xFIP one bit. His velocity is slowly creeping back up, so perhaps there’s hope for a bit of a rebound at some point, but it’s hard to see him turning the proverbial corner and having everything clicking again any time soon.
  • Dallas Keuchel, HOU (-19) – I probably could have been even harsher in dropping Keuchel, but I have more faith in him turning things around than Castillo. That isn’t to say I have that much faith, mind you, but he seems to only be lacking command at the moment. With a fastball that sits just 88-89, he needs that pinpoint command to pound the bottom of the zone with his stuff, and that hasn’t been happening lately. He’s been elevating and getting pounded. A deep league buy-low isn’t an outlandish idea, but I’d be content not having him on my team in shallow formats. He doesn’t provide much strikeout upside anyway. That beard is mighty fine though, damn.

 

The Top 100 Starting Pitchers

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

 

 

You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

 
  1. iifish Horton Heat says:
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    Which youngster do you like better – Bieber (now that Cleveland CC is down) or Loaisiga (Grey says Lasagne) or Willy Peralta? Now, and next year? Thanks!

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @iifish Horton Heat: I think Lasagna is a legitimate nickname of his! Which makes it worth owning him by itself. I’d go with him over Bieber in the short term, but I’m not sure how long he stays healthy so long term I’d go Bieber/Loaisiga/Peralta (assuming you meant Freddy!) long term. Wily Peralta would be a distant fourth, haha.

      • Sam Martin says:
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        @Dokken: Yes did mean Freddy. Thanks Dokken!

        • iifish Horton Heat says:
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          @Sam Martin: Wily was sooo promising with that extremely high fastball average a few years ago. Problem was it was straight an he never had too much success…appreciate you commentary Dokken.

  2. Starz says:
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    Worth picking up Covey and dropping Junis or Ottavino?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Starz: Yeah, Junis has struggled lately and still really just relies on that slider. Ottavino is great for K’s and ratios but he won’t be getting you saves without an injury to Davis. Covey isn’t as sexy as his numbers say he is right now, but he’s still the best option among those three.

  3. Alex says:
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    Thoughts on Lugo, Wright, and Matz? All 3 intrigue me think they can become more than streamers?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Alex: The short answer for me is no. Of any of them Wright could string together some good starts, but you can never really rely on a knuckleballer. Matz has ugly peripherals and will probably be injured before he can climb too high anyway and Lugo’s success has come from relieving. I’m not sure any of them crack the top 50 any time soon.

  4. Alex says:
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    Thoughts on Lugo, Matz, and Steven Wright? Think they can become more than streamers?

  5. coacher says:
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    M.Fulmer for Jon Gray
    Which side do you like?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @coacher: I guess Gray, but that one could go either way. I expect both to be markedly better over the rest of the season than what they’ve shown us so far.

  6. bidzior says:
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    How can Alex Wood be 18? He’s not striking anyone out and Gray has been telling us to sell him all year.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @bidzior: I don’t really like it either but at this point he’s in the top 20 by attrition. His 8.20 K/9 isn’t that bad, and the 1.18 WHIP is solid. I was selling him too for the first two months but he seems to be getting away with the diminished velocity so I’m rolling with it at this point. His ERA estimators all have him around a mid-3’s or better ERA as well.

  7. Donny Simms says:
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    WHat tier of SP could I realistically target with a Stripling / Puig offer? I have no idea what his trade value is and I’m loving what he’s doing for my team. I don’t think I’d want less than say Morton / Corbin level guys is that possible? Or even aim higher for a hurt star like Thor? Do the peripherals on Stripling say to just hold on him and enjoy or is he a sell?

    • Donny Simms says:
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      @Donny Simms: his point totals in my league for his last game are crazy
      22-23-23-27-29-26

      I want to sell high but damn if that’s even close to sustainable he’s an ace

      • Dokken

        Dokken says:
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        @Donny Simms: I think Stripling’s value will vary wildly person to person right now, making it damn near impossible to gauge his value. I might have to twitter poll this one to find out. Honestly right I’d rather have Stripling than Corbin, but not sure I can say that ROS. I’d do Morton though. Doubt you could get Thor but a guy can try.

        Stripling’s peripherals are all fantastic, which makes it tough for me to sell him unless it’s really high. Incredible K:BB, very low hard contact, lots of pop up…nobody can square him up right now and I don’t know why, but as long as it’s working I’d be rolling with him rather than selling at all costs.

  8. DG says:
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    I hastily added D. German for his 2 start week, with an eye on season long upside (I’m comfortably in 1st). There’s been lots of gushing about his peripherals… no gushing here? Is he #101? With a bullet? Have I made a huge mistake?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @DG: Haha yes, number 101 with a bullet! I actually thought I snuck him on at the back end but I guess not. He’s missing a ton of bats so the strikeouts will be there, but I’m still worries about the walks, homers, and him pitching deep into games. He’s got a lot of warts and has been inconsistent, but if it all comes together at some point he could be very, very good.

  9. Molina Bros BBQ says:
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    Lucchesi seems a bit high to me.. can you talk about your expectations for him when he returns and going forward? He’s a FA in my league and I had been thinking about picking him up, but roster crunch may not allow it. It’s a 12 team keeper league with a 50 move limit. I am at 24 moves I think. Should I be jumping on him? Guys I could cut would be Covey or Bieber both of whom I just picked up.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Molina Bros BBQ: I think most of what his numbers show are legitimate thanks to his deceptive delivery. That said, he’s in streaming territory for standard mixers, and with such a move limit I wouldn’t make it a priority to get him. I would rather have him than either Covey or Bieber, but not sure it’s worth one of those limited roster moves.

  10. Christian Herman says:
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    Is pivetta at 21 a mistake?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Christian Herman: Absolutely not! The K:BB is pristine, he’s not giving up homers or hard contact, everything is beautiful except the ERA because of an undeserved .323 BABIP. He’s had a couple rough games lately but I’m not tanking him.

  11. C Jones says:
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    No Darvish or Tanaka?
    Both are bound to rebound and finish at least top 100.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @C Jones: They sure will, but they’re both on the DL for at least another couple of weeks from the sound of it and I don’t rank injured starters anyway.

  12. hotmilk8 says:
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    10 team points league. Manaea, Ross and Lucchesi available would you drop J.Gray,Wacha or Taillon for any, all or Hold?
    Thanks

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @hotmilk8: I’d hang on to Ross and Manaea but you can stream matuchups with the rest in a 10 teamer and just get as many starts in good matchups as you can.

  13. Weird Fishes says:
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    Sounds like Hellickson’s return is imminent. Where would you slot him in?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Weird Fishes: I’d probably slot him in behind Rodon at 54 with a shot to move up quickly if he looks ok.

  14. surfer dude says:
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    Hi, 10 tm h2h pts – drop M. Mikolas for V.Velasquez ?

    Thank you.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @surfer dude: Noooooooo! What Mikolas lacks in strikeouts he makes up for with not blowing up your ratios every third start.

      • Dokken

        Dokken says:
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        @Dokken: Or giving you negative points, in this specific instance.

        • surfer dude says:
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          Thanks Dokken, really appreciate the “point well taken” advise.

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