Not your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

Grandpa-Donk: World traveler, meteorologist, woodworker, Señor Crappers spokesperson, and wise elder. One fact you may not know about Gramps is that his favorite movie is King Arthur. The old Donk and his friend Sweaty Jimmy have a thing not only for handling wood together, but also for the Knights of the Round Table. After a long day of working with each other’s sweat moistened wood, it’s not uncommon to see G-Donk and Jimmy together watching Sir Lancelot’s feats of courage while spooning ice cream into one another’s mouths like very normal heterosexual men.

Speaking of Sir Lancelot, have you noticed what Lance Lynn has been up to? If Lynn had pitched in that crazy London Series there’s a decent chance he would’ve been knighted. Fun fact: Granddaddy-Donk was knighted back in the 60’s; all it took to be knighted back then was some good smoke and semi-straight teeth.

As for Lynn, the 32 year old has compiled 14 consecutive starts of 6+ innings and he’s thrown 7+ innings in 9 of those outings. Since May 10th, Lynn has gone 8-2 with a 2.66 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 98 strikeouts in only 81 1/3 innings pitched. He hasn’t required Señor Crappers since that fart (which wasn’t just a fart) back on April 23rd.

Back in Week 12 I said, “The Lance Lynn brand has never been a best seller, but prior to last season Lynn had posted 3 straight seasons of 175+ IP with a sub-3.50 ERA. He’s added a half MPH to his average fastball velocity and he’s throwing a lot more sliders this year, leading to a career high K-rate through 86 innings. In 51 1/3 IP since May 1st, Lynn boasts a 3.63 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with 60 strike outs, and the FIP fairies are whispering that he’s actually been even better than that. Anyone care for a bowl of Lance Strasburg? Mmmmm salty beard!” I sound pretty smart, for a Donkey.

So, can we call it square for the whole Kikuchi debacle yet? Speaking of The Kooch, he’s been looking a little better of late. Watching him pitch no longer makes me want to slam my junk in a car door. I may have to see if the the ole Kooch Razzwagon will fire back up. Fair warning: The Koochwagon only has three tires and no steering wheel, but the acid spiked punch never runs out!


It’s safe to watch these guys pitch after you drink the Koochwagon punch…

Max Scherzer (No Change) – Is Mad Max the only pitcher in the world who enjoys playing with juiced balls? That sounded dirty, let me rephrase: Scherzer likes juicy balls. In the month of June, Blue Eye posted a 1.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, and 13.60 K/9 across 45 innings.  Grey just ranked Max #5 overall in his Top 100 for the 2nd half, but then Scherzer hit the IL with a mid-back strain yesterday and now Grey is backpedaling saying he’d take Cole or Verlander as his #1 SP for the 2nd half. I wholeheartedly disagree, Scherzer is my #1 for the rest of season even with the injury and it’s not that close for me. I anticipate he’ll return later this week with two more black eyes and a missing ear.

Gerrit Cole (+2) – I will say the Cole Train does deserve an honorable mention. Since being roughed up against the White Sox back on May 22nd, Cole is sporting a 2.21 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and 13.11 K/9 in 57 innings. I have him easily ahead of Verlander at this point.

Robbie Ray (+5) – Alright, so maybe you’re better off not watching Ray pitch after dropping Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The walks will always be frustrating, but Ray has dominated in his first two July starts, and few other pitchers have his strikeout upside. If you need to make up ground in pitching categories in the 2nd half, acquiring Robbie Ray might be a worthwhile endeavor for your team.

Jon Gray (-3) – I said in the last edition of the Top 100 that I wouldn’t start any pitchers in summer Coors with these helium balls. I’m stunned to see Jon Gray has actually been a homeschooler this year, posting a 3.24 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in Coors in contrast to a 4.29 ERA and 1.40 WHIP on the road. Everything I thought I knew is crumbling before my eyes. I’m afraid there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors here though. I’d try to sell Gray before the regression fairies carry him off into the Colorado thin air.

Sonny Gray (+28) – Lots of Gray/Grey talk in this edition of the Top 100. The move to the NL seems to have revitalized Pickles’ career. Seriously, his nickname is actually “Pickles”. Sonny hasn’t been sucking on pickles this year; since May 15th Gray has a 2.93 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 10.95 K/9. I’m expecting the regression fairies to tickle his pickle a little in the 2nd half, but I also wouldn’t be rushing out to sell him.

Brendan McKay (+2) – Speaking of pickles, McKay makes my pickle stand tall. The young lefty features three plus pitches in his fastball, curve, and cutter. He also has a decent change which he hasn’t really busted out on major leaguers yet. The fact that he can command all of his offerings gives him a very high floor. He also plays both ways, which is fun. I’m not sure how many innings the Rays will let him throw, but being in a playoff race, maybe they push him a little?

Jack Flaherty (-4) – We took a look at 2018 vs 2019 Flaherty on the most recent Fantasy Sausage Pod. Cliff notes: I’m still buying.

Zack Wheeler (-5) – We also discussed 2018 vs 2019 Wheeler on that most recent episode. If you aren’t going to listen, you could at least click the play button to boost my self-esteem; you don’t want me turning into Eeyore over here, do you?

Michael Pineda (+9) – I didn’t expect to be writing about Pineda this season. There have been some ups and downs this year, but since the start of May it’s been mostly ups: 3.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 62 strikeouts in 63 2/3 innings. Most impressively, he’s only given up 10 walks during that stretch and he’s keeping the home run ball in check (10 homers given up during that time as well) which has always been a major downfall for Pineda. A 3.82 ERA may not sound great, but it only takes a 6.90 ERA to win your league this year!


Maybe I shouldn’t have drank so much of the punch on the Koochwagon…

Chris Sale (-6) – The Condor has been a picture of inconsistency this season and brutal in his last three starts. Sale’s 2nd half struggles are well documented, but those struggles are relative to his typical dominant first halves. On the bright side, his fastball velocity has been creeping up the entire year and the strikeouts are still as good as ever. Maybe his first and second half splits will be inverted his year. Grey ranked Sale #20 overall in his Top 100 for the 2nd half.  That ranking is a little aggressive for my liking, but I do agree you might be able to find Chris on sale for bargain bin pricing in your league right now. Stick your head thru that buy window and see what the price is.

Mike Minor (-13) – Since I told you to sell him for more than a cup of Grey’s cream of meat in the last edition of the Top 100, Minor has gone two starts throwing a total of 9 1/3 innings with a 6.75 ERA and 1.71 WHIP. The good news is, he struck out 11 batters in those two starts and one of those outings was against the Astros. I think there’s still a good chance Minor will be a top 50 pitcher for the rest of the season, so if his owner is panicking about those last two games then I’m ready to flip flop and buy. Heck, maybe you can get him in exchange for a small cup of Grey’s love mayonnaise.


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

Rank Name Previous Rank
1 Max Scherzer 1
2 Gerrit Cole 4
3 Jacob deGrom 2
4 Walker Buehler 7
5 Trevor Bauer 6
6 Justin Verlander 3
7 Hyun-Jin Ryu 8
8 Blake Snell 10
9 Charlie Morton 11
10 Aaron Nola 15
11 Chris Sale 5
12 Luis Castillo 14
13 Patrick Corbin 18
14 Jose Berrios 9
15 Clayton Kershaw 12
16 Shane Bieber 16
17 Lucas Giolito 13
18 Stephen Strasburg 20
19 Madison Bumgarner 22
20 David Price 26
21 Zack Greinke 17
22 James Paxton 23
23 Lance Lynn 29
24 Zack Wheeler 19
25 Mike Clevinger 31
26 Noah Syndergaard 25
27 Brandon Woodruff 28
28 Jack Flaherty 24
29 Domingo German NA
30 German Marquez 21
31 Joey Lucchesi 30
32 Matt Boyd 32
33 Yu Darvish 37
34 Caleb Smith NA
35 Chris Paddack 40
36 Kenta Maeda 34
37 Robbie Ray 42
38 Jon Gray 35
39 Brendan McKay 41
40 Mike Minor 27
41 Kyle Hendricks NA
42 Mike Fiers 49
43 Eduardo Rodriguez 47
44 Yonny Chirinos 43
45 Masahiro Tanaka 33
46 Mike Soroka 36
47 Zac Gallen 39
48 Jake Odorizzi 38
49 Joe Musgrove 50
50 Sonny Gray 78
51 Jose Quintana 51
52 Andrew Heaney 55
53 Anibal Sanchez 57
54 John Means 61
55 Wade Miley 67
56 Jordan Yamamoto 64
57 Dallas Keuchel 71
58 Jon Lester 58
59 Miles Mikolas 46
60 Griffin Canning 48
61 Dylan Cease NA
62 J.A. Happ 66
63 Michael Pineda 72
64 Dinelson Lamet NA
65 Merrill Kelly 63
66 Tommy Milone 52
67 Trevor Richards 65
68 Zach Eflin 59
69 Marco Gonzales 75
70 Chris Archer 74
71 Max Fried 73
72 Spencer Turnbull NA
73 Brad Keller 82
74 Dakota Hudson 68
75 Daniel Ponce de Leon NA
76 Steven Brault 69
77 Sandy Alcantara 79
78 Kyle Gibson 76
79 Ryan Yarbrough 95
80 Andrew Cashner 92
81 Logan Allen 60
82 Yusei Kikuchi 110
83 Julio Teheran 84
84 Marcus Stroman 77
85 Steven Matz 80
86 Homer Bailey 87
87 Anthony DeSclafani 90
88 Chris Bassitt 83
89 Matt Strahm 56
90 Adam Wainwright 120
91 Rick Porcello 70
92 Adam Plutko 89
93 Eric Lauer 94
94 Jalen Beeks 93
95 Jeff Samardzija 130
96 Felix Pena 122
97 Tyler Beede 115
98 Brett Anderson 119
99 Ross Stripling 86
100 Tanner Roark 91
101 Bryse Wilson 102
102 Jhoulys Chacin 125
103 Zach Davies 128
104 Jason Vargas 98
105 Vince Velasquez 105
106 Trevor Williams 88
107 Adrian Sampson 85
108 Matt Harvey NA
109 CC Sabathia 113
110 Nick Pivetta 81
111 Tyler Mahle 104
112 Mike Leake 101
113 Framber Valdez NA
114 Dario Agrazal NA
115 Jake Arrieta 103
116 Kyle Freeland NA
117 Drew Pomeranz 99
118 Aaron Brooks NA
119 Daniel Mengden 108
120 Cal Quantrill NA
121 Antonio Senzatela 111
122 Asher Wojciechowski NA
123 Jose Suarez NA
124 Michael Wacha 109
125 Peter Lambert 114
126 Trent Thornton 107
127 Jesse Chavez 100
128 Dylan Bundy 118
129 Alex Young 136
130 Chase Anderson 132
131 Jake Junis 112
132 Ivan Nova 123
133 Danny Duffy 131
134 Shaun Anderson 106
135 Martin Perez 117
136 Reynaldo Lopez 133
137 Ross Detwiler 135
138 Wade LeBlanc 142
139 Ariel Jurado 116
140 Jordan Zimmerman 121
141 Austin Voth 126
142 Aaron Sanchez 141
143 Tom Eshelman NA
144 Jordan Lyles 97
145 Daniel Norris 124
146 Dylan Covey NA
147 Adrian Houser NA
148 Taylor Clarke 134
149 Glenn Sparkman 127
150 Brian Flynn NA


RIP: Tyler Skaggs #45

Injured: Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon, Luis Severino, Cole Hamels, Brad Peacock, Pablo Lopez, Luke Weaver, Jimmy Nelson, Alex Wood, Jonathan Loaisiga, Nate Eovaldi, Jon Duplantier, Jose Urena, Gio Gonzalez, Felix Hernandez, Clayton Richard, Jefry Rodriguez, Jeremy Hellickson, Tyson Ross, Marco Estrada, Danny Salazar, Taijuan Walker, Ryan Borucki, Edinson Volquez, Tyler Anderson

On the Farm: Matt Manning, Adbert Alzolay, Jesus Luzardo, Alex Reyes, Mitch KellerZach Plesac, Aaron Civale, Mike Foltynewicz, Forrest Whitley, Sean Reid-Foley, Jos Urquidy, Lucas Sims, Casey Mize, Justus Sheffield, AJ Puk, Kyle Wright

Out of the Pen: Josh James, Elieser Hernandez, Collin McHugh, Carlos Martinez, Freddy Peralta, Sean Newcomb, Zack Godley, Touki Toussaint, Jared Eickhoff, Derek Holland, Luis Cessa

Suspended: Frankie Montas



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. Racehorse says:

    DT –

    Thank the FREAKING Baseball Godz you’re here!

    Here’s my starting pitching on my dynasty team (16 teams/ H2H league) ….

    Max – DL
    Z Wheeler
    Logan Allen
    Z Plesac
    C Hamels – DL
    Carrasco – DL

    Do I have enough pitching … and if not do I trade my top prospect(s) Luis Urias and/or Colton Welker for Patrick Corbin?

    I’m in 1st, but I don’t want to get caught with my pants down come the H2H playoffs time.

    Whaddya think? Don’t mince words … if I’m being an over-thinking doofus, please say so !

    Thanks !!!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Hey Racehorse,

      You should have plenty of pitching so long as Max returns healthy. But if you can get Corbin for Welker and another piece then I’d absolutely do that. You can never have too much pitching in H2H…

      No problem!

      • Racehorse says:

        Are proslects Welker and Kristian Robinson for P Corbin too steep on my part?

        Boy, I LUV these two guys!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          No, I think it’s fair. Maybe try to squeeze in a small prospect piece coming back to you?

          Robinson is sexy, but he’s a long ways away and no slam dunk. Welkers’s something to dream on too, but he’s a Rockies prospect and hasn’t exactly torn the cover off the ball this year.

          • Racehorse says:

            DT –

            Late this afternoon I checked and saw that Zack Wheeler is heading to the gosh darn DL (!) …

            So that makes Max, Carrasco, Hamels, Wheeler all on the Indigo List.

            And at that moment, I was offered Patririck Corbin and Josh Donaldson for Isian Diaz, Logan Allen, Oneil Cruz, and Kristian Robinson — and I accepted.

            Wheeler going down compelled me to do this deal.

            As for my remaining prospects … I still have Luis Urias and a bunch of Rox prospects (those 17 -9 and 14 – 12 Coors Field specials made me a obsessive hoarder of Rox prospects), along with both Luis Garcia’s, Ronny Mauricico, Jeter Downs, Xavier Edwards and Hudson Potts, Jordyn Adams and Freudis Nova …

            Welp, lay it on me, DT — did I screw up? Whaddya think?

            • Donkey Teeth

              Donkey Teeth says:

              Great trade, you can always reload on prospects. Cruz and Robinson are ages away from the bigs…

  2. Fungazi 2.0 says:

    Eric Lauer killing it outside of 2 blow-ups at coors this year: 2.94 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with a boring, but usable k-rate of 7.2 /9.

    Even better over the past 10: 2.15 ERA, 1.01 WHIP

    Just wanted to share my findings from all-star break dumpster diving

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Thanks for the heads up Fungazi.

      Lauer’s a hodgepadre for sure, really nice home numbers minus the K’s as you mentioned. I think there’s a decent argument for him around 20-25 spots higher on this list. Outside of the top 70-75 it gets pretty hairy and I don’t have a strong preference….

      • Fungazi 2.0 says:

        Yes certainly a hodge, but in his numbers are some tough matchups in @nyy, @wash, @lad. He’s NA right now, but going to roll with him for a bit and see how that goes.

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Good point. I was with you defending him earlier in the season, just hard to get too excited about that K rate. Nice deep league option…

  3. Jaca says:

    How many more horrific starts before we just shake hands with the truth that German Marquez is trash? Guy is single-handedly destroying my ratios

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Frustrating to say the least. He’s unstartable at home but the road splits are still solid: 3.33 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 8.25 K/9. Interesting that the strikeouts are much better in Coors (9.50 per 9).

      • Jaca says:

        yeah i just looked at the splits and noticed the K/9 is odd.

        I would rather stream good match ups than roster a guy for half his starts is the conclusion I think i have personally drawn…for a 12 team league at least

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Fair enough. That second half from last year still lingers in the back of my mind.

          • Jaca says:

            very true. maybe ill have to sacrifice myself and drop him so everyone else can benefit from his turnaround

            at least i dont own Wheeler too oh wait i do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • Donkey Teeth

              Donkey Teeth says:

              Please do! Need all the help we can get with that bum!

              At least Wheeler has shown signs of life…

              • Jaca says:

                Yes some other frustrated owner dropped Wheeler earlier this year I was like wtf…but I am about to be that same guy but with Marquez…? life is hard

                Maybe Ill see if marquez bounces back next start AT Washington it looks like

                • Donkey Teeth

                  Donkey Teeth says:

                  Yep, give him one more and if he still sucks then help the rest of us out.

                  • B_Don

                    B_Don says:

                    His K % is better on the road than home. #KillKPer9

                    • Donkey Teeth

                      Donkey Teeth says:

                      Strikeouts as a fantasy category isn’t going anywhere. K/9 gives a truer picture of that specific category in rate form.

                      If leagues are using K/9 as a category though, I do think K% would be an improvement there.

                    • B_Don

                      B_Don says:

                      K% is definitely the better statistic to evaluate talent tho.

                    • Donkey Teeth

                      Donkey Teeth says:

                      Agreed, percentage of batters struck out is a better indicator of talent than sheer volume

  4. Al KOHOLIC says:

    Wow. Marquez just dropped about 20 spots after that 11 runs in a couple inning crap

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      It’s ugly but I’d already factored not starting him in Coors into his ranking.

      Sadly I didn’t have the luxury of not starting him in my NL-Only with Grey!

      • Al KOHOLIC says:

        Ouch. But u have to in that situation. I’ll drink one for u

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Mighty fine of you Al

  5. Hebrew Hammer says:

    16 team H2H DYNASTY keeper LEAGUE

    Give Framar Valdez a chance against a possibly Trout less LAA team tonight?

    So bad last few starts


    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      So bad.

      But in 16 team H2H, sure I’d toss him out there….you know the risk.

      No problem.

  6. primetime says:


    Do I have enough pitching or should I trade a next draft pick for:

    Ryu – his injury history scares me not to gamble.
    Mad Bum
    Boyd – Home runs have been a big issue.
    Wheeler –
    Marquez – Coors.

    Here is my current staff 5×5 k/9 QS

    German D

    Smith W

    Glasnow DL

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Hey Primetime,

      How many teams? H2H league?

      I’d probably try to trade a pick for Ryu or MadBum assuming it’s H2H. I’m sure the Dodgers will toss him on the IL at some point to limit his innings, but hopefully it wouldn’t be during your playoffs.

      And good odds MadBum is dealt to a contender…

      • primetime says:

        10 teams H2H.

        Ryu scares me lol. Waiting to jump Urias.

        Just saw Wheeler to DL for shoulder and Marquez giving up 11 earned. So I will pass on those guys.

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Ha good call

  7. krazyivan says:

    One thing Ive noticed with the Pirates pitching is that it has gone from terrible to absolute rubbish ever since there Catcher went down. Between having two rookie catchers and the worst pitching coach in baseball it’s a miracle they get out of the first inning.
    I picked up Musgrove thinking he might have a good second half and he’s as frustrating as ever. The guy never improves.

    • Grey

      Grey says:

      That’s a fair point, could be Cervelli’s absence, but it’s also Searage

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’ve fallen into the Musgrove trap several times myself

  8. Nelson says:

    Where do you see Montas ranking to start 2020?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      He’s a tough one due to the PEDs. I think I’ll have him somewhere around 40-50 with major upside.

  9. B_Don

    B_Don says:

    What dirt does Trevor Bauer have you on DT?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      He promised me a guest spot on his show that he records in his grandma’s dining room

  10. nightpandas says:

    Hey DT,

    Do you see Gallen as a keeper for next year (over the likes of Heaney/Hendricks/Kopech and maybe even Marquez…

    I got an offer of Gallen for my H Robles…I’m not winning this year so I can afford to let the saves go….it’s more of a question of holding out for something better

    • nightpandas says:

      my other keeper pitchers are Ohtani, Paddock, Bauer….it’s a 15 team keep 11

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I think Gallen is worth keeping in that format, I’d make that deal. ..

Comments are closed.