Not your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…

The outpouring of concern over Grandpa-Donk’s well being during Heatwave 2019, has been heart warming. Rest assured, Gramps is still alive and donkey kicking. In fact, last weekend the old jackass worked out in the yard 48 hours straight in the 100-degree heat without stopping for so much as a Señor Crappers change. Once he finished the field labor, G-Donk came inside to make the rest of us pancakes and lemonade–an old Donk family tradition. As Great Gran-Donk always said, “When life gives you apocalyptic weather, make pancakes and lemonade.”

Mmmmm ice cold lemonade: my favorite of the fresh squeezed juices. You know what other juice is worth the squeeze? The Clevinger concentrate. I was skeptical when Mike Clevinger returned from his back injury in mid-June. His first two brutal starts had me strutting around like top donkey, so smart. But since the calendar turned to July, Sunshine has been lights out going 4-0 with a 1.74 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 41 strikeouts in 31 innings. Clevinger is extracting juice like a fantasy ace right now and there’s no reason to think the liquid will dry up anytime soon.


These guys also get my juices flowing, if you know what I mean…

Shane Bieber (N/C)– I’ve been driving the Biebs Razzwagon since last summer. In the 2019 Razzball Fantasy Baseball Staff Picks I selected Bieber as my most valuable fantasy pitcher for 2019 and wrote, “This beautiful young buck has the voice of an angel and the command of a demon. I also considered labeling him as my: Infatuation, Sleeper, AL CY Young, AL MVP, MVFHitter, 2020 Presidential Candidate, and Life Partner. Don’t be surprised if Biebs is a consensus top 10 fantasy starter heading into 2020 and in The Oval Office heading into 2021.” I’m not sure about his chances at the white house, but he’s currently #8 among starting pitchers on the Razzball Player Rater  and continues to look dreamier with each start.

Zac Gallen (+5)Gallen threw an absolute gem in 7 innings against the White Sox this past week. He even retired the Federalist, I thought that guy would never retire. Gallen himself has been rounding into form with a 1.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 19 strikeouts across 17 1/3 innings. I wouldn’t trust him around a beverage in a dimly lit Milwaukee bar, but he can start for my fantasy team in most venues.

Jose Urquidy (N/A) – Last Monday Grey wrote, ” I expect multiple roofies from him still, but Urquidy is chef’s kiss sexy if you catch him on the right day. I am so intrigued that I’m at the optometrist’s office permanently sewing a monocle to one eye and fo’ever squinting with my other. Dude’s got a 11.8 K/9, 0.7 BB/9 and 2.66 xFIP!  I mean, what? “Doc, take off the monocle, I’m just going to own Urquidy. Speaking of glasses, lets get Donkey Teeth fitted for some after all those Kikuchi takes.” Hey! Low blow, Grey!

After another great start against the Cardinals Friday, I’d own Urquidy even in shallow leagues. His first pitch strike rate sits at a beautiful 65% and his swinging strike rate is now 13.2% after hovering around 16% at both AA & AAA this season; a deadly combination of working ahead in the count and inducing whiffs.

Jack Flaherty (+8)I’ve been saying to buy low on Captain Jack for months. Even a hairless monkey steals a banana twice a year. In his last four starts Flaherty boasts a 1.48 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, and 30 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. His swinging strike rate is up over 15% during this stretch, things are clicking. I hope you got your hand back through the buy-low window before it slammed shut.

Elieser Hernandez (N/A) – I wrote this about Hernandez when he was called up in mid-June, “It’s interesting that the fantasy community has been abuzz with hype for Elieser’s AAA teammate Zac Gallen, all the while Hernandez was posting video game type numbers himself: 1.13 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 12.94 K/9 across 48 AAA innings this year! Uhhhhh, yep that’s really good! He’s seen a large jump in his swinging strike rate this year, he pitches in a great pitchers park, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a former Astros prospect. If you’re looking for a deeper name who could blow up (positive or negative) and nobody is talking about, here’s your guy.” Hernandez didn’t blow up, but posted a 4.01 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in his 5 starts before being sent to the pen. He’ll get another crack at the rotation with Trevor Richards being moved to the pen himself; add him again in deeper leagues, there’s big upside here.

Asher Wojciechowski (+34) – Grey and Ralph talked about Woj on the Razzball Podcast last week. Grey’s pronunciation of “Wojciechowski” was almost as impressive as Asher’s first time through the league. Actually, Grey may have butchered the name, I have no idea. Despite the impressive ratios and beautiful 31.1% K rate, I have zero confidence this run will continue. Steam the 30 year old virgin journeyman with caution, regression fairies lurk here.

Marcus Stroman (+17) – Breaking news: Marcus Stroman has been traded to the…..Mets? Stroman’s right arm amputation has already been scheduled for Tuesday. Not many people saw this deal coming, but it should at least be a small win for the Stro Show’s fantasy value until the Mets medical staff dig their needles in. Since June 13th Stroman has tossed 6 quality starts in 7 tries with a 2.30 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 7.53 K/9 during this 43 inning stretch. The strikeouts will always be mediocre, but he should be owned everywhere since he’ll now face a bunch of National League teams for the first time in his career.


Juicing 101: Don’t leave the fresh squeezed juice out in the sweltering heat…

Mike Minor (-3) – I told you Minor storms were on the horizon a month ago, but I didn’t expect it to be this ugly. Since my call to sell on July 1st, Minor is 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP in 22 1/3 innings. You know what they say about the hairless monkey and the banana. On the plus side, the strikeouts have still been there and Minor could be moved to a contender at the deadline. Now might be a decent time to float a buy-low offer out there in deeper leagues.

Jordan Yamamoto (-31) – I told you about my lack to faith in Yamamoto on the Ditka Pod a month ago while feeding delicious sausages into B_Don‘s gullet. Yamamoto’s run was nice while it lasted, but it rarely lasts too long with rookie pitchers. I wouldn’t touch Yamamoto in shallower leagues but he still might be streamable in deeper formats.

Masahiro Tanaka (-4) – In his last two starts Tanaka has given up 17 ER in 9 1/3 innings. If you started him for those two starts in your roto league, slowly remove your head from the oven and come check out our fantasy football podcast.


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

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


RIP: Tyler Skaggs #45

Injured: Blake Snell, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Tyler Glasnow, Brandon Woodruff, Jameson Taillon, Luis Severino, Cole Hamels, Brad Peacock, Pablo Lopez, Luke Weaver, Johns Means, Andrew Heaney, Steven Brault, Trent Thornton, Jimmy Nelson, Alex Wood, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jhoulys Chacin, Jon Duplantier, Jose Urena, Ross Stripling, Jared Eickhoff, Josh James, Felix Hernandez, Clayton Richard, Jefry Rodriguez, Jeremy Hellickson, Tyson Ross, Marco Estrada, Danny Salazar, Taijuan Walker, Edinson Volquez, Tyler Anderson

On the Farm: Brendan McKay, Matt Manning, Jesus Luzardo, Alex Reyes, Mitch Keller, Aaron Civale, Adbert Alzolay, Alec Mills, Framber Valdez, Mike Foltynewicz, Forrest Whitley, Sean Reid-Foley, Lucas Sims, Casey Mize, Justus Sheffield, AJ Puk, Kyle Wright

Out of the Pen: Trevor Richards, Collin McHugh, Carlos Martinez, Nate Eovaldi, Freddy Peralta, Matt Strahm, Sean Newcomb, Zack Godley, Touki Toussaint, 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. Snacks Zillion says:

    Ha, Grandpa Donks bossin’ the heatwave. He is a legend, love it!!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      He’ll outlive us all!

  2. Bill T. says:

    Which Zac Plesac rating is the real one?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Ooof. 44 is the real one. I’ll get that fixed.

      Thanks for the heads up, Bill.

      • aardvark says:

        Donkey would you own Plesac or urquidy in a QS league?

        Sorry to jump on this comment, the regular one didn’t show up

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          I’d own both but prefer Plesac.

  3. CMUTIMMAH says:

    Any pitcher with a sub 3 ERA in this day and age can’t be ranked 64. Stroman is now going to regularly get a few free Ks when facing pitchers. This alone should get him in the top 50.

    Not a Mets fan or a Stro fan, but from a fantasy perspective, I think you are doing worse Matz, Lester, Lamet, Cease, Plesac, Gray, Tanaka, Anibal, and others up there.

    just saying, if you owned Stroman before, you should be stoked when one of the other options was pitching for the Yankees in their little league stadium…

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I really don’t trust him but it’s hard to argue with the results. There’s not a ton of separation between the mid-40s and late-60s guys for me. I’m a sucker for strikeout upside though…

  4. Gary Z says:

    LMAO….nothing wrong w/ dimly lit Milwaukee bars, especially Brat Haus! Go Crew!!!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:


      • CMUTIMMAH says:

        In Milwaukee, it’s totally cool if your sister looks like your cousin at 2AM… or so I’ve heard.

        The dimmer the better they say.

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          It’s ok to share your brat with your sister #Milwaukee

  5. Don't Be a Hader says:

    Sooo…E.Hernandez over Rey Lopez? Shouldn’t he string maybe 1 or 2 5 inning + outings together first? ;)

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Hey he went over 5 innings in his first 4 starts! He just needs a little stretching out…

      I’m aggressive on my guys!

      • Dumb as a Rockie says:

        There are things that sound funny in your response that might not be related to baseball. I think what you meant was, he just needs build endurance to pitching more innings; and you tend to rank pitchers you like higher than most pundits.

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          You have a dirty mind Rockie.

          I approve.

  6. Poo Poo Platter of a Pitcher says:

    Where is McKay ranked when he is up from the minors?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Late 40s. My main hesistation on McKay is the innings. He only threw 78 innings last year and is already at 90 innings this year. We’ll see how he responds to the workload.

  7. PatPat says:

    Have you missed out on what Reynaldo Lopez has done lately? Velocity is up, he called a second half surge at the ASB, and he’s putting up crazy numbers. If you have, just watch the 5th inning of his last start and I bet you consider him for your top 50

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Someone was asking about Reynaldo in the comments over on Grey’s article this morning and I said he’s really tough to trust.

      But I did like what I saw from him in the 2nd half last year and I wasn’t aware of the velo increase. I’ll start moving him up a little and try to catch his next start. Thanks for the heads up!

      • PatPat says:

        Definite roofie potential but at this point in the year I’m all over guys who could go on a little run and he’s at the top of my list.

        Thanks for the great work!!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Thanks for reading!

  8. Big Ticket says:

    Why so low on Bieber? He’s 8 on the player rater and you say you love him, but put him at 16?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I guess relative to the player rater maybe I’m not that high on him at this point in time? Player rater has him #10 rest of season.

      I do love him and I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone that had him ranked higher in the preseason, but the bot seems to have caught up. I will say there isn’t much separation between all the guys from Morton to Strasburg for me. Fluid group…

      • Big Ticket says:

        Will you have a top 20 for 2020 anytime soon? Trade deadlines for keeper leagues are close.

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Good idea. I’ll try to put one together in the next few days…

  9. Five-on-One says:

    I am in need of pitching, would you give Hoskins to get Corbin? Other than his torrid start Hoskins has been quite meh.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Yep that’s a fair swap if you need the arm

  10. Gary Strasburg says:

    Strasburg is way too low. He cut through the dodgers like a hot knife through warm butter. His ERA, K and wins are top 10. You mucked this one up.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Damn, I didn’t know his cousin Gary would be reading!

      • Grey

        Grey says:

        I agree with Gary, and say hello to your brother for me

        • Gary Strasburg says:

          He has been sulking all day because of your snub. Even boras couldn’t console him. Thanks gray for making him feel better.

          • Grey

            Grey says:

            I give this an imaginary social media like, Gary

            • Donkey Teeth

              Donkey Teeth says:

              Gary has already gotten more imaginary social media likes with one comment than I have all season!

              • Grey

                Grey says:

                Gary seems like a good bloke

    • icefires says:

      “He cut through the dodgers like a hot knife through warm butter.” Ummm, Jon Gray just did the the same thing at Coors field. So what’s your point?

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:

        Gary has to stick up for his brother!

        • Grey

          Grey says:

          Protect Gary at all costs!

    • icefires says:

      “He cut through the dodgers like a hot knife through warm butter.” Ummm, Jon Gray just did the the same thing at Coors field. So what’s your point?

  11. citizen5 says:

    Re: bench SP and spot starts

    Is it safe to drop Eflin?
    for Samardzija, Elieser H or Asher Woj?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Sure, Elieser is my preference

  12. Jason says:

    Would you own Odorizzi or Pinedia in a QS league (redraft)?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Pineda for me

      • Jason says:

        Thanks. I also own McKay as well. I love his potential but am not sure he will be around when I need him in the playoffs. Should I jettison McKay instead of Odorizzi?

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          I’m with you there, not sure about his innings. Tough cut but I’d keep Odorizzi over him.

  13. Dong Show says:

    So I have a very interesting trade offer right now. Dynasty league.

    I am second overall and prob one of the favorites to win the whole thing this year. However I only own one closer, Felipe Vasquez (also own Munoz, but not a closer). I have no other weakness as I have prob the best offense, loaded with offensive backups and the 2nd-3rd best set of pitchers. All the other teams have 4-6 closers so I am not catching them.

    I have an offer from the last place team in our league who will be the first overall pick. He has offered me that pick for Vasquez (not sure why but not asking questions)

    I can easily replace Vasquez’s counting numbers with Scott Oberg who is a FA (obviously a short term replacement).

    Do you make that deal and net yourself the first overall pick (which is good trade leverage or actually keep) or do you value Vasquez here?


    Thank you in advance!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Taking the pick sounds like the moves…those couple saves aren’t doing anything for you. Maybe flip the pick like you said…

      No problem!

      • Dong Show says:

        Thanks Donkey! Sincerely appreciate it!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:


  14. Mike says:

    Is Paxton buy low? Thought about offering my Gary Sanchez to angry Paxton owner. I’d be left with Will Smith behind the plate

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Moving Sanchez sounds like a good move since you have Smith but Paxton wouldn’t be my first choice. Maybe aim a few spots higher on my list and see if there’s any nibbles.

  15. EB says:

    Sticking with the trading of Gary Sanchez, I recently added D’Arnaud at C with Sanchez on the IL… again. Would you offer Sanchez for Flaherty or Caleb Smith in a 10 team QS and OBP league, or hold onto him? Iif D’Arnaud keeps hitting I can always keep him as a bench bat with his 1B eligibility.

    I could also hold Gary Sanchez and see if I could swing SS Tim Anderson(already have Correa and Baez) for Flaherty, Caleb Smith or (most likely to happen if at all) Kyle Hendricks. My pitching isnt too bad, but Kluber and Woodruff on the IL are hurting me, and I’m rostering Sanchez because I dont have a spare IL spot.

Comments are closed.