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.