Not your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…
When the robots finally take over the world and the rest of us have fallen, one last sentient being will remain on the planet taming and ruling over the machines: Grandpa-Donk. Until that time we must do our best to live in harmony with the androids. Don’t give the bots reason to overthrow humanity during your lifetime, let it be your children’s problem.
For fantasy baseball purposes, it’s that time of year to start leaning heavily on artificial intelligence. The sample of data available for Rudy’s mechanical offspring to crunch grows larger by the day. The rest of season player rater and streamonator are functioning like the well lubed machines they are. The top 100 starting pitchers for the remainder of this year will strongly weigh these robotic opinions as most pitchers only have 7-8 regular season starts left; match ups are of the utmost importance from here on out. Speaking of the bots, is there something in rest of season player rater’s pocket or is he just happy to see Andrew Heaney?!
The player rater has Heaney ranked as the #27 starting pitcher for the rest of the season. I did a double take when I saw the large rusty shaft protruding from player rater’s nether regions at the mention of Andrew Heaney. Looking closer, it makes some sense: Heaney threw two above average outings against the stacked Astros lineup in July before hitting the IL with shoulder soreness. He then came back strong Saturday with an abbreviated outing in Boston against a struggling, but still loaded Red Sox lineup. His swinging strike rate is up over 13% in his 49 2/3 innings this season with 58 strike outs, plus he’ll face the White Sox twice and maybe the Rangers twice over the next three weeks. Heaney’s arm should be fresh at this point, since he’s been hurt ALL season, so pick him up and trust fall into rest of season player rater’s cold, rigid, arm-like metallic stumps.
Here’s some more players rest of season player rater and Donkey both like for the stretch run…
Noah Syndergaard (+2) – #17 on Rest of Season Player Rater; Fat Thor no more! Since the all-star break Thor has been eating healthy and cutting back on the day drinking. It’s paying major dividends as he’s posted a 1.91 ERA and 1.04 WHIP with 44 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings since the break. He’s throwing more fastballs and less sliders than he even has before which has led to a career high 65.1% first pitch strike rate. It pays to get ahead.
Trevor Bauer (N/C) – #5 on Rest of Season Player Rater; People love to hate Bauer and robots love to grind their oversized plugs into undersized sockets. Grey and I discussed Bauer on a podcast last week where I went on the record saying the move to Cincinnati will be a positive development for Bauer. Grey then trashed my top 20 starting pitchers for 2020 calling it, “ridiculous”. Well you hired me Grey, so who’s the fool now! It’s still me? Dang.
Jack Flaherty (+10) – #14 on Rest of Season Player Rater; If I keep bringing up all the times I told everyone to buy Flaherty this season when things were going bad and worse, maybe people will forget all about the Kikuchi debacle. #NeverForget. Oh great, now random italicized voice is getting into the hashtag game, just what I needed! Since the all-star break Captain Jack ranks 1st in ERA (0.86), 3rd in WHIP (0.83), and 4th in K% (36.1%) among qualified starters across the entire MLB. The Captain will continue to earn his stripes down the stretch.
Kyle Gibson (N/C) – #31 on Rest of Season Player Rater; Alright, this call is all player rater so don’t blame ole Donkey if it backfires. The Twins have 44 games remaining and 26 of those games are against the Tigers, Royals and White Sox. The only thing more arousing to player rater is when Hittertron showers. Player rater’s a real pervert.
Mike Foltynewicz (N/A) – #69 on Rest of Season Player Rater (Nice); It only took 4 months, but Folty is finally ready for the season to start! He’s now started two games since his return and the results have been mediocre, but the stuff looks close. Add him up if he’s available in your league, you won’t find this kind of upside on the wire everyday.
Brendan McKay (N/A) – #122 on Rest of Season Player Rater; It’s also important to take a close look at streamonator this time of year. Hey, streamonator’s eye-like bulbs are up there, player rater! Teach these bots some manners, will ya Rudy? Player rater projects some nice numbers for McKay (3.85 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 18Ks), but it’s only projecting 17 2/3 innings for the youngster. The Rays are right in the thick of a wildcard race and don’t have many other options, McKay could easily throw 40 ace-like innings down the stretch here. Streamonator loves his next two starts against San Diego and Detroit. If you can still trade, throw an offer out there and see if his owner is spooked by the innings limit.
The Bots show little emotion toward this group, Donkey argues with the machines…
Mike Fiers (+2) – #100 on Rest of Season Player Rater; I’m not sure what Fiers has done to offend the robots but #100 seems way low for a guy with 14 quality starts in his last 15 outings. A wise man once said, ” You Couldn’t Hit Michael Fiers If You Were F****** Michael Fiers.” If you need strikeouts, he’s not your guy, but since early May Fiers is an incredible 9-0 with a 2.12 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 110 1/3 innings. He was very good in the 2nd half last year as well.
Aaron Sanchez (+98) – #128 on Rest of Season Player Rater; What a difference a month can make. I wasn’t touching Sanchez with your team back in mid-July, but a move to the magical Astros rotation is about as good as it gets for a player’s fantasy stock. The machines don’t fully take into account the Astro-factor. I won’t be surprised if Sanchez quickly returns to his 2016 dominant form, maybe with some added strikeouts too. ::cough:: cheaters ::cough::
Dustin May (N/A) – #150 on Rest of Season Player Rater; May is one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball and the Dodgers have done well to limit his innings in the minors this year. Player rater doesn’t realize he could be in for a full workload down the stretch. There could be 40 great innings in Gingergaard’s arm.
Michael Pineda (-11) – #148 on Rest of Season Player Rater; It sounds like Pineda will return this week and the algos may not be taking this info into account just yet. Since the end of June, Pineda has been lights out in 6 starts going 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 36 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings. If healthy, he’s basically Fiers on a better team plus some strikeouts. Pineda will also benefit for the soft scheduled mentioned in the Gibson blurb.
Anyway, here’s my updated Top 100 Starting Pitchers for 2019 Fantasy Baseball:
RIP: Tyler Skaggs #45
Injured: Max Scherzer, Blake Snell, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, David Price, Tyler Glasnow, Brandon Woodruff, Jameson Taillon, Luis Severino, Yonny Chirinos, Griffin Canning, Pablo Lopez, Luke Weaver, Rich Hill, Tyler Mahle, Trent Thornton, Danny Duffy, Jimmy Nelson, Jonathan Loaisiga, Zach Davies, CC Sabathia, Jhoulys Chacin, Jon Duplantier, Jordan Zimmerman, Jose Urena, Ross Stripling, Jared Eickhoff, Josh James, Johnny Cueto, Felix Hernandez, Sean Manaea, Clayton Richard, Jefry Rodriguez, Jeremy Hellickson, Tyson Ross, Marco Estrada, Danny Salazar, Felix Pena, Taijuan Walker, Edinson Volquez, Tyler Anderson, Ryan Borucki
On the Farm: Matt Manning, Jesus Luzardo, Alex Reyes, Adbert Alzolay, Jose Urquidy, Alec Mills, Framber Valdez, 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, Brad Peacock, Freddy Peralta, Matt Strahm, Kevin Gausman, Zach Eflin, Sean Newcomb, Zack Godley, Nick Pivetta, Adrian Sampson, 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.