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:


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


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 CanningPablo 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.

  1. KrazyIvan says:

    I dropped Matz for a streamer this week and was thinking of going Heaney there. The rest of the way I have:


    If I picked up Heaney with my streamer spot is there one of the guys above that you would drop for Folty?


    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’d lose Gibson for Folty. Then you can stream Gibson whenever his starts come up against the Tigers, Royals or White Sox…

      No problem.

  2. Russ says:

    Hey there, would you drop either Caleb Smith or Dustin May for the two start week of Brendan McKay?


  3. Russ says:

    Also Keuchel is an option for a drop, am I overvaluing him just because of the name?

    • Russ says:

      This is my full current rotation

      Caleb Smith
      Dustin May

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Hey Russ,

      Yes, I’d lose Keuchel first. I like the upside the youngsters provide. Lots of potential in that rotation you have there.

      • Russ says:

        Great thank you so much for the reply, have a good one!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Anytime, you too!

  4. toolshed says:

    Great info on the twins schedule. So you would roll with Gibson for his starts vs kc, chw, det with no questions asked.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I might ask a few questions but will end up starting him. Qualifier would be league specifics…in H2H I think they’re no brainer starts but in shallower roto with innings limits the math gets a little funkier.

  5. bigbear says:

    Well played on the Bauer comment! Haha!

    Flaherty’s been puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a kaleidoscope, wrapped in bacon.

    Interesting note about May. If you’re right on May, that’ll be YUGE! Personally, I’d bump him above E-Rod. Mostly because E-Rod has done me dirty a few times! Hopefully May can stay off the post-season radar and still have a ton of value heading into 2020.

    You’re still fairly high on Paxton. He’s been a tough one this year. At least not quite what I was hoping a few months ago. Heading into the playoffs, I get it. Considering he’ll still definitely be throwing, once you get beyond that tier the pool starts to get spotty.

    About where would you slot Cueto? 40ish with upside?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:


      I wouldn’t argue with moving May up or E-Rod down. E-Rod has been consistently solid since his last June start but the FIP fairies are lingering and the K’s aren’t what we’d hoped for either.

      I’m a sucker for those Paxton strikeouts and it seems he may have turned a corned in he last couple starts.

      That’s a lot higher than I’d have Cueto. He hasn’t really been above average since 2016 and he’s 33 years old now coming off elbow surgery. I’d slot him around Musgrove in the 70s. You’re right though, there is a bit of upside with him in SF.

      • bigbear says:

        I hope so on Paxton! I’m a bit of a sucker myself!

        Ug, Musgrove territory. Maybe I’m a bit of a Pollyanna optimist! It has been a while since he was good. But the reports of him hitting 92 have me intrigued…

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Who would you drop for him?

          • bigbear says:

            I dropped an IL’d Weaver for an IL’d Cueto. I’m the dumb sap that held Weaver through a bunch of other injuries… I wouldn’t move either one out of the IL spot until they prove better than the rest of the staff.

            Here’s the staff for that team:
            SP: Marquez, Giolito, Paxton, Castillo, Flaherty, Miley, Bieber, May
            RP: Yates, Bradley, Hendriks, Greene, Melancon
            IL: Snell, Cueto

            Hopefully Greene can solidify the CL spot.

            If Trea can pick up the pace on SB, I think I’ll make some noise in the playoffs.

            • Donkey Teeth

              Donkey Teeth says:

              Nice, good luck!

  6. Don't Be a Hader says:

    So with the way these are stacking up…hold guys like Heaney, Gray, Hamels, Folty, and pawn off Tanaka on his last start and name value? Do you think your ranking change on a good outing from M.Keller tonight?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Yes, if you can move Tanaka I would.

      Depends how good the Keller start is, but I could easily see bumping him up 10-15 spots…

      • Don't be a Hader says:

        What did you think of Keller?
        Not a lot of love for the Brewer version of Lyles w/ his shiny 2-1, 1.59 ERA

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Solid outing but not overly impressive. Wouldn’t move him up much if at all based on it but will keep a close eye on the next one.

          Lyles burned me pretty hard early so probably a little bias against him here. Plus he throws half his games in Miller Park. Early results have been nice though…

  7. Justin says:

    Would you trade my Aristedes Aquino for Blake Snell?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Interesting deal.

      Is this H2H or roto? If H2H, do you have a playoff spot locked up and other solid OF options?

      In roto I think I just hold the hot bat, no idea how much more you’ll get from Snell at this point…

  8. Justin says:

    Its H2H, I’m currently in 1st place with 8 games above the 2nd place team. My bats have been pretty good but I currently stream pitchers daily. Do you think Snell comes back and has value?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I think he will but it’s a gamble for sure. I lean toward taking the shot though, could be a big reward.

  9. nitro says:

    Lose Keuchel for D, May in a 10 team HTH points league?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      May for me

  10. Alex says:

    Good to know about Gibson’s schedule. I’m 3 weeks from the playoffs as a no-doubt #2 with a bye in week 1.

    Should I drop Joe Jimenez (4th closer; added during trade deadline craziness) for Luzardo, Sanchez, or Gibson?

    Or keep Jimenez for now in case Leclerc, Hendricks, or Robles cough up saves?


    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’d try Sanchez over Jimenez assuming that’s Aaron. Otherwise I’d go with Gibson.

      No problem!

  11. EB says:

    Shallow league, Closers do not sit on the waiver, so I recently had to add Lugo to handcuff Diaz. Especially with the news Jansen will have his workload reduced for the playoff stretch.

    I have Kluber on the IL with Woodruff, Klube’s the better bet to help me over the last month or so. Folty is on the wire, as is Griffin Canning but I’d have to drop d’Arnaud, now that Gary Samchez is back, and roll with no bench bat if I add another arm. Or hold on pitching and replace d’Arnaud, with JD Davis, Franmil Reyes, or just hold what I’ve got?

    My current roster is as follows, 10 team HTH OBP and QS:
    C Sanchez
    1B Freeman
    2B/SS/3B Baez
    3B J.Ramirez
    SS Correa
    OF Yelich
    OF Meadows
    OF Domingo Santana
    UTIL SS Tim Anderson
    UTIL J.Soler
    UTIL 1B/2B/3B Muncy
    Bench C d’Arnaud

    SP Clevinger
    SP Buehler
    SP Soroka
    SP S.Gray
    SP E Rod
    SP Boyd
    RP Kennedy
    RP C Martinez
    RP K.Jansen(Still closer reportedly will be rested more)
    RP Iglesias
    RP Diaz(on shaky ground)
    RP Ligo(will probably be used some to close)

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I’d grab Folty over d’Arnaud. You don’t need a bench bat.

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