I typically come in here flinging jokes and happiness around like a monkey with his poo, but this week I’m distraught. This list is decimated. As most of you know by now, I don’t rank injured players, and with that angle there are plenty of shlubs at the back end of the list that are barely rosterable even in deep mixers. At this point, I can’t even just say that about the back end. The grossness keeps rising. This week alone we’ve lost (take a biiiiig breath): Chris Sale, Trevor Bauer, James Paxton, Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda (to the pen), Tyler Skaggs, Jeremy Hellickson, Dereck Rodriguez, Marcus Stroman, Mike Montgomery, and Carlos Martinez (to the pen like Maeda). To make matters worse, we are approaching September when virtually no one is placed on the DL – they just get skipped. That reminds me of what Big Pun’s catchphrase would be if he were a pitcher; instead of “I ain’t a player I just crush a lot” he would tell folks “I ain’t on the DL I just get skipped a lot”. Catchy tune. So anyway, it’s pretty hard to trust anyone on this list beyond the top 15, and I just can’t remember a year when pitching was this bad. But we will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight. We’re going to live on. We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!!

 

The Risers

  • Rich Hill, LAD (+14) – This dude is impossible to rank. I was flabbergasted when the Dodgers sent both Stripling AND Maeda to the bullpen instead of Rich Hill, but of course they had their reasons. Namely money, for Maeda, but it makes sense to limit Stripling’s innings. Hill would normally make the most sense as a candidate to move to the pen given his limited arsenal and an injury history that rivals the page count of War & Peace. Fortunately for Hill (and those who rostered him), he picked a great time to return from the DL and string together five very good starts. In his 30.1 innings since July 20th, he has compiled a 1.78 ERA / 1.02 WHIP, 8.9 K/9, and 3.0 BB/9. He could very well continue this and pitch like a top 15 starter the rest of the season, or he could get injured after his next pitch (which is tonight, as I’m writing this – he could be on the DL by the time this is even posted). I’ll keep raising him as he keeps pitching well, but no matter where I put him it isn’t likely to be a proper ranking for long. With such little season left, I’d be riding him in every league and taking my chances.
  • Trevor Cahill, OAK (+15) – As I’m putting this together, Cahill himself is putting together seven innings of one-hit ball and I’m thinking he should be even higher. Cahill has regained some of his velocity loss from last year, which has helped his fastball be less terrible. He is also using it less, since it’s still not good, instead opting for more sliders. It’s a move that has worked out exceptionally well for him, pushing his swinging strike rate over 13% for a career high. Health is the primary concern here, but as with Hill, there’s so little season left (or pitchers left) that you are riding him everywhere until he breaks down.

 

The Fallers

  • Robbie Ray, ARI (-12)Robbie Ray, you are no southern gentleman. Despite your unassuming name, you have criminally damaged my ERA and WHIP, sir. I was encouraged by his first start off the DL, which was against the Marlins, where he gave up just two walks over six shutout innings. In his nine starts since then, however, he has a 5.55 ERA / 1.49 WHIP with a 4.8 BB/9. Sure, the strikeouts are great at 10.1 K/9, but that’s the only thing keeping him as high as he is. He has also allowed over 40% hard contact, so whenever he’s not missing bats he is usually missing the strike zone or getting crushed. Plenty of starters give up ~35% hard contact, but it’s hard to do that while also walking the farm. His 4.91 BB/9 on the season is the worst of his career, so while I think he’ll improve in that regard, it’s hard to start him until you actually see it.
  • Luke Weaver, STL (-12) – Manager Mike Shildt has come out and said that Weaver’s spot in the rotation is secure for now, which is kind of surprising considering how bad Weaver has been. Not only does he have the 4.67 ERA on the year, he hasn’t been tossing enough innings to qualify for the wins or quality starts we desire. In three of his last five starts he’s lasted four innings or less. He gets the Dodgers his next time out, which is a matchup I want no part of. It’s hard to see him regaining enough value to ensure a rotation spot when Michael Wacha returns, so I’d be looking for other options if I had Weaver.

 

The Newcomers

  • German Marquez, COL (SP76) – The “Coors Kielbasa” as I like to call him is more than welcome on this list. It’s overdue, in fact. His 4.51 ERA on the year doesn’t inspire confidence, but he’s been quite good over eight starts since June 30th. Over that span he has produced a 2.91 ERA / 1.01 WHIP with a remarkable 10.6 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. The whiff rates on his slider and curveball have doubled since the start of the season, which is even more impressive since he has pitched plenty at home over the recent months. Coors notoriously hurts breaking pitches, but Marquez appears dead set on succeeding anyway. He could make another big jump next week with another solid start.
  • Sean Reid-Foley, TOR (SP87) – It was Touki Toussaint who had the more impressive debut last week, but he’s looking like more of a spot starter down the stretch. Reid-Foley seems to have a rotation spot laid out for him, so long as he doesn’t pitch his way out of it. He sure tried to do just that today with eight earned runs over 4.1 innings, but it did come at the hands of a tough Yankees offense. He’s just 22 so perhaps more seasoning at Triple-A is to come, and while he’s up I don’t expect much more than back-end numbers out of him in 2018. He does feature a solid four-pitch mix and a big frame that ensures he’ll remain a starter, but he is apt to be maddeningly inconsistent. I’d only give him a look if I were desperate in a deep league.

 

The Top 100 Starting Pitchers

Rank Name Previous Rank
1 Max Scherzer 1
2 Jacob DeGrom 3
3 Corey Kluber 4
4 Justin Verlander 5
5 Aaron Nola 9
6 Gerrit Cole 10
7 Noah Syndergaard 11
8 Clayton Kershaw 8
9 Zack Greinke 14
10 Blake Snell 13
11 Carlos Carrasco 16
12 Patrick Corbin 18
13 Charlie Morton 17
14 Luis Severino 7
15 David Price 20
16 Madison Bumgarner 15
17 Stephen Strasburg N/A
18 Mike Clevinger 24
19 Jose Berrios 19
20 Jack Flaherty 25
21 J.A. Happ 27
22 Rick Porcello 29
23 Alex Wood 22
24 Miles Mikolas 26
25 Mike Foltynewicz 30
26 Jon Gray 28
27 Jameson Taillon 34
28 Walker Buehler 36
29 Kyle Freeland 37
30 Dallas Keuchel 31
31 Sean Newcomb 32
32 Rich Hill 46
33 Zack Wheeler 50
34 Sean Manaea 38
35 Chris Archer 35
36 Nick Pivetta 41
37 Carlos Rodon 42
38 Andrew Heaney 43
39 Trevor Cahill 54
40 Kyle Gibson 44
41 Marco Gonzales 40
42 CC Sabathia 47
43 Jake Arrieta 51
44 Hyun-Jin Ryu N/A
45 Robbie Ray 33
46 Tanner Roark 63
47 Masahiro Tanaka 57
48 Cole Hamels 78
49 Nathan Eovaldi 60
50 Joe Musgrove 61
51 Zach Eflin 53
52 Vince Velasquez 58
53 Derek Holland 65
54 Shane Bieber 48
55 Jose Quintana 49
56 Kyle Hendricks 59
57 Tyler Anderson 55
58 Anibal Sanchez 66
59 Joey Lucchesi 62
60 Andrew Suarez 72
61 Wade LeBlanc 67
62 Kevin Gausman 74
63 Reynaldo Lopez 76
64 Gio Gonzalez 56
65 Luis Castillo 68
66 Jordan Zimmermann 69
67 Mike Minor 70
68 Clay Buchholz 85
69 Ryan Borucki 87
70 Tyler Glasnow 90
71 Jhoulys Chacin 75
72 Steven Matz 73
73 Matt Boyd 77
74 Chase Anderson 81
75 Mike Fiers 82
76 German Marquez N/A
77 Zack Godley 98
78 Anthony DeSclafani 99
79 Dylan Bundy 52
80 Austin Gomber 95
81 Junior Guerra 80
82 Jon Lester 83
83 Julio Teheran N/A
84 Yonny Chirinos 84
85 Sam Gaviglio 94
86 Trevor Richards 86
87 Sean Reid-Foley N/A
88 Robbie Erlin N/A
89 Jaime Barria 88
90 John Gant 89
91 Luke Weaver 79
92 Jake Odorizzi 96
93 Freddy Peralta 93
94 Mike Leake N/A
95 Brett Anderson N/A
96 Lance Lynn 100
97 Edwin Jackson N/A
98 Homer Bailey 92
99 Ivan Nova N/A
100 Alex Cobb N/A

 

 

You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

  1. Crabman says:
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    To paraphrase Jim Carey, if you ain’t desperate, you ain’t interesting. Just how interesting am I for needing to start felix pena at Arizona or SD’s erlin st colorado this week?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Crabman: Hahaha. You’re pretty interesting. I prefer Erlin in a nutshell, but man, at Colorado is hideous. I wish I could say I’d rather start Pena, but I still don’t think I would. Your ratios are gonna be sssssssssmokin’.

  2. Turd Fergusons says:
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    Cahill’s home/road splits this year are kind of insane. I don’t know if I can dial him up for this week’s road start at Min. Home against Texas would have been awesome though..

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Turd Fergusons: Outside of Rockies pitchers, I have a hard time putting too much into home/road splits. Twins bats have been surprisingly resilient, but I’m not afraid of that matchup.

      • Turd Fergusons says:
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        Yes I have been waiting for this moment, and yes I’m a petty a-hole. But…

        I TRIED TO WARN YA! haha

        • Dokken

          Dokken says:
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          @Turd Fergusons: Well at least you know you’re petty! Find any research that tells you Home/Road splits are predictive and I’ll be pleased to read it. Trust the process, not the result.

  3. Eric says:
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    Where would u rank Kopech now that he got called up?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Eric: You might want to check in again after his debut, but if I had to rank him now I’d put him around 35. I think he’s more than capable of giving you more than you’ve got from Archer this season. Walks could still be an issue for Kopech though, so I don’t want to overrate him right away.

  4. johnnyhobbes says:
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    If you had to make the choice right now , would you go kopech over disco or holland ?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @johnnyhobbes: Yes. Holland has two starts next week, but if that isn’t a factor it’s definitely Kopech.

  5. uncle ernie says:
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    I’ve been hanging with Severino for a while now waiting for him to straighten himself out. He may be back on track now but I don’t see him going more than 5 inn the rest of season to save his arm. I’m in a espn league with QS. Clevinger is available on the waiver wire. Contemplating dropping Severino or Tanaka for him. Your thoughts

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @uncle ernie: I’d definitely pick up Clev for Tanaka.

      • Uncle Ernie says:
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        @Dokken: I might just do that. Might hold off until Tanaka’s after next start against the fish on Tuesday. Thanks

  6. MagaMan says:
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    So I need wins an K’s bad but cannot get a big hit in ERA/WHIP, oh God help me, start Bieber this week or just insert Ken Giles even though I do not need saves? So over under on 4 ER @ Sawx?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @MagaMan: Giles is no safe bet either, so you might be just as well off gambling with Biebs. I might take the over on the ER…he does get a second start this week though to perhaps even out the potential ugliness. Who knows, maybe he surprises us.

  7. Re-Pete says:
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    1. Would you risk a 2-start Eovaldi or Velasquez over a 1-start stud with a tough matchup? Specifically, Carrasco @BOS?

    2. Either of the same 2-start guys over Thor (home v. SF)?

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Re-Pete: Nah. Carrasco has been rolling and the Giants have been slumping hard. Starts your studs.

  8. Harry Leche says:
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    Need six starts in my head to head points league. Options are:
    Archer(Atl, Mil)
    Evoaldi (Cle, TB)
    Peralta(Cin)
    Glasnow(KC)
    Happ(Bal)
    Heanly(Hou)
    Kershaw(SD)
    Cahill(Min)

    I’m thinking Archer(both starts), Peralta, Glasnow, Happ, and Kershaw.
    Thoughts? I could also pick up Kopech, but would have to drop one of my pitchers.

    Thanks,

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Harry Leche: Kershaw, Happ, Cahill, Glasnow, Archer, Eovaldi. I’d prob drop Peralta for Kopech, too.

  9. Charlie says:
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    The fall of Jon Lester has been horrible.

    I traded Cruz/Cano/Archer/Castellanos
    For
    Lester/Martinez/Peralta

    Luckily Peralta has been my saving grace.

    Also, love how high you are on Wood. I am too!

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