Not your Grandfather’s Top 100 Starting Pitchers…
As you may or may not know, Fantasy Master Lothario traveled to the Big Apple this past week. What you definitely don’t know, is why the Champion of Razzball made the cross country trek to the city that never sleeps: Grandpa-Donk’s 92nd birthday festivities. That’s right, Grey Albright and Gramps-Donk are the closest of friends. Have you ever seen Grey and Sweaty Jimmy in the same room? Didn’t think so…
As Grey stepped forward to kiss the hoof and present the ageless-donk with a priceless phallic statue specially commissioned by this season’s Blown Away glass blowing contestant Annette Sheppard, Gramps leaned in and whispered the name “Kyle Gibson” into Sweaty Jimmy, I mean Grey’s ear. “The same Kyle Gibson who just gave up 4 runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings against Detroit last week?”, Grey thought to himself. But he knew better than to question the most respected donkey in all the land.
It’s the time of season where everyone outside of the top 20-25 starting pitchers become expendable in shallower leagues. Gibson will be an ideal streaming target in those leagues as he again faces the Tigers in Detroit on Friday; Streamonator loves this match up just as much as the grand old donk. I wouldn’t be excited to start Gibson for his following three starts in Boston, at home against the Nationals, and in Cleveland, but they aren’t the worst match ups. Then his last two juicy match ups will come against the Royals and Tigers once again. Don’t doubt the death defying donkey’s advice, stream or stash Gibson for this final month.
Pitching staff management is very league format specific this late in the season, so here are some random names I feel like writing about…
L’Carpetron Dookmarriot (N/A) – After six years of studying music therapy and playing football at Florida Atlantic University, Dookmarriot is ready to test his luck on the mound. Alright, I made that last part up, and someone else made that first part up; literally a random name here. Oh, you still want real baseball player names?
Ivan Nova (+13) – Ivan the terrible has transformed into Ivan the great over the past month, going 5-1 with a 0.94 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in his last 48 innings. Unfortunately, strikeouts have been sparse over that span with a total of only 25 K’s. Nova will also face a tough Braves lineup this week. It’s only a matter of time before Ivan the terrible rules again.
Andrew Heaney (+25) – Heaney was the lede in the last edition of the top 100. He’s gone 2-0 in his two starts since then with a 2.40 ERA, 0.53 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts in 15 innings! Smart Donkey! Alright, so that call came mostly from rest of season player rater, but Donkey Teeth befriended ROS player rater with the use of shiny metallic gifts and electrical sockets. That’s worth something, right? Heaney faces Boston and Texas this week, streamonator and player rater still love him almost as much as they love zeros and ones.
Rick Porcello (+39) – I hate to question the bots since they’ll soon rule the world and hold it against me, but I can’t in good conscience stay quiet here. Player rater has Porcello slotted in at #56 among starting pitchers for the rest of the season. We’re talking about a guy who has be consistently terrible for almost three straight months, minus a couple blips of mediocrity. He also goes into Coors for one of his starts this week. I moved him up slightly in my rankings due to peer robot pressure, but there’s no chance in robotic hell that I’m owning him.
Clayton Kershaw (N/C) – I’ve been wrong about Kershaw this year. Almost as wrong as those you said Grandpa-Donk would age poorly. He isn’t the young Kershaw anymore, but he’s still damn good, and against all odds he’s stayed healthy for 5 full months. All of that said, the Dodgers have a 20 game lead in the NL West right now. Seems like it’s about time for The Claw to start resting up for the playoffs.
Jack Flaherty (+1) – As wrong as I was about Kershaw, that’s how right I was about Flaherty when I told you to buy him here on May 20th, and here on July 1st, and here on July 12th, and here on July 15th. He’s pretty much been the best pitcher in all of baseball since the break with a 0.73 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and 64 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings pitched. Captain Jack is a must start the rest of the way, regardless of match up. I’d even start him in Coors at this point, but it looks like he’ll dodge that series.
Yusei Kikuchi (+7) – Speaking of guys I got right, gulp. Kikuchi just threw a complete game shutout two hitter against the Blue Jays. See, told you it was coming! Now if we could just forgot about those 9 starts where he gave up 5+ earned runs! There might be another couple starts where Kikuchi will be worth streaming down the stretch here, but 2020 is the year to own The Kooch, I promise! We actually discussed The Kooch with fantasy baseball legend and Asian baseball expert, Tim McLeod, on the most recent sausage pod or whatever we’re calling it these days.
Trevor Bauer (-5) – I told you two weeks ago that the move to Cincinnati would be a positive development for Bauer! *Checks game logs* Yikes. So he’s given up 18 ER in 14 1/3 IP since I made that call. I immediately regret bringing his name up! But rest of season player rater’s bullishness on Bauer is not wavering, he’s #5 on the robots crush list right behind battery acid and motor oil. I agree with the machine and I’d be buying for 2020 as well.
Anyway, here’s my final updated Top 100 Starting Pitchers for 2019 Fantasy Baseball (next edition we’ll look forward to 2020):
RIP: Tyler Skaggs #45
Injured: Blake Snell, Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, David Price, Tyler Glasnow, Brandon Woodruff, Jameson Taillon, Luis Severino, Yonny Chirinos, Griffin Canning, Jon Gray, Aaron Sanchez, Luke Weaver, Rich Hill, Chris Archer, Tyler Mahle, Danny Duffy, Jimmy Nelson, Jake Arrieta, Jonathan Loaisiga, Zach Davies, CC Sabathia, Jhoulys Chacin, Jon Duplantier, Jordan Zimmerman, Jose Urena, Ross Stripling, Jared Eickhoff, Josh James, Johnny Cueto, Clayton Richard, Jefry Rodriguez, Jeremy Hellickson, Tyson Ross, Marco Estrada, Danny Salazar, Felix Pena, Taijuan Walker, Edinson Volquez, Tyler Anderson, Ryan Borucki
Out of the Pen: Trevor Richards, Collin McHugh, Carlos Martinez, Nate Eovaldi, Brad Peacock, Freddy Peralta, Matt Strahm, Kevin Gausman, 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.