For the first time since I can remember (which isn’t that long really, thanks vodka) I added far more players back to the list than I took off. Huzzah! It felt good to not have to scrap for back-end-non-difference-makers. We even got Michael Kopech, finally! It even sounds like Eduardo Rodriguez should be back this week, although the same cannot be said about teammate Chris Sale or not-teammate James Paxton. Michael Fulmer returned after a lengthy absence and tossed 4.2 scoreless innings, which gives me hope that down the stretch he can pitch more like the player we expected back in March. Dylan Bundy, unfortunately, put up another dud and is completely off the list. You simply cannot deploy him right now. Here are some of the other notable starters from this past week of action.

 

The Risers

  • Zack Wheeler, NYM (+11) – OK, so I won’t go on too long about Wheeler because I’ve done enough of that recently. However, he got another sizable bump because he just keeps slaying. I never would have imagined him approaching the top 20 back in March, but thanks to an overall horrid season for pitching and him revamping his arsenal of late, here we are. He should be universally started against the Giants in his next start.
  • Mike Minor, TEX (+12) – Minor has fluctuated in a major (sorry) way this season. He strung me along with a 2.08 ERA in June only to make me feel foolish with a 5.04 ERA in July. Well, the pendulum hath swung again, as he has posted a 2.41 ERA in August. I’m feeling trustworthy with Minor again, thanks in part to his fastball clocking in at a season-high 94.5 MPH in his last start. That start, by the way, was six one-hit innings with four K’s and one walk. Not bad, especially considering it was against an A’s offense that is surprisingly potent. Unfortunately he’s got the Dodgers and Angels coming up on his schedule, which limits his streaming appeal.
  • Alex Cobb, BAL (+15) – Even more surprising than Wheeler approaching the top 20 is Alex Cobb rising to 85!! Granted, it’s not the world’s most prestigious honor (Razzball Writer Of The Year is), but considering his ERA is still 5.00, it’s a testament to how good he’s been lately. He tossed 35 innings in August with a 1.80 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP! His hard contact has dropped to a mighty fine 28%, and he has induced 25% pop-ups. Those numbers support the ERA, and his pitch mix supports the peripherals. He went from 7% splitter usage in June (6.67 ERA) to 26% in July (4.34 ERA) to 37% in August. The strikeout upside is still nil, which limits his upside, but he’s at least into streaming territory now.

The Fallers

  • Marco Gonzales, SEA (-23) – “Marco?” “Polo!” “Marco?” “Gonzales!” *Children all scream and swim away* Yes, Marco has been terror inducing of late. Marco has a 10.35 ERA *woman shrieks in background* over 20 August innings “pitched”. Halloween has come early for Gonzales owners – and he’s not dishing out treats. Please say that last sentence in your best movie trailer voice. Every single one of his pitches has given up a .389 average or higher this month. Yikes. He’s impossible to trust right now, so needs to be benched until he can set himself straight and put together a strong start or two. Fortunately he gets the Padres next, which is as good as it gets in terms of trying to straighten out your season.
  • Gio Gonzalez, WSH (-24) – I really shouldn’t have to explain this beyond Gio’s second most recent box score, which read 8 ER, 10 H, 4 BB, 5 K, 4.2 IP…against the Marlins. Well, the box score didn’t have the dramatic ellipses, but you get the idea. He did follow it up with seven strong innings against the Mets, but the Mets are an ideal matchup for lefties and I still can’t forget his blow-up against the Fish. That, and his 6.00 second half ERA have me completely uninterested the rest of the way. He’s a total grenade with a bad walk rate and doesn’t have the K’s he once did to offset the walks. Check, please!

The Newcomer

  • Michael Kopech, CHW (SP29) – YES!! FINALLY! HE’S HERE!! I’ve been waiting all season for Kopech, but to defend the White Sox for a minute, they did need to hold him down as long as they did. He has had insane walk issues all season, but over his last seven starts at Triple-A he had just four walks total. Of course, the baseball gods can be cruel, and they limited him to two innings because of a rain delay. He has a truly exciting four-pitch mix that will have no issue piling up the K’s the rest of the way. He will also have plenty of plus matchups against terrible AL Central opponents, making him an all-formats add. I eased him into the top 30, but if he carries over his improved control he could weasel his way into the top 20 by seasons end. I expect him to be a top 20 starter for a very long time.

 

The Top 100 Starting Pitchers

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

 

 

You can find Dokken on Twitter @NathanDokken

  1. Molina Bros BBQ says:
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    I’ve been falling fast in ERA the past two weeks…. In contention in my league but I’ll need to move back up a couple place in ERA if it’s going to happen… Tough roster decisions. Only 6 moves left on the year.

    I’ve got Verlander, Folty, Happ, Pivetta, Godley, Heaney, Ryu for starters. Not a lot out there… Mike Minor, Lucchesi, T Williams, Matz, Marco Gonzales, Gomber…

    Pretty much ride or die with the guys I have, right? Not worth dropping anyone I have to steam to help ERA right?

    Thanks

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Molina Bros BBQ: In a vacuum I’d roll with Minor over Godley, but like I mentioned in the write-up, he doesn’t have great matchups coming up. I think you’re right that your best bet is to stick with what you’ve got.

      • Molina Bros BBQ says:
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        @Dokken: Thanks!

  2. The Skrimmer says:
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    Major final week of the season problems!
    I need to have a strong week to finish in either 1st or 2nd and get a bye for the first round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, one of the teams I am battling has 5 two-start SPs and I only have Cole. I am currently starting Cole, Arrieta, Mad-Bum, Folty, and Cahill (with Ray and Pivetta on the bench). Do I keep these starters all active, swap with one from the bench, or start K. Yates instead of one of them? I am already starting Kimbrell, Norris, and Davis for saves. I know that I will lose Ks this week, but which roster gives me the best chance to win the other categories? Thanks.

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @The Skrimmer: I’d flirt with starting Yates over Cahill, but ultimately I think you have it right with him in the lineup. Hard to trust Ray and Pivetta gets the Cubs so I’d stick with your relievers over either of them.

  3. Peter North says:
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    Archer’s gotta go my man. Ray getting damn close too.
    What role do you see Stripling having down the stretch once he’s activated Tuesday? I understand the dodgers wanted to save innings but they are several games out of the wildcard now and gotta start winning some games.
    Thanks for the work buddy

    • Dokken

      Dokken says:
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      @Peter North: I respect your work, Mr. North! I haven’t heard anything about him returning to the rotation. It seems like they’re gonna keep him in the pen the rest of the way, which is aggravating.

  4. Re-Pete says:
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    Texas has been playing well of late, and Berrios has not. Would you bench him this week (@TEX/Perez) in favor of Gausman (PIT/Archer)?

    • Re-Pete says:
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      @Re-Pete: alternative option: Eovaldi @CHW. I know Streamonator loves that start, but damn, he hasn’t looked great lately, either.

      • Dokken

        Dokken says:
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        @Re-Pete: The White Sox will often present a positive matchup because they strike out so much, but I’m with you as far as not trusting Eovaldi right now. Gausman has been nails since moving to ATL and Texas has been hot, so I would endorse starting Gausman over Berrios.

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